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24 march 2017

  • Swiss Franc Drops Against Majors. The Swiss franc on Friday fell versus other major currencies in the Asian session. Against the U.S. and euro, the franc fell to 0.9959 and 1.0719, from yesterday’s closing quotes of 0.9933 and 1.0711, respectively. The franc also declined against the pound and yen to 1.2442 and 111.73, from yesterday’s closing value of 1.2434 and 111.66, respectively. If the franc extends its downtrend, it is likely to find support around 1.01 against the greenback, 1.08 against the euro, 1.27 against the pound and 110.00 against the yen. Read more on www.lse.uk.com
  • Trump to nominate businessman Hagerty as Japan ambassador-White House. The White House on Thursday announced that U.S. President Donald Trump will nominate businessman William Hagert as the next Japan`s U.S. ambassador. If the congress approves the nomination, Hagerty will succeed Caroline Kennedy who has held the position since 2013. The Tennessee native founded the private equity firm Hagerty Peterson. He spent several years in Japan with the Boston Consulting Group management consultancy and later served in the White House of former President George H.W. Bush. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • SNB Aims to Diversify Foreign Exchange Holdings. The Swiss National Bank is searching for ways to diversify foreign currency assets it raised during its campaign to rein in the Swiss franc, according to SNB Governing Board member Andrea Maechler. Foreign currency investments have swelled to 674 billion Swiss francs ($679.23 billion), bigger than the size of the Swiss economy, raising concerns that the bank might fluctuate between large profits and losses. Maechler said that although the bank has expanded its investments and bought stakes in small cap firms, it has been hard for the SNB to find places to place its holdings. According to deputy governing board member Dewet Moser, the investment policy was secondary to the monetary policy, which aims to ensure price stability and bolster the Swiss economy. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • ECB Program Helps Banks More Than It Assists Economy. Back in 2014, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hoped that the lending program will urge financial institutions to extend credit to consumers and companies. However, based on the narrow measure, it has failed. Since then, banks have taken hundreds of billions of euros in funds, mostly for free. Overall outstanding credit to the private sector has only increased by 0.2 percent. The result does not meet the intentions expressed by ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure when he previously said that the program aims to offer clear incentives for lenders to allocate new credit to the real economy. Lending to households for consumption has been better than corporate funding, rising 4.2 percent over the period. However inciting a consumer-credit pickup was not the central bank’s primary target. A real economic recovery needs firms to create jobs, invest and raise production. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • BOJ Will Not Withdraw Monetary Stimulus - Kuroda. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda says there is “no reason” to pull out the bank’s aggressive monetary stimulus as inflation remains distant from the two percent target. Kuroda dismissed financial markets worries that the BOJ might lose its ability to control long-term interest rates under the yield-curve-control framework. The BOJ will not raise its bond yield target just because foreign long-term interest rates are increasing, he added. The BOJ held the short-term interest rate target of -0.1 and pledged to guide the 10-year government bond yield at about zero percent following the policy meeting on March 16. It also promised to maintain the speed of its annual raise in Japanese government bond (JGBs) holdings, which is 80 trillion yen ($718.78 billion). Read more on www.reuters.com
  • Peso Undervalued on U.S. Concerns - Carsten. The Mexican peso is undervalued by nearly ten percent, while the uncertainty of bilateral relations with the U.S. is also taken into consideration, according to central bank Governor Agustin Carstens. He added that although the central bank is keeping a close eye on inflation to guarantee it doesn`t get out of control, currently it is moving forward despite the price shocks. Mexico felt the initial impact of Donald Trump’s presidency after the peso weakened amid threats he would rework or abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement and construct a border wall that Mexico will pay for. However, the currency has eventually rebounded after White House officials claim that a trade deal can be made to benefit both countries. Mexico’s peso shortly extended gains following Carsten’s comments and climbed 0.4 percent to 18.9576 per dollar. The currency has firmed 9.3 percent so far in 2017. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Japan Manufacturer Sentiment at 3-Year Peak - Reuters Tankan. Upbeat sentiment among Japanese manufacturers increased for the seventh consecutive month in March to a three-year peak, as the service sector’s confidence remained steady, according to a Reuters poll. The Reuters’ monthly poll, which follows the Bank of Japan’s quarterly tankan, found upbeat morale at manufacturers and service-sector companies, higher from three months prior. It indicates an improvement in the central bank’s survey due April 3 and underlines an export-led economic recovery. The sentiment index for manufacturers climbed to 25 from 20 in February, led by materials companies like oil refinery/ceramics, textile/paper and steel/nonferrous metals. It was the highest reading since April 2014, however, is also seen to decline to 23 in June. Exports were up the most in over two years in February even as the expanding trade surplus with the U.S. potentially raises risks due to growing U.S. trade protectionism. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • Japan’s Factory Activity Growth Slows in March. Activity in Japan’s manufacturing sector continued to growth in March but at a slower pace than February as new orders and production slumped, according to an IHS Markit/ Nikkei survey. The Flash PMI reading slid to 52.6 in March, from the final reading of 53.3 in the previous month. While the numbers continued to be above the 50 point mark which denoted expansion for the seventh month in a row, the reading indicated the slowest rate of growth in three months. A gauge of output declined to 53.4 from 54.1 in February, while a separate index for new orders also edged down to 52.9 from 54.2 in the preceding month. Economists at IHS markit said that although there is a slower rate of growth in March, the latest numbers in the data series point to a factory economy still growing at a decent pace. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • U.K. Retail Sales Rise but Fail to Allay Inflation Concerns. British retailers saw another month of growth in sales in February, contrary to economists’ expected weakness in the sector. However, the increase was not strong enough to get rid of the persisting worries regarding the outlook for spending as inflation continues to rise. Sales rose 1.4 percent in the prior month from January, topping the estimated 0.4 percent increase. Despite the gain in sales, underlying numbers indicate that volumes are declining at the fastest rate in seven years. The pound that has significantly weakened in value in the aftermath of the Brexit has driven up import costs, causing a dilemma for households whose spending is pressured by higher prices of fuel and food. If consumer spending is hit by the rising inflation, this could have serious repercussions for the U.K. economy that is heavily dependent on domestic consumption. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • U.S. New Home Sales Post Multi-Month Highs. Sale of brand-new U.S. houses rose sharply for the second month in a row in February, a sign that increasing demand and rising momentum in construction activity could help put into motion a strong selling season for this market sector. Sales of newly build family homes, which represent a small portion of total U.S. home sales, soared 6.1 percent from January to an annual rate of 592, 000 in February, according to a report from the Commerce Department. The monthly figures represent the second-strongest month since 2012. Economists anticipated purchases to rise by 1.4 percent to 563, 000. Economists expect the strong traffic to continue into spring. According to analysts, the rise in sales, along with the declining inventories also indicates that single-family home starts will begin to increase in the coming months as home developers try to keep up with the rising demand. Read more on www.wsj.com
Early reviews

24 march 2017

  • Lexus to venture in India; targets wealthy customers. Toyota Motor Corp. will be introducing their premium Lexus to India after initially bringing it to China as it takes advantage of one of the most populous countries surging demand. It will be holding an event in the nation’s capital as a start, fueled by the rising income range that prompted a surge in the sale of vehicles in the last ten years despite a lack of shipments in the state compared to other nations. The brand is also forecast to face tough rivalry from existing models such as the BMW. Meanwhile, Toyota’s foray is mainly a strategy to counter the lagging figures in prominent car markets. The latest investment will benfit India`s new program as well, which highly encourages investments to bolster domestic manufacturing by overseas businesses. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Samsung apologizes over controversies. Samsung Electronics Co. expressed their apologies over the company’s involvement in a scandal that led to the impeachment of the country’s leader, and for the defective Note 7 that negatively impacted figures. The firm`s vice chairman delivered the speech during the annual shareholder meeting as their president Jay Y. Lee is still in detention over bribery and embezzlement. He was reported to have bribed a confidante of Park Geun-hye in return for the administration’s support of a merger that would increase his hold on the the business. At present, the technology giant confirmed they are not considering a stock split as they are occupied with assessing their options and busy with the launch of their S8 model, which would be introduced around same period of Lee’s next hearing. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • SoundCloud takes on debt amid decline. SoundCloud Ltd., the struggling online music service was able to acquire $70M in debt to finance future development plans. The company, which has earlier admitted that they are close to running out of funds if they fail to gather more paying customers, disclosed being able to secure a credit line from three firms. The proceeds will go to technology upgrades and hiring aimed at establishing a financially stable platform. The decision came after initially trying on other measures, such as fundraisings and talks on selling the firm. It has around 175M registered users, and has evolved to become one of the world’s favorite music platform for their unique feature of user-generated content, although the high preference did not do much to transform it into a business. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Tencent leads fundraising for Kuaishou. Kuaishou, a video streaming service popular in China’s rural communities, was able to raise $350M in a financing round which was largely aided by Tencent Holdings Ltd. The move comes as technology companies are ramping up their investments in video content amid rising demand, aiming to convert this trend into a source of online ad revenue. Baidu is also one of the company’s backers, although it did not specify a valuation amount. Kuaishou’s operations are highly similar to Instagram and other popular websites. It currently has 50M active users who watch clips of the most ordinary activities to extreme ones. Majority of their content depict the everyday lives of migrant workers and those who live within the farming areas. It is now eyeing an overseas expansion targeting developing countries such as Thailand. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • DirecTV settles lawsuit over conspiracy. DirecTV has resolved a case that alleges the satellite service provider colluded with rival companies in 2014 amid a standoff with Time Warner Cable Inc. regarding a channel focused on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The DOJ stated that the business acted as the leader in a scheme among LA distributors to pass on negotiating details so Time would not be able to gain the advantage by prompting one distributor to register before the others. This plot left around 70% of subscribers without access to the baseball channel. The settlement was able to eliminate an expected obstacle to a proposed $85.4B merger between AT&T and Time, which is currently being assessed by the justice department’s antitrust division. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Toshiba’s US Nuclear Unit Urged to Lodge Chapter 11 by End of March. Toshiba’s major creditors are pressuring Westinghouse, the company’s US nuclear business, to lodge Chapter 11 by the end of March. The conglomerate’s board are poised to deliberate on the matter during its special meeting on March 30. Investors are split over whether the firm should declare bankruptcy to avoid incurring further losses. Earlier, Toshiba requested its lenders to decide whether syndicated loans tendered to them can continue. The deadline, however, has been extended until April 11. Shares climbed almost 10% in morning trading session following a Singaporean hedge fund acquired a 8.14% stake in the firm. Read more on asia.nikkei.com
  • Twitter Mulls Premium Subscription Option. Twitter is exploring the option of offering a paid subscription of its site aimed at businesses and professionals. The social networking service’s spokesperson said Thursday it is administering a survey among chosen users to determine the interest in a new and improved version of Tweetdeck. The spokesperson added the company regularly conducts user-focused study to collate feedback regarding people’s overall Twitter experience, and they are finding various ways to make Tweetdeck more useful for professionals. Twitter did not imply levying charges to regular users. In February, it recorded some 319 users around the globe. Read more on economictimes.indiatimes.com
  • Amazon Clinches Victory in Tax Strife with IRS. Amazon triumphed over the IRS in a tax strife amounting to around $1.5 billion. America’s tax court said Thursday the tax agency exploited its jurisdiction in different instances and made arbitrary decisions. It was not certain what the retailer’s eventual tax liability would be. The company did not promptly revert a request for comment, while the IRS does not provide a statement on such cases. The squabble between the retailer and the government agency stemmed from the former’s dealing with a subsidiary in Luxembourg from 2005 to 2006. It previously noted its tax bill could increase by $1.5 billion including interest. Read more on www.marketwatch.com
  • RBS Seeks to Shut 180 Offices. As more clients turn to digital banking, RBS unveiled its plan to shut around 180 offices in Ireland and the UK. The bank said Thursday some 1,000 positions were threatened in its latest series of closures and cuts. It added around 220 roles may be removed in Ireland and 770 posts in Britain. RBS also said the total number of clients going to their branches had substantially declined since 2010. Also, the number of clients transacting online had slumped substantially. RBS boss Ross McEwan said sluggish economic expansion and low interest rates prodded the firm to slash thousands of roles. Read more on uk.reuters.com
