Monday, 12th January 2015

TURKEY – Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accused the West of hypocrisy for its stance over the attack on satirical journal “Charlie Hebdo” and hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket in Paris, while failing to condemn anti-Muslim acts in Europe. (Reuters)

CROATIA – Opposition challenger, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, has become the first female Croatian President winning by the narrowest of margins. She secured 50.5% of the vote with 99% of ballots counted, while incumbent Ivo Josipovic was close behind on 49.5%. (BBC)

EUROPEAN UNION – The European Union wants governments and security forces to work more closely together to counter threats of violence like that in Paris last week, but cautioned against a hasty response. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 13th January 2015

FRANCE – The French Parliament voted overwhelmingly to extend the country’s military intervention against Islamic State militants in Iraq that started four months ago. (Reuters)

EGYPT – Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, could still pardon three jailed “Al Jazeera” journalists who are now facing a retrial if he deems it appropriate, the country’s foreign minister said. (Reuters)

In addition, the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt overturned the only remaining conviction against former President Hosni Mubarak, opening the way for his possible release four years after the revolution that toppled him. (Reuters)

IRAN – Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, said that countries behind the fall in global oil prices would regret their decision and warned that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait would suffer alongside Iran from the price drop. (Reuters)

 

Wednesday, 14th January 2015

FRANCE – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the attack on the French satirical journal “Charlie Hebdo”, saying it was ordered by the Islamist militant group’s leadership for insults to the Prophet Muhammad, according to a video posted on YouTube. (Reuters)

ITALY – Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano, handed in his resignation as head of State, leaving Prime Minister Matteo Renzi with the politically delicate task of finding a successor. (ANSAmed)

LIBYA – The United Nations said it will launch talks in Geneva between warring Libyan factions even though one side has delayed its decision on attending negotiations aimed at averting a broader civil war. (Reuters)

 

Thursday, 15th January 2015

PALESTINE Arab foreign ministers endorsed a Palestinian plan to resubmit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for Israel to withdraw from occupied territories by late 2017. (Reuters)

SPAIN – Artur Mas called for snap elections to be held in Catalonia on September 27, 2014. The announcement came in the aftermath of an agreement between Mas’ party, Convergència i Unió, and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, the left wing Catalan pro-independence political party. (ANSAmed)

 

Friday, 16th January 2015

LIBYA – Libyan factions agreed to continue UN backed negotiations in Geneva next week over ending the country’s political crisis. (ANSAMED)

PALESTINE – Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court said they had opened a preliminary inquiry into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories, the first formal step that could lead to charges against Israelis or Palestinians. (Reuters)

SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia’s top clerical council, the only body in the kingdom authorized to issue Islamic legal opinions or fatwas, denounced the publication of “disrespectful drawings” of the Prophet Muhammad. (Reuters)