News Updates – 2017 – July – 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.

 

23rd July 2017:

  1. The Middle East Quartet, comprising Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, expressed its concern regarding the escalation in Jerusalem, a statement of the Quarter said.
  2. President of the Palestine Authority Mahmoud Abbas has called for a fight to “take control of Al-Aqsa”
  3. German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that he welcomes European Union’s intentions to introduce sanctions against Poland over the latter’s judicial reform, which, according to Maas, endangers the independence of the Polish judicial system.
  4. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will embark on a tour to the Persian Gulf states, namely Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, to discuss the developments regarding the diplomatic crisis between the four Arab states and Doha, as well as bilateral relations.
  5. Iraqi Vice President Nouri Maliki will pay a visit to Moscow to hold meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the country’s senior officials.
  6. Amid violent clashes over access to the Temple Mount’s Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the League of Arab States plans to hold urgent meeting on the situation in the ancient city.
  7. The International Monetary Fund has slightly relaxed its conditions for the provision of a new loan tranche to Ukraine, removing the demand that Kiev first revise the country’s laws on the privatization of agricultural land.

 


 

22nd July 2017:

  1. US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said he believes Daesh terror group leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi is still alive.
  2. A labor surplus means that 10 percent of college graduates in Russia may be unable to find jobs. Encouraging investment by Chinese manufacturers might help Russia solve this problem.
  3. UK governmental borrowing expanded by roughly 50 percent in June due to a drop in corporate tax receipts, higher debt servicing costs, and higher payments to the EU budget, producing a wider budget deficit, and reviving the debate over economic policies and growth.
  4. US banks reported sharp losses in their mortgage divisions, with smaller regional lenders exposed to greater risks, despite the losses in big Wall Street banks being larger in scale, meaning only a pickup in disposable incomes will change the situation for the better.
  5. Qatari Ambassador to Russia Fahad Mohammed Attiyah stated that the countries, which declared a blockade against Qatar, make different statements and change demands, which has already affected the impression of the international community.
  6. With Washington and Tehran increasingly at odds, Iran has announced the launch of a new missile production line.

 


 

21st July 2017:

  1. The Department of Homeland Security’s laptop ban on US bound flights from airports in ten Muslim-majority countries has ended, the media reported.
  2. Just three days after South Korea proposed holding inter-Korean military talks with its northern neighbor, Pyongyang’s most notable publication slammed the efforts as “nonsense.”
  3. Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said the small Gulf emirate was willing to hold constructive talks with Arab rivals if they stopped meddling in its home affairs.
  4. The Moldovan president said in an interview that Moldova was ready to make compromises to unite the country.
  5. US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, who is leading a legal team investigating Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, has also launched a probe several weeks ago into possible money laundering by President Donald Trump’s former election campaign manager Paul Manafort, media reported.
  6. The German government has decided to freeze arms projects with Turkey following a diplomatic row caused by the detention of German human rights activist Peter Steudtner in Turkey, media reported.
  7. Israeli police said they had barred male Muslims under the age of 50 from entering Jerusalem’s Old City and Temple Mount for Friday prayers due to the threat of mass protests.
  8. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has called on the United States to intervene in the situation on Temple Mount after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at the entrances to the holy site, warning that the situation may get out of control, local media reported.
  9. Russia will not support the UNSC proposals on reform that does not represent the interests of African nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
  10. US President Donald Trump told Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting that he trusts him and that he thinks that Moscow did not interfere in the US election, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
  11. The countries boycotting Qatar over its alleged support of terrorism did not scale down its list of demands to Doha as claimed by some media reports, Bahrain’s Ambassador to Russia Ahmed Saati said.
  12. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced a freeze of all contacts with Israel over violence in Jerusalem.
  13. US President Donald Trump will host Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri for talks on terrorism, refugees and other issues of mutual concern, according to the White House.
  14. US Special Operations Command has confirmed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) will stop arming and training Syrian rebel factions opposed to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

 


 

20th July 2017:

  1. Israel plans to open a clinic near Syria’s southwestern border in the contested Golan Heights where Syrians could receive medical treatment, an Israeli Northern Command officer said.
  2. The US state of Hawaii is preparing for its second legal battle against President Donald Trump’s travel ban after a victory in the Supreme Court Hawaii State Attorney Doug Chin stated in a press release.
  3. Turkish security forces warned G20 host Germany about a possible plan to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the summit, media reported.
  4. Syria’s government forces have retaken over 40 oil rigs from terrorists of Daesh, a representative of the Syrian oil industry said.
  5. The long awaited release of British government documents on the fate of Nazi No. 2 Rudolf Hess has failed to dispel numerous conspiracy theories about his death in 1987 at Spandau Prison in Berlin.
  6. A sixth group of Turkish troops arrived at a military base in the Qatari capital of Doha to take part in joint military exercises, media reported.
  7. Germany will reconsider its economic policy towards Ankara as well as credit and investment programs over the arrests of human rights activists in Turkey, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.
  8. The US Department of Justice and Europol have shut down a so-called dark web site with 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and toxic chemicals.
  9. The UK government is planning to probe artificial intelligence (AI) data, in a bid to try and understand better the ethical and social implications of technology on consumers.
  10. Turkey plans to construct 22 new dams in the South Anatolia region but such a decision has already sparked concern of Iranian authorities, as this construction will lead to the drying up of two major water sources for Iran.
  11. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran has summoned the Kuwaiti charge d’affaires after the decision of the Kuwaiti government to reduce the number of diplomats of the Iranian diplomatic mission, local media reported.
  12. The Trump administration’s economic plan, dubbed MAGAnomics, has been drafted for the single purpose of achieving a sustained growth of 3 percent for the US economy, according to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

