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Today on The Leaders' Brief - The UK signed a post-Brexit trade deal with the non-EU member European countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, last week. Secretary of State for International Trade - Liz Truss told reporters after announcing the agreement, that the deal would boost sectors such as digital and cut tariffs on UK farm products. Nota…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The World Bank has announced it had temporarily paused payments to operations in Mali after the military orchestrated the second coup in less than a year. The West African nation has been in a political crisis since August, last year. President Boubacar Keita was removed from power by the country’s military who receive…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - According to Reuters, the G7 group would support the push for a tax by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and has a "high level of ambition" for its eventual rate. Mr Biden would seek a 15% global corporate tax. If applicable, this would see the EU collect additional revenues of over $60 Billion.…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Britain’s health secretary Matt Hancock said last week that the country’s vaccine rollout was clearly working after the country reported zero COVID related deaths for the first time in almost a year. The UK is among the first European countries to gradually open up its economy and since last month has gradually allowed…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - India, which continues to see full to partial lockdowns in most parts, saw factory activity fall to 50.8 in May from 55.5 a month earlier according to the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, barely escaping contraction. However, on the good side, the country, which was recently averaging over 400,000 cases …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Last week, the US Senate advanced legislation to boost the country's ability to compete with Chinese technology, as relations between Washington and Beijing continue to deteriorate. The $250 Billion US Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, or USICA saw the 68 US senators voting in favour with 30 against it. The Bill …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The $715 Billion budget that US President Joe Biden unveiled last week aims to address escalating tension due to alleged Chinese military aggression in the Indo-Pacific. Congress has been divided with one group made up of progressives calling for a 10% cut in military spending and another arguing for an increase in def…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Days after the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) sent a notice to WhatsApp, calling its new privacy policy “discriminatory”, “unfair” and “irresponsible”, threatening the Facebook-owned messaging application with legal consequences, the social media company said that it will not restrict…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - A decision by the Alexander Lukashenko government to detain a journalist has sparked outrage in the USA and Europe. Belarusian authorities had sent a Mig-21 fighter jet to intercept a Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Lithuania and forced it to land in Minsk, flagging a false bomb alert. The 26-year-old journalist, w…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Described by the South China Morning Post as “President Xi Jinping’s most trusted foreign policy aide”, Yang Jiechi, the director of China’s Central Foreign Affairs Commission flew to Russia last week to discuss strategic ties between the long term allies. Of the two Chinese power plants built with Russian collaboratio…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - China's internet watchdog the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), said last week that it had found 105 applications, including ByteDance's Douyin, Microsoft’s Bing and LinkedIn, and Baidu, were engaged in the improper collection and use of data. According to the internet watchdog, the 105 apps had violated Chines…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Last Friday, Japan extended its national emergency on Okinawa, hours after it approved two new vaccines for its vaccination drive. The move is a much-needed step for Japan as the country, scheduled to host the Olympics in a few months' time, continues to see one of the slowest vaccination drives in the developed world.…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Last week, the US withdrew sanctions on a company and an individual involved with the construction of the contentious US-Germany undersea gas pipeline project, Nord Stream 2. The US state department said that it was in the US National interest to lift sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO Matthias Warnig, an ally o…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - A recent decision by Ireland’s High Court, dismissing US tech giant Facebook’s complaint against Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, could severely impact Facebook’s data-based revenue model. Facebook had challenged the Preliminary Draft Decision (PDD) and the DPC inquiry leading to it by citing "devastating" and "ir…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The number of active coronavirus cases in India fell by 165,000 at the start of last week, the biggest ever drop recorded by the country. Last Monday also saw the total number of daily cases drop below the 300,000 marks after almost two months. The death toll due to COVID, however, continued breaking records. Added to …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The USA, along with allies - UK and Canada, announced more sanctions against Myanmar's military government this week. The latest sanctions attempt to increase pressure by directly targeting the State Administrative Council, or SAC, the official name of the military government formed in February. US Secretary of State A…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - India is seeing over 400,000 Covid cases every day and over 1,000 deaths due to the coronavirus while facing a severe shortage of medical equipment despite the