On Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Idlib, saying that the latest ceasefire in Syria “failed again to protect civilians.” This came the day after 10 people, including 3 Turkish soldiers, were killed in an explosion that rocked Raqqa. “It is deeply distressing that civilians are still being killed on a daily basis in missile strikes from both the air and ground,” Bachelet said in a statement about the Russian-Turkish ceasefire, which was supposed to be implemented about a week ago in Idlib.
It has been announced that starting on March 1, 2020, new Android smartphones in the European Economic Zone will have a choice of using the Russian Yandex search engine. Yandex Search is a web search engine owned by a Russian corporation. It is the core product of Yandex. In January 2015, Yandex Search generated 51.2% of all search traffic in Russia according to LiveInternet. The search engine will be offered in Estonia, Finland Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Russia will host Fayez al-Serraj and Khalifa Haftar in Moscow in an attempt to achieve peace in Libya. According to Russian news, Haftar is already in Russia. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who is a Turkish politician and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey since 24 November 2015, is expected to join them. Hakan Fidan is a retired Turkish army sergeant, teacher, diplomat and the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization. he is expected to attend as well. Hulusi Akar is the current Turkish Minister of Defense and a former four-star Turkish Armed Forces general who served as the 29th Chief of the General Staff. He will be arriving with al Serraj for the talks. Observers from Egypt and United Arab Emirates will be in attendance. The latest development is that Haftar left without signing any type peace resolution.
Recently, a fictional movie about Putin has been completed. The budget for the film was 800 million Rubles ($13.1 million) The movie has a historic theme and Vladimir Putin is portrayed as Czar Nikolas I and the whole plot is about how the emperor is always right. The epoch is early 1800s. It is not a surprise, with the movie budget alone, to believe the film is social engineering propaganda in the post Russian space. Of course, along the golden Russian tradition, the film has already been leaked on purpose. That way it will reach a wider audience everywhere versus people having to go to a Russian movie theater to see it. It is a prelude.
Iran announced, through its national television station Sunday, that it would no longer comply with any restrictions under the 2015 Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA). Although Tehran will continue to cooperate with the United Nations’ nuclear oversight agency, the (IAEA), it will no longer fully comply with the restrictions of the nuclear agreement, with the intervention of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
The European Union (EU) announced the beginning of the development of a Human Rights sanctions regime that would be similar to the Magnitsky Act in the US. The announcement came after a meeting with 28 nation representatives in Brussels. The proposal originally came from the European Stability Initative, and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee at the end of 2018.
On February 5, 2021, the treaty between the US and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms will expire. The agreement was last updated in 2010. The formal name of the treaty is START and it is a nuclear arms reduction treaty. According to the terms of the START treaty, each side will reduce its strategic offensive arms while the total quantities do not exceed 700 units deployed.
This month, Russia’s Gosduma approved the withdrawal from the declaration that the Soviet Union made upon ratification of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, concerning the protection of victims of international armed conflicts. Last month, Russian president Vladimir Putin asked the Russian government to approve the withdrawal. Of course, in Putin’s Russia the Gosduma immediately agreed to pass it into law.
At least thirteen people have been killed and more than two hundred others left nursing serious injuries after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Albania, bringing down buildings, killing people, and leaving others trapped in the rubble. The nation’s authorities have said that the Tuesday quake is the worst to hit the country in the last four decades.
German Chancellor Angеlа Mеrkеl on Wednesday рrоmіѕеd Turkеу nеw aid tо саrе fоr Syrian rеfugееѕ. Following a mееtіng wіth Croatian Prіmе Minister Andrej Plenković, Mеrkеl ѕаіd in Zаgrеb said that іf nесеѕѕаrу, new аѕѕіѕtаnсе wоuld bе рrоvіdеd tо Turkey for іtѕ many tаѕkѕ оf ѕhеltеrіng 3.5 mіllіоn реорlе.
The European Union (EU) members will hold discussions on the November 19 in Brussels, Belgium on measures needed to stop China’s domination in the area of rare earth elements and other critical resources. The issue is relevant due to the US-China trade war and security issues. It does not help that Russia recently decided to send over 82 tones of monazite to China in the near future. Monazite is a reddish-brown phosphate mineral containing rare earth metals.
Russia just announced near completion of its own new tokamak prototype. Russia is one of the nations involved in the ITER experiment, the world’s largest fusion experiment. Each nation involved in the project has to have its own tokamak. The tokamak is one of several types of magnetic confinement devices being developed to produce controlled thermonuclear fusion power.
