Philippines – Legal attaché at the U.S. embassy in The Philippines, Lamont Siller, said in a speech on Wednesday that the February 2016 heist of $81 million dollars from the Bangladesh central bank’s account at the New York Federal Reserve was “state sponsored.” As Reuters reports, hackers breached the Bangladesh Bank systems and ordered transfers of almost $1 billion from its account at the New York Federal Reserve to accounts in the Philippines. Most of the transactions were rejected, but $81 million worth of transferred funds still went through. The money was soon withdrawn and vanished into the vast casino industry in the area.
The FBI has led an investigation into the heist since February of last year, although no arrests have been made to date. Washington officials, speaking on a condition of anonymity, have been blaming North Korea. Whether speculation of North Korean wrongdoing is simply the Washington flavor of the month or if there is actual evidence to support these theories remains to be seen.
Malaysia – Malaysia and North Korea have begun repairing the strained relationship between them. In what seems almost like the plot of a bad spy novel, the body of Kim Jong-nam, assassinated half-brother of North Korea’s Supreme Leader, was exchanged for the nine Malaysians effectively kept diplomatic hostage in North Korea, according to Reuters. Both countries have agree to renegotiate their relationship and work towards the cooperation they previously shared.
As Liberty Nation has previously reported, Malaysia and North Korea once enjoyed visa-free travel between the two nations, and many North Korean owned businesses operated in Malaysia. With tensions now easing between the two nations, North Korea may very well regain one of the few friends they had in the region.
New York – If anyone was concerned about President Trump’s pick as Ambassador to the United Nations, they can rest easy. Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina, was criticized for her “lack of experience” when chosen to serve as the President’s champion in the U.N. In her short time as ambassador she has pulled no punches and shown to be a force to be reckoned with, calling out the U.N. and its leadership for hypocrisy and their decidedly anti-Israel practices.
Most recently, Ambassador Haley has criticized the U.N.’s involvement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The U.N. has been trying to keep the Congolese from falling back into a state of civil war. The country, which gained independence from Belgium in 1960, has never had a peaceful transition of power, according to Reuters.
“The U.N. peacekeeping mission is mandated to partner with the government,” Ambassador Haley said on Wednesday. “In other words, the U.N. is aiding a government that is inflicting predatory behavior against its own people. We should have the decency and common sense to end this.”
President Trump, ever the racist and misogynist, has appointed a highly intelligent and highly successful Indian-American woman into a position of real influence. She’s making a difference, and she’s making American diplomacy strong again.