Panama Covid-19 update – La Prensa reported that some 17,000 people who volunteered to take the AstraZeneca vaccine have been vaccinated – the standard vaccine here (as received by me) is the Pfizer one, and you had to register and volunteer to accept the other.
Meanwhile, the Government said a further $79 million had been credited to the accounts of those out of work or with suspended contracts of employment. This scheme sees the credit loaded onto the person’s ID card, which they can they use to spend the money at shops and supermarkets for food and other essentials. This is in addition to the continued distribution of bags of food to “people in conditions of socio-economic vulnerability”.
Active cases up again, for the second day in a row, at 4,284, with 386 new cases reported and 6 fatalities (including 2 brought forward from a previous period). 55 people remain in ICU and 322 in other wards.
9 MAY 2021
GOVERNMENT HIRES PR FIRM TO ‘CLEAN UGANDA’S IMAGE’
On 8 May, All Africa reported that the Ugandan Government has hired an international public relations firm, Mercury International UK Limited, a subsidiary of Mercury Public Affairs, to improve its image on the international scene. The focus of lobbying will be in the US.
US NAVY INTERDICTS DHOW SMUGGLING THOUSANDS OF WEAPONS IN ARABIAN SEA
On 9 May, i24 News reported that the US Navy’s 5th Fleet seized a large cache of arms after boarding an “unregistered dhow” in international waters in the North Arabian Sea. The weapons included assault rifles, machine guns, anti-tank missiles, sniper rifles, and optics, but both the intended destination and the origin of the smuggling vessel are unknown and are under investigation.
NIRAV MODI’S APPEAL AGAINST EXTRADITION AWAITS UK HIGH COURT JUDGE DECISION
On 9 May, the Hindustan Times reported that fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, wanted in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case, remains behind bars at Wandsworth Prison in London since his arrest over 2 years ago in March 2019. He has filed an application for permission to appeal against the order in the High Court.
DUBAI POLICE ARREST ONE OF UK’S MOST WANTED FUGITIVES
On 9 May, the Dubai Post reported that Dubai Police have recently arrested Michael Paul Moogan, 35, from Croxteth, Liverpool, a man wanted by the NCA for 8 years for his alleged role in a large-scale international drug trafficking plot and the arrest was made shortly after receiving a Red Notice from the Interpol. Moogan had been on the run since a raid that took place at a café in Rotterdam suspected of being used as a front for meetings between drug traffickers and cartels.
BULGARIA: PROSECUTION OFFICE STARTS PROBING CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS MADE BY BUSINESSMEN DURING PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE HEARING
On 9 May, the Bulgarian News Agency BTA reported that businessmen Svetoslav Ilchovski and Ivan Angelov made the allegations during a hearing in front of the ad hoc parliamentary committee.
UK: SLOVAKIAN FAMILY ORGANISED CRIME GANG JAILED FOR MODERN DAY SLAVERY
On 7 May, a news release from the West Midlands Police advised that a Slovakian family of 5 who traded in human misery for over a decade has been jailed for 30 years. They lured vulnerable and often homeless fellow Eastern Europeans to Britain with the promise of a job, accommodation and a better life – but the reality was sharing rooms with up to 15 other people and working at least 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, mostly in restaurants, for just £20 a week.
ONE CONTAINER LINE FOLLOWS AIR CARGO CARRIERS WITH BAN ON VIVO Y20 PHONES
On 9 May, Insurance Marine News reported that Singapore-based container transportation business Ocean Network Express (ONE) has banned Vivo Y20 mobile phones from its container cargoes until further notice. A number of airlines had already made the same decision. A fire started in a shipment of Vivo mobile phones at Hong Kong Airport last month. The Vivo phone has a lithium ion cell.
LEAVING LUGANO: IS THIS THE LAST CHAPTER IN THE BREXIT SAGA ON JURISDICTION AND JUDGMENTS?
