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International press review Extrema Ratio May 24, 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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U.S. Department of Defence

Today, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder explained in further detail that the training, and any eventual transfer of F-16 aircraft to Ukraine is meant to support mid- and long-term defense needs, rather than defense in the short term for an expected counter-offensive against Russian forces.

The Defence Post

The training of Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 jets has begun in Poland, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Tuesday, after the United States gave its green light.

The Defence Post

The UK Royal Air Force has received its 22nd and final A400M Atlas transport aircraft from Airbus at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.

U.S. Department of Defence

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Jana Cernochova, defense minister of the Czech Republic, today signed a security cooperation agreement that is meant to further strengthen defense ties, enhance NATO operations, advance transatlantic security, and protect shared interests and values between the two nations.

Foreign Affairs

The Maritime Network Sustaining Beijing’s Global Military Reach.


Philippine defense officials visited Palawan last week to inspect new sites that will host U.S. forces as part of the defense pact between the two countries.

China Military

The 4th Military Big Data Forum was held in Beijing from May 18 to 19. Hosted by the Chinese PLA Academy of Military Sciences and co-organized by the Chinese PLA National University of Defense Technology, Beihang University and Beijing Institute of Technology, the forum attracted more than 400 participants, including well-known experts and scholars in the field of big data.

China Miltary

The opening ceremony of the 16th Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition, LIMA 2023, was held on May 22. The guided-missile destroyer Zhanjiang (Hull 165) attached to the Chinese PLA Navy anchored in the waters near Langkawi, Malaysia, completing the assembly with participating ships of other countries.


The NGA is working with several government agencies to develop a Lunar Reference Frame that would undergird a future GPS-like capability for the moon.


The U.S. and U.K. are leading contributors to NATO joint ISR, with “everybody else” tailing, an official said at the GEOINT Symposium.

Defence One

The NRO wants to use AI and machine learning to help the agency process and send satellite data to ground systems faster, the agency's director said Tuesday at the 2023 GEOINT Symposium in St. Louis, Missouri.

Defence One

As Ukrainian troops took to the field in the early days of the Russian invasion, a different sort of reinforcement force assembled in Ukraine’s basements and bomb shelters. Their mission: to ensure Ukraine’s digital citizenship app was up and running, able to accommodate panicked Ukrainians as they fled the country or joined the front lines.

Defence One

Logisticians are honing techniques invented to keep the Soviet Union from seizing Europe.

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:

Breaking Defence

President Joe Biden has nominated US Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh to lead US Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, an Air Force official confirmed to Breaking Defense.

Breaking Defence

Senior officials leading Europe’s rival sixth generation fighter jet programs have said that they are involved in technology sharing and weapons collaborations with one another, and a senior French official even imagines a future in which a platform belonging to one program could “control” an aircraft from a separate effort.


Turkish firm Meteksan Defence unveiled a model of the new search-and-rescue (SAR) variant of its ULAQ unmanned surface vessel (USV) at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023.

Janes The European Union (EU) has launched the Next Generation Medium Helicopter (NGMH) programme geared at converting future rotorcraft technologies into fieldable solutions, either as retrofits to existing platforms or as newbuild aircraft. Announced on 23 May as part of a wider raft of new Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) projects, NGMH sees France (lead), Italy, Finland, and Sweden come together to address operational needs on the upgrade of existing fleets and on the European Next-Generation Rotorcraft Technologies (ENGRT) programme, harmonising the needs and timelines of EU countries on the future capabilities of rotorcraft. “The NGMH will ensure the availability and suitability of EU helicopter fleets until 2040, and the preparation of the [ENGRT], including the ability to face high intensity conflicts,” the EU said.


The Portuguese Air Force (FAP) formally activated its new transport squadron on 20 May.

Five Embraer KC-390 Millennium multimission transport aircraft will be operated by 506 Squadron at Beja Air Base No 11. The aircraft were acquired in August 2019 under an EUR827 million (USD894 million) contract to replace the C-130H Hercules aircraft of 501 Squadron.


Financially troubled Virgin Orbit plans to sell its assets to four winning bidders and cease operations, the US-based small satellite launch provider announced on 23 May. LIMA 2023: KAI says Malaysia keen to order 18 additional FA-50s Janes

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) said that Malaysia's order of 18 FA-50 light combat aircraft will be followed by a second order of an additional 18 aircraft.


