Monday, 13th October 2014

IRAN – The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, blamed the United States and the “wicked” British government for creating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in his first speech since undergoing prostate surgery last month. The sharp remarks were a reminder of Iranian suspicions about the West despite the emergence of the ultra hard-line Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria as the common foe of Tehran and Washington. (Al Arabiya)

ISRAEL – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Israelto scrap plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of a future state, and urged both sides to return rapidly to peace talks. (Reuters)

YEMEN – The President of Yemen has appointed the country’s UN envoy as new Prime Minister, in a move welcomed by Houthi rebels who control the capital. President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi named Khalid Bahah as Prime Minister, just days after the Houthis rejected the appointment of Ahmad Awad Bin Mubarak. (Al Jazeera)

 

Tuesday, 14th October 2014

ISIS CRISIS – US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, agreed to increase intelligence sharing between Moscow and Washington on Islamic State (IS) militants, focusing on a common enemy even as deep divisions remained over the crisis in Ukraine. (Reuters)

TURKEY – The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) said, on Tuesday, the Turkish military had launched air strikes its guerrillas in southeastTurkey, violating a ceasefire agreed under a two-year-old peace process. (Reuters)

LYBIA – An US federal grand jury issued a new indictment that includes a possible death penalty against Ahmed Abu Khattala, a Libyan militant accused of involvement in the September 2012 attacks on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi.Khattala was captured inLibyalast June by a US military and FBI team, and transported to the United States aboard a US Navy ship to face charges in US District Court of Washington. (The Telegraph)

 

Wednesday, 15th October 2014

SYRIA – The Western-backed group, National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces,that sees itself as a government-in-exile opposed to President Bashar al-Assad has re-elected its leader,Ahmed Toumeh,a decision that re-asserted the influence of Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood over the beleaguered body. (Reuters)

IRAN – A senior US official said after nuclear talks with Iran that some progress continued to be made but much work remained to be done, adding the aim was still to reach a deal by a late November deadline. (Reuters)

ALGERIA – More than a thousand Algerian policemen staged a sit-in outside President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s office in Algiers, on Wednesday, demanding better working conditions on a third day of protests by police officers. (Reuters)

 

Thursday, 16thOctober 2014

SERBIA – Vladimir Putin was welcomed with cheers and chants in Belgrade, on Thursday, for Serbia’s biggest military parade since the Yugoslav era. While Serbia’s own President, Tomislav Nikolić, was booed, Putin’s name was chanted and his picture waved by thousands lining the route of the parade. (The Telegraph)

ALBANIA – The Minister of Internal Affairs of Serbia said, on Thursday, that Albania was “not mature enough” to join the European Union, stepping up a war of words over a drone stunt that forced a soccer match between the Balkan nations to be abandoned. (Reuters)

 

Friday, 17th October 2014

UKRAINE CRISIS – RussiaandUkrainemade progress, on Friday, towards resolving a row over gas supplies, but European leaders said Moscow had to do much more to prop up a fragile ceasefire and end fighting in eastern Ukraine. (Reuters)

ISIS CRISISThe Islamic State (IS) militant group has been driven out of most of the Northern Syrian town of Kobanê. IS fighters had retreated from all areas, except for two pockets of resistance in the East. (BBC)

EBOLA CRISISBan Ki-moon has launched another urgent appeal for funds to help fight Ebola virus after a United Nations drive for donations fell short of its target. He joins a growing chorus of world leaders criticizing the global effort to tackle the Ebola virus outbreak. (BBC)