The Greek government has said it will not provide any facilities to the Adrian Darya (formerly Grace 1) oil tanker. “We have sent a very clear message, saying that we do not wish to provide any facilities for the smuggling of oil to Syria,” the Greek deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday, August 21.
US President Donald Trump canceled his trip to Denmark because of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s refusal to sell Greenland to the United States. Speaking in a tweet Tuesday, August 20, the president praised Denmark, and commented about the prime minister’s remarks that she had no interest in discussing the sale of Greenland to the United States.
In a historic move, Russia released the original copy of The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact two months ago. However, the question remains: What is the Kremlin’s end game? Russia’s social media propaganda machine has been very busy spinning the narrative of a Russian sphere of influence using constant subliminal messages. It’s all part of Vladimir Putin’s new narrative that it was necessary for the Soviet Union to collapse so that a new Russian empire can rise from the ashes.
Thousands of unregistered Syrian migrants and refugees will have to leave the Turkish city of Istanbul before the end of Tuesday, August 20, or face the prospect of expulsion. The city authorities have informed the undocumented immigrants about the need to return to the states where they registered, in an attempt to ease the pressures suffered by the largest cities in Turkey.
The United States has warned the Greek government and Mediterranean ports authorities against cooperating with the Iranian oil tanker which was released Sunday from Gibraltar after more than a month in detention. “It is unfortunate that this has happened,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
The Iranian oil supertanker Grace 1, recently renamed ‘Adrian Darya 1,’ finally departed from Gibraltar on Sunday night. The tanker is heading to a destination that is yet to be revealed, the information has been confirmed by shipping data and the local media. This is comes several hours after the British territory rejected a request from the United States to stop the ship from leaving.
Syrian opposition forces have announced that two people were killed and two others wounded in attacks on a convoy that contained some Turkish Army elements. The attack did not harm Turkish troops and its armor. Turkish news sources also confirmed the attack by Syrian regime fighters on Turkish troops.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday implored Germany and France to pave the way for a Brexit compromise, while again reassuring that the UK was ready to leave the European Union without an agreement on 31st October. Johnson’s government said Monday that it would “immediately” end the free movement of people in case of a Brexit without agreement on 31st October, a rather hard position compared to the one from the previous regime.
An Iranian oil tanker, seized by Gibraltar authorities last month, left the port where it was detained. Traffic data in the region show that the tanker moved east in the Mediterranean, heading to Kalamata, a Greek city. Tehran expressed readiness to send Iranian naval forces to accompany the tanker, if necessary. The name of the tanker was changed from “Grace 1″ to “Adrian Darya 1” and is now carrying the Iranian flag.
Leaked British government documents say the UK could encounter a shortage of fuel, food, and medicine if they leave the European Union without an agreement in October. The documents, published in the Sunday Times, reveal predictions of chaos in the UK, and the return of roadblocks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which could fuel protests.
Poland has announced that it will participate in the US-led International Maritime Mission in the Strait of Hormuz. The United States invited nine countries to participate in the mission of securing commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf. Germany and France are considering their own European force plan to secure shipping in the Gulf.
The Wall Street Journal quoted sources within the White House saying that the US president was interested in buying Greenland. It is the largest island in the world, the autonomous territory of Denmark. Mr. Trump, who was in the construction business before the presidency, is looking very seriously at the purchase.
Iran and Turkey have criticized India’s policy of ending the autonomy of the two states, Jammu and Kashmir. Many Muslim countries, however, have been more cautious about recent developments in Kashmir. Mohammad Hussein Bagheri, Iranian Armed Forces chief of staff, expressed concern over the situation in Kashmir and said in a telephone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart that a military approach to the Kashmir crisis could increase complexity throughout the region. Bagheri has called on the Indian government to respect the rights of Muslim residents of the two states.
Two more of the world’s biggest soccer leagues kick off their seasons this weekend. Bayern Munich (2-11) will look to extend their period of unparalleled dominance of the German Bundesliga, as they take on Hertha Berlin (20-1) on Friday. That same day, FC Barcelona (14-19) begin their quest for a three-peat in La Liga, away to Athletic Bilbao (4-1). Both Bayern (1-3) and Barca (4-6) are heavily favored to win their respective leagues. Both will seemingly have their sights set on the Champions League.
