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International press review Extrema Ratio May 18, 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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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.

Extrema Ratio (agenda Digitale EU)

Indice degli argomenti trattati:

  • I rischi del fast fashion Made in China

  • Gli aspetti critici emersi dallo studio

  • L’espansione di Shein in tutto il mondo

  • Il modello di business di Shein: un’enfasi tecnologica su merci poco costose, aiutata da riduzioni tariffarie

  • Le critiche sul modello di business

  • Lavoro forzato

  • Altre pratiche di sfruttamento del lavoro e violazioni dei diritti dei lavoratori

  • Rischi per la salute

  • Clima e impatto ambientale

  • Violazione del copyright

  • Evitare tariffe e controlli doganali

  • Temu e altri seguono il modello di Shein

  • Note

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?

The revocation of Conte's MoU is the sine qua non for accessing future strategic geo-economic alliances with democratic countries to guarantee economic security and freedom of enterprise, said Gabriele Iuvinale


Defence News

The U.S. Department of Defense asked Congress to authorize the transfer of nuclear-powered submarines to Australia as part of the trilateral AUKUS agreement with the U.K.


The Australian government intensified its efforts to accelerate the development of quantum technologies for defence application, highlighting these technologies as a key to improve the capabilities of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

US Will Use AI to Track Orbiting Objects, Space Command Says

Defence One

The four-year-old command is set to reach full operating capacity this year—but will it stay in Colorado?

The Defence Post

China has once again fueled invasion concerns after its military declared readiness to “resolutely smash” any form of independence in Taiwan. The declaration comes as the US allegedly prepares to accelerate the supply of weapons and equipment to the self-governing island.


Airbus Defence and Space has revealed a stand-off jammer (SOJ) adaptation of its A400M Atlas airlifter as a potential solution for Germany's Luftgestätze Wirkung im Elektromagnetischen Spektrum (luWES) programme.


Poland's FA-50 Fighting Eagle aircraft – manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) – will be equipped with Raytheon's PhantomStrike radar, a Raytheon spokesperson confirmed to Janes on 17 May.

The Defence Post

China has integrated “hidden technology” into its military drones to prevent enemies from using them to attack Beijing’s territories, according to South China Morning Post, citing a source close to the military.

The Defence Post

Ukraine has begun deploying the SAMP/T air defense system recently delivered by Italy.

The French-Italian system is operated by a team of 20 Ukrainian servicemen trained by Rome.

It took Italy several weeks to ready the system, whose delivery was announced in February, according to Decode 39.

“Italy has already completed its part, we are waiting for the French to do so as well. There is no exact date of [the system’s] field operation yet, but it seems very close indeed,” the outlet quoted Ukraine’s ambassador to Italy Yaroslav Melnik.

The Barents Observer

Eight of the ten strategic bombers launching cruise missiles on Ukraine overnight took off from the Olenya Air Base on the Kola Peninsula.


Bahrain's existing Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate and a second it is in the process of acquiring will have their radars and combat management systems (CMSs) replaced, according to a notice that the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division released via the System for Award Management website on 15 May.

Asia Times

The US plans to catch up with China’s navy by building its first frigates since the early 2000s, a strategic scheme that may make up for dwindling fleet numbers but not lost time.

The Japan Times

Japan will accept injured Ukrainian soldiers for medical treatment as part of efforts to support their war-torn homeland in its ongoing battle to defend itself against Russia, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.


NATO will step back to the future at its Vilnius summit in July, with leaders set to approve thousands of pages of secret military plans that will detail for the first time since the Cold War how the alliance would respond to a Russian attack.


Denmark intends to prepare its armed forces with a new mobile short-range air defence system founded on Rheinmetall’s Skyranger.

The Skyranger is furnished with anti-aircraft projectiles and a 30-millimetre machine gun that can intercept ground-based and aerial threats at short and very short ranges.


President Emmanuel Macron of France announced his country will provide new weapons to Ukraine, days after Kyiv used the UK-delivered Storm Shadow cruise missiles inside Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory. However, Macron didn’t disclose the missile’s identity. But, he said that its range would help “Ukraine to resist and to lead this (upcoming) counteroffensive.”


The army that Russia took into Ukraine in February 2022 was clearly not fit for purpose, even if neither Moscow nor Washington recognized it at the time. The limits of the Kremlin’s force of arms were laid bare.

Responsible Stratecraft

Washington’s risk-prone urge to deepen military alliances, juxtaposed with Chinese adventurism, threatens peace in Asia.


