Trade - Global Security

Iran freeing tanker crewmembers

Seven of the 23 crewmembers on a tanker seized by Iran are being freed on humanitarian grounds. The Swedish-owned but British-registered Stena Impero was taken for alleged violation of “international maritime rules.” [node:read-more:link]

Rogue tanker runs silent

The crew of an Iranian oil tanker has turned off the vessel’s Automatic Indentification System which provides real-time position data to other vessels. There has been a pattern of Iranian tankers turning off their AIS to thwart attempts to get around U.S. sanctions against Iran’s energy sector. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. headed to the polls?

Britain is apparently on track for an early general election after Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost a critical vote on his “no deal” Brexit agenda. MPs effectively forced Johnson to postpone his initiative only hours after his slimmest of parliamentary majorities vanished when a member of the Conservative caucus jumped ship. [node:read-more:link]

Showdown at Westminster

In a bid to block a “no deal” exit from the European Union, some members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s caucus are signing on to support draft legislation to delay Brexit. That has prompted the PM to threaten an early election call. [node:read-more:link]

Italy has another coalition government

A week after his nationalist-dominated government collapsed, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has agreed to a new coalition, promising a “more united, inclusive” Italy, which is a member of NATO, the G7 and the European Union He promises to play a leading role in European affairs. [node:read-more:link]

Scottish Conservative leader quits

Citing family reasons, Ruth Davidson has quit as leader of the Scottish Conservatives after eight years. She had been an outspoken critic of Boris Johnson’s handling of the British government’s Brexit agenda long before the Conservative MP became Prime Minister and there is speculation about her long-term political potential. [node:read-more:link]

Iranian network taken down

U.S. officials say a critical database used by Iran’s paramilitary to plot attacks against oil tankers and degraded Tehran’s ability to covertly target shipping traffic in the Persian Gulf was taken out this summer. Iran evidently is still trying to recover information destroyed in the attack and restart some of the systems taken offline, including military communications. [node:read-more:link]

Concern about Trump tactics

President Donald Trump is said to be upsetting U.S. norms by promoting his Miami golf resort as the venue for the next G7 and by continuing to advocate for Russia’s return to the economic summit despite its continued occupation of part of Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Queen asked to suspend U.K. Parliament

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked The Queen to suspend Parliament just days after MPs return to work in September. Johnson says a speech from the throne would outline his “very exciting” agenda only a few weeks before the Oct. 31 withdrawal of the U.K. from the European Union. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow calls it a “constitutional outrage.” [node:read-more:link]

Trump rated poorly by ex-official

Michael Fuchs, a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, says the G7 Summit planned for the U.S. next year, in a Florida resort owned by President Donald Trump, should be cancelled. Now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, he says Trump’s goals are antithetical to those of the six other G7 nations. [node:read-more:link]

China confused by U.S.

The Chinese government says it is unaware of any trade-focused calls from the U.S. after President Donald Trump said the two countries will resume talks “very shortly.” Trump said China had called to invite the U.S. back to the negotiating table after he announced further tariffs on Chinese imports. [node:read-more:link]

China-U.S. relations

China is “seriously making” preparations for relations with the U.S. to deteriorate further, according to Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of a tabloid run by the People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party. He was responding to a suggestion by President Donald Trump that he might be regretting higher tariffs on imports from China, a suggestion the White House said was more that the tariffs weren’t higher. [node:read-more:link]

China-U.S. trade war escalates

Beijing has unveiled an additional 10 per cent retaliatory tariffs against some $75 billion worth of U.S. goods in the latest tit-for-tat spat in their ongoing trade fight. It is reacting to additional U.S. tariffs scheduled to take effect next month. [node:read-more:link]

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