Mexico has surpassed Iraq and Afghanistan to become the world’s second-most deadly conflict zone after Syria. The number of fatalities from the expanding war among Mexico’s criminal cartels grew to 23,000 in 2016, compared with 17,000 in Afghanistan and 16,000 in Iraq, according to the annual Armed Conflict Survey by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Source Bloomberg
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Saudi security forces foiled an attack on the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca on Friday, state television Al-Ekhbariya and Al Arabiya TV reported. Source Reuters
Turkey rejected a call from four Arab states on Friday to shut down its military base in Qatar, saying the base was a guarantor of security in the Gulf and demands for its closure represented interference in its ties with Doha. Source Reuters
The ECB has approved the yuan as a reserve currency. This is a symbolic but historic step for China, which can now establish its currency in Europe as a counterweight to the US dollar, says DW’s Frank Sieren. Source Deutsche Welle