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Sat, 22nd July 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “news agencies” Tag

“Islamic State Leader Baghdadi Is Still Alive” Iraq, Kurds Claim

Less than a week after Reuters confirmed a previous report from the Russian foreign ministry, that Islamic State head Aby Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed during an airstrike in Syria, conflicting reports have emerged about Baghdadi’s death, with the Iraqi interior ministry first cited by Al-Arabiya that the terrorist group head is “likely still alive and hiding near Raqqa”, and subsequently a top Kurdish counter-terrorism official echoing the same, and telling Reuters that “he was 99 percent sure that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was alive and located south of the Syrian city of Raqqa, after reports that he had been killed.”

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“Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99 percent he is alive,” Lahur Talabany told Reuters in an interview, adding “don’t forget his roots go back to al Qaeda days in Iraq. He was hiding from security services. He knows what he is doing.”

 By now, however, it no longer matters whether the “leader” is alive or dead: after Iraqi security forces retook Mosul from ISIS control last week, and the group under growing pressure in Raqqa, ISIS is scattered and on the run. If anything, Baghdadi has become a liability to others and himself.

Recall that it was the Islamic State which originally reported Baghdadi’s death, perhaps as a means of easing the blow from the ongoing ISIS failure:

“Daesh organisation (IS) circulated a brief statement through its media in the (IS-held) town of Tal Afar in the west of Mosul, confirming the killing of its leader al-Baghdadi without giving further details,” Xinhua news agency cited Iraqi news agency al-Sumaria News as saying. “Daesh called on the (IS) militants to continue their steadfastness in the redoubts of the caliphate and not being dragged behind the sedition.”

Still, Talabany said the Islamic State was shifting tactics despite low morale and it would take three or four years to eliminate the group. After defeat, Islamic State would wage an insurgency and resemble al-Qaeda on “steroids”, he said. Which likely means more unrest in Europe.

As Reuters also adds, the future leaders of Islamic State were expected to be intelligence officers who served under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the men credited with devising the group’s strategy.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin which originally reported news of Baghdadi’s death now appears to be backing off, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying the Kremlin has “no precise info on ISIL leader al-Baghdadi’s death”, adding that “conflicting reports on the matter keep coming.”

Samsung temporarily halts Galaxy Note 7 production

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency says that Samsung Electronics has temporarily halted production of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.

Citing an unnamed official at a Samsung supplier on Monday, Yonhap reported that the tech giant took the unprecedented measure for consumer safety. The move comes after reports that Samsung’s replacement devices had caught fire.

 The Note 7 recall and Samsung’s handling of incidents have left the company facing its biggest crisis in years.

Samsung seemed to have the trouble under control but consumers started to report that the new Note 7, which replaced the recalled hazardous Note 7, also began to catch fire. Last week, authorities had to evacuate a Southwest Airlines flight when a replacement phone began emitting smoke.

Samsung Electronics did not respond to a request seeking confirmation.

Russian Oil Production to Hit New Record in 2016 – RIA Rating

In the “Oil and Gas Extraction and Refining: Trends and Forecasts. January-June 2016 Results” bulletin, experts noted that in the first half of the year the Russian oil industry output reached 272.4 million tonnes (3.1 percent increase year-on-year) making a post-Soviet record. Most of the growth was provided by the Yamalo-Nenets and Nenets Autonomous Regions, Sakhalin region and Irkutsk region. Experts believe that although the growth rate could diminish in the second half of the year, total oil production in 2016 will increase by some 6-7 million tonnes, or 1.5-1.6 percent year-on-year to a new record value of 539-540 million tonnes.

Prices on the European gas market have increased significantly in the second quarter of 2016. However, despite the significant boost in exports, the gas production in Russia decreased due to a reduction in domestic demand. The Russian oil refining industry continues its production decline due to reductions in low-margin heavy petroleum products output.

This is How the Attempted Coup in Turkey May Affect Global Oil Market

Turkey has an important strategic position for oil transit routes from the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia to European markets.

“Any uncertainty in that region almost invariably results in an increase in oil prices, particularly given the interaction between what goes on in Turkey with Syria,” Craig Pirrong, director of the Global Energy Management Institute at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business, told Bloomberg.

Nearly 2.9 million barrels of oil or three percent of global supplies, were transported through the Turkish Straits, including the Bosporus and Dardanelles, in 2013, according to data from the United States Energy Information Administration.

Earlier on the day, Reuters reportedthat Turkey has closed Bosporus to oil shipping tankers due to “security and safety reasons.”

However, an official at the Istanbul-based shipping center said both straits are open and shipping traffic has not been disrupted according to Bloomberg.

The closure of Bosporus would have minimum impact on Russian oil deliveries, Valeriy Nesterov, an analyst at Sberbank CIB, told RIA Novosti.

“Russia exports 10-15 percent of its oil and petroleum product via the Black Sea, the port of Novorossiysk. If the strait is closed for one, two or three days it’s not a problem. It has happened before due to weather conditions,” he said.

Xinhua reports North Korean leader orders army into state of war

There have been exchanges of fire over the North/South Korea border

Xinhua news agency now reporting that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered his army into a state of war

China Xinhua News
BREAKING: DPRK top leader Kim Jong Un orders frontline army to enter a state of war from 5 p.m. Friday — Media

Putin Aide Says Russian Inflation to Hit 11 Percent in 2014

An economic aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists on Thursday that annual inflation would reach around 11 percent by the end of the year.

“We’ve already reached 10.4 percent, [it will be] around 11,” Andrei Belousov said, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Thursday that inflation by the end of the year could be around 11.5 percent.

China’s economy to grow 7.5 pct in 2014, despite signs of weaker momentum: HSBC

Russian says its aid convoy has left Ukraine

BREAKING NEWS -CD

 A Russian truck convoy with humanitarian aid has left Ukraine and is now in Russia, RIA news agency cited a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry in Moscow as saying on Saturday.

The convoy of about 220 trucks had started to return to Russia from Ukraine earlier on Saturday. 

 

State-Owned Russian News Agency Claims Kerry Cancelled Call With Kremlin Foreign Minister

A major Russian news agency owned by the Kremlin published a report Friday evening claiming U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry abruptly cancelled a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. ITAR-TASS news agency attributed the report to an unnamed diplomatic source. The report did not say when the phone call was allegedly scheduled to occur.

 “Kerry’s refusal to discuss in a telephone talk with Lavrov the situation in southeast Ukraine indicated the irresponsible approach of the United States, a Russian Foreign Ministry source said,” the ITAR-TASS report began. “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asked for a telephone talk with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Syria, but when the U.S. side knew that Russia proposed to include the Ukrainian issue, Washington postponed the talk, the source said.”

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider about the report.