Tag Archives: SECURITY

The US Threatens Sanctions on Companies Completing Nord Stream 2

The US State Department recalled the possibility of applying sanctions against companies that are involved in the completion of the construction of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

“As the president noted, Nord Stream 2 is a bad project for Germany, Ukraine, and our partners and allies in Central and Eastern Europe. The State Department is monitoring efforts to complete the construction of Nord Stream 2 and evaluating information about companies that seem are involved in the project, “Secretary of State Antony Blinken said March 18.

He noted that the previous US administrations were of the opinion that this is a geopolitical project of the Russian Federation, the purpose of which is to divide Europe and weaken European energy security.

“The sanctions legislation passed by Congress in 2019 and expanded in 2020 has significant bipartisan majority support. The Biden administration is committed to enforcing this legislation.

The State Department warns that any company involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 risks being subject to US sanctions and must immediately stop working on the pipeline, “said Antony Blinken.

The construction of the Russian gas pipeline is in its final stages, but with new US sanctions, chances are that the project will never be completed, despite the fact that Germany does not want to abandon it.

At least 18 European companies have ended their participation in the Nord Stream 2 project or are in the process of withdrawing from it due to the threat of US sanctions.

On February 24, it became known that Wintershall Dea, one of the five companies participating in the project, had stopped its funding.

According to German media reports, the German government and parliamentary factions of the ruling coalition are considering four options for the further development of events with the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline against the backdrop of the threat of US sanctions.

Facebook refused to lay a cable along the bottom of the Pacific Ocean

Facebook is abandoning plans to lay a fiber-optic cable to Hong Kong under the Pacific Ocean amid US pressure. The Wall Street Journal writes about it.

Consortium Facebook Inc. withdrew its application to create a new Internet channel between California and Hong Kong after months of pressure from US national security officials.

“Due to ongoing concerns by the US government regarding direct communications between the US and Hong Kong, we have decided to withdraw our FCC filing. We look forward to working with all parties to reconfigure the system to address the concerns of the US government, ” said a Facebook spokesman.

Facebook and several telecom partners first filed a permit to build a fiber optic cable in 2018. He would link two sites in California with subsidiaries in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

This is the last project between the fibers of the Pacific to stall due to US resistance.

A separate Pacific light cable network, funded by Facebook and Google owner Alphabet Inc., is also on hold as its builders are asking permission to activate a link for non-Chinese data.

Facebook has announced it is considering a possible submarine fiber optic cable around Africa. The goal of the project is to reduce the cost of providing access to broadband Internet on the continent and attracting new users to the social network.

The Swiss supported the ban on covering the face, this does not apply to masks

Swiss residents voted in a referendum to ban the complete covering of the face, including the Islamic burqa and niqab, in public places.

This is reported by Swiss Info.

The ban was supported by 51.2% of voters, against 48.8% of Swiss citizens who came to the referendum. The turnout was 51.4%.

Switzerland has joined five other European countries, including neighbors France and Austria, that have already banned such clothing in public.

Exceptions to the law include covering the face for safety, climate, and health reasons-meaning that protective masks worn against Covid-19 are acceptable. Niqabs and burqas will still be allowed in places of worship.

Final results on Sunday showed that only six of the country’s 26 cantons rejected the initiative, which was initiated by the far-right “Jagerkinger Committee” — the same group that was behind the vote to ban the construction of minarets in 2009.

The ban will also affect football fans, as well as left-wing and right-wing radicals who like to hide their faces during demonstrations. The main argument of the supporters of the initiative on the ban on hiding face is that men and women should have equal rights, and the wearing of a veil or niqab restricts these rights.

Many also believe that banning the wearing of clothing items that hide the face will strengthen security, helping to counteract persons who violate public order. The argument of the fight against terrorism also plays a role.

Opponents say that the ban, in particular, the wearing of the niqab will deprive many Muslim women of the right and opportunity to leave the house and participate in public life.