Thailand's Defence Technology Institute (DTI) has delivered an unknown number of locally developed 8×8 amphibious armoured personnel carriers (AAPCs) to the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC).

Janes Estonia and Latvia are jointly procuring the IRIS-T air-defence system, the two Baltic states' defence ministers announced in Riga on 21 May. Latvian Defence Minister Ināra Mūrniece and her Estonian counterpart, Hanno Pevkur, said the joint purchase would create a new ‘Livonian shield' protecting their countries' airspace.


ndian company Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) unveiled a model of its autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) swarm concept at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 being held from 23 to 27 May in Malaysia.


The US Army is in the midst of a massive effort to ramp up its production capacity for artillery, but will still have to contend with supply chains for the fuel that powers the in-demand rockets. Ammonium perchlorate (AP) – an oxidiser used in solid rocket fuels – is a crucial ingredient but can be difficult to source.

Defence info

In the United States, giving aid and comfort to the enemy is a serious offense, but America’s armed drone program, while it kills a lot of bad guys, also helps generate new recruits to replace them.

The Strategist

Teesta Prakash and Gatra Priyandita

To be strategically successful, the Quad needs buy-in from the rest of the Indo-Pacific region, notably from Southeast Asia. It needs to persuade the region that it ‘stands for something and not just against something’, as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.


Spying campaign targets Ukraine, Israel, India, Kazakhstan and others, cyber agency says The Record by Recorded Future Daryna Antoniuk Ukraine's computer emergency response team, CERT-UA, has identified a cyber-espionage campaign targeting an undisclosed government agency in Ukraine. A threat actor identified by researchers as UAC-0063 “has also shown interest” in targeting Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Israel and India, according to the report published on Monday.


  • Russia and China sign economic pacts despite Western disapproval. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin held talks with Chinese Premier Li Qiang. The MoUs signed include an agreement to deepen investment cooperation in trade services, a pact on export of agricultural products to China, and another on sports cooperation. Andrew Hayley. Reuters

  • China presses Dutch minister for access to chipmaking tech. Safeguarding the Dutch economy and cyberspace is a key priority for the Netherlands, deputy prime minister and foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra said during visit to China. His chinese counterpart Qin Gang spoke out against planned Dutch export controls on lithography machines. South China Morning Post

  • Chinese scientists war-game hypersonic strike on US carrier group in South China Sea. In a rare paper published in May, Chinese researchers suggested the USS Gerald R. Ford carrier group could be ‘destroyed with certainty’ by a relatively small number of hypersonic strikes. Stephen Chen. South China Morning Post

  • China faces decades-long growth plateau, according to EU Chamber of Commerce. “We are possibly facing a ‘plateau China’ with a little upside happening for the next 10 or 20 years,” Joerg Wuttke told reporters in Beijing. He went on to add that China has over-expanded on infrastructure, while skimping on social support. Bloomberg

  • China pledges new audit measures to curb risks and stabilise growth. President Xi Jinping chaired a meeting of the CCP audit committee yesterday, which has declared it will boost auditing work to ensure party officials implement policy initiatives. Close attention will be paid to areas such as local government debt, finance, property, food and energy. Clement Tan. CNBC

  • China strengthens cooperations with the International Atomic Energy Agency. At the invitation of the China Atomic Energy Agency (CAEA), IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi is visiting China this week. China has signed new agreements with the IAEA that will strengthen cooperation on small modular reactors, nuclear fusion, and nuclear data, fuel cycle and waste management, as well as communication activities. World Nuclear News

  • Xi Jinping’s Succession Problem—and China’s. As he turns 70, Xi’s lack of succession planning could destabilize China and rock the foundations of the global order. Chun Han Wong.Wall Street Journal

  • Chinese hackers targeted Kenya’s government in widespread, years-long digital intrusions against ministries and state institutions. Two sources assessed the hacks to be aimed, at least in part, at gaining information on debt owed to Beijing by Kenya. The hacking campaign demonstrates China’s willingness to leverage its espionage capabilities to monitor and protect economic and strategic interests abroad, two sources said. China’s foreign ministry said it was “not aware” of any such hacking. Aaron Ross, James Pearson, and Christopher Bing report for Reuters.

