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After cyberattack

Colonial Pipeline has no plan to pay ransom to hackers

Washington - Colonial Pipeline does not plan to pay the ransom demanded by hackers who have encrypted its data, according to sources familiar with the company's response on Wednesday. The hack prompted a pipeline shutdown that is now in its sixth day and has led to panic buying and gasoline shortages in the southeastern United States

Blinken says

"West must be very careful about Chinese investment"

London - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the West had to be very careful about the exact nature of Chinese investment in Western economies and think very carefully about investments in strategic assets. China's spectacular economic and military rise over the past 40 years is among the most significant geopolitical events of recent history, alongside the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union that ended the Cold War

As relations curdle

China suspends economic dialogue mechanism with Australia

Beijing - China "indefinitely" suspended on Thursday all activity under a China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, its state economic planner said, the latest setback for their strained relations: "Some Australian Commonwealth Government officials launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination," China's NDRC said

U.N. report

North Korea developed nuclear, missile programs in 2020

New York - North Korea maintained and developed its nuclear and ballistic missile programs throughout 2020 in violation of international sanctions, helping fund them with some $300 million stolen through cyber hacks, according to a confidential United Nations report seen by Reuters on Monday. The report by independent sanctions monitors said Pyongyang "produced fissile material, maintained nuclear facilities and upgraded its ballistic missile infrastructure"

Munich Re says

Natural disasters cause $210 billion in damage in 2020

Frankfurt - Natural catastrophes around the world resulted in $210 billion in damage in 2020, with the United States especially hard hit by hurricanes and wildfires, a top insurer said. The damage, tallied by the German reinsurer Munich Re, increased from $166 billion in the previous year, and comes as a warming planet heightens risks

Diplomacy

Cargo from Dubai arrives in Haifa, cementing Israel-UAE trade route

Haifa - The ship-to-shore crane paused above the cargo ship just arrived from Dubai, then set its load down on the pier in Israel. One after another, eight containers filled with electronics, cleaning supplies, iron and firefighting equipment were unloaded off the "MSC Paris", one of the first cargo ships to make the voyage between the United Arab Emirates and Israel

IHS Markit

Carriers throwing capacity at booming trade lanes

London - Carriers since July have been rapidly reinstating high levels of capacity blanked in the second quarter as demand began to return rapidly, most notably on the trans-Pacific where US imports are setting records. The capacity management strategy that has kept freight rates at record levels is being tested by the rapid recovery in demand on the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe trades

Diplomacy

UAE cancels Israel boycott, allows economic agreements

Tel Aviv - The president of the United Arab Emirates has issued a decree cancelling a law on boycotting Israel and allowing trade and financial agreements between the two countries. The decree from UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan aims at "supporting bilateral cooperation in order to arrive at (the establishment) of bilateral relations"

Trade war

China only fulfils 5% of Sino-U.S. energy trade deal in first half of 2020

Beijing - China bought only 5% of the targeted $25.3 billion in energy products from the United States in the first half of 2020, falling well short of its trade deal commitments at a time when relations between the two top economies are already sour. China's imports of crude oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), metallurgical coal and other energy products totalled around $1.29 billion this year through June

First normal dialogue since May

U.S., China reaffirm commitment to Phase 1 trade deal in phone call

Washington - Top U.S. and Chinese trade officials reaffirmed their commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal, which has seen China lagging on its obligations to buy American goods, giving a boost to financial markets on Tuesday. The pledge was made in a telephone call between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He

The strategy

Sweden beefs up Baltic Sea forces amid regional tensions

Stockholm - Sweden is beefing up its military presence in the Baltic Sea amid concerns over increased Russian activity in the region and heightened tensions in Belarus following a disputed election. Sweden has been rearming in recent years after running down its military following the end of the Cold War

Commercial war

China hopes U.S. will create conditions to implement Phase 1 deal

Beijing - China hopes the United States will stop taking restrictive and discriminatory action against Chinese firms and create conditions for the implementation of a Phase 1 trade deal, Assistant Minister of Commerce Ren Hongbin said on Thursday. Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are due to review the deal during a video conference this weekend