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International press review Extrema Ratio - 27 April

Extrema Ratio focuses on the topics we work on, including geopolitcs, cybersecurity, critical technologies, foreign interference, disinformation, international law & national security.


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Extrema Ratio

Tra la Germania totalmente dipendente dalla Cina e il sogno di Macron di una grandeur gollista che vuole realizzare il terzo polo tra Stati Uniti e Cina, si è creata una miscela esplosiva che potrebbe far implodere l'UE.

PM Sunak has not delivered on a promise to close the Chinese state-sponsored schools. Chinese staff at the so-called Confucius Institutes across the United Kingdom are recruited to enforce Chinese Communist Party (CCP) discipline and values in the country, new research has found.

Global

  • 19 countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, and Egypt, express interest in joining BRICS. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will meet in Cape Town in early June to discuss potential expansion of the bloc. Paul Vecchiatto. Bloomberg

  • Ping An to tighten screws on HSBC in push for structural reform. Shareholder dispute likely to play out in the public arena again at HSBC’s annual meeting next week. Emma Dunkley. Financial Times

  • Brazil’s Congress is launching an official investigation into the Jan. 8 storming of the nation’s political and judicial institutions. Right-wing supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro stormed and ransacked the country’s parliament, supreme court, and the presidential palace, claiming his election defeat was rigged and calling for military intervention. Bolsonaro has denied any involvement. Bryan Harris and Michael Pooler report for the Financial Times.

China

  • Gaming public opinion. Empirical research into the CCP’s clandestine online networks on social media platforms. Albert Zhang, Tilla Hoja and Jasmine Latimore. ASPI

  • President Xi calls Zelenskyy for the first time since Russian invasion. Xi has urged his Ukrainian counterpart to negotiate with Moscow, and will send a special representative to Ukraine to work with both parties to secure ‘political settlement’. Christopher Miller and Yuan Yang. Financial Times

  • Chinese police question employees at Bain & Co’s office in Shanghai. Chinese authorities visit premises of US management consulting group, confiscating computers and phones. The reasoning behind the visits remains unclear. Demetri Sevastopulo, Ryan McMorrow and Leo Lewis. Financial Times

  • Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu has arrived in India to attend today’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation defense ministers’ meeting amid strained ties between the countries. This is the first visit to India by a Chinese defense minister since a deadly clash between their troops in 2020 in which at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed. BBC News reports.

  • China passes revised counter-espionage law. All ‘documents, data, materials, and items related to national security and interests’ are under the same protection as state secrets following the revisions.Laurie Chen. Reuters

  • China yesterday broadened the scope of its expansive counter-espionage law. The changes expand the definition of espionage from covering state secrets and intelligence to any “documents, data, materials or items related to national security and interests.” Analysts warn that the move could create additional legal risks or uncertainty for foreign companies, journalists, and academics. Simone McCarthy and Nectar Gan report for CNN.

  • China rolls out plans to boost trade amid weakening global demand. China's cabinet on Tuesday issued a plan to stabilise its vital trade sector, including supporting exports of automobiles and facilitating visas for overseas businesses. Reuters

  • China Evergrande faces more than 1,300 lawsuits with combined claims of US$45bn. The heavily-indebted property group disclosed an overview of pending litigation, most of which is likely from builders and materials suppliers demanding payment. Yusuke Hinata. Nikkei Asia

  • China boosts rare-earth production to meet EV and wind power demand. SOEs expand production as government increases quotas. Shunsuke Tabeta. Nikkei Asia

  • Tencent targets overseas gaming studios. The Chinese tech group is investing in European assets as it seeks to diversify away from the domestic market. Eleanor Olcott and Qianer Liu. Financial Times

  • China’s ‘wolf warrior’ envoy threatens Xi Jinping’s plan to woo EU. Remarks by Chinese ambassador to France undermine Beijing’s efforts to play peacemaker in Ukraine.Joe Leahy, Yuan Yang and Henry Foy. Financial Times

  • Could the UK’s new China policy prevent a second cold war? A response to foreign secretary James Cleverly’s recent speech on China. Cindy Yu.The Spectator

China revises law to include certain cyberattacks as ‘acts of espionage’ The Record by Recorded Future James Reddick The Chinese government passed an expansion of its counterespionage law on Wednesday that would, among other things, allow people to be charged as spies if they target critical infrastructure or government bodies with cyberattacks. The revised version of the 2014 law was passed by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), state media outlet Xinhua reported, and will go into effect on July 1. According to a translation of the most recent draft version of the law, “acts of espionage” now formally include “Network attacks [or] intrusions … targeting state organs, units involved with secrets, or critical information infrastructure” perpetrated or funded by spying organizations and affiliated agents.

