A bipartisan piece of legislation to be introduced in the US Senate on Friday would force defense contractors to stop buying rare earths from China by 2026 and use the Pentagon to create a permanent stockpile of the strategic minerals. The bill, sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, and Mark Kelly, an Arizona Democrat, is the latest in a string of US legislation seeking to thwart China’s near control over the sector.
The UK government apologised to Queen Elizabeth II on Friday, after it was revealed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s staff broke coronavirus restrictions by partying on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral. “It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning,” Johnson’s spokesman told reporters.
Ukraine was hit by a cyberattack splashing a warning across government websites to “be afraid and expect the worst”, while Russia, which has massed 100,000 troops on its neighbour’s frontier, released pictures of more of its forces on the move. The cyber attack unfolded hours after talks wrapped up with no breakthrough between Russia and Western allies, which fear Moscow could launch a new military assault on a country it invaded in 2014.
The United States is concerned that Russia is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine soon, which may result in “widespread human rights violations and war crimes,” if diplomacy fails to meet its objectives, a US official said on Friday.