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Turkey risks U.S sanctions over Russia missile deal

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Source: Rueters – Turkey began taking delivery of an advanced Russian missile defense system on Friday.

A move expected to trigger U.S. sanctions against a NATO ally and drive a wedge into the heart of the Western military alliance.

The first parts of the S-400 air defense system were flown to the Murted military air base northwest of Ankara, the Turkish Defense Ministry said, sealing Turkey’s deal with Russia which Washington had struggled for months to prevent.

In the first comments from Washington, acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the U.S. position on the issue has not changed. The United States has threatened to impose sanctions on Ankara, saying Russian military hardware is not compatible with NATO systems and that the acquisition may lead to Turkey’s expulsion from an F-35 fighter jet program.

Investors in Turkey have been unsettled by the deal. The Turkish lira weakened as much as 1.6% to 5.7780 against the dollar, before recovering somewhat, after the ministry announced the arrival of the S-400 consignment. The main Istanbul share index fell 2.13%.

Turkish broadcasters showed footage of huge Russian Air Force AN-124 cargo planes offloading equipment at the air base.

“Today three cargo planes arrived,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told state-owned Anadolu news agency, adding that deliveries would continue in coming days.

A second delivery by air will take place soon, Russia’s TASS news agency quoted an unnamed military-diplomatic source as saying. A third delivery – of 120 guided missiles – will be carried out by ship at the end of the summer, the source said.

Twenty Turkish servicemen received training from Russia in May-June and 80 more Turkish servicemen will receive training to use the S-400 system, the source was quoted as saying.

“We are aware of Turkey taking delivery of the S-400, our position regarding the F-35 has not changed and I will speak with my Turkish counterpart Minister Akar this afternoon,” Esper said. “There will be more to follow after that conversation,” he said.

Turkey says the system is a strategic defense requirement, particularly to secure its southern borders with Syria and Iraq. It says that when it made the deal with Russia for the S-400s, the United States and Europe had not presented a viable alternative.

President Tayyip Erdogan said after meeting President Donald Trump at a G20 summit last month that the United States did not plan to impose sanctions on Ankara for buying the S-400s.

Trump said Turkey had not been treated fairly but did not rule out sanctions, and U.S. officials said last week the administration still plans to act.

Under legislation known as Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which targets purchases of military equipment from Russia, Trump should select five of 12 possible measures.

These range from banning visas and denying access to the U.S.-based Export-Import Bank, to the harsher options of blocking transactions with the U.S. financial system and denying export licenses.

Washington says the S-400s could compromise its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets, an aircraft Turkey is helping to build and planning to buy.

Turkey could also face expulsion from the F-35 program under the sanctions. Erdogan has dismissed that possibility, but Washington has already started the process of removing Turkey from the program, halting training of Turkish pilots in the United States on the aircraft.

Turkey’s dollar bonds dropped to three-week lows on the news of the delivery, while the cost of insuring exposure to Turkish sovereign debt also rose.

The S-400 acquisition is one of several issues which have frayed ties between the two allies, including a dispute over strategy in Syria east of the Euphrates River, where the United States is allied with Kurdish forces that Turkey views as foes.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Facebook suspends thousands of apps in response to Cambridge Analytica row

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Facebook Inc said, it has suspended tens of thousands of apps on the social networking platform, as part of the company’s ongoing app developer investigation it began in March 2018 in response to the Cambridge Analytica row.

The suspended apps are associated with about 400 developers, Facebook said, adding that it is not necessarily an indication that these apps were posing a threat to users.

Earlier this year, the company agreed to pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to resolve a government probe into its privacy practices.

The FTC privacy probe was triggered last year by allegations that Facebook violated a 2012 consent decree and inappropriately shared information of 87 million users with British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook has since agreed to boost safeguards on user data and has put curbs on the amount of information that third-party developers can request from platform users.

“… We’re making progress. We won’t catch everything, and some of what we do catch will be with help from others outside Facebook,” the company said in a blogpost.

Source: Reuters

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24 Hours Across Africa

Female robber escaping through a window at the bank

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A female robber trying to escaping through the window after robbing a bank in Adum area of Kumasi in Ghana.

In the video, the lady threw the money down from the window and jumped down to get the money, but she was caught and arrested by the bank’s security operatives.

The details of the lady is still unknown as at the time of filling this report

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