Monday 19th

France: A 16 year old boy, suspected of being the cause of the false alarm that caused Saturday in Paris a vast anti-terrorist operation, was arrested today and remanded in custody. He was arrested in La Marne in early afternoon. The investigators of the criminal brigade of the Paris favor the theory of a malicious act that would be the work of hackers. (Le Figaro)

Germany: The far-right, openly anti-Muslim AfD party, Alternative für Deutschland, has made significant gains in Germany’s local elections as Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat party slumped to its worst ever result. The vote secures the anti-immigration party its first seats in the Berlin state parliament – the first far-right party to do so since German reunification. (The Independent)

Israel: Two Israeli police officers have been wounded in a stabbing attack outside one of the gates of Jerusalem’s Old City in the sixth violent incident in four days. The incident, which occurred at about 7.30am (5.30am BST) on Monday, came amid growing fears that a wave of attacks by Palestinians, which began last year but had largely subsided in recent months, appears to be escalating again. During the attack a female police officer, aged 38, was stabbed in the neck and seriously wounded while a 45-year-old male officer received a stab wound to his upper body. (The Guardian)

War on Terror: Russia’s Foreign Ministry sharply criticized the United States on Sunday, one day after the U.S. military acknowledged it may have mistakenly struck and killed dozens of Syrian government forces.The U.S. military said it halted a series of airstrikes Saturday in eastern Syria after Russia warned the United States that it had bombed a Syrian military position, killing more than 60 soldiers. The incident also raises question about whether the week-old cease-fire agreement is in jeopardy. (USA Today)

Tuesday 20th

Greece: Thousands of people were forced to flee to safety on Monday after a fire, set on purpose according to police, tore through a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. No casualties were reported but tents at the Moria camp were “almost entirely destroyed” and containers that provide additional accommodation and health and registration services were damaged. (Al Jazeera)

Italy: Two Italian workers and a Canadian colleague has been kidnapped in Libya on Monday. The workers were abducted by armed men at dawn in the southern Libyan city of Ghat, near to the Algerian border. Sources said the kidnapped Italians are Bruno Cacace, a 56-year-old from Borgo San Dalmazzo, near Cuneo, and Danilo Calonego, a 66-year-old from the province of Belluno. Local media said the adduction was not carried out by al-Qaeda. (Ansa)

Syria: The United Nations has suspended aid convoys in Syria after an airstrike hit a fleet of trucks carrying food to a rebel-held area near Aleppo on Monday. The strike was described by the International Committee of the Red Cross as a flagrant violation of international law. It took place as a week-old ceasefire brokered by Russia and the US collapsed amid a surge of Syrian government bombing. The UN humanitarian aid spokesman Jens Laerke said: “As an immediate security measure, other convoy movements in Syria have been suspended for the time being, pending further assessment of the security situation.” (The Guardian) 

Wednesday 21st

Iraq: Iraq’s military closed in on Wednesday on the center of Shirqat, a northern town held by Islamic State seen as a stepping stone in the campaign to recapture the jihadists’ stronghold of Mosul. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel: A man armed with a knife approached Israel’s embassy in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Wednesday, and was shot in the leg after trying to attack a local police officer. Turkish police at the scene told Reuters the assailant shouted “Allahu Akbar” outside before he was shot in the leg. Police were examining his bag but had so far not exploded it. The area outside the embassy had been cordoned off. Broadcaster CNN Turk said the attacker was not mentally stable. Initial inquiries indicated that the 41-year-old from the central city of Konya had no links to an organized group, officials said. (The Jerusalem Post)

OECD: The OECD has slashed its 2017 growth forecast for the UK in half as a result of the Brexit vote and warned of “very high” uncertainty ahead. The OECD acknowledged that financial markets had stabilised since the immediate volatility in the wake of the June 23 vote and that swift action the Bank of England had helped. OECD made also a statement on Italian GDP, which will rise 0.8% both in 2016 and 2017, revising its forecasts downwards by 0.2 and 0.6 of a percentage point respectively from its June outlook. The OECD also revised down global growth to 2.9% in 2016, saying the world was “trapped” by weak growth. (The Independent)

War on terror: The Obama administration is weighing a military plan to directly arm Syrian Kurdish fighters combating the Islamic State, a major policy shift that could speed up the offensive against the terrorist group but also sharply escalate tensions between Turkey and the United States. The plan has been under discussion by the National Security Council staff at a moment when President Obama has directed aides to examine all proposals that could accelerate the fight against the Islamic State. (The New York Times)

Thursday 22nd

Italy: A spokesperson for the Libyan forces loyal to Tobruk General Khalifa Haftar has reportedly said that the two Italians kidnapped with a Canadian in the south of the country this week were abducted by a group linked to al-Qaeda. “The two Italians kidnapped in south-west Libya were abducted by a criminal gang and behind them is al-Qaeda’s fingerprint,” Colonel Ahmed al Mismari told the Alwasat website. (Ansa)

Migration: Dozens of people have died and officials fear hundreds more have been lost at sea after a boat carrying 600 migrants capsized off the north Egyptian coast. Rescuers have brought more than 150 people ashore and recovered 43 bodies, including several women and a child, and hundreds more are missing, according to local officials and news agencies said. (The Guardian)

Morocco: Moroccan police have arrested four “dangerous” suspected extremists linked to ISIS who were planning attacks across the country, the government said Thursday. Investigators apprehended an individual Wednesday in the northern city of Meknes who had been “planning terrorist attacks in Morocco,” according to a statement from the interior ministry. The suspect had “acquired vast experience in the manufacture of remote-detonated explosives” and was “about to procure essential materials to make” a bomb, it added. (The Daily Star)

Friday 23rd

Brexit: European Union leaders will meet in Malta in February to help prepare for a summit the following month in Rome aimed at revitalizing a bloc without Britain, an EU source said Friday. A regular EU summit is also scheduled for the end of October in Brussels, leading up to another in December. (The Daily Star)

Germany: A Montenegrin went on trial in southern Germany Friday accused of helping to prepare a terror attack after he was found driving to Paris last November with Kalashnikovs and explosives hidden in his car. The accused, named as Vucelic V., told a Munich courtroom at the start of his trial that he was aware the weapons were in the car but he denied any knowledge of an attack being planned. While no direct link has been established between the man and the Paris attackers, prosecutors say he was fully aware the weapons were to be used for a planned terror attack. (The Daily Star)

Spain: Voters in the Basque country and Galicia go to the polls on Sunday to choose their new regional governments in elections that could help bring an end to Spain’s nine-month political deadlock. The conservative People’s party (PP) in Galicia and the Basque Nationalist party (PNV) will be trying to hold on to office. The results in the two northern regions will also be minutely scrutinised by the main four parties in Madrid for signs of movement in Spain’s paralysed politics as the clock ticks ever more insistently towards an unprecedented third general election in just over a year. (The Guardian)

War on terror: One of the Paris terror attackers sent money to Italy via a network now being probed, National Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terror Prosecutor Franco Roberti told a joint session the parliamentary Constitutional and justice committees Thursday. After the Paris attacks has been reconstructed, money transfers, starting with one of the Paris attackers, ended up in Italy. The flows started with the attacker and ended up with a guy who was here in Italy. Then other money transfers went from this guy to other individuals in Italy and abroad. (Ansa)