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Biden, Putin arrive in Geneva for high-stakes summit

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Russian President Putin and US President Biden have arrived in Geneva.

Why the Biden and Putin summit could change the world | TICKER VIEWS

As the new US President prepares to meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Geneva, foreign countries, from Europe, to the Baltic States and China, are left wondering what sort of decisions will be made, and how it will impact them. This is Joe Biden’s moment. And this summit could have major consequences for the world ahead.

It’s not the first time Joe Biden has met Vladimir Putin. But it’s tne first time as President of the United States. Earlier this week at the NATO summit, Joe Biden referred to Putin as a “worth adversary”.

So it’s no wonder they chose Switzerland as the location for their meeting. This is a meeting that will start, at least, in a neutral space.

We’re expecting a very different tone compared to the meeting between Putin and Donald Trump in Helsinki. Back then, Trump decided to meet Putin without aides in Helsinki for a one on one meeting.

Joe Biden is far more hawkish towards Russia, and has been building support this week from leaders across Europe.

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin will beat their chests
Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin will beat their chests
https://twitter.com/tickerNEWSco/status/1405081910049529859?s=20

What’s on the agenda

It’s what we don’t know, but later find out, that is always intriguing for any watcher of global politics.

But what we do know is we can expect lots of talk about signals – issues like Russia’s treatment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his imprisonment in Russia.

Navalny flew back to Russia in January and was arrested at passport control.

Vladimir Putin has refused to give any guarantee that the opposition leader Alexei Navalny will get out of prison alive.

These sorts of issues become major news around the world, but really, there’s so much more going on behind the scenes that impacts the daily lives of millions of us who live outside of Moscow and Washington.

With respect to Navalny, issues like this are a smokescreen for far broader issues.

Alexei Navalny is still in prison
Alexei Navalny is still in prison

Cyber hacking

Not a week goes by without a major cyber attack somewhere in the world. And the finger is almost always pointed towards Russia. Either people working for the Russian government, or Russians no longer living in Russia.

The FBI is currently investigating a major hack against the world’s largest meat processing company, which forced the company to close its operations in the US and Australia. JBS ended up paying the ransom, believed to have been demanded by Russian hackers.

Ransomware attacks involve malware that encrypts files on a device or network causing the system to become inoperable. Criminals behind these types of cyberattacks typically demand a ransom in exchange for the release of data.

The Kremlin has denied claims that it has launched cyberattacks against the United States.

Russia has been blamed for hacking foreign governments and business.

Will there be a change in relations?

Experts can only hope, but know it’s highly unlikely. Vladimir Putin is a strongman, and the best outcome from this meeting would be a return to “mutual respect”. To get that, Joe Biden needs to go in tough, as tough as Putin.

For anyone watching over a long period of time, through the Cold War and even recent years, it’s as if the leaders of Russia and the United States both need each other.

For the US, Russia poses an omni-present threat. A reason to keep its bases around the world. A reason to do business with countries it might otherwise avoid due to public sentiment.

For Russia, well, the people love a strongman. It’s as if Russia has middle child syndrome. Always wanting to play with the big boys, but suffering from an economy which is smaller than Australia’s. With a heavy reliance on natural resources but unable to control the price, and therefore it’s future.

What will they agree on?

For all their disagreements, Russia and the United States have a lot in common. They both play in similar territories. They both have relationships with China, and Moscow is probably envious that it’s once smaller sibling is quickly outgrowing them in terms of regional power.

The US and Russia both have similar views on tackling climate change and controlling nuclear arms and the countries that might get hold of them. It’s these issues we might see some progress from this meeting.

But aside from “strategic stability”, whatever that means, there’s unlikely to be an end in sight to this sibling squabble. Siblings, with nuclear weapons.

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Without drastic change, global IT outage will hit again

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Elements of Friday’s global IT outage have occurred before and until more contingencies are built into networks, and organisations put better back-up plans in place, it will happen again.

A widespread Microsoft outage is affecting Australia’s supermarkets, banks, telecommunications companies.

There are also reports of outages in Japan and the United States.

The ongoing widespread outage is reportedly related to US-based cybersecurity provider CrowdStrike. Its ‘Falcon sensor’ is installed on many business computers to gather security data.

In a statement to Ticker News, StickmanCyber said:

“Multiple StickmanCyber security engineering and our 24×7/365 security operations teams across the country support reports that this outage is related to a CrowdStrike update. 
 
“It is our understanding that any business running versions 7.15 and 7.16 are affected by the outage, but 7.17 seems to be ok. We are waiting on official advisory from CrowdStrike on these findings but doing our best to help affected customers. It’s a lesson to always update your software, but obviously this is an extreme example. IT security tools are all designed to ensure that companies can continue to operate in the worst-case scenario of a data breach, so to be the root cause of a global IT outage is an unmitigated disaster.
 
“Crowdstrike support is offering a workaround to customers. It claims users may be able to fix the issue by booting windows in safe mode or in the Windows Recovery Environment and deleting a file named “C-00000291*.sys”.   

“CrowdStrike is aware of reports of crashes on Windows hosts related to the Falcon sensor,” the company said in a statement on its website.

“Symptoms include hosts experiencing a bugcheck\blue screen error related to the Falcon sensor. Our engineering teams are actively working to resolve this issue and there is no need to open a support ticket.

“Status updates will be posted below [on the Microsoft websit€0 as we have more information to share, including when the issue is resolved.”

Laptops down

Thousands of users across the world reported problems with Microsoft services to Downdector.com, a website that tracks service disruptions.

Microsoft laptops suddenly restarted across Australia on Friday afternoon.

Outage website Downdetector shows issues across companies including NAB, Bendigo Bank, Telstra, CBA, Google.

Microsoft response

As users take to social media to complain, Microsoft reported a service outage for its Microsoft 365 apps and services, affecting businesses and users across the world.

“We’re investigating an issue impacting users ability to access various Microsoft 365 apps and services,” Microsoft 365 Status said on X early Friday.

Microsoft didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.

Frontier airlines

 

The outage forced low-cost airline Frontier to cancel some flights. “Our systems are currently impacted by a Microsoft outage, which is also affecting other companies,” Frontier said in a statement. “We appreciate your patience.” The carrier said it would offer refunds to affected passengers.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Frontier asked it to pause the airline’s departures across the U.S. Thursday night. The ground stop was later lifted. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It said it is “observing a positive trend in service availability” as it continues to mitigate the problem.

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