Hong Kong Free Press

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has arrived in China, Moscow’s foreign ministry said, for a visit in which he will meet with President Xi Jinping and ink a series of deals on infrastructure and trade.


"We hope the United States will work together with China to increase dialogue, to manage differences and also to expand our cooperation,” Xie Feng, China’s new ambassador to the US, says after his arrival at John F. …


Trade between Russia and China is expected to hit a new record level of $200 billion this year, according to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin during his trip to China, as Moscow faces growing isolation from the West.

Peter Humphrey is a former Reuters correspondent and spent 15 years as a fraud investigator in China for Western firms. He is currently an external research affiliate of Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and a mentor to families of …


China deployed three navigation beacons around the contested Spratly islands of the South China Sea, following similar marker placements by the Philippines earlier this month, as both sides try to fortify their claims to the …

China presses Dutch minister for access to chipmaking tech blocked on security grounds Associated Press Joe McDonald China’s foreign minister pressed his Dutch counterpart Tuesday for access to advanced chipmaking technology that has been blocked on security grounds and warned against allowing what he said were unfounded fears of Beijing to spoil relations. China fears Japan’s chipmaking curbs go further than US restrictions Financial Times Qianer Liu, Kana Inagaki and Anna Gross China’s semiconductor industry fears Japanese curbs on exports of crucial chipmaking equipment will be so broad that they risk hitting its production of lower-grade silicon, used in everything from cars to washing machines.

Chinese internet trolls are adopting American racism to taunt Black users Rest of World Viola Zhou While the Chinese government and social media companies have denounced racism, it remains pervasive online. News about Black people in China regularly triggers xenophobic comments directed at what some fear to be an influx of Black immigrants. Chinese women who date Black people or have mixed-race children have also drawn sexist attacks online. It’s unclear what has driven the recent spike in racist speech.

Comedian Uncle Roger's social media accounts frozen after jokes about China SBS News Chinese social media platforms have suspended an account belonging to a British-Malaysian comedian, Nigel Ng. It comes after Ng posted a video last week promoting an upcoming show. In character as Uncle Roger, he pokes fun at China's authoritarian government.

The Washington Post

Chinese authorities are rushing to push out vaccines to fight an ongoing second wave of the coronavirus expected to peak in June and infect as many as 65 million people a week, as new XBB variant of the virus evolves to …

Belt and Road


  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is set to launch his 2024 presidential campaign on Twitter today. Steve Peoples reports for AP News.

  • After nearly three weeks, U.S. Central Command still does not know whether an American drone strike in Syria killed a senior al Qaeda leader or a civilian, officials said. Despite the uncertainty, Commander Gen. Erik Kurilla ordered the strike be announced on Twitter. Central Command did not open a review of the incident until May 15, twelve days after the strike. Natasha Bertrand, Oren Liebermann and Haley Britzky report for CNN.

  • Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will meet her Chinese counterpart, Wang Wentao, tomorrow in what may be an opportunity to restore high-level exchanges between the United States and China. It will be the first cabinet-level meeting in Washington between the two countries during the Biden administration. Top defense officials from both countries could also hold talks on the sidelines of an annual security forum in Singapore early next month. These bilateral meetings would represent a “thaw” in relations, as predicted by President Biden over the weekend. Lingling Wei and Charles Hutzler report for the Wall Street Journal.

  • U.S. Navy warships stationed in the Persian Gulf region have increased their patrols through the Strait of Hormuz in response to recent moves by Iran to seize two oil tankers. Iran has “harassed, attacked or interfered” with 15 internationally flagged merchant ships since 2021, Pentagon and White House officials said this month. Eric Lipton reports for the New York Times.

  • Chip wars with China risk ‘enormous damage’ to US tech industry, says Nvidia chief. Jensen Huang said US export controls introduced by the Biden administration to slow Chinese semiconductor manufacturing had left the Silicon Valley group with ‘our hands tied behind our back’. Madhumita Murgia, Tim Bradshaw and Richard Waters. Financial Times

  • How Biden could ‘thaw’ US relations with China. Washington should be prioritising direct, private diplomacy with China and get back into the business of channeling Xi’s ambitions to constructive ends. Ryan Hass.Brookings Institution

  • US reluctance on trade deals sends Latin America towards China. Ecuador’s experience with China shows how the US and other western countries risk losing further ground in Latin America to Beijing unless they can offer better trade and investment opportunities. Michael Stott. Financial Times

  • A March 2024 trial date has been set for former President Trump in relation to the hush money payments case. Trump has said the protective order to which he is subject will impede his election campaign. Shayna Jacobs reports for the Washington Post.

