April – Week 2

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.

 

16th April 2017:

  1. During negotiations between Aspen Pharmaceuticals and several governments in Europe, it has been revealed, the pharma giant threatened to destroy stocks of certain life-saving drugs for the sole purpose of driving up prices.

  2. The British government has come under harsh criticism for wasting 138.5 million pounds on ill-thought educational projects such as free schools and studio schools.

  3. As thousands of people across the United States held rallies demanding that US President Donald Trump release his tax returns on Sunday, a non-governmental organization filed a lawsuit against the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), saying the agency failed to release those records.

  4. Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehqan discussed on Sunday regional security and ways to expand military cooperation between the two countries.

  5. Russia media reported that during tests the newest Tsirkon 3M22 hypersonic anti-ship missile reached speeds of Mach 8 (eight times faster than the speed of sound).

  6. The UK Parliament members urged the Home Office to strip Syrian President Bashar Assad’s London-born wife Asma of her UK citizenship for being part of Syria’s “propaganda machine,”.

  7. Afghanistan’s President and US National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster have discussed issues related to security and counterterrorism during a conversation.

  8. When UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson proposed to impose new sanctions on Russia amid the situation in Syria, he hoped to receive an ovation from other EU countries or at least their approval. However, his calculation proved wrong, German newspaper Die Zeit wrote.

  9. North Korea intends to develop relations with Russia as both countries had to face restrictive measures imposed by the United States and other Western countries.

  10. The Russian army will receive new hypersonic weapons, smart robotic systems and weapons based on new physical principles until 2025.

  11. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim declared victory in a referendum on constitutional changes expanding presidential powers are 99 percent of votes were counted.

  12. The Republican People’s Party (CHP), one of the main Turkish opposition parties, announced an intention to challenge the results of Sunday’s referendum on constitutional changes.

 


 

15th April 2017:

  1. The US Department of the Treasury stopped short of labeling Beijing a currency manipulator in a Friday report, saying that no major trading partner of the United States met the standards of the bill for currency manipulation in the second half of 2016.

  2. Despite the Trump administration claiming it would not reveal the names of White House visitors, it said it “has broken new ground in ensuring the government is both ethical and accessible to the American people.”

  3. The European Union is considering the possibility of the United Kingdom joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as an option for the transition period in EU-UK relations after triggering Brexit procedures by the British government.

  4. The Syrian government has officially invited experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) headquarters to investigate the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib.

  5. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has received information on terrorist threats in Germany and Europe from the British intelligence. Meetings between Merkel and the Britons occurred at least twice and caused anger in Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND).

  6. The Russian-made Pantsir short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system is “the most efficient means” of countering the US-built Tomahawk Land Attack Missile.

  7. Russia and Denmark could carve up the North Pole after their separate claims to the world’s icy peak get a nod from the United Nations.

  8. The results of the talks with United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will not be visible any time soon, but Russia and the US have agreed on dialogue, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

  9. US President Donald Trump has raised over $7 million during the first three months of his term in office for the 2020 election campaign.

  10. The Czech Republic has so far accepted only 12 refugees under the European Union’s refugee relocation system and should not accept more people under the program despite the looming threat of sanctions, Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said.

  11. A national day of protest is now in progress across the US, as in over 100 cities marchers are calling on US President Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

 


 

14th April 2017:

  1. Syria’s Deputy Minister of Expatriates and Foreign Affairs Ayman Susan warned that Europe will face a security “disaster” if over 5,000 militants from the European Union that are fighting in Syria, come back home.

  2. CIA Director Mike Pompeo claimed US intelligence agencies delivered the assessment on the chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib to President Trump in “relatively short order,” saying it was Assad who ordered strikes against his people on April 4.

  3. French investigators reportedly requested that the European Parliament waive the parliamentary immunity of Marine Le Pen, French presidential hopeful and leader of the National Front (FN) party, in the probe concerning fraudulent jobs of FN assistants in Strasbourg.

  4. The Wikileaks has released a new batch of “Vault-7” leaks revealing top secret CIA virus control system dubbed HIVE.

  5. In a significant boost to green energy in India, the Indian arm of French clean energy firm Solairedirect SA has quoted the record low price of 5 US cents a kilowatt-hour for power generation through solar energy.

  6. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow is ready to restore the memorandum on the safety of flights over Syria if Washington’s “unpredictable actions” don’t repeat.

  7. Acting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani registered on Friday as a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections in the country.

