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Russia and China speed up de-dollarization as share of the dollar in trade between the countries fell to 46% during first quarter of 2020 from 90% four years ago, the remaining 54% made up of 17% Chinese yuan, 30% euro, and 7% Russian ruble

China orders US to close its consulate in Chengdu in Sichuan Province after Beijing had promised to retaliate for Houston shutdown order, says it’s a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the US

US tells Chinese consulate in Houston to shut down in three days citing a need to protect American intellectual property and information, after which staff are seen burning documents in a container within the courtyard of the consulate facility

Red Bull fires two US top executives for leaking letter critical of public silence on Black Lives Matter signed by more than 300 employees and pushing for more diversity and inclusion, a third executive, Florian Klaass, also terminated for using a slide featuring supposedly racist stereotypes, billionaire owner and CEO Dietrich Mateschitz has previously spoken out against political correctness

EU Court of Justice rules EU-US Privacy Shield user data exchange agreement as invalid due to GDPR since the US law enforcement and national security issues have primacy meaning it does not afford an adequate level of protection of personal data

Senior officials in the Trump administration are said to discuss banning travel to the US by all members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families which would affect more than 90 million Chinese

Boris Johnson's government bans Huawei from Britain's 5G network by ordering telecoms companies to remove its equipment by 2027 after a significantly changed security assessment of Huawei by the National Cyber Security Centre

Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant decides to represent himself at sentencing hearing set to begin August 24, the Australian pleaded guilty earlier this year to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act

Trump administration announces additional duties of 25% on French cosmetics, handbags and other imports valued at USD 1.3 billion in response to France’s digital services tax, but delays implementing for up to 180 days to allow further time to resolve the issue

Russian billionaire Andrey Filatov offers to buy two statues BLM protesters want removed from US cities, Theodore Roosevelt outside American Museum of Natural History in New York City and first governor of Russian colonies in Alaska, Alexander Baranov

WHO alters Covid-19 timeline to disclose it initially learned of novel virus outbreak from the Internet and not from Chinese officials as it has long insisted, adding fuel to accusation the Chinese leadership tried with the help of WHO to cover up the new virus

European Aviation Safety Agency bars state-run carrier Pakistan International Airlines from the European Union for six months after 262 of Pakistan's 860 active pilots were found holding fake licenses or having cheated on exams, Prime Minister Imran Khan says reforming PIA and other government institutions is inevitable

Boris Johnson says that up to three million Hong Kong residents are eligible to come to the UK for five years and be able to apply for citizenship, calls China's passing of a new security law a clear and serious breach of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration

Italy seizes 14 tonnes of amphetamine tablets worth allegedly made by the IS terrorists in Syria, the tablets that were found in the port of Salerno is said to be the world's largest amphetamine seizure and carry a EUR 1 billion dollar value

UN expresses support for Antifa on Twitter saying US describing it as a domestic terrorist organization undermines the rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly in the country, accompanied by photo of Antifa banner, prompting calls to defund UN

Highest ever atmospheric carbon dioxide seasonal peak of 417.1 ppm during May despite worldwide Covid-19 shutdowns, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego using Mauna Loa Observatory measurements

NHK removes promotional video depicting Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the US for its children’s program "This Makes Me Understand! The World Now" from Twitter after criticism it portrayed black people in an offensive and insensitive way

Japan and United Kingdom agree to start negotiations for swift agreement on economic partnership to secure business continuity for both nations, Japan’s foreign ministry says, welcoming British interests to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

US Department of Justice demands Prince Andrew be handed over to US police to be questioned about his links to Jeffrey Epstein

Turkey says that the US designing Antifa as a terrorist organisation means that it must show solidarity with its NATO ally when PKK/YPG trained Antifa militants attack Turkish soldiers in Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu says it follows logically for US to declare YPG a terrorist organisation

Bell Canada and Telefonica Deutschland choose Ericsson to be their 5G network equipment supplier at a time when Huawei future in the countries is uncertain, while Germany’s three main operators are removing Huawei from their network cores

Julian Assange suffers from breathing problems in Belmarsh prison and fails to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court hearing via video link on Monday according to his lawyer, location for resumption of hearing on September 7 still not confirmed