China breaks silence over status of stationary Martian rover ABC News China's fully robotic rover on Mars — in longer-than-expected hibernation since May 2022 — has likely met with excessive accumulation of sand and dust, its mission designer says, breaking months of silence about the status of the vehicle. The motorised rover Zhurong, named after a mythical Chinese god of fire, was expected to have woken up in December after entering a planned sleep mode in May 2022 as falling solar radiation with the advent of winter cut its power generation. An unforeseen pile-up of dust most likely affected power generation and Zhurong's ability to wake up, Chinese state television reported on Tuesday, quoting Zhang Rongqiao, chief designer of China's Mars exploration program.

China’s metaverse is all about work WIRED Yaling Jiang The government wants the metaverse to be less about having fun and shopping and more about health care and industry. Chinese startups and tech investors are notoriously trend-driven, and many jumped on the metaverse bandwagon after Meta’s supposed pivot, trying to launch homegrown versions or to integrate virtual or mixed reality elements into consumer products. But the Chinese government, which exerts an enormous influence over the country’s tech sector, was also quick to get in on the metaverse, backing technologies it sees as strategic and setting rules to govern what can go on in this next iteration of cyberspace. That means that what’s emerging in China is very different from the metaverses envisioned in the West. While the metaverses proposed by Meta, Microsoft, and Decentraland are aimed at consumers, China’s virtual worlds are more about putting tech to work in supporting the economy.

Chinese-speaking hackers compromised Tencent app to spy on nonprofit, report says The Record by Recorded Future Daryna Antoniuk An alleged Chinese government-backed hacking group targeted a nonprofit organization in China with custom malware designed to spy on its victims and collect data from their devices, according to new cybersecurity research. In its report, cybersecurity company ESET did not reveal the name of the organization. The researcher who investigated the incident, Facundo Muñoz, told The Record that it was a “high-profile international NGO” operating in two Chinese provinces. Researchers attributed the activity to the advanced persistent threat (APT) group Evasive Panda, also known as Bronze Highland and Daggerfly.

USA

  • The US wants a rare-earths supply chain. Here’s why it won’t come easily. Analysis of the Rare Earth Magnet Manufacturing Production Tax Credit Act of 2023, a bipartisan bill set to be introduced in Congress this week. Yusuf Khan. Wall Street Journal

  • Biden to visit Australia in May for Quad summit. Leaders from the US, India and Japan are set to meet on 24 May at Sydney Opera House. It will be Biden’s first visit to Australia as US president. Daniel Hurst. The Guardian

  • President Biden is set to announce a new “Washington Declaration” to coordinate with South Korea and to reassure Seoul of protection against nuclear attack. At the same time, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will re-commit to non-proliferation. Dave Lawler reports for Axios.

  • A U.S. Navy nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine will visit South Korea to help demonstrate Washington’s resolve to protect the country from a North Korean attack. This is the first time since the 1980s that such a visit will occur. Josh Smith and Ju-min Park report for Reuters.

  • U.S. spy agencies detected construction at a suspected Chinese military facility in the U.A.E. in December, one year after Washington’s ally announced it was halting the project because of U.S. concerns, leaked intelligence reports reveal. China’s efforts in the U.A.E. are part of a campaign by China’s military to build a global military network that includes at least five overseas bases and 10 logistical support sites by 2030. John Hudson, Ellen Nakashima, and Liz Sly report for the Washington Post.

  • The Air Force has suspended two commanders from the National Guard unit where accused intelligence leaker Jack Teixeira served, a spokesperson said yesterday. The spokesperson also confirmed that “the Department of Air Force has temporarily removed these individuals’ access to classified systems and information.” Dan Whitcomb reports for Reuters.

  • Federal prosecutors will today urge a judge to keep intelligence leaker Jack Teixeira behind bars, arguing he may still have access to secret national defense information he could expose. Investigators are trying to determine whether Teixeira kept any physical or digital copies of classified information, including files that have not surfaced publicly. Alanna Durkin Richer and Eric Tucker report for AP News.

