March – week 1

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 March 2017:

  1. Ukraine’s Finance Minister Oleksandr Danilyuk confirmed that an agreement on the next International Monetary Fund (IMF) disbursement of the fund’s $17.5-billion loan package has been reached
  2. Former US President Barack Obama’s representative denied President Donald Trump’s allegations that his predecessor had ordered him to be under surveillance just before last year’s presidential election
  3. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet US President Donald Trump in the White House on March 14th
  4. China will reject any forms of protectionism and strive for more inclusive and mutually beneficial economic globalization, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang said
  5. Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern has suggested issuing an EU-wide ban on pre-referendum campaigning by Turkish officials, in an interview with a German newspaper
  6. Chinese direct investment in foreign countries is likely not to exceed the volume of the investment in 2016, making up $170 billion, China’s Finance Ministry said in its draft plan for socio-economic development in 2017
  7. Iranian President and his Azerbaijan’s counterpart discussed the trilateral format of cooperation between Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.
  8. Isaac Herzog, the leader of Israel’s Zionist Union center-left opposition party has said he plans to meet with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in Moscow to discuss the Middle Eastern settlement
  9. Tbilisi has been taken aback by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz’s suggestion that Georgia could take in migrants caught entering the European Union illegally
  10. Deutsche Bank plans to raise additional money by issuing new shares
  11. Former US Director of National Intelligence denied that President Donald Trump’s was wire-tapped during his presidential campaign
  12. Italy’s Lega Nord party Federal Secretary Matteo Salvini plans to visit Moscow to sign an agreement with Russia’s United Russia party, Gianluca Savoini, the head of the Lombardia Russia Cultural Association said

 


 

4th March 2017:

  1. NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe has declared that alleged Russian meddling in the US election could be considered an “act of war” and prompt a military response.
  2. Tensions between Turkey and Germany are escalating after Ankara accused Berlin of “giving shelter” to their enemies on Friday.
  3. US refusal to allow Afghanistan to buy spare parts from Russia for its Mi-17 “Hip” combat helicopters in 2014 caused a major air power and security crisis, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s Chief Adviser, Mohammad Qayoumi, said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
  4. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says the parliament of Portugal has recognized the 1932-1933 Holodomor as genocide.
  5. The United States is likely to increase interest rates in March if the levels of employment and inflation continue to meet the Federal Reserve’s expectations, US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said.
  6. Lawyers and Conservative Party UK parliament members have concluded that there is no legal basis for Brussels to demand a 60-billion-divorce settlement from the United Kingdom, media report.
  7. A US air strike in Yemen killed Usama Haidar, one of the regional leaders of Al Qaeda.
  8. The relatives of those on board the disappeared Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on Saturday announced a decision to launch a privately-funded search for the missing aircraft, some two months after efforts by Malaysia, China and Australia were suspended.
  9. Former National Bank of Moldova head Leonid Talmaci has been placed under provisional arrest for 15 says while under investigation for corruption, Moldova’s Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office chief Viorel Morari said.
  10. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu defied on Saturday a Dutch ban on Turkish pro-referendum rally in Rotterdam, saying nothing would hold him back from meeting Turkish citizens.
  11. The administration of former US President Barack Obama has been engaged for years in a cyberwar against North Korea, presumably disrupting a vast majority of its ballistic missile launches, US media reported.
  12. Strikes by the US-led anti-terror coalition apparently led to deaths of 21 civilians in Syria and Iraq from last November through January, the US Central Command said after assessing reports of possible casualties.
  13. Turkish and German foreign ministers will meet next week amid the disagreement triggered by the recent restrictions and bans on Turkish rallies in Germany, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said after a phone talk with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

 


 

3rd March 2017:

  1. US Vice President Mike Pence has calmed down Americans worried about possible negative implications of the Affordable Care Act’s repeal, saying the process will be “an orderly transition to a better healthcare system.”
  2. Newly-released FBI files reveal that authorities tampered with an investigation into a police officer’s death in the 1970s, resulting in a Black Panther leader dying in prison for a crime he did not commit.
  3. The Republicans’ presidential nominee Francois Fillon is ready to talk with Moscow on lifting the embargo on agricultural production in case he is elected the French president.
  4. A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) document claims that, thus far, just $20 million of the US-Mexico border wall’s estimated $12-25 billion price tag has been made available through ‘existing funds and resources.’
  5. A drone strike near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border has resulted in two deaths. A local village elder suspects the strike came courtesy of the United States, which would make it the first drone attack in Pakistan since Donald Trump became US president.
  6. Mexico’s Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell has announced a prospective growth of the country’s resources, up by almost 4 billion barrels of crude equivalent.
  7. According to media reports, former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe said he was ready to join the presidential race as the candidate from The Republicans party, if Francois Fillon had to step down.
  8. French center-right presidential candidate Francois Fillon collected more than twice the required 500 signatures of the elected representatives needed to run for president, the country’s Constitutional Council said.
  9. Former President Barack Obama is back in the game and “ready to roll,” according to former Attorney General Eric Holder. Obama’s comeback, coupled with Hillary Clinton’s intriguing recent address to supporters, signal that the Democrats are already on the warpath against Donald Trump.
  10. Polish conservative politician Janusz Korwin-Mikke has caused chaos with his controversial comments on the gender pay gap in Europe when he insisted that women must earn less than men because they are “weaker, smaller and less intelligent.”
  11. US Department of Defense spokesperson Jeff Davis stated that the US air forces launched more than 30 airstrikes in Yemen over the past two nights.
  12. Recent polls showing former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe’s popularity lead over the current presidential candidates may have been tampered with, Jacques Myard, a member of the French National Assembly from The Republicans (LR) party said.
  13. The man behind the hotly-disputed ‘Golden Showers’ report on Donald Trump’s supposed ties to Russia, a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), has been called to testify before the US Senate Intelligence Committee.
  14. French National Front presidential candidate Marine Le Pen will not attend court over allegations of misuse of European Union funds that prosecutors allege were wrongly funnelled to campaign aides.

 


 

2nd March 2017:

  1. Turkey is close to starting its own version of NASA, as a draft bill for legislation to create a Turkish Space Agency is finalized and readied for review by the Turkish parliament.
  2. In a sign that Israel and India are strengthening ties, the two nations have agreed to a huge weapons deal to jointly expand India’s aerial defense systems.
  3. The US government needs to release intelligence gathered during the 2011 raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes said on Wednesday.
  4. The Russian Foreign ministry warned against external meddling in the political crisis in Macedonia.
  5. Egypt’s court of cassation finally acquitted ex-president Hosni Mubarak on charges of killing protesters in 2011.
  6. Amid investigation into the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s brother, Malaysian authorities have announced they will reimpose the visa regime with the DPRK.
  7. Ukrainian hopes for visa-free travel with the EU are likely to be dashed by the large number of conditions the EU has attached to its visa waiver legislation.
  8. The European Parliament voted on Thursday in favor of waiving the parliamentary immunity of Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front (FN) party.
  9. Israel has begun supplying natural gas to Jordan.
  10. Stockholm decided to reintroduce conscription due to deteriorating security.
  11. On Thursday, US President Donald Trump said he “wasn’t aware at all” that Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016.
  12. French investigators searched the home of French presidential candidate Francois Fillon and his wife Penelope in Paris as part of the ongoing investigation into Penelope’s alleged fake employment as Fillon’s assistant.
  13. A US Secret Service officer employed at the White House pled guilty to sexually enticing a 14-year-old girl. At the time of his November 2015 arrest, 38-year-old Lee Robert Moore was assigned to the Service’s Uniformed Division at the presidential residence, according to prosecutors.
  14. A majority of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have demanded that, until the UK leaves the EU, it must obey EU laws on free movement, backing a vote in the UK House of Lords amending the Brexit bill currently going through parliament.
  15. The Trump administration is preparing to ignore rulings by the World Trade Organization which the President considers to be in violation of US sovereignty and damaging to US interests, according to a leaked report prepared by the White House.
  16. The Turkish president said Ankara has not seen that Washington had any clear plan of liberating the Daesh-occupied Syrian city of Raqqa.

 


 

1st March 2017:

  1. Achieving a positive outcome at the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva requires resignation of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, Randa Kassis, a representative of the Astana platform of Syrian opposition has said.
  2. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has denied claims that its chief, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has written a letter to US State Secretary Rex Tillerson.
  3. Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray warned on Tuesday that the nation would only stay in the NAFTA trade pact with the United States and Canada if it finds the new terms favourable.
  4. Heads of all Australian overseas missions will be briefly brought back for a few days next month to contribute to the shaping of the nation’s foreign policy, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
  5. China and Russia called on the United States and South Korea to halt the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system on the Korean territory.
  6. Ankara could forbid Washington from using its Incirlik airbase if the United States cooperates with the Kurdish forces, such as the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Popular Defense Units (YPG).
  7. India is looking for an option to modernize its low speed transportation for its growing workforce.
  8. Germany’s finance minister opposes an international cooperation which has to have winners and losers.
  9. NASA satellite observations have revealed that large swathes of land in northern California are sinking at an alarming rate.
  10. Polish Prime Minister said that the government will allocate some $367,000 for the restoration and support of hospitals in Syria.
  11. Moldova’s leader said he was starting a process of reconciliation with breakaway Transnistria.
  12. The diesel emission scandal has exposed “serious shortcomings from both EU Commission and Member States following the revelations that Volkswagen had intentionally programed turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines to buck emissions-testing systems.

