January 26th – 30th

Monday, 26th January 2015

EGYPT – The sons of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were released from prison, a move that could fuel tension after the violent anniversary on Sunday of the 2011 uprising that toppled the autocrat. (BBC)

GREECE – With over 99% of the vote counted, SYRIZA had 149 seats in the 300-seat Parliament taking 36.3% of the vote, 8.5 points ahead of the conservative New Democracy party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. (Reuters)

SYRIA – Members of the Syrian opposition meeting in Moscow said they aimed to work out common demands to present to the Damascus government. The talks have been spurned by key political opposition and do not involve the main insurgent groups fighting on the ground nearly four years into the war in Syria. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 27th January 2015

ISLAMIC STATE – Japan pressed Jordan for help in securing the release of Kenji Goto, a Japanese hostage of Islamic State militants, after a video appeared to show him saying he could be killed in 24 hours. (Reuters)

GREECE – The new Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, named Yannis Dragasakis as Deputy Prime Minister and confirmed economist Yanis Varoufakis as Minister of Finance. Panos Kammenos, leader of the Independent Greeks, was named to the Ministry of National Defense. (Reuters)

ISRAEL – Israel told the UN Security Council it will take all necessary measures to defend itself after an exchange of fire between Hezbollah militants and Israel that has raised the threat of a full-blown conflict. (Reuters)


Wednesday, 28th January 2015

GREECE – Alexis Tsipras threw down an open challenge to international creditors by halting privatization plans agreed under the country’s bailout deal, prompting a third day of heavy losses on financial markets. (Reuters)

LIBYA – Libya’s warring factions, who operate rival governments, have agreed “in principle” to move future negotiations on ending the crisis from Geneva back to the war-ravaged country. (Reuters)


Thursday, 29th January 2015

EUROPEAN UNION – EU foreign ministers agreed to extend asset freezes and travel bans put on dozens of Ukrainians and Russians last March, but were still seeking a compromise on adding new people and preparing new measures. (Reuters)

ITALY – The Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, proposed Sergio Mattarella, a senior judge, to be the new President of Italy in a move which may strain his government’s alliance on reforms with opposition rival Silvio Berlusconi. (Reuters)

IRAN – Iran said talks with France, Germany and Britain on its nuclear program were “promising”, but more work was needed to settle the 12-year standoff. (Reuters)


Friday, 30th January 2015

GREECE – The European Commission Vice-President, Jyrki Katainen, urged Greece’s new government to stick to the reforms agreed with international lenders, but signaled Athens could be offered more time to reach certain goals. (Reuters)

EGYPT – The President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has cut short his trip to Ethiopia, where he was attending an African Union summit, to return to Egypt in the wake of a terror attack in northern Sinai. (ANSAmed)

SYRIA – Fighting between the Syrian arm of al-Qaeda and Western-backed rebels in northern Syria spread from Aleppo province into neighboring Idlib threatening one of the few remaining pockets of the non-jihadist insurgency. (Reuters)

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