Turkey’s economic woes. Industrial production in Turkey fell by 3.9 percent year over year in June, according to the country’s statistical agency. This comes amid myriad other economic problems facing the country at the moment. Joblessness is a major concern: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 14 percent from April to June compared to 13.8 percent from March to May, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. (The unadjusted unemployment rate actually declined to 12.8 percent due to a seasonal spike in jobs in the tourism and agricultural sectors.) Since the beginning of 2019, the number of unemployed people in Turkey has increased by more than 1 million to roughly 4.2 million people. Meanwhile, Turkey’s Social Security Institution has reportedly not published its monthly statistical bulletins since January, leading some to speculate that there’s an emerging crisis in the country’s social security system.
North Korea’s negotiating tactics. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff reported on Friday that North Korea launched two more projectiles into the East Sea. While Japan’s Defense Ministry said there was no immediate threat, South Korean President Moon Jae-in convened an emergency meeting of his National Security Council. As important, however, North Korea is also conducting high-level diplomatic talks with both Russia and China: Senior North Korean officials visited Beijing on Friday, the same day a top Russian diplomat visited Pyongyang. In the past, North Korea and China have used their relatively close partnership as leverage in negotiations with the U.S. And with talks between Washington and Pyongyang stagnant and trade negotiations between China and the U.S also at a standstill, we may see signs of more coordination between North Korea and China.
Iraq’s airspace. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has banned all domestic and local aircraft from using Iraqi airspace without his direct authorization, the country’s Joint Operations Command announced in a statement yesterday. Any violations will be treated as “hostile” acts, according to the statement, which said aviation permits for armed or unarmed reconnaissance operations, fighter jets, helicopters or drones were canceled. Local media has said the move was a response to an explosion at an arms depot last week that some blamed on an Israeli airstrike. At this point, it’s unclear how the move will affect the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition.
- Latvia’s Financial Capital and Market Commission has suspended the operations of PNB Banka after the European Central Bank labeled it as failing or likely to fail. Customers’ deposits are guaranteed up to 100,000 euros ($111,000).
- The Thai government announced an economic stimulus package worth about $10 billion to help support farmers and low-income workers.
- Russia and Venezuela signed an agreement allowing both countries’ warships to use each other’s ports.
- Lebanon’s prime minister expressed interest in having the U.S. continue to act as a mediator in its maritime border dispute with Israel. Talks have stalled in recent months.
- Price controls on basic food staples like pork as well as services like taxis will be implemented in Cuba as the government works to keep inflation down.
- In June, Russian investment in U.S. government debt decreased by $1.2 billion to $10.8 billion.
- According to Bloomberg, Russian oil companies earned an additional $905 million from November to July because of U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.