29 March 2020


Cyberattack hits US health department amid coronavirus

KONFRONTASI - The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a key part of the federal response to the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, was hit by a cyberattack on Sunday night, a Bloomberg reporter said on Twitter.

The reporter, in a tweet on Monday, cited unnamed sources who said there were multiple hacking incidents that appeared aimed at slowing down the department’s systems.

Afghan conflict: US and Taliban sign deal to end 18-year war

KONFRONTASI -  The US and the Taliban have signed an "agreement for bringing peace" to Afghanistan after more than 18 years of conflict.

The US and Nato allies have agreed to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants uphold the deal.

President Trump said it had been a "long and hard journey" in Afghanistan. "It's time after all these years to bring our people back home," he said.

Talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are due to follow.

US spy chief breaks with Trump over whistleblower complaint

KONFRONTASI - The US intelligence chief has publicly broken with President Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers, saying the whistleblower who filed a complaint against Trump over his phone call with Ukraine’s president “did the right thing" and "followed the law every step of the way."

China vows to retaliate as Hong Kong bill advances in US

KONFRONTASI - China has vowed to “hit back forcefully” at the United States, after the US Congress officially pushed forward legislation related to Hong Kong, a move that Beijing considers interference in its affairs.

The bill — which would support “democratic freedoms” in the Asian financial hub — is an attempt to “wantonly interfere in China’s domestic affairs” and shows the “malicious intention of some in the US Congress to contain China’s development,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement on Thursday.

Pentagon approves 3.6 billion for wall construction on Mexican border

KONFRONTASI - The US Defense Department says it was freeing up $3.6 billion in funds budgeted for other projects to help build or enhance 175 miles (282 km) a wall on the US-Mexico border as ordered by President Donald Trump.

US Defense Secretary Mike Esper has approved diverting funds from 127 US military construction projects in order to finance the border wall, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffmann said Tuesday.

US slaps duties on $4.4 billion in imported Chinese cabinets

KONFRONTASI - The United States hit China with new import duties Thursday on more than $4 billion in imported wooden cabinets and vanities, after finding manufacturers there benefit from unfair subsidies.

The Commerce Department's preliminary finding comes just a week after Washington announced new punitive duties on another $300 billion in Chinese goods, meaning that starting September 1 all Chinese imports will be subject to punitive tariffs.

China blames escalation of Mideast tensions on US pressure policy

KONFRONTASI - China’s Foreign Ministry again urges the US to abandon its policy of “maximum pressure” targeting Iran, and stop obstructing implementation of a 2015 nuclear accord between the Islamic Republic and other countries.

Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks at a press briefing on Monday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

US sending 1,000 more troops to Mideast for ‘defensive purposes’ amid tensions with Iran

KONFRONTASI - The United States has approved deployment of some 1,000 more soldiers to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran.

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan made the announcement on Monday, asserting that the deployment had “defensive purposes.”

He pointed to baseless allegations that Iran is behind attacks against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, to justify the measure.

US sanctions Venezuela oil company, PDVSA, to pressure President Maduro

KONFRONTASI - The United States will impose sanctions on Venezuela’s oil company to force President Nicolas Maduro to step down.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio initially made the announcement on Monday after being briefed on the issue by US Treasury along with two others.

Penalties on PDVSA will reportedly be imposed as early as Monday.

Trump reaches new deal with Mexico, threatens Canada

KONFRONTASI - US President Donald Trump says his country and Mexico have reached a new trade dal, threatening to leave Canada out.

Trump spoke from the Oval Office at the White House on Monday, announcing that the new deal could replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

He further threatened to take on Canada, another NAFTA signatory, with auto tariffs if it did not “negotiate fairly.”

“They used to call it NAFTA,” Trump said. “We’re going to call it the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.”