  • Former President Trump cannot block former Vice President Pence from testifying before a grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 attack, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday. Pence may now speak under oath about the pressure Trump put him under to declare the 2020 election results invalid. However, Trump could attempt to block the testimony by appealing to the Supreme Court. Rachel Weiner reports for the Washington Post.

  • Charles Lieber, a former Harvard chemistry professor, was sentenced on Tuesday for making false statements to the government and failing to declare large sums of money China had paid him. Lieber had a three-year contract with a Chinese entity under which he agreed to establish a research lab at Wuhan University, publish articles, organize international conferences, and apply for patents on the school’s behalf. The conviction results from an initiative to identify scientists suspected of sharing sensitive information with China. Gina Kolata reports for the New York Times.

  • All nine Supreme Court justices have signed a “Statement on Ethics Principles and Practices.” Although designed to quell rising calls for ethics reform, it did not break much new ground and stopped short of adopting an enforceable code of conduct. Josh Gerstein reports for POLITICO.

More than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in the 12-month period ending in November 2022.1 The Biden administration noted that “most of these deaths are caused by illicit synthetic drugs like clandestinely manufactured fentanyl and methamphetamine, often in combination with other drugs, including cocaine and heroin.”2 These deaths increased during the Trump administration and continue to increase today. This is simultaneously a national and local challenge. More Americans die every two weeks on average from overdose deaths than died as a result of the September 11 terror attacks, making this both a national security and a public health crisis that requires bipartisanship to meet the challenge.

US sanctions target three in China linked to North Korean hackers VOA News The United States on Monday announced sanctions on three people it said were involved in laundering virtual currency stolen by North Korean hackers to help finance Pyongyang's weapons programs. A U.S. Treasury statement said the three were a China-based virtual currency trader, another currency trader based in Hong Kong, and a representative of North Korea's Korea Kwangson Banking Corp, who recently relocated to Dandong, China. China-based trader Wu Huihui facilitated the conversion of virtual currency stolen by North Korea's cybercriminal syndicate, the Lazarus Group, the statement said. The Hong Kong-based trader, Cheng Hung Man, worked with Wu to remit payments in exchange for virtual currency, it said.

TikTok ban in Montana faces speed bump as governor seeks shanges The Wall Street Journal Meghan Bobrowsky Montana’s governor is asking legislators to make changes to a bill that would be the first in the U.S. to ban TikTok outright, according to a draft of the amended bill language viewed by The Wall Street Journal. The changes would broaden the ban from applying specifically to TikTok, which is owned by China-based ByteDance Ltd., and cover social-media applications that provide certain data to foreign adversaries, according to the proposed bill language.

U.S. is concerned about rivals’ space threats, leaked documents show The Washington Post Christian Davenport Russia’s troubled space program “very likely will diminish during the next decade” as it faces increased global competition, U.S. sanctions and the rise of SpaceX, which has eaten a large chunk of Russia’s revenue, according to a leaked top secret U.S. intelligence document obtained by The Washington Post. At the same time, China has developed significant capabilities “to hold key U.S. and Allied space assets at risk,” and would deploy them in any conflict with Taiwan, according to another leaked document. Taken together, the assessments show the increased importance space has in modern warfare, highlighted by the conflict in Ukraine, and they underline the kinds of threats military analysts have been warning about for years.

Federal regulators call AI discrimination a ‘new civil rights frontier’ The Washington Post Cat Zakrzewski Regulators across the Biden administration on Tuesday unveiled a plan to enforce existing civil rights laws against artificial intelligence systems that perpetuate discrimination, as the rapid evolution of ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence tools exacerbates long-held concerns about bias in American society. With AI increasingly used to make decisions about hiring, credit, housing and other services, top leaders from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other federal watchdogs warned about the risk of “digital redlining.” The officials said they are concerned that faulty data sets and poor design choices could perpetuate racial disparities. They promised to use existing law to combat those harms.

How can the intelligence community remain indispensable to U.S. policy makers? The Cipher Brief Katherine Kurata and Ylber Bajraktari In an era of information overload, the rise of AI and machine learning tools, and intensifying competition with China, one question looms large: Is the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) effectively supporting U.S. policymakers? To explore this question, we at the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP) carried out an extensive e-survey from 1-25 March 2023. We reached out to 299 current and former national security officials to evaluate the intelligence support they received from the U.S. Intelligence Community during their time in the government. Our survey finds that intelligence remains indispensable to U.S. policymakers. However, the intelligence community faces a serious risk of losing its indispensable role of providing information advantage for decision advantage to U.S. policymakers.

