Monday, 29 October 2018

Libya: Libyan general Khalifa Haftar travelled to Rome on Sunday night to meet with Premier Giuseppe Conte. Haftar, a dominant figure in the east, is scheduled to hold talks on Monday with Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi. At the top of the agenda of talks is a conference on Libya scheduled to take place in Palermo on November 12-13. (ANSAmed)

At least four people were killed and seven wounded when suspected ISIS fighters attacked a town in central Libya, a military official and lawmaker said. The raid on the desert oasis town of al-Foqha south of Jufra late on Sunday lasted several hours, during which the fighters set local government and security offices on fire, the military official, who asked not to be named, said. (Al-Arabiya)

Syria: ISIS in eastern Syria has retaken territories close to the border with Iraq previously conquered by Kurdish forces backed by the US-led international Coalition, according to the UK-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which quoted sources on the ground. The sources added that, after two months of a land offensive (by Kurdish forces) and air raids (carried out by Coalition members) against the district of Hajin, between the Euphrates and the Iraqi border, ‘Islamic State’ militants reconquered areas that taken last week by Kurdish forces, such as Susa and Banghuz. (AINA)

Tunisia: a suicide bomber blew herself up on a busy Tunis avenue on Monday afternoon, killing herself and wounding nine other people, mostly police officers, Tunisia’s Interior Ministry said. The 30-year-old woman set off the blast just before 2 p.m. in the Tunisian capital’s popular Habib Bourguiba avenue, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Sofiene Zaag, quoted by the TAP news agency. (ANSAmed)

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Italy: The death toll from fierce storms battering Italy has risen to 11, civil protection authorities said on Tuesday, as wild weather caused schools to close and trapped dozens of tourists in the north of the country. (The Telegraph)

European Union: Year-on-year euro zone growth slowed to 1.7 percent from 2.2 percent in the second quarter. Eurostat does not provide national data in its flash estimates, but figures released earlier on Tuesday by the Italian statistics agency showed Italy’s growth had halted in the third quarter amid a row with the European Union over the country’s budget for next year. (CNBC)

Israel: Boeing has agreed to spend billions of dollars in Israel over the coming decade if it wins major defense contracts, Israel’s Economy Ministry said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged on Tuesday (30 November) a new development fund to tackle unemployment in Africa, a problem spurring the mass migration that has shaped her long premiership as it nears its end. (EurActiv)

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Israel: The Labor Party won elections in Tel Aviv and Haifa while Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party lost in Jerusalem. Labor leader Avi Gabbay said elections ”indicate that Israelis want change”, referring to the fact that no Likud candidate won in a major city. (ANSAmed)

Migration: Austria will follow the United States and Hungary in backing out of a United Nations migration pact over concerns it will blur the line between legal and illegal migration, the right-wing government said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Turkey: Istanbul’s chief prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was suffocated in a premeditated killing as soon as he entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate four weeks ago, and his body was then dismembered and disposed of. (Reuters)

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Syria: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed Manbij and Idlib in northern Syria in a call on Thursday and stressed their determination to strengthen ties, Erdogan’s office said. (Reuters)

Egypt: Egyptian authorities have arrested the daughter of the deputy Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Khairat Al-Shater, who has been in detention since July 2013. (Middle East Monitor)

Lebanon: President Michel Aoun Wednesday backed Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri’s stance on refusing to cede a seat to “independent” Sunni MPs in the new government, in the latest twist of the Cabinet formation crisis that has been further complicated by this issue. (The Daily Star)

Libya: Pressure is mounting on Belgium’s government to explain why payments of hundreds of millions of euros flowed to unknown recipients from frozen accounts in Brussels that once belonged to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Opposition lawmakers are demanding that the administration of liberal Prime Minister Charles Michel answer questions after a public broadcaster this week linked the payments from the Libyan accounts in Brussels to arms shipments. (Politico.eu)

Friday, 2 November 2018

Spain: Spanish prosecutors have called for former Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras to be imprisoned for 25 years on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds, the highest prison term being sought for separatist leaders who pushed for Catalan independence last year.(The Washington Post)

Greece: The first direct flight from Skopje to Athens took place on Thursday (1 November) after a 15-year “air embargo” in a sign that the two countries are determined to turn a new page in Balkan politics, after being locked in a diplomatic dispute over Skopje’s official name. (EurActiv)

Egypt: At least seven people have been killed and 14 wounded in attack on a bus heading toward a Coptic Christian monastery in upper Egypt, the Archbishop of Minya told Reuters on Friday. (Reuters)