January – 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.

 

15th January 2017:

  1. The Israeli settler group Yesha Council has reportedly received an invitation to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony amid international condemnation of Israel’s practice of establishing illegal settlements in the West Bank
  2. Nearly 50 high-ranking military officials of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) may leave their positions in 2017
  3. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would declare martial law in case the internal situation deteriorates.
  4. The US president’s press service center could be relocated from the White House to another building, media reported, citing representatives of President-elect Donald Trump’s team
  5. Chinese President Xi Jinping will take part in the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, including delivering a speech at the opening ceremony on January 17. China has been involved in various events by the WEF since 1979, but this year Xi Jinping is going to be the first Chinese leader to participate in the Davos meeting
  6. Palestinian politicians plan to discuss details of Beirut Conference agreements at intra-Palestinian negotiations at Moscow negotiations, the deputy general secretary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) said
  7. A total of 14 contracts amounting to 1 billion and 100 million Syrian pounds have been allocated for the restoration of Aleppo
  8. Russia has proof that some states and influential foreign companies “cooperate with terrorists,” Russian Security Council’s Head Nikolai Patrushev said
  9. The Obama administration has repealed the 20-year-old “wet foot, dry foot” policy which allowed Cubans arriving in the US without a visa to become permanent residents
  10. The establishment of a free trade area (FTA) between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) signifies a great importance for the country, because it will increase the bilateral trade, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi said

 


 

14th January 2017:

  1. Obama ordered to extend for one more year punitive measures against Russia imposed in March
  2. Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner said in a joint press release that the US Senate Intelligence Committee would conduct an assessment of the reporting behind the US Intelligence Community’s report on Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 US presidential elections
  3. Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner said that the US Senate Intelligence Committee will subpoena senior officials from the outgoing and incoming US presidential administrations if required as part of a probe related to Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 elections
  4. Trump claims that the “One China” policy on Taiwan is up for negotiation and that he is not fully committed to it
  5. Chinese authorities plan to spend up to $2.64 billion on combating air pollution in Beijing
  6. German intelligence has accused Russia of systematic attempts to undermine close ties between Europe and the United States, the Spiegel magazine said citing a report commissioned by the German government
  7. Daesh has identified a weak spot in Germany’s legendary Leopard 2 battle tanks, and has destroyed ten of the machines used by the Turkish Army in northern Syria
  8. Lithuania intends to build a 135-kilometer-long fence along its border with Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad
  9. Beijing and Hanoi agreed on the settlement of the South China Sea dispute through negotiations, avoiding any escalation of the conflict
  10. North Korea’s Cabinet newspaper criticized the administration of US President Barack Obama and said it was time for “a fresh way of thinking,” between the nations January 14, seemingly a direct statement to US President-elect Donald Trump

 


 

13th January 2017:

  1. First Russia was accused of ‘hacking’ the DNC and John Podesta’s emails. Next, critics cried foul that Donald Trump was Russia’s Manchurian Candidate. The plot thickened again Thursday as C-SPAN’s TV programming cut in the middle of a Congressional session to display RT
  2. Obama awarded outgoing Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  3. A Mezzah military air facility was struck by several explosions near the Syrian capital of Damascus. Israeli rockets took aim at an ammunitions hub, producing an enormous explosion, according to Syrian state TV
  4. A Dutch court has ruled that part of the photo material from Dutch journalists working in Ukraine’s southeast (Donbass) can be used in the interests of the investigation
  5. Cuba considers the US decision to end the “wet-foot/dry foot” policy an important step in bilateral relations, the Cuban government said
  6. The Russian Aerospace Forces and the Western Military District’s air defense will be equipped with four new sets of advanced S-400 Triumf missile systems this year, the Russian Defense Ministry said
  7. Trade between Russia and China grew 2.2 percent in 2016 and came to $69.525 billion, the latest data by China’s General Administration of Customs showed
  8. According to media reports, the Russian government is considering the possibility of increasing supplies of Russian oil and oil products to Cuba
  9. Only a decade ago, robots were seldom seen outside manufacturing plants and sci-fi movies. Today, an increasing number of countries are considering using medical robots in, among other things, elderly care. Finland hopes to come to the forefront of robot development, given the fact that Finns do not seem to mind receiving help from automatons
  10. As the football sector involves large amounts of money, particular attention should be paid to such areas as the transfer market, hosting contracts for sports events as well as the purchase of football clubs by wealthy individuals, according to the report of the Dutch Central Bank
  11. Different hacking groups, including security services of foreign countries, conduct an average of 20 attacks against the computers of Germany’s government every day, according to media reports

