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The Daily Brief: Canadian Businessman Sentenced to Eleven Years by Chinese Court

Canadian Businessman Sentenced to Eleven Years by Chinese Court

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1280px Justin Trudeau speaks during the 2017 Invictus Games opening ceremony 37023166940

DoD News, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • Michael Spavor, a Canadian businessman, has been sentenced to eleven years in prison by a Chinese court for espionage.
  • Spavor, along with businessman Michael Kovrig, have been detained for the past two years.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to the conviction, stating it was “absolutely unacceptable and unjust,” and had “a lack of transparency in the legal process, and a trial that did not satisfy even the minimum standards required by international law”.
  • US Vice President Kamala Harris expressed her support with Trudeau, stating she was in “strong solidarity with Canada regarding the issue of two Canadian citizens unjustly detained by China.”
  • Some have accused the conviction of both these men as “hostage diplomacy,” and a means for political bargaining.
  • The Intermediate People’s Court of Dandong City stated, “For the crime of spying and illegal provision of state secrets abroad [Spavor] has been sentenced to 11 years in jail, confiscation of 50,000 yuan ($7,715: £5,578) worth of personal property and deportation.”
  • The court stated Spavor would be deported, but it is unclear whether it is before or after his prison sentence. The trial was held behind closed doors, and no evidence or information pertaining to the trial has been released.
  • Sources
  • Tweets

Other Headlines:

British Citizen Arrested for Spying for Russian Intelligence Service

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Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • A British citizen, Davis S, was arrested in Germany for allegedly spying for Russia. He worked at the British Embassy in Berlin, and was detained in the city of Potsdam.
  • He was accused of passing documents to the Russian intelligence service in exchange for money. The UK and Germany worked together on this investigation, with MI5 and British Police being involved as well.
  • The German Foreingn Minister stated that the allegations are being taken “extremely seriously” and that “spying on a close ally on German soil is absolutely unacceptable and we are in full solidarity with our British friends”.

Tweets:

Hackers Stole and Returned Millions of Cryptocurrency from Poly Network

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Isokivi, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Hackers stole $600 million in cryptocurrency from the  blockchain platform Poly Network, but then returned $260 million back. This is one of the largest cryptocurrency thefts in history.
  • Poly Network posted a message to the hacker on Twitter, urging the hacker to return the money because it is from ”tens of thousands of crypto community members” and the hacker “should talk to us to work out a solution”.
  • The hacker published a three page long Q&A with the returned money, stating he is “not very interested in money,” and that he took “the responsibility to expose the vulnerability” before someone else exploited it, and he prefers “to stay in the dark and save the world”.

Tweets

Algeria Wildfires Spread, Killing Over 60

Algiers in Algeria
TUBS, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • The death toll in Algeria rises to 69 as wildfires ravage over northern Algeria, 28 of those being soldiers deployed to detain the flames.
  • Turkey and Greece have also experienced the same effects of the intense heat wave of 48 degrees Celcius/118 degrees Fahrenheit, battling deadly wildfire outbreaks over their countries. 
  • Authorities suspect arson in some cases, taking unannounced officials into custody. Minister Kamel Beldjoud backed arsonist speculation although without substantial proof, stating “Only criminal hands can be behind the simultaneous outbreak of about 50 fires across several localities.”
  • Beginning Thursday, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced three days of mourning over the lost lives, 

Twitter

Landslide in India Traps Over A Dozen

NH5
Enthusiast10, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • A landslide in Himachal Pradesh, India has killed 10 people and trapped around 30. 
  • The landslide caused large boulders to slide down the mountain which blocked around 150 meters of a  major highway, crushing and burying vehicles. 
  • Although landslides occur more often in India’s Himilayan region, incidences such as this one are heavily affected by the changing climate and badly regulated roads. 
  • It’s estimated that 60 people are still trapped under the debris, as rescue teams compiling of over 200 people will continue missions into the night to find survivors. 

Twitter

North Korea Says “Hostile Acts” By US And South Korea Threaten “Serious Security Crises”

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  • Kim Yong Chol, A North Korea senior official, condemned the United States and South Korea for their “hostile acts” in response to North Korea’s displeasure at the upcoming military exercises to occur between the two nations.  
  • Chol stated “a serious security crisis” was threatened as the military drills signified exacerbated tensions and a defied opportunity of peace between the countries. 
  • President Joe Biden asked for Pyongyang to partake in “practical” engagements, while United States State Department Representative Ned Price announced the U.S. “harbors no hostile intent” towards North Korea, but will remain “committed to the security of South Korea.” 

Twitter

Kabul Could Be Overtaken in Months As Taliban Continue Advancing Over Afghanistan

Former Taliban fighters return arms
isafmedia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Taliban fighters have secured nine provincial capitals in Afghanistan, forcing thousands of citizens into displacement and perpetrating violence against hundreds in recent weeks. 
  • The Afghani Army chief General Wali Mohammed Ahmadzai was recently replaced in response, although he has barely held the position for two months. 
  • Interior Minister General Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal stated the Taliban’s advances came after limited air support and aftereffects of most US and NATO troops leaving the country. 
  • In a three step plan, Mirzakwal claimed the government was working with local leaders, stating the first step was to “stop the defeats [of the government forces], the second is to re-gather [government] forces to create security rings around the cities… [and] The third is to begin offensive operations. At the moment, [the government] is moving into the second phase.”

