Impact of Brexit on EU extradition treaties
Following the official confirmation of Brexit, an 11-month transition period began. Throughout the duration of this period, typical EU rules, such as border regulations and inspections, would be softened for the U.K. However, on Feb. 1 three countries — Austria, Germany and Slovenia — confirmed that these exceptions would not be honored in regard to the extradition treaties that apply to all EU member countries.
The statute in question is the European Arrest Warrant, which dictates that all member countries in the European Union must recognize warrants and other judicial requests from other members. This was created in an attempt to further equalize the criminal justice system throughout the EU, preventing criminals from using statutory loopholes to evade justice. The three countries in question informed the European Commission that upon the confirmation of Brexit, any attempts by the UK to utilize the EAW would be deemed unconstitutional and subsequently denied. This will be the case until the U.K. negotiates new treaties with each country.
Monarch butterfly activists targeted in Mexico
The murder of two different monarch butterfly activists in Mexico in fewer than 10 days has raised concerns regarding the targeting of environmentalists throughout the country. Raúl Hernández Romero and Homero Gomez Gonzalez were both employees at the El Rosario monarch butterfly sanctuary located in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
The sanctuary is a facility within the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site that has previously seen widespread habitat destruction wrought by illegal logging throughout the last decade. Gonzalez and Romero had both been previously vocal in seeking government action to curb the damage to the butterflies, and Mexican officials are currently investigating their deaths in relation to this activism and its potential opponents.
Turkish avalanche kills 41, injures 84
A pair of avalanches in Eastern Turkey have killed 41 people as of Wednesday, Feb. 5. The first happened on Tuesday and killed five, while the second, on Wednesday, came through the area where a large rescue team was searching for those lost in the first avalanche. About 300 emergency service workers had been called to help with the aftermath of the first snowslide near the town of Bahçesaray in the eastern Van province, and search crews are still looking for the missing bodies of three people. However, those searches have been put on hold as the fear of a third avalanche escalates. Of the 84 people injured, 47 are in the hospital with six patients in intensive care. None of the injured is in critical condition.