March – Week 4

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.

 

31st March 2017:

  1. The US state of Alaska and Russia have opportunities to develop good relations, US Senator Lisa Murkowski said.
  2. One of the regional parliaments of Eastern Germany will recognize Crimea as part of Russia in the near future, chairman of the Left Party (Die Linke) said.
  3. China’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for March 2017 reached a five-year-high, while the general services PMI reached the highest mark since 2014, data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics shows.
  4. Wikileaks has released the third batch of ‘Vault-7’ on CIA hacking techniques.
  5. Moldovan President Igor Dodon reaffirmed on Friday his readiness to discuss with NATO signing an agreement on the country’s neutral status, the presidential press service said in a statement.
  6. BRICS’s New Development Bank (NDB) this year may approve up to three projects in Russia worth $600-700 million each, NDB’s President Kundapur Vaman Kamath said.
  7. Opening of NATO’s Liaison Office in Chisinau is “unacceptable” as it may negatively affect the situation with the development of relations between Moldova and the breakaway republic of Transnistria, Moldovan President Igor Dodon said.
  8. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel asked EU authorities on Friday to consider filing a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over US’s “unfair” anti-dumping measures.
  9. The Russian territory of the Arctic has vast prospective for oil and gas production, and geological exploration should be carried out for discovering new deposits, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
  10. The situation at refugee camps on the Greek island of Chios is becoming critical due to delays in the asylum application process, Greece’s Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas said.
  11. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday he expected all 28 member states to ratify a protocol on Montenegro’s accession in June.
  12. US President Donald Trump has ramped up US military operations in Somalia, authorizing pre-emptive airstrikes against the terror group al-Shabaab. Less than three months into his presidency, President Trump has also increased the US involvement in conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
  13. Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska on Friday said he was prepared to counter any false anti-Russian narratives in US media, such as the recent Associated Press story about his alleged ties to US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort in furthering the Kremlin’s agenda abroad, and would even do so on a daily basis.
  14. The FBI has released formerly classified photographs from the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon more than 15 years ago.

 


 

26th March 2017:

  1. The Syrian government has announced that it will retaliate should Israel continue to conduct airstrikes on Syrian territory.
  2. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that each of the leaders of the 27 states remaining in the European Union had to make concessions to reach compromise on the text of the Rome Declaration.
  3. Yemeni ambassador to the United States Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak said that a court in Yemeni capital city of Sanaa, controlled by the Houthi movement, sentenced the country’s President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and six other top government’s officials to death.
  4. According to reports, Iraqi Oil Minister plans to visit Moscow in June.
  5. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is seeking to protect the bloc from threats to its existence by warning about the risks of undoing European integration, which according to the EU chief include the potential for war in the Balkans.
  6. Igor Dodon said that Moldovan schools should make Russian language courses compulsory again.
  7. Russia’s last supplies of the deadly chemical weapon soman have been destroyed.
  8. Detention of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny took place in the center of Moscow during an unauthorized protest against corruption.
  9. NATO instructors training Ukrainian troops in the art of war have been accused of incompetence. Recently, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry decided to show off fresh photos of NATO troops training their Ukrainian counterparts for battle. However, observers pointed out that all they ended up showing off was the NATO trainers’ ineptitude.
  10. US Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill to require that US President Donald Trump publish logs revealing who he has met with, and where, after Trump and his advisors have stonewalled inquiries into his conclaves.
  11. The ban on taking laptops and tablets to the cabins of UK- and US-bound planes was partly introduced due to a foiled terror attack, UK media reported citing a security source.
  12. Russian lower house speaker and chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of CSTO Vyacheslav Volodin said that he deems promising the cooperation among PACE and of the CSTO.

