DailySA: Apple CEO Tim Cook praises Apple’s 5 million Chinese employees – Forward Observer

DailySA: Apple CEO Tim Cook praises Apple’s 5 million Chinese employees

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Wednesday, 15 June 2022.

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • READ TIME: 2 min 37 seconds
  • Russia-NATO INTSUM
  • Indo-Pacific INTSUM
  • Geopolitical INSTUM

NATO-RUSSIA INTSUM

MOLDOVA BREAKING AWAY FROM RUSSIAN INFLUENCE: Moldova announced it would reconsider membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) after Russia reinvaded Ukraine. Moldovan Foreign Minister Popescu said his country must reevaluate CIS membership and the risks it carries. This was a break in policy from May when Moldova’s president said, “Let’s speak impartially: the CIS is not only Russia but also other countries.” Chisinau enjoys trade and economic benefits from its relations with Russia and cooperation with other countries.

GERMANY TO BAILOUT ABANDONED RUSSIAN GAS CO: The German government is readying a bailout package for Gazprom Germania, a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned Gazprom. The firm will rebrand itself Securing Energy for Europe GmbH with a $5.22-$10.44 billion bailout. Germany placed Gazprom Germania under “temporary administration” on 4 April, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

US-CHINA/INDO-PACIFIC INTSUM

MYANMAR GOVERNMENT RAISING DEATH SQUADS IN FIGHT AGAINST REBELS: The Myanmar government has reportedly begun fielding clandestine hit squads in its fight against pro-democracy rebels and ethnic guerilla armies. The groups, known as thway-thout-ah-pwe or “blood drinkers,” are being blamed for a rash of killings, abductions, and torture of National League for Democracy (NLD) members. Local reporting indicates that pro-NLD People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) have increased their assassinations of government officials and pro-military politicians.

APPLE CEO TIM COOK PRAISES APPLE’S 5 MILLION CHINESE EMPLOYEES: In a videotaped address released by China Daily on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple’s five million-strong developer community in China accounts for a sixth of the company’s 30 million employees and is “one of the most vibrant developer communities in the entire world.” Cook heaped encouragement and praise on the Chinese developers for contributing to the U.S. technology giant’s global ecosystem. This, despite rising geopolitical tensions and supply chain disruptions on the mainland.

GEOPOLITICAL INTSUM

EUROPEAN GAS WOES WORSEN: Freeport LNG announced that its Houston processing plant would remain closed through September, followed by reduced production for about one year due to an explosion at the facility last week. (as reported in the EW for 06/10/22). The explosion occurred in pipes that transfer the LNG from on-site storage to nearby docks where it is loaded for transport. The Houston facility produces 20% of U.S. LNG exports, 75% of which were bound for Europe. Projected losses from the closure will account for an estimated 5% reduction of the 100 million ton global annual LNG market yield. The European Union saw gas prices rise 21% since last week’s explosion and will be severely impacted by the nonavailability of US export and global market LNG.

BIDEN LIFTS TARIFFS ON CHINESE SOLAR PANELS: The Biden administration has halted the threat of tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels and energy components. The tariffs had threatened imports from four Asian countries that supply 80% of U.S. photovoltaic cells and modules. Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced plans to invoke the Defense Production Act to help U.S. industries increase the production of solar panels in the U.S. and to provide federal incentives to manufacturers. Over the past several decades, China has dominated the solar panel market and, under the administration’s plan to halt tariffs, will re-emerge as the U.S.’ primary provider of solar panels and components. 

CHINA’S LARGE RADIO TELESCOPE DETECTS SIGNS OF ALIEN CIVILIZATION: China’s giant Sky Eye telescope may have picked up signs of extraterrestrial life, according to a report from its state-backed Science and Technology Daily. The Sky Eye radio telescope, located in China’s southwestern Guizhou province, picked up narrow-band electromagnetic signals from an array of unspecified exoplanets between 2020 and 2022. Chief scientist Shang Tonjie, head of a joint team of astronomers and scientists from Beijing University and the University of California Berkeley, said the signals do not appear to be naturally occurring.

IN TODAY’S EARLY WARNING: Mike takes a look at pro-abortion extremist groups gearing up for mass protests, terrorism, and political violence. You can get access to his daily report here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe

— END REPORT

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