A wildfire ravaged the island of Euboea in Greece, on Wednesday, for more than 30 hours. It’s one of the biggest disasters in the history of the country, and the country’s authorities have since described it as a “huge ecological disaster.” The Greek firefighters put in a lot of efforts to contain the massive fire that ravaged one of the best-preserved wildlife sanctuaries on the island.
The Norwegian ship Ocean Viking saved another 105 migrants from Libya on Monday. There are a total of 356 people on board. At the same time, 150 migrants remain “trapped” on the Spanish Open Arms ship near the Italian island of Lampedusa. Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has ordered all Italian ports closed for refugees and illegal migrants. Meanwhile, some migrants have reportedly been waiting on ships for over ten days.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton has traveled to meet with UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson’s top officials to “keep London in line with pressure on Iran and secure shipping in the Gulf.” Iran and the US-UK joint approach to the country are expected to be among the most important issues of Bolton’s meetings and talks with British officials.
As the cryptocurrency space continues to expand, regulators are also expanding their powers and beginning to crack down. Many regulators are starting to understand the widespread adoption that’s occurring in cryptocurrency and Blockchain. Along with companies such as Samsung expanding into the crypto space, we are also aware of Facebook’s plan to introduce cryptocurrency to 1+ billion users globally. When any sort of technology evolves to the masses, the regulatory industry will surely be involved.
In France, Francis Vercamer, a deputy of the National Assembly of France recently asked to clarify the Russian repayment of bonds from the Czarist Russia period in the 1800s. The French invested in the railroad bonds backed by the gold standard. The bonds were issued during the railroad construction boom in the latter part of the 1800s. In January 1857 Alexander II signed into law the start of building railroads to connect a multitude of the Russian regions.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called the Persian Gulf “a vital highway” for the country and has described the presence of non-regional and foreign forces as a source of insecurity. Mr. Zarif wrote on his Twitter post, “The National Security Priority for the Islamic Republic,” and Iran will “no doubt maintain its security.”
You can’t say he didn’t warn us. Thursday, after a summer-long beach tour, right-wing Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, effectively pulled the plug on the Italian government. Evidently on his instruction, his Northern League voted with the opposition in the Senate to stop his coalition partners in the populist Five Star Movement from blocking a high-speed rail link between Turin and Lyon. Salvini, who also serves as one of the country’s Deputy Prime Ministers, had been toying with the idea since dominating the country’s elections to the European Parliament in May.
France’s government under the stewardship of president Emmanuel Macron has drafted a law on bioethics. The law includes broadening the list of people who can have access to treatments such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. Single women of any sexual orientation will no longer have to travel abroad to have children. The proposed law if passed would give them access for the first time to assisted reproduction medical techniques.
A US federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee which accused the Russian government, President Trump’s campaign and WikiLeaks of working together to influence the 2016 US election. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan dismissed the DNC’s lawsuit with prejudice arguing their claim that top officials in Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election was presented without merit.
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on Monday doubled an offensive to boost his Brexit goals. On the one part, he announced an investment plan of 300 million pounds (329 million euros) in Scotland, a territory mostly contrary to an EU exit, especially without a pact. On the other hand, the conservative leader’s office sent a harsh message to the EU, warning that Johnson will not negotiate with Brussels if the safeguard included in the exit agreement is not withdrawn before avoiding a hard border in Ireland.
This week, the government of Austria announced an arrest warrant has been issued for Igor Egorovich Zaytsev. Zaytsev was a GRU officer and an alleged handler of an Austrian Colonel. The recruitment allegedly had taken place 30 years ago. Zaytsev is currently 65 years old and the yet unnamed Austrian Colonel is in his 70s. The allegations against Zaytsev and his source are pertaining to payments being provided in exchange for sensitive information about Austrian military and weapons systems. Zaytsev’s military rank has yet to be disclosed, but given his 30 years of service, it could be opined that he would at least be a Colonel, and possibly a General.
