TAIWAN COAST GUARD INTERCEPTS 2 SHIPMENTS OF SMUGGLED MUSHROOMS
Focus Taiwan on 3 March reported that 2 shipments of mushrooms, believed to be from China, were seized by the Taiwanese Coast Guard. The mushrooms, found in 60 boxes totalled 760 kg. A spokesman is quoted as saying that most substandard agricultural products from China do not go through any quality control process and therefore may contain toxic substances like lead, sulphur and arsenic, which can damage the human respiratory system, liver and kidneys.
€2 MILLION FOR BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA FOR MONEY LAUNDERING FIGHT
The Sarajevo Times on 3 March reported that the EU is funding a 3-year project worth €2 million, providing the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) with analytical software and computer hardware for the Anti-Money Laundering System (AMLS) and prepared a draft capacity development plan for the Financial Intelligence and the Unconstitutional Crime Units.
UKRAINE: WHAT DOES ANNULMENT OF ILLEGAL ENRICHMENT LAW MEAN?
On 3 March, Hromadske International published an article saying that Ukraine’s National Anti-corruption Bureau (NABU) would have begun illegal enrichment cases against corrupt officials,but on February 26, the Constitutional Court ruled that relevant legislation was unconstitutional, and therefore null and void. It says that, as a direct consequence of this decision, 65 cases against MPs, judges, prosecutors and other officials, who were all suspected of illegal enrichment to the combined amount of almost $19 million, have been closed. The article looks into the implications of, and reaction to, the decision.
NORWAY TOPS RULE OF LAW INDEX
The Nordic Page on 3 March reported that Norway is the second best country in the world in terms of rule of law, shows WJP Rule of Law Index® 2019. The US is in the 20th place of the list. The WJP Rule of Law Index measures countries’ rule of law performance across 8 factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice. It reports that In a sign suggesting rising authoritarianism, the factor score for “Constraints on Government Powers” declined in more countries than any other factor worldwide over the last year. The top 3 overall performers in the 2019 WJP Rule of Law Index were Denmark, Norway, and Finland; the bottom 3 were the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cambodia, and Venezuela.
TAIWAN STUDYING J85 TURBOJET IN ORDER TO DEVELOP POWER PLANT FOR CRUISE MISSILE
The Alert 5 website reports that Taiwan plans to reverse-engineer the General Electric J85 small single-shaft turbojet aircraft engine so that it can develop a single-use power plant for its long-range cruise missile. Unable to obtain new engines from General Electric, the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) decided to focus on using the J85 from the country’s F-5 fighter aircraft.
MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO RUNNING MULTIPLE DDOS-FOR-HIRE SERVICES THAT LAUNCHED MILLIONS OF ATTACKS OVER SEVERAL YEARS
The Krebbs on Security blog reported on 28 February that Sergiy P. Usatyuk pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause damage to Internet-connected computers and for his role in owning, administering and supporting illegal “booter” or “stresser” services designed to knock websites offline. Usatyuk — aka Andrew Quez and Brian Martinez — admitted developing, controlling and operating the aforementioned booter services from around August 2015 through November 2017. The site says it interviewed him in 2014, when he was just 15.