Several media reports indicated that IS continued to gain ground, even after the start of the global campaign in 2014. In the last few months, the radical group captured several villages in the Syrian west and in the suburbs of Damascus, the Syrian capital, which is controlled by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Moreover, according to the US Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, IS is probably the best-funded terrorist organisation the US Treasury Department has ever confronted.
Elections in Israel, as elsewhere, are not only a time to count winners and losers; they also provide a chance to take the pulse of the electorate, to check in on social trends, and understand popular attitudes. In Israel’s freewheeling system of proportional representation, parties constantly sprout and wilt, split and merge. The new combinations reflect new social currents and political priorities.
On 2 June 2012, the court found Mubarak and his interior minister, Habib al-Adly, guilty of involvement in the killing of protesters and sentenced them to life in prison. This verdict was overturned six months later, however, and an appeals court ordered a retrial.
There are about 300,000 displaced persons in Libya, and about two million have fled the country (out of a population of six million). Several thousands died, 80% of Libya's airports were destroyed in 2014 and journalists face assassination and kidnapping. 2015 will be another difficult year.