 


 

12th January 2017:

  1. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order for his government to ensure that the estimated 6-million Filipino women who do not have access to contraceptives be allowed to have them for free
  2. Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov has announced that Crimea demonstrated growth in all the spheres of the economy
  3. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland rejected a proposal that would allow her to travel to Russia in exchange for Ottawa removing sanctions against Moscow
  4. Mexico’s Senate is suggesting to impose taxes on products imported from the United States
  5. China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman said that the country intends to further enhance its e-commerce cooperation with Russia
  6. The Czech Republic should follow the example of Israel and encourage ordinary Czechs to take up arms against terrorists, and the government’s proposed amendment allowing them to do so is a “step in the right direction,” Jan Skalický, Chairman of the Association of Manufacturers and Sellers of Weapons said
  7. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has arrived in Manila to meet with the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte
  8. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said that US Government is paying salaries to tens of thousands of Afghan soldier that in reality do not serve in the army and do not receive the money
  9. The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament have approved visa-free access to the bloc for Georgia
  10. The Ukraine President Poroshenko is to meet with US Vice President Biden on January 15th
  11. Beijing said it was committed to cooperation with other sides, including Washington, to prevent cyberattacks
  12. Nearly a quarter of over eight million Russians recently surveyed have expressed their desire to receive a free hectare of land in the Russian Far Eastern region of Khabarovsk
  13. The Israeli embassy was funding trips to Israel for Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) activists, and had launched smear campaigns, branding some Labour members who raised questions over the definition of anti-Semitism as racists
  14. China’s encouragement to African countries to sign up to the “One Belt, One Road” initiative is being ably supported by Beijing’s “railway diplomacy” on the continent, an expression of its military as well as economic potential
  15. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered a trillion-yen ($8.59-billion) aid to the Philippines to develop the country’s infrastructure
  16. French Left party candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon has collected more than 500 signatures he needed to take part in the presidential election
  17. Washington is filing complaint with the WTO against China’s trade practices due to China gives its aluminum industry an unfair advantage through underpriced loans and other illegal government subsidies, according to the White House
  18. Chinese authorities will establish three new free trade areas soon, bringing the total number of such zones in the country to seven
  19. A Chinese billionaire has bought the Art Nouveau styled Voentorg building just 500 meters away from the Moscow Kremlin in a deal estimated to be worth $150 mln, with financial experts praising the deal as good for all parties

 


 

11th January 2017:

  1. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that UK was “closely” involved in drafting the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements policy in the West Bank and East Jerusalem
  2. Douglas Flint, chairman of the UK-headquartered HSBC bank, said that his financial institution would move its activities from the country to either Ireland or France if London’s exit from the European Union has a negative impact on the bank
  3. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel has a solid evidence that the recent UN Security Council resolution condemning the building of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem was adopted as a result of the efforts taken by the Barack Obama administration
  4. Angela Merkel’s virtually absent migration policy is bearing fruit as Germans turn toward far-right movements and weaponise themselves, intending to take control of their homeland with their own hands
  5. The decree allowing citizens of 80 states to entry Belarus without visas for a period of no longer than five days has been published
  6. In recent years the Los Angeles city council has agreed to pay millions in settlements to people wrongfully accused of crimes, grieving families, and others. This fiscal year payouts will total $135 million, and city officials have said that at least $70 million of that will need to be borrowed to keep from using the city’s emergency reserve fund
  7. US Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson believes that Russia and the United states should engage in open and frank dialogue
  8. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said that Beijing is ready to communicate with US President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team and does not rule out the possibility of holding a meeting with the team’s representatives
  9. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said that Xi Jinping will deliver a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum (WEF) session in Davos
  10. The latest allegations that Russia possesses some ‘compromising intel’ on Hillary Clinton or President-elect Trump are ‘absolutely fake’, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said
  11. Lu Kang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said that China is ready to work with other Asian countries to ensure regional peace and stability and China hopes for any country concerned with the dispute to respect consensus decisions worked out by the sides
  12. Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law said that Russian diplomats are active in repatriating Russian children taken abroad illegally, including those that have ended up in Syrian and Iraqi war zones
  13. The Netherlands are now powering all their trains with wind energy, an example for other nations to follow, they claim. However, their feat may be a bit harder to achieve elsewhere
  14. The British pound slumped to $1.2067 the lowest level in over three decades
  15. Head of the Bank of England Mark Carney said that the European Union may sustain greater financial losses than the United Kingdom if the two parties fail to negotiate financial terms of the UK withdrawal from the bloc

