2017 – June – Week 4

These news updates are intended to provide an overview of daily news from media sources. To get our daily analysis and intel updates on financial and geopolitical events, you can subscribe to our premium podcast series.

 

2nd July 2017:

  1. A small boat carrying five North Korean citizens crossed the maritime border into South Korean waters on July 1 in what appeared to be an attempt to flee the regime of Kim Jong-un.
  2. A group of Democrats in the House of Representatives have moved to bring the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution into play, allowing for the removal of US President Donald Trump from office for mental incapacity.
  3. Adding fuel to the fire in documenting the hotly debated collateral damage figures in Washington’s ongoing wars in the Middle East, the Pentagon has admitted that its casualty estimates are not based on witness or victim accounts.
  4. The Russian military has delivered almost four tons of humanitarian cargo to civilians in Syria’s provinces during the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
  5. US President Donald Trump may pay an unplanned visit to the United Kingdom in the framework of his trip to Europe in mid-July, media reported Sunday, citing a source close to the White House.
  6. Donald Trump’s crusade against several mainstream media outlets has continued with the US President posting a video of himself “beating” a person whose face has been replaced by a CNN logo.
  7. The US Department of State stated that it does not comment on the reports of possible provocations using sarin gas by terrorists in Syria.
  8. Former US President Barack Obama warned about “aggressive nationalism” and “increased resentment of minority groups” in a speech that didn’t mention current US President Donald Trump by name but certainly seemed to call him out.

 


 

1st July 2017:

  1. The Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica is about to calve, which will create one of the largest icebergs in the world, one the size of Delaware. This will be the climax of around one year of anticipation when a crack was first noticed in the ice shelf.
  2. German lawmakers on Friday passed a controversial law creating tight deadlines within which social media companies such as Facebook must take down posts containing hate speech or face fines of up to 50 million euros ($56 million).
  3. India witnessed a million deaths due to waterborne diseases and is unlikely to weed out shortage of water in the next decade as the government needs to invest about $291 billion by 2030, which is higher than New Delhi’s annual budget.
  4. A bulk carrier and an oil tanker have been in collision in the Dover Strait, both vessels have been damaged, but there is no water ingress and no pollution, according to the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
  5. According to reports, three men suspected of preparing terrorist attacks have been arrested in the UK.
  6. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani discussed the importance of diplomatic efforts in the normalization of Doha’s crisis in a phone call.
  7. The UK “geo-fencing” systems employ satellites in order to create electronic boundaries around certain sites, according to local media.
    Tens of thousands of protesters gathered outside the BBC Broadcasting House on Regent Street in London and were marching against the government’s austerity economic policies.
  8. Putin signed a law on the creation of an online register of former officials, law enforcement officers and servicemen, who were dismissed due to their involvement in corruption.
  9. Project Veritas, working a sting operation against mainstream news media giant CNN, has released a new video in which a producer for the network refers to people who voted for US President Donald Trump as being “crazy” and “stupid as sh*t.”
  10. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents attended a march to express their support for democracy and oppose Beijing’s growing control over the territory.

 


 

30th June 2017:

  1. Jens Stoltenberg said that Romania’s multinational brigade was activated as a NATO military body this week.
  2. The US State Department has published files on the 1953 Iranian coup against the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh – a movement backed by the West that still looms over relations with Tehran, more than half a century later.
  3. Susan Rice will speak to the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in connection with its investigation into allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 US election.
  4. The Argentinian state police said that a cache of Nazi-era artifacts was found in an antique shop in the old part of Buenos Aires, the second such discovery in a month.
  5. Alaska Gasline Development Corporation and Korea Gas Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on LNG.
  6. The hackers who might have obtained deleted emails of then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, allegedly looked for an intermediary to transmit the emails to former US President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn during the US presidential campaign last year, media reported.
  7. A report by the Institute of International Finance (IIF) in the US has revealed that global debt levels have surged to US$217 trillion in the first quarter of 2017. This is 327 percent of the world’s annual economic output (GDP).
  8. The UK households and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) saving ratio fell to 1.7% from 3.3% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2016, according to report of the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
  9. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informed the secretary general of the Council of Europe of the decision to suspend the payment of Russia’s contribution to the Council of Europe budget for 2017, according to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
  10. German prosecutors are fighting back after Italian Mafia gangs set down roots in Germany.
  11. In a phone talk with Turkish President Erdogan, Vladimir Putin discussed the key aspects of the Syrian crisis settlement with account for the talks in Astana.
  12. Hans-Christian Strobele, a member of the Germany Green Party, stated that the United States did not respect German laws by using the Ramstein Air Base to launch its drone attacks despite Washington’s claims.

