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International press review Extrema Ratio May 17, 2023

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



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Extrema Ratio

La prima sperimentazione umana di un tipo di pillola, progettata per rimuovere la contaminazione radioattiva dannosa per il corpo, è iniziata negli Stati Uniti. (italian)

It is time for Italy to exit the Chinese Belt and Road. The BRI is the largest geopolitical project in human history initiated by Xi Jinping to expand China's political, economic and military power. The public conglomerates of the CCP operate in world markets without respecting any rules and while the EU imposes constraints on Italian companies on public funding (state aid) Chinese companies, effectively fueled by public funding or state banks, suppress the free market . With its entry into the BRI in 2019, Italy contributed directly to the demolition of a US geopolitical pillar in Eurasia that Brzezinski had defined under the Carter administration. We have, in fact, acted against NATO's main ally. But our presence in the BRI, the only G7 country, will not allow us to join friendly intelligence-sharing coalitions, such as the Five Eyes. Furthermore, the maritime BRI has a precise military purpose. China already controls the most important European NATO ports and with the use of civilian maritime entities, ships and ports, will support its military operations. It is the 3rd BRI phase: military expansion and armed defense of foreign investments. China is a modern Stalinist, illiberal, genocidal, medieval neo-totalitarianism and all of this is contrary not only to our founding principles of the constitution and society but also against the most important principles of international law. Now, is Italy's presence in Xi Jinping's criminal plan compatible?

China’s military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is the top focus of U.S. defense planning and budgeting. China’s naval modernization effort has been underway for about 30 years, since the early to mid-1990s, and has transformed China’s navy into a much more modern and capable force. China’s navy is a formidable military force within China’s near-seas region, and it is conducting a growing number of operations in the broader waters of the Western Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and waters around Europe.



Military

Janes

The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense (MND) has announced the procurement of 18 additional M142 High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARSs) from the US.

In a recent press release, the MND said it has purchased 18 additional sets of HIMARSs and other equipment under the Republic of China Army's (RoCA's) “long-range precision fire strike system” procurement project.

Taiwan's HIMARS procurement has increased to 29 with the purchase of 18 additional systems.

In March 2020, Taiwan requested the procurement of 15 HIMARSs from the US, and the provision for this acquisition was made in the budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2019.

In October 2020, the US Department of State approved the potential Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of 11 M142 HIMARSs and related equipment to Taiwan.

Discourse

Deterring China may start with Taiwan, but the U.S. must take a long-term view with a global perspective.

USNI News

The future maritime fight, as Navy officials see it, will involve military forces with a mix of manned and unmanned aircraft, ships and other systems. Some actions will one day involve solely uncrewed platforms.

China Military

China on Wednesday sent a new BeiDou navigation satellite into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Janes

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) released performance specifications for the Shahed-136 one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) when it displayed one publicly for the first time in an exhibition in Qom from 13 May.

The poster behind the UAV said it has a range of 2,500 km, which is the same performance that Yemen's Houthi rebels attributed to the Shahed-136 they unveiled as the domestically produced Waeid in March 2021.

The Shahed-136 weighs 200 kg with a 50 kg warhead, according to the IRGC poster, although it did not specify whether this includes the booster rocket that drops off after the UAV is launched from a rail. It identified the UAV's engine as the four-cylinder MD550, which gives it a speed of 185 km/h.

The Times

Germany is set to overtake the UK as the biggest spender on defence in western Europe, according to a report from a security think tank. Britain has remained Nato’s biggest military spender in Europe since the 1950s but both France and Germany have …

Janes

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 fighter aircraft has passed a “provisional combat suitability evaluation”, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said on 16 May.

DAPA said the milestone – achieved following two years of trials – is intended to accelerate aircraft manufacturing ahead of the initial KF-21 production phase in 2024.

KAI's first KF-21 prototype was rolled out in April 2021 and had its maiden flight in July 2022.

According to DAPA, the provisional combat suitability evaluation has assessed factors such as the KF-21's durability, structural integrity, manoeuvrability, and performance – including its speed, combat radius, and landing distance – in more than 200 ground and flight tests in the past two years.