  • Special counsel Jack Smith has nearly finished obtaining evidence in his criminal investigation into whether former President Trump mishandled classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, according to people familiar with the matter. It is unclear whether Smith will charge Trump or if he has presented a recommendation to Attorney General Merrick Garland, who would make a final decision. Aruna Viswanatha, Sadie Gurman, and C. Ryan Barber report for the Wall Street Journal.

  • A recent letter from a lawyer for an Internal Revenue Service supervisory agent to the Office of Special Counsel has exposed simmering tensions in the yearslong investigation into Hunter Biden, which is focused on his taxes and whether he made a false statement concerning a 2018 gun purchase. The supervisory agent made “protected disclosures” alleging that the Justice Department was not following established precedent in the probe. According to a copy of the letter, the supervisory agent and histeam were removed from the criminal investigation at the request of the Justice Department. C. Ryan Barber and Aruna Viswanatha report for the Wall Street Journal.


A U.S. lawmaker's demand for trade curbs on a Chinese memory chipmaker in response to China calling products from Micron Technology (MU.O) a national security risk is the latest escalation of tension between the big powers. …


In the years before China declared U.S. firm Micron Technology's (MU.O) products a national security risk, authorities were already scaling back purchases of its chips, opting instead for domestic or South Korean options, …

TikTok sues Montana, calling state ban unconstitutional The New York Times David McCabe and Sapna Maheshwari TikTok on Monday sued to block Montana from banning the popular video app, escalating its efforts to stop a prohibition that would be the first of its kind in the nation. Apple partners with Broadcom to build 5G components in the United States TechCrunch Matt Burns Apple today announced a multibillion-dollar deal with Broadcom to build some wireless components in the United States. Under the terms of the agreement, Broadcom will design and build 5G components, including FBAR filters, in its America-based facilities.

US sanctions North Korean entities involved in cyberattacks and IT worker fraud The Record by Recorded Future Martin Matishak The US Treasury Department on Tuesday announced new sanctions on four entities that employ thousands of North Korean IT workers who help illicitly finance the regime's missile and weapons of mass destruction programs.

Suspicion stalks Genesis Market’s competitors following FBI takedown The Record by Recorded Future Alexander Martin A month on from an international operation that culminated in the FBI seizing the web domains used by the fraud platform Genesis Market, the cybercrime underworld remains suspicious of its surviving darknet site and slow to move to its competitors.

After Micron ban, Chinese chip firm CXMT should go on US trade blacklist, top lawmaker says Reuters Stephen Nellis and Karen Freifeld The US Commerce Department should add Chinese memory chip maker Changxin Memory Technologies to a trade blacklist after Beijing earlier this week banned the sale of some chips by US-based Micron, the chair of the US House of Representatives' committee on China said on Tuesday.

White House unveils new efforts to guide federal research of AI Associated Press Aamer Madhani The White House on Tuesday announced new efforts to guide federally backed research on artificial intelligence as the Biden administration looks to get a firmer grip on understanding the risks and opportunities of the rapidly evolving technology.

New cooperative cybersecurity models needed in an era of global risk Forbes Chuck Brooks Cybersecurity risks to national security are evolving as hybrid wars are changing the threat landscape. There is an urgency to examine the scope and limitations of existing strategies and frameworks in the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance and identify the core cybersecurity challenges that the US and its allies must overcome.

Social media could harm youth mental health, US Surgeon General warns Reuters Mariam Sunny Social media can profoundly harm the mental health of youth, particularly adolescent girls, the US Surgeon General warned in an advisory on Tuesday, and he called for safeguards from tech companies for children who are at critical stages of brain development.

This tweet of a Pentagon explosion was fake. It still hit stocks Australian Financial Review Will Oremus, Drew Harwell and Teo Armus On Monday, a verified Twitter account called Bloomberg Feed shared an ominous tweet. Beneath the words, “Large explosion near the Pentagon complex in Washington, DC - initial report”, it showed an image of a huge plume of black smoke next to a vaguely Pentagon-like building. All in all, the hoax appears to have done little immediate damage. Twitter has since suspended the Bloomberg Feed account, which was not related to the real Bloomberg media organisation, and within about 20 minutes, local authorities had debunked the report. Yet the mechanisms involved, from the image’s amplification by large propaganda accounts to the almost instantaneous response from the sharemarket, suggest the potential for more such mischief if AI tools continue to make inroads in fields such as social media moderation, newswriting, and stock trading.

