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The USA is using Taiwan to bait China, as it did with Hong Kong, and China is responding.

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Australia has once more taken action against an overseas corporation in respect of the terms and conditions it imposes on purchasers in Australia.

Is Australia's approach to policing e-commerce workable in a global economy?

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Essentra FZE Limited, a manufacturer of cigarette filters and tear tape has agreed to forfeit USD 665,112 in respect of "apparent" breaches of US sanctions relating to North Korea. Essentra is a company registered in the United Arab Emirates with no physical presence in the USA.

The USA describes it as "egregious."

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The USA and Israel are the two most prominent countries which refuse to recognise the International Criminal Court. But the International Criminal Court takes action where it finds it. And US President Trump doesn't like it when US Citizens are affected. Now he's taken the remarkable step of issuing an Executive Order on 11 June 2020 applying sanctions to those involved in the Court. And he's declared a national emergency.

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According to a statement issued by the USA's Office of Foreign Assets Control (it's primary financial and economic sanctions department which also investigates and takes action in respect of breaches) says this "Between approximately March 26, 2015 and May 19, 2015, American Express Travel Related Services Company (“Amex”) issued a prepaid card to, and processed 41 transactions totalling $35,246.82 on behalf of, Gerhard Wisser,a Specially Designated National (SDN)."

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OFAC has issued a "Finding of Violation" in respect of breaches of the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations relating to the maintenance of Iranian-owned aircraft. The subject of the order no longer exists but OFAC has proceeded anyway.

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It's a pillar of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) 2017 and it's about to appear in the Federal Register. And it makes the USA very unusual in recognising the realities of depreciation in a disposable world. And then they go and stuff it up.

The European Union is risking a battle with US President Trump. Countries, individually and federally, have been looking at the effect on domestic industries and national revenues of US companies, their tax structures and their business practices. In short, they are saying exactly what the US says: if you want to do business here, you do it on our terms. The USA doesn't like this challenge to the commercial colonialism which it has practised, largely without official resistance, since the 1940s.

Mark Steven Domingo, 26, of Reseda, a former U.S. Army infantryman with combat experience in Afghanistan, faces federal charges. It is alleged that he expressed support for violent jihad, a desire to seek retribution for attacks against Muslims and a willingness to become a martyr. He was, the authorities allege, developing a terrorist plot in which he planned to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) for the purpose of causing mass casualties.
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Someone's got to pay for the wall! The Internal Revenue Service yesterday reiterated its warning that taxpayers may not be able to renew a current passport or obtain a new passport if they owe federal taxes. To avoid delays in travel plans, taxpayers need to take prompt action to resolve their tax issues. Here is the official notice (verbatim).

The European Union has issued a new blacklist for money laundering. The reaction from those appearing on the list, EU members and even the FATF has been rapid and forceful: the list is not acceptable. But there is more at play, including the imposition of direct control on those conducting business in the EU, by the EU without the filter of national parliaments. This example of federalism is not going down well in several large EU states. Also, the "war on dirty money" is a convenient diversion for governments who want the media to focus on that rather than something else. Also.. it might not happen.

The USA's Office of Foreign Assets Control has reached an agreement with a company from Connecticut over "apparent violations" of US sanctions against Iran.

Hang on... "apparent violations"? And the company has agreed to pay? It's time to abandon the linguistic and legal pussyfooting around.

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The UK's Treasury is not anxious to make it known that the UK is, despite the cries of various EU officials, in fact ready, willing and kind-of able to enter into bi-lateral agreements with third countries. The US Treasury, on the other hand, thinks shouting it from the rooftops is a good idea and has issued a notice regarding an agreement relating to "Prudential Measures Regarding Insurance and Reinsurance (U.S.-UK Covered Agreement. " But.. there's a stumbling block.

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Two related statements from the IRS and other agencies highlight two specific risks. The first is password security and the second is phishing, etc. scams. By the way, "Summit Partners" (which appears in the statements) isn't a firm - it's someone's idea of a buzzword. Ignore it. It only means "other government agencies." Also, they have one thing dangerously wrong.

With the superficial attitudes of commentators on all sides of the media divide pushing risk and compliance professionals in the direction of their fashion-driven topics, it's useful to remind readers that while they are focussed on the next big thing, past big things remain a threat. Pump and dump is an example of market manipulation and, of course, a predicate crime for money laundering or, even, funding future crime including, possible, terrorist activity. What is even more surprising is that the same names crop up repeatedly but they never go to jail.

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