- Being a “robot lawyer” cannot be easy. DoNotPay describes itself as the “world’s first robot lawyer” and has now been accused of practicing law without a licence. DoNotPay is now facing a proposed class action lawsuit that was filed by a Chicago-based law firm Edelson on March 3. “Unfortunately for its customers, DoNotPay is not actually a robot, a lawyer, nor a law firm. DoNotPay does not have a law degree, is not barred in any jurisdiction, and is not supervised by any lawyer,” the complaint said.
- HSBC bought the UK arm of Silicon Valley Bank for a symbolic one pound, rescuing a key lender for technology start-ups in Britain, as the biggest bank collapse since the financial crash continued to roil markets. The deal sees one of the world’s biggest banks take the doomed British arm of the tech lender under its wing, bringing to an end frantic weekend talks.
- The small rural community of Iinomachi in northeastern Japan has been making a name for itself as a hotspot for UFO sightings. The town is using its extraterrestrial reputation to boost its local economy and attract visitors interested in the unknown. Once a prosperous town known for its silk production and weaving industries, Iinomachi is now struggling with a dwindling population of only 5,000 people. According to some local residents, the Senganmori mountain, which is a conical structure that dominates the area, is a suspected UFO hotspot due to the number of sightings of luminous objects in the area over the past four decades.
- State regulators closed New York-based Signature Bank, the third largest failure in U.S. banking history, two days after authorities shuttered Silicon Valley Bank in a collapse that stranded billions in deposits. Shares in the US financial and brokerage company Charles Schwab tumbled on Monday, as concerns rippled through the financial sector due to the recent collapse of tech and start-up-focused Silicon Valley Bank and crypto-related Signature Bank. In a statement, Schwab’s Chief Financial Officer Peter Crawford reassured shareholders and clients that cash outflows hadn’t accelerated this month compared to February, noting that 80% of the brokerage’s deposits are insured by the US government.
- Credit Suisse shares hit a new record low in morning trading on Switzerland’s stock exchange. Bank shares in Europe and Asia plunged on Monday as the collapse of startup-focused Silicon Valley Bank continued to batter markets, while US large banks failed to hold onto a brief premarket rally after authorities moved to stem the contagion.
- Britain approved a sharp increase in exports of submarine parts and technology last year to Taiwan as it upgrades its naval forces, a move that could impact British ties with China. A written statement from China’s foreign ministry read: “China is highly concerned about this and firmly opposes it.”
- US officials stopped hundreds of mostly Venezuelan migrants entering the country from Mexico after a large group broke through Mexican lines to demand asylum in the U.S., only to be thwarted by barbed wire, barriers and shields. The migrants are frustrated with problems securing appointments to seek asylum using a new U.S. government app.
- A survey commissioned by the EU could signal that Brussels is getting ready to introduce its own foreign agents law, Politico reported on Monday. NGOs and consultancies are said to be “spooked” over the potential move, which could mean they would have to report any foreign funding to the European Commission, the outlet said. Three sources told Politico that a study, performed by a third party on behalf of the Commission and asking non-profit organizations to reveal if they receive any funding from outside the EU, has been circulating in Brussels.
- Russia’s foreign trade turnover increased by 8.1% compared to 2021, reaching $850.5 billion. Energy products made up the bulk of Russia’s foreign exports, comprising nearly 65%, and amounting to $383.73 billion. The figure rose 42.8% year-on-year despite Western sanctions imposed on Russian energy supplies, as Moscow actively redirected them towards Asian partners, most notably India and China. Foodstuffs and agricultural raw materials exports were estimated at $41.3 billion, about 7% of total exports in monetary terms. Sales of ferrous metals, fertilizers, as well precious and semi-precious metals and stones amounted to $62.5 billion.
- A few years from now, a small radio telescope on the far side of the moon could help scientists peer into the universe’s ancient past. The moon instrument, called the Lunar Surface Electromagnetics Experiment-Night (LuSEE-Night), is a pathfinder being developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, the Space Science Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. LuSEE-Night is currently scheduled to launch on a private robotic lunar lander in late 2025. After it touches down on the moon’s far side, it will attempt to gather first-of-their-kind measurements from the “Dark Ages” of the universe.
- The International Space Station (ISS) has been in orbit since 1998 and space debris has forced evasive maneuvers dozens of times. According to a December 2022 NASA report, the ISS has course-corrected itself 32 times to avoid satellites and trackable space debris since 1999. The space debris problem is growing more quickly as more satellites are launched into space, increasing the risk of collisions with the ISS or with each other. Known space debris has forced ISS avoidance maneuvers, required astronauts to take shelter and even canceled spacewalks.
News Burst 14 March 2023