EXPERT WARNS CHEMICAL WEAPONS USE IN SYRIA ‘COULD LEAD TO REGIONAL PROLIFERATION’
The Arab Weekly on 25th February reported on the views of Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a leading expert in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence, advises governments and NGO in Syria and Iraq on how to combat chemical attacks. The Arab Weekly publishes an interview about concerns posed by Syria.
AFGHAN GOVERNMENT “TO SHUT DOWN TALIBAN’S QATAR OFFICE”
On 24th February, Pakistan Today reported that the Afghan government initiated discussions with the Qatari government to close down Taliban’s Doha wing as it has “no positive consequence in terms of facilitating the peace talks with the group in Afghanistan,” a senior Afghan government official said. A national security spokesman is quoted as saying, “The aim behind opening of this office was to start official peace negotiations with the Taliban from the address, but so far no official negotiation from the office has been started with government. Even a single step has not been taken forward in the peace process through this office”.
NORTH KOREA FALLS INTO $1.7 BILLION TRADE DEFICIT WITH CHINA – BUT SOMETHING MYSTERIOUS IS KEEPING IT AFLOAT
Business Insider in India on 21st February carries an article asking how North Korea continues to trade, and if there is some hidden commerce – and saying that China may be lying about how much it trades with North Korea, or North Korea’s hacking activities in the crypto markets may be paying off. It says that North Korea spent $3.3 billion on Chinese imports in 2017, an increase on the previous year, but only exported $1.6 billion in goods over the last 12 months, quoting a NK News review of data from China’s General Administration of Customs.
SEC SEEKS HELP FROM QUEBEC SUPERIOR COURT IN PLEXCOIN ICO SCAM CASE
Finance Feeds on 25th February reported the US regulator has turned to the Quebec Superior Court for help after witnesses in a case targeting PlexCoin ICO scammers refuse to appear. In December 2017, the SEC began a lawsuit against PlexCorps aka PlexCoin and Sidepay.ca, Dominic Lacroix and Sabrina Paradis-Royer at the New York Eastern District Court over an alleged $15 million initial coin offering (ICO) scam. The depositions of Lacroix and Paradis-Royer, as well as of current and former employees of PlexCoin, were to take place between at the SEC offices in New York, but the witnesses did not appear.
4 FROM CORNWALL IN COUNTERFEITING OF CAR PARTS, TOYS ETC
4 people from Cornwall have appeared at in court following an anti-counterfeiting operation undertaken by Cornwall Council Trading Standards. Gregory William Whitehead (48), William Thomas Lemoyne (35), Csilla Imre (24) and Ying Yu (aka) Lisa Whitehead (39), each face charges of conspiring to supply fake car accessories, toys and musical instrument accessories and of conspiring to commit money laundering offences. The Council allege that they are responsible for over £2 million worth of counterfeit sales involving dozens of eBay and Amazon accounts and dozens of different bank accounts. Some 100,000 fake items were seized by Trading Standards officers when they raided homes and warehouses in February 2016.
US COAST GUARD COULD BE CALLED ON TO STOP NORTH KOREAN ILLICIT SHIPPING
Real Clear Defence on 24th February reported that the Trump administration and key Asian allies are preparing to expand interceptions of ships suspected of violating sanctions on North Korea, a plan that could include deploying US Coast Guard forces to stop and search vessels in Asia-Pacific waters, senior US officials said. Use of USCG vessels, instead of US Navy ships, is seen as potentially less provocative, and more acceptable to some states.
MICROSOFT AND DATA STORED OVERSEAS: DISCUSSION OF SUPREME COURT HEARING
On its 26th February podcast, Law 360 considers (amongst other things) if US prosecutors can force Microsoft to turn over personal email data that is stored on overseas servers? With arguments set for the US Supreme Court, Microsoft head of litigation David Howard comes on the show to lay out the company’s case. Microsoft has urged the Supreme Court to uphold a ruling in quashing a warrant issued under the Stored Communications Act, preventing the federal government from unilaterally requesting user data that the company stores overseas, arguing that Congress never meant to expand the government’s powers beyond US borders without the co-operation of foreign countries.
The podcast also covers the latest developments in the Trump/Gates/Manafort case and, just to be different, a dispute over Dunkin’ Donuts’ Angus steak sandwiches…