  • China’s ambassador to Australia says Aukus an ‘unnecessary’ use of taxpayer money and ‘not a good idea’. Xiao Qian denounced the Aukus nuclear-powered submarine plan during a press conference at the Chinese embassy in Canberra on Thursday. He suggested further improvements in the diplomatic and trading relationship were possible but would take ‘mutual respect’.Daniel Hurst. The Guardian

  • China fines comedy firm £1.68m over ‘inappropriate’ joke about China’s military. Comedian Li Haoshi has been suspended from the Xiaoguo Culture Media firm after a joke about stray dogs went viral over the weekend. China’s ministry of culture and tourism fined the comedy show company CNY 13.35 million in ‘illegal gains’ for the joke. Amy Hawkins. The Guardian

Xinhua Silk Road

Chinese securities regulator released on May 16 a guidance document to regulate overseas issuance of global depository receipts (GDR) by listed companies at home, reported Xinhua-run China Securities Journal on Wednesday.

China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) supported domestic listed companies with certain size of market capitalization and high level of standard operations to issue GDRs overseas to invest in their main business sectors that are in line with national industrial policies or satisfy their overseas business development demand.

According to the document, listed companies at home that issue for the first time GDRs overseas are required to conduct record filing with CSRC within three working days after their overseas submission of related GDR issuance and listing applications.

Xinhua Silk Road

The National Administration of Financial Regulation (NAFR) was officially set up on Thursday as China's new financial regulator, marking an important step in the country's institutional reform on financial supervision.

The NAFR, directly under the State Council, is formed on the basis of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

The new administration is in charge of regulating the financial industry, with the exception of the securities sector. It will take over certain functions of the People's Bank of China and the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Oman Observer

South China Morning Post

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and his spouse arrived on a state visit to the People’s Republic of China.

The New York Times

President Biden began his foreshortened Asia trip on Thursday in Hiroshima, a city symbolic of the danger of nuclear devastation, and prepared for discussions with his closest allies on two crucial issues: how to better arm Ukraine as it enters its …


Uyghurs seeking justice for loved ones imprisoned in China have turned to a little-known United Nations body for help.

Over the past year, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has issued three rulings on a total of eight Uyghur detainees. In every case, it has ruled against China, saying Beijing violated their human rights by imprisoning them.


China faces a “daunting” challenge when it comes to attempting to broker a peace deal between Ukraine and Russia, according to political analysts, with the country walking a diplomatic tightrope between appearing neutral enough to gain Kyiv’s trust and ensuring any deal doesn’t hurt its allies in Moscow.

Voice of America

China is scheduled this week to host its first in-person summit with Central Asian leaders starting one day before the Group of Seven nations convenes for its annual summit in Japan.

The New York Times

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, is kicking off a summit on Thursday that the country is heralding as a historic milestone, rolling out the red carpet for five Central Asian countries that are critical to China’s regional ambitions.

Channel News Asia

Asia-focused hedge funds are growing more bullish on Chinese markets and looking at sectors such as education, hydropower and electric cars, even as other global money managers prefer to wait for firmer signs of an economic recovery.

Al Jazeera

The leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are in Xian for a two-day meeting. China’s President Xi Jinping is in the central city of Xian where he is hosting his first-ever summit with the leaders of five Central Asian …


Ford Motor 's (F) decision to scale back future investments in China is a prudent step for the automaker whose business there has been struggling to meet Chinese consumer preferences for electric vehicles. In an interview in The Financial Times on …

Channel News Asia

China needs to level the playing field between private and state owned firms, the Asian Development Bank's chief economist said on Thursday, adding that the world's second-largest economy risks "wasting a tonne of money" with a …


Vietnam criticised on Thursday the recent conduct in the South China Sea of a Chinese research ship and the Philippines coast guard, accusing its neighbours of separate actions that were violating its sovereign rights.

The New York Times

Agnes Chang and Keith Bradsher

It is one of the defining competitions of our age: The countries that can make batteries for electric cars will reap decades of economic and geopolitical advantages. The only winner so far is China. Despite billions in Western investment, China is so far ahead — mining rare minerals, training engineers and building huge factories — that the rest of the world may take decades to catch up.

