July 13th – 17th

Monday, 13th July 2015

GEORGIA – Georgia accused Russia on Monday of violating its sovereignty by placing border markers on the edge of the South Ossetia region, leaving part of an international oil pipeline in territory under Russian control. (Reuters)

GERMANY – Europe’s standoff with Greece has thrown German Chancellor Angela Merkel into one of the deepest domestic political crises of her 10-year tenure. This coming week, things may well get much worse. The Social Democrats, the conservative chancellor’s left-of-center junior governing partners, are increasingly criticizing Ms. Merkel and her Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, for appearing to be prepared to kick Greece out of the euro at least temporarily. (The Wall Street Journal)

TUNISIA – Tunisia’s Interior Minister said security forces had almost wiped out an Islamist militant group linked to al-Qaeda during a crackdown launched after two deadly attacks on tourists. Clashes last week killed leaders, including two veteran Algerian militants, from the Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigade, blamed for an assault on the Bardo Museum in Tunis in March, Minister Najem Gharsalli told reporters. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 14th July 2015

GREECE – Greece’s hopes of securing a fresh bailout to save it from financial collapse now hinge on whether it can push through punishing austerity measures and economic overhauls in the coming days despite the volatility of Greek politics. The rescue deal – hammered out Monday morning after a weekend of often-acrimonious negotiations among Eurozone leaders and finance ministers – gives the debt-stricken country a fighting chance to hold on to the euro as its currency. (The Wall Street Journal)

IRAQ – The Iraqi government declared on Monday that it was beginning a major military operation to retake the western province of Anbar from the Islamic State, which occupies much of the area including its major cities, Ramadi and Fallujah. (The New York Times)


Wednesday, 15th July 2015

IRAN – Iran reached a landmark nuclear agreement with the U.S. and five other world powers, a long-sought foreign policy goal of President Barack Obama that sets the White House on course for months of political strife with dissenters in Congress and in allied Middle Eastern nations. (The Wall Street Journal)

ISRAEL – Shortly after the Iran nuclear deal was announced, Israel’s government attacked it as a “stunning historic mistake” that would endanger the world, and vowed to fight it on Capitol Hill. “The world is a much more dangerous place today than it was yesterday”, said Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he accused global powers of having “bet our collective future on a deal with the foremost sponsor of international terrorism”. (Financial Times)

TURKEY – In a blow to the government, Turkey’s highest court has overturned a law that would have closed thousands of preparatory schools linked to an influential Muslim cleric and rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. (The New York Times)


Thursday, 16th July 2015

GREECE – Under threat from the nation’s creditors to move quickly or lose any chance of obtaining a desperately needed new bailout package, Greece’s parliament approved painful new austerity measures early Thursday, virtually guaranteeing that life would get harder for millions of Greeks. (The New York Times)

MACEDONIA – Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of Macedonia, reeling from a long-running scandal over the wiretapping of thousands of people, has agreed to step down by January 15 to pave the way for new elections in the spring. (The New York Times)


Friday, 17th July 2015

EGYPT – A militant group affiliated with the Islamic State said it destroyed an Egyptian naval vessel on Thursday, posting photographs on social media of a missile exploding in a ball of fire as it slammed into the vessel. (The New York Times)

GREECE – European Central Bank President Mario Draghi sent a signal of support for Greece’s embattled government and banks, saying the ECB would grant more emergency loans to lenders and backing calls for Greek debt relief. (The Wall Street Journal)

YEMEN – Senior members of Yemen’s exiled and Saudi-backed government have flown into Aden to prepare for the administration’s return, three months after being forced to flee by the Shia Houthis. The visit by ministers and intelligence officials follows military setbacks for the supposedly Iran-backed Houthis at the hands of Sunni fighters, which may mark a turning point in the conflict that has killed more than 3,000 people. (The Independent)

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