Trump bans TikTok
US President Donald Trump told reporters on July 31, 2020 that he had decided to block TikTok in the country. Representatives of TikTok said the company had about 1,000 employees in the US and planned to hire another 10,000 social networks in the next three years, while TikTok in the US is incredibly popular – it is used by 100 million people.
Economists believe that Trump’s statement may be related to Microsoft’s desire to buy TikTok in the US, the media reported earlier.
The US authorities started discussing possible blocking of the service on the background of worsening relations with China – right after the scandal with Huawei, TikTok was accused of the same thing – “surveillance of users”. Despite the fact that in late July, Kevin Mayer, CEO of the social network, made a statement in defense of the company and said that TikTok opened access to experts to its algorithms while the presidential administration insists on tough measures.
All this is happening within the framework of the big trade war between the US and China – not only economic interests are affected, but also future influence on whole continents through development of new technologies (artificial intelligence, 5G, etc.).
Protests against Netanyahu
Thousands of people dissatisfied with the way the Israeli authorities dealt with the coronavirus pandemic took to the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Caesarea and other cities.
The protesters demanded the resignation of the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, being dissatisfied with the leader on many counts: ineffective fight against the coronavirus, corruption, the occupation of Palestine, and migration policy. The law enforcement agencies were also accused of being overly harsh in suppressing the protests.
Unlike previous demonstrations, these were more peaceful, and yet dozens of people were detained.
We might recall that Netanyahu himself is facing trial on charges of corruption, fraud and breach of trust.
The protests against Netanyahu in Israel have lasted for several weeks, but this action proved to be one of the largest – by various estimates, between 15,000 and 30,000 people took part in the marches.
Escalation of Armenia-Azerbaijan
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported last week that Armenia had violated the ceasefire 41 times a day. The ministry stressed that the Armenian military used large-caliber machine guns and sniper rifles.
In Azerbaijan, it was specified that Armenia fired on the Berd, Chambarak, Gedebey and Tovuz districts, as well as settlements close to Nagorno Karabakh.
Initially, the border conflict in the Tovuz region on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan started on July 12 where Yerevan accused Baku of attempting to seize the point on the border, while in Azerbaijan, they stressed that the actions were a reaction to the shelling of their positions.
The Venezuelan opposition announces a boycott of Maduro
The main Venezuelan opposition parties on Sunday promised to boycott the legislative elections scheduled for December 6. The opposition accused Maduro in advance that the elections would allegedly be rigged by the ruling socialist party and that participation in the elections would be tantamount to “the dictatorship’s strategy”.
This is not the first time the opposition has boycotted the electoral process. However, in this case it may even play into the president’s hands: disagreements among the opposition may lead to the loss of opposition control over the National Assembly in the future, which in turn complicates the situation of Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed “president” of Venezuela, recognized by the Americans.
Maduro calls Guaido a US-supported puppet seeking to overthrow him in a violent coup, and claims that the opposition boycotts an election that it knows it will lose. This is yet another attack on the “Maduro regime” by a force which does not seem to care that he is the legitimate president with the support of the majority of the population, despite the economic and political blockade of the Atlantic bloc.
Bombing in Afghanistan
In Jalalabad, Afghanistan, a suicide bomber blew up a car loaded with explosives near the prison.
The attack on the detention facility, for which DAESH (ISIS) claimed responsibility, left at least 21 people dead and dozens injured, sparking fierce battles in which dozens of detainees escaped.
The explosion of a huge car bomb was followed by at least two small explosions near the Government prison.
About 100 detainees tried to escape, but many had been captured by security forces.
The prison holds about 1,500 detainees, several hundred of whom are believed to belong to ISIS’s Afghanistan branch.
The attack occurred on the third and final day of the ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban, when hundreds of Taliban detainees were released in an effort to make a final push for intra-Afghan peace talks.
The Taliban are not responsible for the attack, the spokesman said.
It was previously reported that the protracted negotiations could begin immediately after the Eid al-Bayram Festival in Kabul Thursday, President Ashraf Ghani and Taliban officials said.
France-Italy migration alliance, pressure on Salvini
France and Italy have agreed to cooperate even more closely on their common border to combat the smuggling networks operating there. Guards and officials from both countries will operate under a single command to make them supposedly “more effective”.
One of the main – and often deadly – routes for many refugees and economic migrants crosses the Mediterranean Sea in boats from North Africa and the Italian coast that are usually crowded and unsuitable for navigation. From there, migrants travel to the most economically prosperous countries. Libya is often the starting point for a terrible journey – if they are not intercepted by the coast guard.
France said it wants to develop a “common position” with Italy before the October summit of EU interior ministers in Brussels on a new “migration pact”, which will be proposed by the commission in September, said French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.
He also wants to get the support of Spain and Germany, which Darmanin will visit in August.
This comes at the same time as new pressure on former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is being leveled. The politician is threatened with 15 years in prison for an incident involving the detention of a ship with caught illegal migrants trying to break through to the Italian coast. For the second time in a year, Salvini lost his parliamentary immunity, accused of abuse of office. In reality, Salvini was actually doing his job: according to him, the courts rescued migrants and brought them to other countries, essentially cooperating with the traffickers.
Thus, supporters of peace without borders are trying to crush the sovereignty initiatives that protect European countries from illegal migrants and, in fact, legalize the work of human smugglers at the international level.
“Those who support open ports have blood on their hands,” Salvini said.