Monday, 23rd February 2015

PALESTINE – A U.S. jury on Monday found the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority liable for supporting terrorist attacks in Israel more than a decade ago that killed dozens of people. Jurors in Manhattan federal court awarded $218.5 million in damages to 10 American families who brought the case, a sum that is automatically tripled to $655.5 million under a 1992 U.S. anti-terrorism law. (Reuters)

GREECE – Greece will submit to international institutions – EU, ECB and IMF – its reforms plan to secure a four-month extension of its bailout. The plan will include three pages: alongside measures to fight tax evasion and a reform of the public administration, goals in terms of accounts will not be listed. (ANSAmed)

LIBYA – Libya’s internationally recognized government has said it will end all contracts with companies from Turkey, a country it has accused of supporting a rival administration. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 24th February 2015

QATAR – Qatar is committed to defeating the Islamic State, its emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani assured U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday in his first official visit to the White House. (Reuters)

TUNISIA – Tunisia arrested about 100 suspected Islamist militants in the last three days, some of whom were preparing attacks and published video footage showing evidence of an Islamic State influence on some of those detained. (Reuters)

LIBYAN CRISISItaly and France called on Tuesday for an accord among warring factions in Libya and said the world could not ignore near-anarchy there which was undermining regional security and feeding a growing migrant crisis. Speaking at a news conference with French President Francois Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said the two leaders agreed Libya “must be a priority of the international community and not a problem to delegate to a single European country”. (Reuters)

ISLAMIC STATE – Islamic State militants have abducted at least 150 people from Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria they had raided, Christian Syrian activists said. (ANSAmed)

 

Wednesday, 25th February 2015

LIBYAGeneral Khalifa Haftar has been appointed top commander of the Libyan army. The position was created through an amendment to a law governing the Libyan army and will serve to ”supervise all the components” of the armed forces. (ANSAmed)

SPAIN – The Spanish government is not investigating reports of excessive use of force against migrants by border police in Ceuta and Melilla and is not cooperating in the case regarding the death of 14 people on the beach of El Tarajal on February 6 last year for which 16 Guardia Civil officers are investigated, Amnesty International denounced. (ANSAmed)

 

Thursday, 26th February 2015

ISLAMIC STATE – Ultra-radical Islamist militants in northern Iraq have destroyed a priceless collection of statues and sculptures from the ancient Assyrian era, inflicting what an archaeologist described as incalculable damage to a piece of shared human history. (Reuters)

GREECE – Dozens of black-clad protesters clashed with riot police in central Athens on Thursday, smashing shop windows, throwing petrol bombs and burning cars after an anti-government march, the first since the leftist Syriza party took power a month ago. (Reuters)

EUROPEAN UNIONEuropean Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini discussed gas supply problems and the implementation of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine in a 20-minute phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday. (Reuters)

 

Friday, 27th February 2015

GREECE – The German Parliament has overwhelmingly approved the Greek application for an extension of the loan agreement, as decided at last Friday’s Eurogroup in Brussels. The Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble insisted that “the decision was not easy” and that recent reports “did not make it easier”, while maintaining that it remains to be seen if the Greek government will uphold its commitments. He further explained that the application was not for more money, but time to complete the program. (ANSAmed)

LIBYALibya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said his government would stop dealing with Turkey as it was sending weapons to a rival group in Tripoli so “the Libyan people kill each other”. (Reuters)

JORDAN/ISRAEL – Israel and Jordan have signed a ‘historic’ bilateral agreement for water exchange. The agreement, worth an estimated 780 million euros, will make it possible for the two countries to share drinking water produced in planned desalinization facilities in the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba, while a conduit will provide salty water to the Dead Sea. In exchange for its portion of desalinized water in the south, Israel will double its water supply to the Jordan River starting at Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee). (ANSAmed)