North Asia

Japanese start-up loses contact with spacecraft during moon landing The Washington Post Christian Davenport A Japanese start-up that had hoped to become the first commercial company to land successfully on the moon lost contact with its spacecraft Tuesday, the company said, after a tense period in which it tried to reestablish communications with the lander. The uncrewed Hakuto-R lander, manufactured by ispace, a company based in Tokyo, had descended from lunar orbit and was nearing the moon’s surface when controllers on the ground lost contact with it about 12:40 p.m. Eastern time. Engineers continued to try to communicate with the spacecraft but said they feared the worst.

South Korea indicts co-founder of failed TerraUSD cryptocurrency The Wall Street Journal Jiyoung Sohn South Korean prosecutors charged Daniel Shin, who with Do Kwon co-founded the company behind the failed TerraUSD and Luna cryptocurrencies, in the latest legal action following a crash that wiped out some $40 billion in value from digital-currency markets last year. The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office charged 10 people on Tuesday, including Mr. Shin, saying individuals involved with Terraform Labs Pte. Ltd. had reaped at least 462.9 billion won, equivalent to around $346 million, in profits by selling off their cryptocurrencies before the crash.

South Korea, US agree to cooperate on cybersecurity and combating North Korean digital heists The Record by Recorded Future James Reddick South Korea and the U.S. announced Wednesday that they have committed to signing a cybersecurity cooperation agreement, citing concerns about North Korea funding its weapons programs with the proceeds of cybercrime. In a joint statement released after South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to the White House, the two allies said they planned to establish a “Strategic Cybersecurity Cooperation Framework.” The agreement would involve working together to deter “cyber adversaries,” to secure critical infrastructure, combat cybercrime, “and secure cryptocurrency and blockchain applications.” Yoon and U.S. President Joe Biden discussed North Korea’s “illicit cyber activities that fund its unlawful [weapons] and ballistic missile programs” and committed to “block its cyber-enabled revenue generation,” the statement said.

Japan deploys PAC3 interceptor system for North Korea spy satellite launch The Diplomat Takahashi Kosuke Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) are deploying ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptor missiles and Aegis-equipped destroyer warships carrying sea-based Standard Missile-3 interceptors to prepare for North Korea’s first military reconnaissance satellite launch. The deployment comes at a politically important time, as U.S. President Joe Biden is hosting South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol for a bilateral summit in Washington on Wednesday. The two leaders are set to announce new steps to strengthen U.S. extended deterrence against Pyongyang.

Taiwan

  • Taiwan maintains ‘real-time’ intelligence sharing with Five Eyes alliance partners. Taiwan’s intelligence chief appears in front of lawmakers to report on what measures the intelligence services were taking in preparation for next year’s presidential election, including countering Chinese electoral interference. Focus Taiwan

NZ & Pacific Islands

The Anzac speech written by ChatGPT, and what it means for modern warfare New Zealand Herald Leanne Warr “I hate to say it, but society’s got better at killing one another.” Those were the words of Major Richard Short as he addressed a crowd of about 400 at a chilly dawn Anzac service in Dannevirke. Short used his time in the spotlight to ponder what the future of warfare could look like, and what technology would be used in any future wars. Short, the president of Dannevirke and Districts RSA, spoke on technological advances and said he had used new artificial intelligence ChatGPT to write a large part of his address. “That was not possible a year ago. That is new - artificial intelligence that can do things that we have not imagined.

Australia

Defence urged to use open architecture approach for IT iTnews Richard Chirgwin The Australian Defence Force should adopt “open” IT platforms, according to a sweeping Defence strategic review released this week. The review findings give only limited specific attention to ICT, with the most prominent other recommendations covering cyber security and the use of contractors. The review does, however, state that the cyber domain should be considered equal to Defence’s other four domains – land, sea, air and space.

Gov warned to tread carefully in cyber security review iTnews Richard Chirgwin Australia’s privacy regulator is concerned that changes to cyber security regulation in Australia could undermine its ability to respond to privacy breaches. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has aired its concerns in its submission to the government’s cyber security discussion paper. One proposal in the discussion paper was that the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act have its scope expanded beyond threats and breaches to operational technology, to include customer data and systems. “The OAIC is concerned that an unintended consequence of including ‘customer data’ or ‘systems’ in the definitions of ‘critical assets’ would result in a restriction on our ability to exercise our functions and powers in some circumstances, such as in the event of a data breach," the privacy regulator said.

