News in brief
Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi no longer faces the death penalty. Following the Arab Spring and President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign, Morsi won the 2012 presidential election. Barely a year later, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led a military coup against the government. Along with political associates and Muslim Brotherhood members, Morsi was convicted of several crimes against the state. Morsi and 105 others were sentenced to death for their role in a 2011 jailbreak. Morsi will also get a new trial.
After earning 81,422 votes during the election, Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching of the Youngspiration party have been disqualified from taking office in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. In October, Leung and Yau amended their oaths with pro-independence rhetoric. Though somewhat autonomous, Hong Kong has been under the control of the Chinese government since 1997. The High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region declared Leung and Yau refused their oaths. Other pro-independence lawmakers could have their oaths invalidated too.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to abandon the 2015 Paris Agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakech. “I hope he will really hear and understand the severity and urgency of addressing climate change,” said Ban, according to The Guardian. Other international leaders believe the U.S. should respect its commitment. According to Reuters, a withdrawal from the deal could harm U.S. prestige and bargaining power on other matters abroad.
In 2010, Polish President Lech Kaczynski and others aboard a Tupolev Tu-154 airplane died when they crashed near Smolensk, Russia. A report conducted by the Committee for Investigation of National Aviation Accidents attributed the crash to pilot error and inadequate training. The Polish government has launched a new investigation to determine if the incident was an assassination. The bodies of Kaczynski and his wife were exhumed for autopsy on Nov. 15. Investigators will search for injuries that could result from explosives.
On Nov. 14, Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda said there was a “reasonable basis” to believe U.S. military forces and the CIA committed war crimes of torture and related ill-treatment in Afghanistan from 2003 to as late as 2014. Fatou also stated the Afghan government and the Taliban violated international law. Though the U.S. initially adopted the Rome Statute creating the ICC, it never ratified the treaty and withdrew from the ICC under the Bush administration. Afghanistan and 123 other nations have ratified the treaty.