 


 

28th February 2017:

  1. Hungary has announced that it will build a second fence along its border with Serbia to prevent the free movement of migrants into their country. The first fence, built in 2015, has been deemed inadequate to stem the tide of migrants expected this year.
  2. The United States, Japan and South Korea are looking at new ways to restrict funding used for North Korea’s weapons programs, according to a joint statement.
  3. Austrian foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has suggested funnelling migrants and refugees in Europe to camps in North Africa. Sigmar Gabriel, his German counterpart, called such a plan “unrealistic.”
  4. Russia’s energy giant Gazprom will start building the offshore stretch of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline in the coming months, Oleg Aksyutin, a member of its management board, said.
  5. The US Coast Guard unloaded about 4.2 tonnes of cocaine with a street value of $125 million in Puerto Rico, which is the largest maritime seizure in the Atlantic since 1999, local media reported Tuesday.
  6. According to media reports, Japan’s Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Nobuteru Ishihara and Australian Trade and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo discussed during a phone conversation the prospects for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal.
  7. The countries of Southeastern Europe saw their future access to energy imperilled when EU bureaucrats decided to block the South Stream project, Srbijagas CEO Dusan Bajatovic said; he stressed the importance of the Balkan region obtaining access to Russian gas via the Turkish Stream gas pipeline.
  8. BBC did not submit the controversial documentary titled ‘One World: Killing for Conservation’ for mandatory preview by the Ministries of Environment and External Affairs to “remove any deviations, so as to achieve a balanced and accurate exposition of the theme”.
  9. Washington will exert pressure on those countries which refuse to take back illegal immigrants from the United States.
  10. The leader of France’s right-wing party, Front National, Marine Le Pen has become embroiled in another fraud charge after it was alleged that another one of her aides had been paid via a “non-job” at the European Parliament in an effort to withhold details of spending in the 2012 French election campaign.
  11. Israel’s Justice Ministry has launched an investigation into the potentially corrupt purchase of German submarines involving individuals close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following months of examination by law enforcement agencies.
  12. Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Tuesday declared a national disaster amid the ongoing drought in the country.

 


 

27th February 2017:

  1. China again devalued the yuan, setting the rate at 6.8814 yuan per dollar
  2. The US is intended to resume military exercises with Egypt, head of the US Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel said
  3. Two international human rights watchdogs urged the European Commission in a letter to halt the Hungarian government’s draft bill submitted to the European Union, that allegedly violates the rights of asylum seekers by detaining them at the transit zones.
  4. The abandoned South Stream gas pipeline project could be revisited after parliamentary elections in Bulgaria next month, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said
  5. A new US secretary of commerce may be invited to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in 2017, the head of American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (AmCham) said
  6. The Israeli Air Force targeted on Monday two locations in the Gaza Strip with airstrikes, Palestinian media reported.
  7. The Russian Navy will deploy batteries of BUK missiles in Crimea to protect its surface ships and submarines against drones and cruise missiles to beef up anti-access/area-denial capabilities around the Black Sea peninsula, the newspaper Izvestia wrote.
  8. The Bundeswehr is leading a 1,000-strong troop battalion that was deployed to Lithuania earlier this month as part of NATO’s Atlantic Resolve mission. Dozens of additional German military vehicles were placed in the Baltic country and are expected to be stationed one hundred kilometres from the Russian-Lithuanian border
  9. A dissident republican group known as the New Irish Republican Army (IRA) claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing of a police officer’s car in the Northern Ireland city of Derry last week
  10. A shadowy group with connections to Saudi Arabian intelligence donated over US$500,000 to the pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party during the referendum campaign, raising questions about who funded the ‘Leave’ campaign, and why.
  11. The budget proposal the White House plans to submit to Congress next month will include an increase in spending for federal law enforcement.
  12. US President Donald Trump’s budget proposal will allocate funds for building a wall on the US border with Mexico
  13. The father of a Navy SEAL killed during a US raid in Yemen has refused an invitation to meet with President Donald Trump, who authorized the strike. The dead soldier’s father criticized the raid as unnecessary and ‘stupid,’ and is demanding a military investigation