World this week
The Chinese government defended its ban on products from U.S. memory chipmaker Micron Technology Inc. in some computer systems after Washington expressed concern, adding to strains over technology and security. The security review of Micron products was "conducted in accordance with the law," said a foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning. The Cyberspace Administration of China at the start of the week said Micron products have unspecified security risks but gave no details. It banned them from computers that handle sensitive information.
That came after Washington, Japan and the Netherlands blocked Chinese access to technology to make advanced processor chips on security grounds at a time when the ruling Communist Party is apparently threatening to attack Taiwan and acting more assertive toward its other Asian neighbours. "China's cybersecurity review does not target specific countries or regions," Mao said. "We do not exclude technologies and products from any country." Companies on both sides have been buffeted by supply disruptions and lost sales revenue.
The head of Iran's nuclear program insisted that his government would cooperate with international inspectors on any "new activities." His statement followed an exclusive Associated Press report about Tehran's new underground tunnel system near a nuclear enrichment facility. The report sparked wider conversation across the Middle East about the construction, with Israel's national security adviser saying the site would not be immune from attack even if its depth put it out of range of American airstrikes.
Speaking to journalists Wednesday (May 24) after a Cabinet meeting, Mohammad Eslami of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran sought to describe the interest in the site as a case of Israel feeling pressured. Iran says the new construction will replace an above-ground centrifuge manufacturing centre at Natanz struck by an explosion and fire in July 2020. Tehran blamed the incident on Israel, long suspected of running sabotage campaigns against its program.
The fighting between Sudan's military and a powerful paramilitary force has displaced more than 1.3 million people, the UN's migration agency said this week. The International Organization for Migration said the clashes have forced over 1 million people to leave their homes to safer areas inside Sudan. Some 320,000 others have fled to the neighbouring countries of Egypt, South Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, the Central African Republic and Libya.
The fighting erupted on April 15 after months of escalating tensions between the military, led by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces commanded by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. The conflict derailed Sudanese hopes of restoring the country's fragile transition to democracy, which was disrupted by a military coup led by the two generals in October 2021. The conflict has killed at least 863 civilians, including at least 190 children, and wounded more than 3,530 others, according to the most recent numbers from the Sudanese Doctors' Syndicate - which mainly tracks civilian casualties.
In further blows to the embattled former prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, two of his close aides including former information minister Fawad Chaudhry resigned from his party, which is under pressure from the government over violence following their leader's arrest earlier this month. Chaudhry's resignation came a day after former minister for human rights Shireen Mazari quit Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and condemned the actions of the former prime minister's supporters who attacked and torched sensitive defence installations across Pakistan on May 9.
Chaudhary served as the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting and the minister for science and technology during his government. He was the PTI's senior vice president and the party spokesman. Mazari announced her resignation and retirement from active politics after she was released following her arrest for the fourth time since May 12 when she was picked from her residence by police and sent to jail in connection with the violence on May 9.
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