In rеѕроnѕе tо a ѕtаtеmеnt bу thе Eurореаn Unіоn, urging Iran to stick to their commitments under the Iran Nuclear Deal, Iran’s Foreign Minister ассuѕеd France, Britain, and Germany оf fаіlіng tо соmрlу wіth their оblіgаtіоnѕ. Mоhаmmаd Jаvаd Zаrіf ассuѕеd them оf “kіllіng tіmе,” аnd оf fаіlіng tо meet thеіr оblіgаtіоnѕ undеr thе ѕо-саllеd nuсlеаr dеаl.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949. It was one of the first defense unions. The main reason for the creation of NATO was a need for a western unified alliance against the threat of the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1991, NATO integrated some former communist block Eastern European nations into the alliance.
The European Union (EU) has accepted a further postponement of Brexit until January 31, European Council President Donald Tusk revealed on Monday. However, the agreement offers London the possibility of leaving the EU bloc before that date should the British Parliament ratify the exit agreement.
United Nations Security Council considers it “imperative” that presidential elections be held in Guinea-Bissau as scheduled, and calls on the international community to provide technical and financial support. “The members of the Security Council reiterated the imperative need for the presidential election to be held on 24 November 2019, in accordance with the established electoral calendar, and reminded political actors that all efforts should be made to ensure the election is inclusive, credible, fair and peaceful with the effective participation of women and youth candidates.”
The European Union and the UK negotiating teams have reached an agreement for Britain to leave the EU at a meeting in Brussels. “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control— now Parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime, and our environment,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet.
Air pollution caused 412,000 premature deaths in 41 European countries in 2016, 2% less than the previous year, according to a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The last report was published today Wednesday on the agency’s official website. The EEA argues that binding regulations and local measures have had positive effects on air quality, and although records may change from year to year due to weather variations, the figure is consistent with the data since 1990, with a reduction of half a million deaths.
A beyond-line-of-sight land battlefield missile project has been signed by the ministers of defense of Belgium, Cyprus and France. The purpose of the project is to create a new category of missiles for integration with an extensive variety of platforms (ground-to-ground and air-to-ground) and to provide integrated and autonomous target designation capability as per the project description.
The debate in the UK was re-heated when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today that he would tell European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that he wants to reach an agreement on Brexit, but he does not intend to postpone the October 31 deadline for Brexit. Political commentators began to ask whether Johnson’s remarks meant that he would not recognize the law adopted by Parliament. Last week, the Parliament passed a law asking Johnson to postpone Brexit for three months if an agreement could not be reached by October 19th.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that the US is determined to continue its policy against Iran even though Donald Trump has repeatedly stated his readiness to meet with Iranian officials without preconditions. “They announced just yesterday that they’re going to continue to do more research and development on their nuclear weapon systems. Those things are unacceptable,” Pompeo said.
Brexit is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, after the referendum held on 23 June 2016. The HBO documentary Brexit depicts the behind the scenes experience of the referendum. The UK is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance that is based off of the Westminster system. Executive power rests in the hands of Her Majesty’s Government, the prime minister and the cabinet who are all members of the Privy Council. Legislative power is held within the bicameral parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the former being elected and the later appointed.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced Friday evening that he will deploy a number of members of the armed forces to cope with the huge number of fires that swept the Amazon jungle. “Forest fires can occur in any country and should not be used as an excuse for international sanctions,” he said in a televised address.
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.
Protests continue in Hong Kong after ten weeks and could swell to a “million march” on Sunday. The EU has warned the Hong Kong government not to undermine the legal rights of protesting citizens. While China has not ruled out military intervention in Hong Kong, protests continue in the former British colony against local government and Beijing’s interference in domestic affairs.
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.
The new British Government “is working with the assumption of a Brexit without agreement,” reiterated Michael Gove, responsible for exploring, if possible, a negotiation with Brussels but, above all, supervising the preparations for an exit from the EU. This was stated by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, during his inauguration and his deputy has ratified it in a platform published in The Sunday Times: “The no-deal (no agreement) is now a very real perspective.”
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.
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).
Space war, or technical warfare is silently being waged all around us. On July 13th, 2019 (this past weekend) the European Union’s (EU’S) Galileo satellite went, or was taken offline. Galileo is owned by the collective European Union, managed and operated by the European Space Agency, and is used for nonmilitary, scientific, and civilian purposes.