President Trump postpones G7 summit until at least September and hopes to expand list of participating countries to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India, saying it's a very outdated group of countries in its current format

SpaceX launches Nasa astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on mission to the International Space Station in first launch of astronauts into orbit by a private company and first launch from American soil since the final Space Shuttle flight in 2011

President Trump orders his administration to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment in response to China’s plans to impose new security legislation in the territory, says China has replaced One Country, Two Systems with One Country, One System

First of five Iranian tankers carrying gasoline and alkylate to Venezuela enters the former prominent fuel exporter's exclusive economic zone on Saturday, despite US official’s warning that Washington was considering a response to the shipment

US considers doing first nuclear test since 1992 to strengthen negotiating position against Russia and China who are suspected of conducting secret tests, according to anonymous White House sources

Military entrepreneur Erik Prince sues The Intercept over accusations of offering services to Russian mercenary company Wagner Group in violation of US sanctions

NASA proposes Artemis Accords for regulating exploitation of the Moon, opens way for mining and establishes minimum distance between moon bases, Russia says project follows same principles as US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan

EU should impose ban on Chinese takeovers of companies cheap to acquire or with economic difficulties because of Covid-19, head of EPP grouping in EU Parliament Manfred Weber says, EU has to protect itself against Chinese companies partly supported of state funds

Spanish police arrests deeply radicalised Moroccan man in Barcelona with links to ISIS terrorists who was planning a militant attack, police says he made public pledges of allegiance to ISIS while declaring his hatred of the West on social media

London court rules Julian Assange's US extradition case hearings will resume in September after being postponed because of the Covid-19 outbreak, Assange was not able to attend via media link because his lawyers said he was not well enough to appear

Donald Trump orders US Navy to "shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea", 11 vessels from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy came dangerously close to US ships in the Persian Gulf last week

Donald Trump says he will temporarily suspend all immigration through executive order to combat the pandemic and protect American citizens' jobs, US has close to 800,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 22 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last month

Fugitive Brazilian cocaine trafficker Gilberto Aparecido dos Santos arrested this week in a luxury hotel in Mozambique after 20 years on the run from a Brazilian prison is expelled for having entered the country illegally and is sent back to Brazil

EU launches yearlong Mediterranean mission Irini to enforce the UN arms embargo on Libya through using aerial, satellite and maritime assets to carry out vessel inspections, Italy blocked the former Sophia mission as the warships attracted migrants, the mission will also build up and train the Libyan coast guard as well as gather information about illegal fuel and oil smuggling

US indicts Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and more than a dozen other top Venezuelan officials on charges of conspiring "to flood the United States with cocaine" together with a dissident faction of the FARC guerilla, offers reward of up to USD 15 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Maduro

WHO declares Covid-19 a pandemic, Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says several countries have demonstrated that the outbreak can be suppressed and controlled but that other countries have showed alarming levels of inaction, 121,564 cases with at least 4,373 deaths as of Wednesday morning according to Johns Hopkins University

After testing more than 140,000 for covid-19 South Korea has over 6,000 confirmed cases but only about 40 deceased, case fatality rate at 0.6% is significantly lower than previous estimates and based on more comprehensive and reliable data

Turkey prepares a case in the European Court of Human Rights over Greece’s treatment of migrants, says that 135,000 people have crossed into Greece and that the EU has made no concrete offer to deal with the situation, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin calls it a double standard that the EU can mobilize hundreds of millions of euros to Greece within days but blames bureaucracy when it comes to Turkey

Greece releases video of Turkish riot police firing tear gas canisters at border crossing, Greek security official says gas was used to help migrants breach border and provoke, Turkish security official says purpose was to protect migrants from Greek police firing bullets, Greece denies shooting at migrants and brands Turkish claims that four migrants have been killed in past days "fake news"

US conducts airstrike against Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan days after peace deal was signed, attack performed to counter Taliban assault on Afghan government forces in Helmand province

Russia strongly rejects UN war crime allegations regarding air strikes on popular market and camp for displaced people that killed dozens of civilians in Syria in July and August 2019, says report is one-sided as it fails to account for attacks by militant groups