On 7 May, a blog post from Sullivan Law said that the EU Commission had recommended that the EU should not give its consent to UK accession. However, it says, there is room for hope — this is not quite the last chapter in the saga of the EU/UK relationship in the area of choice of court agreements, jurisdiction and judgments. The post looks at the reasons for the decision and consequences.
US TREASURY OFFICE SEEKS TOOLS TO TRACE CRYPTOCURRENCY LINKED TO SANCTIONS LIST
On 7 May, NextGov in the US reported that the US Treasury Office of Global Targeting is looking for multiple tools to track the flow of virtual currencies and user behaviours. It seeks to tap commercial, online tools for tracking virtual currency transactions, such as those involving Bitcoin, recorded on a blockchain.
DECENTRALISED FINANCE (DeFi) RARI CAPITAL FALLS VICTIM TO $11 MILLION EXPLOIT
On 8 May, Coin Telegraph reported that it is said to appear to be an “evil contract” exploit, in which an attacker ‘tricks’ a contract into thinking a hostile contract should have access or permissions.
EU COURT REJECTS APPLICATION BY FORMER GOVERNOR OF SEVASTOPOL FOR SUSPENSION OF HIS SANCTIONS DESIGNATION
On 9 May, EU sanctions blog reported that the EU General Court has rejected an application by Dmitry Vladimirovich Ovsyannikov for interim relief to suspend the operation of his sanctions designation pending the outcome of an application to annul his listing. It mentions his argument that the sanctions had prevented him from exercising economic or entrepreneurial activity in Cyprus.
CHINA TO PUNISH DATA EXPORTS TO OVERSEAS COURTS
On 28 April, the South China Morning Post reported the proposed fines for Chinese companies for sharing data without permission but also a provision which shields them from foreign pressure. A provision in the draft data security law that would punish Chinese companies for handing over domestically-stored data to foreign police, courts and investigators without Government consent, a move that it says will make it harder for overseas law enforcement agencies to get data out of China.
TAIWAN SAYS CHINA IS STEALING TECHNOLOGY AND POACHING ENGINEERS
On 29 April, the South China Morning Post reported worries about industrial espionage as Taiwan accused China of waging economic warfare against the island’s tech sector by stealing technology and enticing away engineers, as Taiwan’s parliament considers strengthening legislation to prevent it.
PENSION GIANT AVIVA BACKS CALLS FOR CRACKDOWN ON FINANCIAL FRAUD AFTER BRAND IS HIJACKED BY CRIMINALS
On 9 May, This is Money reported that Aviva has backed calls for a UK Government crackdown on financial fraud after its brand was hijacked by criminals. At least 27 fake websites were set up in Aviva’s name to dupe unsuspecting victims into handing over cash.
WEALTHY CAMBODIA’S FAMILY WITH CLOSE TIES TO PRIME MINISTER HUN SEN ACQUIRED A BRITISH PAYMENT SERVICES PROVIDER
On 5 May, Radio Free Asia reported that one of Cambodia’s wealthiest families with close ties to Prime Minister Hun Sen late last year acquired a British payment services provider, Connectum Limited, which serves as an intermediary between small businesses and major credit card firms like Visa and MasterCard. Heng Sokha, wife of former Transport Ministry secretary of state Ing Bun Hoaw, took ownership of Connectum in November 2020. Experts say that this should raise red flags for British financial regulators.
MALDIVES POLICE ARREST PRIME SUSPECT IN BOMB BLAST THAT WOUNDED FORMER PRESIDENT
On 9 May, The Observer reported that police said on they had in their custody 3 of the 4 suspects in the bomb attack targeting the former President Mohamed Nasheed, who is recovering in hospital after multiple operations. The prosecutor general told reporters that investigators still did not know which group was responsible. Nasheed is the speaker of parliament and has been an outspoken critic of religious extremism in the predominantly Sunni Muslim nation, where preaching and practising other faiths are banned by law. He has been criticised by religious hardliners for his closeness to the west and liberal policies. Hr was the first democratically elected president of the Maldives (2008-12).
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