Trump Found Guilty in Hush Money Trial

A jury has found former President Donald Trump guilty of all felony charges of falsifying business records in relation to a hush money scheme involving adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016.

Politico: US Secretly Gives Ukraine the Green Light to Strike Inside Russia using American Weapons

Politico reported that the Biden administration has secretly given Ukraine the green light to carry out strikes inside of Russia using American-supplied weapons, but only along the Kharkiv axis and in areas near the border, citing an unnamed United States official and two other people familiar with the matter. The decision would mark a major turning point as Ukraine has been limited to using American weapons against Russian forces solely within Ukraine up until this point. The official also stressed that the US policy against Ukraine using American weapons to carry out long-range strikes into Russia has not changed.

Ukrainian Strikes Target Kerch Ferry

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has confirmed that ATACMS strikes against Kerch last night targeted the city's ferry crossing, which they say was "actively used by the enemy to support their grouping of troops in the temporarily occupied Crimea." A post by the General Staff reported that two ferries "suffered significant damage" during the strikes, which can be seen in satellite images that were published. Likewise, Ukraine also stated that "One of ran aground, blocking the operation of the entire Kerch crossing," adding "Thanks to the successful combat work of Ukrainian rocket operators, the military logistics of the occupiers on the peninsula were significantly undermined."

Taiwan’s National Security Bureau Chief Says Chinese Submarine Had Issues in Taiwan Strait Last Year

On May 29th, Taiwan’s National Security Bureau (NSB) Director General Tsai Ming-yen said that a Type 093/Shang-class nuclear attack submarine had “some issues” in the Taiwan Strait last year. Tsai made the statements during a meeting at the Legislative Yuan after a lawmaker asked him if the NSB had any updates regarding the submarine. Tsai said that the NSB is aware of the topic and that the assessment suggests that it was “probably not a serious shipwreck, but some accidents did occur.” Furthermore, Tsai said that the bureau continued to track the submarine’s position after the event. Tsai’s comments are related to a U.K. news outlet saying a Shang-class submarine allegedly became trapped in an anti-submarine net in the Yellow Sea. The newspaper cited a classified U.K. report that said the crew died after the ship’s oxygen system failed. Reports also emerged that families were unable to contact their military relatives and that the fleet commander was being punished. Furthermore, the United States also reportedly sent P-8 maritime reconnaissance airplane to the area.

Chinese-Singaporean Consortium Wins Tender to Build Georgia’s First Deep-Sea Port in the Black Sea

On May 29, the Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Levan Davitashvili, declared a Chinese-Singaporean consortium as the winner of a tender to build a deep-sea port in Anaklia, on Georgia's Black Sea coast, at the border with the partially-recognized Republic of Abkhazia. The winning consortium includes China Communications Construction Company Limited and the Singapore-based China Harbour Investment Pte. Ltd., with China Road and Bridge Corporation and Qingdao Port International Co. Ltd. serving as subcontractors to build the port itself. Despite an extended deadline, the Swiss-Luxembourg company Terminal Investment Limited, also a targeted participant, did not submit a proposal for the tender. This development marks the end of a prolonged political saga concerning the construction of Georgia’s first deep-sea port, which is expected to enhance the country’s strategic position on the Middle Corridor trade route bypassing Russia. The project had previously faced setbacks, including a halted attempt by a Georgian-U.S. consortium in 2020 amid legal controversies involving Georgian developers. The state-owned "Anaklia Deep Sea Port", holding a 51% stake, will soon commence construction. Additionally, the government is currently reviewing three bids from a World Bank-regulated tender. An announcement of the selected company is expected shortly.

Gantz’ Party Submits Proposal to Dissolve Israeli Government

The National Unity Party, which Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz is part of, has submitted a proposal to dissolve the Israeli Knesset and hold early elections, citing lack of public trust and unity within the government. in a statement, National Unity lawmaker Pnina Tamano-Shata said “Oct. 7 is a disaster that obliges us to return and receive the trust of the nation; to establish a broad and stable unity government that can lead us with confidence in the face of major challenges in terms of security, the economy and especially in Israeli society." The bill can be viewed as an attempt to remove Benjamin Netanyahu from his position as Prime Minister, highlighting continued rifts between him and Gantz.

Russia Faces Agricultural Crisis Amid Cold Spring: Potential State of Emergency and Global Market Impact

This May, Russia is experiencing an anomalously cold spring, causing significant damage to agricultural sectors, with losses estimated in the billions of rubles. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the cold weather has impacted approximately 1,330,000 hectares of both newly sown and previously planted fields. The extensive agricultural damages have prompted authorities to consider declaring a federal emergency to facilitate compensation claims. The situation has impacted domestic and global markets, notably reducing the wheat harvest forecast by up to 30%, according to market analysts. Despite a revised production estimate of 82 million tons, sufficient to meet domestic demand, Russia's status as a leading wheat exporter means these losses could contribute to a global shortage, pushing prices to their highest in a year, as reported by Bloomberg. In response, the Russian government has discussed supporting the affected agricultural producers through emergency measures, including possible insurance claims and government compensation for specific crops. However, critics have already emerged regarding the effectiveness of these measures, with past experiences suggesting potential challenges in securing adequate compensation from insurers.