  8. While the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB) – the “Mother of All Bombs” – is believed to be the US’ largest non-nuclear bomb, Russia’s Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power (ATBIP), nicknamed the “Father of All Bombs,” outpaces the US munition in terms of its destructive power and the blast radius.

  9. The United States has sent some 40 soldiers to Somalia for training to support local forces in their efforts to combat the Islamist militants.

  10. Europe is expected to buy up to 60 percent of liquid natural gas (LNG) produced by the United States by 2020, even as US producers face a challenge competing with cheaper priced gas that is available through a series of pipelines.

  11. Daesh terrorist group suffered no casualties in the GBU-43 bombing in Afghanistan.

  12. A machine that removes Sarin and other deadly chemical warfare agents from soil by using a high-temperature plasma torch has been successfully tested, with the goal of eventually producing a portable version small enough to fit in the back of a standard military vehicle, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced.

  13. Commander of the US forces in Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson said on Friday he did not need President Donald Trump’s approval to conduct Thursday’s strike against Daesh-Khorasan terror group.

  14. Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik proposed on Friday to hold a summit with the European Union in order to improve relations between the country and the bloc.

  15. Former conservative President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has registered as a candidate in the country’s upcoming presidential election.

 


 

13th April 2017:

  1. The Catalonian authorities announced they will not step back on their pledge to hold an independence referendum in 2017.
  2. Serbian President-elect Aleksandar Vucic said that Belgrade wants to preserve good ties with Russia, while steering toward accession to the European Union.
  3. A Senior White House Official told reporters that the United States is “fully supportive” of the Geneva peace process and that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would advise President Trump on whether the US should join.
  4. Following the United States’ attack on the Syrian airbase in Idlib, the Syrian foreign minister will travel to Moscow to discuss with his Russian counterpart measures to minimize consequences of the incident for international and regional peace and security.
  5. Russia is ready for the bilateral cooperation with the US in all areas that can be beneficial for both of them, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.
  6. The building which houses the campaign headquarters of far-right presidential hopeful and National Front party leader Marine Le Pen was hit by an arson attempt.
  7. China appreciates Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to cancel a planned visit to an island in the South China Sea Spratly Islands (Nansha) archipelago.
  8. The Russian Defense Ministry said it has sent drones to the site of an alleged chemical leak of a result of an alleged US-led coalition strike.
  9. Former US State Department Policy Planning Director Jake Sullivan told Hillary Clinton that al-Qaeda (terrorist group, outlawed in Russia) was on the side of the United States in the Syrian conflict during her tenure as State Secretary, the latest WikiLeaks email revelations showed.
  10. Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed on Thursday his plans to visit China in May to take part in the “One Belt, One Road” forum in Beijing.
  11. The S-500 next-generation missile defense system will soon enter service with the Russian Aerospace Forces.
  12. US President Donald Trump declined to take responsibility for the use of the Pentagon’s “mother of all bombs” that is said to be its most powerful non-nuclear weapon.
  13. NATO considers cyberspace as a possible new dimension of warfare, as it feels it should have the ability to respond to cyberattacks and threats, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
  14. The Turkish military is considering options for the purchase of air defense systems for the country’s armed forces, Russian S-400 systems are on the list.

 


 

12th April 2017:

  1. At a Pentagon news conference, US Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis furnished no proof that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad possessed or deployed a deadly chemical nerve agent that is said to be responsible for the deaths of up to 100 people.
  2. A group of Italian politicians from Forza Italia and Lega Nord political parties intends to take part in the Yalta International Economic Forum (YIEF).
  3. Athens is still interested in the construction of a gas hub on the country’s territory.
  4. Eleven US states are on the verge of being sued for having counties in which the number of registered voters exceeds the number of voting-age citizens.
  5. China will commence the construction of its first airfield in the Antarctic by the end of the year.
  6. According to reports, Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG announced the start of environmental assessments for the project in Russia.
  7. Russia will cover its nuclear and diesel submarines with a special hydro-acoustic noise-attenuating coating, meaning that even sensitive acoustic detectors will be unable to separate them from the general sound of the sea.
  8. The European Commission is desperately convening a meeting of Schengen states to resolve major delays and long queues after new external border checks were introduced April 7, in an effort to tighten security and counter the threat from terrorism, following a spate of attacks throughout Europe since 2015.
  9. Europe should use the US missile strike against Syria to galvanize peace talks, the French president said.
  10. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s website frequently comes under cyber-attacks from IP-addresses registered in the United States.
  11. A report put out by a UK parliamentary committee hints that Russian and Chinese hackers may have interfered in last year’s Brexit referendum.
  12. Royal Dutch Shell has strongly denied allegations of corruption after a damning new report alleged that the Anglo-Dutch oil giant took part in a vast bribery scheme that “robbed” the Nigerian people of over a billion dollars in a “murky deal” for access to one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks.
  13. US President Donald Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to review US foreign fighters as directed by the 2017 defense budget.
  14. Damascus may ask Moscow to provide it with air defense systems in order to counter possible missile attacks from Washington, a top Russian lawmaker said.
  15. The Russian Mission to the United Nations presented a new draft resolution on chemical attack in Syrian Idlib.

