April – 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.

 

30th April 2017:

  1. France’s Mistral amphibious carrier has arrived in Japan to take part in Pacific drills.

  2. Tehran has agreed with Brussels on creation of a modern nuclear safety center in Iran, which will provide services to the regional countries.

  3. US President Donald Trump lashed out at “one-sided” Paris climate deal, saying it doesn’t benefit America, and promised to make a “big decision” regarding the agreement in the upcoming weeks.

  4. The countries that are part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) organization have called on North Korea to comply fully with its obligations arising from all relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions in the wake of the recent escalation of tensions in the region.

  5. President Donald Trump discussed with his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte a wide range of issues on Sunday, including the United States-Philippines alliance and the North Korean “threat.”

  6. Following the launch of the Chinese Type 001 aircraft carrier, the question arises whether it marks the shift in the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region.

  7. British Prime Minister Theresa May assured that the UK Conservative Party does not plan to raise taxes.

  8. The US government intends to award Kiev a multibillion dollar grant to promote business development, economic competitiveness and boost trade.

  9. The EU leaders express “good will” on tackling the issue of the EU citizens after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the bloc, Prime Minister Theresa May said.

  10. Poland suspended Maria Szonert-Binienda, the country’s honorary consul in the US state of Ohio, after a photo collage, portraying European Council President Donald Tusk in a SS uniform was posted on her social networks pages.

  11. Japan is interested in Russian energy supplies, including LNG deliveries, the Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry said.

  12. The US president will discuss tensions on the Korean Peninsula with the leaders of Singapore and Thailand.

 


 

29th April 2017:

  1. Hungary has completed construction on a second fence on its border with Serbia meant to stop any surge in the flow of migrants toward Western Europe.

  2. The US State Department is set to lose 2,300 civil servant and diplomatic positions as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seeks to satisfy US President Donald Trump’s executive order to scale back federal spending.

  3. US President Donald Trump will sign an order directing a systematic evaluation on the impact of the trade agreements that the United States had signed.

  4. Jean-Luc Melenchon, head of the left-wing political movement La France Insoumise (Unsubmissive France) who finished fourth in the first round of the presidential election, said he would not be voting for the National Front on May 7.

  5. The strike group of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier has navigated the Tsushima Strait and entered the Sea of Japan.

  6. The British economy slowed to below forecasts in the first quarter as higher inflation held back the expansion in the services sector, whilst the gains in manufacturing and exports are still being not strong enough to fully offset the disappointing GDP dynamics.

  7. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the issue of the alliance’s engagement in the settlement of the North Korean nuclear problem had not been discussed during his visit to Washington.

  8. Montenegrin MPs voted 46-0 for the Balkan country to join NATO. Opposition lawmakers, who account for almost half of the 81-seat legislature, boycotted the parliamentary session.

  9. China has warned Hong Kong that the island’s autonomy could be snuffed out if it continues to challenge Beijing.

  10. Following remarks by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman last week that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is “insane and radical,” Pyongyang responded with strident rhetoric, calling Israel a threat to world peace, as it possesses nuclear weapons but refuses to acknowledge the fact.

  11. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she has developed a “good working relationship” with US President Donald Trump, despite earlier awkward moments that happened between the two leaders.

 


 

28th April 2017:

  1. The former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s security clearance was issued by the Obama Administration that was aware of the official’s 2015 visit to Russia, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said..

  2. A bill on partial ban of Muslim face veils, such as niqab and burqa, was passed by German parliamentarians.

  3. Head of US Pacific Command (PACOM) Adm. Harry Harris announced that roughly 4,000 of 19,000 US Marines currently stationed in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, will be moved to Guam for the four-year period from 2024 to 2028.

  4. The US and South Korean military have agreed on measures prescribing permanent deployment of US strategic weapons in South Korea amid a growing threat from North Korea..

  5. American Airlines Boeing 767 flying from the UK city of Manchester to New York abandoned its flight to JFK airport 30 minutes into the seven-hour flight.

  6. Montenegro parliament ratified on Friday the law on the country’s accession to NATO.

  7. India has decided to ban all trade, barring medicines and food, to North Korea following the sanctions imposed against it by the United Nations Security Council. The sanctions have been imposed for North Korea’s continuous nuclear testing and refusing the US’s appeal to stop nuclear tests.