 


 

29th June 2017:

  1. UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu claims that terrorist groups around the globe increasingly use new technologies such as three-dimensional printers and the dark web to obtain access to weapons of mass destruction.
  2. China’s new bullet train model “Fuxing” will be mass-produced, said the Shanghai RailwayBureau (SRB) on June 26.
  3. Richard Burr said that a Senate intelligence committee probing Russia’s alleged meddling in last year’s US election may wrap up its work by the end of this year.
  4. Scientists at the China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP) announced recently that they have perfected a laser gun capable of shooting down drones flying at low altitudes. The laser system performed well during experiments and tests, shooting down over 30 small aircraft, said a CAEP employee.
  5. US President Donald Trump said that transnational gang MS-13 is a primary target under two pending bills in the House of Representatives that seek to strengthen immigration enforcement.
  6. The US Senate has reportedly drafted a budget provision for the Defense Department that would ban it from using software by Kaspersky Lab. Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov said that response measures cannot be ruled out if the United States indeed banned the use of Kaspersky Lab products
  7. According to Chinese ambassador, Mexico is now the second largest trading partner of China in Latin America.
  8. Royal Dutch Shell has been accused of complicity in the executions of nine activists in Nigeria in 1995 following the launch of a legal case filed in the Netherlands by widows of four of the “Ogoni Nine,” a prominent human rights watchdog said.
  9. The US Defense Intelligence Agency has published a glossy new 100 page+ declassified intelligence report called ‘Russia Military Power’, a rehash of reports which were released during the 1980s called ‘Soviet Military Power’. Like its predecessors, ‘Russia Military Power’ seems designed to ensure a bigger defense budget for the Pentagon.
  10. Three France-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs), namely Sherpa, Ibuka and Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda, filed a compliant against BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, accusing it of involvement in the 1994 Rwanda genocide, local media reported.
  11. Russia is ready to supply food, fresh water and any other products to Qatar if such need arises amid the ongoing diplomatic row between Qatar and other Arab countries, President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergey Katyrin said.
  12. US and Mexican officials reached a deal in principal to suspend anti-dumping and countervailing duties against Mexican sugar imports to the United States.
  13. Despite the liberation of the al-Nouri mosque area, the Iraqi forces continue fighting against the Daesh terrorists in the area of the old city of Mosul, according to Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson Ryan Dillon.
  14. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the new round of negotiations on Cyprus’s reunification should be the final one.
    Donald Trump said that the company Sempra Energy is in negotiations to sell more natural gas to South Korea and looking to export more coal to Ukraine and other countries.

 


 

28th June 2017:

  1. Moller-Maersk said that the apparent worldwide ransomware attack has affected its operations.
  2. A spokesperson for the European Commission said that the European Commission received a letter from six operators of gas transmission systems from Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic with an expression of support for the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.
  3. The Venezuelan Communication and Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said that a helicopter, belonging to the Venezuelan police agency in charge for criminal investigations, known as CICPC, attacked the building housing the country’s Supreme Court.
  4. Paul Manafort has filed financial disclosure forms that included $17.1 million in payments for lobbying on behalf of a Ukrainian political party.
  5. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara is ready to launch a new military campaign similar to the Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria.
  6. The group of people who perpetrated the attack on the Venezuelan Supreme Court demanded the immediate resignation of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and called for general elections.
  7. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven is visiting China in a bid to resuscitate bilateral economic ties with new deals on green innovation and sustainability. However, there are reasons why Swedish-Chinese relations remain somewhat frosty.
  8. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been in Switzerland where talks are resuming in an attempt to reunify Cyprus. The island has been partitioned since 1974 and “a Turkish Cypriot ‘yes’ remains far more likely than a Greek Cypriot ‘yes,'”
  9. US reconnaissance aircraft have sharply increased the amount of flights over Syria, Lebanese Al Mayadeen television channel reported.
  10. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel held a joint press conference in Krasnodar on Wednesday, June 28, following the opening ceremony of the 14th conference of partner cities of Germany and Russia.
  11. US President Donald Trump said that the US government has put up restrictions and regulations that put the energy wealth out of reach for too long.
  12. A Moscow restaurant which recently became the first establishment in the Russian capital to allow customers to pay in Bitcoin is considering installing special cryptocurrency ATMs.

