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BLACKWATER USA | DAILY BRIEF


Libya

  • Libya’s rival governments announced a surprise nationwide ceasefire, and the western GNA called for the demilitarization of Sirte. Previous ceasefires haven’t held, but this one seems to have more international support for it.

Russia

  • Opposition leader Alexey Navalny was air lifted in a coma to a hospital in Berlin after falling sick from a suspected poisoning in Siberia.

  • A former U.S. Green Beret was arrested on charges of spying for Russia. He’d apparently been meeting with Russian agents since 1996.

Belarus

  • Protests continue in Belarus. Pres. Lukashenko said he’d shut down factories where protests are happening and fire the workers protesting.

U.S.

  • California is in the midst of its annual fire season, and the two fires blazing now are among the largest in the state’s history—and still growing.

  • Meanwhile, Tropical Storms Laura and Marco are gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico. Both are expected to become hurricanes. The fact that they’re concurrent means they could interact with each other in ways that make forecasting impossible.

Sahel

  • Thousands of Malians took to the streets to cheer the coup that ousted Pres. Keita, who was widely seen as corrupt and ineffective.

  • Meanwhile, international mediators also arrived in Bamako for talks to try to reverse the coup—even though Malians wanted him out, democratic countries condemn coups as a rule. ECOWAS—the 15-member West African regional bloc—cut Mali off to travel and capital flows as punishment.

Venezuela

  • Colombia’s Pres. Duque claimed that Venezuela is trying to buy medium- and long-range missiles from Iran. The missiles “have not arrived yet.”

  • Venezuela took an online currency exchange platform, Airtm, down because it was about to launch a U.S.-backed program to send money to underpaid health workers.

Guyana

  • Exxon is limiting its crude production in Guyana due to more mechanical issues with the gas injection system. Instead of its current capacity of 120,000 bpd at the Liza offshore block, it’ll only produce 100,000 bpd.

Mexico

  • Pres. AMLO’s anti-fraud credentials are being questioned after videos emerged of his brother accepting cash from an official.

DRC

  • DRC gave mining companies an indefinite waiver to its export ban on cobalt, tin, tungsten, and tantalum concentrates. It may still announce another waiver on copper concentrates, though that one may be more limited. DRC banned the export of unrefined ores in 2013 to encourage miners to do more processing in country, but it seems like that didn’t work well.

Afghanistan

  • There were four separate IED blasts in three different parts of Kabul this morning.

  • Despite its claims that it would let girls go to school, the Taliban is reportedly preventing hundreds of them in Badakhshan from taking entrance exams by threatening them with fines of 40k Afghanis (US$518).

Other News

  • Turkey announced its largest natural gas find ever in the Black Sea. If it proves commercially viable, the find could help reduce Turkey’s reliance on Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan for energy imports.

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