 


 

11th April 2017:

  1. The US Intelligence Community has not achieved a consensus that Russia had foreknowledge of the April 4 chemical weapon attack in Syria that left more than 80 people dead.
  2. The EU consumers have paid billions of euros for transportation of Russian gas via Ukraine, but country’s pipeline system has not been modernized yet, CEO of oil and gas company Wintershall, Mario Mehren, said.
  3. Iran Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called for diplomatic and political steps to be taken in response to last week’s deadly US missile attack on a Syrian airbase.
  4. Russia and Iran are indispensable in resolving the Syrian crisis, whether you like it or not, according to the German foreign minister.
  5. Moscow is not interested in any family affairs of foreign heads of state, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said while commenting the role of US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump in last week’s US strike on the Syrian army.
  6. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that the Syrian regime still has the potential to use chemical weapons.
  7. The OPEC Secretariat and the UAE Ministry of Energy have embarked on the Oil and Gas Big Data Project, aimed at developing a sophisticated, comprehensive and easy-to-use multi-dimensional big data tool for analyzing publicly available oil and gas data.
  8. Sergio Mattarella expressed hope that bilateral economic cooperation with Russia would be expanded despite the sanctions regime introduced against the country.
  9. Syrian opposition has not provided Russia with a map indicating the areas it controls, which complicates fight against terrorism.
  10. There’s a possibility that South Korea will buy up the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.
  11. US President Donald Trump has ratified the protocol for Montenegro’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
  12. According to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office, US Government Accountability Office has started an investigation of possible conflicts of interests related to President Donald Trump’s transition team.
  13. Washington has information that the preparation for the recent chemical attack against civilians in Syria started back in March, according a senior US National Security official.
  14. Iraqi Kurdistan Region will hold referendum on independence in 2017 and will form two boards to prepare for the procedure.

 


 

10th April 2017:

  1. Donald Trump is considering an executive order which will launch formal investigation of the US international trade partners’ dumping activities.
  2. The US economy will uphold its process of decarbonisation in the next few years amid thriving renewable investment despite Washington’s plans to review its environmental regulations.
  3. While Norwegian-Russian relations have been put on the back burner in recent years following the overall cooling of Moscow’s ties with the West, Norwegian politicians and Russian experts have been repeatedly calling for a re-invigoration of bilateral relations, particularly between business communities.
  4. A new report from Transparency International has revealed that more than US$2.7 billion worth of property in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, is hidden behind shell companies, many of which have close links to the United Kingdom, which has many offshore tax havens in its overseas dependencies.
  5. Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) banned imports of live poultry and hatching eggs from several regions in a number of EU countries, including Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, France, Poland and Sweden over the threat of avian flu.
  6. The Russian Black Sea Fleet’s frigate Admiral Grigorovich will boost the Russian air defenses in Syria adding that the frigate’s weapon systems are capable of shooting down the Tomahawk long-range subsonic cruise missiles.
  7. Italy’s Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda said that energy ministers of the G7 countries failed to sign a joint final declaration because of the United States revising its policies on energy and climate.
  8. Vladimir Putin congratulated Anatoly Bibilov on winning South Ossetia presidential elections.
  9. United States continues to deconflict air operations in Syria with Russia “as necessary”.
  10. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, in a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov agreed with the need to investigate the chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Khan Shaykhun on April 4.
  11. UN Secretary-General spokesman Stephane Dujarric stated that the future leadership of Syria should be decided by the Syrian people.
  12. White House spokesman Sean Spicer stated that the Trump administration could undertake further military activities against Syrian forces if another chemical attack on civilians takes place.
  13. White House spokesperson Sean Spicer refused to reveal on Monday what powers the Trump administration is cooperating with in Syria.
  14. US Defense Secretary James Mattis claims the Pentagon’s recent assault on the Sha’irat air base in Homs, Syria led to the destruction of 20 percent of the Syrian Arab Army’s aircraft.