UN Refugee Agency UNHCR says Greece's decision to suspend the reception of asylum applications is not supported by either the 1951 Refugee Convention nor EU refugee law and that countries must refrain from measures that might increase the suffering of vulnerable people, also says additional support to both Greece and Turkey is needed and appeals for calm and easing of tensions at the borders

Syrian authorities announce formation of diplomatic and consular relations with Libya's rogue General Khalifa Haftar to combat Turkish aggression in both countries, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem says diplomatic missions to be reopened in Damascus and the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi

US signs peace deal with the Taliban, 5,000 Taliban to be released from Afghan-run jails and US withdrawing from Afghanistan within 14 months, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says US is "realistic" about the deal and that they will do whatever is necessary if the Taliban do not comply with the agreement

Australia denies refugee status to South African white farmers, writes that the "risk of murder and serious physical/sexual assaults is one faced by the population of the country in general and not by the applicants personally", surge in applications last two years after Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton suggested that the group was being persecuted and should be given special attention under the humanitarian programme

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg says the military alliance stands in solidarity with member state Turkey—urges Russia and Syria to halt their Idlib offensive, to respect international law and to back UN efforts for a peaceful solution

Turkey allows Syrian refugees free passage to Europe for 72 hours, decision taken after Syrian government forces killed 33 Turkish soldiers in Idlib province and one million civilians have been displaced, Turkey's communications director Fahrettin Altun says that the country is currently hitting all known regime targets as what happened in Rwanda and Bosnia cannot be allowed to be repeated

Eastern Libyan LNA forces say 16 Turkish soldiers killed in recent weeks, Turkey backs the Libyan interim government and has sent own soldiers as well as Syrian rebels to protect Tripoli while LNA is supported by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt with some help from Russian mercenaries, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says the struggle in Libya continues and that nearly 100 LNA troops have been neutralized

US military intelligence agency DIA invested tens of millions in studying UFOs under premise that they existed and could not be explained, according to Popular Mechanics reporter who has spoken to dozens of inside sources and had access to hundreds of pages of documentation

Global 2019-nCoV case count revised in light of new diagnostic method, tally surges 45% to nearly 60,000 confirmed cases, CT scan diagnosis supersedes notoriously unreliable nucleic acid testing

Governments worldwide trusted Swiss company Crypto AG to deliver encryption equipment for more than half a century, company secretly owned by CIA in highly classified partnership with West German intelligence and devices rigged so codes could be easily broken, according to classified CIA document obtained by Washington Post and German public broadcaster ZDF

British Airways flight hops the Atlantic in less than 5 hours thanks to auspicious gales from Ciara, flight beats all former subsonic speed-records for the same route, average flight-time over 6 hours

Coronavirus death toll officially surpasses that of the SARS epidemic, bustling metropoles reduced to ghost towns as government orders further lockdowns, authorities mandate workers return piecemeal from Lunar New Year break to check contagion, China's ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming assures public 'quarantine measures have been very effective'

Unusually regular radio bursts repeats in 16.35 day cycle, 1-2 pulses per hour for 4 days followed by 12 days of silence before pattern starts again, signals originate in galaxy 500 million lightyears from Earth

Death of coronavirus doctor Li Wenliang sparks censorship controversy in China, reproved by Chinese government early January for 'severely disrupting social order' with social media posts about novel 'SARS-like virus', Communist Party People's Daily regrets ignoring the writing on the wall in newly issued public apology, furore trends briefly on Weibo only to yield no search results days later

WHO says the coronavirus does not yet constitute a pandemic, death toll at 427 with more than 20,000 confirmed cases, 425 deaths in China and one death each in Hong Kong and the Philippines confirmed

48-year-old Chinese engineer Wei Sun arrested for bringing his company-issued laptop from US defense contractor Raytheon Missile Systems to China violating federal law as well as company policy, Sun who quit his job after 10 years during the trip told officials he had only visited Singapore and the Philippines but later confessed to traveling to China, Dean Cheng at the Heritage Foundation calls it a piece of the larger Chinese espionage picture

World Health Organisation (WHO) declares global emergency as coronavirus death toll reaches 170, director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesys disclaims emergency is a 'vote of no confidence' in China, greatest concern is how an outbreak will affect countries with 'weaker health systems'