 


 

19th July 2017:

  1. Leader of the French left-wing party Unsubmissive France (La France Unsoumise) Jean-Luc Melenchon is being investigated for allegedly paying assistants with European Parliament money, local media reported.
  2. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the end of the battle for Mosul and called on Turkish troops to withdraw from Iraq, media reported.
  3. As refugees from war-torn countries continue to run from ongoing violence, Europe has removed another tool for their escape by banning the sale of inflatable boats to Libya.
  4. Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest crude oil producer in May, with Russia’s oil output amounting to 10.298 million barrels a day against 9.880 million barrels extracted by Saudi Arabia, Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) data showed.
  5. The head of France’s armed forces has resigned after a furious row with his new boss, President Emmanuel Macron, over budget cuts. General Pierre de Villiers said he did not believe he could “guarantee the protection of France and the French people.”
  6. Germany’s Daimler automotive corporation and BASF chemical company are included in Turkey’s list of individuals and organizations suspected of supporting terrorism, local media reported.
  7. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced a cabinet reshuffle in the country, with defense and justice ministers becoming vice prime ministers and five new ministers being appointed.
  8. The European Union’s internal anti-fraud office, OLAF, is conducting six investigations into individuals for suspected tax evasion after their names emerged in the Panama Papers.
  9. The UK government should abandon its police funding formula and focus on more financing for London’s Metropolitan Police Service (commonly referred to as the Met), or else the number of police officers in the UK capital may fall below 30,000, the lowest figure since 2003, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said.
  10. Iraqi Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani has signed a decree setting parliamentary and presidential elections in the region for November 1, local media reported.

 


 

18th July 2017:

  1. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stated at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York that although he had no contacts with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, there are possibilities of engagement between Washington and Tehran in regards to the nuclear agreement in the future.
  2. India, where the social caste system has kept a high percentage of the population of the country in abject poverty for thousands of years, is projected to elect a member of the lowest social rung to the presidency for the second time in history.
  3. Ceasefire, humanitarian aid and constructive dialogue with regard to the conflict in Yemen could be the basis for collaboration between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.
  4. The United States will take swift and strong economic action if the government of Nicolas Maduro imposes its Constituent Assembly on July 30, President Donald Trump said in a White House statement.
  5. The contracts concluded as part of the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS confirm foreign partners’ willingness to collaborate with Russia, President Vladimir Putin said in a welcoming letter to the participants and guests of the 2017 event opening.
  6. Polish authorities appealed to the European Court of Justice against its obligation to take in refugees under the EU relocation scheme, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said.
  7. Britain has asked India to come up with a mechanism to solve the issue of Indians who overstay their visa during the two countries’ Home Affairs talks in London.
  8. North Korea has no ability to accurately strike the United States, Vice Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva said in a congressional hearing.
  9. An international tribunal has ordered Russia to pay the compensation of nearly 5.4 million euros ($6.2 million) to the Netherlands for seizing the Dutch-flagged Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise.
  10. The US has come to an agreement with Panama to destroy a stockpile of mustard gas left over from secret human tests conducted by the Americans during and shortly after World War II.
  11. The Trump administration has no plans to take away senior adviser Jared Kushner’s security clearance, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters in a news briefing.

 


 

17th July 2017:

  1. Following a meeting between Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump, the French president asserted that the US leader may rescind his intention to leave the global Paris Climate Accord.
  2. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will take part in the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Minsk.
  3. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is set to discuss the recent developments in the Middle East during the meeting with the president of the Council on Foreign in New York.
  4. Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada declared former Mexico’s President Vicente Fox Quesada persona non grata over his alleged involvement as a guarantor in the oppositional referendum against the policies of Venezuela’s leader Nicolas Maduro.
  5. The European Union has imposed sanctions on 16 Syrians “for their role in the development and use of chemical weapons against the civilian population”, the EU Council said.
  6. In total, in the first half of 2017, over 760 kilograms of illicit drugs were seized in Russia by Russian Federal Security Service, according to official statement.
  7. Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord Fayez Sarraj stated that Libya’s oil production reached 1 million barrels a day.
  8. United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said that international monitoring is needed to resolve the diplomatic row between Qatar and a number of Gulf states.
  9. The first batch of concrete weight coated pipes (CWC) for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has been delivered to Finland’s Koverhar port by rail, the project’s operator said.
  10. Donald Trump’s administration is finalizing plans to revolutionize the US’ military command for defensive and offensive cyber operations, in hopes of intensifying America’s ability to wage cyberwar against foes such as Daesh. Serious questions abound as to whether Cyber Command can function as an independent entity, however.
  11. A team of enterprising Egyptian students have invented a new electric car, with a price tag of less than $1,000.
  12. The Trump administration is planning to impose new sanctions against Iran over Tehran’s ballistic missile program and alleged support for terrorism, US media reported.