The evaluation also assessed the performance of key systems onboard the aircraft including avionics, weapons, and its locally developed active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

Babel

The Air Force spokesman Yurii Ignat urged Ukrainians not to worry about the fate of the Patriot air defense system, commenting on information about its alleged damage by the Russian Kinzhal missile. “Donʼt worry about Patriotʼs fate. It is a complex of …

Helsinki Times

Despite the recent aggressive actions by Russia in Ukraine, many NATO countries are lagging behind in increasing their defense spending. According to a press release by the ifo Institute, the majority of NATO members are falling short of the goal of …

Janes

Major European countries pledged more military support for Ukraine during a tour by President Volodymr Zelensky of their capitals on 14 and 15 May.

During a joint press conference with Zelensky in Berlin on 14 May, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a new military equipment support package worth a total of EUR2.7 billion (USD2.9 billion) for more Leopard 1 tanks, Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), and IRIS-T air-defence systems. Scholz cited as examples of the “modern and effective weapons with which [Ukrainians] can defend yourselves with” that Germany is delivering as Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks, Marder IFVs, IRIS-T and Patriot air-defence systems, Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers (SPHs), multiple rocket launchers, and “much ammunition”.

Rear Clear Defence

Last summer, Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov confirmed that its military deployed Harpoon anti-ship missiles in an effort to counter Russia’s surface ships. The RGM-84 Harpoon has been critical in defending Ukraine’s coastal waters. According to Reznikov, Ukraine’s “coastal defense was strengthened by highly effective complexes” and helped force “the enemy fleet to keep [its] distance.”

FP

Liseby Elysé was born in 1953 on Peros Banhos, an island in the Chagos Archipelago. As she tells it, life was good on her Indian Ocean “paradise island”:

Everyone had a job, his family, and his culture. But all that we ate was fresh food. Ships which came from Mauritius brought all our goods. We received our groceries. We received all that we needed. We did not lack anything. In Chagos, everyone lived a happy life.

The Pioneer

The Pakistan Army’s top brass has vowed to bring to justice the “spoilers” involved in the recent attacks on military installations, including the storming of its General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, through trials, including stringent the Pakistan Army Act …

C4ISRNET

The Japanese and Chinese defense ministers inaugurated their long-awaited hotline on Tuesday as a step to build trust and improve communication at a time when Japan and other neighbors are concerned about Beijing’s increasingly assertive military activities.

Defence One

In Washington, some are beginning to wonder what Biden is waiting for.

Defence News

No one knows for sure exactly what a U.S. debt default will mean for military operations and veterans support programs. But there is widespread agreement that it won’t be good.

Defence News

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol vowed to expand the country’s nonlethal aid to Ukraine when he met the European country’s first lady Tuesday in Seoul.

Defence One

But the 34-year-old battalion commander said if he had his enemies' arsenal, he would "burn them off of the earth."

FP

From the very start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv’s military has performed above expectations just as much as Moscow has surprised military analysts with its lack of planning and organization. Perhaps that’s why, in recent weeks, there have been high hopes for what Ukraine could achieve in its much-anticipated counterattack on Russian forces—so much so that Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov found it necessary to downplay expectations.

The Defence Post

Australia will buy 78 Bushmaster protected vehicles for $106 million to replenish stockpiles sent to Ukraine for its war against Russia.

Asia Times

As Russia’s disastrous war in Ukraine continues, another rant by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the bombastic chief of the paramilitary Wagner Group, has laid bare the power struggle at the top of Russia’s military leadership.

China

  • South Korean footballer detained in China in bribery probe. Son Jun-ho, who plays in the Chinese Super League, is in police custody in the north-eastern Liaoning province, according to a statement by China's foreign ministry. Reports of Son's detention come amid a concerted crackdown on corruption and match-fixing in Chinese football. Kelly Ng. BBC News

  • Tiananmen Square books removed from Hong Kong libraries in run-up to anniversary. Last month, the government’s audit commission report said the leisure and cultural services department, which manages Hong Kong’s libraries, needed to ‘step up efforts in examining library materials for safeguarding national security and taking follow-up actions’. Helen Davidson. The Guardian

  • Jimmy Lai: editors from around the world call for release of Hong Kong media mogul. More than 100 journalists and editors have signed an open letter calling for the immediate release of Jimmy Lai, a British media mogul detained in Hong Kong on national security charges. Amy Hawkins.The Guardian

