November 24th – 28th

Monday, 24th November 2014

IRAN – Iran and six powers failed on Monday for a second time this year to resolve their 12-year stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, and gave themselves seven more months to clinch an historic deal. (Reuters)

ITALY – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s center-left Democratic Party (PD) won regional elections in Calabria and Emilia Romagna on Sunday but an exceptionally low turnout suggested growing disillusion among many voters. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 25th November 2014

TUNISIA – Tunisia’s presidential election will go to a run-off after no candidate secured an overall majority in the first round of voting, official results have shown. Beji Caid Essebsi of the secular-leaning Nidaa Tounes party came first with 39% of the vote, ahead of interim leader Moncef Marzouki on 33%. (BBC)

ISRAEL – Israel is poised to pass one of the most divisive laws in its 66-year history, a bill that would declare it the homeland of the Jewish people only – and further alienate its Arab minority.The legislation, which is seen as compromising equality by differentiating between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens in enshrining some symbolic rights to the Jewish people, could also have long-term practical ramifications for Israeli democracy and jurisprudence. (Reuters)

LIBYA – UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon called on Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani to halt airstrikes on the Mitiga military airport in Tripoli, help calm the situation and start dialogue. (Reuters)


Wednesday, 26th November 2014

ISLAMIC STATE – Pope Francis said on Tuesday that while it was “almost impossible” to have a dialogue with Islamic State insurgents, the door should not be shut. (Reuters)

EGYPT – Egyptopened the Rafah border crossing on Wednesday for the first time in a month to allow thousands of stranded Palestinians to return to the Gaza Strip. (Reuters)

SYRIA – NATO is not considering establishing a “no-fly zone” in northernSyria, something Turkey has been calling for to alleviate security and humanitarian pressures on its southeastern borders, one of the alliance’s top generals has told Reuters. (Reuters)


Thursday, 27th November 2014

GREECE – Greek labor unions staged a 24-hour strike that canceled hundreds of flights, shut public offices and severely disrupted local transport, in the first major industrial action to cripple the austerity-weary country in months. (Reuters)

EUROPEAN UNION – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker survived a no-confidence vote over his involvement in controversial tax practices in his native Luxembourg, but scrutiny of his role shows little sign of letting up. (The Wall Street Journal)


Friday, 28th November 2014

CROATIA – Croatia’s prime minister said on Friday he had scrapped a planned trip to Serbia next month due to Belgrade’s failure to distance itself from comments made by a Serbian ultra-nationalist recently freed from a UN war crimes tribunal. (Reuters)

FRANCE – Debate on a non-binding parliamentary motion for the recognition of Palestine opens Friday at the French National Assembly. The draft text calls on the French cabinet to recognize the Palestinian State, turning the move into ‘‘a tool to obtain a final solution to the conflict’’. The vote is scheduled on December 2 and an approval would have high symbolic value, though it would not be binding for the government. (ANSAmed)

EGYPT – At least four protesters have been killed and scores of others injured in the Egyptian capital as thousands took to the streets of Cairo against the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, heeding to a call by the opposition Salafist Front. (Al Jazeera)

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