Twitter

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Daily Brief

Credit Suisse Found Guilty for Involvement in Money Laundering Scheme

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800px Credit Suisse Zurich
  • Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court found Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second largest bank, guilty for its involvement in a money laundering scheme involving a Bulgarian drug trafficking gang.
  • The bank is being fined 21 million Swiss francs ($22 million) due to its poor monitoring and implementation of anti-money laundering rules. More than 12 million francs worth of assets are also being confiscated due to their connection with the criminal group.
  • Credit Suisse has denied any wrongdoings and stated that it has been “continuously testing its anti-money laundering framework and has been strengthening it over time, in accordance with evolving regulatory standards.”
  • This case originated from actions taken by a former employee in 2007 and 2008, and two other Bulgarian citizens’ actions in 2005 and 2009. Some of their sentences and fines were suspended due to the amount of time passed since the crimes took place.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Chlorine Gas Leak in Jordan Port City Kills Thirteen People

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Port Of Aqaba City
  • A gas leak in Aqaba, Jordan killed at least thirteen people and injured more than 250. A storage container carrying between 25 and 30 tonnes of chlorine gas fell as it was being exported to Djibouti, releasing the gas.
  • A video of the incident on state TV shows the container being dropped onto the deck of the ship and a yellow colored gas spreading through the air as people try to evacuate. The accident seems to be a result of the crane malfunctioning.
  • If chlorine is inhaled at high levels, it can cause life-threatening damage. A nearby beach in Aqaba was evacuated as a safety precaution, and residents who live in the nearest residential area, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) away, were advised to stay inside and close windows.
  • Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh traveled to Aqaba and visited some of the injured at the hospital. He also formed a team led by the interior minister to investigate the incident.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Russian Missile Sets Ukraine Shopping Center on Fire

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781px Nevsky Centre Shopping Mall in Russia
  • A busy shopping center in Ukraine was set on fire by Russian missiles on Monday, killing at least thirteen people and injuring dozens. The total number of casualties is still unknown.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that “The number of victims is impossible to imagine” and that there could have been up to 1,000 people in the mall.
  • The attack came during the G7 summit, where world leaders condemned recent atrocities and promised to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” in a joint statement. President Zelensky spoke to the leaders at the summit and stated that he wants the war to end before winter.
  • NATO has decided to increase the number of troops in its rapid reaction force from 40,000 to 300,000, more than eightfold. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated this move is part of the “biggest overhaul of collective defense and deterrence since the Cold War.”
  • The United States has announced that it will provide Ukraine with advanced medium and long-range air defense capabilities.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

World Watches as the United States Supreme Court Abolishes a Woman’s Right to an Abortion

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Defend Roe v Wade 0035 52061678896
  • The United States’ top justices voted to eliminate the constitutional right to an abortion, a law that had been in place for over 50 years.
  • The closely watched decision was heralded by some and derided by others, depending on their position on the controversial concept of a woman’s right to choose for her own body.
  • With the abolition of the constitutional right, it is expected that many states in the U.S. will implement near total bans of abortion rights, while other states such as California, Oregon and Washington have reaffirmed their commitment to preserve the right to an abortion.
  • Planned Parenthood, the advocacy face for abortion rights, is mobilizing around the country to bolster and increase services in those states that will preserve the right, and engage voters in those states that plan to abolish the right.

Tweets

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

The EU Approves Ukraine for Candidacy

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Munster Stadtweinhaus Beflaggung Ukraine und EU 2022 0219 scaled
  • The EU has finally approved the application of Ukraine to become a candidate country for admission to the 27- country organization. Ukraine will now join the official candidate list, which already includes Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. 
  • The US is expected to provide an additional $450m in security assistance to Ukraine. Which includes four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems. 
  • The EU and Norway have agreed to cooperate and provide the EU’s 27 countries with gas from Western Europe’s biggest provider. The EU imports roughly ⅕ of its gas from Norway compared to the 40% it was receiving from Russia. Currently, Russia has been cutting gas supplies to countries refusing to pay for it in roubles. 
  • Melbourne is considering utilizing its largely vacant $200m Center for National Resilience building to house hundreds of refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine and Afghanistan. The center will only be able to temporarily house about 500 refugees from Afghanistan and about 200 from Ukraine. 
  • Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov thanked US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after receiving and welcoming the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) from the United States. 
  • Nike joined other leading Western brands by formally making a full exit from Russia, three months after suspending its operations. Telecoms equipment maker Cisco is also planning to wind down business in Russia and Belarus as well.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

US Supreme Court Expands Gun Carrying Rights Causing National Outrage 

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Open Carry of a 9mm Browning Hi Power in Eagle Colorado scaled
  • The US Supreme Court expanded gun carrying rights after a New York law denied the plaintiffs Robert Nash and Brandon Koch from carrying a concealed weapon in public, despite them having licenses for recreational gun ownership. 
  • The US court ruled that the New York law requiring residents to prove “proper cause” to carry a concealed weapon is unconstitutional. Justice Clarence Thomas, who represented the 6 justices who ruled in favor of the decision, stated that Americans have the right to carry “commonly used” firearms in public for personal defense. 
  • This decision comes amid an intense national debate over gun violence, and could possibly challenge the  outcome of similar regulations in other states, such as California and New Jersey, and affect a quarter of Americans by allowing more people to carry guns legally. 
  • Three liberal justices, Elena Kahan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer, were against the majority decision, and Justice Breyer noted that “since the start of this year alone (2022), there have already been 277 reported mass shootings – an average of more than one per day.”
  • While the National Rifle Association (NRA) celebrated the judgment, President Biden stated that he was “deeply disappointed” by the court’s decision and that the ruling “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should trouble us all.” 
  • New York Mayor Eric Adams also agreed with Biden and stated that he would review other ways to restrict gun access by restricting the application process for buying guns and looking into bans of firearms at specific locations. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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