Zoom executives knew about key elements of plan to censor Chinese activists CyberScoop Elias Groll In late October 2019, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan traveled to China on a high-stakes mission. A month earlier, Chinese authorities blocked the videoconferencing platform, saying it hadn’t done enough to suppress anti-government speech. It was a massive crisis for Yuan. With both clients and large portions of his development team there, he desperately needed to get Zoom up and running again in China. To make that happen, Zoom rolled over for Chinese officials and promised to comply with Beijing’s demands to suppress speech on the platform, according to court documents.

China shuts 100,000 fake news social media accounts, ramps up content cleanup Reuters Bernard Orr and Eduardo Baptista China has intensified efforts to clean up the internet from false news and rumours, closing more than 100,000 online accounts over the past month that misrepresented news anchors and media agencies, its cyberspace regulator said. The Cyberspace Administration of China launched a special campaign to clean up online information, focusing on social media accounts that disseminate "fake news" and impersonate state-controlled media.

VW talks to Huawei to boost flagging EV presence in China Financial Times Patricia Nilsson, Qianer Liu, Edward White Volkswagen has held talks to use Huawei software in its cars in China, hoping to boost flagging efforts to claim a bigger share of the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market. According to three people familiar with the situation, the carmaker has engaged in conversations with Huawei over the use of its technology in VW vehicles, while another person said the German company had held similar talks with other Chinese groups.

China’s new AI rules protect people — and the Communist Party’s power Rest of World Johanna M. Costigan In April, in an effort to regulate rapidly advancing artificial intelligence technologies, China’s internet watchdog introduced draft rules on generative AI. They cover a wide range of issues — from how data is trained to how users interact with generative AI such as chatbots. These strict requirements by the Cyberspace Administration of China for AI service providers could benefit Chinese users, granting them greater protections from private companies than many of their global peers.

Microsoft spin-off Xiaoice launches AI clone program in China and Japan, seeks 300 testers TechNode Cheyenne Dong Xiaoice, an AI chatbot brand formerly operated by Microsoft, announced on Tuesday that it is looking for 300 individuals to agree to be digitally cloned as part of a new AI trial. The process of creating AI clones, which embed the tester’s own personality, voice, and appearance, needs as little as three minutes of data collection, the company claims. Xiaoice has opened registration on WeChat and said it is looking for influencers, experts, and ordinary people.

Belt and Road


  • China is expected to dominate the agenda at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Hiroshima, Japan, this weekend. “We’re very nervous,” said Lt. Col. Masatoshi Tanaka. “We’ve been facing airspace violations of Japanese territory every day. Chinese activities have expanded in number and quality.” Japan is “the linchpin of the network of American alliances and partnerships in the region, and I think the Americans are aware of that,” said Yoko Iwama, a professor of international relations at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. Shaimaa Khalil reports for BBC News.

  • NATO member leaders in July are set to approve thousands of pages of secret military plans that will detail for the first time since the Cold War how the alliance would respond to a Russian attack. The move signifies a fundamental shift since NATO had seen no need to develop large-scale defense plans for decades. By outlining what it calls its regional plans, NATO will also give nations guidance on how to upgrade their forces and logistics. Sabine Siebold reports for Reuters.

  • President Biden yesterday said he would speak with China’s President Xi Jinping but did not say when.Reuters reports.

  • Montana becomes first US state to fully prohibit use of TikTok. New legislation will impose a USD 10,000 fine on any entity that permits downloading of the platform and add the same amount each day a violation continues. The law, signed by Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, will take effect in January. Robert Delaney.South China Morning Post

  • Wall Street’s Biggest Banks Face a Harsh Reality Check in China. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are among banks scaling back ambitious expansion plans and profit goals amidst deteriorating geopolitical climate. Cathy Chan.Bloomberg

  • The State Department said yesterday it would allow a bipartisan pair of lawmakers to review an internal dissent memo written by staffers of the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan just before the U.S. withdrawal. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) had threatened to hold Secretary of State Antony Blinken in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over the classified cable. McCaul and Gregory Meeks (D-NY) will be allowed to view the classified document in a private, secured setting, with the names of the signatories redacted. Vivian Salama reports for the Wall Street Journal.

  • 16 records from the National Archives show that former President Trump and his top advisers knew the correct declassification process while he was in the White House, according to multiple sources. These records are set to be shared with special counsel Jack Smith on May 24 “unless prohibited by an intervening court order.” The records may provide insight into Trump’s intent and whether he willfully disregarded what he knew to be established protocols, according to a source familiar with recent testimony provided to the grand jury by former top Trump officials. Jamie Gangel, Zachary Cohen, Evan Perez, and Paula Reid report for CNN.

