“FRIENDS OF SYRIA” TO MEET IN PARIS ON SUNDAY
Foreign Ministers of the group of 11 countries dubbed “Friends of Syria,” including the U.S., UK and France, will meet with the opposition group Syrian National Coalition on Sunday in Paris, AFP quotes an official source as saying. On the battleground, opposition fighters are still fighting amongst themselves. According to al Arabiya, several rebel brigades have seized the headquarters of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant organization, in Aleppo.
Here is a Syria Deeply/Worldcrunch article on Damascus’ strategy in stepping up attacks in Aleppo.
BAD WEATHER DELAYS MORSI TRIAL
The trial of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has been delayed to Feb. 1, state media announced, after bad weather prevented him from being transported from the Alexandria prison where he is being held to the Cairo court where he was due to appear today. Read more from the BBC.
CLASHES BETWEEN TRIBES IN INDIA KILL 17
At least 17 people died in clashes opposing two tribes in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, police officials said. The violence is also causing thousands to flee their homes, as the tribes, Karbi and Rengma Naga, are fighting to grab more land. Read the full story from AFP.
PURGE IN TURKEY’S POLICE CONTINUES
Sixteen police chiefs in Turkey were dismissed overnight, including the deputy head of the national police department, in the latest developments of the ongoing corruption scandal that has engulfed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government, Hurriyet reports.
As Abu Dhabi’s newspaper The National reports details of an alleged meeting between the Prime Minister’s son and al-Qaeda financier Yasin Al Qadi, we offer this Hurriyet/Worldcrunch piece: Why Turkey's Bribery Probe Stopped Short Of Erdogan's Son
Polar vortex sets new records in the U.S. as temperatures in every single one of the 50 states drop below freezing.
Tradition is on the menu today in China.
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is set to publish a new book, in which he offers a harsh assessment of President Obama’s commitment to the war in Afghanistan.
MISS VENEZUELA MURDER
Venezuela has been gripped by a shocking highway robbery during which former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear was killed. President Nicolas Maduro blamed it on “capitalism”.
FIFA WORLD CUP IN QATAR TO TAKE PLACE DURING WINTER
FIFA’s general secretary Jérôme Valcke announced that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would probably not take place during the summer as is customary but instead “between Nov. 25 and Jan. 15 at the latest.” Though no official decision has yet been made, such a move was already rumored, as the scorching temperatures during the summer in Qatar make it difficult for players to perform at top level.