The latest tool in China’s influence campaign: Police on social media? The Washington Post Lily Kuo and Pei-Lin Wu China’s Ministry of Public Security and a major Chinese cybersecurity company appear to be involved in an influence campaign aimed at casting the United States as an irresponsible cyber power, according to a report Wednesday by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “The Chinese Communist Party’s covert influence operations on social media have become more frequent, sophisticated, and effective in targeting democracies, disrupting foreign policies and decision-making processes,” said Albert Zhang, lead author of the report, “Gaming public opinion: The CCP’s increasingly sophisticated cyber-enabled influence operations.” “Networks of social media accounts that have previously been linked to the Chinese government often hide their state-affiliation and pose as Westerners,” he said. “In recent years they have expanded to target audiences outside China and support the CCP’s strategic interests.”

Europe

  • MEPs call for coordinated EU strategy against foreign interference ahead of 2024 elections. Report proposes funding to tackle disinformation and uphold democratic processes; as well as the exclusion of equipment and software from high-risk countries such as China, Russia or Iran. European Parliament

  • Europe should regulate TikTok, not ban it. Analysts at the Mercator Institute for China Studies suggest Europe should rely on its robust internet regulation regime. Antonia Hmaidi and Kai von Carnap.Euractiv

  • The youth wing of Germany’s far-right party, Alternative für Deutschland, has been classified as a “certified right-wing extremist endeavor,” allowing the highest level of scrutiny by the German domestic intelligence service. Members of the youth wing show signs of increasing radicalization and ethno-nationalism. Marcel Fürstenau reports for Deutsche Welle.

Ukraine - Russia

  • Russian military leaders’ recruitment plans to enlist 400,000 additional troops are raising the alarm among other government officials worried about an increasingly critical labor shortage, according to leaked intelligence reports. President Vladimir Putin “reportedly backed” his military’s proposal to “quietly recruit” additional troops throughout 2023. Russia is facing the worst workforce shortage in over 20 years due to the war. Mary Ilyushina reports for the Washington Post.

  • Russia will be able to fund the war in Ukraine for at least another year despite the sanctions, according to leaked intelligence reports. Adam Taylor reports for the Washington Post.

  • Chinese leader Xi Jinping called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy yesterday, their first conversation since the Russian invasion began. During the hourlong conversation, the two leaders talked about working together toward a “just and sustainable peace” for Ukraine, Zelenskyy has said. China’s Foreign Ministry said it would send a special representative for Eurasian affairs to Ukraine and other countries “for in-depth communication with all parties on the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.” Austin Ramzy reports for the Wall Street Journal.

  • Despite degeneration, Russia’s “ground force … is bigger today than it was at the beginning of the conflict,” Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the commander of U.S. European Command, told the House Armed Services Committee. Russia’s navy and air force have not sustained significant hardware losses. Haley Britzky reports for CNN.

  • Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny told a Moscow courtroom yesterday that he is facing extremism charges that could keep him imprisoned for 30 years. Gregory Svirnovskiy reports for POLITICO.

Ukraine launches tech cluster to boost military capability ABC News Hanna Arhirova The Ukrainian government on Wednesday launched a new initiative meant to streamline and promote innovation in the development of drones and other technologies that have been critical in the war with Russia. As part of the initiative dubbed BRAVE1, the government hopes to bring state, military, and private sector developers working on defense issues together into a tech cluster that would give Ukraine a battlefield advantage. “Considering the enemy that is right next to us and its scale, we definitely need to develop the military tech so that we can defend ourselves,” Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's minister of digital transformation, said. Fedorov told The Associated Press ahead of Wednesday’s official announcement that the government had earmarked more than 100 million hryvnias (about $2.7 million) to fund projects that have the potential to help Ukraine win the 14-month conflict.

  • Ukraine rapidly expanding its 'Army of Drones' for front line BBC News Ukraine says it is rapidly increasing its production of drones as demand grows on the front line. The government has relaxed import laws and scrapped taxes for drone parts and equipment. The expansion is being funded by a successful fundraising campaign called the Army of Drones. More than $108m (£87m) has been raised with the help of celebrity supporters like Star Wars' Mark Hamill. As well as buying and building drones for the war, the money is being spent on training new pilots for the front line.

