Monday, August 18, 2014

IRAQ – Kurdish officials will take part in negotiations on forming a new Iraqi government, the outgoing foreign minister, Hoshiyar Zebari, said. This development signals the possibility of improved ties between the Kurds and the central administration in Baghdad. (Al Arabiya)

IRANThe U.N. nuclear watchdog chief said on Monday Iran had begun implementing transparency measures ahead of an Aug 25 deadline, as part of a long-running investigation into suspected atomic bomb research by Tehran. (Reuters)

INDIA/PAKISTANIndia called off on Monday peace talks with Pakistan, giving a jolt to renewed diplomatic efforts between the two nuclear-armed neighbors and adding to the troubles of Pakistan’s beleaguered government. The move came nearly three months after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended the inauguration of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the pair shaking hands in a gesture that had raised hopes of warmer ties between the two nations. (Reuters)

 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SLOVENIA – Slovenian president Borut Pahor on Tuesday officially designated Miro Cerar, the head of the party that won the July 13 elections, as prime minister. (ANSAmed)

GAZA STRIPA ceasefire in the Gaza Strip collapsed on Tuesday, with Palestinian militants firing dozens of rockets at Israel and Israel launching air strikes that health officials said killed three people including a woman and a young girl in Gaza. (CNN)

TUNISIA – The Tunisian government has come in for criticism after late last month suspending the activities of 157 associations ”for security reasons” as part of anti-terrorism measures. The order to freeze the activities of the 157 associations, out of a total of 18,000 active in the country, was issued by the government crisis unit under Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa. (ANSAmed)

 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

EUROPEGermany and Italy joined Britain and France on Wednesday in saying they would arm Iraqi Kurdish security forces fighting Islamic State militants in northern Iraq, in close coordination with the Baghdad central government. (Reuters)

LIBYA – Clashes between irregular forces of a renegade general and Islamists erupted in Libya’s eastern Benghazi city on Wednesday, killing at least five people, medical and military. (Reuters)

IRAQA video released by ISIS shows the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley and threatens the life of another American if President Barack Obama doesn’t end military operations in Iraq. (CNN)

 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

LIBYA – Tunisia and Egypt’s Cairo airport halted most flights to and from Libya for security reasons, officials said, days after the Libyan government said unidentified war planes had attacked positions of armed groups in Tripoli. (Reuters)

ISRAEL – Israeli aircraft have killed three top Hamas commanders in southern Gaza, inflicting a heavy blow on the movement’s armed wing after failing to kill its top military chief. Thursday’s attack, on a day when a total of 26 people were reported killed in Gaza. (Al Jazeera)

TURKEY – Turkey’s ruling party has picked Ahmet Davutoglu, the foreign minister, to replace president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan as its new chairman and prime minister. (Al Jazeera)

 

Friday, August 22, 2014

SYRIAAt least 191,369 people have been killed in Syria‘s conflict through April, more than double the figure documented a year ago and probably still an under-estimate, the United Nations human rights office said on Friday. (CNN)

UKRAINE – Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has accused Russia of a “flagrant violation of international law” after Russian humanitarian aid lorries entered Ukraine without permission. More than 100 Russian lorries had entered on Friday without any customs clearance or Red Cross escort, he said. The aid is destined for civilians in the east Ukraine war zone, especially the rebel-held city of Luhansk. (BBC)

YEMEN  – Tens of thousands of Yemenis demonstrated in the capital Sanaa in a protest called for by the Shi’ite Houthi movement, which wants the government to resign and reverse a decision on cutting fuel subsidies. (Reuters)