Early this week in the vicinity of the entrance to the temple mount two terrorists attacked and stabbed a policeman on duty. The two terrorists were detected by the police patrolling nearby who shot one dead and the other was wounded. The entrance to the Temple Mount was closed to all Muslims Arabs under the age of 50.
Nearly 100 presidential candidates have filed their candidacy for the presidential election anticipated in Tunisia in the hope of succeeding Beji Caid Essebsi, the first democratically elected head of state following the Arab Spring country. In total, the names of 98 applicants interested in competing in the presidential election were recorded by the closing of registrations today. This was officially confirmed by the country’s Election commision (Isie).
The Greek Orthodox Church filed a new law suit against the Ateret Cohanim settler organization who claim ownership of three properties in the Arab Old City. The purchased two Palestinian run hotels located near the Jaffa Gate and another building near the Herod gate. The Patriarchate claims that these places are part of the church heritage and only they can authorize their sale.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently made striking accusations against the United States. Karzai is claiming the US is trying to meddle in the upcoming September 28, 2019 presidential elections. The former Afghan president is insinuating that Afghan citizens have no influence over who the US installs into the executive office. These allegations may cause a new round of tensions in Afghanistan, and at a time where international peace negotiators are trying to organize a treaty that will allow an exit for the US led peacekeeping coalition.
Japan’s ruling center-right coalition retained control in upper house elections on Sunday, but lost seats in the process. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democrats took the worst of it, losing more than a dozen seats. His junior coalition partners, the Komeito Party, and allied Japan Innovation Party actually made small gains. Abe remains well-positioned to deal with several domestic and foreign policy issues before his House of Representatives comes up again in 2021. However, his forces lost their two-thirds majority in the House of Councillors, scuttling a debate, for now, on the role of the military in pacifist Japan.
After cancellation of the Istanbul election, citizens vote a second time Sunday. Polls see opposition leader Ekrem Imamoglu in front. Does President Recep Erdoğan face a double disgrace?
However, before this new election in Istanbul, everyone is strangely silent about the Turkish president. On the campaign posters only Binali Yildirim, the leading candidate of the governing party AKP for Istanbul, can be seen. Erdogan has reduced his performances. Only in the past few days he interfered again in the debate.
- For the third time in four years, Spaniards will head to the polls Sunday in a general election. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and his ruling Socialist Workers’ Party, enjoy a commanding lead in the polls, but should still fall short of a governing majority. Sanchez came to power last June, following the first successful no-confidence vote in Spanish history.
- In much-anticipated elections last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a giant step toward an unprecedented fifth term in office. The results were rather anticlimactic: parties which made up the last government lost only one seat on Tuesday. Netanyahu’s Likud Party topped the polls, with 36 seats, and is well positioned to form an identical right-wing government.
- Israelis go to the polls Tuesday, in Knesset elections largely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The elections take place under a cloud of possible indictments against the Prime Minister for corruption. A victory would extend Netanyahu’s decade-long reign, and allow him to become the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister this summer.
- In European elections, liberal Zuzana Caputova defeated Socialist Maros Sefcovic in the second round, to become SLOVAKIA’s first woman President. The election took place in the shadow of the murder of an investigative journalist last year. Meanwhile, in UKRAINE, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko trails Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian who portrays Poroshenko on television.
- New Zealand is still picking up the pieces after at least 50 people were killed, and another 50 were injured, in Friday’s terror attack, the worst in the country’s history. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spent the weekend visiting grieving family members and the Muslim community. The attacks, on two mosques in Christchurch, have also prompted a debate over gun laws. The Police Association has called for a ban on semi-automatic weapons, and the Prime Minister has pledged, “our gun laws will change.”
- FINLAND: The center-right government unexpectedly fell Friday, ahead of planned elections on April 14. The trigger was Prime Minister Juha Sipila’s failure to pass social and health care reforms. Sipila’s Center Party has trailed the Social Democrats in opinion polls since last May.
- Several 2020 presidential candidates, including Republicans Bill Weld and John Kasich, gathered in Austin this weekend for the 33rd SXSW conference. What began as a local music conference and festival has morphed into one of the biggest and most-influential gatherings anywhere, leading some to believe that Austin is the new Iowa.
- Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called a snap election, for April 28, on Friday. Sánchez became Prime Minister in May, after the first successful vote of no confidence in modern Spanish history. The announcement comes two days after his Socialist government was defeated in Congress, and failed to pass its budget.