 


 

 

25th March 2017:

  1. Trump announced he will focus next on tax reform after the Republican healthcare bill was pulled.
  2. A senior Hamas official identified as Mazen Faqha was killed in the Gaza Strip.
  3. A Lebanese businessman has been arrested and charged with evading US sanctions by financial supporting the Hezbollah terror organization.
  4. Russia has once again introduced a draft resolution on the fight against the use of chemical weapons by terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
  5. China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli claims that China’s imports in the current five-year period are expected to amount to $8 trillion.
  6. The state-owned German bank Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW) erroneously transferred over 5 billion euros to four other banks.
  7. Of late, Denmark has been faced with another migration-related problem. The Danish authorities fear thousands of illegal immigrants will acquire asylum seeker’s IDs amid deficient control and the lack of statistics.
  8. The leaders of the 27 EU member states that will remain in the bloc after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, signed on Saturday the Rome Declaration on the achievements, challenges and priorities of the post-Brexit European Union.
  9. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that economy would be one of the main topics of discussion at his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  10. The Russian Central Bank is looking to make further small decreases to the key interest rate.
  11. Two-thirds of cancers are caused by random DNA errors during cell division, according to new research.
  12. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey could hold a referendum on whether to continue the accession talks with the European Union.
  13. US State Department representative said that the United States has imposed sanctions against eight Russian companies in connection with the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA).
  14. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Russia and Kuwait have discussed the issues of cooperation in oil-and-gas and electric power engineering industries.

 


 

 

24th March 2017:

  1. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara is dissatisfied with the attention Russia and the United States are paying to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party.
  2. The person, suspected of killing Denis Voronenkov in Kiev, had an identity document issued by Ukraine’s National Guard.
  3. A report by GAO reveals that US federal agencies are failing to verify the correct legal status of immigrants applying for benefits.
  4. The FBI is eyeing North Korea on suspicion of stealing $81 million from the central bank account of Bangladesh at the New York Federal Reserve, possibly with the assistance of middlemen from China.
  5. While the world’s major central banks are raising rates in order to ensure their nations’ investment appeal, Bank of Japan said their most radical stimulus programme ever remains in place, until firmer inflation and stronger domestic growth persuade the policymakers otherwise.
  6. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble bashed his cabinet colleague, Sigmar Gabriel, on Friday for saying Berlin must pay more into the EU budget to help cash-strapped Athens.
  7. Scottish first minister said that heads of devolved governments in Scotland and Bavaria signed an economic declaration on Friday to enhance cooperation ahead of UK’s exit from the European Union.
  8. Alexander Vucic said Serbia will never seek to become part of NATO, since the military alliance devastated the country and killed its citizens.
  9. Gazprom’s projects aimed at bypassing Ukraine amid the ongoing crisis facing that country have put Kiev’s status as a transit state in jeopardy. Experts warn that a perfect storm of negative factors is making it increasingly likely that the value of Ukraine’s impressive network of pipelines will soon be equivalent to that of scrap metal.
  10. Russia is negotiating with China on behalf of India to get membership for the Nuclear Suppliers Group which India needs urgently.
  11. While the world is battling Daesh, al-Qaeda is quietly gaining a better foothold in Africa, according to an intelligence report.
  12. Aramco, the state-owned Saudi Arabian oil company, could list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) before the end of 2018, it has been announced – if an expected market value of around US$2 trillion is achieved following its initial public offering, it’ll be the largest in history.
  13. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under more political pressure ahead of the federal elections, September 2017, after a new poll found that 44 percent of voters would prefer ex-European Parliament President Martin Schulz to form the next government, rather than her.
  14. Washington has “indications” that some Daesh and al-Shabaab terrorists are open to reconciliation.

 


 

23rd March 2017:

  1. The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Norwegian Ambassador Vegard Ellefsen, following Norway’s decision to grant asylum to five Turkish nationals.
  2. The cyber firm investigating allegations of a Moscow-sponsored attack on US Democratic Party servers has a history of linking “Russian hacking” with imaginary events. But just days ago, FBI Director James Comey heralded CrowdStrike as a “highly respected private company” before the Senate.
  3. Russia is ready to discuss the possibility of reducing nuclear arsenals.
  4. Germany has earmarked $253 million in funds for relief aid and measures designed to rebuild Syria and Iraq.
  5. Wikileaks has released a new batch of ‘Vault 7’ revelations on CIA hacking techniques.
  6. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes needs to be investigated after bringing information about surveillance of US President Donald Trump’s transition team to the president before mentioning it to the rest of his committee, House Oversight Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings said.
  7. Turkey will seize the assets of any persons found financing North Korea’s missile and nuclear related programs.
  8. The EU-Turkey migrant deal is inching closer to collapse, Turkey’s minister in charge of EU integration Omer Celik said.
  9. It has recently become known that Ivanka Trump will take a seat in the White House. Although she will not receive an official state post or salary, the daughter of the US President Donald Trump will advise her father on a wide range of issues.
  10. After seven years of promising to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or ‘Obamacare,’ the GOP got their shot to do just that. But despite original plans to hold the vote for the partially GOP-backed American Health Care Act (AHCA) on Thursday, a new report suggests GOP leadership has postponed the vote.
  11. As armed militants descended upon Bundy Ranch in Nevada to support a rancher during his standoff with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2014, undercover FBI agents posed as documentary filmmakers to collect statements from the militia.
  12. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias claims that Turkey may lose 65 billion euros within the cooperation with the EU Customs Union, if Ankara fails to implement the obligations given to the bloc.

 


 

22nd March 2017:

  1. Kuwait Airways has imposed restrictions on large electronic devices in hand luggage for flights bound to the United States.
  2. A high-ranking UN diplomat was forced to resign after refusing to withdraw a report criticizing Israel as an apartheid state.
  3. James Mattis and his Finnish counterpart Jussi Niinisto discussed alleged Russian aggression and Helsinki’s ties with NATO in talks at the Department of Defense.
  4. Venezuelan president Maduro has accused the United States of putting pressure on foreign governments to support their alleged interference in Venezuela’s affairs.
  5. An investigation targeting Netherlands-based ING Bank is linked to bribes allegedly paid by the VimpelCom telecommunication services provider and other firms to the daughter of Uzbekistan’s late president.
  6. High-ranking officials in Israel and Syria have engaged in tough rhetoric following an Israeli airstrike on Hezbollah.
  7. South Korea considers legal action against the United States over its controversial decision to hike anti-dumping duties on Korean imports.
  8. Ukraine’s parliament passed a resolution asking the United States to grant it the status of a major non-NATO ally.
  9. Moldovan President Igor Dodon is about to start the procedure of obtaining the EAEU observer status.
  10. Relatives of a former agent of the FBI who disappeared 10 years ago in Iran filed a lawsuit against the country.
  11. Norway granted asylum to four Turkish officers and a military attache, who previously served in NATO headquarters in Brussels, after the applicants requested protection in fear of being persecuted and jailed by Ankara following the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016.
  12. Russian president Vladimir Putin hopes to restore full-fledged cooperation with Germany.
  13. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reaffirmed that Tel Aviv will continue to carry out operations aimed at disrupting weapons transfers from Iran to Hezbollah.
  14. The FBI is breaking US privacy laws by failing to issue timely privacy impact assessments and better manage its photo data base as the agency upgrades facial recognition systems that are used to identify criminal suspects.
  15. MEPs have called for the president of the eurozone Jeroen Dijsselbloem to consider his position after an outcry over his suggestion that southern members spend their money on “drinks and women”, further opening a rift between the north and south of the single currency area within the EU.
  16. Germany will meet its commitments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) despite comments made by US President Donald Trump that the country owes the alliance money, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said.

 


 

 

21st March 2017:

  1. Israel boycotted on Monday a session of the UN Human Rights Council that discussed construction of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian territories.
  2. A US Secret Service agent has been removed from active duty after affirming that she did not respect President Donald Trump enough to take a bullet for him.
  3. European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici expressed support for the proposal to create a European version of the International Monetary Fund.
  4. Martin McGuinness, the former Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader turned the Northern Ireland deputy first minister, passed away overnight after a “short illness,” his Sinn Fein party announced Tuesday.
  5. South Korean military has registered a growing number of cyberattacks after the beginning of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system deployment, Moon Sang-gyun, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said Tuesday.
  6. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will discuss the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric suspected by Ankara of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt, during his visit to the United States, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Tuesday.
  7. Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina to resolve debt to Sarajevo, the Russian Finance Ministry said Tuesday.
  8. South Africa is struggling and on the verge of having its credit rating downgraded amidst the dramatic GDP growth slowdown, with the political leadership, mired in internal confrontations, being unable to coordinate a coherent effort to revive the economy.
  9. Goldman Sachs International may relocate its staff outside of London in the course of its expansion across the European continent, the company’s chief executive officer said Tuesday.
  10. Bulgarian protesters blocked several border crossing points on the country’s border with Turkey in order to prevent Turkish individuals able to vote in Bulgaria from carrying out alleged plans to interfere in the coming parliamentary elections, local media reported on Tuesday.
  11. The UK authorities will investigate recent reports on UK banks’ alleged involvement in money laundering scheme and take all necessary measures to fight money laundering and protect country’s financial system, UK Economic Secretary to the Treasury (City Minister) Simon Kirby said Tuesday.
  12. Rome is hopeful that Moscow will return to the G8 format next year, which would depend on the implementation of Minsk accords, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano told reporters in Washington, DC on Tuesday.
  13. Chemists from Moscow State University created nanoparticles capable of neutralizing the most powerful types of chemical weapons, such as the VX gas and others similar highly toxic pesticides.
  14. Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan has held talks with EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager over its banking crisis as it emerged Italy’s economy has emerged as the biggest loser from being a part of the eurozone over the past 18 years.
  15. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt should be investigated for providing wrongful statements to Congress about his use of personal email for official business, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) said in a press release on Tuesday.
  16. The US Deposit Insurance Fund balance rose by more than $10 billion in 2016 to $83.2 billion according to a FDIC news release on Tuesday.

 


 

20th March 2017:

  1. A top Saudi military general says the Trump Administration has vowed it will significantly increase US intelligence support and defense cooperation with Riyadh against “Iran-backed” Houthis in Yemen.
  2. US President Donald Trump discussed cooperation with Chile and expressed concerns over Venezuela situation during conversation with Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet, the White House said.
  3. The Danish government has come under fire for diverting 400 DKK ($58mln), previously earmarked for refugee accommodation, back to state coffers, instead of being used for relief aid to developing countries. Fewer refugees meant a substantial gain for the Danish state coffers, yet an equally substantial loss for the world’s poor.
  4. Despite cracks in consumer confidence and slow gains in wages, the UK economy is positioned for solid growth this year due to a rebound of export-oriented manufacturing and resilience in the housing market.
  5. The authorities of the self-proclaimed Kosovo republic have decided to confiscate up to 200 billion euros’ worth of real estate of the former Yugoslavia’s Serbia and Kosovo Province, adding pressure to an already strained relationship between Pristina and Belgrade.
  6. The State Border Committee of Belarus confirmed on Monday that radioactive materials were found aboard an Armenian aircraft en route to Bulgaria.
  7. Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu clarified on Monday that his earlier statements on sending 15,000 refugees to Europe each month referred only to “irregular migrants,” and blamed the media for distorting his comments.
  8. The EU-Turkey migrant deal is not perfect and its implementation continues to be difficult but there are no viable alternatives to it, Chief Spokesperson of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas said Monday.
  9. On Thursday, United States President Donald Trump outlined his budget proposal for 2018, presuming a $54 billion increase in military spending and considerable cuts in education, environment protection and human rights activities around the world.
  10. The European Union wants deeper cooperation between the United States and Russia on nuclear non-proliferation efforts, EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Federica Mogherini said on Monday.
  11. The Geneva Convention on the rights of refugees should be amended so that sanctions can be placed on those EU member states which do not open their borders to refugees, a senior Turkish lawmaker said Monday.
  12. The United States and members states of the Gulf Cooperation Council will hold a joint military exercise, dubbed Eagle Resolve, in Kuwait on March 19- April 19, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a release on Monday.
  13. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units General Command spokesperson Redur Xelil says that YPG hope to strengthen collaboration with Russia to combat terrorism in Syria.
  14. Law enforcement officers are saying that the person who stole a secret service laptop on Thursday containing “highly sensitive” information knew precisely what they were looking for.