Amid ongoing saber rattling between the United States and Iran, two European envoys have been dispatched to attempt to save the Iran Nuclear Deal. Emmanuel Bonne, representing French President Emmanuel Macron, was in Tehran this week, and British Foreign Minister (and Prime Ministerial candidate) Jeremy Hunt is headed for Brussels. Meanwhile, Iran says it’s ready to talk, conditionally. It seems unlikely the United States will be as willing to listen.
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.
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.
You’d think Germans would be excited, maybe even a little patriotic, with the announcement that one of their own would become President of the European Commission, for the first time in fifty years. The first woman ever to head the Commission might also be an event worth celebrating. Instead, after marathon talks, following less-than-conclusive parliamentary elections, many Germans have been left wondering, “what was the point of all that?” Ursula von der Leyen’s face was nowhere to be seen in the posters plastered throughout Germany amidst the campaign for Europe’s top job. “Who needs a Spitzenkandidat,” (top candidate) one wonders, “when you can have a Homecoming Queen?
- EU: President Trump in an early morning tweet on Tuesday touted his administration’s tariffs on $11 billion of European Union products in the wake of a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling.”The World Trade Organization finds that the European Union subsidies to Airbus has adversely impacted the United States, which will now put Tariffs on $11 Billion of EU products!” he said.
- On Wednesday, Parliament voted 313-312 to require Theresa May’s government to request another extension from Brussels, and avoid leaving the European Union without a deal. The UK is set to crash out next Friday if no agreement can be achieved.
- On the day the United Kingdom was originally set to leave the European Union, it is no clearer how, when, or even if Brexit will occur. Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement was rejected on Friday, again, by 58 votes. Ms. May had, apparently, attempted to sweeten the deal by offering to leave if her agreement passed.
- The European Union’s remaining 27 member states voted on Thursday to delay the United Kingdom’s planned exit. Instead of the original March 28 deadline, Prime Minister Theresa May will have until May 22— the day before European Parliament elections— to get her divorce deal through Westminster. Otherwise, the UK will be out by April 12.
- In a series of non-binding votes last week, Parliament approved a short delay of Britain’s divorce from the European Union, and ruled out the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. They also resoundingly rejected both Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal and a second referendum.
- A Yellow Vest protestor was severely injured in Paris on Saturday, as police shot tear gas at those trying to knock down a barrier at the French Parliament. It is the second severe injury in as many weeks. The uprising against President Emmanuel Macron is in its thirteenth consecutive week.
- The slowdown in Chinese growth has become the latest looming cloud over the global economy. The advice from Beijing was not to worry. China is slowing down but it’s not going to be a disaster. “China has been able to avoid financial crisis in the last 40 years. We have a very top down approach to financial risk management.”
- Official data suggested that Germany avoided a recession at the end of 2018 but confirmed a sharp slowdown in growth last year as Europe’s largest economy cooled off from boom times. Economic growth sank to 1.5 percent in 2018 from 2.2 percent in the previous two years, federal statistics authority.
- In emerging and developing Asia, the growth forecast will dip from 6.5 per cent in 2018 to 6.3 per cent in 2019 and 6.4 per cent in 2020. Despite fiscal stimulus that offsets some of the impact of higher US tariffs, China’s economy will slow due to the combined influence of needed financial regulatory tightening and trade tensions with the United States.
- A no-deal Brexit could trigger a further slowdown in global growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned. The IMF fund noted the possibility of “a disruptive no-deal Brexit with negative cross-border spillovers” had risen in recent months, while increased euro-scepticism might impact European parliamentary election outcomes in May.
- Canada’s wholesale sales dropped 1% in November, the biggest one-month decline for the sector since March 2016. Factory sales were down 1.4%, the largest drop since January. Both sectors also recorded declines in volumes. The data confirm Canada’s expansion has likely entered what economists believe is a temporary slowdown that is expected to last through the first few months of this year.
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- SYRIA: President Trump threatened to “devastate Turkey economically,” if it attacks Kurdish forces in Syria, upon the Americans’ withdrawal. Trump also pushed for the creation of a safe zone for the Kurds, without mentioning any other details.
- GREECE: A deal to end a decades-long naming dispute between Macedonia and Greece has thrown the latter’s government into chaos. One of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ coalition partners announced their withdrawal ahead of parliamentary elections in October.
- CANADA: Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed 18-year old Saudi refugee Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun to Canada, as she arrived in Toronto on Saturday. Alqunun captured international attention, and thousands of Twitter followers, by resisting deportation in a Bangkok hotel room.
- CONGO: The Southern African Development Community is urging the creation of a unity government in the Democratic Republic of Congo, after long-delayed presidential elections ended in dispute. Two opposition leaders, Felix Tshisekedi and Martin Fayulu both insist they won.