Twenty-four-year-old Bazzill Mohammed arrived in Turkey illegally eight years ago. He managed to get a Turkish ID but when he brought his wife to the hospital to deliver a baby a few years ago he was told the documents were fake. “I don’t have the ID, I’m scared when I’m going to work and going home. My wife and son don’t have Turkish IDs either. When I go to immigration they tell me to go and register in a different city but there aren’t many jobs there,” said Bazzil.
France has announced that eight European countries have agreed to co-host migrants rescued in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, but Italy is not one of those countries. French President Emmanuel Macaron said six other countries supported a French-German plan to resettle migrants following talks in Paris.
Monday was another bad day for Chinese tech giant Huawei. The Washington Post dropped a major bombshell on the company regarding alleged (highly-illegal) dealings in North Korea, and Czech Radio added another involving activities in their own country. The news adds fresh and serious doubts about the company’s potential western footprint, and bolster’s Washington’s case that the giant is a threat to American national security and users’ privacy. President Trump met tech CEOs in the White House Monday, partially to discuss what to do about it.
Strong wind gusts and high temperatures complicated the task of more than 1,700 firemen with the support of airplanes and helicopters in the Castelo Branco region. A suspect believed to have caused the fire has been arrested. The wind and heat complicated the fight against a vast fire in the center of Portugal. So far twenty have been injured, eight firefighters and twelve civilians. One of the civilians, with severe burns, was evacuated by helicopter to Lisbon, 200 kilometers to the south.
The US requested collaboration to protect the transit of oil tankers after the incident with the British ship. After recent incidents in the Strait of Hormuz, the White House asked its international partners to collaborate in a joint military mission, called Operation Sentinel, to protect the transit of commercial tankers through the mouth of the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon aims to add its partners in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East in this naval effort.
Turbulent months are expected in the European Union (EU) with Great Britain. It is likely that the day after tomorrow, Boris Johnson will become the new British prime minister, and with his coming to power there is a complicated panorama for the bloc: a Brexit without agreement or a new postponement.
Conservatives who govern Britain will announce tomorrow who will be the new party leader, replacing Theresa May. The chosen one will automatically become prime minister the next day. A little more than three months later, on October 31, Britain is expected to leave the European Union (EU).
Europe will not gamble on any uncertainty in NATO. Large EU economies are putting forth a tangible effort towards sovereign and continental defense outside of their historic NATO contributions and technology is one of their focuses. Although these new efforts pale in comparison to the combined NATO size and budget, they are a sign that sovereign defense still matters in the Eurozone. One such “startup” defense initiative is France’s DIA.
The United Kingdom yesterday urged Iran to ease tensions in the Gulf by releasing the British oil tanker boarded in the Strait of Hormuz, an act deemed “unacceptable” by London and raising further escalation fears. British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt announced that the executive would inform Parliament on Monday about “further measures” that the United Kingdom intends to take, but the “priority” remains to “find a way to defuse the situation.” But “we also need to see a process” of appeasement on the Iranian side, he said. “We need this ship to be released.”
The United States said it was excluding Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program after the first parts of the Russian advanced defense program S-400 was received in Ankara last week. Washington says the F-35 fighter jets can not coexist with a Russian intelligence-gathering platform that will be used to learn its evolving capabilities.
The United Nations has called for the closure of immigration detention centers in Libya, saying these facilities are unsuitable for shelter. This comes about two weeks after the killing of more than fifty people in an air strike targeting a detention center in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said an Iranian oil tanker being held by the British Royal Navy in the Straits of Gibraltar could be released if the United Kingdom will be guaranteed by Iran that the oil tanker would not go to Syria to deliver its cargo. The minister added that he had a “constructive” telephone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who informed him of Tehran’s desire to resolve the issue, and not to escalate the situation.
Thomas Cook Group, the UK’s largest travel agency operator, is in financial trouble and is negotiating with banks and its largest shareholder, China Fosun International. The agreement to be finalized will determine whether Fosun International will acquire Thomas Cook’s tourism business.
