In Brief – N.35 – May 8, 2016

Worth a total USD 50 billion investment, the 12 units of the next generation of diesel-electric propulsion submarines for Australia will be constructed by France’s DCNS based on the model of the French nuclear-powered submarine Barracuda.

Saudi Arabia detailed the economic objectives of the kingdom and its massive investment plan for post-oil era in its Vision 2030. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said oil addiction disrupted the country’s development.

After Russia, this is China that would have voted a new law in order to strictly control the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGO). Human rights activists feared that it becomes harder to work in China as a result.

After Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, this is now the turn of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro to be at growing risk of impeachment. The right-wing opposition could be able to launch a recall referendum against Maduro.

From accounting to espionage, Germany’s spy agency BND will have Finance Ministry’s veteran Bruno Kahl as new chief in replacement of just a bit too close-to-NSA Gerhard Schindler, the Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided.

Social network Facebook brought very good results in Q1 2016 after it counted 1.65 billion users and its profit tripled.

Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has entered into an agreement with NASA for a Dragon mission to Mars set to take place as early as 2018.

A new showdown between Greece and the European Union (EU) might be in the making after EU leadership rejected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ request for a special summit on current talks with creditors.

Amazon passed Walmart in market value for the first time ever last July. Amazon is now worth about USD 320 billion – nearly USD 110 billion more than Walmart.

Puerto Rico defaulted on roughly USD 422 million in debt payments. The island is supposed to make roughly USD 2 billion in debt payments on July 1, 2016, and experts do not believe those payments will be made.

WhatsApp, Facebook’s messaging service that recently rolled out end-to-end encryption to its users, was blocked in Brazil for 72 hours.

The European Commission (EC) will give conditional approval for Turks to travel without visas to Europe’s passport-free Schengen area.

Australian entrepreneur Craig Steven Wright announced that he is Satoshi Nakamoto who founded the digital currency Bitcoin. Wright made a technical demonstration involving Nakamoto’s secret Bitcoin keys.