News Burst 30 March 2022

  • Russia promised at the talks in Istanbul to drastically scale down its military operations around Kyiv and the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, while Ukraine proposed neutral status with international guarantees.
  • The Chinese military deal with the Solomon Islands, which will allow the stationing of Chinese police, troops, and weapons in the region, is “ready for signing,” according to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. His comments come in a fiery address to the Pacific nation’s Parliament on March 29, where the embattled prime minister attempted to justify the impending deal, which has sparked concerns from the opposition, as well as Australian and New Zealand leaders. Sogavare lashed criticism of the “Framework Agreement Between the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Government of the Solomon Islands on Security Cooperation,” which will open the door for Beijing to supply police, weapons, and even base naval ships in the nation if requested by the Solomons’ government.
  • Some Republican lawmakers, including Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), have promised investigations and subpoenas to Fauci’s agency if the GOP wins the House during the 2022 midterms. At least one Republican senator, Rand Paul (R-Ky.), has promised the same if the Senate is retaken by Republicans. “And if you’re watching this, Dr. Fauci, look out, because when the Americans give us control in the House of Representatives, God willing, we’re going to get some answers on behalf of the American people,” Roy told Fox News earlier this month.
  • More than 20,000 bankers, traders and other workers are bedding down in office towers in Shanghai’s Lujiazui district as they bid to keep China’s giant financial hub ticking over through a COVID-19 lockdown, according to local administration officials. China’s financial hub of Shanghai launched a two-stage lockdown of its 26 million residents on Monday, closing bridges and tunnels and restricting highway traffic in a scramble to contain surging COVID-19 cases.
  • Morocco’s foreign minister said on Monday his presence alongside three Arab counterparts at an Israeli-hosted summit was the “best response” to attacks such as an Islamic State-linked shooting spree in Israel, which he condemned as terrorism.
  • US lawmakers are investigating reports that Credit Suisse tried to destroy evidence concerning a secured loan deal secured by yachts and jets belonging to Russian oligarchs to see if these dealings violated US sanctions after reports that the bank asked clients to destroy documents related to the deal aroused suspicion. According to WSJ, Reps. Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Stephen Lynch, chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, sent a letter to Credit Suisse CEO Thomas Gottstein asking the bank to hand over information on its financing of yachts and aircraft that may have been owned by Russian citizens on the US sanctions list.
  • Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western countries have slapped the energy-rich country with an unprecedented wave of sanctions which are disrupting global commodity markets. Some countries have outright banned imports of Russian crude, such as the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia. Other countries, such as Italy, Japan, Germany, and France, have committed to reducing energy dependence on Russia. Import bans don’t just stop at energy but are also across the board, including agriculture, petrochemicals, and metals. As for countries that still trade with Russia, a tactic known as “going dark” has been spotted in Russian waters, according to Bloomberg. Windward Ltd., an Israeli-based shipping consulting firm, said in the week ending March 25, at least 33 commercial vessels spotted in or around Russia’s exclusive economic zone turned off their automatic identification system, or AIS. That’s more than double the weekly average of 14 over the prior week. These dark ship-to-ship meetings transfer cargo to other vessels without sanctions. Windward said the ships going dark include ones connected to major corporations and multinational shipping firms.
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., urged the White House to shut down Chief of Staff Ron Klain’s Twitter account on Tuesday, warning it undermines national security as the Biden administration faces criticism for mixed messages about the Russian-Ukrainian war. Rep. Gallagher joined “America’s Newsroom” to discuss the issue, pointing out the contradictions in messaging surrounding both “sanctions and deterrence” targeting Moscow. Mike Gallagher: “I was listening to Peter Doocy’s description, and I thought maybe the best thing to do for national security and global stability would be for the White House to shut down Ron Klain’s Twitter account, which is hugely damaging to security. national and makes us feel like amateurs on the world stage.”
  • Stefano Gizzi, the Councilor for Culture in the commune of Ceccano, Italy has had his powers revoked after sparking outrage by publicly expressing support for Russia in a now-deleted Facebook post. The official shared a picture of the letter ‘Z’, which is now associated with Russia’s ongoing military offensive in Ukraine, as it has appeared on Russian tanks and vehicles participating in the operation, and wrote: “Solidarity with Russia, the Ribbon of St. George, victorious over the Dragon.”
  • Chinese small and medium-sized companies are exploring opportunities in the Russian market that have become available with the exit of many Western firms, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday. “Chinese companies in some niche sectors will especially benefit from the EU and US [companies] leaving Russian markets, such as in auto parts, foods, medical supplies and infrastructure components,” said Zhuang Bo, a China economist at investment firm Loomis, Sayles & Company, as quoted by Morning Post.
  • A Nepalese tourism official said on Tuesday that his country won’t stop Russian climbers scaling the peaks of the Himalayas. Earlier, Ukraine had asked Nepal to ban Russian mountaineering teams from the country “until the end of the Russian invasion.”
  • A substantial number of French people remain skeptical about the Western narrative on Russia’s attack against Ukraine and want to hear what Moscow has to say about its actions, results of a new poll released on Monday have shown. More than half of respondents queried by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) agreed with at least one Russian “hypothesis” of why its attack against Ukraine was justified, the polling firm said in a report.

News Burst 30 March 2022

By cindyloucbp

Cynthia is the typical Pisces! Her left brain activities include scientific activities in the hospital laboratory as a director. Her right-brain activites show as a painter, photographer and musician. She is known as the scientist who sings!

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