Monday, 29th June 2015

GREECE – Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis wrote in a letter to the Eurogroup on Saturday requesting it extend Athens’ bailout credits for one month that EU treaties offer no route for Greece to leave the currency union. (Reuters)

SYRIA – Syria’s foreign minister said on a visit to Moscow on Monday that top ally Russia had promised to send political, economic and military aid to his country”. I got a promise of aid to Syria – politically, economically and militarily”, Walid al-Moualem said at a televised news conference in Moscow after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 30th June 2015

EGYPT – Egypt’s top public prosecutor was killed by a car bomb attack on his convoy on Monday, the most senior state official to die at the hands of militants since the toppling of an Islamist president two years ago. There was no confirmed claim of responsibility. Security sources said a bomb in a parked car was remotely detonated as Hisham Barakat’s motorcade left his home, after saying earlier a car bomber had rammed into the convoy. (Reuters)

GREECE – The Eurozone’s three biggest countries have raised the stakes in next Sunday’s Greek referendum with an orchestrated warning to voters that a no vote would mean exit from the single currency and the return of the drachma. (The Guardian)

ISLAMIC STATE – David Cameron said that ISIS must be “crushed” in Syria as well as Iraq as he reopened the question of whether the United Kingdom should launch air strikes against the terrorist group in Syria following the killings of tourists in Tunisia. (The Independent)

ISRAEL – Israel has built fences on its frontiers with Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. It has constructed barriers through parts of the occupied West Bank and along the border with Gaza. Now the Israelis are moving ahead with a fence along at least part of their border with Jordan as well. On Monday, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would begin work on an 18.6-mile stretch of fence along its eastern border with Jordan. (The New York Times)

 

Wednesday, 1st July 2015

GREECE – Greece became the first developed country to default on the International Monetary Fund, as the rescue program that has sustained it for five years expired and its creditors rejected a last-ditch effort to buy more time. The Washington-based fund said the Greek government failed to transfer €1.55 billion ($1.73 billion) by close-of-business on Tuesday – the largest, single missed repayment in the IMF’s history. (The Wall Street Journal)

SPAIN – The controversial public security law comes into force on Wednesday amid fears that it will limit freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest. Protesters marched in more than 30 cities across Spain on the eve the introduction of a controversial new Spanish “gag law” that will limit the right to demonstrate. The new legislation came into force at midnight despite being denounced by international human rights’ groups, lawyers associations and journalists for muzzling freedom of speech. (The Local)

YEMEN – Pressure is mounting on the Saudi-led military coalition that seeks to stanch a rebellion in Yemen, as aid officials prepare to add Yemen to the ranks of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises and human rights groups point to what may be war crimes. (The New York Times)

 

Thursday, 2nd July 2015

EGYPT – Fierce fighting between Islamist militants and Egyptian army forces in the northern Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday left at least 117 people dead, state media said, in the bloodiest clashes between the two sides since Hosni Mubarak was forced from power in a popular revolt four years ago. (The Wall Street Journal)

GREECE – Greece’s prime minister accused Europe’s leaders of attempting to “blackmail” Greek voters, just hours after apparently holding out an olive branch to the country’s creditors by accepting most of the terms of the economic reform plan they had tabled last weekend. (Financial Times)

IRAN – The chief of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency is headed to Tehran for meetings with President Hasan Rouhani and other senior officials in a sign of the group’s expanding role in forging a nuclear accord with Iran, despite concerns voiced by experts and U.S. lawmakers. (The Wall Street Journal)

TUNISIA – Tunisian jihadists linked to ISIS have drawn up a target list for the coming months that includes alcohol stores, bars, the country’s main airport, the tourist resort island of Djerba and the security forces, The Independent has learned. Investigation of ISIS-linked social media and internet forums has revealed a pattern of wide-ranging discussion of possible objectives for attack. (The Independent)

 

Friday, 3rd July 2015

GREECE – The International Monetary Fund has electrified the referendum debate in Greece after it conceded that the crisis-ridden country needs up to €60bn (£42bn) of extra funds over the next three years and large-scale debt relief to create “a breathing space” and stabilize the economy. (The Guardian)

ISLAMIC STATE – David Cameron believes Britain should launch airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria without further clearance from the United Nations, Downing Street has indicated. RAF raids could begin in September at the soonest after Labour’s leadership suggested the party was open to backing the move. (The Times)

ISRAEL – Israeli policymakers are concerned that the Jewish state could become the object of a massive border attack by an ISIS Egyptian affiliate, similar to the one which struck Egyptian security targets in the Sinai Peninsula this week, killing dozens of soldiers and policemen. Israeli media reports said the army had been placed on high alert along Israel’s border with Sinai, but an army spokesman said there had been no change in military readiness. (The Independent)