March – Week 3

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 March 2017:

  1. The Philippines is asking China for answers following reports that China plans to build on the disputed Scarborough Shoal
  2. Germany is not convinced that US-based writer, political activist and former imam Fethullah Gulen was behind the failed July 15 coup in Turkey
  3. Former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will take office as the next German president today
  4. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet on Saturday that if Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon did not agree to reform the Israel Broadcasting Authority and to abolish the new project by the middle of next week, he would call snap elections
  5. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen stated that Germany does not have any debts to NATO refuting US President Donald Trump’s allegations.
  6. A delegation of mostly European and Ukrainian politicians has arrived in Crimea for a three-day visit, Ruslan Balbek, a Russian lawmaker representing Crimea said
  7. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has threatened to destroy Syria’s air defense systems if they target the Israeli jets once again
  8. 54% of French believed independent presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron could not guarantee their security
  9. US House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes said that there was no evidence of any links between Russia and the Trump campaign
  10. All Russian state banks in Ukraine are in the process of talks on potential sale, National Bank of Ukraine Deputy Governor Kateryna Rozhkova said
  11. US President Donald Trump hopes to have a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in near future, US Department of State Acting Spokesperson Mark Toner said



18th March 2017:

  1. US-based aerospace firm Boeing received a contract worth $3.2 billion to help facilitate the foreign military sale of US Apache helicopters to the Saudi government
  2. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that European countries have been acting undemocratic amid the diplomatic scandal with the Netherlands
  3. Germany’s Federal Migration Office (BAMF) will test software that can automatically recognize a refugee’s dialect to verify their claimed country of origin
  4. The Russian authorities managed to pull Crimean defense enterprises out of the crisis within last two years, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said
  5. Mevlut Cavusoglu urged the European Union to implement a visa liberalisation deal, saying that otherwise all other agreements between Ankara and Brussels, including a migration deal, could not be fulfilled as they are inter-related
  6. Beijing is reportedly preparing to hold a military parade on August 1, 2017 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
  7. Russian Foreign Ministry said that French Foreign Minister said in a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that France stood for ending the blockade of the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass
  8. Washington does not want a conflict with Pyongyang but does not rule out new sanctions, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson said
  9. Turkey is reported to have stopped the issuance of licenses for the duty-free import of Russian wheat, corn, and other agricultural goods, thus introducing a 130% tariff for wheat in one of Russia’s largest export markets.
  10. President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is to visit the White House next month to meet US President Donald Trump



17th March 2017:

  1. A little over a month after SEAL team 6 member William “Ryan” Owens from Peoria, Illinois, was killed in action during a raid on Al Qaeda, they were set to attempt a second invasion. It subsequently  never happened, and the reason why has yet to be revealed.
  2. A former US Air Force commander has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges after being court-martialed.
  3. The UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has refuted US allegations that former US leader Barack Obama had spied on US President Donald Trump using British intelligence.
  4. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that Beijing is interested in a single and integrated EU, a statement that came as many have started to favor altering the supranational union and establishing a so-called “two-speed Europe.”
  5. Russia sees no alternative to political and diplomatic settlement efforts in North Korea, a Russian Foreign Ministry source said
  6. Human Rights Watch called on Saudi Arabia and Brazil to stop dropping prohibited cluster bombs on Yemen
  7. RT will investigate the situation over a leaked paycheck that former US national security adviser Michael Flynn had received for his appearance at a conference in Moscow, which is a “standard” and “entirely transparent” practice
  8. The EU has ignored the appeal of the Visegrad Group (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) to regulate double standards in food trade between the EU and Central and Eastern Europe
  9. Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu stated that Ankara has an opportunity to send 15,000 refugees to Europe each month amid an ongoing diplomatic row between Turkey, Netherlands and Germany
  10. Turkey’s largest military base abroad will be opened in April in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu
  11. Basque terrorist group ETA is expected to submit a list of its caches with weapons in very short order which will mean the final disarmament of the organization



16th March 2017:

  1. A Hawaiian judge has granted a motion to implement a temporary restraining order against US President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning migrants
  2. The German and Dutch people are “friends” of Turkey, however, their governments are responsible for the current tensions with the country and implementing anti-Ankara policies, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said
  3. US President Donald Trump will not publicly release more tax documents after a reporter published the president’s 2005 returns and revealed a portion of them on MSNBC, White House Press Secretary Spicer said
  4. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) accused Israel of applying “apartheid regime” policies regarding the Palestinians.
  5. French presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin
  6. Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs said that China and Saudi Arabia signed Thursday 14 agreements on cooperation in the spheres of investments, energy and space worth $65 billion
  7. The explosive-laden package addressed to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that was intercepted by the finance ministry’s main department was sent on behalf of a Greek opposition politician
  8. Thierry Mariani, the French parliamentarian stated that the Minsk agreements are not respected mostly by the Ukrainian side
  9. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that any deal on Crimea in exchange for the cancellation of Western sanctions “is off the table”
  10. Queen Elizabeth II has given her royal assent making Brexit bill a law
  11. A letter exploded after it was opened at the Paris office of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  12. Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim said that as regards new US administration, its policy is less negative than the policy of the previous administration, some of whom would like to coordinate with Syrian authorities in the fight against terrorism
  13. New figures show people born after 1983, also known as millennials, are more likely to have borrowed money from friends and family or sold their possessions in order to pay their bills
  14. The White House requested nearly $30 billion for “immediate warfighting readiness”
  15. US President Donald Trump may have revealed classified information in a media interview when he claimed the CIA had been hacked, House of Representatives Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff alleged
  16. Bulgaria has a plan regarding what measures to take if Turkey makes a decision to withdraw from a refugee agreement with the European Union, Bulgarian Defense Minister Stefan Yanev said



15th March 2017

  1. A US Navy’s destroyer managed to seize 270 kilograms of heroin from a small sailboat in the Arabian Sea two weeks after an Australian ship had seized 800 kilograms of hashish in the same region.
  2. Republic of Crimea Head Sergey Aksenov has claimed that the European politicians who share the view that the peninsula should be recognized as part of Russia are prevailing over those who oppose it.
  3. Nearly 2,500 refugees have entered the United States from six travel-restricted countries under the presidency of Donald Trump, according to a report by the PEW Research Centre
  4. A group of nine US Navy officers are facing charges for trading classified information in an international fraud and bribery scheme, the US Department of Justice said
  5. Japan will help Saudi Arabia restructure its economy and give up reliance on crude incomes. At the same time, Japanese companies will be granted preferential condition for doing business in special economic zones planned to be established in the Gulf kingdom
  6. Osama Abu Zeid, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) delegation at the Syria talks in Astana, may continue his work in this capacity despite saying he would step down
  7. Several US senators signed an open letter, calling on US State Secretary Rex Tillerson to initiate a probe into reports that US missions abroad intervene in the domestic affairs of other countries
  8. The Houthis are ready for new peace talks with the Yemeni government to resolve the long-lasting conflict, though they do not trust the United Nations anymore
  9. Construction and installation works on the future Bushehr-2 Nuclear Power Plant in Iran has begun a press service of the Rosatom’s ASE company said
  10. The US Senate plans to stall the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s nominee for Deputy Attorney General if the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) does not turn over evidence of Trump’s accusations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election campaign
  11. US President Donald Trump agreed in a meeting with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud to support a joint $200 billion, four-year investment program, the White House said in a statement
  12. US Congress is unlikely to delay vote on suspending or raising the limit for federal debt
  13. MEPs in the European Parliament have criticized the EU for failing to get control over the tax avoidance schemes exposed in the LuxLeaks scandal – as well as subsequent Bahamas Leaks and Panama Papers – saying the EU is “losing hundreds of billions of euros a year” to big multinationals.
  14. An explosive device has been found in a suspicious package found in the German Finance Ministry earlier in the day
  15. The US House Intelligence Committee has found no evidence supporting President Donald Trump’s wiretapping claim against his predecessor Barack Obama, committee chairman Devin Nunes said in a press conference
  16. The US House Intelligence Committee has no evidence of communications between US President Donald Trump’s campaign staff and Russian officials, committee chairman Devin Nunes said in a press conference
  17. Earlier this week, Berlin mayor Michael Müller and Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed a memorandum on closer cooperation between the two capitals. In an interview, Müller revealed areas of common interest and explained why it is important to maintain interaction between the two cities
  18. South Korea is willing to actively develop relations with Russia in spite of the domestic political situation in Seoul, caused by the aftermath of the recent impeachment of president Park Geun-hye
  19. Delivering a speech in Ypsilanti, Michigan, US President Donald Trump promised to make a “very, very big” announcement regarding the automobile industry in the coming week.
  20. The FBI will provide the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism with a classified briefing on whether there was any warrant issued by any court to conduct surveillance of US President Donald Trump’s campaign or any of his associates, the subcommittee’s chairman Senator Lindsey Graham said



