Japan, with a population of 125 million people, lifted its state of emergency ahead of schedule. The coronavirus has, so far, killed fewer than 900 people in Japan. The low mortality rate is considered a great success. But where are the shrinking ratings of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and the outcry calling for his resignation?
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the Nuclear Weapons decree on June 2. The decree titled “On The Basis Of The State Policy Of The Russian Federation In The Field of Nuclear Deterrence” is a document regulating the conditions under which Russia has the right to launch a nuclear strike against an aggressor (or a pack of aggressors). The main goal is to legalize the use of nuclear weapons in limited local conflicts.
Consultations on the settlement of the situation in the Donbas area should begin with the participation of Ukraine, the US and the UK according to the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olexii Reznikov. On March 4 the Ukrainian Parliament approved the country’s new Cabinet of Ministers. Due to his appointment as Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, Reznikov has ceased his partnership in Asters law firm.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the date of the all-Russian vote on amendments to the Constitution. The vote will be held on July 1 the President said at a meeting with the working group on preparing amendments. Putin said that there are 30 days needed from that date in order to work out the mechanisms for protecting citizens from the coronavirus pandemic. Russia has the third highest number of cases in the world.
George Floyd was a man who died on May 25, after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes while other officers helped restrain Floyd. The death of Floyd brought back memories of the 2014 death of Eric Garner. Since then, violent protests erupted across US.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an order to the Russian Defense and Foreign ministries to discuss with Syria the transfer of additional real estate and water areas to the Russian military. The Russian government approved the draft Protocol No. 1 to the agreement on the deployment of the Russian aviation group in Syria on August 26, 2015. After reaching an agreement with the Syrian side, the agencies must sign it on behalf of Russia. Changes are allowed to the document that do not have a fundamental character.
There is a race to create faster, more lethal and precise weapons around the world. As of late, China has been focusing on entering the race as well. China announced one of the largest military budgets in history this year. However, the leaders around the world continue to be US and Russia.
One of the delegates to the 13th National People’s Congress, during the 3rd meeting held on May 27 suggested that simultaneous translation from Chinese to English should not be used during Chinese press conferences. The National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, normally referred to as the National People’s Congress, is the highest organ of state power and the national legislature of the People’s Republic of China. With 2,980 members in 2018, it is the largest parliamentary body in the world.
Chinese Authorities are considering a law pertaining to the State Security of Hong Kong meant to strengthen China’s control over the area. The law includes a strict ban on separatist activities and a requirement to report regularly to the Central government of the PRC. The consequences for Hong Kong of the adoption of the national security Law in Beijing:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia responded on May 27 to the statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry about the unwillingness of the Georgian and American sides to allow Russian representatives to check the office of medical research of the US Army-Georgia operating in the Richard Lugar Center BioLAB.
A Prosecutor investigating the case of a former US Navy officer accused of spying in Russia has requested 18 years in a maximum-security prison for the defendant, Paul Whelan. The trial wrapped up on May 25, 2020. It is expected that the verdict of the marine, who was detained in Moscow 17 months ago, will be announced by the court in June after final submissions.
This Saturday the body of Ukrainian MP Valery Davydenko was found by the toilet. The cleaning lady who found his body stated that he appeared to have a gunshot wound to the head. The location was the office of the European Solidarity party, a political party in Ukraine. It has its roots in a parliamentary group called Solidarity dating from 2000 and has existed since in various forms as a political outlet for Petro Poroshenko.
A decorated SVR intelligence agent has been found dead in Moscow. SVR is the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service focusing mostly on civilian affairs. The SVR RF succeeded the First Chief Directorate of the KGB in December 1991. It is also engaged in intelligence to provide the state with information that can influence Russian policy and decisions made by its leadership. The range of power is extremely wide including intelligence in the military-strategic, economic, political, scientific and technical fields. The SVR headquarters are located in the Yasenevo District of Moscow.
