Global News Synopsis | Week 21 | 20th-26th May 2018
Steemians : My synopsis of the global events of significance for week 21 below-
Trump cancels the much awaited June 12th summit with Kim. "Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long planned meeting," Trump wrote in a letter to Kim.
North Korea responded it was willing to sit with the U.S. "whenever, however" through any method to try to resolve the outstanding issues. Calling it a gesture towards "peace loving" efforts, North Korea officially demolished the test-site overnight, inviting a number of reporters to witness the event. Kim Jong Un also held a surprise two-hour second summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the truce village of Panmunjom on Saturday afternoon to pave way for a summit between North Korea and the United States, where they "candidly discussed the potential Trump-Kim summit".
Maduro secured a second six-year term in power , shrugging off allegations of vote-buying and electoral fraud to claim what he called a historic, heroic and truly popular victory. Maduro called his victory a win against imperialism. Shortly after being re-elected, Maduro ordered the top US diplomat in Caracas, Venezuela and his deputy to leave the country after allegedly conspiring against the government.
Iran announced it would stay in Syria at the request of the Assad government. The US for its part issued one of its strongest ultimatums yet to Iran yet via Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who vowed on Monday that Tehran will struggle to “keep its economy alive” if it does not comply with a list of 12 US demands, including Iranian withdrawal from Syria.
In India,The right wing ruling party BJP's juggernaut was halted in Karnataka state elections, when the opposition INC and JDS formed an alliance, thus garnering required number of representatives to form the state government.
Iran and Russia could start using cryptocurrencies to avoid Western sanctions,as well as a possible replacement of the SWIFT interbank payment system., Russian news portal RBC reported.
Amidst Chinese crackdown on ICOs,and Indian government eyeing a 18% Tax on exchange operations, which it would view as “intangible goods.”Bitcoin got batttered down to 7.5K USD.
- In an unexpected, but notable, victory for President Trump's aggressive trade agenda and exporters of cars around the globe, China's Ministry of Finance announced that it would slash passenger car duties to 15%, further opening up the market that’s been a key target of the U.S. in its trade fight with Beijing.
Facebook announced it was “excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems.” It then added that “experts” from the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRL) will liaise closely with Facebook’s “security, policy and product teams” to offer “real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world.” Atlantic Council has been found to be a think tank funded by weapons manufacturers, branches of the US military and Middle-Eastern monarchies, acting as NATO's propaganda wing.
Even though faced with ever increasing problems of wealth inequality, lack of access to toilets for millions and a healthcare that is non-existent for most of its citizenry, India isn't quite shy when it comes to aspirations to develop AI-based weapon systems for the military, capable of identifying and attacking targets without human input. The 17-member AI task force, which includes officials from the Indian military, defense ministry, arms contractors and research organizations, was formed in February. New Delhi sees AI technologies as potentially reshaping national security and defense and wants to keep up with leaders in the field.
The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 - in a decision split along ideological lines - that businesses can force employees into individual arbitration to resolve disputes, virtually eliminating the threat of a class-action lawsuit.
Google has removed the phrase “Don’t be evil” from its Code of Conduct; this comes as at least 4,000 employees have expressed outrage over the company’s decision to work with the Pentagon’s Project Maven and amid a leaked video called the “Selfish Ledger” exposing internal Google dialogue to create a dystopia run by the big social giant. Google has removed multiple instances of its infamous “Don’t be evil” motto from its Code of Conduct, Gizmodo reported.
A group of US Air Force air men who were part of an elite squad responsible for safeguarding America's nuclear weapons have been busted for using and distributing the hallucinogen LSD and other drugs, according to the Associated Press, which published details from several courts martial involving members of the purported ring.
The social credit system in China has blocked people from taking more than 11 million flights and 4 million train trips. The social credit system is used to punish citizens for bad behaviour with numerous blacklists preventing them from travelling, getting loans or jobs, staying in hotels, and even limiting internet access. China intends to roll out a more comprehensive, national social credit system in 2020, which has gained comparisons to the show 'Black Mirror'.
A longtime CIA and FBI asset who once reportedly ran a spy-operation on the Jimmy Carter administration, Halper was enlisted by the FBI to spy on several Trump campaign aides during the 2016 U.S. election. Meanwhile, a search of public records reveals that between 2012 and 2018, Halper received a total of $1,058,161 from the Department of Defense.
A leading German daily fired a cartoonist over anti-semitic views on Friday after he drew a caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The cartoon by Dieter Hanitzsch showed Netanyahu carrying a missile in his hand. He is dressed up as Israeli singer Netta Barzilai, who won this year’s Eurovision contest. A speech bubble on top says: “Next year in Jerusalem.”(see below)
Cartoon of the week :
Source : unknown
My Pick of the week : Reading
My Pick of the week : Video
My Pick of the week : Interview
Synopsis week 21 ( 20-26th May)