Weekly News 12th – 16th September

Monday 12th

Austria: The Austrian government will ask the Parliament to postpone the second round of the presidential elections scheduled on 2 October because of a manufacturing defect affecting the ballots, announced today the Minister of the Interior, Wolfgang Sobotka. “We will ask the Parliament to set a new date” in order to guarantee “a smoothly “poll, said the Minister, referring as possible dates the “27 November “and “December 4th “. (Le Figaro)

France: A 15-year-old boy suspected of belonging to an Islamist network orchestrated by a Syrian-based jihadist has been detained in Paris on suspicion of plotting attacks in France. His arrest came during a weekend marked by Islamist threats and violence across the world. In Australia a passerby was stabbed by a fanatic thought to have been inspired by Isis. In Kenya three women were shot dead by police yesterday after attacking a coastal police station. (The Times)

Spain: Amid a unilateral process towards independence, Catalunya celebrated on Sunday its official holiday, la Diada, with usual marches in favor of secession. (La Vanguardia)

Syria: The United States and Russia hailed a breakthrough deal on Saturday to put Syria’s peace process back on track, including a nationwide ceasefire effective from sundown on Monday. (Al Jazeera)

Tuesday 13th

Germany: German police have arrested three Syrian nationals in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein suspected of being sent to Germany by the militant Islamic State group, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Prosecutors suspect the three men, aged between 17 and 26-years old, were dispatched to Germany in Nov. 2015 “either to carry out a mission that they had been informed about or to wait for further instructions”. It was unclear where any attack would have taken place. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel: Israel said its aircraft attacked a Syrian army position on Tuesday after a stray mortar bomb struck the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, and it denied a Syrian statement that a warplane and drone were shot down. Syria’s army command said in a statement that Israeli warplanes had attacked an army position at 1 a.m. on Tuesday (2200 GMT, Monday) in the countryside of Quneitra province. (Reuters)

Italy: Italy is ready to send 100 doctors e 200 paratroopers in Libya, where the general Haftar is advancing. Rome will send in Misurata a contingent to treat Libyan soldiers. Furthermore Italy, France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States released a joint declaration to ask the General Haftar to withdraw his troops from oil terminals that he has conquered last Sunday. (Rainews)

UK: David Cameron has stepped down as an MP after 15 years saying that he does not want his presence on the Conservative backbenches to serve as a “distraction” to Theresa May. Cameron’s decision is a turnaround, as he had previously said he wanted to continue as MP for Witney. (The Guardian)

Wednesday 14st

France: French counterterrorism police arrested on Wednesday a 15-year old boy suspected of planning an attack and using encrypted social media channels to communicate with a French Islamist militant believed to be in Syria or Iraq, sources said. The arrest came following two recent thwarted attacks on French soil. In an operation led by France’s domestic intelligence agency, police swooped on the teenager in Paris’ eastern 20th arrondissement. A source inside the prosecutor’s office said that the unnamed boy has links to jihadi Rachid Kassim, who officials say is a French ISIS member tied to at least four plots to attack France since June. The official wouldn’t comment on the links between the teen suspect and Kassim. (Le Figaro)

Israel: Shimon Peres was rushed to Tel Hashomer hospital late Tuesday day after suffering a massive stroke. His personal doctor, Prof. Walden, said he seemed responsive overnight. Israeli former President’s condition is still serious, but it has improved, doctors said Wednesday. In the early morning, doctors conducted another medical examination of the Nobel laureate, and he was briefly taken off of medication. “He woke up, opened his eyes, and understood what we told him. He followed our instructions even better than the previous test,” said Prof. Ze’ev Feldman, a member of the neurosurgical team treating Peres. (Haaretz)

Thursday 15th

Italy: Italy’s huge public debt hit a new high of 2.2522 trillion euros in July, up 3.4 billion euros with respect to June, the Bank of Italy said on Thursday.It added that the debt had risen by 80.5 billion euros in the first seven months of the year. (Ansa)

Syria: The United States and Russia have said that a cessation of hostilities in Syria is largely holding and it should be extended by 48 hours, as the United Nations urged all sides to guarantee the security of an aid convoy, currently held-up along the Turkish border, into Aleppo. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian conflict through contacts on the ground, said no deaths from fighting had been reported in the first 48 hours of the truce. (Al Jazeera)

UK: Hinkley Point nuclear power station will go ahead, Government confirms. May gives green light to ‘new deal’ with EDF which minister says is ‘major step forward’ for UK’s nuclear power programme. Her decision, to be officially announced in the Commons on Thursday, ends weeks of speculation over whether the two-reactor scheme would go ahead. Under terms due to be signed by the previous administration, the Chinese government was to contribute some £6 billion towards building the reactors at Hinkley Point, but it could then in turn have led to a further Chinese-designed power station at Bradwell in Essex. (The Independent)

Friday 16th

Belgium: Two persons have been arrested with the suspect of having ties with a jihadist group. (Le Figaro)

EU: The European Prime Ministers met in Bratislava. This special European Union summit meets- without the UK – in attempt to steer a new course following Brexit vote. The European Union is in a critical situation, Angela Merkel has said. (The Guardian)

Italy: Former Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi has died at the age of 95. Ciampi died in Rome’s Pio XI clinic, where he had been for several days after a deterioration in his health conditions, his doctor Andrea Platania said on Friday. Ciampi, a life Senator, would have turned 96 in December. Domenico Marchetta, the head of the former president’s office in the Senate, said the funeral will take place in Rome. (Ansa)

The family of Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian aid worker who was killed in an American anti-al-Qaeda drone strike on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2015, said Friday that it will receive $1.2 from the United States government. (The Guardian)

UK: A British Muslim was found guilty Friday of being inspired by ISIS to help murder a respected local imam who he believed was practicing “black magic”.  Mohammed Syeedy, 21, and accomplice Mohammed Abdul Kadir followed their victim Jalal Uddin as he walked home from evening prayers at his mosque in Rochdale, northern England, in February and bludgeoned him to death in a park. (The Daily Star)

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