April 9th - The BESA Times
Fiftieth Edition - Monday, 9th
Every week, a complete snapshot of what happened around the world in the past seven days
After Telegram’s refusal to decode encrypted messages in favour of the Russian Government, Russian censors moved to ban the messenger service. In Russia, the 2016 anti-terror law gives the government the right to access a backdoor to encrypted communications. However, the company explained that the access key is continuously renewed, therefore it would be complex to grant the government such a power. In addition to the issues in Russia, the company is also tackling a hostile environment in Iran, where the authorities are planning to ban the service and substitute it with a national one.
Emmanuel Macron is facing a strong opposition by labor unions after announcing his intention of reforming SNCF, France’s rail operator, by removing the sector’s traditional worker status, comprehensive of retirement at the age of 52. The response to this plan was a three-month strike aimed at disrupting train services for two working days a week. Despite the unpopularity resulting from this move, Macron stated that this choice would prove to be beneficial in the future and that he would incentivize the opening of rail-network markets to competition by 2021.
The United States imposed new sanctions on Russia for the latter’s interference in the 2016 election. In particular, the new sanctions consists of both freezing the US assets of Russian oligarchs (such as the aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska) and forbidding Americans from clinching business deals with them. Russia replied that it would react firmly to the sanctions.
What to remember of last week's news?
Monex, a Japanese financial services company, announced it would pay $33.5m for the cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck. The acquisition confirmation made Monex stocks surge by 20%, which can be taken as proof of the success of trading in virtual currencies in the country and of the consequent approval of Monex’s intention to develop expertise in this sector.
Brazil’s ex-president Lula announced he would surrender to authorities, despite the fact he had stated in the past days that his prison sentence was part of someone’s plan to exclude him from the next presidential election in October
Understand in Pictures
After a tragic shooting in a school, more and more individuals demand stricter gun laws in the US
Did you know?
The Audio-Id Lab from MIT and the online platform Aba English are developing a software, based on Amazon’s Alexa, whose artificial intelligence could help the user improve his/her English language proficiency by tailoring the course to the user’s needs and capabilities. For instance, if the AI understands that the user is interested in a particular topic, it may prompt him/her some films which could help him/her to build a richer vocabulary.
Our Homemade Article
What to expect for next week
Qatar is planning to raise dollar-denominated debt for the first time after other Gulf countries’ blockade following their claim of Qatar’s support for terrorism and extremism. The country wants to seize the opportunity offered by the current favorable market conditions for emerging economies to raise financing, before investors become more cautious.
WRITTEN BY DANIELLE GOFFI
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