13 Feb 2019

EU adds Saudi Arabia, Panama to dirty-money blacklist: 23 countries now included

The European Commission maintains a list of countries that do not meet minimum thresholds for oversight against terrorism financing and money laundering. This list and its accompanying policies require European Banks to carry out additional checks on transactions that involve countries from the list. Being a member of the list

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12 Feb 2019

Venezuela hopes to create non-dollar trading bloc

Venezuela is seeking to build a trade bloc that conducts transactions outside the U.S. dollar, allowing it to finalize oil sales beyond the reach of U.S. sanctions. China, Russia, and India are Venezuela’s prospects for the bloc. “We can all build one economy and that economy does not necessarily have

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12 Feb 2019

AI & Data: Avoiding The Gotchas

Research on artificial intelligence has highlighted the importance of quality data: a machine learning device is “only as smart as the data it’s allowed to cull through,” after all. So, how do you mitigate the risks posed to AI development by bad data? Forbes offers a couple of strategies. First,

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08 Feb 2019

No talks between Trump and China’s Xi before trade deadline

Contrary to a statement made by the U.S. president last week, Donald Trump has now said that he will not be meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before March 1, which is the deadline set by both leaders for the negotiation of a new trade deal between their countries. President

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07 Feb 2019

Understanding China’s AI Strategy

China’s views, strategies, and prospects for A.I. in the areas of economics and national security will play a significant role in world politics and U.S. foreign relations. It is important, therefore, to work to understand them, without overgeneralizing, to the greatest extent possible, as these understands are essential for informing

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31 Jan 2019

Venezuela’s Maduro Has 20 Tons of Gold Ready to Ship. Address Unknown

Sources have indicated that the Maduro regime in Venezuela has set aside nearly $1 billion in gold reserves, around 20% of the country’s total, for departure to an unknown location. The regime has been propped up from complete collapse through billions of dollars from Russia and China, and some have

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29 Jan 2019

Cybersecurity investment set to level out after years of historic growth

Investment in cybersecurity companies has grown by a factor of 5 over the past five years, a rate of growth that industry experts have called “unsustainable” at the macro level. Reaching over $5 billion USD in venture capital in 2018, some are predicting a 2019 taper to the massive growth.

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29 Jan 2019

Treasury sanctions Venezuela’s state-owned oil firm

The U.S. has announced targeted sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned PDVSA. Rather than imposing a complete embargo on Venezuelan oil exports, however, the sanctions target only sales whose funds could be accessed by the Maduro regime. The sanctions, therefore, are working to transfer oil wealth away from the Maduro regime, where

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28 Jan 2019

Malaysia cancels major BRI project, highlighting complaints about Chinese “dept-trap diplomacy”

Malaysia has cancelled a contact with major Chinese contractor CCCC for the building of a 688km rail project, citing an unaffordable interest rate. Some, including the country’s Prime Minister had noted the undesirable elements of the project, including its funding through a Chinese loan to pay a Chinese contractor using

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25 Jan 2019

Budget Office: U.S. to spend projected $494 billion on nuclear weapons programs over next 10 years

The estimate for total U.S. spending on nuclear arsenal modernization and maintenance has been increased to $494 billion over the next 10 years, increasing 23% over the 2017 estimate. This rise will likely become a point of significant debate in the next year in the relevant congressional committees, and could

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