World this week
The US Senate passed a bill that could block some Chinese companies from selling shares on American stock exchanges. It would require overseas firms to follow US standards for audits and other financial regulations. The measure now has to be passed by the House of Representatives before being signed into law by President Trump. It comes as US-China tensions increase over the virus pandemic and after the Luckin Coffee accounting scandal.
The planned legislation would also require publicly traded companies to reveal whether they are owned or controlled by a foreign government. The bill applies to all foreign companies, but is targeted at China, and follows intense criticism of Beijing by Mr Trump and other US politicians.
Mr Trump and officials in his administration argue that China mishandled the coronavirus outbreak in its early stages. The outbreak has now grown to become a pandemic that has killed almost 330,000 people worldwide and crippled the global economy.
Apple and Google released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus. The companies said 22 countries and several U.S. states are already planning to build voluntary phone apps using their software. It relies on Bluetooth wireless technology to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for the virus.
Many governments have already tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to roll out their own phone apps to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of those apps have encountered technical problems on Apple and Android phones and haven't been widely adopted. They often use GPS to track people's location, which Apple and Google are banning from their new tool because of privacy and accuracy concerns.
An unmarked Etihad Airways cargo plane flew aid to help the Palestinians fight the coronavirus pandemic from the capital of the United Arab Emirates into Israel on Tuesday, marking the first known direct commercial flight between the two nations. The UAE, home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai on the Arabian Peninsula, has no diplomatic ties to Israel over its occupation of land wanted by the Palestinians for a future state, like all Arab nations except Egypt and Jordan.
Yet the flight marked a moment of cooperation between Israel and the UAE after years of rumored back-channel discussions between them over the mutual enmity of Iran and other issues. Etihad, the state-owned, long-haul carrier based in Abu Dhabi, confirmed it sent a flight Tuesday to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.
Two rounds of talks between Indian and Chinese local military commanders at Pangong Tso, where troops of the two sides came to blows two weeks ago, remained inconclusive and Beijing warned of "necessary counter-measures". It claimed the Indian Army had "entered Chinese soil on the Baijing and Lujin duan section of the Sino-Indian border, obstructing the normal patrol of Chinese border troops, and was "attempting to unilaterally change the status quo of border territory".
The Indian Army and Ministry of External Affairs maintained silence, and officials in New Delhi described the situation as "delicately poised" and "very sensitive" at a time when the country is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic and its fallout.
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