Monday, 5th January 2015

LIBYAA Libyan warplane from forces loyal to the internationally recognized government bombed a Greek-operated oil tanker anchored off the coast, killing two crewmen in an escalation of hostilities between factions vying to rule the country. (Reuters)

SYRIA – Syria’s Western-backed political opposition group, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, has elected a new presidential committee and a president. Khaled Khoja takes over as president from Hadi al Bahra, who is considered to have close links with Saudi Arabia. Khoja said it was unlikely the coalition would attend peace talks in Russia this month, describing Moscow as “one of the enemies of the Syrian revolution”. (Reuters)

GERMANYProtesters marched in several German cities on Monday against higher levels of immigration and what they see as the growing influence of Islam, in defiance of an appeal from Chancellor Angela Merkel to spurn rallies she views as racist. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 6th January 2015

ISRAEL – An Israeli military court on Tuesday sentenced Hussam Kawasmeh to life imprisonment over the killing of three Israeli youths, whose abduction in the occupied West Bank set off a chain of events leading to the 50-day Gaza war last summer. (Reuters)

TURKEYA female suicide bomber has blown herself up in the Turkish city of Istanbul, killing one police officer and injuring another. (BBC)

Wednesday, 7th January 2015

FRANCE Gunmen have shot dead 12 people at the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in an apparent militant Islamist attack. Four of the magazine’s well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those killed, as well as two police officers. (BBC)

PALESTINEUnited Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has confirmed the Palestinians will formally become a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on April 1. (Reuters)

IRAN – Iran and six world powers will hold talks on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program in Geneva on January 18, the European Union said. (Reuters)

Thursday, 8th January 2015

EGYPT – Egypt will hold a long-awaited parliamentary election in two phases starting on March 22-23, the election commission said, something the government hopes will deliver political and economic stability after nearly four years of upheaval. (Reuters)

FRANCEArab governments and Muslim leaders and organizations across the world have condemned the deadly attack in Paris, but it was praised by jihadi sympathizers who hailed it as “revenge” against those who had “insulted” the prophet Muhammad. (The Guardian)

GREECE – Syriza, the radical leftist Greek opposition party led by Alexis Tsipras, is currently ahead in the election race and boasts a comfortable margin (3,2%) over Nea Dimokratia (ND), the governing center-right party led by premier Antonis Samaras. (ANSAmed)

Friday, 9th January 2015

FRANCECherif and Said Kouachi, the two brothers wanted in the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine, have been killed by security forces in a town where they had been surrounded. (CNN)

ISLAMIC STATEThe Islamic State militant group praised the gunmen behind this week’s killings at the Paris headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper as “heroic jihadists”. (Reuters)