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The publication of the Progress Report on FYROM rises criticisms

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The European Commission Progress Report on FYROM continues to trigger debates in Skopje. According to experts, this report was expected and it could have been more negative. With this report, Brussels gave a conditional recommendation to Skopje for the launch of accession talks, but this condition relates to the 11 December elections, which are required to be fair and democratic and for the work of the Special Prosecution to be respected.

6,000 gunmen are trying to force the corridor towards eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo

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On Thursday, during a press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova reported that about 6,000 gunmen are trying to fight their way  towards eastern Aleppo. According to Russian authorities, in Aleppo, Jihadists are attacking from southwest continuing their attempts to force the corridor towards eastern neighborhoods of the city. The tactical direction carried out by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (former Jabhat al-Nusra) through the central headquarters. Zakharova also asserted that the Russian-US agreement on Syria remains in force and no one has abolished it and the work needs to be continued.

Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths in Hebron

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Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian youths during a predawn raid in the village of Beit Ummar in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron. Clashes broke out between local youth and Israeli soldiers after the soldiers removed and stepped on a memorial poster of Ikhlayyil. Israeli forces fired tear gas at local youth, several of whom were treated on the scene. An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

International Crisis Group wants the LPA to be changed

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The International Crisis Group says the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed in Skhirat last December has to be changed. In a hard-hitting and lengthy report published today, it says that as it stands it cannot be implemented. The agreement has altered the conflict far more so than resolving it, it states. While the Presidency Council (the main outcome of the PLA) has been unable to deal with issues affecting ordinary people such as power and water shortages and the lack of money in the banks, divisions in the country have deepened over the past year as a result of changing situations on the ground. Libya potentially now faces free-fall, it warns. To save the country, the calls for new negotiations to create a united government “involving especially key security actors not at Skhirat” – a reference to Khalifa Hafter and the Libyan National Army. Not only has the agreement altered the conflict, the conflict has altered the circumstances. Hafter’s successes in Benghazi and in the oil fields have upset the international community’s calculations and changed the situation on the ground.

China renews its citizens surveillance system

Asia @en di

China, like all authoritarian systems, has the constant need to keep under control its own citizens to monitor their behaviors, anticipate possible conflicts and find appropriate solutions to the problems.


The main obstacle, to the Asian giant, is its own size. Prepare effective monitoring standards for a billion and 375 million inhabitants is clearly not a simple task. The authority of the central government, however, have developed a new system that could make the control mechanisms most efficients.

Its name is “Grid management system” and, once implemented nationally, could allow the Chinese Communist Party to exercise a supervision ability never experienced before.

Until today, the information gathered by the Chinese authorities came from a number of different sources. Excessive diversification, combined with the frightening amount of information, made the analysis of collected data complex and confused. Over the past five years China has therefore been working on a state-of-the-art program that can streamline this analysis, relying on an orderly and consistent database.

The cornerstone of the new system is the grid administrator. On every inhabited area it is applied a grid, composed of a certain number of quadrants. In the case of a big city, the sectors could be thousands. Each official has the task to control a quadrant and the households within it, up to a maximum of two hundred.

The official collects information about each block of its competence and fill in a form which will then compose, together with the others, a huge overall database. Data may include rent prices, the number of inhabitants, their workplaces, what time you leave home and what time they came back.

The administrator also has the task of keeping eyes and ears open, to record any complaints or protests by citizens, on any topic. Each grievance is then transcribed on the database as a possible threat. The authorities, local or central, analyzing the data so aggregated, will understand if in a certain territory widespread expressions of discontent are manifesting and intervene early, before the protest mountains further. The answer will not necessarily be police; what matters, for the authorities, is the prevention of any form of organized conflict and the safeguarding of social stability.

The monitoring capacity will be an increasingly important element for the central government of China, since the slowdown in economic growth and the consolidation of a fierce industrial system seem destined to exacerbate economic and social inequality among citizens and to fuel the fire of protest.


Luca Marchesini




Immigration: 150,000 arrivals in 2015

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Italy has received 7,000 migrants more than 2014. Greece 76,000. Despite Frontex operation, number of deaths in the Mediterranean has risen to 1,900. The Iom report helps us to understand this crisis.

More than 700 immigrants landed on the Sicily shores weekend are just the latest wake-up call to a crisis for Italy and Greece. The figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of the Interior, certify a tragic exodus which will grow in the coming months.

The arrival in Europe of 150,000 migrants is a substantial number, but cannot be described as “an invasion,” considering that Europe is home to over 500 million people, according to Soda. “Lebanon, a country of 4 million people, is hosting 1.5 million Syrian refugees and Turkey is hosting about 2 million”, Oim report said.

According to the survey, migrants arrived in Europe by sea in 2015 are more than 150,000: 74,000 and in Italy (around 7000 more than a year) and almost 76000 in Greece (six times more than 2014). “Over 1,900 migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean so far this year, over twice the number during the same period in 2014. But the number of fatalities has started to decrease since May. This is probably due to the large presence of European Union (EU) / Frontex ships in international waters. The enhancement of the EU’s Operation Triton has enabled maritime forces to save more migrants lives in the Channel of Sicily. For Italy, the main countries of origin during the first half of 2015 were: Eritrea (18,676), Nigeria (7,897), Somalia (6,334), Syria (4,271), Gambia (3,593), and Sudan (3,589). These nationalities were also among the top 10 at this time last year. ”, Oim underlined.

Beyond Italy, the dinamic routes explaine the exponential growth of the immigration, especially Syrians and Iraqis, in Greece Islands: “One major difference has been a significant drop in the number of Syrian nationals arriving in Italy. (There were about 12,000 during the same period in 2014.) Syrians are now primarily using the Eastern Mediterranean route through Turkey and Greece. An estimated 22,582 Syrian nationals reached Greece between January and May 2015”.

Resuming on the Italian istance, Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome, confirmed that immigration is an European issue: “Italy is affected by mixed migration flows, which require different operational responses. The country is experiencing the arrival of not only a significant number of asylum-seekers, but also a large proportion of job-seeking migrants. Irrespective of nationality, both types must be individually screened to determine their status. The boats transporting men, women, and children attempting to reach Europe also often carry vulnerable people, such as victims of trafficking and violence, unaccompanied children, and pregnant women”, he ended.
Giacomo Pratali


Giacomo Pratali
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