Finance (International)

Pentagon tackles Chinese influence

A surge in Chinese companies’ investment in U.S. defence suppliers has prompted the Pentagon to approve more than $311 million in potential partnerships with the private sector in a bid to contain Beijing;s influence. The Trusted Capital program targets, among others, companies involved in artificial intelligence and biotechnology. [node:read-more:link]

Russia sanctioned over SolarWinds and Crimea

The U.S. has imposed new sanctions on Russia and formally blamed its SVR intelligence agency for last year’s massive SolarWinds breach of government and corporate systems. Designed to choke off lending to the Kremlin, the sanctions against 32 entities and individuals coincided with diplomatic expulsions in Washington. Also, in collaboration with allies, the U.S. has sanctioned eight individuals and entities associated with Russia’s occupation of Crimea. [node:read-more:link]

Economic Insecurity is a Global Crisis

Economic security promotes happiness, and is beneficial for growth and social stability. This is a central finding of a new ILO report, which attempts for the first time to measure social and economic security of individuals and countries around the world. [node:read-more:link]

Huawei case “dressed up” by U.S.

The B.C. Supreme Court has been asked by lawyers for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to decline her extradition on grounds that the U.S. is “dressing up” its complaint that her alleged violation of economic sanctions against Iran constituted fraud. [node:read-more:link]

Drug cartels called terrorists

The U.S. is prepared to legally designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorists, a proposal President Donald Trump says would enable the U.S. to “go in and clear out” the cartels. Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard, says his country would not permit any “violation of national sovereignty” but Trump says his administration is “well into” the designation process. [node:read-more:link]

Fraud and security risks in U.S.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office says some companies doing business with the Department of Defense have opaque ownership structures which could hide fraud and national security risks. Recommending the DOD include contractor ownership details in risk assessments, the GAO says the current policy could mean that foreign interests could gain access to sensitive information through U.S.-based companies. [node:read-more:link]

More IT being outsourced

U.S. federal agencies. are outsourcing more of their information technology work, a trend hown in details of the government’s 2019 fiscal documents. Their spending on cloud and IT management in 2019 nearly doubled from the previous year, to some $12 billion or 18 per cent of federal IT spending. [node:read-more:link]

Canada-U.S. trade talks

Details are sparse but Richard Neal, the Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, is scheduled to visit Ottawa Nov. 6 for talks with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland about the new North American trade agreement. Neal also is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. [node:read-more:link]

Brexit deadline "flextended"

Opposition parties in the British House of Commons are gearing up for a Oct. 29 vote on whether to call a snap election – a day after defeating a motion by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to have an snap election to reinforce his Brexit campaign. Meanwhile, European Union leaders have agreed in principle to what the European Council’s Polish president, Donald Tusk is calling a “flextension”of the European Union’s deadline, until Jan. 31. [node:read-more:link]

December U.K. election possible

In a bid to break a parliamentary deadlock over his promise to take Britain out of the European Union, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pinning his hopes and possibly his own political future on the outcome of a general election. He plans to ask the House of Commons to vote Oct. 28 on having an election Dec. 12. [node:read-more:link]

Latest Brexit move fails

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to fast-track his Brexit deal through Parliament to meet an Oct. 31 deadline has been rejected by MPs despite his threats to press for a general election. The government lost the vote on its “programme motion” which have given them only three days to review a 110-page withdrawal agreement bill. [node:read-more:link]

Multi-factor authentication warning

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned the U.S. telecom sector that companies could be vulnerable to attacks which bypass multi-factor authentication to gain access to accounts. It cites several examples, including the use of stolen credentials to bypass banks’ two-factor authentication protocols.  “When reaching the secondary page where the customer would normally need to enter a PIN and answer a security question, the attacker entered a manipulated string into the Web URL setting the computer as one recognized on the account,” the FBI says. [node:read-more:link]

EU faces new U.S. tariffs

Some $7.5 billion on additional tariffs on imports from the European Union have been announced by the U.S. as part of an ongoing spat centered around Airbus and Boeing. The World Trade Organization cleared the way for the tariffs when it ruled that the EU had violated trade rules by supporting Airbus. [node:read-more:link]

Tariffs threaten global trade

For the third consecutive year, the World Trade Organization has cut its global trade growth forecast for 2019, to the weakest level in a decade. It also warns that piling on tariffs in an uncertain economic environment could spark a “destructive cycle of recrimination.” It expects the volume of merchandise trade to rise 1.2 per cent this year and 2.7 per cent in 2020, compared with three per cent growth in 2018. The WTO had previously predicted 2.6 and 3.0 per cent gains this year and next. [node:read-more:link]

Scheer would cut foreign aid

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer isn’t worried that Canada might not get a seat on the UN Security Council because of a 25 per cent foreign aid cut he proposes. “It’s more important to me that I help Canadians get ahead than curry favour at the United Nations,” he said, explaining that the cuts would focus on funding for “middle- and upper-income countries” and “hostile regimes.” [node:read-more:link]


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