  • Jho Low`s Family Can Contest Attempts to Seize Assets: Judge. Malaysian entrepreneur Jho Low’s family were authorized to oppose US attempts to seize his real estate properties and other investments supposedly acquired using the money extracted from 1MDB. Federal judge Dale Fischer approved requests by the holding firms which manage the financier’s assets on his behalf to lodge late claims in eight forfeiture cases. His holdings include a share in EMI Music Publishing amounting to $107 million. In 2016, American regulators filed numerous lawsuits to recoup over $1 billion worth of assets purchased by the financier and his affiliates. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Credit Suisse Reportedly Favoring Capital Hike over Swiss IPO. Sources say Credit Suisse Group AG is looking at an alternative to its plan to raise capital by holding an IPO for its Swiss business and is now mulling a stock sale worth over 3 billion Swiss francs. The lender may offer new shares constituting up to 10 percent of its outstanding stock via an accelerated sale to money managers, which does not require investors to sign off. The sale is seen to exceed 3.1 billion Swiss francs, with the bank discussing with some advisers on raising as much as 5 billion francs. Analysts see the capital hike as an excellent idea compared to an IPO given it is more expensive and would need the bank to cede one of its most vital assets. The bank is currently in the second year of a turnaround program to trim its securities division while growing in wealth management. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Ford Slides as Investors Flagged of Slowing Profit. Ford Motor Co. issued a warning regarding the difficulty of maintaining a steady flow of profit while attempting to overhaul the company’s image, causing shares to drop. Profit is seen to decline by 50 percent during the first quarter, a steeper decline than analysts estimates as the U.S. carmaker looks to invest more money into self-driving cars technology and electric vehicles. Ford CEO Mark Fields said profit is estimated to slide this 2017 before swinging upward in 2018 as the firm makes big wagers on interlopers as they view the emerging tech as a future avenue of revenue. Ford surprised investors by projecting Q1 earnings per share will come in at 30 to 35 cents, significantly below the 47 cent average estimated by Wall Street. Annual pretax profit will decline to around $9 billion, down from 2016’s $10.4 billion, with the majority of the drop-off to be seen during the current quarter. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Strong Sales Drive up Micron Shares. Micron Technologies’ shares surged in late hours trading after it posted its most recent quarter revenues soared 58 percent from the same period a year prior. The company attributed the strong results from the Q2 of FY2017 to the strong demand and the tight industry supply for its memory chips. CEO Mark Durcan also credited the company’s ongoing cost-cutting initiative. Since the Q1 of the financial year, DRAM memory chip selling prices have risen 21 percent, while NAND memory chip sales rose 18 percent. Revenue for the March quarter came in at $4.65 billion, in accordance with analysts expectations. Net income was at $894 million or 77 cents per share, compared with the $887.8 million profit and earnings of 78 cents per share anticipated by analysts. The recent quarterly results also denote a swing to profit from the net loss of $97 million or 9 cents per share seen in the same period a year prior. Read more on www.ft.com
  • Barclays fined over lack of disclosure. Three units of Barclays Plc are facing penalties by Australia’s securities regulator after it failed to inform clients that they do not hold domestic service licenses. This policy normally issued exemptions provided that a detailed announcement is made about being regulated overseas. Reports show that the involved sectors were not able to comply with this requirement, and ASIC said in a statement that being unable to follow the regulation displays a weakness in systems and compliance controls of the company’s entities. The units will undergo enforceable undertaking which is a substitute to civil court action as they all agreed to have a review of their frameworks. Moreover, they will be contributing a total of $383,000 to the Ethics Center. A representative for the firm commented they are pleased to have resolved the issue using positive measures. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Goldman tops 2016 commodities revenue. A report from Coalition Development Ltd. revealed that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was able to secure its lead ranking in commodities last year, beating its peers in terms of earnings despite a decline in the industry. Revenues of major banks have remarkably slumped to an 11-year record low, far from their position during their 2008 peak. This was mainly caused by several conflicts including regulatory scrutiny, restrictions on proprietary trading, and investment tus by their clients. This has forced the lenders to lessen or halt their exposure to commodities. Banks from Australia and Canada were not included in the study but were reported to be expanding by taking charge of the business left by other companies. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Malaysia Air mulls plane leases for expansion. Malaysia Airlines Bhd. is planning to complete a deal involving 42 wide body jets for the upcoming months as the struggling airlines aims to restructure their long-haul network amid a bolstered demand. Conditions regarding the rent of Airbus Group SE A330 or Boeing Co. 777 aircraft will be discussed for the next weeks, which will be followed by another order of upgraded airplanes. The company’s CEO is targeting to widen the scope of their operations as a recovery measure after bookings declined due to two plane crashes three years ago. He also said the carrier’s state has gotten better quicker than expected, after they released an 81% load factor in the last quarter of 2016. The business will also offer more routes to China as they seek attract more tourists from the nation to visit Malaysia. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Snap figures lifted by analysts recommendation. Snap Inc.’s shares were have recovered by 9% after two out of 13 analysts rated a “buy” vote for its stock despite constant fluctuations in its figures since it went public. Initially, ratings have changed from either neutral or sell, but James Cakmak at Monness Crespi Hardt have initiated a purchase signal for the business at $25 target price. The two experts argued that while they recognize the company’s unproven skills, they see more to it compared to their fellow colleagues hence they decide to give it the benefit of the doubt, especially after seeing its strong hold on millennials. Shares of the firm have started at 44% after its IPO, which immediately tumbled during the subsequent sessions. Read more on www.ft.com
