Panama Covid-19 update – so far, over 334,000 tests carried out – about 7 -8% of the total population. This while Moody’s estimates a 10% reduction in GDP due to the crisis.
Meanwhile the figures appear to continue on their too gradual decline. 728 new cases reported and 12 new fatalities (so now very close to the 2,000 mark, at 1,995). There are 24,323 active cases, of which 157 are in ICU and 1,464 in other wards.
30 August 2020
CHINESE UCLA RESEARCHER INVESTIGATED FOR STEALING SOFTWARE FOR CHINA NOW CHARGED WITH DAMAGING HARD DRIVE SOUGHT BY FBI
American Military News on 29 August reported that Guan Lei, 29, a Chinese national and researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles has been arrested on federal charges of destroying evidence to obstruct an FBI investigation after he was observed throwing a damaged hard drive into a dumpster outside his apartment. The FBI recovered the damaged hard drive after Guan was not allowed to board a flight to China and after Guan refused the FBI’s request to examine his computer. Guan is being investigated for possibly transferring sensitive US software or technical data to China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) and falsely denying his association with the Chinese military in connection with his 2018 visa application and in interviews with federal law enforcement.
CHINA CURBS EXPORTS OF SOME ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TECHNOLOGIES
On 30 August, the Hindu Business Line and others reported that technologies related to drones and to some genetic engineering methods and procedures were also added to the list, as well as exports of some artificial intelligence technology to safeguard national economic security, and will require government permits for overseas transfers. It is also said that it will affect ByteDance, owner of its popular video-sharing TikTok app, and it is unclear if the new rules will affect any potential sale.
SRI LANKA: NAVY SEIZED ABOUT 1,428 KG OF SMUGGLED TURMERIC
On 30 August, the Daily News reported that naval operations have led to the recovery of about 1,428 kg of dried turmeric attempted to be smuggled into the country by sea. Further investigations led the seizure of a total of 12,270 kg of dried turmeric to be smuggled and 25 suspects involved in turmeric smuggling have also been detained during these operations.
INDIAN COAST GUARD THWARTS SMUGGLING OF A TON OF SEA CUCUMBER INTO SRI LANKA
On 29 August, Zee News in India reported that, the Indian Coast Guard apprehended a fishing boat that was attempting to smuggle sea cucumber, an endangered species, into Sri Lanka.
US TREASURY CLEARS ZIMBABWEAN BANK OF HAVING TO PAY $385 MILLION PENALTY
On 30 August, BNN Bloomberg reported that OFAC had previously reviewed more than 15,000 transactions carried out by CBZ Holdings Ltd for ZB Bank Ltd. between 2009 and 2014 and has now sent the bank a letter saying that CBZ won’t face a penalty or sanctions.
HOW THE GLOBAL CONFLICT BETWEEN THE ISLAMIC STATE AND AL-QAIDA FINALLY CAME TO WEST AFRICA
An article in the July edition of the CTC Sentinel says that after the emergence of the Islamic State in the Sahel (or the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara) in 2015, the group existed in an uneasy alliance with al-Qaida’s various franchises in the region. Proving to be an exception to the rule that al-Qaida and the Islamic State fight each other in whichever territory they co-inhabit, the Sahel was for several years spared from such jihadi-on-jihadi fighting, in part because of personal relationships between jihadis in the rival groups. However, in recent months, this trend has been bucked by fighting between the jihadi forces in Mali and Burkina Faso.
CREDIT SUISSE UNCOVERS CLIENT FRAUD AT WEALTH MANAGEMENT BUSINESS
On 28 August, Bloomberg reported that Swiss-based Credit Suisse Group AG has discovered fraud at its international wealth management business, 2 years after it was criticised by a regulator in a similar case that rattled the bank and raised questions about controls. The case is said to involve a Zurich-based banker who forged documentation on an over-the-counter contract for an African wealth management client.
IRAN SAYS TO FIGHT U.S. SUIT TO SEIZE $1.7 BILLION HELD BY DEUTSCHE BOERSE UNIT
On 29 August, Reuters reported that Iran’s central bank has said it was taking legal steps to counter a lawsuit filed in a US court by creditors seeking to seize $1.7 billion of its assets held by the German stock exchange operator’s Clearstream unit.
PAYROLL HANDLER PLEADS GUILTY IN $100 MILLION NEW YORK FRAUD CASE
On 29 August, Bloomberg reported that a man will be ordered to repay $100 million embezzled from client payroll accounts after he pleaded guilty to a massive money laundering scheme.
CAPITAL ONE FINED $80 MILLION FOR INADEQUATE DATA CONTROLS
On 29 August, SCCE reported that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has fined Capital one $80 million for inadequate data controls leading to a 2019 data breach and for failing to fix the problems in a timely manner. The breach was one of the largest in history for a big bank, affecting credit card applications and accounts for more than 100 million customers.