February 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.


19th February 2017:

  1. US Vice President Michael Pence and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim discussed how to defeat Islamist terrorism and contain Iran, at a meeting in Munich
  2. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini have discussed on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference many issues, including the Ukrainian crisis, the situation in Libya, Afghanistan and Syria
  3. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is to conduct military drills with use of missiles next week, according to an announcement from Iranian senior command. The announcement comes after a new set of sanctions was imposed on the country by US President Donald Trump
  4. US Defense Secretary James Mattis and US Vice President Mike Pence travelled to Europe to persuade America’s allies to increase their spending on NATO
  5. US President Donald Trump claimed that only safe zones in Syria and other war-plagued countries can stop the migrant crisis, stressing that the Gulf states should pay for those zones
  6. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has held two meetings with former Prime Minister Tony Blair regarding the Middle East since taking office in July, despite a record of criticizing Blair over his foreign policy
  7. According to the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Saudi Arabia, the Yemeni crisis settlement will happen in 2017
  8. The new US presidential administration includes a number of experienced professionals and could contribute to settlement of many world problems, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Jubeir said
  9. The discussion of the ceasefire in war-torn Syria held between Russia and Turkey has more prospects than other similar past initiatives, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said
  10. An agreement was reached on a ceasefire by conflicting parties in Donbass, lasting from 09:00 to 13:00 GMT, to repair power lines in Avdiivka, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said
  11. The European Police Office and Russia have good prospects of cooperation in cybersecurity, taking into account excellent Russian expertise, former Director of Europol Juergen Storbeck said
  12. Tehran is aimed at creating strategic partnership with Moscow in the Middle Eastern region, Iranian Parliament Chair Ali Larijani said
  13. Moscow is playing a crucial role in the process of reconciliation in Syria, including through the Russian activities aimed at mediation and establishment of a truce monitoring mechanism, an adviser to the Office of Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal Bin Abdulaziz said
  14. Italy’s Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned as the Democratic Party’s Secretary during the opening speech at the party assembly.
  15. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed a deal with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to award it an 8-percent interest in an onshore oilfield concession
  16. Scuffles broke out on Sunday in central Kiev after a mob tried to pitch tents outside the presidential office, demanding a freeze on trade with self-proclaimed Donbass republics



18th February 2017:

  1. New details of a January raid by US forces against al-Qaeda in Yemen that left 26 people dead are raising new questions about the mission. A tribal leader enlisted by the US-supported Yemeni government to fight Shiite rebel factions was among those killed in the raid, according to local authorities
  2. Ford Motors is expanding two of their factories in Mexico this year, despite pressure from President Donald Trump to bring back jobs to the United States.
  3. A German newspaper reported on Friday that one of their correspondents was arrested by Turkish police and accused of membership in a terrorist organization. The correspondent was reporting on leaked emails from the Turkish Energy Minister
  4. A new defense strategy aiming to reinforce the United Kingdom’s role as a global military power, was presented in London
  5. US President Donald Trump discussed with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi the country’s democratic transition and counterterrorism partnership between the nations.
  6. Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray claimed that US President Donald Trump’s idea that Mexico will pay for the wall on the border with the United States is “something absolutely unacceptable”
  7. Russian scientists have developed solar concentrators made of fluorescent polymeric materials to turn ordinary windows into solar panels, Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) reported
  8. Russian military transport aircraft IL-76, carrying humanitarian aid intended for the residents of Aleppo, travelled from Armenia to Syria
  9. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se met at the Munich Security Conference to discuss the deployment of a US missile defense system
  10. Russia wants to build pragmatic and respectful relations with the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference
  11. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov favours the resumption of military cooperation between Moscow and NATO
  12. US President Donald Trump denied on Saturday media reports that claimed the White House was in chaos, arguing his administration was running smoothly
  13. Up to 80% of the Internet is said to be hidden in the so-called “dark web,” which can be accessed using special search systems, like the Tor browser. Often, the “dark web” is associated with criminal activities, like firearms sales and drug trafficking
  14. RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan has said that constant attacks on the network from Western mainstream media are good for publicity, as they help to increase the channel’s audience



17th February 2017:

  1. A fighter jet under the command of a Saudi-led military coalition killed nine women and one child attending a memorial service in an airstrike in Yemen.
  2. Russia is ready to offer top nuclear expertise to Zambia while helping the African country set up its own nuclear energy industry, Alexey Likhachev, the CEO of Russia’s Rosatom state corporation, said
  3. Online video linkup on intra-Syrian reconciliation is a “timely initiative” allowing lawmakers from any country to take part in the discussion and will be held on a regular basis
  4. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Brazilian counterpart Jose Serra discussed anticipated high-level political contacts between the two nations, on the margins of the G20 ministerial meeting in Germany
  5. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker fears that the Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union will not be concluded in 2 years.
  6. In a bid to investigate the extent of the March 2011 Fukushima meltdown, the largest atomic accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, a robot dispatched inside the ruined Japanese facility has had its mission aborted, Tokyo Electric Power company (TEPCO) said
  7. The CEO of the Russian energy giant Gazprom and Germany’s minister for economic affairs and energy discussed the prospects of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project
  8. India will be sending its top diplomat to neighboring Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to iron out current issues in relation to bilateral relations.
  9. The Russian ruble is expected to weaken then stabilize in the foreseeable future, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin said after a meeting President Vladimir Putin
  10. France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pen falsified job contracts for two of her assistants in the European Parliament, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has alleged
  11. The leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) has said Poland will not support Donald Tusk for a second term as European Council President, in a further continuation of the standoff between Warsaw and the EU
  12. Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said other European Union member countries could follow the UK example and leave the EU
  13. US senators introduced legislation to impose sanctions on Iran’s aircraft sector for the use of commercial aircraft to “support terrorism,” Senator Marco Rubio said
  14. President Donald Trump said in his weekly address that his administration would continue to look for ways to reduce energy prices in the United States in order to boost job creation in the country



16th February 2017:

  1. Tehran has warned that exerting pressure on Iran could be the worst possiblescenario that Washington may choose to make
  2. The Canadian government is assessing the military needs of Ukraine to determine best ways to assist the country, Canadian Department of National Defense spokesperson Evan Koronewski said
  3. The Indian government has announced plans to double the energy output of its solar power parks. Their goal is to reach 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by 2022
  4. 21st Century Fox may be the target of a federal investigation over whether the media giant should have disclosed to shareholders settling sexual harassment claims against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes.
  5. Venezuela’s National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL) has suspended the operation of the CNN en Espanol news channel on the territory of the country
  6. George Soros’ hedge fund Soros Fund Management made big changes to its portfolio in the fourth quarter of 2016, including a $14.9 million stake into Goldman Sachs
  7. A humanitarian fund of Pope Francis for Ukraine will allocate 200,000 euros (about $211,000) in aid to the town of Avdiivka, which has suffered from military operations since January, the head of the Donetsk military and civil administration Pavlo Zhebrivsky said
  8. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is apparently dramatically accelerating the pace of his country’s ballistic missile program and has developed an important new rocket fuel allowing far faster launches
  9. French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen of the National Front party is likely to win in the first round of the upcoming election gaining 25-26 percent of the popular vote, a new poll has revealed
  10. The Swiss ambassador to Russia said that the next phase of reconciliation between Russia and Europe could begin in the near future
  11. Secretary of Defense James Mattis reassured Ankara of US support and partnership in the campaign against the Daesh terror group in a meeting with Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik, the Pentagon said in a press release on Thursday
  12. Saudi Arabia is counting on cooperation with the new US administration to resolve problems in the Middle East, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir



15th February 2017:

  1. The US Department of Defense has stated that it supports the review of the alleged Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty violations by Russia
  2. Kiev may consider withdrawing its complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Russia if Moscow lifts all restrictive measures on the transit of Ukrainian goods to third party countries via its territory
  3. The United Nations is supportive of the two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN secretary general said
  4. The administration of President Donald Trump is very mindful of the exclusive sovereign status of tribal nations across the United States, US Congressman Chris Collins said
  5. The Mexican Energy Secretary has stated that as many as 34 companies will invest $6.6 billion in the development of green energy in Mexico
  6. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that nobody has officially accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF)
  7. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman described the Atlantic Council’s report about alleged violations in Syria as an attempt to add fuel to the fire of the conflict
  8. Russia and China have agreed to begin commercial talks on the construction of a gas pipeline stretching from the Russian Far East to China, Russia’s Gazprom energy company said
  9. Scientists are looking to drill a hole into a volcano to try and harness its energy. The Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) plans to exploit the Earth’s inner heat, in a bid to power 5,000 homes
  10. The construction of a new three storey road-rail tunnel under the Bosphorus is about to begin in Istanbul
  11. Russia and Ecuador have agreed to cooperate to counter money laundering and terrorism financing
  12. New US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has given reassurances that the US will honour its debt and move to quickly raise its borrowing cap
  13. The Trump administration has approached Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan and Egypt through their diplomatic missions in Washington with proposals to form a US backed defense pact which would share intelligence with Israel and counter Iranian influence in the region
  14. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen emphasized recent improvements on the demand side of the US economy, which allow for a steady further normalization of monetary conditions. However, challenges to growth remain despite little to no opposition in Washington to Trump’s looming economic reforms



