Monday, March 24, 2014

EGYPTAn Egyptian court sentenced 529 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to death for murder and other offenses on Monday in a sharp escalation of a crackdown on the movement that is likely to fuel instability. (Reuters)

RUSSIAWestern powers are shifting their G8 summit in Sochi to a G7 meeting in Brussels following Russia’s aggressive annexation of Crimea. (TIME)

FRANCE – France’s far-right Front National party has made significant gains in local elections, when voters sent a message of deep dissatisfaction with the Socialist president François Hollande. As the voting stations closed, polls were suggesting the governing Socialists had gained just 43% of the vote nationwide, compared with 48% for the centre-right opposition. (The Guardian)

 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

TURKEY The Turkish armed forces were put on alert along the border with Syria, the Turkish Head of State Abdllah Gul, said. “On Sunday a Syrian military air was shot down by the Turkish F16. (ANSAmed)

SPAINConstitutional Court on Tuesday partially struck down a sovereignty claim approved by lawmakers last year in the northern region of Catalonia, a vital step toward a referendum on full independence. (Reuters)

UKRAINEUkraine, its economy seriously weakened by months of political turmoil and mismanagement, is negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for a loan package of $15-20 billion. (Reuters)

 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

EGYPTEgypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced he had resigned from his positions as defense minister and army chief and he would run for the presidency in a forthcoming election that he is expected to win easily. (Reuters)

MOROCCO – Moroccan police spraying water cannon stopped 13 unemployed blind university graduates from setting themselves on fire in Rabat in protest against a public sector hiring freeze. Morocco, which brought in the austerity measures in January, faces demands from international lenders to reduce deficits and cut public spending, which has risen as Rabat sought to calm the kind of popular discontent seen in the Arab Spring revolts. (ANSA)

KUWAIT – The crisis in Egypt and the conflict in Syria have dominated the opening session of an Arab Leage summit in Kuwait. (AlJazeera)

 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

SAUDI ARABIA – The Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has today appointed his half-brother Muqrin bin Abdulaziz as crown prince. This decision excludes from the succession who was previously considered to be the crown prince, Salman bin Abdulaziz. (ANSA)

TURKEY – The Turkish government banned YouTube on Thursday, less than a week after Ankara made a similar blackout of the social networking site Twitter. The Turkish government said its YouTube block came as a response to the leak of a conversation between top government officials purportedly discussing the possibility of going to war with neighboring Syria. The crackdown comes just days before Turks are expected to go to the polls in nationwide municipal elections. (CNN)

ITALY – United States President Barak Obama has met Pope Francis, Italy Republic President Giorgio Napolitano and Italy Prime Minister Matteo Renzi today in Rome. (ANSA)

 

Friday, 28 March, 2014

RUSSIA – A large majority of countries in the United Nations General Assembly approved the Ukraine’s resolution which describes the Crimean referendum as “having no validity” and calls on countries not to recognize the redrawing of Ukraine’s borders. (NewYorkTimes)

EGYPTAt least three people were killed in clashes in Cairo on Friday amid protests by the Muslim Brotherhood, days after hundreds of its Islamist supporters were sentenced to death, official sources said. (Reuters)

SAUDI ARABIA – U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated the significance the United States places on its “strong relationship” with Saudi Arabia in talks with King Abdullah. It added that Washington and Riyadh were working together to address critical bilateral and regional issues, including “the crisis in Syria, preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, counterterrorism efforts to combat extremism, and supporting negotiations to achieve Middle East peace”. (Reuters)