  • Ray Smith III, a lawyer who represented former President Trump in litigation aimed at reversing Georgia’s 2020 election results, may be “something between a target and witness” of Atlanta-area District Attorney Fani Willis’ criminal probe. Willis is conducting additional witness interviews as she prepares to present her case to a grand jury with the power to issue indictments. She has reportedly told local law enforcement to expect indictment decisions as early as July. Kyle Cheney reports for POLITICO.

  • A letter by former President Obama and multiple pieces of correspondence between former President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are among the missing White House classified records, said William Bosanko, chief operating officer of the National Archives, who spoke to the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors in March. Bosankostressed that the National Archives realized that records, though not necessarily classified ones, appeared to be missing, and they “very informally” asked representatives of Trump if they might have the papers. Jordain Carney reports for POLITICO.

  • Since former President Reagan, every administration has mismanaged classified documents, according to National Archives and Records Administration officials, who spoke to House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors in March. Read the full transcript of the testimony.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday left in place the Democratic-backed Protect Illinois Communities Act that bans assault-style rifles and large-capacity magazines. The court denied a request by the National Association for Gun Rights and a firearms retailer for an injunction blocking enforcement of the state law while a legal challenge to the measures proceeds. Andrew Chung reports for Reuters.

China Tech Threat

Building state policy momentum to stop the spending is encouraging progress Did your state contribute to the more than $285 million states have spent on dangerous PRC-owned tech? The answer can be found in China Tech Threat’s (CTT) state research and analysis of spending on restricted Lexmark and Lenovo technology

Asia Times

Japan’s decision to hold this weekend’s Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Hiroshima is appearing more and more “on the nose” with each passing day.

Worries that Russia might use nuclear weapons on Ukraine were part of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s calculus in choosing the city that was the first military target of such armaments in human history. Since that call, though, two economic nuclear options have emerged to fuel a bull market in Hiroshima symbolism.

Computer in Russia breached Metro system amid security concerns, report says The Washington Post Justin George and Ian Duncan A personal computer in Russia was used to breach Metro’s computer network earlier this year after the transit agency repeatedly was warned that cybersecurity deficiencies left its systems open to information theft and national security threats, according to a report released Wednesday. The unauthorized January log-in into Metro’s cloud-based system from a computer belonging to a former I.T. contractor drew the attention of Metro’s Office of the Inspector General.

Lawmakers advance cyber bills aimed at open-source, satellite vulnerabilities The Record by Recorded Future Martin Matishak The House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday easily advanced legislation to ensure the federal government and critical infrastructure can tap open-source software securely. The panel approved by voice vote bipartisan legislation to require the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to develop a risk framework laying out how the federal government relies on open-source code. The measure — a companion to legislation the Senate Homeland Security Committee passed in March — is a response to the security vulnerability researchers uncovered in popular open-source code Log4j in late 2021, which CISA estimates affected millions of devices worldwide.

AI threatens humanity’s future, 61% of Americans say: Reuters/Ipsos poll Reuters Anna Tong The swift growth of artificial intelligence technology could put the future of humanity at risk, according to most Americans surveyed in a Reuters/Ipsos poll published on Wednesday. More than two-thirds of Americans are concerned about the negative effects of AI and 61% believe it could threaten civilization.

North and East Asia

  • Japan and China start defense hotline operation. Japan and China began the operation of a hotline between their defense authorities as bilateral ties remain tense over a territorial dispute. The Japan Times

The Diplomat

Taiwan News

The Coast Guard escorted a Chinese fishing trawler into port after 74.5 kilograms of eel were discovered on board near the outlying island of Dongyin, reports said Thursday (May 18).


The Chinese Communist Party wants to be a global hegemon and Taiwan is part of that journey, the president of the island’s legislature warned in a Tuesday address.

“If we do not take the Chinese threat seriously, a dark future awaits all of mankind,” You Si-kun said at the Hudson Institute through a translator. He pointed to Beijing’s crack-down on democracy in Hong Kong and treatment of its Uighur minority population as examples from its recent domestic history.

The Japan Times

Micron said Thursday it will invest ¥500 billion to produce next-generation semiconductors in Japan, after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held talks with some of the world’s biggest chipmakers.

