Suu Kyi at ICJ; Trump-Russia FBI report


On International Human Rights Day, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi appears at the International Court of Justice in The Hague in a three-day hearing to defend Myanmar against allegations of genocide. Photo: 360b / Shutterstock 

Ukraine-Russia deal; UK election heats up; Russia sports ban; no more volcano survivors; Saudi cash flow; and Golden Globes nominations. Delano’s breakfast briefing.

Myanmar in court

On International Human Rights Day it seems appropriate to start with the appearance at the International Court of Justice in The Hague of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. She is there to defend her country against allegations of genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya people. The three days of hearings are the result of a lawsuit that was filed by Gambia in November, the FT reports.  Reuters reports that the Free Rohingya Coalition was launching a “Boycott Myanmar Campaign” asking “corporations, foreign investors, professional and cultural organizations to sever their institutional ties with Myanmar”.  The Washington Post says the decision to appear at the court has solidified Suu Kyi’s hero status ahead of elections next year.

FBI made mistakes but not bias

A report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz has concluded that the FBI made numerous errors when it opened an investigation into Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Reuters reports. But it also found there was no political bias in launching the investigation. The report has given ammunition to both Trump supporters and his critics. The president said the report’s findings represent “an attempted overthrow” of the government, CNBC reports. But former FBI director James Comey, writing in The Washington Post, says the report clearly indicates that the agency fulfilled its mission. CNN has key takeaways from the report.

Ukraine-Russia ceasefire agreed

The BBC reports that Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky have agreed to implement a “full and comprehensive” ceasefire in eastern Ukraine by the end of 2019. The two leaders met in Paris alongside Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, who said she believed “there is goodwill to resolve difficult questions”, according to Deutsche Welle.

NHS and fake news dominate UK election

A photo of a sick four-year-old boy on a hospital floor, and Boris Johnson’s reaction to it during an interview with ITV, has sparked what could be the defining moments of the final week of the UK election campaign. The Guardian reports that Labour has accused the Conservatives of “lying and cheating” to distract from Johnson’s awkward moment, by wrongly briefing journalists that an aide to health secretary Matt Hancock was punched by a Labour activist. The Independent said the fake news story spread across social media but that police did not have any report of an incident.

Russia faces sports ban

The World Anti-Doping Agency has imposed a four-year ban on Russia using its flag, anthem and team names at major sports events, ESPN reports. The ban means Russia will not compete under its name at the 2020 Olympics and the 2020 World Cup. However, as The Mirror reports, Russia will play at next year’s UEFA European Championships.

New Zealand volcano: no more survivors

Reuters reports on a news conference in which New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has said there are no more signs of life on White Island following the volcanic eruption that killed 5 and left a further 8 people missing and presumed dead. The Guardian has an article from a volcanologist explaining what happened and why there was no warning of the eruption.

Saudi Arabia not running out of cash

Saudi finance minister Mohammed al-Jadaan has refuted claims that the kingdom is struggling with its finances. In an interview with CNBC, the minister said Saudi Arabia currently held the third-largest pot of foreign cash reserves in the world.

Baumbach on track for awards season sweep

Hot favourite Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” and veteran Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” dominate this year’s Golden Globes nominees, which were announced on Monday. The Guardian has a full list. Variety says the awards have polished up their new respectability and that the nominees look, “more than ever, like an impeccably curated crystal-ball premonition of the Oscars.”

Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts