Interoperability (International)

China endangering safety in space?

Sharing information about space traffic is generally acknowledged as a critical international safety issue but a recent international meeting in Hawaii was told that China is uncooperative. “They’re just simply not sharing information,” said Richard DalBello of the U.S. National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration, echoed by a European Commission delegate. “We cannot safely operate in space if a major space participant isn’t actively engaged.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. wins telecommunications scrap

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, a New Jersey native and 30-year veteran of the UN’s International Telecommunication Bureau, has been elected Secretary General of the UN agency, putting her on the frontline of the ITU’s campaign against authoritarian states’ efforts to censor the Internet and social media. Her nearest challenger, Rashid Ismailov, a Russian deputy minister, managed 25 votes [node:read-more:link]

Major cross-border drug bust

Fifteen people and a Calgary company have been charged following a cross-border $55-million drug bust. The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, an umbrella agency, said September 27 that the investigation which began in 2020 also involved police in B.C., Saskatchewan and Ontario as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. [node:read-more:link]

Iran nuclear talks resume

Talks have resumed between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency about the discovery of man-made particles years ago at several Iranian sites. “Dialogue has restarted with Iran on clarification of outstanding safeguards issues,” IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi confirmed September 26. Neither side divulged details. [node:read-more:link]

Russian-controlled Ukraine regions plan referenda

Plans by Russian-installed leaders in four Ukrainian regions to hold September 23-17 referenda on whether to join the Russian Federation were dismissed as a stunt today by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmuytro Kuleba. An President Vladimir Putin optimistically predicted that the voting in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia would alter the geopolitical landscape. [node:read-more:link]

UN official urges lifting Iran sanctions

Alena Douhan, a Belarussian professor of international law who is the UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, is calling for the removal of unilateral sanctions on Iran, first imposed in 1979 when the Islamic revolution drove the Shah from power. In a report released September 12, she said among other things that delivery of medicines and medical equipment is “severely undermined” by the effects of sanctions on finance, trade, shipping, insurance and over-compliance on the part of foreign businesses and suppliers. [node:read-more:link]

Conflicting messages from Iran

Iran says it is receptive to proposals to resurrect its 2015 nuclear accord but it has coupled that stance with a call for the International Atomic Energy Agency “not to yield to Israel’s pressure” on the issue, going so far as to unveil a drone it says can strike Israel. The mixed message prompted one of the deal’s brokers, Germany, to express regret today that Tehran is not responding to Europe’s call in a truly positive manner. Britain and France are similarly skeptical. [node:read-more:link]

Border patrol exercise proves fruitful

A recent Canada-U.S. maritime border control exercise in the waters between British Columbia and Washington state turned into the real thing. Coordinated by the RCMP Border Integrity as part of a regular series of are usually routine operations, the interception and boarding of several vessels in the August exercise yielded several individuals associated with transnational organized crime [node:read-more:link]

Freeland rumoured for NATO role

What started as speculation in international defence and security circles — the notion that Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland could succeed Jens Stoltenberg as Director-general of NATO — seems to have taken on some traction. However, when asked about the prospect September 7, she replied only that she already has “two busy jobs.” Stoltenberg’s term, which began in 2014, was recently extended to 2023. [node:read-more:link]

Iran's nuclear status still unclear

The International Atomic Energy Agency says it cannot support Iran’s claim that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, saying there has been “no progress” in resolving questions about the history of material at undeclared sites. IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi says he is “increasingly concerned that Iran has not engaged with the Agency on the outstanding safeguards issues . . . and, therefore, that there has been no progress towards resolving them.” [node:read-more:link]

Putin questions Ukraine grain decision

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested today that a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey to lift a naval blockade and permit embattled Ukraine to export grain might need to be reviewed. Saying that other foods and fertilizer were being sent to European Union states and Turkey rather than to poor countries, he also threatened to halt all energy supplies to Europe if the EU caps the price of Russian natural gas. [node:read-more:link]

New U.K. leader political shape-shifter

Former British foreign secretary Liz Trust has been elected by the Conservative Party as Boris Johnson’s successor, The former Liberal Democrat, who opposed Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, is promising to return to fundamental Conservative values such as reducing taxes and smaller government. [node:read-more:link]

UN inspectors reach nuclear plant

A convoy of UN inspectors managed today to reach Europe's largest nuclear power station, in southern Ukraine, despite the presence of Russian forces embedded in and around the Zaporizhzhia plant. Some of the International Atomic Energy Agency team left after only a few hours but Ukraine's nuclear power operator expects five others to remain for two more days. [node:read-more:link]

Tighter EU controls on Russians

European Union foreign ministers have agreed to suspend a visa agreement with Russia which will make entry more difficult for Russian visitors. Ukraine and some other states had called for a blanket ban but that was opposed several others. More than a million Russians have travelled to the EU since their president ordered the invasion of Ukraine in late February. [node:read-more:link]

NASA scrubs moon launch

After months of tests, troubleshooting and repairs, NASA's long-overdue Artemis-1 moon launch with an uncrewed capsule was scrubbed early today due to problems with one of the massive launch vehicle’s rockets. “This is a very complicated … system and all those things have to work,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “You don't want to light the candle until it's ready to go.” That now is expected to be September 2 at the earliest. [node:read-more:link]


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