29th August – 2nd September

Monday 29th August

Italy: Italy’s prime minister has asked the acclaimed architect Renzo Piano to play a leading role in reconstruction and disaster prevention following the earthquake that struck central Italy last week, killing at least 290 people. Matteo Renzi launched a national plan for quake and risk prevention on Monday after meeting Piano in Genoa at the weekend to discuss housing strategies for survivors and rebuilding the medieval towns hardest hit by the 6.2-magnitude quake on 24 August. (The Guardian)

Turkey: Tens of people have been killed in continuing Turkish strikes on Kurdish-held areas in Syria near the border city of Jarablus. The strikes came on the fifth day of Turkey’s military operation to target so-called Islamic State (IS) militants and Kurdish militia inside Syria. Turkish tanks and troops backed by Syrian rebels have captured territory from IS and clashed with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia supported by the United States, which is itself fighting IS. (BBC News)

The US says clashes between Turkish forces and opposition groups in northern Syria are “unacceptable.” Washington is concerned this will take the focus away from fighting Islamic State and give the terrorist group the possibility to capture more territory. Ankara is worried that Kurdish forces are trying to extend their area of control along Turkey’s southern border. Washington has also reiterated a demand to the Syrian Kurds that they cross the Euphrates. The US says that such a movement has “largely occurred,” while fighters from the US-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes Syrian Kurdish militias, say they have withdrawn south following the Turkish offensive. (RT)

Yemen: 71 people were killed and 98 others injured Monday, August 29 in a suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State group against a recruitment center of the army in Aden largest city in southern Yemen, according to a new review of medical sources. (BFMTV)

Tuesday 30th August

EU: Apple has been ordered to pay a record figure of up to €13bn (£11bn) in back taxes to Ireland after the European commission ruled that deals between Apple and the Irish tax authorities amounted to illegal state aid. (The Guardian)

France: The French Ministry of Economy, Emmanuel Macron, formalized his resignation from the Office to pursue his presidential projects. The President of Republic, Francois Hollande, accepted the resignation. Macron will be substitute in his functions by Michel Sapin. (Le Figaro)

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights welcomed on Tuesday the decision of the French Council of State to put a stop to the prohibition of Burkini. These decrees do not improve security, they tend instead to fuel religious intolerance and stigmatization of people of Muslim faith in France. Particularly women. (Liberation)

France cast serious doubt on the prospects of an EU free trade deal with the United States, adding to opposition within Germany just two months after their countries’ leaders reaffirmed support for an accord. French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl said he would request a halt to TTIP talks at next month’s EU trade ministers’ meeting in Bratislava after German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel declared at the weekend that talks were “de facto dead”. (Reuters)

Italy: Tuesday afternoon took place in Amatrice the solemn funeral of the victims of the earthquake that shook Central Italy on Wedsnesday 24th. (Rainews)

Turkey: Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces (FDS ) have agreed to a truce Tuesday that the fighting have staged during the last week in northern Syria, as reported by the opposition coalition . The truce would have been possible thanks to the intervention of the international coalition led by the United States. (ABC)

Wednesday 31st August

Brexit: British Prime Minister Theresa May Wednesday summoned her senior ministers for their first talks on leaving the European Union. The cabinet meeting at Chequers, the premier’s country retreat northwest of London, is set to feature a brainstorming session on negotiating tactics with Brussels and key objectives.  May’s spokesman confirmed there would be no second referendum or snap general election, despite the hopes of some “Remain” campaigners that the process of leaving the EU could be stalled. (The Daily Star)

France: Paris’s first refugee camp is expected to open by the end of September, with a second to follow, said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Wednesday. Hidalgo first announced the camp in May, and work to build it began at the end of June, but its opening date had thus far been uncertain. (ANSA Med)

Italy: Wednesday afternoon, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Maranello for a bilateral meeting. During talks in Italy, Merkel warned that failed asylum seekers will have to leave the country. Her Italian counterpart, Matteo Renzi, said there were limits to the EU’s migrant policy. The talks also focused on the EU’s future following Britain’s decision to leave in a national referendum on June 23. Merkel also announced that Germany would pay for the building of a new school in the quake-hit region, adding that the exact location would be decided in consultation with local officials. She also met rescue crews who responded to the August 24 quake. (DW)

War on Terror: Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, one of Islamic State’s longest-serving and most prominent leaders, has been killed in Syria, the group’s Amaq news agency reported. Amaq did not say how Adnani died. The Pentagon’s press secretary Peter Cook said coalition forces had conducted an airstrike in the town of al-Bab in Aleppo province on Tuesday targeting Adnani, but did not say whether he had been killed. The attack was on a vehicle in the town of al-Bab in Aleppo province but the official declined to say whether Adnani was killed. (The Guardian)

Thursday 1st September

Spain: MPs refuse to trust Mariano Rajoy. Spain is without a government for more than eight months. Mariano Rajoy has been acting with limited powers, unable to prepare the budget in 2017 which is due in mid- October at the European Commission. Spain is heading towards new elections. (Le Figaro)

Turkey: Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala has resigned following a string of bombings that prompted public criticism and concerns about intelligence failures before last month’s failed coup. Turkey’s Interior Ministry portfolio has been filled by Labor Minister Suleyman Soylu. (Haaretz)

War on terror: Moscow Says ISIS Mastermind Killed by Russian Airstrikes, Not American. Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that Russian airstrikes in Syria had killed one of ISIS’ most prominent leaders, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, even if on Tuesday, a U.S. defense official told Reuters the United States targeted Adnani in a strike on a vehicle travelling in the Syrian town of al-Bab. (Haaretz)

Islamic State has vowed revenge for the death of Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the propaganda chief responsible for inspiring and directing terrorist attacks against the West. (The Times)

Friday 2nd September

Denmark: A man with close ties to a terror network affiliated with Islamic State shot two police officers and one civilian in Copenhagen Wednesday night. One of the police officers is fighting for his life while the other two victims are in stable condition. The suspect is also in critical condition after sustaining injuries during his arrest. The suspect, a 25-year-old Bosnia-born Danish citizen, was arrested Thursday morning after another shootout with police. Daesh claimed the responsibility of the attack. (Le Figaro)

France: France is to gradually dismantle the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais, the interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, has vowed. He said France would create accommodation for thousands elsewhere in the country “to unblock Calais”. (The Guardian)

Italy: Istat national statistics agency on Friday revised upward its annual GDP growth estimate, to +0.8% from +0.7%. However GDP was flat in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter, Istat said. Istat said consumption stalled and investments decreased in the second quarter of the year, with family consumption +0.1% compared to the first quarter, public administration spending -0.3%, and gross fixed investments -0.3%. On the trade front, imports rose by 1.5% and exports added 1.9%. (Ansa)

Newly seated Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi on Friday was reportedly combing through CVs in search of suitable replacements after she was hit by five resignations in one day on Thursday. Cabinet chief Carla Romana Raineri and cabinet budget member Marcello Minenna stepped down, as did two heads of transport company ATAC – general manager Marco Rettighieri and CEO Armando Brandolese. Adding to the resignations on Thursday, the head of Rome municipal waste company AMA, Alessandro Solidoro, also quit after being appointed less than a month ago as a replacement for then-AMA chairman, Daniele Fortini. “The objective is to find the best possible people,” mayoral staffers told reporters today. (Ansa)

Spain: The major parties agree to reform the law to prevent the elections over Christmas after the refusal of give to Mariano Rajoy the trust to form a new Government. (El Pais)

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