The US officially notified the parties to the Open Skies Treaty of its withdrawal, after which they will be released from their obligations under this document six months later. The announcement came on May 22. The US government cited Russia’s alleged non-compliance with the terms of the agreement as the reason. At the same time, US President Donald Trump did not rule out that the decision may be changed if Moscow begins to follow the document. Russia has denied US accusations of violating the Treaty.
Journalists from CCTV showcased new rapid-fire machine guns. China Central Television (CCTV) is the predominant state-owned television network in Mainland China. CCTV has a network of 50 channels broadcasting different programmes and is accessible to more than one billion viewers in six different languages. China’s aggressive propaganda of its pseudo military might continues.
Ukrainian MP passed to the Prosecutor’s office materials about “Biden’s influence on Poroshenko.” The just released tapes are conversations between former US Vice President Joseph Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. People’s Deputy of Ukraine Andriy Derkach released audio materials that, according to him, may indicate the influence of Biden on the fifth President of Ukraine.
NASA presented the basic principles on which the proposed international agreement on the development of the moon will be based, to which the US plans to involve a number of partner States. The announcement came via Twitter by the Director of the US Space Agency, James Bridenstine.
A new report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons states that global spending on nuclear weapons development set a record not seen since the end of the cold war. The ICANW is a global civil society coalition working to promote adherence to and full implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland.
Weibo published the first ever images of the Chinese Nanchang Ship. Weibo is China’s version of twitter Earlier this year, China announced that Nanchang would be joining the Chinese Navy fleet. China’s military is undergoing a massive technological overhaul as part of Xi’s military ambitions to mirror Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agenda. The ship is designed for long-range air defense, anti-submarine defense, electronic warfare, destruction of surface and ground targets, escort, long-range patrol and surveillance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is restructuring the Russian government. In January, he proposed amendments to the Russian constitution. It is highly likely due to the coronavirus that the amendments will be approved without the proposed popular vote. Putin continues to carve out a new Russian power model. The style of governance for the Kremlin has been more of a dictatorship.
Nordic Monitor published classified information about surveillance operations by the Turkish intelligence services in the US and other nations around the globe. According to the documentation, the Turkish President has been authorizing intelligence operations to spy on critics of Turkey. The documentation seems to have a stamp from the Turkish government agency established in 2016 under the Turkish National Security Agenda.
There are reports of the fire that started inside the ventilation system in the Polish National Center of the Nuclear Research in the city of Svierk, 30 km from Warsaw. Th Center has been Poland’s top location for nuclear research since 1955. Over the decades several Swierk institutes formed the core of Poland nuclear ambitions, creating four of Poland’s five nuclear research reactors and critical assemblies, all but one of which is still at service.
South Korea successfully tested the Hyunmoo-4 missile. The information became available via the Yonhap News Agency. According to a South Korean government official, the testing took place at the Anheung test site, which is located in Taeang County on the west coast of the country. The name of the site if translated means ironically “the guardian angel of the Northern Sky.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un only travels by trains. The North Korean National airline Air-Koryo has never flown Kim. It is unknown, if the North Korean leader has ever taken a flight. His father, Kim Jong-II never traveled by plane either and always used a train. The late Kim Jong-II was rumored to have a fleet of six personal trains, which included 90 armored luxury cars.
US President Donald Trump’s special envoy for arms control, Marshall Billingslea, stated that the strategic treaty with Russia should include new weapons systems. Trump appointed Billingslea on April 10 as Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control. In this role, Billingslea will lead arms control negotiations on behalf of the US government. Previously, he served as the Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the United States Department of the Treasury.
Concern is rising over reports of Russian Armed Forces deployment of Resonans-NE radar systems near the Israeli border. The Resonans-NE radar system is designed for long-range detection, tracking, determination of coordinates and movement parameters of a wide class of modern and promising targets, including cruise and ballistic missiles, hypersonic aircraft, even those manufactured using stealth technology.
