Monday, June 23 2014

EGYPT

Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, two Al Jazeera journalist were sentenced by an Egypt court to seven years in prison and Baher Mohamed was sentenced to three years for possession of ammunition. Other Al Jazeera journalists were sentenced to 10 years. (Al Jazeera

 

 SYRIA

Ahmet Uzumcu, the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the last of Syria’s declared chemical weapons have been shipped out of the port of Latakia for destruction. The destruction will take place on board the MV Cape Ray. (Ansa)

At least four people were killed and nine wounded in an air strikes in the Golan Heights. The Israeli raids were in response to a cross-border attack the previous day that killed an Israeli civilian. (BBC)

EUROPE

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French far right fails to form a political group in EU Parliament. The 24 members of  Front National will now have to sit as independents. (Termometro politico)

 

Tuesday, June 24 2014

UKRAINE

Alexander Borodai, one of the rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine say they will observe a ceasefire declared by the Ukrainian president until Friday morning. But Poroshenko has said government troops would fire back if attacked. (Al Jazeera)

IRAQ

Sunni rebels have taken control of the Baiji refinery, nord of Bagdad.It has been the scene of a week of fighting between Iraqi forces and Sunni fighters because this refinery is Iraq’s largest and produces a third of Iraq’s oil output. (Ansa)

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been talking to Kurdish leaders in the northern city of Irbil. He said “This is a very critical time for Iraq, and the government formation challenge is the central challenge that we face”. (The Daily Star)

ISRAEL

Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, said publicly that they believed governmental forces of being behind an attack that killed an Israeli boy on the occupied Golan Heights: “We got all the analysis, all the intelligence and it was clear it was Syrian authorities, Assad’s forces, who fired on the Israeli boy … and they must pay the price”. (Al Jazeera)

LEBANON

At least 12 people were wounded and a security officer was killed in a suicide car bomber outside a cafe near a Lebanese army checkpoint in Beirut. Last Friday in a suicide bombing at a police checkpoint on the Beirut-Damascus highway a police officer was killed and 33 people were wounded. (BBC)

 

Wednesday, June 25 2014

 ITALY

Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Etihad Airways said it has agreed terms and conditions for its purchase of a 49% stake in Alitalia.The two airlines said they would now move to finalize the deal as soon as possible. (La Repubblica)

UKRAINE

Pro-Russian separatists shot down a Ukrainian military helicopter carrying technicians. All nine on board die.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, said “Diplomatic solutions are always preferable but if nothing else works, sanctions could return to the daily agenda, and this time at the third level”. (The independent)

EGYPT

At least six people have been wounded in Egypt’s capital Cairo after six homemade bombs were detonated on the metro during rush hour. (Ansa)

 

Thursday, June 26 2014

ISRAEL

Five european countries, including Italy, have decided to warn their citizens to not engage in “financial assets or investments” in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Golan Heights. (Haaretz)

LIBYA

Just 630,000 of the 1.5 million registered voters have cast their ballot to elect members of a new Parliament on Wednesday. At least five people died and another 30 people were wounded in clashes between government forces and militants. (The NY Times)

Libyan human rights activist Salwa Bughaighis killed has been assassinated in her home in Benghazi.Attackers burst into Bugaighis’ home, shooting and stabbing her, wounding a security guard and abducting her husband Issam al-Ghariani, a member of Benghazi Council. (Middle East Online)

US/UKRAINE

A day before a European Union meeting in Brussels, the US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Russia to show it is working to disarm separatist militants in eastern Ukraine.The US and EU are threatening to impose further sanctions if Russia does not act to defuse the situation. (Reuters)

US/SYRIA

President Barack Obama has requested to Congress to approve $500m for the US military to train and equip what he described as “moderate” Syrian opposition forces.

The training program would be a significant step for a president who has consistently resisted providing military aid to the rebels. (The Guardian)

 

Friday, June 27 2014

 UE/EX-USSR STATES

The ex-Soviet Republics, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova have signed a historic free trade deal with the European Union. The President of Ukraine, Poroshenko said: “Ukraine is underlining its sovereign choice in favour of membership of the EU”. (Euronews)

EUROPE

Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker was nominated as the next president of the European Commission.Only the UK PM Cameron and Hungarian PM Viktor Orban voted against him. Before Juncker can start work he will have to pass a parliamentary vote in July. (La Libre)

SYRIA

“The moderate opposition in Syria… has the ability to be a very important player in pushing back against (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) ISIL’s presence… not just in Syria, but also in Iraq”, said the US Secretary of States John Kerry on Friday in Saudi Arabia. (Middle East Online)