  • Founder of Failed Chinese Bike Sharing platform Ofo Sets Up Coffee Chain in US. Dai Wei is the controversial founder of failed Chinese bike-sharing firm Ofo which still owes millions in unrefunded deposits. He has opened a new coffee chain in the United States: About Time Coffee. Zhang Yushuo. Yicai Global

  • Chinese chip firm seeking to rival ASML considers IPO filing. Dongfang Jingyuan Electron Ltd., a semiconductor software firm currently valued at about 8 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion), is reportedly in the early stages of preparing for a listing. In 2022 ASML Holding NV warned that the Chinese firm was potentially infringing on its intellectual property rights with its software. Dong Cao. Yahoo Finance

  • China shuts down 100,000 fake news social media accounts. The Cyberspace Administration of China has launched a special campaign to clean up online information, focusing on social media accounts that disseminate ‘fake news’ and impersonate state-controlled media. Bernard Orr and Eduardo Baptista. Reuters

China Military

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday held talks in Xi'an with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, who is in China for the China-Central Asia Summit and a state visit.

China Military

A Chinese mainland spokesperson on Wednesday said that Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities pose a real threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

China Military

Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Li Shangfu had a phone conversation with Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, using the direct telephone link under the maritime and air liaison mechanism between the Chinese and Japanese defense departments for the first time, on Tuesday afternoon. They exchanged views on bilateral and defense relations between the two countries.

Two online brokerages to remove China apps as Beijing data crackdown widens Reuters Online brokerages Futu Holdings Ltd and UP Fintech Holding Ltd will remove apps in mainland China amid Beijing's sharpened focus on data security and capital outflows, triggering a heavy selloff in their New York-listed shares.

Newsweek

In a landmark summit that overlaps with U.S. President Joe Biden's travel to the Group of Seven (G7) meeting in Japan this weekend, China is stepping up its position in Central Asia, showcasing a campaign to boost economic, political and security …

Daily Express

China has warned Liz Truss that her speech in Taiwan will cause “harm” to the UK, describing the move as a “dangerous political show”. The former prime minister on Wednesday spoke in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei City to discuss the sovereignty of the …

China's Baidu confident its AI chatbot won't make mistakes on 'sensitive topics' Reuters Eduardo Baptista and Yuvraj Malik Baidu’s experience in tailoring its search engine to Chinese regulatory requirements makes it confident its AI-driven chatbot won't make mistakes on "important and sensitive topics", the company said on Tuesday.

China’s capital Beijing to provide state-sponsored computing resources to AI firms amid ChatGPT frenzy South China Morning Post Ben Jiang The Beijing government has unveiled a new draft policy supporting the Chinese capital city’s artificial intelligence industry, which includes the provision of state-funded computing power for relevant companies, as the country sees renewed interest in the technology amid intensified rivalry with the US.

TikTok parent ByteDance’s ‘Sensitive Words’ tool monitors discussion of China, Trump, Uyghurs Forbes Alexandra S. Levine A moderation system run by ByteDance staff in China uses word lists to detect or suppress content about everything from TikTok rival YouTube to marginalized Uyghurs to 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump. Even though more than 50 lists have “TikTok” in their name, TikTok denied that the lists detailed in this story had ever been applied to its platform.

Belt and Road

USA

  • President Biden has canceled his trip to Australia and Papua New Guinea to focus on a deal with Republicans to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its debt. Biden’s decision has forced the cancellation of the Quad summit in Sydney, which is likely a win for China. “[Biden’s canceled trip] will be seen in the region as a self-inflicted wound caused by political polarisation in Washington that does not reflect well on America’s reliability as a partner,” said Daniel Russel, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific affairs who is now at the Asia Society Policy Institute. Daniel Hurst reports for the Guardian.

  • Former President Trump is considered a “laughing fool” by world leaders, Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, told CNN on Tuesday. Bolton named the Russian, Chinese, and North Korean leaders in particular. Matt Berg reports for POLITICO.

