Jack Merlin Watling, 2 April 2015.
ONES TO WATCH
IRAN: Will Kerry walk away from nuclear talks? The White House said Secretary of State John Kerry would stay at the talks in Switzerland until today, but was prepared to leave if a deal could not be reached. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius left the talks early on Wednesday, saying they had not advanced enough for “an immediate deal”.
TURKEY: Courthouse shootout raises fears of further street violence. A deadly attack on a courthouse by left-wing militants has raised the spectre of further violence between police and protesters. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said authorities will not let people stage unauthorized protests “for even one minute”. More violence between protestors and police is likely.
YEMEN: Foreign nationals prepare for evacuation as Saudi mulls ground invasion. A senior Saudi military official hinted that a ground invasion could happen in days to crush Houthi militants. Meanwhile India, Britain and America, which all have significant populations in Yemen, are expected to evacuate them in the coming days.
NIGERIA: Aftermath of Presidential election. Incoming President Mohamadou Buhari said he wishes to meet with incumbent Goodluck Jonathan to ensure good will between the two camps. The last election resulted in widespread ethnic violence. Buhari also said he would spare no effort to fight Boko Haram.
ISRAEL / PALESTINE / FRANCE: French efforts to revive Israel / Palestine peace process. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he expected discussions to begin at the UN in the coming days over a resolution that would address borders, Jerusalem and refugees as a basis for renewed talks between the two parties.
THURSDAY 2 APRIL 2015
UNITED KINGDOM: Televised leaders’ debates ahead of May election. The leaders of seven parties will debate their policies on live TV after prolonged wrangling over who could take part. All eyes are on opposition leader Ed Miliband, who has so far failed to convincingly connect with the public.
ARGENTINA: President’s speech likely to reassert Falklands claim. Cristina Fernandez, who has repeatedly clashed with the UK over the islands, will address veterans of the Falklands War as part of “Malvinas Day” commemorations. Last year she accused the UK of “obsolete military colonialism” over the islands.
MALAWI: Government burns ivory stockpiles. Malawi will become the latest African country to burn its inventory of ivory in a public campaign to discourage poaching. Over 46 states are currently implementing an agreement to tackle the killing of almost 30,000 elephants annually that is causing elephant populations to rapidly decline.
HONG KONG: British banker accused of murder and mutilation of two women enters plea. Rurik Jutting, a 29 year old Cambridge graduate, is charged with killing two Indonesians in his apartment in November 2014. One of the bodies was found in a suitcase on his balcony. The trial is expected to begin on 6 July.
FRIDAY 3 APRIL 2015
NEPAL: Opposition closes down government. As part of the ongoing protests regarding Nepal's new constitution, opposition parties said they will shut down all government institutions across the country for four days. Meanwhile, thousands of doctors went on strike this week to support a colleague who has been on a hunger strike for 10 days demanding reforms in medical education and services.
GHANA: IMF expected to approve $940 million loan. The extended credit facility is intended to salvage Ghana’s troubled economy, which has been hit by falling commodity prices and the currency’s depreciation. The crisis has led to severe power shortages.
TURKEY: Trial of teenager on charges of insulting the President. The 16-year-old, known by his initials of M.E.A., is part of an online group called “Democratic High School Students”. He reportedly addressed a public gathering to say that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was “the leader of corruption, bribery and theft”.
KYRGYZSTAN: Putin tests waters for his Eurasian Dream. A meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose grouping of post-Soviet states, could give clues as to whether those states are willing to bind themselves closer to the Kremlin as Russia’s economy struggles. Notably, Ukraine will be in attendance.
SATURDAY 4 APRIL 2015
SIERRA LEONE: Lockdown to tackle spread of Ebola. The “Zero Ebola” campaign is aimed to keep 2.5 million people at home on set dates “to reflect and to pray for the eradication of this disease from our country," in the words of President Ernest Bai Koroma. While the outbreak appears to have peaked, the virus remains a serious threat.
EGYPT: Feminist leader on trial for unauthorised protests. Azza Soliman was having lunch with friends when she witnessed the shooting of activist Shaima Sabbagh and went to the prosecutor’s office to give evidence. She was then detained, but later posted her testimony on Facebook. She is accused of protesting illegally and of breaching public order and security.
SUNDAY 5 APRIL 2015
INDIA: Anti-graft helpline returns. The anti-corruption service lets people report demands for bribes by government workers in the Indian capital. It received more than 4,000 calls in the first few hours of its launch in 2014, and is now to be re-instated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Editing by Paul Raymond.