Dmitry Bosov, the largest shareholder and head of the Board of Directors of Alltek group, committed suicide at his home in the village of Usovo near Moscow on May 6. The geographical location is dubbed Rublevka, which is an unofficial name of a prestigious residential area in the western suburbs of Moscow, located along the Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Highway. The name derives from the name of the highway: Rublyovskoye shosse.
On Monday May 4, Reuters published leaked information pertaining to a classified report compiled by the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of State Security, China’s top intelligence body and key intelligence structure of the PRC. The report was told to Reuters by sources familiar with the contents of the document.
Coronavirus continues to be on the forefront of the news. The number of infected surpassed 3.5 million around the world. However, Belarus never acted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The borders are open, there is no social distancing, no stay at home orders or any precautionary measures, period. Because the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko knows it is his last year in power, does he simply not care?
China launched a new propaganda campaign over the weekend. The campaign is timed with the start of the Russian holidays associated with May 1st celebrations. In 1918, a year after the Russian Revolution, May 1 became an important public holiday, known as the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers in the Soviet Union. Most Soviet cities had parades and obligatory workers’ marches on this day until 1990.
Coronavirus continues to be the main topic of discussions around the world. Currently, there are over 3.3 million infected and over 234,000 deaths around the globe. US intelligence agencies are investigating the origin of the Coronavirus and are not ruling out that the coronavirus leaked from the lab in Wuhan. A French Nobel prize winner and virologist already made an educated statement proving the COVID-19 is a man made virus and that Chinese scientists were working on the AIDS vaccine (since the virus does have some of the HIV particles) and the virus was released.
The United States Nuclear Fuel Working Group published its finding pertaining to the need to restore the competitive advantage to the US. The group was established by US President Donald Trump. The precedent for the group’s creation was set in January 2018 when two US uranium mining companies filed an appeal with the Department of Commerce for the consideration of uranium supplies from Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan.
China continues to suppress vital information and critical data pertaining to the origin of coronavirus in Wuhan. The Chinese scientists that published the genome sequence disappeared and their lab was immediately shut down. According to a French virologist and Nobel Prize winner the coronavirus is indeed a man made virus from a Chinese lab. It is in line with the findings of an Indian Lab, but they were pressured to abandon their findings back in February of this year.
Currently, there is is a space race. Earlier this month NASA announced space exploration agenda. NASA plans to build a mobile habitable platform. The platform will accommodate voyages lasting up to 45 days.
It is expected the lunar base should become a springboard for the preparation of the landing on Mars. It will not only become a springboard for the study of the celestial body itself, but also for the development of technologies that ensure maximum autonomy of the base. Thus, specialists will have to create and perfect methods for obtaining water, oxygen and fuel from local resources. In addition, astronauts will have the opportunity to test advanced robotics.
As coronavirus continues to be on the forefront of the news, many nations and their citizens are wondering what comes next from an economic prospective. Many workers have been laid off and one of the hardest hit is the service industry. Additionally, it is highly likely the European Union will have a lasting recession, which will turn into hyperinflation by fall.
Coronavirus created a lot of challenges from the economic and security prospective. China’s failure to provide accurate data and contain the virus caused a lot of losses. The virus is claimed to be man made and such findings are corroborated by a Nobel Prize winning French virologist. China is facing a backlash for being the cause of the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world. Japan recently announced funding to aid their companies in moving manufacturing out of China and back to Japan or alternatively to another country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared on his regular scheduled program over the weekend. The program is titled Moscow, Kremlin, Putin and the main plot of the program is to provide updates to the nation by Putin himself. TV channel Russia-1 offers the program every week to viewers who care about the fate of Russia.
Coronavirus has been on the forefront of the majority news outlets around the world. Currently, there are over 2.4 million cases around the world and over 165,000 deaths.
A majority of countries are starting to slowly reopen their economies and ease their state of emergency restrictions. US President Donald Trump announced over the weekend a reopening strategy with phase 1 and phase 2. In the US governors are the ones who will decide when to reopen individual states for business. Japan is quite the opposite and only now declared a State of Emergency and a mandatory quarantine.
