Donald Trump News

20 Oct 2020

As the Arctic's Attractions Mount, Greenland is a Security Black Hole

File photo: Chinese research vessel Xue Long (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

On a windy August afternoon in 2017, Akitsinnguaq Ina Olsen was relaxing in the old harbor of Nuuk, Greenland's capital, when a Chinese icebreaker sailed unannounced into the Arctic island's territorial waters."I saw it by chance," Olsen, 50, told Reuters. "My first thought was: 'They're already here!' They're pretty cheeky, those Chinese."She pulled out her phone and took a picture of the 167-meter long Chinese icebreaker Xue Long (Snow Dragon), before it turned around and disappeared.The…

20 Oct 2020

US Blacklists Chinese Entities, Individuals Over Iran Shipping Ties

© VanderWolf Images / Adobe Stock

The United States on Monday said it blacklisted two Chinese men and six Chinese entities for having dealt with Iranian shipping company Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and, in some cases, helping it to evade U.S. sanctions.The U.S. State Department named the entities as Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd.; Reach Shipping Lines; Delight Shipping Co., Ltd.; Gracious Shipping Co. Ltd.; Noble Shipping Co. Ltd.; and Supreme Shipping Co. Ltd.In a statement, it also said it had targeted Eric Chen…

15 Oct 2020

Comprehensive Sanctions: Iran, Syria and North Korea

© komi$ar / Adobe Stock

This article will focus on ‚Äúcomprehensive sanctions,‚ÄĚ which prohibit most trade between the U.S. and the target country, with a particular focus on three countries currently targeted by comprehensive sanctions: Iran, Syria and North Korea. Similar jurisdictions which are subject to varying levels of comprehensive sanctions, including Cuba, the Crimea region (Russia/Ukraine) and Venezuela (which may be thought of as subject to ‚Äúquasi-comprehensive‚ÄĚ sanctions) will be dealt with an article later in this series.IranHistory of Iran sanctions: The first U.S.

13 Oct 2020

New Era in the Middle East: Cargo Ship from Dubai Arrives in Haifa

MSC Paris - Credit: Claus Gaser/MarineTraffic.com

The ship-to-shore crane paused above the cargo ship just arrived from Dubai, then set its load down on the pier in Israel.One after another, eight containers filled with electronics, cleaning supplies, iron, and firefighting equipment were unloaded off the MSC Paris, one of the first cargo ships to make the voyage between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.Just a few months ago, such a journey from Dubai's Jebel Ali port to the northern Israeli port city of Haifa would have been…

24 Sep 2020

Iranian Fuel Seized by US Remains in Tankers at Sea

© Pak Agen / MarineTraffic.com

Tankers carrying Iranian gasoline that was confiscated by the U.S. government and became embroiled in a court ownership battle have struggled to discharge in the United States, shifting course over the last week.The U.S. Department of Justice last month seized over 1 million barrels of Iranian fuel on board four privately-owned tankers bound for Venezuela, part of Washington's efforts to disrupt trade between the two sanctioned nations.The fuel has been at sea ever since, aboard…

23 Sep 2020

World's Top Ship Insurers Won't Cover Ships Linked to Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

A vessel connecting pipe sections above water at the Nord Stream 2 project last year - Credit: Nord Stream 2.

The world's largest group of shipping insurers will not insure vessels involved in the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream gas pipeline projects because of the threat of U.S. sanctions.Associations belonging to the International Group of P&I Clubs, including the Shipowners' Club and the London P&I Club, said in a circular on Monday that it would not provide cover "for any activity involving or related to the Nord Stream 2 or TurkStream construction projects".It said members…

01 Sep 2020

US Preparing Tighter Oil Sanctions on Venezuela

© Andrea Izzotti / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration is looking to tighten oil sanctions on Venezuela in the near future, top U.S. envoy for the country told Reuters on Monday, by potentially removing exemptions that allow some oil companies to exchange Venezuelan crude for fuel from the OPEC member.U.S. President Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions on Venezuela's state-run PDVSA, its key foreign partners and customers since it first imposed measures against the company in early 2019, seeking to oust the…

