April – Week 1

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.

 

9th April 2017:

  1. The leaders of China and the US agreed to establish a new channel for top-rank military communication in order to avoid unwanted military accidents.
  2. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that the United States did not warn Russia prior to launching its missile strike on the base of the Syrian Air Force, and instead informed Moscow only through military channels.
  3. US President Donald Trump and his administration consider the possibility of introducing sanctions against Russia and Iran for supporting the Syrian government, according to US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
  4. The US must work together with Russia to find a solution to the Syrian crisis, former Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr Klaus Naumann said.
  5. Russia will provide Belarus with a loan worth up to $1 billion.
  6. Germany could be forced to close its border with Switzerland if a surge in illegal migrant crossings continues.
  7. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached agreements on a range of issues, including a new 100-day trade plan.
  8. Reacting to continued North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear weapons testing, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has affirmed that China has stated that it is prepared to move.
  9. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency.
  10. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi said that states that are supporting terrorism must be called to account.

 


 

8th April 2017:

  1. Mexico will grant residency permits to 588 Cubans stranded in the north of the country as a result of the decision of the previous US administration to end the “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy.
  2. China welcomes US participation in cooperation within the “One Belt, One Road” strategy.
  3. The crews of S-300 and S-400 air defense systems shot down cruise missiles launched by an imaginary enemy during an air defense drill held in Russia’s eastern Buryatia republic.
  4. China and the US state of Alaska need to strengthen cooperation in the energy sector among others, President Xi Jinping said.
  5. Russia’s Aerospace Forces will put the S-500 air defense systems into service in the near future.
  6. Iran called for creating a special commission to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapon in Syria following the US missile attack.
  7. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi called for an investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib province during a phone conversation with US Vice President Mike Pence.
  8. Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani and Secretary of the Russian Security Council (RSC) Nikolai Patrushev discussed in a phone conversation Saturday the US missile strike against the Syrian airbase in response to the reported chemical weapon use in Idlib.
  9. Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump discussed the situation in Syria during their recent meeting.
  10. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s press service announced on Saturday that he signed the program of Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO in 2017.
  11. Russian S-400 air defense systems have begun to receive missiles capable of destroying targets in the near space.
  12. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his German counterpart discussed in a Saturday phone conversation the situation in Syria amid recent airstike.
  13. Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit calls on parties involved in the Syrian conflict not to use the Idlib chemical attack for their political purposes.

 


 

7th April 2017:

  1. There is no better alternative for Europe than Russian gas, Chief Executive of Germany’s largest crude oil and natural gas producer Wintershall, Mario Mehren, said in an interview, warning of the continuing detrimental effect of anti-Russian sanctions.
  2. Japan will extend unilateral sanctions against North Korea for two more years, media report.
  3. The government of Japan is calling a UN Security Council emergency meeting in the wake of the US missile strike on an airfield in Syria’s Homs province.
  4. The Syrian Army General Staff stated that the US did not warn Syria of 00:42 (GMT) strike on Sha’irat airfield in the country’s province of Homs.
  5. Ankara calls to establish a no-fly zone and a safe zone in Syria.
  6. WikiLeaks on Friday published additional 27 documents, part of a Vault 7, a larger series of releases of CIA classified documents, with the latest batch focused on the Grasshoper platform for building malware.
  7. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is confused about the influence of the latest developments in Syria on the oil market.
  8. France vows to take any initiative to resume the Syria settlement process.
  9. The EU is, from April 7, ramping up controls of its external borders, including checking all travelers – by air, sea and land – against the Schengen Information System (SIS), and Interpol’s database of lost travel documents (SLTD).
  10. The Basque militant group ETA has announced that they intend to disarm on Saturday 8th April. However, the group has warned that its enemies may still block the process.
  11. US President Donald Trump’s missile launch in Syria violates the authorization for use of military force (AUMF) passed by the US Congress in 2001, Senator Tim Kaine said.

 


 

6th April 2017:

  1. Donald Trump and Angela Merkel discussed the conflicts in Ukraine and Afghanistan.
  2. The BRICS countries are interested in broadening the space cooperation to space science mission and telecommunication.
  3. China’s President Xi Jinping and President of Finland Sauli Niinisto said their countries would work to create a long-term future-oriented partnership.
  4. China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection announced the start of intensified air pollution monitoring program in 28 cities, expected to be in force for one year.
  5. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has categorically rejected any move for mediation by US President Donald Trump between India and Pakistan. The Trump administration’s desire to play peacemaker was communicated via US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.
  6. Ukraine’s State Space Agency is currently in accession discussions with the European Space Agency (ESA) to become its member.
  7. The Russian Foreign Ministry has reminded US that all chemical weapons had been taken out of Syria in mid-2014 with Washington’s assistance.
  8. According to the chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security, Moscow is ready to cooperate with the US-led anti-terrorist coalition in Syria on condition of no “double standards” in the joint work.
  9. The European Commission imposed Thursday anti-dumping duties on Chinese hot-rolled flat steel, claiming “heavily dumped” prices gave Chinese imports an unfair edge over EU firms.
  10. Human Rights Watch has slammed a newly-adopted amendment to Ukraine’s anti-corruption laws, alleging the changes in fact target journalists and anti-corruption activists, and could prevent them from doing their jobs.
  11. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) can complete three more reviews of the program for Ukraine this year and disburse $4.4 billion, if Kiev delivers on scheduled reform progress.
  12. European Council President Donald Tusk and UK Prime Minister Theresa May have agreed to defuse the Gibraltar issue in Brexit talks.
  13. The US Senate approved in a 52-48 vote on Thursday a change of an existing rule that will enable moving forward the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch as the ninth Justice on the Supreme Court.
  14. Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his belief that the international community should complete the disarmament of chemical weapons in Syria during a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 


 

5th April 2017:

  1. The US military has expanded an air base near the city of Kobani, Syria, to assist in the fight to liberate Raqqa from the Daesh terrorist group.
  2. Senate Democrats said that Mitch McConnell has filed a closure motion on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch in a bid to effectively end debate over the candidate’s confirmation and force a vote.
  3. The government of Syria has the right to protect its territory by all means including militarily if Turkey does not stop its actions in northern Syria, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad said.
  4. A thorough investigation into the reported chemical attack in Syria should be investigated and those responsible should be held accountable, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
  5. Oil prices of $60 per barrel will contribute only 1 percentage point to Russia’s GDP growth, signifying the economy’s low dependence on oil, Governor of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina said.
  6. Daily foreign currency purchases valued at $62.6 million will be carried out on the Russian market from April 7 to May 5, the Russian Finance Ministry said.
  7. The fourth tranche of the International Monetary Fund credit of $1 billion to Ukraine has entered the reserve of the National Bank of Ukraine, Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk said.
  8. Moscow and Beijing are preparing a number of major energy projects ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
  9. India and the United Kingdom have set up a joint £500 million Green Growth Equity Fund which will increase the flow of funds to the Indian infrastructure sector and provide global investors, including ones from the UK, an investment opportunity with better returns.
  10. Ankara does not intend to break relations with the western countries despite their recent deterioration over Turkish pre-referendum rallies, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said.
  11. The US assistance to Ukraine is likely to decline this year, US Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary Bridget Brink said.
  12. The United States will consult with Jordan’s King Abdullah II to find solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US President Donald Trump said.
  13. A representative of the Russian Mission to the United Nations said that Russia submitted to the UN Security Council its own draft resolution on conducting an investigation into the chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib province.

 


 

4th April 2017:

  1. Mass anti-government protest is taking place in central Belgrade.
  2. Despite President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order being blocked in the courts, the number of refugees arriving in the US in March dropped 54% from the previous month.
  3. The White House said that Donald Trump signed into law a measure that overturns an Obama-era rule that prevented internet service providers from selling information related to customer internet habits.
  4. Donald Trump strongly condemned the attack in St. Petersburg metro and offered assistance in fighting terrorism in a phone call with Vladimir Putin.
  5. Sergey Lavrov said that Azerbaijan and Armenia have been able to significantly narrow differences and agree on the basic principles of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
  6. Syria will respond to any aggression from Israel, which Damascus believes supports terrorist groups there, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad said.
  7. According to media reports, Russia’s energy giant Gazprom may leave the United Kingdom in light of potential trading difficulties associated with the country’s departure from the European Union.
  8. Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem apologized, in a letter to the European Parliament on Tuesday, for his regrettable choice of words regarding southern European crisis-hit countries, and reiterated his support for European solidarity.
  9. The leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia underscored the importance of boosting global fight against terrorism.
  10. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have demanded the resignation of the Eurozone chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem for divisive comments about southern EU member states which spend money on “booze and women” instead of cutting costs.
  11. US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) commander Gen. John Hyten said that China must take part in the solution of the problem posed by North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program.
  12. UK Prime Minister Theresa May, on a visit to Saudi Arabia, as part of a regional trip focused on security, defense and trade, is coming under pressure after growing calls for action to be taken over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and use of UK arms in Yemen.
  13. Seeking to forge closer ties with their neighbours, the Iraqi government started making moves to improve ties with Saudi Arabia, heralding the possible beginning of a ‘honeymoon’ in relations between Riyadh and Baghdad.
  14. The United States reportedly has increased the number of ground missions in Yemen.

