July 18th – 22nd

MONDAY 18th 

EU: On Monday 18 was held the monthly meeting of the European Foreign Affairs Council. Foreign ministers met with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss about EU-US relations and regional issues such as Syria and Lybia. Ministers discussed EU actions and priorities on migration. Amid post-coup purge, the European Union reminded Turkey that it is bound by its commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights and as a member of the Council of Europe not to reintroduce the death penalty. (The Jerusalem Post)

GERMANY: On Monday night about 20 people were injured, including two who are in a life-threatening condition, during an axe attack on a train close to the city of Wurzburg in Bavaria on Monday night. The attacker, a 17 years old afghan, has been later shot dead by police, reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) during the incident. (The Independent)

NATO: Secretary of State John Kerry warned the Turkish government that its actions could have consequences for the NATO alliance if it goes too far with its ongoing purge of thousands of military personnel, judges, and police officers accused of involvement in last weekend’s failed coup attempt. Turkey could fall foul of NATO’s requirement with respect to democracy. NATO’s leadership has made it clear that a commitment to “uphold democracy, including tolerating diversity” is one of the five core requirements for members of the alliance. (The Independent)


GERMANY: The attacker on a train in Würzburg (Bavaria) was claimed by Twitter notification of IS-affiliated agency Amaq. In the apartment of the Afghan refugee investigators found a hand painted IS flag. The refugee was probably a supporter of Daesh.  (Frankfurter Allgmeine Zeitung)

SPAIN: Ana Pastor is the new president of the Chamber of Deputies thanks to an agreement between the Popular Party (Partido Popular-PP) and Ciudadanos, and refraining from the nationalist and pro-independence parties who have not supported the candidate. (El Pais)

TURKEY: 1,577 University deans forced to resign as part of widespread purge. Turkey’s education ministry has also earlier revoked the licenses of 21,000 teachers working in private institutions. Thousands of others have been suspended from the police force, the military, Finance Ministry and other public sector positions. (Haaretz)


BREXIT: UK gives up next year’s presidency of European Council. Prime Minister Theresa May informed Council President, Donald Tusk, in a phone call on Tuesday. The PM felt it was right to give other EU Nations time to make arrangements for a different country to be appointed to hold the presidency during that period. (The Daily Mail)

FRANCE: The French Ministry of Defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, confirmed the death of three French soldiers killed in Libya. This information confirmed the presence of French soldiers in the Country to conduct intelligence operations. (Le Figaro)

The French National Assembly voted for the extension of the State of Emergency after the terrorist attack in Nice on 14th July. The extension of the State of emergency, voted by 489 pro and 4 abstentions, should be valid until the end of January 2017. The measure will be voted by the Senate.     (Le Monde)

ITALY:  The Italian President of Republic, Sergio Mattarella, welcomed at the Malpensa Airport in Milan the Italian victims of the Nice terrorist attack. Mattarella were accompanied by the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Vicenzo Amendola, the President of Lombardy Region, Roberto Maroni, and the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala. (Agenzia Italiana Stampa Estero- AISE)


FRANCE: Loi Travail, the French Job Act, is now officially considered adopted on Thursday afternoon, 24 hours after the initiation of the procedure by the head of Government after five months of controversy. (Le Monde)

TURKEY: Turkey’s parliament formally approved a motion on Thursday establishing a three-month state of emergency in the Country following last Friday’s failed military coup. Lawmakers backed the motion by 346 votes to 115 against. (The Daily Star Lebanon)

In the frame of the State of emergency, the Turkish vice- Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus, announced that Turkey will suspend the European Convention on Human Rights. (ABC)

WAR ON TERROR: Brazilian police have arrested 10 alleged Islamic State sympathizers who are suspected of planning an act of terrorism during the Olympic Games. The suspects did not have bomb materials, nor did they identify a target and some merely discussed taking up martial arts, but one of them had reportedly been in contact with a website offering clandestine guns from Paraguay. The arrests were precautionary. The operation comes after reports that the militant group Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil, which supports the Islamic State, launched a Portuguese-language call for jihad or holy war on the Telegram social network. (The Guardian)


BREXIT: French President, Francois Hollande, asked Britain to present convincing evidence regarding Brexit procedures. He added that he’d want Britain to start its Brexit talks as soon as possible. At a press conference in Ireland and prior to his meeting with the newly elected British Prime Minister Theresa May, Hollande wanted an explanation on why procedures haven’t started, while May declared Britain has no intentions of triggering Article 50 of Lisbon Treaty until the end of the year. Hollande was firm that if Britain wanted access to the single market, it must respect freedom of movement. (Aawsat)

Britain’s economy appears to be shrinking at the fastest rate since the financial crisis in the wake of last month’s Brexit vote, according to a business activity index that posted the biggest drop in its 20-year history. An early edition of Markit’s purchasing managers’ indices showed the services sector – one of the few drivers of British economic growth – has been hit especially hard by the vote to leave the European Union, with orders plunging and confidence crumbling. Following the report, sterling fell by a cent against the dollar to the day’s low and British government bond prices rose. (Reuters)

FRANCE: Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the terrorist who killed 84 persons in Nice on 14 July, seemed not a lone wolf with mental problems. Instead he seemed to be part of a network, according to the French Prosecutor, François Molins. Five suspected accomplices of Bouhlel, all unknown by the French intelligence, have been arrested. (Le Monde)

GERMANY: In Munich a an 18-year-old German-Iranian killed nine people and himself. The police has not yet identified a motive; the man had no criminal record. Munich spent hours under lockdown. (Deutsche Welle)


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