NSA cyber director warns of ransomware attacks on Ukraine, Western supply chains The Record by Recorded Future Martin Matishak Russian hackers are attempting to inject ransomware into Ukraine's logistics supply chain and those of the Western countries that back Kyiv in its fight against Moscow, a senior National Security Agency official said on Wednesday. “Wars are won and lost by logistics. And Russia painfully appreciates that because they are doing so poorly in their own logistics,” NSA Director of Cybersecurity Rob Joyce told reporters during a roundtable at the RSA Conference. The tactic represents a shift for Moscow, which many expected would hammer Ukraine with a digital offensive that would cripple the country’s critical infrastructure and provide the Kremlin a quick, easy victory.

Ukraine cyber chief: Destructive cyberattacks should be referred to International Criminal Court The Record by Recorded Future Jonathan Greig Ukraine’s chief of cyber and information security said destructive Russian cyberattacks on critical infrastructure should be referred to the International Criminal Court. During a panel at the RSA Conference here, Illia Vitiuk, chief of the department of cyber and information security within Ukraine’s Security Service, told assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division Bryan Vorndran that he believes Russian military commanders responsible for cyberattacks on infrastructure like schools and power plants should be charged and convicted as war criminals. “We count all of the cyberattacks, take material evidence from them and put them into criminal cases in order to convict the people responsible. We don’t only want the people sitting at the keyboard but also we want their commander convicted,” he said.

UK

  • Call on UK government to help restore pre-pandemic pork exports to China. Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee asks DEFRA what actions are being taken to help UK pork exporters regain access to the key Chinese market. UK Parliament

Microsoft’s $75 billion deal for Activision Blizzard rejected by U.K. The Wall Street Journal Kim Mackrael and Sarah E. Needleman The U.K.’s antitrust watchdog rejected Microsoft Corp.’s $75 billion deal to buy game maker Activision Blizzard Inc., raising a high hurdle in the software giant’s attempt to win global approval of the deal. The Competition and Markets Authority’s ruling, issued Wednesday, said Microsoft had failed to convince it that undertakings it had proposed since announcing the deal would sufficiently ease the regulator’s competition worries. The CMA has said the deal poses a competition threat to the U.K.’s gaming industry and has been reviewing it for months.

EU cyber law could be costly for British businesses, warns parliamentary report The Record by Recorded Future Alexander Martin Businesses in the United Kingdom are likely to face increased costs as a result of the European Union’s new Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), a parliamentary committee has warned, despite a similar law already in place for British businesses. In a report published Tuesday, the committee scrutinizing the impact of European legislation on the U.K. said that as drafted, the CRA — which introduces minimum security standards for internet-connected products — was likely to impact British businesses exporting to the European Union. The CRA requires companies to have mechanisms to fix any flaws discovered in their devices after they have been sold to consumers for a period of up to five years, or at least during the expected lifetime of the product.

Murdoch’s news group paid settlement to Prince William, court filing shows The New York Times Mark Landler Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper group paid Prince William, the heir to the British throne, a “huge sum of money” in 2020 to settle claims that its journalists hacked his cellphone, according to his brother, Prince Harry. Harry, who is also suing Mr. Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers, said in a legal filing that the payment grew out of a “secret agreement” between the publisher and the royal family, in which the family would defer legal claims against the company and thus avoid the spectacle of having to testify about embarrassing details from their intercepted voice mail messages.

Africa and Middle East

  • Fighting is continuing in parts of Sudan despite a 72-hour ceasefire largely holding. Sudan’s army chief has reportedly approved extending the ceasefire beyond Friday for another 72 hours. BBC News reports.

  • The World Health Organization expects “many more” deaths in Sudan due to disease outbreaks, lack of access to food and water, and disruptions to essential health services, including immunization, director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday.Reuters reports.

  • Representatives of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa walked backed Ramaphosa’s suggestions on Tuesday that it would be prudent for the country to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. The representatives clarified that it would push for withdrawal only as a last resort if other efforts to end what it considers the court’s inequitable treatment of certain nations failed. John Eligon reports for the New York Times.

  • A senior Iranian Shia Muslim cleric, Ayatollah Abbasali Soleimani, has been killed in a gun attack in northern Iran, state media report. Ayatollah Soleimani was one of 88 clerics on the Assembly of Experts, which appoints the Supreme Leader. The attacker, who has been arrested, was a bank security guard. The motive remains unclear. David Gritten reports for BBC News.

Photo: La Cina di Xi Jinping - Verso un nuovo ordine mondiale sinocentrico? (Italian)

Gabriele and Nicola Iuvinale

ASE 2023

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