U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday described the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline as a Russian geopolitical project that undermines the security of Ukraine, adding the United States wants to ensure Russia does not use energy as a coercive tool against any European state. Speaking at a joint press conference in Berlin after meeting German counterpart Heiko Maas, Blinken said Washington was determined to see if it can make something positive out of a difficult situation and strengthen Europe's energy security. "Our goal remains to ensure that Russia cannot use energy as a coercive tool as a weapon against Ukraine, or anyone else in Europe," Blinken said.
Frances Adamson, Secretary of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said during a speech in Canberra on Wednesday that China is "dogged by insecurity as much as driven by ambition".Adamson's speech came just hours after a widely watched poll showed Australians' trust in China has plunged and for the first time more people view Beijing as a security threat than a economic partner. The Lowy Institute's annual poll shows more than 60% of Australians see China as a security threat, up significantly from 2018 when 18% of respondents had the same view.
Only 10% of institutional investment firms surveyed by JPMorgan trade cryptocurrencies, with nearly half labelling the emerging asset class as "rat poison" or predicting it would be a temporary fad. Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, fell to a five-month low on Tuesday, extending losses from China's deepening crackdown on mining and trading cryptocurrencies. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has said it would like to see more regulation around trading in the space.
Israeli cloud security startup Mitiga has raised $25 million in a Series A round of funding as it moves to “completely change” the traditional incident response market. Mitiga, unlike other companies in the cybersecurity space, isn’t looking to prevent cyberattacks, which the startup claims are inevitable no matter how much protection is in place. Rather, it's looking to help organizations manage their incident response, particularly as they transition to hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
Leaseholders had a victory on Wednesday after the competition watchdog said it has secured “landmark” commitments from companies to tackle issues consumers have faced. The Competition & Markets Authority, led by Andrea Coscelli, said Aviva has committed to remove certain terms from some leasehold contracts which cause ground rents to double. It added that Persimmon will now offer leasehold house owners the opportunity to buy the freehold of their home at a discounted price.
Advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are set to meet on Wednesday to assess the possibility of a link between rare cases of heart inflammation and the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and partner BioNTech and from Moderna. The CDC has been investigating cases of heart inflammation mainly in young men for several months. The Israeli health ministry earlier this month said it saw a possible link between such cases and Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.
Trade power tensions, regulatory hurdles and attempts by the West to counter Chinese competition are delaying a return of the 737 MAX in China, frustrating Boeing Co as a potential rival demonstrates its growing influence. Six months after the West lifted an almost two-year flight ban on the MAX, there is no clear end in sight for the crisis surrounding Boeing's fastest-selling jet in China - the first nation to ground it in 2019 after two deadly crashes in five months. The company had hoped for China to approve the MAX to return to the sky by the end of last year; in January 2021, Boeing said it expected the MAX to be approved by regulators everywhere by the end of June.
On a recent spring morning, coal mine operator Dale Murray stood atop a stretch of land in western Virginia that had been dozed flat by mountaintop strip mining, and he enjoyed the panoramic view it afforded of the surrounding Appalachian hills. Murray’s company CM Mining bought the thousands of acres of former mining land from Alpha Natural Resources in 2017, picking up a parcel that Murray told Reuters many in the region believed “you can't do anything with." New solar and wind power installations are sprouting up and giving new purpose to idle degraded spaces across the country, from shuttered Appalachian coal mines to former phosphate projects in Florida and landfills in New England.
The Bank for International Settlements has given its full backing to the development of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), saying they are needed to modernise finance and ensure 'Big Tech' does not take control of money. Dubbed the central bank to the world's central banks, the BIS, which is coordinating many of their discussions on digital currencies, set out recommendations on Wednesday on how a CBDC such as a digital dollar, euro, yen or yuan should look.
Yesterday was Windrush day, the 73th anniversary of the arrival of the first group of Caribbean men and women recruited by the Government to help rebuild Britain after the Second World War. Those first Windrush immigrants faced a cold climate in every sense and extreme hostility. Sadly for many, the word Windrush is now synonymous with a scandal which involved the deportation of some of these pioneers and the gruelling existence of institutional racism.
Futures tracking the Nasdaq 100 index hit a record high on Wednesday with investors razor focused on business activity data after Federal Reserve officials sought to calm fears of a sharp tapering of monetary stimulus. In a hearing before a U.S. House of Representatives panel, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank will not raise interest rates too quickly on inflation fears alone and will encourage a "broad and inclusive" recovery of the job market.