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GERMANY/IMMIGRATION – Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has agreed on the issue of a refugee cap with the Christian Social Union says Reuters quoting sources. The CDU is attempting to put together a coalition government.

SAUDI ARABIA/TERROR – 2 Saudi guards were shot dead and three others injured when a man drove up to the gates of the royal palace in Jeddah and opened fire. The gunman was killed and identified as 28-year-old Saudi national Mansour al-Amri.

RUSSIA/OPPOSITION – Supporters of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny held rallies across the country over the weekend hoping to persuade the Kremlin to allow him to stand in next year’s Presidential election.  Mr Navalny is serving a 20-day jail sentence for calling for an unsanctioned protest.

BURMA/ROHINGYA – The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army says its unilateral, one-month ceasefire will end at midnight tonight but that it is open to negotiations. In August it ambushed police outposts sparking what the UN described as ‘amounting to ethnic cleaning’. More than half a million Muslim Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh in the past 6 weeks.

N KOREA/MISSILE – Reuters reports that a Russian politician who visited Pyongyang recently says N Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile in the near future that it believes could reach the west coast of the USA.


Flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Decision time for Trump: The N Korean crisis has been getting the headlines, but during this period the American President has been mulling over whether to ‘decertify’ the Iran nuclear deal. (See diary). He appears to be instinctively averse to any agreements restraining unilateral American decisions, but more cautious voices in the administration are advising him not try and scrap the agreement. If he comes out against it Congress will then have 60 days to debate if it agrees. Even as he decides, the North Korean situation may become even more pressing if Pyongyang launches another test missile this week. What exactly did Mr Trump mean with his ‘This is the calm before the storm’ comment last week?  The carrier USS Reagan should arrive in Korean waters next weekend.

The other major story is likely to be Catalonia. Will it unilaterally declare independence from Spain? If so, will Madrid ‘send in the tanks’?


Mon – 5th round of UK/EU Brexit talks begin. Agreement on several issues required before Oct 19th European Council summit if trade negotiations are to be discussed then.

Mon – Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau begins week long visit to USA and Mexico.

Tues – Catalonia’s President Carles Puigdemont reports to Catalan parliament on the referendum. Possible declaration of independence. (See below)

Tues – Fatah and Hamas continue reconciliation talks in Cairo.

Tues – Liberian Presidential and Parliamentary elections. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Africa’s 1st female President) stands down. Former football George Weah is a candidate to replace her.

Tues – N Korea celebrates founding of the North Korean Communist Party.

Tues – Ivanka Trump (1st wife, not 1st Lady) publishes ‘Raising Trump’ about bringing up three Trump children.

Weds – Spain’s ‘National Day’.  Possible Catalonian announcement on independence.

Weds – UK and Cyprus begin negotiations re status of UK military bases after Brexit.

Thurs – President Trump expected to announce decision on whether U.S. will pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement.

Fri – 3 day annual IMF/World Bank autumn summit opens in Washington D.C.

Fri – Ahmed Hassan appears at London’s Old Bailey court accused of planting a homemade bomb on a train at Parsons Green underground station last month.

Sun –  Deadline for U.S. decision on whether to pull out of Iran nuclear agreement.

Sun – Lower Saxony holds regional election. Watch to see if AFD continues to poll well.

Sun – Austrian elections. 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz of the conservative People’s Party could become the world’s youngest leader. Mr Kurz supports stricter immigration policies and opposes further EU integration.

Sun – Frankfurt: Hillary Clinton appears at the world’s largest book fair to promote her tome ‘What Happened”.


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