  • Massachusetts Man Indicted for Acting as an Illegal Agent of the People’s Republic of China. From 2018 to 2022, Litang Liang allegedly provided information about Chinese individuals and organizations in the Boston area to PRC government officials – including the Ministry of Public Security, and the United Front Work Department. Justice.gov

  • US Department of Justice arrests four people in cases of technology theft for Russia, China, Iran. The cases were the first enforcement actions taken by a new DOJ team - the Disruptive Technology Strike Force - meant to prevent nation-state adversaries from stealing critical U.S. technologies. Jacob Knutson.Axios

  • The cancelled Quad summit is a win for China and a self-inflicted blow to the US’s Pacific standing. Joe Biden’s decision to pull out of visits to Australia and PNG will reflect poorly on the US amid growing competition for influence in the region. Daniel Hurst. The Guardian

  • James Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence, who will testify behind closed doors on Capitol Hill today, will be the sixth former intelligence official to be hauled before Congress concerning a letter he signed regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop. Republicans are questioning some of the 51 former intelligence officials who signed a letter during the 2020 election campaign, which Republicans say was designed to distract from salacious material found on the abandoned laptop of Hunter Biden. The letter suggested that the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop could be part of a Russian campaign to influence the election, even though they emphasized that they had no knowledge that was true. Luke Broadwater reports for the New York Times.

  • The Secret Service is investigating how a man entered the home of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about two weeks ago without being detected by agents guarding Sullivan’s house, according to three government officials. Sullivan confronted the individual and instructed him to leave. According to people briefed on the incident, there is no evidence that the intruder knew Sullivan or sought to harm him. No arrest was possible, as the intruder left the scene before the Secret Service was alerted. Carol D. Leonnig and Tyler Pager report for the Washington Post.

  • A Russian national, Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev, has been charged and sanctioned for using three ransomware variants to conduct cyberattacks on critical U.S. infrastructure, the Department of Justice announced yesterday.If convicted, he faces over 20 years in prison. Olafimihan Oshin reports for The Hill.

  • Democrats yesterday moved to force a vote on removing Representative George Santos (R-NY). The measure has little chance of passage in the Republican-led House, where it would require a two-thirds supermajority to pass. However, the vote would press Republicans to either endorse or abandon Santos, who has been charged with wire fraud, money laundering, stealing public funds, and lying to the government. Annie Karni reports for the New York Times.

  • The chief executive of ChatGPT creator OpenAI, Sam Altman, called on Congress yesterday to create licensing and safety standards for advanced artificial intelligence systems. Altman called for “a new agency that licenses any effort above a certain scale of capabilities and could take that license away and ensure compliance with safety standards.” Ryan Tracy reports for the Wall Street Journal.

  • Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman this week said Space Force’s mission statement needs to be improved. The statement needs to reflect the full scope of the service’s important work and be more memorable, Saltzman has said in a note to all Guardians. To fix the problem, Saltzman is asking Guardians to send in their submissions for a new mission statement. Lee Hudson reports for POLITICO.

Ex-Apple engineer indicted in US crackdown on flow of restricted tech to China. Weibao Wang, a software engineer at Apple from 2016 to 2018, was charged with six counts of theft or attempted theft of the company’s self-driving car technology. Sadie Gurman and Dylan Tokar. The Wall Street Journal

RFA

Republicans ripped into Cabinet officials during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on efforts to enhance U.S. security measures and the nation’s ability to compete with China.

Three Cabinet members defended President Joe Biden's budgetary request. The presence of Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, a rare triple act, showed the importance of China policy for the White House.

U.S. tech espionage team unveils first cases involving China and Russia The New York Times Ana Swanson The Biden administration announced arrests and criminal charges on Tuesday in five cases involving sanctions evasion and technology espionage efforts linked to Russia, China and Iran. Two Russian nationals were taken into custody last week under accusations of sending aircraft parts to Russia in violation of sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukraine. In another case, a former Apple engineer is accused of stealing the company’s autonomous vehicle technology to provide it to a Chinese competitor.

