4 May 2023   (TIME)
The 1959 Antarctic Treaty stipulates that continent could not be used for military purposes, but the evolution of dual-use technologies is raising concerns about China, which has a growing interest in the Arctic, building a fifth Antarctic base which could be used to monitor communications in southern regions.
4 May 2023   (BBC)
Toronto resident Kenneth Law has been charged with two counts of counselling and aiding suicides in Canada, Britain and the U.S. He is alleged to have marketed sodium nitrite, a common food preservative which is safe in small amounts but lethal in larger quantities, to buyers in possibly as many as 40 countries.
4 May 2023   (AP)
The U.S. Federal Reserve has raised the range of its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to a 5-5.25 per cent range, its highest in 16 years as it tries to stabilize inflation. Fed Chair Jerome Powell signalled May 3 that if inflation continues to ease, the rate would remain at that level.
4 May 2023   (AFP)
Ajay Banga, 63, who headed Mastercard for 11 years before joining a private equity firm in 2021, has been elected president of the World Bank, effective June 2. U.S. President Joe Biden, who nominated him in February, said the Indo-American “will be a transformative leader, bringing expertise, experience, and innovation” to the bank as it faces a growing list of global challenges.
3 May 2023   (BBC)
Unsolicited calls offering consumers financial or insurance products are to be prohibited by the British government as part of a crackdown on the increased prevalence of fraud. The initiative is to be backed by an increase in the government’s fraud squad to 500 personnel from 120.
3 May 2023   (BBC)
It’s reported that three Russian naval vessels capable of underwater operations were present near the site of explosions which shut down the Nord Stream gas pipelines to European markets last September. Investigations to date indicate that the explosions were sabotage rather than accidental.
1 May 2023   (CBC)
In a bid to curb illegal crossings from Canada, the U.S. has asked Canada to reinstate visa requirements for visiting Mexican nationals. The former Conservative government began requiring visas in 2009 but the current Liberal government relaxed the requirement in 2016 and evidently is unreceptive to the latest request.
26 April 2023   (Al Jazeera)
Without indicating how it might enforce its decison, an Iranian court has ruled that the U.S. government and a number of individuals and entities, including former President Barack Obama, must pay nearly US$313 million in compensation for Islamic State attacks in Tehran 2017. Among other things, the court accuses the Central Intelligence Agency of “organising and guiding terrorist groups.”
26 April 2023   (Al Jazeera)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says there is little difference between an increasingly “militarized” EU and NATO. Speaking at UN headquarters in New York April 25, he said the two “cooperate on issues” and that NATO “never had any intention of stopping” its eastward expansion.
26 April 2023   (NY Times)
London-based British American Tobacco has agreed to pay more than US$635 million as a penalty for selling cigarettes to North Korea through its Singapore subsidiary in violation of U.S. sanctions.