European Parliament approves Boris Johnson's final Brexit settlement, chamber bids Britain farewell by breaking into song, vote of 621 ayes, 49 nays and 13 abstentions concludes to dulcet harmonies of Auld Lang Syne

Germany has proof that Huawei has colluded with Chinese intelligence, according to Handelsblatt report citing confidential foreign ministry document, the company calls the allegations old and unfounded, the German foreign ministry says it never comments on internal documents

Prominent Harvard chemistry professor Charles Lieber arrested and charged with lying about connections to China, has secretly built research lab at university in Wuhan and received large sums of money

Boris Johnson defies U.S. ire as he gives go-ahead to proposed Huawei 5G implementation, insists 'high-risk vendors' like Huawei will only be allowed access to non-sensitive parts of the network, technical details as to what 'limited access' constitutes yet to be disclosed

7.7 magnitude earthquake strikes between Cuba and Jamaica, shaking felt in Florida, risks creating tsunami waves in several Caribbean countries

Soleimani assassination will give fizzling IS terrorists new lease of life as US-Iranian tensions escalate, suspension of anti-terror operations and Iranian eviction of U.S. troops prompts uptick in IS-led ambush attacks, U.S. officials deny correlation

Sources tell Der Spiegel Germany will follow France, Portugal and Spain's example and repatriate German citizens currently residing Wuhan city, Beijing reportedly sceptical about using military aircraft to aid in evacuation - expressing preference for civilian aircraft

Donald Trump extends olive branch to Beijing in new pledge to offer China 'any help necessary' with coronavirus outbreak, 18 month Sino-American trade-war and coronavirus scare send Chinese stocks spiralling

Taliban claim to have shot down US military aircraft carrying high-ranking CIA officers over eastern Afghanistan, US military investigates reports of the crash in Taliban-controlled territory, footage purportedly taken from the wreckage site is claimed to show US air force insignia on the charred fuselage

Saudi Arabia to stop funding mosques in foreign countries – will cooperate with local authorities to establish local administrative councils for each mosque in order to hand them over to "secure hands", according to Swiss newspaper Le Matin

China says Wuhan lockdown will not be lifted for repatriation of foreign citizens, stranded Brits frustrated by lack of information

Pall of gloom descends on Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations as coronavirus death toll reaches 42, Xi Jinping tells press that China is facing a 'grave situation', Hong Kong authorities cut celebrations short while declaring virus emergency, over 1400 people infected worldwide

Controversial facial recognition system will be operational in London within the month, software developed by Japan's NEC will scan crowds for faces and cross-reference them with 'watchlist', Metropolitan Police cagey about exact area of deployment

French and Dutch police arrest 23 suspected members of a criminal network that has smuggled 10,000 migrants from France to Britain – the network is suspected of earning EUR 70 million by organizing illegal passages for migrants from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Iran, according to Europol

Putin proposes Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain hold a summit in 2020 to discuss ongoing global conflicts and broker Libyan detente, says it would be an important symbolic step ahead of upcoming 75th anniversay of the end of World War II

Chinese government orders lockdown of Wuhan and Huanggang to check proliferation of coronavirus, outbreak has claimed 17 lives and infected more than 630

Chinese court rules former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei will serve 13-1/2 year prison sentence for graft, settled for plea deal July last year, accepted bribes in excess of 14.46 million yuan

New strain of coronavirus claims fourth victim in China, authorities confirm virus is capable of horizontal transmission, 218 confirmed cases in China according to the World Health Organization (WHO)

Cyprus calls Turkey pirate state over oil drilling attempt off Cypriot waters one day after EU issued warning and set up sanction mechanism, four similar drilling attempts noted since July, Turkey calls EU prejudiced and says the union "remained silent since 2003 to the usurping of our country's and the Turkish Cypriots' rights in the eastern Mediterranean"

Iran to send black boxes for forensic analysis in Kiev, memory drives reportedly badly damaged, French forensic team reports they have salvaged key flight data, investigators hope Ukrainian investigation will yield additional insights

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claims Iranian air defense were spooked by 'at least six' U.S. F-35 fighter jets cruising airspace in the Iranian border area when Ukrainian airliner was shot down, apprehension would explain unusually trigger-happy Iran, information yet to be verified

