Weekly News 26th – 30th September

Monday 26th

Italy: The Italian government is scheduled to meet on Monday to decide the date of a national referendum over whether to accept or reject a Constitutional reform voted by parliament. The vote is reportedly likely to take place either on November 27 or December 4. (Ansa)

On 23rd September Italy has deported a Moroccan woman who declared herself in favor of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Friday. The 44-year-old lived in the city of Perugia and “displayed clear signs of religious radicalization, declared herself in favor of ISIS and published content on her Facebook profile that caused it to be shut down,” Alfano said. “She expressed marked hostility towards Shiite Muslims, Western countries, Jews, and unbelievers,” the minister explained. (Ansa)

Spain: Spain’s regional elections reinforced the center-right People’s Party (PP) on Sunday while dealing a blow to the opposition Socialists but failed to signal a clear path to avoid a third nationwide vote in December. The ballots in the northern regions of Galicia and the Basque Country boosted acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy while the Socialists lost seats in both regions, but it remains to be seen if the results lead the Socialists to abstain in any future parliamentary vote of confidence to allow Rajoy a second term as leader. (Reuters)

Switzerland: The Canton Ticino is pro the idea of fixing ‘the limits for frontier workers causing Italy’s wrath, with the Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni that fears consequences in relations between the EU and Switzerland without the respect of freedom of movement. Voters in the Swiss canton have overwhelmingly approved the popular initiative ‘Before Us’ to curb the flow of more than 60 thousand Italian border who daily cross the border to go to work in Ticino. At the end of a heated campaign, posters with a red cross in the shade of apple, the referendum ‘was approved by the citizens of Ticino with over 58% of votes in favor. (Rainews)

Syria: Russia has been directly and repeatedly accused of war crimes at the UN Security Council in an unusually blunt session, as hopes of any form of ceasefire were flattened by the scale and ferocity of the Syrian regime’s assault on eastern Aleppo. The war crimes accusations centered on the widespread use of bunker-busting and incendiary bombs on the 275,000 civilians living in the rebel-held east of the city, weapons that Moscow’s accusers say were dropped by Russian aircraft. (The Guardian)

Tuesday 27th

Germany: Dresden mosque and congress center hit by two bomb blasts. Police say they are assuming a ‘xenophobic motive’ for the attacks, which come a week before events to mark Day of German Unity. No one was injured during the two attacks. (The Guardian)

Iraq: A series of bomb blasts has killed at least 15 people and wounded 55 others in Baghdad, according to police and medics. In the first attack on Tuesday, a lone bomber detonated himself around a gathering of construction workers on a commercial street in the Jadida neighbourhood in the east of the city, a police official said. At least eight people were killed and 29 wounded in Jadida, although some said the area was hit by a roadside bomb as well as a suicide bomber. The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. (Al Jazeera)

Israel: Police on Tuesday afternoon issued a general city-wide security alert in Jerusalem, requesting that the public be aware of their immediate surroundings, while carrying on with their normal activities. The warning comes after police finalized security preparations throughout the city for the High Holidays, beginning with the eve of Rosh Hashana on Sunday. (The Jerusalem Post)

The condition of former president Shimon Peres has deteriorated. Israeli media reported that Peres’ family were saying their goodbyes. Peres had a massive stroke while in hospital for a checkup. He was hospitalized and an initial scan showed that a blood clot which had caused a brain hemorrhage. A second scan revealed massive bleeding which could cause irreversible damage. (Haaretz)

Wednesday 28th

Israel: Shimon Peres, one of Israel’s defining political figures and a Nobel peace prize laureate, has died at the age of 93, two weeks after suffering a stroke. Peres had twice served as prime minister of Israel and later as the country’s ninth president. He had been seriously ill on a respirator in an Israeli hospital near Tel Aviv and died after his condition deteriorated sharply. Among those who have said they will attend his funeral and burial on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl on Friday are Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, as well as Prince Charles and François Hollande. (The Guardian)

Italy: Massimiliano Latorre, one of two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen during an anti-piracy mission in 2012, can stay in Italy while he awaits the outcome of international arbitration in The Hague, the Indian supreme court ruled on Wednesday. The conditions are effectively the same as those set for Salvatore Girone – the other marine involved in the case which has strained relations between New Delhi and Rome. (Ansa)

Spain: The president of Spain’s Catalonia region Wednesday said he would call an independence referendum in September 2017, in a move likely to infuriate Madrid. “We will be ready to … call a referendum for the second half of September of next year,” Carles Puigdemont told regional lawmakers. (The Daily Star)

Syria: The Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday that attacks on the Syrian city of Aleppo are “a blatant violation of international law”, and urged Russia to make “credible efforts” to restore the ceasefire. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel also condemned the brutal violence on citizens in Aleppo and said that it “is completely unacceptable”. According to Agence France-Presse, Stoltenberg said on the side lines of a meeting of EU defence ministers in Bratislava that “The appalling attacks are morally totally unacceptable”. (Asharq Al-Awsaat)

Thursday 29th

Brexit: Ex-cabinet minister Nicky Morgan has warned Theresa May she is allowing others to set terms of Brexit and said the Prime Minister must be clearer on what she wants from any deal. Ms Morgan said that instead of leaving it to cabinet Brexiteers, Ms May should herself lead policy on the EU and set out a broad plan as early as next week. (The Independent)

Syria: The US has threatened to suspend cooperation with Russia over Syria, hours after the bombardment of two hospitals in rebel-held areas of Aleppo, as Syrian government forces backed by Moscow continued their offensive to retake the eastern part of the city from opposition fighters. US Secretary of State John Kerry warned his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday that Washington would end talks on the conflict, as well as a military pact that involves targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham groups unless Moscow halted the assault on Aleppo. Kerry conveyed the message in a call to Lavrov in which he voiced “grave concern” over the Russian-backed Syrian government’s air and land attacks on the besieged city that has left more than 400 people killed and at least 1,700 wounded since last week. (Al Jazeera)

Friday 30th

EU: EU environment ministers on Friday agreed to start procedures for ratifying the December 2015 Paris Agreement on mitigating climate change, Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti said. He said Italy had been “decisive” in finding an accord. The decision will go before the Italian cabinet next week. (Ansa)

Israel: World leaders and dignitaries from 70 countries poured into Israel for the state funeral of Israel’s ninth president, Shimon Peres, in Jerusalem on Friday, after thousands of Israelis paid last respects to the elder statesman who died on Wednesday. (Haaretz)

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