North Korea shows Kim Jong Un examining a military spy satellite that may be launched soon Associated Press Kim Tong-Hyung North Korean leader Kim Jong Un examined a finished military spy satellite, which his country is expected to launch soon, during a visit to an aerospace facility where he described space-based reconnaissance as crucial for countering the U.S. and South Korea. Kim during Tuesday’s visit approved an unspecified “future action plan” in preparations for launching the satellite, North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday. North Korea hasn’t disclosed a target date for the launch, which some analysts say may be in the next few weeks. That launch would use long-range missile technology banned by past U.N. Security Council resolutions, although previous missile and rockets tests have demonstrated North Korea’s ability to deliver a satellite into space.

South Korea gets tough on tech leaks to China Financial Times Peter Landers Yeo Han-koo, who served as trade minister in Seoul until May 2021, said efforts to acquire South Korean technology have become more aggressive as Beijing seeks to mitigate the damage from Washington’s own moves to curtail Chinese access to American technology and expertise. Figures released this month by the NIS show there were three leaks of national core technologies in the first quarter of 2023, with one each from the semiconductor, display and carmaking sectors. All three came from within large companies. Seoul takes the issue so seriously that it is creating a database of chip engineers working for South Korean companies in order to monitor their travel in and out of the country. The government has also established several new investigatory bodies to combat the leaks, passed legislation to toughen punishments and made it easier to report suspected violations.

IBM, Google give $150 million for U.S.-Japan quantum-computing push as China looms The Wall Street Journal Peter Landers IBM and Google are giving $150 million for quantum-computing research at the University of Chicago and the University of Tokyo as the U.S. and Japan try to stay ahead of a fast-rising China. Quantum computers are a hot area of research because they could help solve problems that classical computers alone can’t, such as modeling how a drug molecule interacts with the body’s proteins or how batteries work at an atomic scale. China has invested heavily in quantum computing, which also has possible military applications in cryptology and materials for weapons. U.S. researchers said Chinese laboratories have shown progress recently—often touted in state media—and are competitive in some areas.

South & Central Asia

  • Myanmar’s military has imported at least USD 1 billion in arms since February 2021 coup. A new UN report has revealed that China and Russia are the main suppliers of advanced weapons systems to the Myanmar military. Simon Lewis.Reuters

India introduces a $2B program to boost local IT hardware production TechCrunch Jagmeet Singh India wants to be a bigger player in the global hardware manufacturing industry, and it sees a route to boosting local economies while doing so. Now, it’s putting some money where its mouth is. The country has announced a $2 billion program designed to promote and incentivize businesses locally building hardware like laptops, PCs, servers and related edge computing kit.

EU woos India as it races to 'de-risk' China ties DW News Rosie Birchard 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 is seeking deeper ties with New Delhi — and after the first meeting of the EU-India Trade and Technology Council in Brussels on Tuesday, EU officials spoke of "very promising beginnings." The talks were more about face time among political decision-makers than concrete deals, though Brussels and New Delhi did agree to cooperate further on quantum and high-performance computing, and to making their digital public services more compatible.

  • First trade and tech council meet begins between India and EU YourStory The TTC was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, during her visit to India in April last year. "This first meeting of the Trade and Technology Council is a significant milestone in the strategic partnership between India and the European Union," Jaishankar said in his address.

  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad plans to attend a gathering of Arab leaders tomorrow, a first since the civil war broke out. Arab nations cite the need to deal with Syrian refugees, counter Iran, and stem the flow of drugs as reasons for restarting relations with Syria. Vivian Nereim reports for the New York Times.


Defence Minister Richard Marles warns on 'vast and complex' AUKUS challenges 9news Richard Wood Defence Minister Richard Marles has warned today the full potential of the AUKUS agreement can only be fulfilled with a "seamless" exchange of technology and information between Australia and the US. Australia will spend up to $368 billion by 2055 to build a new fleet of eight nuclear-propelled submarines in Adelaide to enter service in the 2040s under the landmark defence pact signed by Australia, the US and Britain.

Targeting helps protect kids from age-restricted ads, says Meta head of policy Melinda Claybaugh The Australian Joseph Lam Tech giant Meta claims targeted advertisements are a necessary function for social media companies, and the use of the technology can prevent age-restricted ads on items such as alcohol being marketed to under-18s. That was an argument made by the social media giant’s public policy director Melinda Claybaugh, who visited Sydney this week. Ms Claybaugh was visiting to provide a company submission to the Attorney-General’s review of the Privacy Act.

$80m government cyber hubs pilot axed InnovationAus Justin Hendry Last week's Budget redirected funding for one of four hubs set up to harden the cyber resilience of federal government agencies. It turns out the entire project has been scrapped.

