Weekly News 3rd – 7th October

Monday 3rd

Afghanistan: Taliban fighters mounted a coordinated assault on the northern city of Kunduz overnight, attacking from four directions and entering the city itself, a senior city police official said. Kunduz, which fell briefly to the Taliban a year ago, has seen repeated bouts of heavy fighting and was seriously threatened in April. (The Jerusalem Post)

Brexit: British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Oct. 2 that she would officially start the process for Britain’s exit from the European Union no later than March 2017, setting in motion the two-year process of leaving the European Union. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Hungary: Hungary’s referendum on EU’s migrant quotas invalid despite 98% of the 3,3 million voters said “No”. Despite the turnout was below the 50%-plus-one vote required for the vote to be valid, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán insisted that an overwhelming majority of Hungarians rejected European Union’s binding migrant quotas in Sunday’s referendum, therefore he would submit a constitutional amendment proposal to parliament with a view to cementing “the will of the people in the constitution”. (Hungary Today)

Spain: Pedro Sánchez has resigned as secretary general of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) after a marathon 11-hour federal committee meeting at party headquarters in Madrid, several Spanish media outlets reported at 8:20 p.m. on Saturday evening, citing Mr. Sánchez’s own words to federal committee members inside the building. (The Spain Report)

Syria: A leading Egyptian al Qaeda figure who joined its Syrian offshoot the Nusra Front and became a prominent figure in the militant group was killed in a drone attack in rebel-held Idlib province, two militant sources said on Monday. They said Abu al Faraj al Masri, who had fought in Afghanistan, was killed when an unidentified drone hit the vehicle he was travelling in a location near Jisr al Shuqour in Idlib, in Syria’s northwest. (The Daily Star)

Tuesday 4th

Brexit: Northern Ireland could veto its exit from the European Union, a lawyer for anti-Brexit campaigners from the region has told the high court in Belfast. A senior barrister argued that Brexit could not be imposed on Northern Ireland and that the Good Friday agreement, ratified by a referendum in 1998, meant the province had some control over such constitutional changes. Leaving the EU would undermine gains made during the peace process, he told the court on the first day of a legal challenge by political leaders and human rights campaigners against the EU referendum result. (The Guardian)

Italy: Italian Cabinet will ratify the Paris climate-change agreement following the European Parliament’s vote earlier in the day, Premier Matteo Renzi tweeted Tuesday. (Ansa)

Syria: The United States on Monday suspended talks with Russia over the protracted conflict in Syria, accusing the Kremlin of joining with the Syrian Air Force in carrying out a brutal bombing campaign against the besieged city of Aleppo.Anticipating the end of the talks after repeated warnings from American officials, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia responded by withdrawing from a landmark arms control agreement that calls for each side to dispose of 34 tons of plutonium, a material used in nuclear weapons.The developments signaled the further deterioration of relations between the United States and Russia, which are now bitterly at odds over Syria, Ukraine and other issues. (The New York Times)

Wednesday 5th

Belgium: Two policemen were attacked by a knife-wielding man in Schaerbeek area, in Brussels. The assailant was arrested. The federal prosecutor has said that it is a terrorist attack. Previously the Gare du Nord and the building of the Prosecutor in Brussels were briefly evacuated after an anonymous phone call in which was notified the presence of a bomb in the two buildings. A suspicious package was found at the Gare du Midi, but inside was not found anything dangerous. (Le Soir)

Migrant crisis: Twenty eight dead bodies were recovered in the Strait of Sicily on Tuesday and Wednesday during 33 rescue operations coordinated by the Italian Coast Guard in which 4,655 people were saved at sea. The rescued asylum seekers were aboard 27 dinghies, five small boats and one larger boat and they were all assisted in waters off the coast of Libya. The 28 dead bodies are in addition to 10 others recovered two days ago, when another 6,000 asylum seekers were saved. (Ansa)

UK: The prospect has been raised of Nigel Farage making another return to the helm of Ukip, to help stabilise the party as it recovers from the shock of losing its leader Diane James. The chairman of the party Paul Oakden said he had spoken to Mr Farage and that it was “not impossible” that he could make yet another comeback, even though Mr Farage himself has ruled it out. (The Independent)

Thursday 6th

Syria: Up to 25 Turkish-backed rebel fighters were killed, and many wore wounded, in bomb blast in northern Syria near border with Turkey, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement. The IS-linked Aamaq news agency reported a suicide car bomber struck rebels on the Syrian side of border crossing in the village of Atmeh, west of Aleppo. (Haaretz)

Syrian government forces advanced against rebels inside Aleppo on Thursday, making their biggest gains in the ravaged city in year just hours after announcing they would ease their air bombardment. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said loyalist fighters now controlled around half of the Bustan al-Basha district near the center of the divided metropolis.”It’s the most important advance for the regime in Aleppo since 2013,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman. (The Daily Star)

UN: António Guterres, the former Portuguese prime minister, will be the next UN secretary general, after the Security Council agreed he should replace Ban Ki-moon at the beginning of next year. In a rare show of unity, all 15 ambassadors from the Security Council emerged from the sixth in a series of straw polls to announce that they had agreed on Guterres, who was UN high commissioner for refugees for a decade, and that they would confirm the choice in a formal vote on Thursday. (The Guardian)

Friday 7th

Italy: The number of Italian expats rose 7.6% to 4.6 million in 2014, the Migrantes Foundation said Tuesday. The preferred destination was Germany, followed by the United Kingdom, it said. (Ansa)

Italy’s foreign minister says his country “would appreciate” an agreement between the European Union and African countries similar to the one reached with Turkey to curb migration flows across the Aegean into Greece. Speaking in Ankara Friday, Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni praised the migration deal struck between the EU and Turkey in March, saying “we need to have similar agreement to solve, or at least manage, migration flows from Africa.” (The Daily Star)

Morocco: Moroccan parliamentary election in one round taking place this Friday, in a country where illiteracy is at an high rate, are dominated by a fierce battle between the Justice and Development Party (PJD) and the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM ). The monarchists Islamist Prime Minister Benkirane Abdelillah clash at the polls with the Social Democrats royalists Ilyas El Omari. The polarization of the vote is accentuated by the election issue. According to the new Constitution, the King must choose a Head of Government in the ranks of the party best represented in Parliament. In 2011, he opted for the secretary general of the PJD. (Le Figaro)

Nobel Prize: Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos wins Nobel peace prize 2016. Santos, and the leader of the Farc rebel group, Rodrigo Londoño, known as Timochenko, were considered leading contenders for the awards for signing a peace deal last month to end 52 years of war. (The Guardian)

Turkey: Turkish police have detained a suspected militant from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who is believed to have carried out a “motorbike bomb” attack that wounded 10 people near an Istanbul police station, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday. The woman suspect was captured along with two other people in Aksaray province in central Turkey, carrying a fake passport, Anadolu said. Thursday’s strike was the first bomb attack in Istanbul since the failed July 15 coup seeking to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Asharq Al-Awsaat)


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More