Week 4

26th and 27th September 2016:

  1. Militants from Ahrar Al-Sham, a hardline Islamist group, are planning to use white phosphorus in an attack on civilians to later blame it on Syrian armed forces, UN envoy Bashar Ja’afari told a UN Security Council emergency meeting
  2. Russia’s state United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation (UIMC) has designed a supercomputer tailored to operate all aerial, ground and sea robotic systems, no matter who produced them, which makes the cutting-edge solution also cost-saving
  3. The US and its Western partners are trying to steer the world’s attention away from their airstrikes on the Syrian Army by accusing Russia of attacking a UN humanitarian convoy outside Aleppo, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said
  4. Newly discovered raw data picked up by a civilian radar station on the day of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash shows no signs of a missile being fired at the plane from territory controlled by rebels, the Russian military and radar producer said
  5. Damascus has a recording of conversations between the American military and Islamic State terrorists ahead of the US-led coalition airstrike that hit Syrian troops near Deir ez-Zor on September 17, the speaker of the People’s Council of Syria said
  6. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his intention to distance his country from the US, its former colonial master, saying he is about to pass “the point of no return” with the US and want alliances with China and Russia
  7. Iran has managed to seize “thousands” of valuable US military documents when its navy intercepted and detained a group of US sailors in an embarrassing trespassing incident in January, the Revolutionary Guard commander said
  8. US weapons are being delivered to Jabhat Al-Nusra by governments that Washington supports, a militant commander told the German media, adding that American instructors were in Syria to teach how to use the new equipment
  9. Nearly every EU state could follow in the footsteps of the UK and vote to leave the bloc, French Member of Parliament responsible for European affairs in President Francois Hollande’s party, Philip Cordery, has said
  10. Acknowledging that the terrorist threat in the EU has reached its peak in the last two decades, the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator warned the bloc’s lawmakers that Europe could face new ISIS-coordinated attacks, possibly even involving chemical weapons
  11. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is trying to significantly cut costs at a time of cheaper crude oil. In one of the most drastic measures to date, Riyadh has slashed ministers’ salaries by 20 percent and abolished public sector perks
  12. Shares in Germany’s largest bank have hit rock bottom on Monday as Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly refused to provide Deutsche Bank state aid in its legal battle with the United States Department of Justice (DoJ)
  13. The new Mir charge cards, which are part of Russia’s national payment system (NSPK), could soon be used across Europe, the head of NSPK Vladimir Komlev said
  14. Developing economies in Asia are holding steady and will grow at the earlier forecast rate of 5.7 percent this year and next, buoyed by resilience in the region’s two largest economies, China and India
  15. Israel’s Delek Group, one of the developers of the country’s biggest natural gas reservoir, says it has signed a deal to sell gas to neighboring Jordan. The agreement would provide 45 billion cubic meters of gas to Jordan over 15 years
  16. The Russian president Vladimir Putin discussed trade and energy cooperation with the Bulgarian prime minister
  17. Moscow congratulated the people of Colombia on ending decades-long war and offered support to the peace process
  18. Resumption of the Syrian peace talks in Geneva depends on the ability of the US-led coalition to isolate al-Nusra Front terrorists and to comply with the provisions of the US-Russia deal on the Syrian settlement, leader of the Moscow-Cairo-Astana opposition platform Qadri Jamil said
  19. Russia plans to register a new system to detect Zika antibodies in human blood in two months, the head of the Russian federal health and epidemic watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said
  20. The current “level of violence in verbal attacks” on Russia at the UN is unprecedented,” Gilbert Doctorow, European Coordinator for the American Committee for East West Accord said, adding that this seems to indicate that something grave must have happened between the two countries with regards to Syria, behind the scenes
  21. Recent diplomatic clashes and Western allegations against Russia over Syria stem from the situation on the ground. The Syrian Army is close to defeating terrorists in Aleppo. The West understands that this victory would change the situation in the region
  22. Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom and the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) have signed a protocol on cooperation in the field of nuclear security in Vienna
  23. When opening an emergency session of the lower house of parliament earlier this week Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hoped that President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tokyo in December would help kick start talks over the territorial dispute between Russia and Japan over the disputed Kuril Islands
  24. Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom and Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) have signed a memorandum of understanding on education and training of human resources in the field of nuclear energy and other related areas in Vienna
  25. Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom and Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment have signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of peaceful atomic energy use on the sidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference in Vienna

