Wednesday, 18 November
- 16:00 Soccer matches will go ahead on the weekend
France's secretary of sport says soccer matches around the country are going ahead this weekend despite the deadly terror attacks in Paris because "life must go on."
Thierry Braillard said in an interview Wednesday with the sports daily L'Equipe that suspending games would be "exactly what these barbarians want." He said French league President Frederic Thiriez is "totally" in agreement with the decision.
- 15:00 Engaging with Assad a 'lesser evil', Spain says after Paris attacks
Spain's foreign minister pleaded in favour of engaging with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to deal with the terror threat in Europe, just days after deadly attacks in Paris.
"The lesser evil is to come to an agreement with Bashar al-Assad to begin a ceasefireallowing aid to reach the displaced... kickstart a political transition and above all attack our common enemy -- Daesh (Islamic State group)," JoseManuel Garcia-Margallo told TVE television.
"We have toreplace the 'Bashar yes or Bashar no' discourse by one of peace or war. If youwant peace, you are going to have get along with Assad at least on a temporarybasis."
- 14:00 EU to push illegal firearms crackdown after Paris attacks
The European Union said Wednesday it will push through plans to tackle the trade in illegal firearms, ahead of a crisis meeting of interior ministers in Brussels following the Paris attacks.
EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos also urged member states to make better use of intelligence-sharing tools to protect Europe's borderless Schengen area,which has come under scrutiny after the attacks.
"We decided to speed up things in a matter of days," Avramopoulos told a news conference, soon present a communication with concrete actions to tackle illegal firearms trafficking and explosives.
- "We will soon present a communication with concrete actions to tackle illegal firearms trafficking and explosives. We need actions to protect our citizens from the harm caused by smuggled Kalashnikovs."
- 12:00 Two die in hunt for 'mastermind' Abaaoud
- A woman has blown herself up and a suspect was shot dead during a police raid on a flat in a Paris suburb, while seven arrests were made.
Police targeted the flat in Saint-Denis in a search for the alleged mastermind of Friday's gun and bomb attacks in Paris, when 129 people were killed. The fate of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, previously thought to be in Syria, is still unclear.
Authorities arrested seven people, while five police officers suffered minor injuries in the operation which turned into aseven-hour stand-off between security forces and a group of people holed up in an apartment.
- 8:00 Gunfire erupts in Paris as police hunt suspected attack leader
- Gunfire and explosions shook the Paris suburb of St Denis early on Wednesday as French police surrounded a building where a Belgian Islamist militant suspected of masterminding last week's attacks in the French capital was believed to be holed up.
Two assailants were killed, including a woman who detonated a suicide bomb, a source close to the case said, adding that the police operation was continuing to flush out two other suspects.
The target of the raid, which filled the streets of St Denis with heavily armed police and soldiers, was Islamic State militant Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was initially thought to have orchestrated the Paris attacks from Syria, police and justice sources said.
A judicial source said police had originally been hunting other suspects in St Denis, but now believed he was one of those barricaded in the building.
Shooting began at about 4.30 a.m. (0330 GMT) and police special forces of the RAID unit were still involved in exchanges of fire three hours later, witnesses said.
Tuesday, 17 November
- Milos Zeman, the President of the Czech Republic, attended a rally against refugees and Islam in Prague on Tuesday (17 November) on the anniversary of the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which peacefully toppled Communism in then Czechoslovakia.
Nearly 70% of Czechs oppose the arrival of refugees in their country, according to a recent survey by the Czech Academy of Sciences.
- 13:46 Frustration is mounting in France against the inaction of other European countries in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Paris wants the EU to suspend Schengen for three months. EurActiv France reports.
"Where is Europe? Europe has fallen silent." France's former Prime Minister Alain Juppé summed up the feelings of many French citizens towards the war in Syria on Monday (15 November), just three days after the deadly attack on the French capital.
- 13:31 The European Union said it was ready to take French security priorities into account after France said it was likely to break eurozone deficit rules due to the Paris attacks.
European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Tuesday (17 November) that the executive could offer France leeway on its budget to take into account security priorities in the wake of the Paris attacks.
"One thing that is clear in the current circumstances is that in this terrible moment the protection of citizens, the security of citizens in France and Europe is the absolute priority," Moscovici, a former French finance minister, told a news conference dealing with the review of all EU state budgets.
"The rules of the stability pact do not stop member states from defining their priorities. We understand that the priority is security," Moscovici said.
Monday, 16 November
- 18:40: EU's Mogherini after today's Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels:
Some slight confusion tonight in the wake of French President Hollande's speech in Versailles invoking the mutual defence clause in the EU's Lisbon Treaty after the Paris attacks.
Asked about it at a late afternoon press conference in Brussels, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini initially replied it would be "a little bit strange to react to this publically a few minutes after it's released."
But pressed further by journalists, Mogherini admitted she had been "informed by France so it was not a surprise to me," before adding that "if we discuss it tomorrow, we will see. It is possible but not decided yet," adding she would talk to French officials tonight.
Tomorrow is a meeting of EU defence ministers - most, but not all, of whom, are also members of NATO. She had earlier, in response to a direct question as to whether the French had today made any requests during the Foreign Affairs Council, answered categorically "No."