- VENEZUELA: Opposition leader Juan Guaido had a simple message for followers and opponents Sunday, after being briefly detained by intelligence agents: “Here we are! We are not afraid!” Guaido was dramatically pulled from his car while driving from the capital, Caracas.
- PREVIOUS: International Roundup: Bongo, Belgade, Beijing, Bolsonaro
- British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a leadership challenge from her own party on Wednesday, 200-117. While this ensures she can retain her job for, at least, another year, she has indicated she will stand down before the next general election.
- With her party bitterly divided, and with little to no help from other parties, Prime Minister May’s chances at passing her Brexit deal through Parliament appear more troubled than ever. The government must vote on her agreement by January 21, or come up with another plan.
- The sticking point is the Irish “backstop,” an assurance of last resort in the event of a no-deal Brexit, that a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland can be avoided. However, it remains unclear to Brussels what London wants.
- The confidence vote was spearheaded by the European Research Group, a faction of Hard Brexit-supporting Conservatives. They remain firmly opposed to the Withdrawal Agreement, particularly the “backstop,” which they argue will keep the UK under EU rules indefinitely.
- Meanwhile, momentum continues to build, quietly, for a second Brexit referendum. The Scottish Conservatives are denying reports they may be on board, but Nigel Farage, former leader of the pro-Brexit UK Independence Party, has told Leave Means Leave supporters to get ready.
- PREVIOUS: World Awaits Tuesday Vote on Brexit Deal
- British Prime Minister Theresa May is widely expected to lose a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal Tuesday, perhaps by a substantial margin. The rest of the political and financial world is standing by to see what happens next.
- Cabinet ministers have warned a no-deal Brexit could mean disruption at Dover and other English Channel ports for up to six months. Britons have already begun stockpiling food and medicine, fearing this worst-case scenario.
- Brexiteer Conservative MPs remain unconvinced by what they’re calling “Project Fear on steroids.” Those advocates of a so-called Clean Brexit, like outspoken backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg, have savaged May’s deal.
- Soft Brexit supporters may push for a Norway-like deal as a possible Plan B. This would keep Britain in the single market and customs union, yet relegate the UK to that of a non-voting EU member.
- A second referendum also remains a slim possibility, for which both Leave and Remain sides are quietly preparing. Yet, it’s not even clear what the ballot paper would look like, should one be ordered up by Parliament.
- British politicians in favor of leaving the EU criticized the agreement reached after more than a year and a half of negotiations. The UK has become bound to the EU under unfavorable terms and MPs floated the idea of unseating Prime Minister Theresa May.
- Come hell or high water, Britain is legally out of the EU on March 29, 2019. May’s deal would create a transition period lasting until December 2020 to give Britain and the EU time to hash out a final agreement on trade and other matters.
- The looming prospect of a no-deal Brexit is spooking markets. The Sterling tanked and the cost of U.K. government debt rose. Britain’s state-owned bank RBS fell by 9%. While a no-deal Brexit would be priced in ahead of the actual event, there would clearly be considerable market disruption.
- Experts say no chance for a second Brexit referendum. UK’s deal on the table or a ‘no deal. Option B would be to extend the deadline. This would mean that Brexit has not been delivered.
- EU and UK negotiators are hammering out a document this weekend to outline the kind of relationship they intend to have with one another. The EU is determined to keep calm and carry on with the deal.
- Gold scaled a near one-week peak as investors sought cover from market turmoil after Britain’s long-awaited draft agreement to leave the EU was thrown into chaos, helping Gold hold its ground against a rising dollar.
- Fears about a no-deal Brexit and a growing rift over Italy’s budget are putting pressure on the euro and the pound. Rising global uncertainty and a widening U.S. yield differential with other economies provide support.
- The Eurozone economy grew at its weakest pace in more than four years during the third quarter as the public mood darkened. It takes time to see a potential impact given the manufacturing process takes rather a long time until new goods are imported and exported.
- China just reported its weakest quarterly growth since the depths of the global financial crisis in early 2009. “We think more easing will still be needed in order to stabilize growth,” says a senior economist who watches China.
- In Japan the pace of retail sales have slowed from the prior month. Trade data showed an unexpected drop in exports in September, raising the specter of a marked moderation in economic growth.
- Weaker-than-expected growth in South Korea’s economy is raising fresh questions about a second-straight quarterly decline in corporate capital investment and a sharp drop in hiring are evidence that the economy is losing steam.