Early reviews

24 march 2017

  • France: Defense chief shifts backing. Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Socialist French defense minister, has announced his support for candidate Emmanuel Macron instead of his own party’s bet. He defended his decision by saying that choosing Marine Le Pen instead would be a danger for the country. Le Drian is the most senior official to have expressed his favor of Macron, who is now neck-to-neck with Le Pen. He is expected to win by 26% during the first round of plebiscite, while the once favorite Fillon have dropped to the third place after a scandal over his alleged grant of fake jobs to his family members. Some also criticized the minister’s defection, saying the move is a sign of disrespect for voters of the left. The initial voting will take place on April 23, while the next one is on May 7. Read more on www.bbc.com
  • Libya: Hundreds of migrants drown in Mediterranean Sea. Around 250 individuals are feared dead after attempting to cross the rough sea waters of Mediterranean after two partly submerged rubber boats were discovered. A representative from the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms initially disclosed that five bodies were found floating near the dinghies, which were mostly African men aged 16-25. According to her, the most probable reason for the accident was over capacity, since usually, these boats are loaded. The number of refugees who have drowned while illegally passing through the sea in the first nine months of this year have reached 521, which is remarkably higher than 2016’s 471 toll. Just last month, European leaders have completed an accord to stem the flow of asylum searchers in the region wherein the bloc gave $215M to the Libyan regime to aid their efforts to stop traffickers from luring more people in the territorial waters. Read more on www.aljazeera.com
  • Trump’s envoy to Israel wins Senate approval. David Friedman, the US chief’s former bankruptcy lawyer, has officially been appointed as the administration’s ambassador to Israel. Since he is known to have warm relations with the Mideast country and a supporter of its settlement construction, many have raised their eyebrows on what would be come of the proposed dual state solution that is aimed at ending years of conflict with the Palestinian community. Friedman apologized for his previous harsh rhetoric on the matter and won by a vote of 52-46 margin. His nomination raises a start on the government’s stance to the ongoing clash of communities, and while others denounced his divisive ideals, others were welcoming of his views that are beyond the US mainstream. Read more on www.aljazeera.com
  • Trump’s health bill suffers major setback. A supposed voting of the House of Representatives over the healthcare decree proposed by the US chief to replace his predecessor’s Obamacare has been delayed, which is considered a negative start for Trump and his house speaker in their first legislative test. The lack of unity among the GOP members resulted to lack of votes to guarantee the initiative, as conservatives are arguing it was too similar to the previous plan to serve as a substitute. The legislators said the vote will take place on Friday instead, despite the uncertainty of the outcome. An analyst also commented that since part of a new president’s task is to build momentum through big wins in the Congress, getting the accord passed would be crucial for Trump’s advancement with his agenda. He added the administration’s chaotic situation at present and his lack of popular support will be quite a blow for his tenure. Read more on www.aljazeera.com
  • US general alleges Russian support for Taliban. A prominent American general based in Europe disclosed his hunch over the growing influence of Putin’s side on the Afghan Taliban fighters, leading him to the conclusion that the nation was providing the faction with supplies. The Kremlin has long been denouncing the US handling of this armed group, although it denied the accusations and said their restricted contacts has always been aimed at bringing the force to the negotiating table. It has been reported that the community had been in contact with Moscow years ago, although it was clarified that the backing never went beyond moral and political aspects. Previously, another officer made the same claims, insisting that Russia is encouraging the movement to undermine US authority and defeat the Nato, although he did not elaborate on the details. Read more on www.aljazeera.com
