January Week 5

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.

5th February 2017:

  1. Beijing is disappointed over the high taxes that the new US administration is planning to impose on the imported Chinese stainless steel products
  2. US President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko held a phone conversation on Saturday
  3. The UK Prime Minister Theresa May talked on the phone with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, discussing the possibility of a free trade zone between the nations after Brexit
  4. The US Department of Justice filed an emergency motion with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for the reversal of a US federal judge’s ruling on the suspension of President Donald Trump’s immigration order
  5. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the Justice Department’s request to restore entry suspension order. The Court also said in a statement that it gives the Justice Department a deadline of Monday to file its reply brief
  6. US President Donald Trump has responded to criticism of Russia by a US television channel Fox News journalist, by remarking that Washington is not so “innocent
  7. Russian specialists will help Belgrade modernize six aircraft to be received from Russia, as well as four fighter jets from the Serbian Air Force fleet
  8. Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla announced that the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) entered into agreements with Russia’s Rosneft, the French Engie and the Omani OTI Company
  9. 21 sergeants, 120 officers, seven generals and one school cadet involved in the summer coup attempt in Turkey are still on the run
  10. US Vice President Mike Pence stated that Washington will consider lifting of anti-Russia sanctions depending on Moscow’s “changes in posture”
  11. Germany’s new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, said that the potential thaw in relations between Moscow and Washington will be good for resolving of conflicts brewing around the world, including those in Ukraine and Syria
  12. Marine Le Pen, the French presidential candidate from the National Front (FN) party, has called on the government to deprive dual citizens that could pose a threat to the national security of French passports and send them back to their home countries



4th February 2017:

  1. About 300,000 people are protesting in Romania against the recently approved amendments to the criminal code on amnesties for prisoners
  2. Amid controversy and fierce protests surrounding President Donald Trump’s recent immigration ban against seven Muslim-majority countries, Congress has quietly given the IRS the green light to revoke passports for unpaid taxes
  3. Amid soaring murder rates in Chicago, the US government is sending federal forces to tackle the spike in violence
  4. US President Donald Trump will speak with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko by phone today
  5. Radiation levels inside the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant have been labeled “unimaginable” by its owner Tepco. But how strong is a 530 sieverts/hour (Sv/hr) level of radiation? Strong enough to kill a machine designed to withstand just such an occurrence, and in less than an hour
  6. Amid looming collapse of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico has intensified talks with its partners on creation of new free trade zones
  7. US contractor SunPower won a contract worth more than $96 million to build an on-site solar energy production facility for the US Air Force, the Department of Defense said
  8. US Defense Secretary James Mattis labelled Iran as the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world
  9. The Committee on Defense and Security of the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian legislature, will visit Iran next month to discuss weapons sales as well as the peaceful resolution of the war in Syria
  10. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French far-right National Front (FN) party, published on Saturday a presidential election program, compiling key proposals on immigration, economy, the European Union and other issues into 144 points
  11. Iran’s Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanai stated that Iran is interested in continuing its partnership with Russia and in developing it, including in the spheres that require the consent of the UN Security Council
  12. The German chancellor approved of Mercosur countries’ interest in moving in the direction of having a free trade deal with the European Union
  13. The only way for US President Donald Trump to liberate Raqqa, the de facto capital of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL), from terrorists, is to join forces with Russia and Damascus on the ground, Russian military expert Ivan Konovalov told Radio Sputnik
  14. Daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner were reportedly behind US President Donald Trump’s decision to uphold the previous administration’s workplace protections against discrimination based on gender or sexuality



3rd February 2017:

  1. Washington’s Crimea-related sanctions against Moscow will remain in place until the peninsula is returned to Ukraine, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the Security Council
  2. Amid spike in hostilities in the east of Ukraine, Kiev forces used the Uragan self-propelled multiple rocket launcher system in an attack on the city of Donetsk, killing two and injuring over a dozen people
  3. US President Donald Trump is defending his executive order on immigration by asserting that it will ensure religious freedom and tolerance in the nation
  4. British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has called for better cooperation between the United Kingdom and Russia, including in the military sphere
  5. US Vice President Mike Pence and German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel have agreed to boost bilateral ties and work through NATO to ensure European security, the White House said
  6. President Donald Trump’s administration scrapped plans by former President Barack Obama to arm Kurdish fighters in northern Syria in a push to recapture the city of Raqqa from Daesh
  7. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has promised to defend the interests of his country in trade negotiations with the United States amid the plans of the new US administration to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  8. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday reassured the United States’ commitment to Germany, Israel, Canada and Mexico on his first full day in office
  9. Japan hopes to boost US-Japanese cooperation with US Secretary of Defense during his first official visit to the country, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said
  10. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday accused Russia of violating international agreements in connection with the restoration of border zones with his country
  11. A Danube-Morava-Vardar waterway, which in the long term could connect the North Sea with the Aegean Sea, should not be considered utopian. If estimates show that the project is economically efficient Europe could create its own “Silk Road.”
  12. The Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE SMM) in Ukraine reported an unprecedented 11,000 violations of the ceasefire in Donbass on January 31
  13. UK Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has accused Russia of “weaponising misinformation” to create a “post-truth age” in a sustained campaign of destabilization against NATO and the West
  14. Swiss People’s Party (SVP) MP Erich Hess, has spoken out against the system of dual citizenship, which currently allows Swiss nationals to keep their original nationality when they become citizens, on the basis such individuals may not be “fully committed” to Switzerland
  15. A high school student in Portland, Oregon, has found a much cheaper and easier method to turn salt water into drinkable fresh water, bypassing existing methods. His research has caught the attention of major technology companies and universities, such as Intel and MIT
  16. Amid upcoming constitutional referendum on executive presidency in Turkey and parliamentary and chancellor elections in Germany, a lack of trust can be seen in relations between the leaderships of the two countries



2nd February 2017:

  1. Six Turkish aircraft violated the airspace of Greece at least 138 times on Wednesday, Greek media report
  2. Former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson was sworn in as the Department of State Secretary on Wednesday after he was confirmed by the Senate in a 56-43 vote
  3. Israel will be building a new settlement in the West Bank amid the dismantling of the Amona settlement, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced
  4. As future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) remains unclear, Mexico have agreed to hold talks on free with the United Kingdom on free boosting strategic partnership that envisages creation of a free trade zone involving the two states
  5. The government of the United Kingdom is set to publish the white paper on the plans regarding the country’s withdrawal from the European Union
  6. The final nuclear agreement turned Iran into an attractive destination for foreign investments. After the agreement was signed, a free economic zone on the Iranian island of Qeshm managed to attract investments from 10 countries
  7. Iran has carried out its first successful test of a cruise missile of Sumar type
  8. The Fukushima nuclear power plant’s (NPP) operator detected Thursday an extremely high radiation level inside the second reactor amounting to 530 sievert per hour, while the dose of 2.4 millisievert per year is considered normal, Kyodo news agency reported
  9. US President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to cut federal funding of the University of California, Berkeley amid violent student demonstration against a planned lecture of Milo Yiannopoulos, an editor of the right-wing Breitbart News Network
  10. The West’s anti-Russian sanctions have hit Norwegian industries hard, disrupting key economic ties. If Donald Trump were to rescind the sanctions, it would have a positive effect on the Norwegian economy, Norwegian industrialists found
  11. Ukraine needs to speed up implementing the Minsk agreements on settling the conflict in east Ukraine and proceed with constitutional decentralization reforms, Council of Europe (CoE) Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland said
  12. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Turkey for meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss developments in Syria and Iraq and talk about topics ranging from press freedom, terrorism and the refugee crisis
  13. The United States is putting together an immigration system that would ensure immigrants share American values and reject any form of discrimination, President Donald Trump said on Thursday at a National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC
  14. Newly-appointed German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday that he would like to discuss with the administration of US President Donald Trump several aspects of foreign policy and the prospects of the NATO alliance during his forthcoming visit
  15. Tehran will continue missile tests in accordance with its defense program despite recent warnings issued against Iran by the US national security adviser and President Donald Trump, the Iranian supreme leader’s top aide said
  16. US President Donald Trump declared in response to Iran’s recent ballistic missile test that no option including the military is “off the table.”
  17. US Secretary of Defense James Mattis is working with members of the coalition and the US intelligence community on a plan to accelerate the fight against Daesh terrorist group
  18. Mexico is calling a report from the Associated Press that alleged US President Donald Trump threatened to send the US military to Mexico to handle the “bad hombres,” if Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto did not, a “downright lie.”
  19. Germany is willing to cooperate with Turkey in the fight against the so-called Gulen movement in case Germany has issues with the group’s activities, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said