The New York Times

It was meant to be a moment for the history books — the first time a U.S. president visited a Pacific Island country. Papua New Guinea, the host nation, scrambled to mobilize 1,000 security officers; the leaders of 17 other countries agreed to make the …

  • U.S. charges Apple ex-employee for trying to steal technology, fleeing to China Reuters Sarah N. Lynch, David Shepardson and Karen Freifeld The United States on Tuesday announced charges in five cases involving alleged efforts to steal technology to benefit China, Russia and Iran including a former Apple engineer accused of targeting the company's technology on autonomous systems, including self-driving cars, and then fleeing to China.

CEO behind ChatGPT warns Congress AI could cause ‘harm to the world’ The Washington Post Cat Zakrzewski, Cristiano Lima and Will Oremus OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman delivered a sobering account of ways artificial intelligence could “cause significant harm to the world” during his first congressional testimony, expressing a willingness to work with nervous lawmakers to address the risks presented by his company’s ChatGPT and other AI tools.

  • ChatGPT’s Sam Altman warns Congress that AI ‘can go quite wrong’ The Wall Street Journal Ryan Tracy The chief executive of ChatGPT creator OpenAI called on Congress to create licensing and safety standards for advanced artificial-intelligence systems, as lawmakers begin a bipartisan push toward regulating the powerful new tools available to consumers.

US pharmacy giant says hackers accessed personal data of almost 6 million patients TechCrunch Carly Page One of the largest pharmacy service providers in the United States has confirmed that hackers accessed the personal data of almost six million patients.

Rick Scott introducing legislation to require parental consent for kids’ AI use The Hill Olafimihan Oshin Sen. Rick Scott introduced legislation Tuesday that will require children to get parental consent to use artificial intelligence technology. The AI Shield for Kids Act will prevent children from accessing AI features on social media sites without the consent of a parent or guardian.

To compete with China on tech, America needs to fix its immigration system Foreign Policy Eric Schmidt When the U.S. Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act in August 2022, it committed $53 billion to fund semiconductor research and manufacturing in the United States. As a result of this legislation, advanced chip manufacturers have been racing to build new U.S. factories. Since then, however, it has quickly become apparent that fabrication capacity alone will not be enough to make the United States a semiconductor powerhouse. What the country lacks is not raw materials or capital. The main constraint is a shortage of talent.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s operations continue to be disrupted by a cyber incident The Philadelphia Inquirer Alejandro A. Alvarez The Philadelphia Inquirer and outside cybersecurity experts continued Sunday to scramble to restore systems after an apparent cyberattack disrupted operations over the weekend.

Americas

US donates $25m to boost Costa Rica’s cybersecurity The Tico Times Ileana Fernandez In a significant move towards bolstering cybersecurity and digital infrastructure, the United States has announced a generous donation of $25 million to Costa Rica. This initiative, announced jointly by the Costa Rican Ministry of Science, Innovation, Technology, and Telecommunications and the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, aims to enhance the country’s defenses against cyber threats.

North Asia

  • Taiwan’s largest opposition party, the Kuomintang, chooses candidate with cautious stance towards China. Hou Yu-ih, who is currently the mayor of New Taipei City, was selected on Wednesday over Terry Gou, the founder of Foxconn. Hou has said that while he opposes Taiwan independence, he also rejects rule by China under ‘one country, two systems’, the model applied to Hong Kong. Kathrin Hille. Financial Times

  • Japan's first Uyghur representative says Uyghurs ‘deserve to thrive’. Arfiya Eri last month became the first Japanese person of Uyghur heritage to be elected to the country's National Diet. Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian. Axios

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un yesterday examined a finished military spy satellite, which his country is expected to launch soon. Some South Korean analysts say the satellite shown in North Korean state media photos appears too small and crudely designed to support high-resolution imagery. Kim Tong-hyung reports for AP News.

The Japan Times

When the leaders of Japan, South Korea and the U.S. meet on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima this weekend, it will be a prime opportunity for the three to showcase how much ties have improved in just under a year.

'Strategic chip reserves' can insulate against Taiwan war risk Nikkei Asia Abishur Prakash Taiwan, the source of a majority of the world's microchips and more than 90% of the most advanced chips, faces a growing threat of invasion or blockade from China. Such a move would undoubtedly shake global chip markets and strain supplies of an integral component of everything from microwave ovens to nuclear missiles.

Southeast Asia

Asia Times

anila lays more assertive claim to South China Sea areas disputed by Beijing days after receiving new US maritime defense assurances.

