US bill to tackle Chinese tech; Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict; Mali political crisis

In today’s episode we will discuss a new US bill aimed at competing with Chinese technology, discuss the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict after the former arrested Azerbaijani troops from its border last week, and revisit the ongoing political crisis in Mali.

Today on The Leaders' Brief -
  • Last week, the US Senate advanced legislation to boost the country's ability to compete with Chinese technology, as relations between Washington and Beijing continue to deteriorate. The $250 Billion US Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, or USICA saw the 68 US senators voting in favour with 30 against it. The Bill plans to spend $190 Billion to strengthen US technology in general and another $54 Billion to increase the production of semiconductors, microchips, and telecommunication equipment.

  • Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia escalated over the last week after the former arrested six Armenian soldiers, accusing them of trying to cross into its territory in the Kelbajar region. Last week, months after a ceasefire treaty between the two nations, the Azerbaijani government said that the Armenian soldiers had “tried to mine supply routes leading to Azerbaijan army positions” and “were surrounded, neutralised and taken prisoner”.
     
  • Mali's military released the country’s interim president Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, last week. The move came after months of international pressure calling for the country’s military government to restore civilian rule. Mali has been under political crisis since August last year, witnessing two coups in a span of nine months. Previously President Boubacar Keita was removed from power by the country’s military who received strong support from the country's civilians. However, global powers condemned the incident and placed the country under several sanctions.

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