  • UAE Promises Cooperation on Laptop Ban. While United Arab Emirates said it was caught off guard by the restriction of laptops in plane cabins headed for the U.S. because the security in the top aviation hub was already strict, it pledged its commitment to cooperate with U.S. authorities. The U.S. government announced the new measure earlier this week which limited electronic devices bigger than mobile phones inside cabins on flights from 10 airports in middle east nations. The prohibition is seen to hit Gulf airlines but not U.S. carriers. In a statement, UAE said its aviation authority and airlines would continue to work with authorities to ensure global safety. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • French Voters Uncertain Ahead of Presidential Election: Polls. A poll conducted just one month ahead of the first round of France’s presidential election showed 43 percent of voters are not certain who they should support, highlighting the uncertainty surrounding the turbulent election campaign. Opinion polls project Emmanuel Macron and National Front Party leader Marine le Pen to win the first round of the election to be held on April 23 and to face-off in the May 7 run-off, where the centrist candidate is seen to easily secure a win. Le Pen’s voters said 60 pct were sure with their choice, while 57 pct of those who support Fillion said they are sure with their choice. However, a survey by Odoxa showed that almost have of voters are not yet sure with their choice of candidate, with the results reflecting an unprecedented uncertainty in the French elections which has not been seen in its entire history. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • Trump Laying Groundwork to Overhaul Trade Agreements, Procurement. U.S. administration officials said that President Donald Trump is drafting new executive directives to launch a review of all the 14 U.S. free trade deals and assess government procurement policies in order to help American firms. The NAFTA will be the top the list of the deals to be evaluated, which affects U.S. neighbors Mexico and Canada, as well as 20 nations from the Americas to Asia. The administration officials said that the trade deal and procurement assessment orders were some of the EOs that the Trump administration preparing with regards to trade. While a timeline when the orders will be announced has not been disclosed, the directives’ rollout could begin as early as next week. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • Abe Denies Contributing to Scandal-Hit Primary School. Shinzo Abe rebuffed allegations he or Akie Abe made a considerable amount of donation to the principal of a Japanese primary school. Moritomo Gakuen principal Yasunori Kagoike testified in the parliament and said on Thursday he got a ¥1 million ($9,000) donation. He added the premier’s wife gave the contribution on her husband’s behalf. Abe’s significant other denied giving a monetary contribution to the school in question. But the country’s largest opposition league has pressured her to testify before lawmakers. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • New 9/11 Cases Versus Saudi Arabia Spring to Life. As the Congress paved the way, family members of the 9/11 terrorist attack victims and insurance firms are renewing their efforts to hold Saudi Arabia or entities there liable for the 2011 attack. The Manhattan district courts will decide whether the approval of the 2016 measure aimed at backers of terrorism was merely a symbolic act or a catalyst to getting them to court hearings. A Virginia-based counsel said his company rushed to court hours following Congress overturned ex-US President Barack Obama’s veto last year, hoping to seek compensations for complainants. Read more on abcnews.go.com
  • Ukraine`s Poroshenko Refutes Killing of Putin Detractor. Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko denounced the killing of former Russian legislator Denis Voronenkov, saying it is Russia’s terrorist act. He also described President Vladimir Putin’s critic as one of the vital witnesses of the Russian aggression against his country. Officials said the lawmaker was killed outside a hotel. Information regarding the deadly incident such as the identity of the suspect was not immediately unveiled. The suspect was injured and was rushed to the hospital, but he died. Voronenkov and his wife lambasted Putin for Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and disclosed his cooperation with Ukrainian prosecutors about a lawsuit against a former Ukrainian president. Read more on edition.cnn.com
  • Police Names Attacker in UK Parliament Assault. Police named a certain Khalid Masood (born as Adrian Elms) as the assailant in a deadly attack in Westminster. He killed five people and wounded many others when he drove a car into the pedestrian and went on a killing spree. He was not involved in any previous inquiries. ISIS assumed liability behind the incident. Police said inspectors are currently scanning various addresses. Police added they had not received intelligence report regarding Masood’s plan to kill people. Masood was known to authorities for his previous offenses. Read more on www.bbc.com
  • Turkey to Evaluate EU Relations following April Vote – Erdogan. Turkey will review its relations with the EU following a referendum on constitutional revisions next month, but will retain economic ties with the bloc. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated Thursday he would meet with President Donald Trump’s administration in May. Turkey and the region are embroiled in a bitter dispute after Germany and the Netherlands postponed scheduled campaign demonstrations on their respective areas by Turkish officials attempting to shore up support for a ‘yes’ vote, attributing it to national security. But Erdogan simply alleged they are acting like the Nazis. Read more on www.reuters.com
Early reviews