government cutting no corners in their procurement of the same. The country's opposition has called on the government to take immediate measures including the c…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Several west African nations are being forced to limit industrial activity to less than 50% of their full capacity due to a power outage in Ivory Coast and Ghana. News agency Reuters quoted a spokesman from Mali's energy ministry saying that electricity imports from Ivory Coast had fallen 30%, leading to a 100 MW gener…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Up till a month ago, ousting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, presently undergoing trial for criminal charges, from his seat was a likely possibility. However, Naftali Bennett, whose ultranationalist Yamina party is key to forming a coalition before President Rueven Rivlin’s 28-day mandate ends, has decided t…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Last week, all of the southeastern USA faced a severe fuel shortage, with three states, North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida declaring a state of emergency. The situation is largely being blamed on a cyberattack that forced the Colonial Pipeline Company, which transports about 45 per cent of all petrol and diesel on t…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The European Union launched a new lawsuit against AstraZeneca this week. The new case which will concern the merit of EU’s legal proceedings would allow the 27-member bloc to seek financial penalties from AstraZeneca for breach of the supply contract. AstraZeneca had cut short its promise of delivering 3000 million dos…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The World Health Organisation classified four variants of the 2019 coronavirus, including one first reported from India, last year, as a “variant of global concern.” The other three variants include those reported from the UK, South Africa and Brazil. According to preliminary investigations, the B.1.617 mutation first …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The United States has begun the process of withdrawing all its troops from Afghanistan in line with President Joe Biden’s campaign promise of ending forever wars. Last week, the Pentagon deployed additional warplanes to bolster the protection of American and coalition troops during the withdrawal process. Earlier this …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - One of Asia’s largest economies, Japan is continuing to see a rise in the number of COVID cases. Till last week, the country had recorded over 600,000 cases and 10,000 deaths due to the 2019 coronavirus. To prevent any catastrophic pressure on its health infrastructure, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet took the …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - India’s apex court said last week that the country needs to prepare for a stronger and more lethal covid wave as daily cases in the country topped 400,000 and deaths reported due to COVID crossed 4,000 in a single day. Added to the country’s troubles is a severe shortage of medical oxygen, vaccines, and the COVID treat…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Two weeks after US President Joe Biden’s administration took further steps in halting funds for former President Donald Trump’s signature border wall at the US-Mexico border, the US government reunited four migrant families in a small but firm step towards reversing Mr Trump’s hardline immigration policies. In the firs…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Chad’s military rulers named a new government after the demise of President Idriss Deby even as opposition leaders rejected the appointments. The landlocked African country had fallen into a political crisis after the battlefield death of its President, with the situation threatening the stability of the entire north-c…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Months after gaming giant Epic games launched an all-out war against Apple for its app store policies the two companies started arguing the case in court this week. The tiff which began in August last year saw Apple remove Epic’s popular mobile game Fortnite from its stores after it implemented its own in-app payment, …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - About a week ago,China had announced that blueprints for the improved protection for its intellectual property, had already been drafted and were pending review. In an annual report on intellectual property protections, titled special 301, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative acknowledged that China had amended …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - In another record, India has begun registering over 300,000 cases every day, and last week registered 3,9948 deaths in a single day. Not only is the situation in India appalling, but it is also alarming for a country surrounded by adversaries such as China and Pakistan. According to a report published by renowned India…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The COVID situation for India remains dire, and Prime Minister Modi, known for maintaining excellent bilateral ties with countries across the world, has requested all allies for medical aid. The USA, under President Joe Biden, has agreed to lift restrictions for the supply of vaccine-making materials to India after ini…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The USA, which remains the worst affected country due to the 2019 coronavirus, but continues to lead one of the most effective vaccination programmes in the world, is seeing a slow but steady dip in the number of weekly infections. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention revealed last Monday that as of April 24, …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Last week, Japan confirmed five cases of infection with a “double mutant” variant of the 2019 coronavirus. Revealing the development, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said that the country would take thorough measures to prevent the spread of infections by collecting, evaluating and analyzing information …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - In a move that would worsen the already deteriorating relationship between Australia and China, Canberra has cancelled two bilaterals between Beijing and the state of Victoria. The deals were among four projects the Australian federal government vetoed to cancel under legislation that gives the government power to over…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - India saw a new COVID record, registering a single-day rise of 314,835 cases last Thursday. The country’s capital, New Delhi, according to State Chief Minister - Arvind Kejriwal, required 700 tonnes of medical oxygen every day to sustain the demand. Other large cities like Mumbai, too, continue to face an acute shortag…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - As the Myanmar coup heads towards completing two months, the European Union imposed sanctions on 10 of Myanmar’s military leaders, this week. Two giant military conglomerates were also blacklisted by the 27 member bloc. The decision, in line with sanctions imposed by the USA, and the UK, will include asset freezes and …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The United Kingdom has asked its regulatory authorities to investigate the $40 Billion takeovers of Softbank-owned British chip manufacturer Arm Holdings by American tech firm NVIDIA, creating more complications for the deal. Last September, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank announced it was offloading the British chipmak…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - India has been reporting over 200,000 daily cases since 15 April, and several parts, including its capital - Delhi have been placed under partial lockdown. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held meetings with executives and medical researchers for two consecutive days to discuss ways in which the new coronavirus vari…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Tod Wolters, a top US general posted in Europe said that there was a "low to medium" risk of Russia invading Ukraine as the UK - an NATO ally, ordered warships to sail to the Black Sea. The decision, which is yet to be officially confirmed, comes as Russian troops continue to build up along Ukraine’s border. Ukraine ha…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - In his first face-to-face White House summit since assuming office in January this year, US President Joe Biden met Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. The development comes a month after US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met and their Japanese counterpart…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Anglo-Swedish vaccine maker AstraZeneca has seen its shares steadily decline since February reaching its lowest on March 3rd after several European countries reported that its coronavirus vaccine was causing rare blood clots in some recipients. Another COVID vaccine manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson faces questions over …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - In a decision that has alarmed environmentalists over the world, Japan announced that it will release over 1 million tonnes of contaminated water from the defunct Fukushima nuclear station into the sea. The decision has received a mixed response from world powers. Among those opposing the decision are Japan’s immediate…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - In a move that threatens to change global trade dynamics and increase tensions between European nations and China, the 27-member European Union has placed provisional duties on a set of Chinese aluminium products. The European Commission said on Monday that an investigation had revealed that Chinese exporters increased…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Four major states in India, with a combined population of over 200 million people are voting to elect their state legislators this month. Among them, Assam is ruled by the federal ruling party - BJP, Tamil Nadu’s incumbent AIADMK remains a BJP ally. Of the other two states, namely Kerala and West Bengal, the former saw…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposed federal budget, released last Friday, could be called a polar shift from his predecessor Donald Trump’s fiscal approach. The Democrat President has earmarked a total of $769 billion for non-defence programs and focuses on several domestic issues such as public health programmes and a…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this week that the country plans to reopen its economy next week, starting with the reopening of all shops, gyms, hairdressers, and outdoor hospitality areas in England. International travel, however, would continue to be restricted, and invite hefty fines. While Europe is…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - After weeks of unheeded requests to remove over 200 Chinese vassals from the Whitsun Reef, the Philippines announced it would send diplomatic protests each day as long as China allows the ships to remain stationed at the disputed area that Manila claims is a part of its 200-mile exclusive economic zone. Last Tuesday th…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Two months after Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, took control of the country's government, its most prominent civilian leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged under the official secrets act that could jail her for a 14-year period. According to the activist group, the Assistance Association …
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - With its unemployment rate still hovering around the 6% mark and COVID positive cases continuing to climb by tens of thousands, US President Joe Biden hopes a $2 trillion stimulus for infrastructure development will boost the country’s economy. USA remains the worst affected country in the world and global and local lo…
 
Today on The Leaders' Brief - China has signed a 25-year cooperation agreement with Iran, as both countries continue to face US trade sanctions on several fronts. The decision comes at a time Beijing received almost 27 million barrels of cheap Iranian oil, passed off as crude from other origins. Both countries have found a common enemy in form of t…
 
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