Populists gain in Italy’s elections: In a vote marking a resurgence of populist tide in Europe, Lega Nord (Northern League) and the Five Star Movement parties scored stunning victories in the Italian general election held on Sunday, March 4.
Despite the electoral successes, neither party earned the right rule and resulting in a hung parliament. While Five Star Movement leader Luigi De Maio claimed the right to lead owing to a 31 percent electoral win, questions persist over whether De Maio and Lega Nord leader Matteo Salvini can reach an agreement to form a ruling coalition.
Following the loss, former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned as secretary of the Democratic Party (PD).
U.S. embassy in Turkey temporarily closes over terror threat: State Department officials said the U.S. embassy in Ankara would close on Monday, March 5 due a threat of attack.
Coinciding with the announcement the embassy would be closed, Turkish police revealed they had detained 20 ISIS suspects in connection with the alleged plot to attack the diplomatic compound.
No specific threat was released by either U.S. or Turkish authorities.
Brexit minister says MPs can’t overturn departure from EU: Issuing a stiff warning to Parliament, Brexit Secretary David Davis told members of the European Security Committee a House of Commons vote against the final Brexit agreement would not halt the UK’s exodus from the European Union (EU).
Davis made the remarks amid speculation Labour MPs were mulling means to defeat the final Brexit deal to force a second referendum.
While acknowledging the final agreement to extract the UK from the EU could unravel at the last moment, Davis said any House vote would not deter an end to the UK’s membership in the EU bloc.
Militants attack civilians fleeing Eastern Ghouta: A convoy of civilians fleeing the besieged region of Eastern Ghouta was attacked by Syrian rebels Thursday, Russian officials said. According to reports, 300 families attempting to reach the Al-Malihah safe haven were attacked with mortars.
Although no fatalities were immediately reported, aid groups assisting the fleeing civilians say three vehicles were destroyed in the attack.
Russian authorities have been attempting to open humanitarian corridors for five hours daily to allow civilians to escape the region.
Ukraine prepared to seize assets of Russian energy provider: Ukraine is set to assume control of the assets of Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom following a ruling in Kiyv’s favor in a Swedish arbitration court.
On Feb. 28, a Stockholm court penalized Gazprom €2.07 billion ($2.56 billion) over a long-running gas transit dispute with Naftogaz, a Ukrainian natural gas producer. Gazprom has vowed to appeal the ruling.
Kiyv has instructed officials to take control of Gazprom property and stock and its foreign ministry to search for Gazprom’s global assets for seizure.
Anti-Tehran protesters enter Iran embassy grounds in London: Four Iranian men dressed in black entered the grounds of the Iranian embassy on Friday. Allegedly affiliated with the Sadeq Shirazi Shiite extremist sect opposed to Tehran’s rulers, the men scaled the embassy facade, removed the Iranian flag and a black and blue flag representing their group.
#URGENT A little while ago
Supporters of Shie Ayatollah #Syed_hossein_Al_Shirazi who was arrested in #Iran occupied the Embassy of the Iranian regime in #London and took down the flag of the Iranian regime. #Iraq #SaudiArabia pic.twitter.com/cMvHBJBASV
— mostafa.m (@MostafaMe4) March 9, 2018
The group is demanding Tehran release the son of Grand Ayatollah Sadegh Hossein Shirazi, who was recently jailed for criticizing the regime.
MET police say the four were taken into custody and no injuries among Iranian embassy staff were reported.
[France 24] [Hurriyet Daily News] [City A.M.] [Al Masdar News] [Tass] [The Evening Standard]