The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Netanyahu’s wife to face fraud charges:  After weeks of speculation over her fate, Israeli authorities have decided against charging Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in six cases of alleged graft.

Sara Netanyahu will instead face charges related to inflating reimbursable expenses at a government-owned residence.

According to Israeli prosecutors, Ms. Netanyahu and Deputy Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office Ezra Saidoff padded an expense report for meals between 2010–2013 and falsely claimed the residence did not include the employment of a cook.

The amount allegedly exceeds 359,000 shekels ($100,000) in catering overcharges, which the Netanyahu’s blame on the house’s caretaker, Meni Naftal.

Colombia, ELN rebels reach temporary ceasefire agreement:  In advance of a scheduled visit from Pope Francis I to Bogota, the government of Colombia and Marxist-inspired guerrilla group Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) have come to terms on a temporary ceasefire.

The truce is expected to run through early January 2018.

Under the terms of the agreement, ELN forces will suspend all kidnappings, vandalism against oil pipelines and attacks on civilians.  In return, the government has vowed to improve the prison conditions for ELN guerrillas in captivity and increase protection for ELN activists.

The agreement marks the first cessation of hostilities with Bogota in 50 years.

Draft resolution pushes for oil embargo on North Korea:  At the urging of Japan and the U.S., a UN draft proposal calling for an oil embargo on North Korea.  The proposal also includes a textile and travel ban, a ban on the hiring of North Korean workers abroad, and the freezing of Pyongyang’s assets.

In addition to further proposed sanctions, President Trump is reportedly asking for a naval blockade to be included in the motion.

U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, is asking the motion be voted on by Monday, September 11. Under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) rules, a security measure requires nine of 15 votes in favor of a resolution and no vetoes from the panels permanent members, the U.S., Russia, China, France, and the UK.

Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar surges to nearly 300,000; U.S. yet to get involved:  Clashes in western Myanmar between Muslim minority and Buddhist have driven 290,000 Rohingya peoples from Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh since violence flared two weeks ago.

A stateless people with over 1.3 million living in Myanmar alone, the situation has reached a crisis with Myanmar troops allegedly aiding ethnic Burmese mobs in attacks against the Rohingya.

Map: Displaced people and refugees in Bangladesh

The latest violence erupted in late August when Rohingya militants allegedly attacked a Myanmar security outpost, killing 15.  The attack was said to be in response to the refusal of the Myanmar government’s, particularly State Counsellour Aung San Suu Kyi, marginalizing the plight of the Rohingya.

Despite allegations of “ethics cleansing”, the U.S. State Department does not have plans to sanction Myanmar as Congress is currently considering legislation which strengthens military ties between the two countries.

Catalonia passes independence plebiscite:  The autonomous state of Catalonia passed a measure Wednesday scheduling an Oct. 1 public vote to break away from the government of Spain.

Under the bill’s terms, a simple majority “Yes” vote will spur independence regardless of turnout.

Responding to the Catalan parliamentary maneuver, Spain’s Constitutional Court, the Tribunal Constitucional de España, declared the bill void.  Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his country is weighing prosecution of Catalan politicians involved in the legislative efforts to separate from Madrid and called the measure an “intolerable act of disobedience”.


[Haaretz] [BBC News] [TODAY] [The Independent] [AP] [Financial Times] [The Telegraph]