  8. The US secretary of state claimed that a North Korean nuclear attack on South Korea or Japan is possible whereas it is only the matter of time before Pyongyang develops an ability to conduct a similar strike on the US mainland.

  9. Washington will return to talks with Pyongyang only in the event North Korea decides to end its nuclear program.

  10. Washington has authorized financial transactions with certain Belarusian companies blocked by a 2006 executive order.

  11. Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said that the only way for the country to remain peaceful is to join the European Union.

 


 

27th April 2017:

  1. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security are conducting emergency response drills at MetLife Stadium in northern New Jersey to make sure the New York City area is prepared in the event of a nuclear attack.

  2. Colombia is interested in the import of Russian grain.

  3. The Venezuelan foreign minister announced the country will withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS).

  4. The US Army is looking to move a brigade’s worth of armour and artillery into Poland, in an effort to push its firepower closer to Russian borders.

  5. US President Donald Trump has granted the power to decide on how many troops should take part in anti-Daesh operations in Iraq and Syria to the Pentagon.

  6. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that Theresa May would likely join the United States if Washington approached London before carrying out another strike against Syrian forces.

  7. According to the agreement, Russia and Swaziland will cooperate in fighting terrorism and enhance relations in the sphere of military training.

  8. Spanish left-wing Podemos party plans to pass a vote of no confidence for the President of the country’s government Mariano Rajoy Brey.

  9. US President Donald Trump signed an order which will enable companies to drill for oil and natural gas in areas off the US coast restricted by former President Barack Obama.

  10. The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Thursday accused France of involvement of the deadly chemical accident in the Khan Sheikhoun area of Syria’s Idlib province.

  11. Syrian President Bashar Assad has accused Israel of lending support to terrorist factions operating in the war-plagued country, saying Israelis provide armed groups with weapons, logistic support and medical assistance.

  12. Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) on Thursday, US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris Jr. refused to take an American invasion of North Korea off the table, as Pyongyang has already “provided provocation” to justify such an invasion.

 


 

26th April 2017:

  1. A US federal judge blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order to cut on funding for cities that offer sanctuary to illegal immigrants and fail to comply with federal immigration regulations.

  2. In South Korea, the US military started moving equipment for the THAAD missile defence system to its deployment site and will soon be operational. The transport of radars and other military gear caused local residents to clash with police forces over the controversial installation. China has expressed serious concern to the United States and South Korea over the construction of the US Terminal-High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea.
  3. A “full scale” drill to prepare for terror attacks will be conducted by law enforcement officials across six cities in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area on Wednesday morning, including cities in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

  4. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a phone call with US President Donald Trump has described the allegations that Canadian imports to the US are unfairly subsidized ad “baseless,” slamming the US Department of Commerce’s move to impose new tariffs.

  5. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said she will be unable to attend the upcoming One Belt, One Road economic initiative conference in China and instead send the country’s Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Brigitte Zypries.

  6. More than 200 armed groups have agreed to observe nationwide ceasefire in Syria, and their number is growing.

  7. One of the NSA hacking tools released in the Shadow Brokers leak earlier this month is already being used by hacking groups to infect almost a quarter of a million computers.

  8. US Pacific Command Commander Admiral Harry Harris said that North Korea does not have a ballistic missile anti-ship weapon that would threaten the Carl Vinson strike group that is headed to the Korean Peninsula.

  9. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) can claim up to US$4,727 per month, but “parliament cannot shed any light on how individual MEPs are spending their office allowance” with documents, receipts, financial spot checks or audit for the allowances, which cost up to US$43.5 million per year, according to a new report.

  10. US Congressman Chris Collins said that Donald Trump will appoint justices to the US Supreme Court who will comply with the Constitution instead of making “activist” rulings.

  11. According to media reports, US president’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump is creating a fund supported by foreign donations to help women entrepreneurs around the world.

  12. Turkey is likely to continue its fight against the Syrian Kurdish militia and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq.

  13. Acting defiant in the face of the rising tensions at the Korean Peninsula, Pyongyang staged probably the largest live-fire military exercise in the country’s history in order to commemorate the anniversary of the Korean People’s Army foundation.

  14. China has launched its first domestically built Type 001A aircraft carrier. According to the Chinese military officials, Beijing is looking to create at least four carrier strike groups for its Navy.

  15. There is speculation that North Korea may be stockpiling fuel in case China decides to cut its supplies, as reports have cropped up of fewer cars on the streets of Pyongyang and gas stations not opening for business.

