RUSSIA/MEDIA – Over the weekend President Putin signed into law legislation allowing foreign media outlets to be listed as “foreign agents” This is a response to Washington wanting to register RT as a foreign agent following accusations of the Kremlin using the media to influence American voters.

COMING UP

There’s a fascinating set piece event in India this week. Ivanka Trump will co-host a conference with Prime Minister Modi in Hyderabad. This not only tells us (again) how powerful Trump family members are in the U.S. administration, but also is a sign of the increasingly close relationship between the two countries. Relations have often been strained due to U.S. support for Pakistan, but President Trump appears to view India as a counterweight to the growing power of China. The Indian’s are rolling out the red carpet for the President’s daughter.

By the end of the week we should have a clearer picture of whether Germans have to go back to the polling booths following the failure of Chancellor Merkel to form a cabinet. The only alternative now is a coalition with Martin Schulz’s Social Democrat Party. Mr Schulz had previously ruled out such a thing, but given how badly the SDP did in September’s election, both he and Mrs Merkel may swallow their pride.

With the 2nd deadline for an agreement on the divorce term for Brexit the UK Cabinet meets – they need to agree among themselves what they will offer the EU in terms of £, the future status of EU nationals in the UK, the border with Ireland and the role of the European Court of Justice in UK affairs.  No pressure then….

DIARY

Mon – Possible date for talks to begin between Angela Merkel’s CDU party and the SPD to form a coalition government.

Mon – Pope in Myanmar. Will meet Aung Sun Suu Kyi

Tues – UN sponsored Syrian peace talks resume in Geneva between Syrian government and rebel forces.

Tues – UK Cabinet meets with time running out on Brexit strategy.

Tues – President Trump’s pick for head of the Federal Reserve Bank, Jerome Powell, appears before Senate Banking Committee for confirmation hearings. He’s expected to be approved.

Tues – Uhuru Kenyatta sworn in as President of Kenya.

Tues – President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, in India to co-host ‘Global Entrepreneurship Conference with PM Modi.

Thurs – African Union/EU summit in Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast.

Thurs – Pope arrives in Bangladesh.

Thurs – OPEC meeting in Vienna. Production cut or price rise?

Fri – Fatah and Hamas due to begin shared administration of Gaza

Fri – UN World Aids Day.

Fri – First air pollution and climate change data from European Space Agency satellite, Copernicus I, expected to be receive

Sat – A by-election in Australia is expected to result in PM Malcolm Turnbull’s party regaining a majority in parliament

Sat – Pope arrives back in Vatican.

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