DeSantis Set to Announce 2024 Run on Twitter With Elon Musk The New York Times Shane Goldmacher, Maggie Haberman, Ryan Mac and Nicholas Nehamas Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is planning to announce the start of his 2024 presidential campaign on Wednesday in a live audio conversation on Twitter with Elon Musk, the platform’s polarizing owner, according to people with knowledge of his plans.


  • Public inquiry into Chinese interference in Canadian elections ruled out. The Canadian prime minister appointed David Johnston, Canada's former governor general, as special rapporteur to investigate alleged Chinese interference. Johnston has advised an inquiry would not be possible due to the sensitivity of the intelligence involved, instead recommending a series of hearings. BBC News

  • Chair of the US select committee on China calls for retaliatory action after Micron ban. Representative Mike Gallagher has pressed the Biden administration to add ChangXin Memory Technologies to the entity list. CXMT is China's leading maker of DRAM memory chips and the domestic competitor most likely to benefit from Micron’s ban. Stephen Nellis and Karen Freifeld. Reuters

North Asia

  • G7 China statement could enhance global economic stability. The G7 offer to China for managing economic relations is credible, but careful implementation will be critical in persuading China to respond positively.Creon Butler. Chatham House

  • Taiwan’s choice: who will replace Tsai Ing-wen as president amid China tensions? The presidential election, to be held in January 2024, will be decided by 23.5 million people voting on a range of issues, but how each party intends to deal with the threat of China has global ramifications. Helen Davidson and Chi Hui Lin. The Guardian

Taiwan News

Taiwan deserves a place in the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Representative Michael McCaul said in an opinion piece published on Tuesday.


China has so far not acted in an aggressive manner toward shipping in the South China Sea, but the very potential of action creates a clear threat to the economies of Japan and South Korea.


  • Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi today to sign a migration deal to boost Indian student and business travel to Australia. The leaders also discussed regional security. Kirsty Needham reports for Reuters.

How batteries are made — and how the future of a new industry hangs in the balance ABC James Purtill A technology developed to power mobile phones has become critical for everything from clean transport to renewable grids. Global demand for batteries is forecast to increase tenfold over the next decade, and fortyfold by 2050. Now, one question is being asked, and its answer could shape Australia's prosperity for generations. Who makes the batteries?

Home Affairs to migrate AUSTRAC, ACIC out of cyber hub iTnews Ry Crozier Home Affairs will spend $3.7 million helping AUSTRAC and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission transition off cyber security services it provided under the government’s axed cyber hubs pilot.

Drones suspended at Home Affairs as Chinese tech fears grow InnovationAus Justin Hendry Chinese technology fears are growing across the federal government, with Border Force joining Defence in suspending the use of drones from a Chinese manufacturer on security grounds. Representative from Home Affairs revealed at Senate Estimates that the department had suspended the use of drones manufactured by DJI over security concerns following a similar decision by the Department of Defence earlier this month.

AI tools could be used by predators to ‘automate child grooming’, eSafety commissioner warns The Guardian Josh Butler The eSafety Commission has voiced concerns about the potential for generative AI programs to automate child grooming by predators, as the federal government moves to regulate the fast-growing new technology.

Ukraine - Russia

  • The Pentagon is withholding support for the International Criminal Court’s (I.C.C.) prosecutions of alleged Russian war criminals in Ukraine in the hope that doing so will make the U.S. government more persuasive when it asks an international court to defer to the U.S. justice system. However, this may be an ineffective strategy, as the I.C.C. did not review the Russian government’s past policy toward other I.C.C. investigations before deciding whether to investigate. Helping the I.C.C.’s investigation of war crimes in Ukraine will not increase or reduce the chances of U.S. personnel being investigated in the future. Former NATO Supreme Allied Commanders in Europe, Philip Breedlove and Wesley Clark, and Ben Hodges, former commanding general of the U.S. Army in Europe, have written for Defense One.

