New UN Secretary-General – António Guterres opened his mandate by delivering a powerful and enriching speech. According to the UN News Centre Mr. Guterres said: “Let us make 2017 a year in which we all – citizens, governments, leaders – strive to overcome our differences.” There is a lot to know about the new Secretary-General of the UN; apart from his political and diplomatic career, the Guardian interestingly comments that he is known in political circles for “enthusiastic, cultured conversations on everything from ancient Greece to Middle Eastern culture, opera to geography.”
NYE Istanbul attacks – After the bloody attack that killed 39 people at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, The New York Times reported that ISIL claimed responsibility for the deadly action. Specifically, referring to Turkey’s role in the conflict in Syria, ISIL’s statement warned that “the government of Turkey should know that the blood of Muslims, which it is targeting with its planes and its guns, will cause a fire in its home by God’s will.” Italy’s La Stampa also reported that, once the terrorist had been identified, the police of Smirne arrested 27 people belonging to 3 different families that apparently lived with the suspect in the city of Konya (central Turkey.) Finally, French newspaper Le Monde noted that the Turkish Parliament prolonged the state of emergency - declared after the attempted coup d’état in July 2016 - for 3 extra months.
Israeli PM corrupted? – According to the Spanish newspaper El País, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been interrogated by the Israeli police under suspects of corruption. Apparently, Netanyahu illegally received money from several Israeli and foreign entrepreneurs. Rio de Janeiro’s O Globo disclosed that the investigation had been carried out secretly by the Israeli police for 8 months. The Courrier International also specified that Netanyahu and his family had benefitted of free journeys on private jets and luxurious accommodation when traveling abroad. Moreover, Amir Oren wrote on the English version of the Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz that now only a “surprise” could save Netanyahu from an indictment.
North Korea’s nuclear threat – The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in his annual New Year’s address that preparations for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) have “reached the final stage”, according to The Irish Times. During 2016 the United States and ally South Korea have responded to North Korean nuclear tests and various missile tests with severe sanctions. What is going to be the response of other states in 2017? As The Washington Times reported, during the presidential campaign, Donald Trump “made waves by suggesting that other countries should gain nuclear capabilities to even out threats from rogue regimes such as North Korea.”
MR – Research Assistant at CIPADH