1st February 2017:

  1. An economic survey in India has projected the country’s economy to recover, following the downturn resulting from a rapid demonetisation program undertaken in 2016. The survey also advocated for the adoption of Universal Basic Income, to alleviate poverty
  2. After US President Donald Trump included Iran on a list of Muslim-majority countries facing a temporary immigration ban, Tehran responded by threatening to stop using the American dollar
  3. US President Donald Trump tapped federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to fill an empty seat on the Supreme Court, the White House said in a press release
  4. US President Donald Trump announced his selection of three senior officials to serve in the US Department of Justice, the White House said in a press release
  5. Mexico plans to extend the current trade agreement with the European Union amid the uncertainty of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico’s Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo said
  6. The UN should promote convening talks between the Syrian government and opposition in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said
  7. Moscow is assisting the Iraqi military’s ongoing campaign against the outlawed Daesh by providing it with arms, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said
  8. Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the promotion of large-scale Russia-Hungarian joint projects, the Kremlin press service said
  9. Epilepsy Hospital Filadelfia, in the Danish town of Dianalund, has begun treating patients with medicinal cannabis. This is only part of Denmark’s new pilot project to estimate the benefits of the use of medicinal cannabis by certain types of patient
  10. United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order blocking all refugees coming to the country for 120 days, suspending entry for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia for 90 days and barring all Syrian refugees from entering the country indefinitely
  11. A treatment for malaria, a life-threatening blood disease caused by parasites transmitted to humans through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito, has failed for the first time according to scientists. This has promoted fear that the disease could be becoming resistant to primary drugs used to counter it
  12. The Japanese and Russian foreign and defense ministers should continue negotiations in the 2+2 format to discuss security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said
  13. UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticized on Wednesday the idea of preventing US President Donald Trump from making a state visit to the United Kingdom saying that it would be an insult to the head of the allied state
  14. Mexico will begin a formal 90-day process of consultations with the private sector to fix the parameters for renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Canada, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said
  15. German Chancellor Angela Merkel received on Wednesday the Eugen Bolz Award for her migration and refugee policy, local media reported
  16. The Trump administration is freezing out CNN, declaring that the White House has no desire to send surrogates to appear on “fake news”
  17. The US Federal Reserve decided to the target range for the federal funds rate at 0.5-0.75 percent, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced



31st January 2017:

  1. US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont stated that White House chief strategist Steve Bannon should be removed from the National Security Council
  2. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted an invitation to visit with President Donald Trump in the United States on February 15th
  3. US President Donald Trump will meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah II during a prayer breakfast in Washington, DC on Thursday
  4. Argentina is tightening its immigration laws, according to a government bulletin, refusing entry to people with a criminal history and making it easier to deport foreigners
  5. The US state of Washington has filed a lawsuit to invalidate President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said
  6. President Donald Trump’s administration does not rule out adding new countries to the list of states banned from entering the United States
  7. Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a testimony on Monday that New York City will attempt to raise taxes on the wealthy residing there, given the anticipated federal tax breaks for that category of citizens by US President Donald Trump
  8. US Democratic Senator Chris Murphy introduced a bill to overturn President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans refugees and citizens from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States
  9. Legislation that would hinder US President Donald Trump’s ability to lift sanctions on Russia could soon get a hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  10. Deutsche Bank AG and its New York branch will pay $425 million in fines for allowing traders to engage in a money-laundering scheme using ‘mirror trades,’ illegally moving $10 billion out of Russia
  11. A spokesman for the Pentagon has announced that they are compiling a list of Iraqis who aided the US military to bypass US President Donald Trump’s temporary travel moratorium against seven countries
  12. Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray did not rule out the possibility to apply to the United Nations following US President Donald Trump’s decision to build a wall on the border with Mexico
  13. The US Senate is prepared to work closely with the Trump administration to restore economic sanctions on Iran after Tehran conducted its latest ballistic missile test
  14. US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a bipartisan bill to reverse former President Barack Obama’s anti-coal regulations
  15. Governor of the Japanese Okinawa prefecture Takeshi Onaga left for the United States to discuss the relocation of the US military base
  16. Deutsche Bank is fined by the UK Financial Conduct Authority for “inadequate” anti-money laundering control framework
  17. Arab countries are considering replacing United States-made weapons with Russian-produced analogues
  18. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may visit Russia in late March, a diplomatic source said



30th January 2017:

  1. The European Union has called on China to promptly probe reports that three human rights lawyers have been tortured during their 18-months-and-counting detention following a nationwide crackdown.
  2. The World Food Program (WFP) has had to halve the food rations it gives to 1.4 million displaced Iraqis because payments from its major donor states have been delayed
  3. The attorneys general for 15 states and the District of Columbia have issued a joint statement condemning the country’s new travel restrictions and promising to provide assistance to those affected
  4. Green card holders will not be detained under the US’s new travel restrictions, the US Department of Homeland Security clarified
  5. Donald Trump promised to find opportunities to support people, who have been affected by a humanitarian crisis in Syria
  6. UK nationals, who also have the citizenship of one of the Muslim-majority countries mentioned in US President Donald Trump’s US entry restrictions, will not be affected by the presidential order if they come to the United States not from the territory of these states, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said
  7. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that Australian authorities will support the United States in implementation of strict policy in the spheres of immigration and border protection.
  8. Moscow may render assistance to Baghdad in combating Daesh should the Iraqi authorities launch such an initiative.
  9. Google has created a crisis fund worth $4 million to support the immigrants stranded outside the US border as a result of US President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and citizens of certain countries from traveling to the country
  10. The Russian foreign minister said Moscow is interested in helping to end violence in Africa
  11. Russia appealed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement body regarding the issue of numerous violations of WTO laws by the European Union during the investigation of the EU anti-dumping duties, imposed on Russian cold-rolled steel
  12. Lawmakers in Iraq voted on Monday to introduce retaliatory measures in response to US President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries including Iraq from travelling to the United States.
  13. Australian Prime Minister said that Donald Trump intends to remain committed to the existing resettlement deal with Australia despite Friday’s executive order banning refugee entry to the Unites States.
  14. President Donald Trump has had enough of the constant criticism coming from senior Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham, blasting the Senators and saying that they should focus their efforts on important issues concerning US national security “instead of always looking to start World War III.”
  15. US President Donald Trump stated that big problems at US airports were caused by the Delta Air Lines computer malfunction and protests, not by the so called “travel ban”
  16. US Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly sees only a few issues with the implementation of the executive order to block citizens from seven Middle Eastern and African countries from entering the United States
  17. Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said some European countries, including Hungary, Austria and Slovenia, erected walls to stop the flow of migrants and refugees amid a massive migration crisis, with thousands of people from the Middle East and North Africa trying to cross into the bloc
  18. Over a half of US citizens support President Donald Trump’s decision to ban citizens of seven Muslim-majority states from entering the country until the government finds better ways to keep out potential terrorists, a poll by Rasmussen Reports revealed