Britain, France and Germany trigger 2015 international nuclear deal's dispute mechanism and formally accuse Iran of violating terms of agreement, threatens to impose economic sanctions

Russian Prime Minister Medvedev and incumbent government resigns, proceedings reportedly amicable as Putin is given free rein to implement his proposed constitutional overhaul, amendments will bolster sovereignty and authority of parliament, possible ploy to secure future influence when Putin's current term expires

Julian Assange's lawyer tells British court the Wikileaks founder is not getting the time he needs with his legal team to discuss his fight against extradition to the US which has delayed the case

Islamic State applaud Trump's decision to kill General Soleimani in al-Nabaa editorial, article claims Soleimani spearheaded the fight against IS in deference to US interests, IS hopes consequent power vacuum will afford them a tactical edge in a post-Soleimani landscape, Soleimani's death 'pleased the hearts of all believers'

Iran admits blowing Ukrainian passenger aircraft out of the sky, previously claimed that such notions were mere western anti-Iranian propaganda, claims human error was at fault

Pentagon sources tell Newsweek Ukrainian airliner was shot down by Iranian air defence, images surfaced Wednesday showing fragments of Russian-built Tor M-1 missiles found in southwest Teheran suburb, source reckons missile was launched by accident, Civil Aviation Organisation of Iran invites Canada and Sweden to assist in investigations

Western intelligence agencies have found no evidence to suspect Ukraine airliner was shot down according to Canadian source, engine malfunction likely cause, Boeing declines to comment

Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 en route to Kiev falls from sky within minutes of take-off from Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, footage showing plane in flames before crash prompts speculation as to whether the plane was accidentally shot down by Iranian air defence, Iranian state media reports engine failure as cause

More than 180 Australians arrested accused of deliberately lighting bushfires since start of season which has left 25 dead and destroyed over 2,000 homes, so far 24 people have been charged with starting blazes in New South Wales where 29 fires have been deliberately lit

Leaked letter from Marine Brig. General Seely spurs rumours of planned US withdrawal from Iraq, wording said to affirm Iraqi sovereignty and promise 'reposition' of troops in deference to ditto, Defence Secretary Mark Espen denies plans of withdrawal, putting it down to 'poor wording'

President Trump vows to hit 52 Iranian sites, some highly important, very hard if Iran retaliates after killing of military commander Qassem Soleimani, targets representing the 52 Americans held hostage at US Embassy in Tehran in 1979, saying USA wants no more threats

Volley of rockets crash into Balad air base housing US troops, other rockets fall in close proximity to US embassy in the Baghdad Green Zone, no casualties reported, actors responsible and exact motive yet to be established

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador calls for Julian Assange to be released from British jail, urging an end to his torture in detention, says Wikileak's disclosures demonstrated the authoritarian nature of the world system

Iran vows to exact 'harsh' revenge in wake of the US air-raid which killed General Qassem, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif condemns Trump's blunderbuss strategy as 'state terrorism', Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini announces three days of mourning

Further details surface surrounding the exfiltration of former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, associate claims Ghosn was smuggled out of Japan in a musical instrument case attended by two guards posing as musicians scheduled to perform at Ghosn's residence in Tokyo, dash for Lebanon with a pit-stop in Istanbul ensues, travelled with a French passport he had been prohibited to use

Kim Jong-un threatens to end the moratorium on nuclear tests implemented in wake of 2018 negotiations with the US, claims North Korea intends to make new additions to their nuclear arsenal while stressing that renewed testing is contingent on US attitudes going forward

Ten-year-old Palestinian boy caught crossing Moroccan border into Spanish city of Melilla in north Africa hidden under piles of fruit and vegetables in shopping trolley pulled by a couple, the Moroccan man and woman were arrested on trafficking charges

President Trump says Iran will pay a very big price for attack by swarm of pro-Iran Shiite militiamen on US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday in escalating series of retaliations, Trump issues order to deploy 4,000 paratroopers to Kuwait with 750 already en route

UN General Assembly approves cybercrime treaty backed by Russia and China which US and Western powers say will censor internet, experts to set up international convention on countering use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes