The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Iraq army poised to retake Mosul:  Advancing with the support of American-led airstrikes, Iraqi troops have driven the Islamic State (ISIS) in Mosul into an area described as less than one square kilometer of the historic Old City.

Iraqi authorities say ISIS forces occupying the former stronghold number in the hundreds and their grip on the city has shrunk rapidly since the beginning of an offensive in February.  The recent gains against the terror group prompted Iraqi military officials to declare the ISIS caliphate defeated.

Map showing battle for control of Mosul

Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi tweeted Sunday he had arrived “in Mosul to announce its liberation and congratulate the armed forces and Iraqi people on this victory”. However, ISIS news agency, Amaq, has stated militants still holed up in the city will fight to the death and Iraq state TV reported some fighters remain in one particular neighborhood.

EU Parliament votes to halt Turkey accession:  In a powerful vote on Thursday, the European Union (EU) parliament voted to suspend parliamentary discussions over Turkey’s membership to the EU.

The measure passed 477–64.

Concern with Turkey’s brutal crackdown in the aftermath of a failed 2016 coup attempt, mass arrests, suspensions of civil liberties, and Ankara’s consideration of reviving the death penalty, prompted the vote.

In a published report released last week, the EU stated it found Turkey had abandoned the “fundamental principles of democracy.”

Boko Haram kills nine, kidnaps 37:  In a swift attack on a small village in southeastern Niger, Islamic State-linked Boko Haram militants murdered nine villagers and kidnapped 37 women on Saturday, July 1.

Riding on camels, the attackers entered the village, which lie 50 miles north of the border with Nigeria, and attacked the inhabitants.  It is widely believed the village, Ngalewa, was selected for its hostility to the insurgent group.

The terror group, which has killed over 20,000 during its eight-year insurgent war, frequently launches cross-border raids into Niger from its bases in Nigeria.

Japan, EU ink trade agreement:  In a first for both Japan and the European Union, a free-trade pact has been successfully negotiated guaranteeing dramatic cuts to tariffs between the island nation and Europe’s economic bloc.

The EU and Japan account for 19 percent of the world’s economy.

Economists believe Japan will have greater access at lower prices to European food products.  Europe will have access to the Japanese auto market.

Ukraine police seize firm’s software:  Ukrainian police raided the Kyiv offices of M.E. Doc, a firm which police officials say hosted servers belonging to a firm responsible for a massive, global cyberattack one week ago.

Ukrainian authorities believe the servers seized are owned by software developer, Intellect Service.

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said the raid prevented a second malicious attack, the first of which affected global banks.


[RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty] [Deutsche Welle] [The Indian Express] [BBC News] [Reuters via IT News]