28th September 2016:

  1. Two improvised explosive devices have gone off in the eastern German city of Dresden, targeting a mosque and an international conference centre. No one was injured, according to police, although the mosque was severely damaged
  2. Social networking giant Facebook has been ordered by German authorities to stop collecting and storing data from WhatsApp after users claimed their digital privacy was at risk. The privacy regulator also ruled that the data that has already been forwarded should be deleted
  3. Moscow has released parts of Syria ceasefire deal documents in Russian following the recent publishing of the papers by the US. Russia is calling on Washington to release all the documents from the agreement
  4. Syrian government forces have re-captured Aleppo’s central district of al-Farafirah from terrorists, state outlet SANA reported, citing army sources
  5. The CIA has been coordinating weapon deliveries on the Turkey-Syria border, German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer, who recently spoke with a Jabhat al-Nusra commander, said. He added that the US knows that the weapons it delivers to rebels end up with terrorists
  6. Russian and Pakistani servicemen conducted their first joint military exercises in Pakistan in a historic moment of cooperation between the former Cold War rivals
  7. Saudi Arabia blatantly ignored the protected nature of medical facilities and demonstrated a total disregard for civilian life in Yemen when it executed indiscriminate and apparently intentional airstrikes on NGO-affiliated hospitals, MSF said in two new reports
  8. Former Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres has died at a hospital near Tel Aviv at the age of 93, after his condition deteriorated following a stroke, local media report
  9. The US will deploy the THAAD missile defence system to South Korea “as soon as possible,” Washington confirmed, less than three months after Seoul agreed to host it. The move, opposed by China and Russia, allegedly aims to counter the North Korean threat
  10. Authorities in the Russian capital plan to substitute US computer software with locally produced alternatives. As a first step, about 6,000 Moscow officials will start using a corporate e-mail system called MyOffice Mail instead of Microsoft Outlook
  11. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has cut its forecast for global trade growth this year by more than a third, saying it’s the first time in 15 years international commerce will slip below GDP
  12. The new MIR charge cards, which are part of Russia’s national payment system (NSPK), could soon be used across Europe, the head of NSPK Vladimir Komlev said
  13. China said it does not support countries using domestic laws to carry out “long arm jurisdiction” after a Chinese firm was hit by US sanctions over connections to North Korea
  14. Tehran says it will continue increasing oil output until it produces four million barrels a day, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said prior to visiting Algeria to attend the International Energy Forum, and will not participate in a production cap deal
  15. Russia will lift the ban on supplies of fruit and vegetables, expect potatoes, from Egypt within 3-5 days, a source in the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance said

29th and 30th September:

  1. The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that investigators probing the MH17 crash allowed Ukraine to fabricate evidence, turning the case to its advantage, while denying Moscow any comprehensive role in the inquiry
  2. Russian FM Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova hit back at her US counterpart John Kirby, who warned that terrorist attacks may take place in Russia if the civil war continues in Syria. His remark sounds like a call to “get ’em,” she noted
  3. Saudi Arabia and its allies could retaliate against US legislation allowing the kingdom to be sued for the 9/11 attacks, including scaling back investment in the US economy or restricting access to important regional air bases, experts claim
  4. Up to 250 people, many of them children, have died from exposure to suspected chemical weapons in Darfur in the past eight months, Amnesty International has reported. The Sudanese government has denied chemical weapons use
  5. An Italian frigate has participated in joint drills with Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, an Iranian commander has said. The manoeuvres are unprecedented and come despite several controversial incidents involving US warships in the same area
  6. China has unveiled plans to build the world’s deepest and largest high-speed railway station as part of its preparations for hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics
  7. Up to 22 Somali soldiers may have been killed by a suspected United States military airstrike in what local officials called a ruse orchestrated by rival regional authorities
  8. Internal disagreements in the US as well as Washington’s support for terrorist groups in Syria are hampering peace efforts, President Assad’s Political and Media Adviser Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban said
  9. The Chinese Defense Ministry has warned the US against deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in South Korea
  10. An EU-backed resolution demanding an independent inquiry into human rights violations during the Yemeni war has been withdrawn at the UN Human Rights Council. Instead, to activists’ discontent, a weakened “reasonable compromise” text has been adopted
  11. Precisely a year ago Moscow joined the campaign in Syria at the request of Damascus. While killing thousands of jihadists, Russia suffered military losses, but became one of the driving forces behind attempts at the national reconciliation process
  12. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shook hands and exchanged pleasantries at the funeral of former Israeli statesman Shimon Peres in Jerusalem
  13. A high court in Islamabad has finally ordered the Pakistani government to initiate criminal proceedings against the CIA over a drone strike that killed the brother and son of journalist Karim Khan back in 2009, his lawyer said
  14. The US is keeping jihadist group al-Nusra for a “Plan B”, potentially to overthrow Syrian President Assad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the BBC
  15. Germany’s second biggest bank, Commerzbank has announced plans to cut 9,600 jobs, or a fifth of its workforce, over the next four years. The move is part of a restructuring plan put in place after the bank’s bailout. Commerzbank will also suspend dividend payments for the first time
  16. Gazprom and its partners on the Nord Stream-2 project plan to discuss a new model of the project’s financing on October 4th
  17. Deutsche Bank AG is nearing an agreement with US officials to pay $5.4 billion to settle charges related to its sale of toxic mortgage bonds before the financial crisis
  18. Britain’s pivotal services sector has defied expectations in the weeks after the vote to leave the EU. The Office of National Statistics said that the sector expanded by a strong 0.4 percent in July
  19. The Kremlin has issued a by-law that limits state-run enterprises from buying foreign-made electronic devices. The list includes cellular phones, laptops and tablet computers, cash registers and ATMs
  20. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said that US President Barack Obama needs to explain the secret concession between the United States and Iran on its nuclear program to the American public
  21. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly set to offer President Putin the Kuril islands in exchange for investments into the infrastructure of Russia’s Far East and Russian IT-technologies, some sources close to Japanese diplomatic circles said
  22. Attila Aszodi, the government commissioner responsible for Paks II, said that the Russian-Hungarian project to build two additional reactors at the Hungarian Paks nuclear power plant met Hungarian and EU standards
  23. The crisis in Russian-Turkish relations was artificially created by certain outside forces, political analyst and former Turkish MP Oya Akgonenc Mugisuddin said
  24. Norway seems to make the most of its arms export to warring countries, but pressure has been rising on Norway to put a stop to its controversial weapons sales to the Saudi-led coalition that is waging a war in Yemen
  25. German Ambassador to Russia Ruediger von Fritsch said that Germany and Russia are successfully broadening cooperation in the sphere of culture and science even at times of political difficulties
  26. Dmitry Medvedev said that Russian authorities will disburse next year an additional sum of 20 billion rubles (almost $316 million) for development of small and medium-sized businesses in the country
  27. Dmitry Medvedev said that the macroeconomic conditions in Russia are changing in the right direction
  28. Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) Director Leonid Reshetnikov stated that within this year the majority of Daesh militants will leave Syria and Iraq for Libya
  29. Russia’s Lukoil company plans to sign agreements with Iran on two oil fields in the autumn of 2017, the company’s president Vagit Alekperov said
  30. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insinuated to a group of local administrators that the state of emergency announced in the wake of July’s failed military coup could be extended for over a year

1st and 2nd October:

  1. Turkey should not base its foreign policy on the premise that Syrian President Bashar Assad is an enemy, the former chief of Turkey’s military intelligence Gen. Ismail Hakki Pekin said
  2. China will be giving no more credit to Venezuela as the latter has not been paying off its loans in time amid a slump in oil production
  3. Senior US military officials secretly worked to sabotage efforts to cooperate with Russia on implementing a ceasefire in Syria, former White House National Security Council advisor Gwenyth Todd said
  4. The United States rejects Russia’s Supreme Court decision to uphold the ban on the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People as an extremist organization, US Department of States spokesperson Mark Toner said
  5. China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in the non-manufacturing sector went up to 53.7 in September
  6. The spokesman for the Russian Centre for Syrian Reconciliation said that the Russian military has delivered about 1.5 metric tons of humanitarian aid to the one of return areas for refugees in the Syrian city of Aleppo
  7. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated that Russian economy will enter a growth phase at the beginning of next year
  8. Investors have an increasing appetite for Russian bonds, as much Western sovereign debt is offering yields of less than zero, German newspaper Die Welt reported
  9. The Dutch-led Joint Investigative Team’s new report on the 2014 Malaysia Airlines MH17 disaster is full of “troubling gaps”, according to American investigative journalist Robert Parry
  10. Larry Johnson, retired CIA intelligence officer, said on Sputnik Radio that the US has “an enormous amount of blood on its hands” for inciting this conflict and it is in fact “lip-service to the concept of fighting terrorism,” pursuing completely different purposes
  11. Veteran German politician Willy Wimmer suggested that Russia is the only major power ready to seriously fight terrorism, and to call for an end to a war which risks spreading across the region
  12. The self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic completed the pullback of troops and military equipment in the military zone in the area of Zolote in Ukraine
  13. The Sochi International Investment Forum was attended by more than 4,000 participants from 43 countries, where 215 agreements worth 704 billion rubles were signed, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak
  14. Leaked audio tapes of Secretary of State John Kerry speaking to Syrian opposition members on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York confirmed that Washington has not basis for intervention in Syria, he is reported as saying, “We don’t have a basis (to intervene), our lawyers tell us, unless we have a UN Security Council Resolution which the Russians can veto or unless we are under attack from folks or unless we are invited in. Russia is invited in by the legitimate regime,” with Kerry acknowledging the Assad government’s stature under the doctrines of international law
  15. The Japanese government is now committed to establishing a peace treaty with Moscow and resolving the territorial dispute between the two countries
  16. The Russian centre for Syrian reconciliation at the Hmeimim airbase registered a total of 71 violations of the ceasefire regime in Syria in the last 24 hours, the Russian Defence Ministry said
  17. UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that she would return to the United Kingdom its independence from the European Union and put an end to the supremacy of the EU legislation in the state by introducing a new bill
  18. Strengthening cooperation between Russia and Japan in the sphere of science, technology and innovations will become crucial to implementation of the economic cooperation plan proposed by Japanese Prime Minister, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said
  19. Russian Foreign Ministry said that Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry discussed the situation in Syria’s Aleppo and North Korean issue in another phone conversation
  20. UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that the United Kingdom will begin the procedure of leaving the European Union before the end of March next year
  21. The US-Saudi spat over the recent vote by the Senate and House of Representatives to overturn the presidential veto on the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which will allows for victims and the families of the 2001 attacks to sue the Saudi government opens a window of opportunities for Russia in Syria according to Russian legal experts
  22. While Daesh is making less money from oil, the terrorist group has still been able to profit by smuggling other contraband goods from Iraq and Syria to France
  23. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the main bank interest rates, including the key rate of the Central Bank, could be reduced in Russia
  24. In light of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act passed by the US Congress allowing families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia, Iraqis have asked their parliament to demand compensation for the US invasion of Iraq
  25. The Syrian army and Kurdish self-defence forces succeeded in liberating the industrial zone of Shkeif in north-western Aleppo