‘Lancefly’ espionage group targeting organizations across Asia with custom malware The Record by Recorded Future Jonathan Greig A government-backed hacking group known as “Lancefly” has been seen using custom-made malware to attack governments, telecoms and other organizations across Asia. Researchers from Symantec said Lancefly, labeled as an advanced persistent threat, was previously implicated in several 2020 attacks that used phishing lures based on the 37th ASEAN Summit.

EINPRESSWIRE

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is a democratically elected Government of over a million strong Tamils (from the island of Sri Lanka) living in several countries around the world. TGTE was formed after the mass killing of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Government in 2009.

Australia

Age verification for adult websites may involve Australian government digital ID The Guardian Josh Taylor Age verification for adult websites may incorporate the rollout of government ID, the communications minister, Michelle Rowland, has said. In March, the eSafety commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, delivered a long-awaited report outlining a potential roadmap for verifying that Australian users visiting websites hosting pornography and other adult content are over 18 years old. The roadmap has yet to be released.

Ambitious ‘homegrown’ plan needed for robotics InnovationAus Joseph Brookes Australia’s upcoming national robotics strategy must look to turn the promising but fledgling industry into a $50 billion automation juggernaut by the end of the decade, the industry’s peak body says, urging the Albanese government to start building homegrown talent, IP and robotics unicorns now.

Pezzullo urges world not to yield to ‘war fever’ The Sydney Morning Herald Rob Harris One of Australia’s most powerful national security figures has re-entered public debate over deteriorating global relations, warning world leaders not to yield to “war fever” and to better learn the lessons of the past in an era of nuclear weapons and rapidly emerging disruptive technologies.

Joe Biden ‘re-evaluating’ Australian trip where he had been invited to address parliament next week The Guardian Daniel Hurst Joe Biden is re-evaluating his plan to visit Australia next week, where he had been due to address the Australian parliament, as the first US president in nearly 10 years to speak to a joint session of MPs and senators in Canberra. Officials had confirmed that Biden would make the speech on Tuesday 23 May, the day before he attends the Quad summit in Sydney with the prime ministers of Australia, Japan and India.

Ukraine - Russia

  • Ukraine today denied that a Russian hypersonic missile had destroyed a U.S.-made Patriot missile defense system. Russia’s defense ministry made the assertion yesterday after an overnight air attack on Kyiv. Reuters reports.

  • The U.S. is assessing potential damage to a Patriot missile defense system sustained during a Russian air attack on Kyiv, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said. Kirby said he could not confirm reports that a Patriot system had been damaged but acknowledged that weapons supplied by the U.S. have often been damaged in the fighting or worn out. “If there was damage done … we would certainly assist…” Kirby added. Ian Lovett, Drew Hinshaw, and Nancy A. Youssef report for the Wall Street Journal.

  • The CIA’s semipublic campaign to convince Russian officials disaffected by the war in Ukraine to spy for Washington has borne fruit, a CIA official said this week. The official did not provide details of how many would-be Russian agents responded or what information they were in a position to provide. Warren P. Strobel reports for the Wall Street Journal.

  • South Korea signed an agreement with Ukraine today to provide a $130 million financial aid package. The agreement was reached a day after Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, met South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to request military assistance. Reuters reports.

  • Six African leaders are to travel to Russia and Ukraine in a bid to find an end to the conflict, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy agreed to the plan, Ramaphosa said. “I presented the initiative on behalf of African heads of state from Zambia, Senegal, Congo, Uganda, Egypt, and South Africa,” he added. Wycliffe Muia and Basillioh Rukanga report for BBC News.

The growing threat of cyber cooperation between Russia and Iran The Dispatch Jason Blessing Since 2021, Russia and Iran have undertaken extensive cybersecurity cooperation, most of which has focused on common defensive measures. However, in late March, Moscow delivered a substantial upgrade to the Islamic regime’s digital arsenal. As the Wall Street Journal has reported, the Kremlin is now delivering powerful surveillance software to Tehran.