14th March 2017:

  1. UK lawmakers have signed off on legislation that will allow the UK to formally exit the European Union.
  2. A highly-anticipated report from the Congressional Budget Office, an office paid for by congress to produce independent and nonpartisan policy analysis, projects that “14 million more people would be uninsured under the new proposed legislation than under current law.”
  3. In wake of an opioid epidemic sweeping the US, the Pentagon is issuing tougher restrictions on military recruits, including officer-hopefuls arriving at service academies
  4. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed reviews of Kosovo’s economic outlook and intends providing $106.5 million in financial aid.
  5. China is preparing countermeasures against the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea, which involve anti-missile equipment intended to neutralise signals from THAAD radars
  6. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have ushered in a new era in the bilateral relationship, signing a new trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation program, as well as a deal on creating a joint investment fund during a meeting held in Moscow on March 10th
  7. The investigation into alleged treason of former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, which had been conducted in absentia, was terminated due to the lack of evidence, and will need to be conducted with Yanukovich’s participation
  8. The Turkish government has said it will formally complain to the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), alleging the Netherlands has breached the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations over the Turkish referendum saga
  9. Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved an agreement with South Ossetia on the inclusion of some of its military units into the Russian Armed Forces, a decree posted Tuesday on the official Russian legal information website said
  10. The LuxLeaks and Panama Papers scandals aroused shock and outrage the world over. However, reaction from Central and Eastern European statesmen and citizens was decidedly more muted. A new report has suggested profit shifting and tax dodging by businesses in the region is endemic
  11. Turkish authorities could discuss the introduction of economic sanctions against Netherlands in the context of tensions between the two states, Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci said
  12. The United States is threatening to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council if the controversial body does not reform, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said
  13. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers apprehended 248 illegal immigrants in a three-state region over the past couple of weeks, the Department of Homeland Security said in a press release
  14. President Donald Trump’s administration is assured the Department of Justice’s evidence will support his claims of being wiretapped by the Obama administration before the US presidential election, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a briefing
  15. The European Union wants to cooperate with Syrian neighboring states on the country’s reconstruction after the launch of political transition, a Joint Communication adopted by the EU high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission said



13th March 2017:

  1.  A group of US and German specialists will carry out an observation flight over the Russian territory under the Open Skies Treaty on March 13-18, while Russia will carry out observation flights over Germany and the Benelux Union nations
  2. Pope Francis said that the Roman Catholic Church should consider tackling its worldwide priest shortage by ordaining married men
  3. Japan will help establish a special economic zone in Saudi Arabia, according to an agreement reached by their respective leaders, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and King Salman
  4. The Russian Ministry of Energy said that Minister Alexander Novak is planning  to host Mahmoud Vaezi, Iran’s information and communications technology minister, in Moscow
  5. The Polish Prosecutor’s Office summoned newly re-elected European Council President Donald Tusk to give a testimony as a witness in the case of the cooperation between Poland’s counterintelligence service with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB)
  6. Russia may complete the destruction of all its chemical weapons stockpiles this year, presidential envoy to the Volga Federal District, chairman of the State Commission on Chemical Disarmament Mikhail Babich said
  7. The European Union has extended sanctions in the form of travel bans and asset freezes against Russian and Ukrainian persons and entities over the crisis in Ukraine until September, the Council of the European Union said
  8. Moscow may conclude agreements on deliveries of engineering industry goods to Iran and imports of food products from Iran during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Russia in March
  9. The Israeli Defense Forces Artillery is to begin testing a new drone, which according to sources, will greatly improve intelligence gathering and can be used in combat zones
  10. The Turkish minister for EU Affairs has proposed reconsidering the Turkish-EU refugee deal amid the ongoing deterioration of relations with the bloc
  11. US defense giant Lockheed Martin announced in a statement on Monday it has converted a business jet into an airborne laboratory designed for research and testing to improve intelligence and surveillance technologies and delivery
  12. Mexico is the predominant source of heroin that is trafficked into the United States, with some of the drug originating in Asia, New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill stated in a press conference
  13. A former executive of an Israel-based defense contractor has pleaded guilty for his role in schemes to defraud a multi-billion dollar US program to finance foreign military purchases, the US Department of Justice announced in a press release