On 15th April, The Intercept reported that a classified document, dated 25th September, produced by the French Directorate of Military Intelligence shows that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are overwhelmingly dependent on Western-produced weapon systems to wage their devastating war in Yemen. Many of the systems listed are only compatible with munitions, spare parts, and communications systems produced in NATO countries, meaning that the Saudis and UAE would have to replace large portions of their arsenals to continue with Russian or Chinese weapons. The article says that publication of the document is likely to have significant political implications for the Macron government, which has steadfastly defended arms sales to Saudi Arabia, while simultaneously downplaying its own knowledge of how French weapons are used in Yemen. The report shows that the Saudis and Emiratis have made much wider use French military hardware than the French government has admitted, since the war began in 2015. In addition to the US, UK, and France, the report mentions radar and detection systems from Sweden; Austrian Camcopter drones; defensive naval rockets from South Korea, Italian warships, and even rocket launcher batteries from Brazil.
On 12th April, Project Alpha at King’s College London published an article saying that Israeli claims about an undisclosed warehouse in early 2018 resulted in Israeli and US officials pushing for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to investigate. Officials in Israel and to some extent the US maintain that holding such an archive violates the Iranian nuclear deal of 2015. On 4th April, news broke that the IAEA has inspected what Israel’s prime minister called a “secret atomic warehouse” in Tehran.
On 14th April, the Jersey Evening Post reported that police have confirmed that they will investigate any ‘potential criminality’ after claims of corporate espionage in Jersey were made. Former finance worker Maxime Renahy has published a book claiming to be a former French secret service operative who spied for more than 3 years while working in the Island.
An article from DAC Beachcroft on 10th April about implementation of new guidelines and the steps have also been taken to create best management practices for dangerous goods stowage, involving ABS, Lloyd’s Register, the International Group of P&I Clubs, National Cargo Bureau, the TT Club and Exis Technologies. The purpose of the guidelines is to implement the ‘Risk Based Dangerous Goods Stowage Principles’ with a view to minimising risk to crew, cargo, the environment and vessels in the event a fire. It says that, ultimately, 6 different risk zones were identified. It says that the main reasons for misdeclaring dangerous cargoes are to save money and time, especially because these types of cargoes require special packaging and stuffing. The potential misdeclaration of dangerous container cargoes and the damages arising out of a fire on board the modern container vessel, with a capacity over 18,000 teu, could be shockingly high. The article says estimates are that about one-third of all containers are wrongly declared or are misstated; about 10% of the containers in a typical voyage would probably hold hazardous or dangerous materials; and this could mean potentially 600 containers with dangerous cargo stuffed inside them.