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U.S President to raise cyber security with Putin

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Just days after a crippling cyber hack on global meat producer JBS, President Joe Biden is preparing to discuss the matter directly with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Biden is reviewing the threat posed by ransomware attacks and will discuss the issue of harboring such hackers with Putin this month.

The leaders will meet in Geneva on June 16, amid sharp disagreements over election interference and human rights.

This week, the hack of Brazilian meatpacker JBS in the United States, became the third such ransomware hack in the country since January.

JBS told the White House this week it originated from a criminal organization likely based in Russia.

The FBI is now investigating.

President Biden was asked about the hack at the end of his news conference.

What threat will this incident have on food security with operations being impacted?

The cyber attack on JBS comes as the latest threat to global food supply chains.

The attack focused on the Brazilian company’s computer networks, impacting the five biggest beef plants in the US, all up handling 22 thousand 500 cattle a day.

It shut JBS’ Australian and North American computer networks and sidelined two shifts. This further halted processing at one of Canada’s largest meatpacking plants, but that beef facility has since resumed production.

Australian Operations were also down, whereas operations in Mexico and the U.K. were not affected.

Australia’s federal government took action to minimise impact on supply chain, Federal Agriculture Minister David said the technology and “systems they [JBS] use, go to the heart of the quality assurance of the beef that they process.”

“So we need to make sure that we can get that up and going to give confidence, not just to consumers here in Australia, but also to our export markets,” he said on Tuesday.

Despite the impact, the company was able to ship product from nearly all of its facilities to its customers.

Tenable’s Vice President of Operational Technology Security, Marty Edwards, says companies part of the food supply chain are ‘fairly resilient”

Concerns after cyber attack on U.S pipeline impacted gas supply

JBS has 47 facilities across Australia and operates the largest network of production facilities and feedlots in the country.

Hackers have the commodities complex in their crosshairs, with the JBS attack coming just three weeks after Darkside targeted the biggest US gasoline pipeline.

The Colonial Pipeline experienced a cyberattack that shut down its nationwide network on 7 May. As such, millions of barrels of petrol, diesel and jet fuel stopped flowing.

The hackers are from Russia’s “DarkSide”, who allegedly steal from larger corporations and give the ransom funds to charity.

After the cyberattack, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to strengthen cybersecurity defences across the US.

Business

Wall Street tumbles on China contagion

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Wall Street has plunged as fear of contagion from a potential collapse of China’s Evergrande prompted a broad sell-off

Overnight, investors were fleeing equities for safety.

The Nasdaq fell to its lowest level in about a month, and Microsoft Corp, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Tesla were among the biggest drags on the index.

All 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower.

Investors also were nervous ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting this week.

It follows the collapse in the price of iron ore, which has shocked markets in Australia and throughout the world.

What does this mean for the Chinese economy?

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Third Australian airline enforces vaccine mandate

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A third Australian airline has moved to mandate the COVID vaccine amongst staff

Rex Airlines on Monday confirmed the vaccine will be mandated to all of the airline’s frontline, customer facing staff.

Employees have until November 1, 2021 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The mandate makes Rex the first Australian airline to achieve that goal, and would include company employees working at check-in and all pilots and cabin crew across its regional and domestic networks.

The airline reassures that passengers onboard Rex flights will be travelling in “the safest possible circumstances” as all crew will be vaccinated.

“We have a duty of care to both our passengers and staff to provide the safest possible
environment,”

Rex Deputy Chairman, the Hon John Sharp AM, said.

Rex confirmed it would offer the small number of unvaccinated frontline staff non customer facing roles wherever available, while unvaccinated office staff will be required to wear a mask while at work.


“As we provide an essential service operating to regional centres and remote communities
throughout Australia, it is incumbent upon us to do whatever we can to help those residents remain safe and healthy.”

Rex is Australia’s largest independent regional and domestic airline operating a fleet of 60 Saab 340 and six Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to 62 destinations throughout all states in Australia.

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China crackdown wipes billions off top companies

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China’s regulatory crackdown has wiped hundreds of billions off the market capitalisations of some of its largest companies and put investors on alert over who may be next

China is cracking down on some of its largest companies with regulatory stings wiping hundreds of billions of dollars off their market value.

From technology, to education and property – it seems no sector is safe from Beijing’s far reaching tentacles.

Let’s take a closer look at who’s been affected so far.

First up is Alibaba.

China’s biggest e-commerce company was founded by this man, once China’s richest person – Jack Ma.

Ma made a speech back in October 2020 blasting the country’s regulatory system.

Those stinging comments are widely viewed as the trigger for what came next. Beijing abruptly suspended the record $37 billion stock market debut of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group.

Later, Chinese regulators fined the company $2.75 billion for abusing its market dominance. Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares have shed more than $400 billion in value since Ma made that speech.

Next up is China’s largest gaming and social media company Tencent. It was fined for failing to report past deals to anti-trust regulators.

Tencent has also been affected by China’s latest efforts to combat gaming addiction among minors.

In August under-18-year-olds were banned from playing video games for more than three hours a week. The company has lost nearly $350 billion in market value since February.

The food delivery company – Meituan – became another target of an antitrust probe in April, after its founder and Chief Executive Wang Xing posted an ancient poem on social media.

Some perceived it as criticizing the government and President Xi Jinping. Meituan has lost more than $150 billion in value since February.

The company has also been accused of violating consumer rights and mistreating delivery drivers.

China’s largest provider of private educational services has seen its value tumble following a policy shift in Beijing.

In July, the Communist Party issued new rules barring for-profit tutoring on the school curriculum.

Since then, the market value of New Oriental Education and Technology Group’s U.S. listed shares has fallen by $7.4 billion.

Beijing wants to ease pressure on school children and reduce a cost burden on parents.

BEIJING, CHINA – MAY 15: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a news conference at the end of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on May 15, 2017 in Beijing, China. The Forum, running from May 14 to 15, is expected to lay the groundwork for Beijing-led infrastructure initiatives aimed at connecting China with Europe, Africa and Asia. (Photo by Nicolas Asfouri-Pool/Getty Images)

But analysts warn that the new rules threaten to decimate the country’s private education sector.

So what’s the motive behind Beijing’s regulatory crackdown?

President Xi Jinping has called for China to achieve “common prosperity.”

The campaign seeks to narrow the yawning wealth gap between the rich and the poor.”Common prosperity” as an idea is not new in China, but a sharp escalation in official rhetoric and a crackdown on excesses in industries has rattled investors in the world’s second-largest economy.

Reuters.

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