World this week
Venezuela's government and opposition reached an agreement on new electoral conditions, triggering relief from US energy sanctions on President Nicolás Maduro's administration. Venezuela's government agreed to open up the electoral process, including allowing European Union observers and creating a process for lifting bans that have blocked his top opponents from running for president, to level what is widely seen as an unfair playing field. If Maduro doesn't live up to his end of the bargain, the sanctions will be imposed again.
Sanctions will be eased on Venezuela's oil, gas and gold sectors. The next election in Venezuela has been scheduled for the second half of next year. Other sanctions imposed over the suppression of protests and the erosion of democracy remain in place. The US warned Venezuela that they must "define a specific timeline and process for the expedited reinstatement of all candidates" by the end of November, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
Authorities in Belgium shot and killed a Tunisian national on Tuesday (Oct. 17) hours after they say he gunned down three Swedish soccer fans, killing two of them, and posted a video online in which he claimed credit for the attack and said the Quran was "a red line for which he is ready to sacrifice himself." Investigators are still trying to determine the motive for Monday night's attack, which happened not far from where Belgium's men's soccer team was hosting Sweden in a European Championships qualifier.
The match was suspended at halftime and the more than 35,000 fans were kept inside the stadium as a precaution while the attacker was at large. Amateur videos of the attack posted on social media showed a man wearing an orange fluorescent vest pull up on a scooter, take out a large weapon and open fire on people getting out of a taxi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing for a visit that underscores China's support for Moscow during its war in Ukraine as well as Russian backing for China's bid to expand its economic and diplomatic influence abroad. The two countries have forged an informal alliance against the United States and other democratic nations that is now complicated by the Israel-Hamas war. In an interview to Chinese state media, Putin praised the massive but loosely linked BRI projects.
China has sought to balance its ties with Israel against its relations with Iran and Syria, two countries that are strongly backed by Russia and with which China has forged ties for economic reasons as well as to challenge Washington's influence in the Middle East. Putin's plane was met by an honour guard as the Russian leader began his visit that is also a show of support for Chinese leader Xi Jinping's signature "Belt and Road" initiative to build infrastructure and expand China's overseas influence.
The world's most valuable chip company Nvidia and iPhone maker Foxconn are joining forces to build so-called "AI factories". The firms say it is a new kind of data centre that uses Nvidia chips to power a "wide range" of applications. They include training autonomous vehicles, robotics platforms and large language models. It comes as the US announced plans to cut off more exports of advanced chips to China, in a blow to Nvidia. Thanks to the use of the company's advanced chips in AI applications, Nvidia's stock market value has jumped to over $1 trillion as its shares more than tripled in value this year.
The latest export restrictions announced by Washington this week will block sales of two high-end artificial intelligence chips Nvidia created for the Chinese market - A800 and H800, according to the company. The Taiwan-born Nvidia chief executive Jensen Huang and Foxconn chairman Young Liu shared a stage at Foxconn's annual tech showcase in Taipei on Wednesday (Oct. 18).
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