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Breaking News January 17, 2018


A 5.7 magnitude earthquake was recorded on Wednesday in Taiwan. Ground tremors were registered this morning 11 kilometers from Taipei. The epicenter was at a depth of 140 kilometers. There is no information about victims and destruction. Tsunami threat warning was not announced.


The US Air Force sent six B-52 bombers to the airbase on Guam Island. The US military base is located to the south of the Korean peninsula. 300 members of the flight crew were relocated along with the aircraft. The purpose of the transfer is to support the USPACOM.


The Head of the Ukrainian company Naftogaz Andrey Kobolev said that in 2018 Ukraine will resume the purchase of Russian gas as part of the implementation of the decision of the Stockholm Arbitration Committee on the repayment of minimum volumes of blue fuel. Let’s recall that on December 22, Stockholm arbitration satisfied most of the demands of Gazprom to the Ukrainian company. The court agreed with Gazprom’s arguments to revise the price from May 2011 to April 2014 and to recover an overpayment of $ 14 billion, and obliged Naftogaz to pay Gazprom overdue debts for gas supplies, at a rate of two billion dollars and accumulated interest.


A draft law which legalizes the activities of private military companies is planned to be introduced into the State Duma within a month. This was reported by the first deputy chairman of the lower house committee on state construction and legislation Mikhail Yemelyanov. The document will list the types of works and services of PMCs. It will also fix social guarantees for employees and define a number of restrictions for the companies. They are not allowed to violate the sovereignty and change the borders of states, overthrow legitimate authorities, conduct subversive activities and use weapons of mass destruction.


The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation announced new information refuting the statements of WADA informer Grigory Rodchenkov about substituting samples of Russian athletes at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The representatives of the committee said that the questioned officers of the anti-doping center who worked in this laboratory in 2014, were warned of criminal responsibility for knowingly giving false testimony. After that they gave testimony that no action was taken to replace the samples. In addition, there are «protocols for the transmission of doping samples and documents for their registration and aliquot in the Sochi laboratory in 2014.


A «Left Republicans of Catalonia» candidate, 38-year-old Roher Torrent was elected speaker of the new parliament of Catalonia, which began work on January 17. 65 out of 135 parliamentarians voted for him. Thus, Torrent was supported by three parties that favor autonomy — the «Left Republicans of Catalonia», the leftist «Candidates for National Unity» party and Puigdemont’s Party «Together for Catalonia». In total, these political forces have 70 seats in the Catalan parliament. It’s worth noting that the deputies Carles Puigdemont and four of his associates who fled to Belgium could not vote.

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