BANGLADESH/BLOGGER – The main suspect in the murder of the secular blogger, Avijit Roy, has been shot dead in a gun battle with police near the capital, Dhaka. Roy was hacked to death in Feb 2015. He was one of several secularists murdered by religious extremists in the country over the past two years.
JAPAN/US – Tens of thousands of people demonstrated on the Japanese island of Okinawa to protest against the U.S. military presence there. Tensions have risen after after a former U.S. Marine, employed as a civilian worker, was arrested over the rape and murder of a local 20-year-old woman.
ALGERIA/TERROR – Algerian troops killed 8 Islamist fighters in a gun battle south of Algiers, 4 militants were also arrested. The group the gunmen belonged to has not yet been made public but both ISIS and al Qaeda in the Maghreb are active in rural areas.
PAKISTAN/AFGHAN – Pakistan has reopened the Torkham border crossing into Afghanistan. The crossing was closed last week after fighting between border guards which left at least three soldiers dead.
FRANCE/STRIKES – Air France pilots will stage two 24-hour strikes – 24th and 25th – in a continuing disagreement with management. The previous strikes this month caused 20% of flights to be cancelled.
YEMEN/PRISONERS – A large prisoner swap has taken place between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to President Hadi. The civil war broke out in March 2015, but in recent weeks the fighting has died down and in the south Presidential forces are concentrating on mopping up the remnants of the al Qaeda fighters who survived a spring offensive.
COMING UP – All eyes will be on the UK referendum. An Out vote will bring turbulence to the global financial markets of unknown duration. An In vote might stabilize the markets temporarily, but politically, whichever way the vote goes, the EU is likely to be unsettled for the foreseeable future. The ECB meets on Thursday and may try to send out re-assuring messages ahead of the UK result. See Diary.
June 20 – Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents meet in St. Petersburg for talks hosted by President Putin.
June 23 – UK referendum on EU membership.
June 23 – Protests against French labour reforms continue.
June 23 – The ECB General Council meets in Frankfurt.
June 23-24 – Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
June 23-25 – Burma’s de facto political leader Aung San Suu Kyi visits Thailand.
June 24-26 – Pope Francis in Armenia
June 25 – Icelandic presidential election.
June 26 – Panama Canal Expansion project officially inaugurated.
June 26 – Spanish parliamentary elections.