Panama Covid-19 update – too early for today’s data …have to update later…
UPDATE – for the third day in a row, no new fatalities reported, and “only” 159 new cases. Active case numbers have dropped again, to 2,240, with just 7 people in ICU and 68 in other wards.
3 APRIL 2022
SMUGGLED ANTIQUITIES SEIZED FROM IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL
On 2 April, the Art Insider reported that more than a dozen antiquities, allegedly belonging to disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor, were seized from the art gallery of an unnamed Ivy League school in the US. 12 of the objects were smuggled from India while the other was stolen from Myanmar, and all are linked to the art trafficker Subhash Kapoor, who was once counted among the best art dealers in the US.
‘MIRROR CLAUSES’ IN EU TRADE POLICY BY STORM FOR ‘RECIPROCITY’ IN TRADING TERMS AND PESTICIDES
ECIPE, the European Centre for International Political Economy published a paper about the French Presidency of the Council proposal that imported food and feed be produced under the exact same sanitary, phytosanitary, welfare and environmental standards as those imposed on domestic products within the EU, and how this applies to pesticides. It considers the fairness of mirror clauses by delving into the WTO rulebook and case history, and then reciprocity is then applied to pesticides and the EU regime for both chemical molecules and bio solutions.
ALBANIAN MP ARRESTED IN GOVERNMENT SCANDAL
On 1 April, EurActiv reported that authorities in Tirana have arrested Alqi Bllako, a former socialist MP, for his alleged involvement in a €430 million government scandal. The charges concern his time as secretary-general of the Ministry of Environment when he is suspected of having colluded with the former minister Lefter Koka, also under arrest, in embezzling money.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND FIREARMS LEGISLATION IN 5 COUNTRIES
On 14 February, the International Action Network on Small Arms published a Briefing Paper looking at the situation in Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic and South Africa. It looks at how various countries incorporate gender-based violence concerns into firearms legislation
POTENTIAL PITFALLS OF NFT OWNERSHIP
On 29 March, CMS Law reported that NFT have received a lot of attention in the last year, so much so that Collins Dictionary named “NFT” their word of the year for 2021 – but it is worth noting that ownership of an NFT often ultimately amounts to ownership of the contents of a website link. It offers a hypothetical scenario to shed some light on the situation.
UK LAW ON COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
On 23 March, CMS Law published an article in the light of Ed Sheeran being sued for alleged copyright infringement.
CADBURY FACES FRESH ACCUSATIONS OF CHILD LABOUR ON COCOA FARMS IN GHANA
On 3 April, the Observer in the UK reported that Mondelez International, which owns the brand is embroiled in fresh allegations of employing child labour after an investigation obtained footage of children working with machetes on cocoa farms in its supply chain. Children as young as 10 have allegedly been found working in Ghana to harvest cocoa pods to supply Mondelēz International, which owns Cadbury. Campaigners say the farmers are being paid less than £2 a day and can’t afford to hire adult workers.
AUSTRALIA: RULING ON LEGAL PRIVILEGE FOR LARGE BULK OF DOCUMENTS
On 30 March, Clyde & Co published an article about a ruling by the Federal Court of Australia on an application by the Commissioner of Taxation for a declaration to the effect that approximately 15,500 documents held by PwC Australia or their clients were not covered by LPP.
SWISS WATCHMAKERS GRAPPLE WITH FALLOUT OF RUSSIAN CRISIS
On 31 March, Yahoo Finance reported that Swiss watchmakers are gathering in Geneva for their first big industry event in 3 years, tackling the impact of sanctions on rich Russians arising from the war in Ukraine. Sanctions against Russia and a ban on exports of luxury goods mean brands can no longer ship timepieces to Russia and all the big labels have closed directly operated stores.
BAHAMAS IDENTIFIES $1.6 BILLION OF SANCTIONED RUSSIAN ASSETS
On 1 April, International Investment reported that the minister of state for legal affairs has said that a search of financial databases had identified 3 Russian sanctioned individuals and one company with assets valued at approximately $1.6 billion. It also said that the Group of Financial Services Regulators had issued a directive to Bahamian financial institutions against doing business with sanctioned persons and entities of Russia and Belarus.
CAMBODIA: 3 TAIWANESE GIVEN LIFE TERMS FOR HAVING 2 TONNES OF DRUGS
On 1 April, the Khmer Times reported that Phnom Penh Municipal Court has sentenced 3 Taiwanese men to life in prison each for possessing and trafficking more than 2 tonnes of drugs. In December, police seized a total of 2,237 kg of ketamine and also 84 tonnes of chemicals as well as other related drug producing materials from the warehouse of a Taiwanese company.
US: A NEW AND MORE DANGEROUS DRUG MARKET REQUIRES A NEW APPROACH
On 16 March, a post from RAND says that more than 100,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2021 — double the number that died in 2015. The situation has worsened sharply since 2014 when illegally manufactured, highly potent fentanyl was introduced to US drug markets. Using drugs purchased off the street is always risky, but doing so has become much deadlier since fentanyl arrived.
THAILAND BANS BITCOIN AND OTHER CRYPTO PAYMENTS
On 24 March, Nikkei Asia reported that Thailand had issued a ban against payments using cryptocurrencies and other digital assets that will go into effect in April in a bid to maintain stability in financial markets. It will apply to all cryptocurrency, including bitcoin. Consumers will no longer be allowed to purchase goods or services with the digital currencies.
GERMANY: MAN UNDER INVESTIGATION AFTER GETTING 87 COVID JABS IN ANTI-VAX FRAUD SCHEME
On 3 April, the Daily Mirror reported that authorities in Germany’s eastern states of Saxony and Saxony-Halt discovered the man had been visiting vaccine facilities 3 times a day as part of a suspected scheme to resell proof-of-vaccination to anti-vaxxers. It also said that the German Red Cross has pressed charges and suspect him of being involved in the lucrative trade in fake vaccine passports.
RUSSIA’S MINERS SEEK NEW WAYS TO SELL $20 BILLION ANNUAL GOLD OUTPUT
On 3 April, the Khaleej Times reported that Russia’s huge gold industry is searching for new ways to sell its metal, including direct exports to China, India and the Middle East, as sanctions choke off its traditional sales routes.
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