Work crackdown on ChatGPT, Bard begins over fears employees may share sensitive data The Australian Joseph Lam Cyber security experts say companies are moving to stop employees from sharing sensitive company information with Large Language Models Bard and ChatGPT in order to head off mass data breaches. The move arrives just one week after Google released its LLM to Australian users and it was found to have an “opinion” on political leaders and other contentious issues.

Quad summit in Australia canceled after Joe Biden shortens Asia trip CNN Simone McCarthy and Angus Watson A planned summit of Quad leaders from the United States, India, Australia, and Japan in Sydney next week has been canceled after US President Joe Biden pulled out of his visit, Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Wednesday, adding that talks could still proceed as leaders visit Japan. The leaders were expected to discuss deepening their cooperation on a range of issues from critical and emerging technologies, to climate change and maritime domain awareness, according to a statement released by the White House last month.

Ukraine - Russia

  • Ukraine tells China envoy it won't cede territory to Russia to achieve peace. Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba told a visiting Chinese official that his government wouldn’t accept any proposal to end Russia’s invasion that involved the loss of territory or the ‘freezing’ of conflict. Sophia Yan. The Telegraph

  • The United States is resisting a push by the U.K. and Netherlands to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. The Biden administration, which must approve any transfers of the American-made planes, remains unconvinced that Ukraine needs the expensive jets. The present U.S. reticence to allow Ukrainian pilots to train in European-owned F-16s could severely limit a proposed new European coalition to help Ukraine obtain the jets. Lara Jakes and Eric Schmitt report for the New York Times.

  • Ukraine’s foreign minister told China’s special envoy for Eurasian Affairs, Li Hui, yesterday that Kyiv would not accept any proposals to end the war that involved losing territory or freezing the conflict, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said. Li noted there was no panacea to the war in Ukraine but urged all parties to create conditions for peace talks, China’s foreign ministry said today. Reuters reports.

  • E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has proposed adding $3.85 billion to a fund used to finance military aid for Ukraine, E.U. sources said yesterday. Borrell’s proposal requires approval from the E.U.’s national governments. They agreed last December that, “in case of need,” such an increase could be justified. Andrew Gray reports for Reuters.

  • More than 40 member nations of the Council of Europe agreed yesterday to set up a system to tally Russia’s damage to Ukraine in the hope of getting reparations. The damages register is seen as a first step toward justice in Ukraine. However, the Council of Europe has made it clear that it will not assess the credibility of any claims, nor will it fund reparations payments. Molly Quell reports for AP News.

  • Ukraine shot down 29 of 30 Russian cruise missiles today in the latest nighttime test of Ukrainian air defenses, officials said. Susie Blann reports for AP News.

  • The arrests for high treason of three Russian academics who work on hypersonic missile technology may cause weapons research to “collapse,” Russian scientists wrote in an open letter published on Monday. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said yesterday that the academics were facing “very serious accusations” but declined to provide further details. Peskov confirmed he had seen the open letter and that Russian security services continued working on the case. Francesca Ebel reports for the Washington Post.

The Record by Recorded Future

Alexander Martin

The flags of Ukraine, the Republic of Ireland, Iceland and Japan were hoisted in Tallinn, Estonia, on Tuesday as the four nations officially joined NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence.


Russia is finding oil customers in Asia to replace sanctions-blocked European buyers — by clawing away at the market share of its energy allies.

From West Africa to the Middle East, producers in the OPEC+ alliance are feeling pinched as buyers in India and China — Asia’s top growth markets — scoop up cheaper Russian crude. The redrawn global oil trade map could be in place for years to come.


  • EU continues to fund research with Chinese military-linked universities. Investigation finds five ongoing EU research projects involving China’s National Defence universities in network security, heat transfer and drones. David Matthews and Richard L. Hudson.Science Business

  • Volkswagen denies reports that it is discussing licensing Huawei software. Volkswagen had reportedly held talks to use Huawei software in its cars in China, hoping to boost market share in the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market. Volkswagen AG Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz has since refuted the claims. Reuters

  • EU will recalibrate its stance on China across values, economic and strategic security. Fontelles details the changes inside China with nationalism and ideology on the rise; the hardening of US-China strategic competition; and the rise of China as a key player in regional and global issues. Josep Borrell Fontelles. South China Morning Post

Taiwan News

Taiwan's participation in international organizations would bring “added value,” French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said during a senate hearing on Wednesday (May 17).

Meta to face record EU privacy fine over Facebook data transfer to US Reuters Foo Yun Chee and Padraic Halpin Meta is set to face a record European Union privacy fine related to data transfer of Facebook's EU users to U.S. servers for failing to comply with a warning by a top EU court, two sources familiar with the matter said. The penalty will be higher than the previous record 746 million euros fine for Inc, according to the sources. EU regulators led by Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon have been finalising a ban on the legal tool used by Facebook to transfer European user data because of concerns U.S. intelligence agencies could access the information.


  • Sunak backtracks on promise to ban Confucius Institutes in the UK. The Government announced that it would be ‘disproportionate’ to close down Beijing’s cultural and language outposts in Britain. British officials cite concerns that any move against Confucius Institutes would almost certainly provoke reprisals by Beijing, including against the British Council. George Parker and Bethan Staton. Financial Times

  • Hiroshima Accord to be signed by UK & Japan at G7 will include semiconductor partnership. The UK prime minister’s announcement comes ahead of the publication the British semiconductor strategy on Friday. Jim pickard and Anna Gross. Financial Times

  • U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to unveil the Hiroshima Accord, an agreement with Japan to step up defense cooperation and improve supply chains, when he meets Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during the Group of Seven summit this week. Rowena Mason reports for the Guardian.

Capita accused of ‘unsafe storage of personal data’ following data breach The Record by Recorded Future Alexander Martin Capita, the British outsourcing company hit by a ransomware attack in March, is facing a growing list of complaints from customers following the revelation of another data breach. Colchester City Council, which contracts Capita for financial services, has accused the company of “unsafe storage of personal data” over an historical incident that predates the ransomware attack but came to light afterwards.

Police to use live facial recognition in Cardiff during Beyoncé concert The Guardian Geneva Abdul Police will use live facial recognition technology in Cardiff during the Beyoncé concert on Wednesday, despite concerns about racial bias and human rights. Daragh Murray, a senior lecturer of law at Queen Mary University in London, said the normalisation of invasive surveillance capability at events such as a concert was concerning, and was taking place without any real public debate.

Cryptocurrency: Treat investing as gambling, MPs say BBC Chris Vallance & Tom Gerken MPs have urged the government to treat retail investment in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as a form of gambling. Their value could change dramatically and consumers risked losing their entire investment, characteristics closely resembling gambling, the Treasury Select Committee found. The risks posed by crypto were "typical of those that exist in traditional financial services and it's financial services regulation - rather than gambling regulation - that has the track record in mitigating them", a Treasury official told BBC News.

Middle East

  • The expected execution of three protestors in Iran will add to the over 200 executions recorded by the U.N. in just five months. The confessions of the three men publicly broadcast by the authorities were likely given under torture or duress. Executions overall were on the rise in Iran last year, according to human rights group Amnesty International’s annual report on global executions, released this week. Miriam Berger reports for the Washington Post.


  • Launching an appeal for $3 billion in aid to Sudan, the U.N. said 25 million people needed help – the highest number ever recorded in Sudan. The fighting has uprooted around 1 million people, 220,000 of whom have fled to neighboring states. Talks mediated by the United States and Saudi Arabia in Jeddah have failed to secure a ceasefire. Reuters reports.

Nigeria’s digital currency can’t compete with crypto Rest of World Temitayo Lawal In 2021, Nigeria became the first African country, and the second in the world, to introduce a government-backed digital currency: the eNaira. At the time of its launch, the governor of Nigeria’s central bank said the currency had drawn “overwhelming interest and encouraging response.” The government believed it would boost financial inclusion, improve the security of digital transactions, and enhance local and cross-border trade, among other benefits. Nearly 18 months on, however, eNaira has failed to achieve any of those goals. In fact, digital currency users in Nigeria are now questioning why it even exists.

Using information and communication technology to improve mental health in Africa Brookings Institute Belinda Archibong and Francis Annan The proliferation of mobile phone technology has created the opportunity to innovatively tackle various social and development challenges on the continent, ranging from financial inclusion to urban mobility, and even basic service delivery in areas like education and health.

Big Tech

Twitter staff fact checked by community notes over Bellingcat 'shadow ban' Newsweek Yevgeny Kuklychev The standoff between Elon Musk's Twitter and the investigative outlet Bellingcat continued to escalate on Monday, resulting in an unexpected development as one of Twitter's own employees was corrected via the platform's "Community Notes" feature, previously known as "Birdwatch." The latest development is the culmination of a feud that began in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Allen, Texas, on May 6—which left eight people dead and several others injured—and ensuing speculation and misleading claims about the alleged perpetrator's identity.

