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Huawei banned from U.S markets

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The U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday it is adding Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and 70 affiliates to its so called “Entity List”.

The move bans the telecom giant from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval.

U.S. officials told Reuters the decision would also make it difficult if not impossible for Huawei, the largest telecommunications equipment producer in the world, to sell some products because of its reliance on U.S. suppliers.

Under the order that will take effect in the coming days, Huawei will need a U.S. government license to buy American technology. Huawei did not immediately comment.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement President Donald Trump backed the decision that will “prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.”

The dramatic move comes as the Trump administration has aggressively lobbied other countries not to use Huawei equipment in next-generation 5G networks and comes just days after the Trump administration imposed new tariffs on Chinese goods amid an escalating trade war.

The Commerce Department said the move comes after the U.S. Justice Department unsealed an indictment in January of Huawei and some entities that said the company had conspired to provide prohibited financial services to Iran.

The department said it has a reasonable basis to conclude that Huawei is “engaged in activities that are contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interest.”

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Huawei reported first-quarter revenue of $27 billion last month and said it had shipped 59 million smartphones in the first quarter.

In March 2016, the Commerce Department added ZTE Corp to the entity list over allegations it organized an elaborate scheme to hide its re-export of U.S. items to sanctioned countries in violation of U.S. law.

The restrictions prevented suppliers from providing ZTE with U.S. equipment, potentially freezing the Huawei rival’s supply chain, but they were short-lived.

The U.S. suspended the restrictions in a series of temporary reprieves, allowing the company to maintain ties to U.S. suppliers until it agreed to a plea deal a year later.

In August, Trump signed a bill that barred the U.S. government itself from using equipment from Huawei and ZTE.

Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican, said “Huawei’s supply chain depends on contracts with American companies” and he urged the Commerce Department to look “at how we can effectively disrupt our adversary.”

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KDF officer pursues Sh317K from Aim Global Limited ‘agents’ – Nairobi News

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A Kenya Defence Forces officer is pursuing Sh317,000 from two men who lured him into global multi-level marketing agency –-Aim Global Limited– promising him packages of the agency’s products and a monthly commission of Sh20,000.

The two suspects Austine Muema and Collins Owino Onyango are said to have promised the military officer handsome returns but the investment turned out to be hogwash forcing him to report to Kamukunji police station.

The two are under investigations for obtaining money by false pretences from Moses Otieno Okongo of Kenya Navy.

Okongo had been introduced to the venture by his colleague who further introduced him to Onyango. Onyango had purported to be an Aim Global’s agent.

Okongo transferred Sh271,000 to an account belonging to Alliance in Motion Global Kenya Limited between April 2 and 4 via a pay bill number.

He later sent Muema Sh46,000 via M-Pesa but afterwards, he has only been receiving promises.

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Okongo was to receive a package of the products for sale after meeting the requirements and a Sh20,000 each month before he realised the deal was fake.

Onyango and Muema were apprehended last weekend and a police officer at Kamukunji unsuccessfully sought to detain them for seven days pending investigations.

Constable Geoffrey Cheruiyot wanted to hold the two for seven days but Makadara chief magistrate Heston Nyaga freed them on Sh 50,000 bond and directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to probe the activities of the agency.

Okongo was listed as a second applicant in Cheruiyot’s application.

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Donald Trump trying to ‘divide’ America: Ex-Pentagon chief Mattis

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Washington

Former Pentagon chief Jim Mattis issued a stinging rebuke of his erstwhile boss Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing the president of trying to “divide” America and failing to provide “mature leadership” as the country reels from days of protests.

Mattis, who resigned in December 2018 over Trump’s ordering of a full troop withdrawal from Syria, also voiced support for the demonstrators whose anti-racism rallies have roiled the country.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” Mattis wrote in a blistering statement posted online by The Atlantic.

“Instead, he tries to divide us,” added the retired Marine general, who had previously argued it would be inappropriate for him to criticize a sitting president.

NO MATURE LEADERSHIP

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“We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” he stated.

Mattis described himself as “angry and appalled” after witnessing events of the last week, which saw Trump threaten a military crackdown on American citizens as nationwide protests turned violent in some cities.

The fury was ignited by the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a black man who suffocated beneath the knee of a white police officer, and whose agonizing death was filmed by bystanders.

The demonstrations have mostly been peaceful, but some have degenerated into violence and looting as night falls.

WHOLESOME DEMAND

Mattis wrote that the protesters’ call for equal justice was a “wholesome and unifying demand.”

And he slammed the decision to use force to clear peaceful protesters from near the White House on Monday to allow Trump to pose for photographs at a nearby damaged church, calling it an “abuse of executive authority.”

The photo op has become a lightning rod for criticism of Trump’s handling of the crisis, with religious leaders, politicians, and onlookers around the country expressing outrage.

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“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Mattis stated.

CONSTITUTION

“Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens – much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

Trump dismissed Mattis with a tweet, rehashing his claim that he “essentially” fired his Pentagon chief.

“Probably the only thing Barack Obama and I have in common is that we both had the honour of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General,” the president wrote.

Mattis was head of US Central Command when Obama fired him in 2013 over his hawkish views on Iran.

CALL FOR SOLIDARITY

For months after Mattis resigned, he refused to criticise Trump publicly, insisting the military must remain apolitical.

Wednesday’s statement appeared to signal that he no longer felt bound by that sentiment, as he called for solidarity – with or without the president.

“We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society,” Mattis wrote.

He also appeared to rebuke current Pentagon chief Mark Esper, without specifically naming him.

“We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate,'” he said.

Esper faced criticism after telling US governors on Monday that they should “dominate the battlespace” to end the protests.

On Wednesday, the Pentagon chief backtracked, telling reporters: “In retrospect, I would use different wording.”

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North Korea threatens to scrap military deal with South

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Seoul

North Korea threatened Thursday to scrap a military agreement with the South and close down a cross-border liaison office unless Seoul stops activists from flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border.

The statement issued by the powerful younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un comes amid a deep freeze in inter-Korean ties, despite three summits between Kim and the South’s President Moon Jae-in in 2018.

North Korean defectors and other activists have long flown balloons across the border carrying leaflets that criticise Kim over human rights abuses and his nuclear ambitions.

“The South Korean authorities will be forced to pay a dear price if they let this situation go on while making all sort of excuses,” Kim Yo Jong said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

DEFECTORS

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Calling the defectors “human scum” and “rubbish-like mongrel dogs” who betrayed their homeland, she said it was “time to bring their owners to account” in a reference to the South Korean government.

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She threatened to scrap a military pact signed during Moon’s visit to Pyongyang in 2018 aimed at easing border tensions, and shut down a cross-border liaison office.

But most of the deals agreed at that meeting have not been acted on, with Pyongyang largely cutting off contact with Seoul following the collapse of a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi last year that left nuclear talks at a standstill.

OPERATIONS SUSPENDED

Operations at the liaison office have already been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the North has carried out dozens of weapons tests since the military agreement was signed.

Kim Yo Jong also threatened to pull out permanently from joint projects with the South including the Kaesong Industrial Park and Mount Kumgang tours – both of them money-spinners for the North that have been suspended for years due to sanctions over its weapons programmes.

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