26 Aug 2020

US Sanctions 24 Companies Over South China Sea Dispute

© Danil Rogulin / Adobe Stock

The United States on Wednesday blacklisted 24 Chinese companies and targeted individuals it said were part of construction and military actions in the South China Sea, its first such sanctions move against Beijing over the disputed strategic waterway.The U.S. Commerce Department said the two dozen companies played a ‚Äúrole in helping the Chinese military construct and militarize the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea.‚ÄĚSeparately, the State Department said it would impose visa restrictions on Chinese individuals ‚Äúresponsible for‚Ķ

26 Aug 2020

Greece Plans to Extend its Western Territorial Waters

© Sergey / Adobe Stock

Greece plans to extend the western limit of its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to 12 miles, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday.Italy and Albania, who also have Ionian coasts, have been officially informed about Greece‚Äôs plans and a bill on the matter will be submitted to parliament soon, Mitsotakis said.‚ÄúGreece will extend its western territorial waters to 12 nautical miles from six,‚ÄĚ Mitsotakis told lawmakers during a debate on whether to approve an accord‚Ķ

25 Aug 2020

US Icebreaker Suffers Fire, Engine Failure

File photo: Polar-class icebreaker Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB-20) (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Kellen Browne)

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB-20) is making an early return to its Seattle homeport, and its future Arctic operations have been canceled after the 21-year-old medium icebreaker suffered a fire in one of its main propulsion motors last week.The electrical fire was reported at 9:30 p.m. on August 18 while the Healy was 60 nautical miles off of Seward, Alaska, where it had embarked 11 scientists for research and security mission in the Arctic.An onboard fire team disconnected the affected motor…

19 Aug 2020

US Looks to End Exemptions on Venezuela Oil Sanctions

© Francis / Adobe Stock

The United States is considering an October deadline for ending exemptions to Venezuelan sanctions that allow some companies and refiners to still receive the South American producer's oil, two sources said, as Washington seeks to raise the heat on President Nicolas Maduro.U.S. President Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions on Venezuela's state-run PDVSA, its key foreign partners and customers since it first imposed measures against the company in early 2019, seeking to oust the…

14 Aug 2020

US Seized Four Iranian Fuel Cargoes Bound for Venezuela

© Huw Gibby / MarineTraffic.com

The United States said on Friday it had confiscated four Iranian fuel shipments that had been bound for Venezuela, disrupting a key supply line for both Tehran and Caracas as they defied U.S. sanctions.U.S. President Donald Trump said Iran should not be sending cargoes to Venezuela and added that the seized shipments were bound for Houston, Texas, a major U.S. oil shipping hub and suggested they may have already arrived."They're going to Houston. And, they're there," Trump told a White House news conference. "We're moving them, and moved, to Houston."The U.S.

05 Aug 2020

Deadly Explosion Rips Through Beirut Port Area

© Em / Adobe Stock

A powerful blast in port warehouses near central Beirut storing highly explosive material killed 78 people, injured nearly 4,000 and sent seismic shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital.Officials said they expected the death toll to rise further after Tuesday's blast as emergency workers dug through rubble to rescue people and remove the dead. It was the most powerful explosion in years in Beirut, which is already reeling from an economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections.President Michel Aoun said that 2…

30 Jul 2020

US Appoints Coordinator for Arctic Policy as Mineral Race Heats Up

Jim DeHart (Photo: U.S. Department of State)

The Trump administration appointed a coordinator for policy in the Arctic on Wednesday, as Washington prepares to compete with Russia and China on resource extraction in a region quickly melting due to climate change.The State Department said Jim DeHart, a 28-year diplomat who most recently served as a senior adviser in South Korea, is now U.S. coordinator for the Arctic region.Washington has not had a top policy maker for the Arctic since Robert Papp, a retired Coast Guard admiral, served as the first U.S. special representative from 2014 until early 2017.U.S.

28 Jul 2020

U.S. Crude Floods into Asia, but It's a Short-Term Blip

Asia will import record volumes of U.S. crude oil this month, with China leading the way, but the surge is more likely a short-term blip rather than a sustained trend. A total of 57.7 million barrels of U.S. crude is expected to land in Asia in July, equivalent to about 1.86 million barrels per day (bpd), according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv. This figure is subject to revision as some cargoes expected to discharge by the end of the month may be delayed…

27 Jul 2020

Iran Deploys Mock-up U.S. Aircraft Carrier for Target Practice

Illustration by  temp-64GTX/AdobeStock

Iran has moved a mock-up U.S. aircraft carrier to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, satellite images show, suggesting it will use the look-alike vessel for target practice in war games in a Gulf shipping channel vital to world oil exports.The use of dummy American warships has become an occasional feature of training by Iran's Revolutionary Guards and its naval forces, including in 2015 when Iranian missiles hit a mock-up resembling a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.Tehran, which opposes the presence of U.S.

