Monday, 1st December 2014

RUSSIAThe President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, said Moscow will stop pursuing Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline project that would supply natural gas to Europe with an underwater link to Bulgaria, blaming the European Union for scuttling the project. The announcement came after a day of meetings with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in Ankara. The two leaders said in a news conference that Russia and Turkey had reached a preliminary agreement to start work on an alternative pipeline to Turkey that would terminate at a gas-distribution hub on the Greek border. (The Wall Street Journal)

SYRIAThe World Food Programme (WFP) suspended aid to more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries on Monday, due to lack of funds. The program allowed Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan,Turkey,IraqandEgyptto buy food from localshops with vouchers provided by the WFP. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 2nd December 2014

FRANCEThe National Assembly of France voted on Tuesday to urge its government to recognize the State of Palestine. The motion passed with 339 in favor, 151 against and 16 abstentions. The document is non-binding for the government but is highly symbolic and sends a message to Israel. (ANSAmed)

TURKEYThe European Court of Human Rights condemnedTurkeyon Tuesday for discriminating against members of the Alevi religious minority by failing to grant their places of worship the same status and advantages as those of other faiths. (Reuters)

EGYPTEgypt’s public prosecutor ordered an appeal on Tuesday against a court decision to drop charges against former President, Hosni Mubarak, his Minister of Interior and six aides over the killing of protesters in a 2011 uprising. Mubarak, now 86, was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for conspiring to murder 239 demonstrators during an 18-day revolt that ended his 30-year rule, but an appeals court ordered a retrial. (Reuters)

 

Wednesday, 3rd December 2014

ISLAMIC STATEThe coalition’s campaign against the Islamic State (IS) starts giving result and its progress in Iraq and Syria has been stopped, according to a statement released at the end of a ministerial meeting in Brussels of 60 countries in the anti-IS coalition. (ANSAmed)

ISRAELIsrael’s early elections have been scheduled on March 17 next year. The date was chosen in a meeting among leaders of parties in parliament. The Knesset on Wednesday afternoon will vote a law on its dissolution, the first step for the end of the legislature of Benjamin Netanyahu’s third government, which lasted just over a year and a half. (ANSAmed)

IRANThe United States has indications thatIranhas carried out air strikes on IS targets inIraqin recent days in what appeared to be the first such operations by Iran’s air force.A senior Iranian official denied thatIranhad launched any such strikes. (CNN)

 

Thursday, 4th December 2014

TUNISIAThe Assembly of the Representatives of the People, the new parliament that has emerged from national elections on October 26, elected its first speaker, Mohammed Ennaceur, 80, a lawmaker from the secularist political party with relative majority, Nidaa Tounes. (ANSAmed)

YEMEN – Saudi Arabiahas suspended most of its financial aid toYemen, Yemeni and Western sources said, in a clear indication of its dissatisfaction with the growing political power of Shi’ite Houthi fighters friendly with Riyadh’s regional rival,Iran. (Reuters)

 

Friday, 5th December 2014

LIBYA – Forces allied to one of two rival governments vying for power inLibyaconducted air strikes near the Tunisian border and vowed to shut the main land border crossing between the two countries. (Reuters)

ISRAEL – A poll released Friday by “The Jerusalem Post” shows 60% of Israelis do not want Benjamin Netanyahu to stay on as Prime Minister. Only 34% of the representative sample of 500 respondents would vote for him, and in a direct vote he would lose against for former Likud ministers Moshe Kahlon (36% compared with 46%) and Gideon Sa’ar (38% compared with 43%). (ANSAmed)