  • A cross-border attack on theRussianBelgorod regionby anti-Kremlin fighters aligned with Ukraine stretched into a second day yesterday. An explosion at a defense factory and skirmishes at a border crossing were reported. Yesterday, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said that it had pushed back all of the pro-Ukrainian fighters across the border and that scores of “saboteurs” had been killed. Andrew E. Kramer, Valerie Hopkins, and Michael Schwirtz report for the New York Times.

  • The United States has distanced itself from a cross-border attack on theRussianBelgorod region. Russia released pictures of abandoned or damaged Western military vehicles, including U.S.-made Humvees. The United States insisted it did not “encourage or enable strikes inside of Russia.” Frank Gardner and James FitzGerald report for BBC News.

  • The growing tension between the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner group chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and Russia’s armed forces leadership represents the first significant crack in the country’s establishment since the invasion began. Abbas Gallyamov, a former speechwriter for President Vladimir Putin, has said the tension demonstrates Putin’s weakness, “In times of war, keeping a united front is the basic task of a state. And Putin is unable to achieve that.” Yaroslav Trofimov reports for the Wall Street Journal.

  • A Russian court extended the pretrial detention of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter until at least Aug. 30. His pretrial detention was initially set to expire on May 29. Gershkovich is being held on an allegation of espionage that he and the U.S. government deny. Ann M. Simmons and Shelby Holliday report for the Wall Street Journal.

Cyber warfare lessons From the Russia-Ukraine conflict Dark Reading James Turgal The Russia-Ukraine war has taught us a lot about cyber warfare. After all, it's the first time ever that a world-class cyber power is simultaneously engaged in a kinetic war. But before we can fully grasp the lessons that have surfaced over the past year, we first have to understand what role cyber plays as part of active kinetic warfare, as well as the criteria that determines its effectiveness.


Leaked government document shows Spain wants to ban end-to-end encryption WIRED Lily Hay Newman, Morgan Meaker and Matt Burgess Spain has advocated banning encryption for hundreds of millions of people within the European Union, according to a leaked document obtained by WIRED that reveals strong support among EU member states for proposals to scan private messages for illegal content.

Safeguarding economy a priority, Dutch foreign minister says in China Reuters Safeguarding the Dutch economy and cyberspace is a priority for the Netherlands, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said in China on Tuesday as Western governments adopt an increasingly defensive stance towards Beijing. Hoekstra was the first Dutch minister to visit China since the world's second-largest economy reopened its borders after three years of COVID-19 travel curbs.

Dutch Chipmaker ASM announces $100 million investment in South Korean expansion Korea Pro In a press statement released Tuesday, Dutch chipmaker ASM outlined its intention to invest $100 million to expand its innovation and manufacturing center in Hwaseong, South Korea. This investment aims to respond to the projected increase in demand for semiconductors, and is expected to be fully operational by 2025.

TSMC still in talks on possible German plant, no decision before August at earliest Reuters Toby Sterling and Marine Straus Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC is still in talks about a possible plant in Germany but there will be no decision before August at the earliest, a company executive said on Tuesday.

TikTok’s lead privacy regulator in Europe takes heat from MEPs TechCrunch Natasha Lomas MEPs in the European Parliament took the opportunity of a rare in-person appearance by Ireland’s data protection commissioner, Helen Dixon, to criticize the bloc’s lead privacy regulator for most of Big Tech over how long it’s taking to investigate the video-sharing social media platform TikTok.


  • British special forces have been involved in covert operations in 19 countries in the past dozen years, including in Russia, Syria, Ukraine, and Sudan, a study by Action on Armed Violence reveals.

  • China is ‘an epoch defining challenge’ but not an excuse for ‘blanket descent into protectionism’, warns Sunak. The prime minister discussed Russia, China and the G7 summit at the London Defence Conference hosted by King’s School of Security Studies. King’s College London

  • UK MPs call for urgent investigation of BGI Group’s prenatal tests sold across the UK. A cross-party group of MPs, led by Taiwo Owatemi, wrote to the Information Commissioner’s Office to raise privacy concerns around Chinese genome sequencing company BGI Group and in particular its NIFTY branded prenatal tests. Twitter

Sense of security: Belfast playing a pivotal part in UK's cyber journey The Irish News David Crozier Throughout April Northern Ireland marked the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement. And with it came visits from globally significant political heavyweights, all of whom experienced modern day Belfast as a city with a hard-earned and new-found status as a city of potential. A city primed and geared for international investment.

Middle East

  • Lieutenant-General Herzi Halevi, chief of Israel’s armed forces, raised the prospect of “action” against Iran yesterday following the excavation of a new underground nuclear facility in Iran. Halevi’s comments were made as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser played down any immediate threat posed by the facility. Dan Williams reports for Reuters.


23 African countries now covered by Google's AI Flood Hub news24 Lenin Ndebele Twenty-three African countries are now on Google's Artificial Intelligence Flood Hub, a platform that monitors floods in over 80 countries across the world. This comes as flooding, due to climate change, continues to affect more than 250 million people per year, causing economic damage of at least R200 billion ($10 billion) across the world.

Big Tech

Judge throws out shareholder lawsuit against Elon Musk over Twitter buyout Reuters Jonathan Stempel A judge dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Elon Musk that claimed he cheated Twitter shareholders several times last year in the course of buying the social media company for $44 billion.

Elon Musk to join WSJ’s CEO council summit to talk Tesla, Twitter, SpaceX and more The Wall Street Journal Alexa Corse and Rebecca Elliott Elon Musk is set to face questions about his corporate juggling act as he joins The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit.

Twitter Is a Far-Right Social Network The Atlantic Charlie Warzel Twitter has long been described, even by its most ardent users, as a hellsite. But under Elon Musk, Twitter has evolved into a platform that is indistinguishable from the wastelands of alternative social-media sites such as Truth Social and Parler. It is now a right-wing social network.

Artificial Intelligence

Predators exploit AI tools to generate images of child abuse Bloomberg Margi Murphy Child predators are exploiting generative artificial intelligence technologies to share fake child sexual abuse material online and to trade tips on how to avoid detection, according to warnings from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and information seen by Bloomberg News.

Bill Gates says top AI agent will replace search, shopping sites Reuters Jeffrey Dastin Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp's co-founder, on Monday said the technology race to win is the development of the top artificially intelligent agent, poised to disrupt search-engine, productivity and online shopping sites.

An MIT verdict on artificial intelligence Bloomberg Adrian Wooldridge Getting the regulation of artificial intelligence right is one of the most urgent problems facing our species, and also one of the most delicate. AI has the potential to improve most aspects of our lives — Alphabet Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai argues that its impact will be “more profound than electricity or fire.” It also has the potential to damage them profoundly — in one survey of AI researchers, 48% thought that there was at least a 10% chance that its impact would be “extremely bad,” that is, lead to human extinction.

How to avoid falling for misinformation, fake AI images on social media The Washington Post Heather Kelly Anyone with an internet connection can watch breaking news unfold in real time, or at least some version of it. Across social media, posts can fly up faster than most fact-checkers and moderators can handle, and they’re often an unpredictable mix of true, fake, out of context and straight propaganda. The rapid spread of easily accessible AI tools is muddling the waters even further. Look no further than the mystery of the Pope in an expensive looking puffy coat, or a recent fake tweet that was quickly debunked claiming there was an explosion near the pentagon.


Iosco calls on global regulators to be faster and bolder on crypto markets Financial Times Laura Noonan and Scott Chipolina Regulators should be faster and bolder in taming cryptocurrency markets and should break up companies with intractable conflicts of interest, the global securities watchdog said as it unveiled a blueprint to rein in the “wild west” of finance.

The Red Cross wants gamers to ‘play by the rules’ of war World Politics Review Charli Carpenter The International Committee of the Red Cross launched an initiative this spring to encourage players of first-person shooter video games, or FPS, to follow the rules of war. In short, they want players to stop mowing down civilian nonplayer characters, avoid targeting protected buildings and provide medical care to enemy players. The initiative was launched in April on a website that featured major gamers playing various games—including Fortnite, Arma and Call of Duty—“by the rules.” The site also spelled out the basics of international humanitarian law, or IHL, for beginners.


Disinformation and harassment operations target Safeguard Defenders Safeguard Defenders A string of reports as well as media coverage has recently highlighted China’s growing disinformation operations, as well as what appears to be State-backed online harassment campaigns against human rights defenders. Safeguard Defenders have been the subject of a prolonged campaign related to both issues, since September 2022, and is now sharing information on this for the first time.

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