14th February 2017:

  1. The UK Law Commission has proposed an “Espionage Act” that would see leakers, whistleblowers and journalists, who break the Official Secrets Act, jailed as spies.
  2. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned the recent ballistic missile launch by North Korea and urged it to return to denuclearisation
  3. The Australian government’s offshore immigration detention program in the Pacific could be a crime against humanity, a group of legal experts have alleged, with the International Criminal Court (ICC) urged to investigate the claims
  4. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson  has reiterated Washington’s commitment to deepening their friendship with Serbia, a country that NATO ruthlessly bombed in 1999
  5. UK Defense Minister Michael Fallon has announced the government’s Iraq Historic Allegations Team is to be shut down in the wake of “Shinergate.” A human rights organization has suggested they may be using this as a smokescreen to suppress investigations of genuine abuses
  6. US Department of Defense spokesperson Jeff Davis said that the NATO led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan has began an investigation into reports of civilian casualties after US airstrikes in the town of Sangin
  7. US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Washington and Ottawa would work together to modernize and broaden a defense partnership in North America and would jointly develop energy infrastructure
  8. A US federal judged has denied a request by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to temporarily halt construction of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline
  9. Citing upcoming elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has cancelled a joint summit with Israeli officials scheduled for May, but elements within Berlin and Jerusalem are claiming that Israel’s recent vote to expand its settlements in the West Bank is the real cause for the cancellation
  10. The UK private sector should join the government in its efforts aimed at tackling hacking activities, because the country’s authorities cannot ensure complete security against the cyberattacks, UK Chancellor Philip Hammond said
  11. The state corporation Rostec’s director for international cooperation said that many countries in the Middle East have expressed an interest in the weapons Russia has showcased during its campaign in Syria.
  12. Denmark’s outgoing Health Minister Ellen Trane Nørby is having a hard time explaining why the Danish government sold a state-owned vaccine manufacturing facility to a Saudi company with alleged links to proponents of extreme Islam
  13. Popular support of the German Social Democratic (SPD) party continues to grow, reaching 31 percentage points, after Martin Schulz became the SPD candidate for the post of the state’s chancellor
  14. UK inflation has grown, but still fell short of the central bank target, meaning the loose monetary policies might last longer in order to accommodate investors and business owners amidst the turmoil surrounding the Brexit talks with the EU
  15. Transposing of the EU environmental legislation into Britain’s law through the Great Repeal Bill would be “immensely complex,” though it would ensure some stability regarding environmental legislation, while “returning the responsibility for regulatory and judicial oversight” to London, according to the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee



13th February 2017:

  1. Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca, the founders of the eponymous Panamanian law firm that came to prominence after a massive leak of their files exposed money laundering schemes all over the world, have been detained in connection with a corruption scandal in Brazil
  2. US, Japan and South Korea have requested an urgent UN Security Council meeting relating to the North Korean ballistic missile test
  3. Turkey and Bahrain signed a number of deals that aim to deepen their cooperation, including in the arms industry
  4. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary said that the United Nations Security Council should consider the introduction of new sanctions against North Korea following the recent launch of a ballistic missile by Pyongyan
  5. The UK’s Special Representative for Syria stated that the United Kingdom is interested in joint work with Russia in Syria despite the countries’ differences with respect to how to achieve their common goals.
  6. The Syrian government represents a national security threat to both the United Kingdom and Russia as it facilitates radicalization, Gareth Bayley, the UK special representative for Syria said
  7. The Xiamen BRICS Summit will be held amid increasing differences between India and China and other major global developments such as Donald Trump’s protectionist agenda
  8. Ukrainian Economic Development and Trade Ministry said that Ukraine has asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to form a dispute settlement panel to handle its dispute with Russia over the latter’s freight transit restrictions on Ukrainian goods
  9. Daesh has launched its first ever attack using tanks
  10. According to media reports, the United Kingdom may be cut off from the new EU global positioning system (GPS) Galileo, which British companies helped to develop, and will have to hold separate negotiations to obtain access to the system after London leaves the EU
  11. The Syrian Army, backed by the Russian Aerospace Forces, is advancing on the ancient city of Palmyra occupied by Daesh. The city is less than 20 kilometers away, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.
  12. Russian experts are ready to provide their assistance to the United States amid the crisis with Oroville Dam in California that may collapse, the head of the Information and Analytical Centre for Water Industry Development at Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said
  13. The European Commission increased its euro area 2017 inflation forecast up to 1.7 percent, 0.3 percent higher than in its previous fall forecast.
  14. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist political and militant group, has made Yahya Sinwar, a hardliner from the movement’s armed wing, its new leader in the Gaza Strip, according to reports