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The global implications of Geoffrey Berman firing; US and Russia start nuclear weapons talks; US targets Assad govt and backers with sanctions

Shares in Turkish state lender Halkbank surged 8% today after US federal chief prosecutor Geoffrey Berman was forced to step down over the weekend. Also, Wirecard said on Monday that $2.1 billion is missing from its accounts and was likely never there. And, representatives from the US and Russia started nuclear weapons talks today in Vienna.

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North Korea destroyed the liaison office with the South; Beijing imposed coronavirus restrictions; France backs away from chokehold ban

In a dramatic escalation of tensions, North Korea blew up the liaison office used to improve relations with South Korea on Tuesday. And, in a move to stop a flare-up of new coronavirus cases, Beijing has imposed restrictions on public transport and banned high-risk people, such as those in close contact with others who have tested positive for COVID-19, from leaving the city. Also, three Indian soldiers were killed today in a confrontation with Chinese troops in the disputed border region of Kashmir.

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Twitter purges state-backed disinformation accounts; US sanctions ICC staff, Syria

Twitter has purged more than 32,000 accounts linked to state-backed disinformation operations. The Trump administration has authorized sanctions and visa restrictions on International Criminal Court personnel, in an attempt to undermine investigations into possible US war crimes. In Lebanon, there are increased calls for the government to resign after the currency plunged 25% in two days.

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