  16. Seeking the diplomatic means to discourage Pyongyang from test-firing additional ballistic missiles and detonating more nuclear weapons, Japan, South Korea and the United States are floating the idea of banning Pyongyang’s fishing rights in the region.

 


 

25th April 2017:

  1. Tehran deems that the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib province that the West blamed on Damascus, was a provocation orchestrated by Turkey and Jabhat Fatah al Sham terrorist group.

  2. The Saudi energy minister has been invited to participate in the 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

  3. The Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted large-scale artillery drills in the area of the city of Wonsan.

  4. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry and invited Egyptian delegates to take part in the upcoming summit on international cooperation within the framework of “One Belt, One Road” initiative in Beijing.

  5. South Korea, Japan and the United States on Tuesday agreed to increase their pressure on North Korea as tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen, with Pyongyang conducting a massive firing drills.

  6. The administration of US President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a ban on taking large electronic devices to the cabins of US-bound flights from UK airports.

  7. April 27 will see the release of an Italian documentary film which is expected to disclose the uncomfortable truth about the euro and the policy of austerity which hit Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain especially hard.

  8. European Union blames Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), a UK government department responsible for the collection of taxes in the United Kingdom, for failure to stop the Chinese criminal gangs who play down the prices for goods brought to Europe via UK ports, thus avoiding billions of pounds in VAT and customs duties.

  9. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to cancel a planned meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel over his plans to meet with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) veteran organization Breaking The Silence, as the relationship between the two nations worsens yet further.

  10. The Russian government is not going to give up the ruble’s floating rate and is seeking market tools for influencing it.

  11. Despite the political rhetoric and public outcry following the Panama Papers scandal, a new report shows the current EU anti-money laundering regime does not prevent corrupt money from flowing through Europe’s financial centers.

  12. China and Iran have signed the first commercial contract on redesigning the heavy water nuclear reactor near the Iranian city of Arak.

  13. Former Intelligence Director James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates are set to testify in Senate hearings next month regarding alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

  14. As threats from Pyongyang intensify, South Korea announced on Tuesday its intent to buy within the year two new advanced early warning radars to track incoming ballistic missiles from the North.

  15. The White House has provided the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that is investigating possible misconduct by US President Trump’s former security adviser Michael Flynn with all requested documents on the issue, spokesman Sean Spicer said.

 


 

24th April 2017:

  1. Saudi Arabia, notorious for its poor record on women’s rights, has been elected to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

  2. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif held a meeting focusing on the issues related to the Syrian and North Korean crises.

  3. Turkey has extended the maximum stay for Russian citizens from 60 days to 90 days.

  4. US President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order on a review of areas available for offshore drilling ahead of his 100th day in office on April 29th

  5. The South Korean Defense Ministry is in discussions with the United States on joint naval military drills with the participation of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, which had arrived in the region amid the recent escalation of the situation with North Korea.

  6. US military forces conducted paratrooper drills over a military base in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture despite the agreement prohibiting parachute drop exercises in this area.

  7. The European Union will not take part in an investigation into a deadly explosion that struck a European security monitoring mission vehicle in eastern Ukraine.

  8. Federica Mogherini called for full transparent investigation by the OPCW into the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria’s Idlib.

  9. About 15,000 out of 270,000 residents of France’s Strasbourg could not cast their votes during the first presidential election round.

  10. Several energy companies will provide 50 percent of long term financing for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction project implementation.

  11. An Israel-Europe gas pipeline deal elevates Israel to the status of a major Mediterranean energy exporter. However, critics suggest the move is about more than mere economics, and serves a number of greater geopolitical objectives – namely, immunizing Israel from criticism and sanctions, and damaging relations between Europe and Russia further.

  12. EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom is in Washington, April 24, to discuss with US trade officials how to proceed with talks over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which US President Donald Trump said was all but off in the run-up to his election.

  13. EU First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans is holding talks with Canadian academic and former politician Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector of the Central European University (CEU) to discuss Hungary’s new law which critics says is set to put the university out of business.

  14. The US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, the agency allegedly responsible for producing chemical weapons.

  15. The US National security Agency (NSA) gave Japan access to its mass Internet surveillance program XKEYSCORE.

  16. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that by calling for snap general election, UK Prime Minister Theresa May seeks to the grip of the Tory party before possible probes over some of the Conservative parliamentarians’ alleged expenses fraud schemes are launched.