British police have launched an investigation into an alleged leak of e-mails from the British ambassador in Washington criticizing the administration of US President Donald Trump. Deputy police commissioner Neil Basu said there was “clear public interest” in bringing officials to justice. Sir Kim Darroch resigned as an ambassador on Wednesday, saying it was “not possible” for him to continue.
The Turkish Defense Ministry said on Friday that they have received the first Russian air defense system S-400. The delivery was made earlier today with the equipment reaching an air base northwest of the capital Ankara, the ministry said. The purchase angered the United States, Turkey’s ally. The United States has warned Turkey that it may face sanctions because of the purchase, including denial of access to US F-35 fighter jets.
France’s parliament approved legislation to impose a three-percent tax on Internet and technology companies like Google and Facebook to re-establishing financial justice, says Justice Minister Bruno Le Mayer. The 3% tax will be levied on the sales of multinational companies in France. The French Senate passed a new tax on Thursday, one week after the National Assembly approved it.
Six tourists died and more than 30 were injured during a small hurricane, which unexpectedly struck late on Wednesday at Halkidiki resorts in northern Greece, near Thessaloniki. Powerful wind gusts, rain, and storm tore the roofs off buildings, overturned cars and caused flooding in hotels. Authorities declared an emergency with more than 100 rescue workers at the disaster’s site.
Iranian ships tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the UK government said. This happened a week after British marines detained an Iranian tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar.
As stated by the British government, the incident occurred on Wednesday into the Strait of Hormuz: three Iranian boats tried to prevent the passage of British Heritage a commercial vessel but were forced to retreat when the HMS Montrose tanker escorting crew demanded they withdraw.
The case is unprecedented: one of the most important figures in British diplomacy, an ambassador to Washington, forced to submit his resignation after his negative analysis of the American administration leaked in the press. On Wednesday, July 10, Kim Darroch felt that he could no longer fulfill his role after the publication of British diplomatic cables in the Daily Mail where he describes US President Donald Trump as “inept,” “unstable,” and “incompetent.”
Airline tickets in France will become more expensive in the future and such revenue will be invested in rail infrastructure. This eco-tax applies from 2020, but certain air connections are excluded.
France will introduce an eco-tax on airline tickets from next year. The tax will be 1.50 € and 18 € per ticket, Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne announced. The government expects a revenue of more than 180 million euros annually.
The coup attempt in Turkey is almost three years back and the authorities are still looking for alleged co-conspirators. Dozens of arrests were ordered again in several cities. Now the judiciary has again requested the arrest of dozens of military personnel – allegedly linked to the banned Gulen movement.
The Istanbul Procuratorate said it issued an arrest warrant for 176 active members of the military on suspicion of links to the banned movement of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen. Ankara blames the Gulen movement for the attempted coup.
Nationalism is a necessary evil. God is both national and universal. The highest spiritual level is universal revealed by the Messiah of Freedom through resurrection. You need both national and universal to build the kingship of God on earth. The Byzantine Empire also called the Roman Empire today lives in the small country of Vatican City. The smallest nation in the world may be the most powerful. Last week July 4 Vladimir Putin visited Pope Francis at Vatican City. Russia, the largest nation in the world, visited the smallest.
Diplomacy is also an art of courtesy. But not behind the scenes: After Donald Trump’s visit to Europe, the British Ambassador to the US wrote an extraordinary briefing.
Previously, the British newspaper Mail on Sunday reported on Kim Darroch’s secret briefings to the State Department in London, in which the ambassador expressed extremely negative comments about the functioning of the government in Washington – also with regard to Trump’s foreign policy.
The nuclear deal with Iran is facing another serious setback. The government in Tehran wants to ramp up uranium enrichment.
France’s head of state Emmanuel Macron warned his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in a telephone conversation about the “risk of weakening” the international nuclear agreement. Macron had expressed deep concern in the conversation, pointing out that such weakening of the agreement would have consequences, the Presidential Office in Paris said. What consequences this could be, was not explained.