 


 

10th January 2017:

  1. Amazon and other US online grocery shops will now accept food stamps for SNAP, a state-administered but federally-funded program for needy families
  2. Donald Trump has formally selected his son-in-law Jared Kushner to serve as a senior advisor
  3. The opposition-led National Assembly of Venezuela does not have the authority to dismiss President Nicolas Maduro from office, the state’s Supreme Court said
  4. National Development and Reform Commission Chair Xu Shaoshi said that China’s annual GDP growth rate in 2016 is likely to be 6.7 percent according to the preliminary results
  5. Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 group of international mediators, comprising Russia, China, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Germany, will meet in the Austrian capital to discuss the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) implementation and the recent US Congress’ decision to extend sanctions against Tehran
  6. Russia has begun cutting oil output within the framework of last year’s agreement among major producers to limit supply and bolster global prices, a source familiar with the agreement said
  7. The Thai king wants the country’s new constitution revised on measures related to royal powers, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said
  8. Ankara’s Cagdas Sanat Merkezi modern arts center exhibition hall where Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was killed has been named after the diplomat, local media reported
  9. A US B-52 bomber carried out an attack on January 3 in Syria’s Idlib province without notifying Russia, killing over 20 civilians, the Russian General Staff said
  10. Russian Aerospace Forces carried out over 19,000 sorties and over 71,000 airstrikes on terrorists since the launch of the Syria campaign, Russian General Staff said in a statement
  11. The United Kingdom exported 500 cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia in the 1980s, UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said in a letter published
  12. Inflation in Russia reached a historic low in 2016 and amounted to 5.4 percent, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said
  13. China’s LPG demand is predicted to proceed rising in 2017, a report revealed
  14. Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called for “absolutely free” trade deals between the UK and Australia
  15. The greatest movement of armed forces across Europe since the Cold War started in 2017. US tanks recently arrived in the German port of Bremerhaven and are set to be relocated to Eastern Europe to participate in NATO manoeuvres. German politicians and activists are anxious about the move and are planning to organize a protest campaign
  16. The European Commission proposed a set of measures aimed at updating data protection order, the Commission’s press service said

 


 

9th January 2017:

  1. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is undertaking a visit to the United States for meetings with US President-elect Donald Trump’s team
  2. The Cyprus reunification talks with the participation of Turkish Cypriot Leader Mustafa Akinci and President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades will start in Geneva
  3. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has hiked the minimum wage and pensions for the fifth time in one-year period
  4. The People’s Bank of China has weakened on Monday the rate of the yuan against the dollar by 0.87 percent
  5. China became the third country in the world to successfully test an aircraft powered by a hydrogen fuel cell
  6. The US dollar rose against other currencies early on Monday following news of strong wage growth in the country
  7. Some 138,000 people have been displaced by the Iraqi military operation against the Daesh terrorist group in the city of Mosul, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said
  8. Tehran and Tokyo are about to reach an investment agreement on the efficiency upgrade of two aged Iranian refineries
  9. Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt was arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and will face charges of conspiracy and fraud amid the ongoing emissions-cheating scandal surrounding the German car maker
  10. The number of cyberattacks on the servers of the European Commission rose by 20 percent in the past year against 2015 numbers
  11. The UK Defense Ministry signed on Monday a 271-million-pound (about $329 million) five-year deal with Leonardo Helicopters high-tech company to support Wildcat helicopters, protecting 500 highly-skilled jobs in Leonardo’s supply chain
  12. Russia’s Gazprom energy company set an industry record of 179.3 billion cubic meters of gas exported to non-CIS countries in 2016, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said
  13. The Russian Defense Ministry will receive new Redan-125 electromagnetic security systems, which are able to prevent any kind of intruders from sneaking into military infrastructure facilities, Izvestia newspaper reported
  14. Reports on the inevitability of a “hard” UK exit from the European Union are wrong and a new beneficial relationship will be formed between London and the bloc, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said
  15. The euro area unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in November 2016, which is the lowest unemployment rate in the region since July 2009, a report published by EU statistical office Eurostat said
  16. President-elect Donald Trump praised Fiat Chrysler in a Twitter message on Monday for announcing plans to invest in plants in the US states of Michigan and Ohio