Monday, 11th July 2016

ITALY – The fragile state of Italian banks in the fraught post-Brexit financial climate has been highlighted by the International Monetary Fund, in a stark warning that the eurozone’s third biggest economy will have suffered for almost two decades before it starts to recover the ground lost since the 2008 financial crash.

LEBANON – French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Monday told rival Lebanese leaders they must solve the political paralysis that has prevented the election of a new president since 2014. (Al Arabiya)

TURKEY – Turkey has not been able to confirm reports that a senior Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) commander had been killed in Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday, in what would be a major blow to Kurdish militants. (Reuters)

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that there is no reason for Turkey to have disagreement with its neighbors, expressing that the country’s intentions are to improve its ties with countries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. (Daily Sabah)

Tuesday, 12th July 2016

ITALY – Angela Merkel dismissed concerns of an escalating crisis surrounding Italian banks and expressed confidence that talks between Rome and Brussels allowing a rescue of struggling financial institutions could be “resolved well”, giving a boost to Italian banking shares. (Financial Times)

ISRAEL – An Israeli from the country’s Bedouin Arab minority illegally crossed into Gaza on Tuesday, Israel’s military said, an incident that may affect a proposed prisoner swap with the Palestinian enclave’s Hamas authorities. (Reuters)

WAR ON TERROR – Libyan forces allied with the UN-backed government have been shelling and carrying out air strikes on the centre of Sirte city in a siege of ISIS militants there, an official said on Tuesday. (Al Arabiya)

Wednesday, 13th July 2016

EGYPT – Egyptian authorities said on Tuesday Muslim clerics would be required to read out identical pre-written weekly sermons as part of the government’s campaign against extremism, drawing angry criticism from some preachers. (Al Arabiya)

TURKEY – More than five years into Syria’s civil war, Turkey, the country that has most helped the rebellion against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, has hinted it may move to normalise relations with Damascus. (The Guardian)

Turkey accused the European Parliament of encouraging terrorism on Wednesday by exhibiting photographs from Kurdish-controlled northern Syria, highlighting the challenges Ankara and Brussels face in trying to finalise a migrants-for-visas deal. (Haaretz)

SYRIA – The United Nations and other aid agencies have enough food in eastern Aleppo to feed 145,000 people for one month, as 200,000-300,000 in the Syrian city are at risk of being besieged by Syrian government forces, the U.N. said Wednesday. (The Daily Star)

MIGRANT CRISIS – The European Union authorities, seeking to balance the scale of the migration crisis with the reluctance of some countries to take in refugees, offered a series of proposals on Wednesday that would give member states more latitude while offering them 10,000 euros for each refugee they accept. (The New York Times)

Thursday, 14th July 2016

EGYPT – Egyptian security agents have abducted and tortured “at least several hundred people,” some as young as 14, in an unprecedented spike in enforced disappearances aimed at silencing opponents, Amnesty International asserted in a report published on Wednesday. (Haaretz)

TURKEY – France has temporarily shut down its embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara and its consulate in Istanbul, citing security reasons. “The Embassy of France in Ankara, as well as the Consulate-General in Istanbul, will be closed from Wednesday July 13, 1pm (10:00 GMT), until further notice,” the embassy said in a statement on Wednesday. (Al Jazeera)

SYRIA – The first aid convoy since June to reach to al Waer, a besieged suburb of the Syrian city of Homs, arrived on Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said. (The Jerusalem Post)

Secretary of State John Kerry met late into the night on Thursday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a bid to salvage cease-fire efforts in Syria by offering Russia greater U.S. military cooperation if Moscow agrees to ground the Syrian regime’s air force. (The Wall Street Journal)

 

Friday, 15th July 2016

FRANCE – A truck smashed into a crowd in the French resort of Nice, killing at least 84 people in what President Francois Hollande on Friday called a “terrorist” attack on revellers enjoying a Bastille Day fireworks display. The driver, named by authorities as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, barreled the truck two kilometres (1.3 miles) through the crowd on the palm-lined Promenade des Anglais, sending hundreds fleeing in terror and leaving the area strewn with bodies. (The Telegraph)

The death toll from the terrorist attack on a Bastille Day fireworks celebration in the southern French city of Nice rose to 84 on Friday, as the government raced to establish the attacker’s identity, extended a national state of emergency and absorbed the shock of a third major terrorist attack in 19 months. (The New York Times)

MIGRANT CRISIS – European officials have finalised plans to create a common EU asylum system and refugee resettlement scheme, which advocates portray as the solution to the European migration crisis but which critics believe will be a further betrayal of refugee rights. (The Guardian)

TURKEY – Members of the Turkish Military attempted to oust Yildirim Government and the democratically elected president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to the latest news, the coup failed and the loyalist forces took over the country. A wave of arrests is under way.