Cyprus is celebrating the lifting of the arms embargo by the United States. The motivation behind lifting the embargo is to prevent Turkey’s expansion in the Mediterranean. It is not a surprise, since Turkey escalated the conflict in one of the Syrian regions. Additionally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can not be trusted by the West. Even though Turkey is a part of NATO, it is a wild card.
The world is not going to be the same after the COVID-19 pandemic. The US Government is working on quantifying the damages coronavirus caused to the economy and China’s liability. The projected number is over $10 trillion. Also, there is a discussion of US defaulting on debt to China. Even though many nations are slowly starting to reopen their economies and providing plans in phases to reopen, the virus is still here.
All eyes are on China as it is now believed that the Novel Coronavirus originated in a Wuhan lab. US officials are conducting a full scale investigation in China’s possible release and cover up of the virus that has brought the global economy to its knees.
Given this, I thought now a pertinent time to explore another controversial Chinese venture, the Belt and Road Initiative. On the surface the initiative, which aims to fund and oversee infrastructure projects in some of the world’s poorest countries, seems like a genuine commitment to improving the quality of life for many people around the world.
Finland might leave the European Union. The conundrum for Finland is that after the coronavirus pandemic, EU member nations will have financial difficulties. It is highly likely many EU member nations will also enter full recession. The way the EU functions, the debt is shared. Therefore, Finland has no desire to repay the debt of others.
China is rolling out its own state owned digital cryptocurrency DCEP (which stands for the /electronic payment system). It is otherwise known as China’s central bank digital currency project. The digital yuan is expected to function more like a counterpart to paper money than a cryptocurrency. Unlike Bitcoin, Etherium and other cryptocurrencies, the DCEP value is expected to remain stable. Of course, it is China, therefore there would be no chance of privacy and China’s Central Bank will be able to monitor every transaction.
Under the new Saudi- Russo oil deal, Saudi Arabia and Russia lead the record for oil cuts as part of the agreement committed by 23 countries to withhold 9.7 million barrels a day from markets. Western publications, including The New Yorker, ran articles this week with headlines such as “How the Russian-Saudi Oil War Went Awry—for Putin Most of All.”
At present, the number of infected with coronavirus passed the two million mark around the globe. Fortunately, stock markets are slowly rising around the world, which is a bit of a positive during the current difficult economic times. Meanwhile, the US is in the midst of a presidential election campaign scheduled for this fall. As of this week, Russia has ramped up its efforts to use social media propaganda and increase its internet presence.
Coronavirus continues to the major issue facing the world, with Spain reopening its economy and China as well. However, China is reporting new cases of so called reinfection, but claims the virus has been reimported. At this time there are claims of three types of coronavirus roaring around the globe. The numbers of infected is close to 2 million with over 100,000 deaths reported.
In reaction to the coronavirus quarantines, Canada and the US are implementing emergency funds to help with large numbers of unemployment. The quarantine continues in the most US states and in Canada. As of April 6th there are 1.3 million cases and over 74,000 deaths around the world. In the US nearly 400,000 are infected. The states that have the largest numbers of infected are New York. Louisiana and Michigan.
The world is trying to fight the coronavirus pandemic. In North America, both the US and Canada extended directives of social distancing until the end of April. Russian President Vladimir Putin just gave everyone who is not considered essential business a week off with pay. However, as much as US President Donald Trump tries to be upbeat and claim by June 1st the economy will jump start, this is not feasible for a myriad of reasons and it is highly unlikely it will rebound by the fall of 2020.
A new Washington Post – ABC News opinion poll shows Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden leading by two points, at 49 percent to 47 percent, ahead of US President Donald Trump. The percentage difference is well within the margin of error to indicate a tie. The news comes in the wake of another survey which revealed an uptick in Trump’s approval due to his handling of the current coronavirus crisis.