Turkey's offensive, Brexit deal, Catalonia protests, Extinction Rebellion


A panel of Paris-based journalists review the week's international news: stories that made the headlines and also those that viewers may have missed. This week, we discuss Turkey's offensive in Syria, Boris Johnson's draft Brexit deal, and protests in Catalonia in reaction to the jailing of separatist leaders.


Call it peacemaking – or call it damage control. Donald Trump dispatched his vice-president to Turkey to broker a ceasefire after a cross-border offensive borne of the US president's decision to pull his troops from the area. We are talking about a 32-kilometre deep buffer zone that effectively recognises Ankara's decision to push out the Kurds and replace them with Arabs. EU Council president Donald Tusk says "it's not a ceasefire, it's a demand of capitulation for the Kurds".

Meanwhile, now that he has got a divorce deal with Brussels, the UK prime minister can turn his sights to Westminster and sell the prospect of a happy ending on Brexit. The UK finds itself in the unusual situation of a government that on paper is 45 seats shy of a majority. Yet Saturday's vote could swing either way: the Financial Times' initial and very tentative headcount on Thursday after the deal was struck was 318 for, 321 against.

Speaking of bitter division, Catalonia has been erupting anew since Monday, when the Spanish Supreme Court handed down nine to 13-year sentences to a dozen leaders of a failed 2017 independence bid. Separatists have blocked airports, rail lines and highways with the launch of a general strike.

And if the name of the game is how to draw as much attention as possible to your cause, the jury is split over the two-week worldwide civil disobedience campaign by the environmentalists of Extinction Rebellion.

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Laura Burloux.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning