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Huawei Could Use Russian Tech to Replace Android in Smartphones: Source

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Chinese telecom company Huawei is seeking alternatives to keep its smartphones working after U.S. tech giant Google cut the company off its Android operating system. A source close to negotiations between Huawei and the Russian government told TASS news agency.  

Last month, the Trump administration banned Google and a number of U.S. tech companies from dealing with China’s telecommunication major Huawei and other Chinese corporations. The direct order by U.S. President Donald Trump bans American firms from supplying Huawei with spare parts or technology solutions. The step was reportedly implemented amid security concerns after Washington accused Chinese tech companies of spying on behalf of Beijing.

The Chinese corporation is negotiating a replacement for Android with the Aurora operating system, currently being developed by Moscow-based firm Russian Mobile Platform, Russian news outlet the Bell reports, citing an official familiar with the issue.

“Aurora was not the only item for discussion. An ecosystem of Russian software was offered to Huawei at large: social media, search engine, antiviruses, and so on,” the source said.

The Russian Telecom Ministry neither confirmed nor denied this information. The Ministry noted at the same time that it is working on promotion of Russian producers on international markets on a going basis. Huawei were not available for comment.

Huawei Chairman Guo Ping reportedly discussed the possible deal with the Russian minister of digital development and communications, Konstantin Noskov, ahead of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

“China is already testing devices with the Aurora pre-installed,” the official said.

Moreover, the subject was addressed during an official meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Chinese leader Xi Jinping the day before the business event. The two presidents reportedly discussed both an opportunity of installing the Aurora operating system on Huawei smartphones and localization of some of Huawei’s production facilities in Russia.

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South Korea Terminates Intelligence-Sharing Treaty with Japan

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The Republic of Korea has decided to abandon the military intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan, South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday, citing deputy head of the country’s National Security Council Kim You-geun.

“The government decided to terminate intelligence sharing with Japan. Tokyo will receive the official notification through diplomatic channels,” Kim You-geun said at a briefing in Seoul.

He underlined that “Japan failed to explain the reasons behind excluding South Korea from the list of trusted trade partners, citing undermined relations of trust between Seoul and Tokyo, which caused these changes in defense-related cooperation of the two countries.”

Moreover, Kim You-geun announced that “maintaining the agreement signed for the purposes of sharing important military intelligence no longer conforms with South Korea’s national interests.”

On August 2, the Japanese government approved the proposal to remove South Korea from the list of countries receiving Japanese nanomaterials and high-tech components in a streamlined manner and without any restrictions. The decision will officially come into force on August 28.

On July 1, Tokyo tightened control over the export of three types of materials to South Korea, needed to produce semiconductors and displays of various electronic gadgets. The decision was particularly made due to suspicion that some of these components can be illegally delivered to North Korea from the South. Seoul flatly rejected such an idea and responded by introducing similar restrictions against Japan.

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UK Channel 4 to Shoot Documentary About Putin’s Influence on Modern World

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UK’s Channel 4 will produce a ground-breaking three-part documentary series on Russian President Vladimir Putin, the channel said in a press release. The film will include interviews with the Russian leader himself, his close circle and those most impacted by his actions, as well as archive materials.

“To understand what is happening in the world right now, it is necessary to understand Vladimir Putin. Putin has shown his staying power as one of the most formidable politicians of the 21st century. This series will explore how as a former spy he has redefined politics and the impact this has had globally”, Executive Producer James Rogan said, as quoted in a press release.

According to the press release, the series will show how his power has changed the modern world.

“This landmark series will show how Putin brought his knowledge of spy-craft to define the presidency of a nuclear power … It will explore how Putin’s personal experiences have influenced his politics, how modern Russia has been created through an acute sense of betrayal, pride and anger, and how Putin’s values have been exported around the world — from Crimea to Salisbury to Washington DC”, the press release read.

The series will be filmed in Russia, the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom.

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Syria Opens Humanitarian Corridor to Enable Civilians’ Exit From Idlib

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Syria has opened in the village of Suran, located in Hama province, a humanitarian corridor for civilians who want to leave the terrorist-controlled areas in Idlib, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Syria has opened a humanitarian corridor in the village of Suran, located in the north of Hama province, under protection of the Syrian army, to enable citizens who want to leave terrorist-controlled territories to do so,” the ministry said.

The corridor has been opened to “reduce Syrians’ suffering,” the ministry added, noting that all the demands of the civilians would be met.

In early August, a long-discussed truce in Idlib entered into force. However, the leadership of the Syrian Armed Forces said it would stop military actions if Turkey implements its obligations under the Moscow-Ankara deal, which was reached in Sochi, Russia last September.

The truce deal stipulates the withdrawal of medium and heavy weapons from the contact line in the area. Syrian government forces have renewed their activities in the northwest of the country due to the militants’ non-compliance with the agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey.

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