 


 

3rd April 2017:

  1. As the Brexit talks were triggered, the old dispute over contested Gibraltar sparked again between London and Madrid; Brussels may take Spain’s side on the issue, according to British media.
  2. Ukrainian politicians and businessmen are sending signals to Crimea, saying they want to visit the peninsula, Russian lawmaker Ruslan Balbek said.
  3. Citing an almost 16-year-old authorization for the use of military force outside the borders of the United States, the Trump administration has begun to quietly deploy more US troops to Iraq and Syria — without disclosing their number, mission or location.
  4. Moldovan President Igor Dodon signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in Chisinau on Monday.
  5. This week, a large Norwegian business delegation headed by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will arrive in China with the mission of mending fences, which were left broken by the 2010 Nobel row.
  6. Russian Ambassador in Doha said that Businesses in Qatar are interested in taking part in two Sakhalin oil and gas projects, and the liquefied natural gas project in Russia’s Arctic Yamal Peninsula.
  7. Slovakia’s foreign minister said the EU should focus on resolving the Syrian crisis rather than on the future of its president.
  8. Senior officials from the National Bank of Ukraine are being checked by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau on suspicion of the embezzlement of funds allocated for the refinancing of commercial banks, Bureau chief Artem Sytnik told Ukrainian television channel 1+1.
  9. The European Union considers offering millions of dollars to back the peace deal between the Afghan government and the Hezbi Islami organization, the Wall Street Journal newspaper reported.
  10. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated that the IMF Executive Board has decided to disburse $1 billion to Ukraine.
  11. Representatives of Ukraine and Canada signed an agreement to enhance bilateral defense cooperation, according to the statement of the Canadian Ministry of National Defense.
  12. After months of conspiracy theories about why Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev and President Donald Trump were in the same place at the same time, it has been revealed that he was simply in town for business meetings.

 


 

2nd April 2017:

  1. Despite all the accusations of cosy – perhaps too cosy – relations between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russia in general, the US ambassador to the United Nations says the president has never told her what to say about it.
  2. An unstable Pakistan-India border region and rumblings among former officials has given Islamabad reason to fear that New Delhi is reconsidering its long-held nuclear weapons doctrine of ‘no first use.’
  3. Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav claimed that the European Union “should not be afraid” of the Schengen Zone’s expansion, calling for accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the free travel area.
  4. The terror group Daesh may be plotting attacks in the United Kingdom, targeting the country’s airports and nuclear power plants, British intelligence services revealed.
  5. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Unity of Peoples of Russia and Belarus Day and noted good results of integration cooperation of the two countries in the political, economic and other spheres, the Kremlin press service said in a statement.
  6. Toubou and Awlad Suleiman ethnic groups living in the south of Libya agreed to sign a peace treaty as a result of secret 72-hour talks that ended on Friday evening and were mediated by Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti, according to media reports.
  7. Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated that a decision on reforms in Greece will be approved and parliament will vote on measures and countermeasures, which will be implemented after 2019, only after sufficient measures on state debt emerge and are implemented.
  8. Russian engineers have developed a unique device capable of jamming torpedoes’ target-seeking heads and blinding the sonar equipment used by submarines; the device is due to add significantly to the combat capability of the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet.
  9. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley stated that Washington needs to start putting pressure on Russia and Iran to make them influence the Syrian government.
  10. Japan has implemented a law which recognizes virtual currencies as an official method of payment.

 


 

1st April 2017:

  1. The United States will have to make hard decisions about moving forward in the operation against Daesh in Syria and will work with Turkey on advancing counterterrorism fight, a State Department said.
  2. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said he hoped for more financial assistance from Europe under a long-term plan proposed by the region’s largest European People’s Party (EPP).
  3. Iran should play a key role in the Middle East region despite all attempts to isolate it, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi said, adding that Tehran was the “sole hope for struggle against Israel.”
  4. US Senator John McCain wants to modernize US currency, including introducing a $1 coin.
  5. Popular Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is reportedly preparing to announce a single-payer healthcare bill that would grant Medicare to all US citizens. This idea has a lot of public support but often does not have the same appeal amongst the political establishment.
  6. BRICS’s New Development Bank (NDB) funded 7 projects in member states totalling $1.5 billion and approved green-project loans of nearly $900 million for each BRICS member, according to official statement.
  7. Gen. Shaker Alwan Khafaji, one of the Iraqi Federal Police heads, stated that Mosul’s liberation from the Daesh terrorists will take weeks.
  8. Icelandic Finance Minister said that Reykjavik will look into options of switching to a fixed exchange-rate system as freely floating krona is “untenable”.
  9. The United States’ prolonged operation to free Syria’s Raqqa from Daesh will be in vain unless it cooperates with both the Syrian army and Syrian President Bashar Assad, the spokesman of the Damascus platform of Syrian opposition said, commenting on a recent statement of the US ambassador to the United Nations.
  10. Russia’s Central Bank purchased record amounts of gold in 2016, and plans to accelerate its purchases, retaining its spot as global leader in the growth of gold reserves. That’s according to a recent survey by the GFMS analysts at Thomson Reuters.