Stories We’re Watching
Germany Refuses to Ban Huawei 5G equipment
German telecommunications regulator Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) has published new regulations which would allow Huawei to participate in developing the country’s 5G network. According to German authorities, the new regulations are aimed at tightening requirements on all 5G telecom equipment and do not impose company specific restrictions. According to insiders, the decision comes as a blow to the US, who Huawei is suing over its equipment ban. The US envoy in Berlin has urged German authorities to reconsider the regulations and reinstate a Huawei ban.
- CNBC: US ambassador in Berlin urges Germany to cut ties with Huawei or …
- Techradar: Germany won’t ban Huawei but tightens rules for all 5G vendors
- WIRED: The Huawei Case Signals the New US–China Cold War Over Tech
- WSJ: Drop Huawei or See Intelligence Sharing Pared Back, U.S. Tells Germany
Venezuela Blackout Continues, Plunges Country Further into Crisis
Venezuela’s electricity blackout has entered its fifth day as the country continues to reel from devastating, concurrent political and economic crises. The Maduro administration had initially blamed both the US and local opposition for the blackout, but intelligence indicates that the initial blackout on Thursday was caused by a technical malfunction at the country’s largest power station. In addition to disrupting communications, healthcare, banking, and education, the blackout has also halted most Venezuelan crude oil exports.
- WSJ: Pressure Mounts in Venezuela
- CNN: Venezuelan blackout victims ‘murdered’ by government, opposition
- The Guardian: Venezuela blackout has killed 21 people
- CNBC: Venezuela, Iran may be crushed by sanctions, but oil market has not
US-backed Kurdish Forces Resume Attacks on Last ISIL Enclave
Earlier today, US-allied SDF Kurdish forces resumed offensives against Jihadist fighters sequestered in Syria’s eastern Baghouz village near the Iraqi border. An SDF spokesperson said that the attacks were targeting weapons depots in an attempt to weaken the Jihadist group’s last territorial stronghold. According to regional analysts, the territory still contains hundreds of militants as well as stockpiles of light weapons. The US is expected to declare victory over Daesh once the village is completely rid of militants.
- FRANCE 24: Kurdish-led Syrian forces pound final IS redoubt
- CNN: Heavy fighting reported as US-backed forces attack last ISIS …
- BBC: SDF attack Islamic State group’s Syria enclave Baghuz
- Voice of America: US-Backed Forces Launch Final Assault to Wipe Out IS Enclave
Saudi to Extend Oil Cuts, Global Oil Price Stabilizes
Earlier today, Saudi officials confirmed an extension of crude oil export cuts. The extension is part of Saudi Arabia’s larger agreement with OPEC members which called for across-the-board cuts to stabilize global prices. Following the announcement, global oil prices rose slightly. Despite the cuts, industry analysts predict US shale to eclipse Saudi exports in as few as five years. Speculation over peak oil demand and slowing growth continue to roil markets.
- Bloomberg: Saudi Arabia to Extend Deep Oil Output Cuts Into April
- Reuters: Oil rises on ongoing OPEC-led supply cuts, fall in US rig count
- WSJ: Second Wave of US Shale Revolution Is Coming, Says IEA
- Fortune: US Forecast to Rival Saudi Arabia as World’s Top Oil Exporter by 2024
Macron Kicks off East Africa Tour
French President Emmanuel Macron has launched a four-day tour of East Africa aimed at strengthening France’s ties in the region and at countering China’s rising economic and military influence. Earlier today, Macron visited Djibouti, home to France’s largest African military base, and is set to visit Ethiopia and Kenya next. While in Kenya, Macron is expected to attend the UN’s Environment Assembly, the same event many passengers of Ethiopia’s deadly flight 302 were to scheduled to attend.
- FRANCE 24: Macron embarks on whirlwind East Africa tour
- Voice of America: French President Heads to East Africa
- Telegraph: Tony Blair secretly advising Emmanuel Macron on Brexit
- Bloomberg: Crashed Ethiopian Plane Had at Least 19 UN Officials on Board
From Deep State Radio
FP Interrupted: WOMEN AND POWER
It’s International Women’s Day, in Women’s History Month. Let’s celebrate women! Indeed. But let us also be cognizant that the celebration of women on one day should not eclipse the much-needed work of breaking down the paradigms and reforming the institutions, and mindsets, that have held women back. That is especially true today, amid the rise of strongmen across the globe; men who have shown hostility to empowered women. We’re having none of it. That’s why this is the power issue. CONTINUE
DEEPTECH SPECIAL EDITION: ATTACK OF THE KILLER APPS
Google and Apple have drawn widespread criticism this week for refusing to drop Saudi’s controversial Absher app. Among the 150+ services available on Absher, is the option to control women. Male ‘guardians’ use the app to monitor, track, and control the education, financial transactions, employment, and international travel of their female ‘wards.’ The app even sends convenient notifications whenever women try to exit the country via border checkpoints. Critics allege that the app perpetuates and facilitates the Kingdom’s oppressive, sectarian patriarchy. Just yesterday, three dozen countries—including all 28 members of the EU—rebuked the Kingdom over its detention and alleged sexual abuse of ten detained women’s rights activists. Some Saudi women have defended the app’s ability to make routine transactions easier. CONTINUE