 


 

27th June 2017:

  1. China’s new bullet train models, “Fuxing”, or rejuvenation, were officially launched on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway line on Monday.
  2. The Serbian parliament has voted in favour of establishing the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of European Integration.
  3. The US Department of State has said it would execute Trump’s travel ban in 72 hours after the Supreme Court decided to partially lift an injunction of stay on the executive order on immigration.
  4. Ricardo Sanchez, the head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes Against the Freedom of Expression said that Mexico has asked some international organizations and the FBI to provide assistance in investigating the cases of alleged cyberespionage.
  5. CIA Director Mike Pompeo launched backchannel negotiations with Syrian National Security Bureau head Ali Mamlouk aimed at rescuing US national Austin Tice who US authorities believe to be in custody in Syria, the Japan Times reported.
  6. Russia will try to attract investment from South Korea in the amount of $3 billion during the upcoming meeting of the bilateral government committee, Deputy Minister for Development of Russian Far East Alexander Krutikov said.
  7. Sweden’s practice of selling arms to non-democratic countries has been long condemned both at home and abroad as incompatible with Sweden’s incessant peace activism. A new government proposal, which is intended to mend this ethical lapse, was slammed by the Swedish elite for failure to stop arms exports to dictatorships.
  8. Denmark’s ruling Liberal Party wants to penalize NGOs rescuing migrants and refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean by boat. While the Liberals’ stance has been backed by fellow government parties and the EU border agency itself, it also triggered criticism from human rights organizations.
  9. Russian President Vladimir Putin will take advantage of the opportunities to hold several bilateral meetings with top-government officials at the upcoming G20 summit in Germany, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
  10. The main condition for Berlin’s continued cooperation with Ankara is the release of all German citizens being held in Turkish custody against their will, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.
  11. Syrian President Bashar Assad visited the Russian Aerospace Forces’ base Hmeymim in the Syrian province of Latakia.
  12. The organizers and participants of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) wrote an open letter in which they urged Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump to sign a joint declaration denouncing every prospect of nuclear war during their upcoming meeting in Germany’s Hamburg on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.

 


 

26th June 2017:

  1. Ukraine supports the process of crisis settlement in the country’s east via Normandy Four format and Minsk agreements, and will welcome more active involvement of the United States, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said, adding that he received the relevant assurances from Washington.
  2. Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto has accused the European Union of hypocrisy in dealing with the migrant issue as over 1.5 million migrants have crossed into Europe without any control or checking.
  3. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make a two-day trip to the United States starting Sunday to discuss military and economic cooperation with officials including US President Donald Trump.
  4. The individual who carried out the attack on the St. Petersburg underground in April, his fellows, as well as a foreign supervisor, used Telegram messenger at all stages of preparation for the attack, the Russian Federal Security Services (FSB) said.
  5. A high-level US delegate is expected to attend international negotiations on Syrian reconciliation in Astana next week, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said.
  6. British Prime Minister Theresa May and the leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party Arlene Foster signed a deal to support May’s minority government.
  7. The possibility of a telephone conversation in the so-called Normandy Four format on settling the conflict in the Donbass region is being considered through diplomatic channels, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
  8. Progress in settling the Ukrainian crisis could be reached within “several months” if all parties to the conflict stick to the Minsk agreements rather than trying to review or recreate them, French President Emmanuel Macron said.
  9. California imposed a travel ban against eight other states, which had recently adopted state legislations allowing private individuals and entities to deny LGBTQ people certain services, whilst providing them, however, with an alternative.
  10. French authorities are concerned with the increasing tensions over Donbass, the French Foreign Ministry’s deputy spokesman Alexandre Giorgini said.
  11. A newly introduced Senate bill is aimed at expanding US LNG exports, US Senator Ted Cruz said in a statement.
  12. Poland’s Industrial Optics Center will supply Ukrainian defense enterprises with vision and guidance devices, sealing the contract after two years of talks, local media reported.
  13. Following a demand by Riyadh that Ankara remove its troops from Qatar, Turkish President Reccip Tayyip Erdogan responded with a resounding “no.”