24 Jun 2020

US Sanctions Five Iranian Ship Captains for Bringing Oil to Venezuela

© Bernd Rohr / MarineTraffic.com

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on five Iranian ship captains who delivered oil to Venezuela, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaffirmed Washington's backing for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.Speaking at a news conference, Pompeo said the ships delivered about 1.5 million barrels of Iranian gasoline and related components, and warned mariners against doing business with the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose ouster Washington seeks."As a result of today’s sanctions, these captains’ assets will be blocked.

07 Jul 2020

Iran's Oil Storage Almost Full as Sanctions and Pandemic Weigh

© Hayden / Adobe Stock

Iran has slashed crude oil production to its lowest level in four decades as storage tanks and vessels are almost completely full due to a fall in exports and refinery run cuts caused by the coronavirus pandemic, industry data showed.Total onshore crude stocks surged to 54 million barrels in April from 15 million barrels in January, and swelled further to 63 million barrels in June, according to FGE Energy.Market intelligence firm Kpler estimated Iranian average onshore crude storage for June to be around 66 million barrels.That is around 85% of available onshore storage capacity."However…

26 Jun 2020

Video: President Trump Visits Fincantieri Marinette Marine

President Trump delivers remarks at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin (Photo: Fincantieri Marinette Marine)

President Donald Trump visited Fincantieri Marinette Marine Thursday following the Wisconsin shipyard’s recent contract award to design and build the U.S. Navy's first-in-class FFG(X) guided-missile frigate.The first U.S. president to visit the Marinette Marine shipyard, Trump toured the facilities where Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are currently built and met with employees before delivering remarks in which he pledged support to the U.S. shipbuilding industry and congratulated the shipyard for winning the multibillion dollar frigate contract."Not long ago…

25 Aug 2020

Video: Trump Says US is Working to Acquire 10 Icebreakers

President Donald J. Trump speaks during a briefing at U.S. Southern Command headquarters in Doral, Fla. (Photo by Michael C. Dougherty, U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs)

President Donald Trump says the U.S. is hashing out a plan to acquire up to 10 additional polar icebreakers for the U.S. Coast Guard.Trump, who over the years has emphasized his administration's commitment to growing the Coast Guard's icebreaker fleet, outlined the new plans in vague terms within remarks delivered at Southern Command headquarters in Doral, Fla., Friday.The President did not specify how the icebreakers would be obtained, or whether the vessels would be newbuilds…

13 Jul 2020

US Turns Screws on Maritime Industry to Cut off Venezuela's Oil

© Haris Andronos / Adobe Stock

Several companies that certify vessels are seaworthy and ship insurers have withdrawn services to tankers involved in the Venezuelan oil trade as the United States targets the maritime industry to tighten sanctions on the Latin American country.U.S. sanctions have driven Venezuela’s oil exports to their lowest levels in nearly 80 years, starving President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government of its main source of revenue and leaving authorities short of cash for essential imports such as food and medicine.The sanctions are part of U.S.

02 Jul 2020

US Files Suit to Seize Iranian Gasoline on Tankers Headed to Venezuela

File photo of the tanker Bering (© Huw Gibby / MarineTraffic.com)

U.S. prosecutors late on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to seize the gasoline aboard four tankers that Iran is shipping to Venezuela, the latest attempt by the Trump administration to increase economic pressure on the two U.S. foes.The government of Venezuelan Socialist President Nicolas Maduro has flaunted the tankers, which departed last month, to show it remains unbowed by U.S. pressure. The United States, has been pressing for Maduro’s ouster with a campaign of diplomatic measures and punitive measures…

06 Jul 2020

US Approves LNG Exports from Oregon

© vladsv / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Energy Department on Monday approved the export of up to 1 billion cubic feet per day of liquefied natural gas from a proposed terminal in Oregon, a move it said would ease U.S. sales of the fuel to Asian markets.The approval advances efforts by President Donald Trump's administration to increase U.S. fossil fuel shipments around the globe at a time big projects are increasingly under strain from environmental protests and lawsuits.“Today’s export authorization for Jordan Cove, the first U.S West Coast LNG project, will ease access to further position the U.S.

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