Panama Covid-19 update – 2 interesting items in the press here: the health ministry calling for extra ICU staff, and a criminal compliant being filed against the city’s mayor for allegedly breaching the curfew and not wearing his face mask in public…
The statistics keep rolling on – 1,070 more infections recorded today (added to the 1,127 of yesterday), meaning we now have 24,944 active cases – of whom 164 are in the overburdened ICU and 1,300 in other wards. 50 additional fatalities (22 today) take the total to date to 1,471.
2 August 2020
SOUTH KOREA: COURT TO DECIDE IF ASSETS BELONGING TO NIPPON STEEL BE SOLD OFF TO HONOUR A SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT ON WARTIME LABOUR
On 2 August, the Japan Times reported that, in a decision that could worsen already tense relations between Seoul and Tokyo, a court is expected to decide on whether to order that assets belonging to Nippon Steel Corporation be sold off to honour a 2018 Supreme Court judgment on wartime labour that ordered the Japanese company to compensate 4 Koreans for what was said to have been forced labour performed during the war.
NEW ROUND OF SANCTIONS ON IRANIAN ALUMINIUM
On 1 August, Aluminium Insider reported on recently-imposed measures announced by the US. In an attempt at denying the specialised metals Iran’s nuclear ballistic missile and military programmes, the Trump Administration described almost 2 dozen materials used as materials in the Iranian military’s nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Many of the new measures cover items already under sanction, giving greater descriptions of certain products for those previously-sanctioned materials. Included in the latest round of sanctions were 8 aluminium alloys, aluminium powder with a purity higher than 98%, and alumina. The remainder consisted of various grades of steel and copper alloys.
JAMAICA: CORRUPTION CHARGES LIKELY FOR 5 POLITICIANS
On 2 August, the Gleaner reported that criminal charges hang over the heads of 5 current and former lawmakers who have been accused of flouting Jamaica’s anti-corruption law. The Integrity Commission has revealed that 2 current and 3 former parliamentarians were referred to its prosecutorial arm in the last fiscal year. Their names have not been made public. 4 were reported for non-presentation of additional information required to complete the examination of their statutory declarations and 1 for non-presentation of a statutory declaration. It is said that, since 2010, at least 32 current and former parliamentarians accused of failing to file their declarations or provide supporting information have been referred for prosecution. Members of parliament and senators, like other public officers, are required, under the Integrity Commission Act, to submit annual declarations of their income, assets and liabilities.
TAIWAN’S SECRETARY-GENERAL TO PRESIDENT RESIGNS AMID BRIBERY LINKED TO FAMILY
On 2 August, Taiwan News reported that the Secretary-General to the President had tendered his resignation as his nephew, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator, faces charges of corruption. The nephew and the 5 other politicians have been accused of taking bribes from Lee Heng-long, former chair of Pacific Distribution, which used to be the parent company of Pacific Sogo Department Store, and Lee’s ultimate goal is said to be a return to his ownership of the department store chain.
US DoJ INDICTS 6 TEXAS-BASED OWNERS AND MARKETERS FOR A SCHEME TO DEFRAUD TRICARE AND DEPARTMENT OF LABOR – MORE THAN $14 MILLION IN ILLEGAL KICKBACKS AND BRIBES
An article from the Health Care Compliance Association on 2 August reported that the DoJ Criminal Fraud division had indicted the persons for a scheme resulting in more than $14 million in illegal kickbacks and bribes 2014-16. The conspirators engaged in a scheme to pay kickbacks and bribes for the referral of TRICARE and the Department of Labor beneficiaries to obtain expensive compound drugs.
THE TACTICS AND TARGETS OF US DOMESTIC TERRORISTS
A brief from the Center for Strategic and International Studies on 30 July examines trends in terrorist tactics and targets. According to CSIS data, firearms were the most common weapon used in fatal attacks over the past 5 years by far-right, far-left, and Salafi-jihadist terrorists. In addition, the most common targets were individuals based on their ethnicity, race, or religion (such as African Americans, Latinos, Jews, and Muslims) for right-wing extremists; and government, military, and police targets for left-wing extremists and Salafi-jihadists. In particular, of note is the statement that, over the past 5 years, most right-wing attacks targeted individuals — generally because of their ethnic, racial, or religious background — or religious institutions. In addition, firearms were the most frequent weapons in lethal attacks. Between 2014 and 2020 the most frequent types of right-wing targets over this span included: abortion-related targets, such as women’s health clinics and medical staff (27%); private individuals and property, primarily selected due to race, ethnicity, or religion (25%); religious institutions, particularly synagogues, mosques, and churches (21%); and government, military, and police facilities and personnel (13%). But, it says, the targets of right-wing terrorist attacks have shifted over time and a shift in targets may have been caused by an upsurge in white supremacist activity and a decline in anti-abortion extremism. For left-wing terrorists, these primarily targeted government, military, and police facilities or personnel, followed by businesses and infrastructure targets. As with right-wing extremists, firearms accounted for the majority of fatal left-wing attacks. Then for Salafi-jihadists, these primarily attacked government, military, and police targets, though some of the most lethal targets included nightclubs and public locations like pedestrian paths. Much like right-wing and left-wing terrorists, Salafi-jihadists used firearms in most fatal attacks.