Artificial Intelligence

Shell to use AI to boost deep sea oil output The Hill Lauren Sforza British oil and gas giant Shell is set to use artificial intelligence technology from analytics firm SparkCognition to increase its deep sea oil output. The companies announced Wednesday that Shell will use SparkCognition’s generative AI technology to “accelerate the pace of imaging and exploration of subsurface structures.” This new AI will also aim to reduce the costs of hunting for deep sea oil and create a quicker process, the companies said.

AI across Google: PaLM 2 Google PaLM 2 is our next generation large language model that builds on Google’s legacy of breakthrough research in machine learning and responsible AI. It excels at advanced reasoning tasks, including code and math, classification and question answering, translation and multilingual proficiency, and natural language generation better than our previous state-of-the-art LLMs, including PaLM. It can accomplish these tasks because of the way it was built – bringing together compute-optimal scaling, an improved dataset mixture, and model architecture improvements.

Microsoft says new A.I. shows signs of human reasoning The New York Times Cade Metz Microsoft, the first major tech company to release a paper making such a bold claim, stirred one of the tech world’s testiest debates: Is the industry building something akin to human intelligence? Or are some of the industry’s brightest minds letting their imaginations get the best of them?

TikTok creators use AI to rewrite history Rest of World Andrew Deck Since the launch of image generators like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, a new wave of generative AI-focused creators have taken to TikTok. These accounts, some of which already have followings in the hundreds of thousands, post slideshow carousels of novel AI art. But one subset of creators is playing into a decolonial curiosity with its content — one that seems to ask, what if Western imperial nations never came to power?

Tom Hanks: I could appear in movies after death with AI technology BBC Nichola Rutherford Tom Hanks has raised the prospect of his career continuing after his death using artificial intelligence. The Forrest Gump and Cast Away actor said the technology could be used to recreate his image, ensuring he continued to appear in movies "from now until kingdom come".


Your DNA can now be pulled from thin air. Privacy experts are worried. The New York Times Elizabeth Anne Brown Over the last decade, wildlife researchers have refined techniques for recovering environmental DNA, or eDNA — trace amounts of genetic material that all living things leave behind. A powerful and inexpensive tool for ecologists, eDNA is all over — floating in the air, or lingering in water, snow, honey and even your cup of tea. Researchers have used the method to detect invasive species before they take over, to track vulnerable or secretive wildlife populations and even to rediscover species thought to be extinct. The eDNA technology is also used in wastewater surveillance systems to monitor Covid and other pathogens. But all along, scientists using eDNA were quietly recovering gobs and gobs of human DNA. To them, it’s pollution, a sort of human genomic bycatch muddying their data. But what if someone set out to collect human eDNA on purpose?

Is overconfidence in cyber skills putting your organization at risk? Forbes James Hadley Confidence in teams’ cyber skills is, of course, something that business leaders should strive for — but it should come with the data to back it up. Spending towards cybersecurity training has increased dramatically in recent years and is expected to reach $10 billion by 2027. Organizations invest in legacy cyber training and certification programs with the assumption that these methods adequately prepare teams for attacks; however, a recent study Immersive Labs commissioned with Forrester Consulting found the opposite.

See your identity pieced together from stolen data ABC News Julian Fell, Ben Spraggon, and Matt Liddy We’ve all heard about high-profile data breaches at places like Optus and Medibank, but there are thousands more of them that we don’t hear about. That’s why Australian online security expert Troy Hunt created Have I Been Pwned? — a service that tracks stolen data across the internet, and is used by numerous national governments, security services and law enforcement.


Spotlight on Beijing Institute for General Artificial Intelligence: China's state-backed program for general purpose AI Center for Security and Emerging Technology Huey-Meei Chang and William Hannas In late 2020, China established the Beijing Institute for General Artificial Intelligence, a state-backed institution dedicated to building software that emulates or surpasses human cognition in many or all of its aspects. Open source materials now available provide insight into BIGAI’s goals, scope, organization, methodology, and staffing. The project formalizes a trend evident in Chinese AI development toward broadly capable AI.



How do violent nonstate actors finance their operations? What do they use this financing for? And what can the U.S. Army do to disrupt these efforts?

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

Gabriele and Nicola Iuvinale

ASE 2023

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