Monday, January 30, 2012

Week Review: January 23 - January 29

A summary of what happened in the world over the last week.

The first free parliament in six decades got to work in Egypt one year after start of the revolution; UN criticism over the US detention facility of Guantanamo; Diplomatic tensions between France and Turkey over French bill, as well as between Argentina and the UK over the Falkland Islands; President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address; the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust; Israel/Palestinians peace talks; Lybia rebuilding challenges; pressure mounts on Iran over nuclear program and on Syria over continued violence and killing of civilians.

January 23

Egypt. The first free parliament in six decades got to work on Monday with Islamists holding by far the most seats and opponents comparing their grip on the chamber to that enjoyed by the now defunct party of deposed President Hosni Mubarak. See article on Reuters.

UK/EU. The latest draft of the fiscal compact discussed by European finance ministers increases the isolation of Britain by excluding London from taking part in euro summits and rejecting the UK’s objections over the new role of the Court of Justice. See article on EurActiv.

USA/OHCHR. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Monday expressed deep disappointment that the Government of the United States of America has failed to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and has instead entrenched a system of arbitrary detention. The UN rights chief said she was also disturbed at the failure to ensure accountability for serious human rights violations, including torture, that took place there. See press release on OHCHR's website.

January 24

EU/Iran. The European Union is dialing up the pressure on Iran, saying Monday it will cut off oil imports and freeze assets in an effort to starve the country's nuclear program of funding. See article on CNN International.

France/Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan attacked the French parliament on Tuesday for passing a "discriminatory and racist" bill which makes it illegal to deny that the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago was genocide. See article on Reuters.

USA. President Barack Obama delivered the 2012 State of the Union address. See a commentary on US foreign policy on CFR.

January 25

Egypt. Thousands of Egyptians filled Cairo's Tahrir Square on Wednesday, exactly one year after the start of the revolution that ousted longtime Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak but, many say, accomplished little else. See article on CNN International.

UN. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today outlined a series of actions he believes the global community must take over the next five years to build "the future we want." See article on UN News Centre.

January 26

Falkland Islands. It's been nearly 30 years since British and Argentinian troops fought over the Falkland Islands, but politicians from both countries are ratcheting up their rhetoric over the British-controlled territory. See article on CNN.

EU. European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič is confident that the Citizens’ Initiative, one of the new democratic tools pushed forward by the Lisbon Treaty, will bring Europe closer to its citizens and create a "genuine European public space". See article o EurActiv.

January 27

Lybia. Clashes between rival militias. Allegations of detainee torture. Assaults on the headquarters of the National Transitional Council, which governs Libya. These are among the signs that Libya faces challenges on several fronts as it struggles to craft a new nation from the ashes of tyranny. See article on CNN International.

Israel. Israel has presented Palestinians with its ideas for the borders and security arrangements of a future Palestinian state, in a bid to keep exploratory talks alive, Palestinian and Israeli sources said on Friday. See article on Reuters.

UN. Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. See statement on UN OHCHR.

January 28

Greece/EU. The German government wants Greece to cede sovereignty over tax and spending decisions to a eurozone "budget commissioner" to secure a second €130bn bail-out, according to a copy of the proposal obtained by the Financial Times. See article on CNN International.

Iran. Senior United Nations nuclear inspectors headed to Tehran to press Iranian officials to address suspicions that the Islamic state is seeking atomic weapons. See article on Reuters.

January 29

Pakistan. A political crisis in the past three months that has seen the worst tension between Pakistan's government and military since a coup in 1999 appears to have eased -- for now -- with a delicate balance of power re-established, observers said. See article on Reuters.

Syria. At least 62 people were killed in Syria Sunday, according to an opposition activist group -- and as Russia calls for more monitors to be sent to the violence-ridden country. See article on CNN International.

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