Chaos in Myanmar: shooting to kill, dozens killed

Since the beginning of February, more than 50 people have become victims of the brutal suppression of protests by opponents of the coup in Myanmar: 38 people died on Wednesday, according to the UN special envoy for Myanmar. Protesters and observers say police have broken up the protesters more violently.

“The major cities in the country are like Tiananmen Square,” Yangon Archbishop Cardinal Charles Maung Bo tweeted, comparing it to the 1989 crackdown on student protests in Beijing.

UN Secretary General’s special envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner-Burgener called Wednesday the “bloodiest” day for the country since the military coup in early February.

Observers, protesters, and journalists have noted that police actions have become more aggressive since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by the military-appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar. According to the country’s state media, he “exchanged views on regional and international issues.”

ASEAN foreign ministers unanimously called on the military government of Myanmar to stop firing at protesters but did not agree on the release of the country’s civilian leaders, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Vin Myin. Only four of ASEAN’s ten member countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore — have called for freedom and the restoration of a democratically elected government, Reuters reported.

However, 10 countries participating in the regional group have a tradition of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. A statement following the meeting was made by the representative of Brunei, the ASEAN Chairman in 2021, calling for an end to the violence and the start of negotiations with a view to reaching a peaceful settlement. This was not a joint statement by the group.

Demonstrations organized by the Civil Disobedience Movement are taking place in many major cities in Myanmar. Among the dead and wounded on Wednesday in the cities of Mandalay and Monica, there are many with bullet wounds to the chest and head, according to the BBC’s Southeast Asia correspondent, suggesting that soldiers and police were shooting to kill.

On the same day, in the country’s largest city, Yangon, the police gathered residents of one of the districts, lined them up, forcing them to put their hands on their heads, and took them away in trucks. A protest leader in Mingyan told Reuters that the police first fired tear gas and flash bangs and then fired live ammunition.

“They didn’t send water cannons at us to disperse, they just opened fire,” he says. Two teenagers were killed in Mingyan, the Press Trust of India reported.

The UN Security Council is expected to hold a closed meeting on the situation in Myanmar on Friday, March 5. Great Britain asked for a meeting. Coordinating UN actions will be difficult, however, as the two permanent members of the Security Council, China, and Russia, will almost certainly exercise veto power. Some countries have introduced or are considering imposing their own sanctions on Myanmar.

Police actions show that the military government is ignoring calls for a peaceful resolution of the situation. The military forces that have seized power in the country are going to suppress the movement of civil disobedience in order to achieve recognition of legitimacy by the international community.

Protesters over the past month have used a variety of resistance tactics, from traditional marches to musical performances outside foreign embassies, from strikes to building barricades and blocking roads. One of the protests even involved elephants with their drivers. In recent days, protesters have used smoke grenades and fire extinguishers to prevent police from seeing where to shoot.

“We will continue to fight for those who died. We will win,” a protest activist told Reuters in an interview.

Xi Jinping recognizes the US as the main threat to China in the world

Chairman of the Communist Party of the People’s Republic of China considers America “the biggest source of chaos”

In response to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who called China the main geopolitical challenge of the 21st century, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared the United States the “greatest threat” to his country.

Reported by The New York Times.

“The biggest source of chaos in the modern world is the United States. The United States is the biggest threat to our country’s development and security,” said the head of the Chinese Communist Party.

And in the context of the economic prospects of the Celestial Empire, Xi Jinping said that “the East is growing and the West is declining.”

Statements by the Chairman of the Communist Party of China may indicate that the Celestial Empire is gradually moving away from the blow that the coronavirus inflicted on it

Xi Jinping is expected to talk more about his country’s development strategy at the National People’s Congress, which is the main legislative body of the PRC.

Recall that last month, US President Joe Biden instructed the Pentagon to create a working group to review the military strategy towards China.

We also wrote that speaking at the Munich Security Conference this year, Biden called on the European Union to act as a united front with the United States in confronting the Celestial Empire.