Europe

  • Swedish Government considers foreign investment screening legislation.The proposed law is the latest in a string of similar initiatives by European countries to counter Chinese influence and strengthen national security. An investigation by public broadcaster SVT last month showed about 1,500 Swedish companies, ranging from small IT firms to Volvo Car, have Chinese owners. South China Morning Post

EU states approve world's first comprehensive crypto rules Reuters Huw Jones European Union states on Tuesday gave the final nod to the world's first comprehensive set of rules to regulate cryptoassets on Tuesday, piling pressure on countries such as Britain and the United States to play catch up.

Politico Europe

A delegation of U.S. lawmakers will visit London on Thursday to lobby British politicians, officials and U.K. based-tech firms to take a harder line on China. A 10-strong bipartisan group from the U.S. Congress will spend three days in Britain …

Deutsche Welle

It was a first-of-its-kind meeting: Three Indian ministers, four European commissioners and dozens of officials scribbling notes on everything from semiconductor supply chains to artificial intelligence regulation. The European Union (EU) is seeking deeper …

Despite risks, EU continues to fund research with Chinese military-linked universities Science Business David Matthews and Richard L. Hudson Despite efforts to prevent EU technology leaking to China’s military, the European Commission is continuing to fund at least five research projects involving some of China’s top military-linked universities.

The digital euro: a solution seeking a problem? Financial Times Martin Arnold and Sam Fleming While China has the most advanced plans for a central bank digital currency among the larger economies, Europe is the furthest ahead among the main western central banks. Christine Lagarde has embraced the project since taking over as ECB president in 2019 from Mario Draghi, who barely mentioned the idea.

UK

  • US lawmakers urge Britain to take a tougher stance on China. A bipartisan group from the U.S. Congress will spend three days in Britain meeting U.K. government ministers, officials and backbench MPs to discuss a common approach to hostile activities by China. The delegation will be led by Mike Gallagher, republican chairman of the US Congress select committee on the Chinese Communist Party. Cristina Gallardo. Politico

  • Ukraine: China’s pathway to peace? A new research briefing published by the House of Commons Library. Claire Mills. House of Commons Library

  • Truss in Taiwan: ‘it is absolutely clear that President Xi has the ambition to take Taiwan.’ Former prime minister Liz Truss is the most senior British politician to visit Taiwan since Margaret Thatcher in 1996. In a keynote speech in Taipei, Truss called for an ‘economic Nato’ to tackle Beijing’s growing authoritarianism. Helen Davidson. The Guardian

Spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in London said Truss’s trip was a ‘dangerous political show which will do nothing but harm to the UK.’ The Independent

Express & Star

China has hit out at Liz Truss’ visit to Taiwan, calling it a “dangerous political show”, as the former prime minister used a speech to urge the West to reduce its “dependence” on Beijing.

CNN

President Joe Biden’s pledge to the world that “America is back” after a period of political turbulence is looking a little shaky after a debt showdown with Republicans forced him to shorten an Asia-Pacific trip designed to showcase US power amid a …

UK policing minister pushes for greater use of facial recognition Financial Times Madhumita Murgia and Cristina Criddle The UK’s policing minister has pushed for facial recognition to be rolled out across police forces nationally in a move that would ignore critics who claim the technology is inaccurate and some of its applications illegal.

Tory peer proposes Online Safety Bill change to tackle online sexist abuse BBC Emaan Warraich Social media companies must prevent online abuse against women and girls or face jail time and fines, under a proposed change to a government bill. Firms that did not remove abusive content and ban repeat offenders face fines up to 10% of global turnover.

UK's competition boss: We do not want a hostile environment for tech Reuters Sarah Young and Paul Sandle The head of Britain's anti-trust regulator said it was not seeking to create a "hostile environment" for tech companies with its decision to block Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Middle East

Jailed Saudi dissident, sister sue Twitter under RICO act in spy case The Washington Post Joseph Menn The sister of an imprisoned Saudi dissident filed suit against Twitter on Tuesday, arguing that it broke the law by letting employees reveal his identity to Saudi agents who then arrested him.

Pro-Houthi hacking group linked to spyware operation on Arabian Peninsula CyberScoop Christian Vasquez A hacking group known as OilAlpha with likely ties to Yemen’s Houthi movement has targeted humanitarian groups, media outlets and nonprofits in the Arabian Peninsula via WhatsApp as part of a digital espionage campaign, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.

