September 8th – 12th

Monday, 8th September

PALESTINE – – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas slammed Hamas over the weekend, raising questions about the future of the Palestinian rivals’ unity government. The Palestinian Authority controls the West Bank, and the militant group Hamas has controlled Gaza. The longtime rivals agreed to a unity government earlier this year, but Abbas accused Hamas of operating a shadow government in Gaza. (CNN)

 UKRAINE CRISIS ­ – The European Union adopted new sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine war on Monday, but delayed enforcing them to leave time to assess whether a ceasefire in Ukraine is holding. (Reuters)

TUNISIA – The Islamist party Ennahda decided on Monday not to take part in the November 23 presidential elections. The decision was made by the Shura Council and announced by party spokesman Zied Ladhari. (ANSAmed)


Tuesday, 9th September

TURKEY – Prosecutors have demanded aggravated life imprisonment for 35 members of the iconic supporter group of Beşiktaş, çArşı, on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government” in Arab Spring-like fashion for leading last year’s Gezi protests in Istanbul. (Hurriyet)

IRAQ – Iraq’s parliament has officially named Haider al-Abbadi as the country’s new prime minister and approved most of his proposed Cabinet, as the country battles to take back territory lost to the Islamic State group. (AlJazeera)

SYRIA – The leader of one of Syria’s most powerful rebel groups has been killed along with dozens of other commanders in a bomb attack on a high-level meeting in Idlib province. Hassan Abboud, the head of the Ahrar al-Sham brigade, was among up to 45 people killed on Tuesday at the meeting in an underground bunker near an ammunition dump outside Ram Hamdan. (AlJazeera)


Wednesday, 10th September

EUROPEAN UNIONThe Frenchman Pierre Moscovici will be the future EU Commissioner for Economic Affairs. The Finnish rigorous’ Jyrki Katainen will be the vice president coordinator of all the main economic portfolios in the new Commission. The Cabinet is formed by the Danish Margrethe Vestager Competition, English Jonathan Hill Financial Services; the portfolio for the Single Market and Industry goes to Poland Elzbieta Bienkowska, Liberal Agenda Digital Ansip of Estonia, the Swedish Trade Malmstrom, German Oettinger to the digital economy, the Spanish Canete to Climate and Energy, the Hungarian Navracsics to School items and Culture, the Belgian Thyssen Labour and Social Affairs. (ANSA)

IRAQ – A year after he pulled back from threatened military attacks on Syria over chemical weapons, Obama told America he now would launch airstrikes against ISIS targets in the country wracked by civil war. “Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy,” he said. (CNN)

SPAIN – A Yes vote in the Scottish independence poll would be a major boost for Catalania’s own independence campaign by paving the way towards international recognition and ensuring its permanence within the European Union, Catalan President Artur Mas said. (ANSAmed)


Thursday, 11st September

SAUDI ARABIASaudi Arabia has agreed to host training camps for moderate Syrian rebels as part of President Barack Obama’s broad strategy to combat Islamic State militants who have taken over parts of Syria and Iraq. (Reuters)

YEMEN – Yemen’s government and Shiite Muslim Houthi rebels signed an agreement Thursday to end a crisis that has seen weeks of sometimes bloody protests in the capital Sanaa, a member of the government’s negotiating team said. (TheDailyStar)

IRAQ – The United States signed up Arab allies on Thursday to a “coordinated military campaign” against Islamic State fighters, a major step in building regional support for President Barack Obama’s plan to strike both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi frontier. After talks in Saudi Arabia’s summer capital Jeddah, Secretary of State John Kerry won backing from 10 Arab countries – Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and six Gulf states including rich rivals Saudi Arabia and Qatar – for a coalition to fight the Sunni militants that have seized swathes of Iraq and Syria. (Reuters)


Friday, 12nd September

TURKEY – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan approved a law tightening government control of the Internet and expanding the powers of the telecoms authority late on Thursday, part of the first legislative package he has effected as head of state. (Reuters)

UKRAINE CRISIS – New EU sanctions against Russia have gone into force, blocking loans for five big state banks and curbing EU business with oil and defence firms. The aim is to keep pressure on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis. But the measures could be eased or lifted if a ceasefire in Ukraine holds. (CNN)

ISRAEL – A letter sent to Israeli Premier Benyamin Netanyahu by 43 officers and reservists from elite intelligence unit 8-2000 has sparked a controversy in Israel. In the letter, the officers announce they are not willing anymore to ”gather material targeting innocent Palestinians and aimed at their political persecution”. The purpose of 8-200, one of the letter’s signatories told military radio, ”is not Israel’s defense but rather the continuation of the Territories’ occupation”. (ANSAmed)

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