Innovation, Science and Technology Ministry to lead national food-tech plan The Japan Times Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman The Ministerial Committee for Innovation, Science and Technology, chaired by Akunis, met Monday to discuss the urgent need for developing such a plan, which will be done in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Council for the Economy, the Health, Agriculture, Economy and the Negev, Galilee and National Resilience ministries. “Food-tech is an industry with great potential that will make a huge contribution to Israel’s economy in the coming years, similar to cyber in the previous decade,” Akunis said.

Africa

  • Two personnel from the U.S. consulate and two police officers were killed as gunmen attacked a U.S. convoy in Nigeria. Three others were kidnapped before their vehicle was set on fire. No U.S. citizens were in the convoy. Wycliffe Muia and Basillioh Rukanga report for BBC News.

Big Tech

Google to delete inactive accounts starting December Reuters Samrhitha Arunasalam Alphabet Inc's Google on Tuesday said it would delete accounts that had remained unused for two years starting December, in a bid to prevent security threats including hacks.

YouTube’s recommendations send violent and graphic gun videos to 9-year-olds, study finds Associated Press David Klepper When researchers at a nonprofit that studies social media wanted to understand the connection between YouTube videos and gun violence, they set up accounts on the platform that mimicked the behavior of typical boys living in the U.S. They simulated two nine-year-olds who both liked video games, especially first-person shooter games. The accounts were identical, except that one clicked on the videos recommended by YouTube, and the other ignored the platform’s suggestions.

Artificial Intelligence

WHO warns against bias, misinformation in using AI in healthcare Reuters Shivani Tanna The World Health Organization called for caution on Tuesday in using artificial intelligence for public healthcare, saying data used by AI to reach decisions could be biased or misused.

The problem with counterfeit people The Atlantic Daniel C. Dennett Money has existed for several thousand years, and from the outset counterfeiting was recognized to be a very serious crime, one that in many cases calls for capital punishment because it undermines the trust on which society depends. Today, for the first time in history, thanks to artificial intelligence, it is possible for anybody to make counterfeit people who can pass for real in many of the new digital environments we have created. These counterfeit people are the most dangerous artifacts in human history, capable of destroying not just economies but human freedom itself. Before it’s too late (it may well be too late already) we must outlaw both the creation of counterfeit people and the “passing along” of counterfeit people. The penalties for either offense should be extremely severe, given that civilization itself is at risk.

Misc

Cyber risk: Can banks win the arms race? Financial Times Hannah Murphy Banking has long been recognised as one of the sectors with the most mature and collaborative approaches to cyber security. But it also remains constantly under threat, as hackers rapidly adopt emerging technologies to find new ways to breach defences.

How tabletop exercises aid cyber prepardness The Wall Street Journal Leslie Acebo Corporate leaders and board directors often lack preparedness for cybersecurity incidents. “Tabletop exercises” can be an effective tool for building resilience. Companies should conduct regular exercises to identify gaps in preparedness and improve their risk management approach.

From diversity to accessibility, can technology change the way we think about beauty for the better? CNN Flo Cornall When Bold Glamour launched on TikTok earlier this year, it started a storm on social media. The viral beautifying filter uses machine learning technology to edit users’ facial features in photographs and video, sculpting cheekbones, smoothing out skin and brightening eyes, all with unsettling realism. Some on social media were impressed by the technology, but many expressed concern about the way filters can promote unrealistic beauty standards.

Research

Peering beyond the clouds: A guide to Bellingcat’s ship detection tool Bellingcat Ships have been covertly docking at a sanctioned terminal in the Crimean port of Sevastopol since the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Media reports have previously noted how individual ships had been docking at the Avlita grain terminal, contradicting Automated Identification Systems tracking data that publicly monitors the movements of vessels. Bellingcat’s full investigation can be seen here and raises questions as to what the ships have been loading and why the need for secrecy.


 

The rise of the People's Republic of China represents the most significant foreign policy challenge of the 21st century. In all spheres, from the economy, to technology, to security and the environment, engaging with an increasingly dominant China is both necessary and inevitable.


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

Gabriele and Nicola Iuvinale

ASE 2023

To download the book index, preface and introduction: https://www.extremarationews.com/reuters-news



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