Searches in the European Parliament amid Investigation into Russian Influence Network

On May 29, federal prosecutors in Belgium conducted searches at the European Parliament's offices and a residence in Brussels as part of an investigation into alleged Russian interference and corruption. In March, Czech intelligence revealed the existence of a network designed to promote pro-Russian views, allegedly via payments to Members of the European Parliament. The network reportedly targets far-right and eurosceptic members, suggesting a strategic effort by Moscow to influence political opinion and policy within the EU and disrupt European unity. The inquiry specifically focuses on the activities of Voice of Europe, a website identified as a conduit for Russian propaganda. Guillaume Pradoura, a parliamentary assistant linked to several European far-right politicians, has been implicated as a central figure in this case, suspected of playing a significant role in promoting Russian interests within the EU Parliament and influencing the European electoral process. Recent measures have led to the inclusion of Voice of Europe on an EU sanctions list, effectively banning its distribution across the Union. This operation comes ahead of the European elections, underscoring concerns about foreign interference.

Hong Kong Court Finds 14 Hong Kong Democrats Guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Subversion

The panel of three national security judges found 14 Hong Kong Democrats guilty, while two were acquitted of conspiracy to commit subversion. Lawrence Lai and Lee Yue-shun became the first two acquittals tried under the 2020 Hong Kong National Security Law. However, the Director of Public Prosecutions extended the bail conditions for both individuals pending a possible appeal from authorities. Authorities took the 14 individuals into custody after the ruling, and they now face a sentencing hearing at a later date. The judges could give them a sentence of three years to life in prison, depending on their role. The 16 were part of the Hong Kong 47: the 47 pro-democracy activists city authorities arrested in January 2021 due to their role in unofficial primaries held to determine which candidates to put forward to gain a majority in that year's Legislative Council election.

Black Crow 24: Upcoming French Military Exercise to Disrupt GPS Signals

The French Air and Space Force (AAE) is set to commence Black Crow 24, a military exercise designed to train crews in ground support missions under conditions of GPS signal disruption. Scheduled from May 27 to June 7, this exercise will involve GNSS jamming across multiple sites within the TRA43 zone. The exercise aims to create an electromagnetic environment where GPS signals are deliberately jammed, helping crews adapt to such challenges during real missions. Two jammers will operate simultaneously across four locations, causing significant GPS disruptions over large areas. The impacted areas, centered at 45°36’00’’N 002°19’00’’E, will extend up to 246 nautical miles at 40,000 feet, 170 nautical miles at 15,000 feet, and 100 nautical miles at 4000 feet. The jamming will affect GNSS procedures, depending on the proximity to the jamming sources. To keep the public informed, the AAE will issue two NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen) each week, providing details about the jamming operations. The first NOTAM will be released two days before the start of the exercise, with subsequent notices following the same schedule. Pilots and aviation personnel are advised to stay updated on these developments to mitigate any potential disruptions to their operations.

U.S. District Court Judge Hicks Struck and Killed by Vehicle

At approximately 2100 EST, local media from Reno, Nevada reported that U.S. District Court Judge Larry Hicks had died at the age of 80, according to a press release from the District Court of Nevada. However, moments ago, local media reported that Judge Hicks was struck by a vehicle at about 1415L as he walked through the intersection at South Virginia Street and California Avenue near the federal courthouse. The driver was detained on scene and was cooperating with law enforcement. Judge Hicks was appointed by President George W. Bush and was sworn in as a United States District Court Judge for the District of Nevada in 2001. This is developing.

People’s Defense Force Arrest Junta Battalion Commander

The People's Defense Force (PDF) in Puta-O announced they have arrested the commander of the Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 137 in northern Kachin State, Myanmar. This arrest follows a report that the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and PDF personnel were cutting off supply lines to junta units from Puta-O to Myitkyina. The Puta-O PDF was trained by the KIA, one of the largest ethnic groups in Myanmar. They have been fighting the government for decades.

American Institute of Taiwan Receives New Director in July

The American Institute of Taiwan (AIS) will get a new director, Raymond Greene, who will move to Taipei in July, replacing current director Sandra Oudkirk, according to a statement by AIT on Wednesday, May 29th. Greene was previously the Deputy Director of AIT from 2018 to 2021, with 28 years of experience within the Indo-Pacific region. He has served in diplomatic roles in Chengdu, Okinawa, Manila, and most recently as deputy chief mission of the U.S. embassy in Tokyo. He also served as chair of the Economic Committee at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum within the National Security Council.  

Anti-Air Activity Reported in Kerch, Crimea

Russian and Ukrainian sources have reported increased anti-air activity over Kerch, Crimea, signaling a potential attack against the Kerch Bridge. Initial reports suggest ATACMS strikes, although this is unconfirmed. The strikes, if confirmed, would coincide with recent Ukrainian drone attacks against missile radar stations in Russia. As previously reported, the targeting of the stations could be viewed as a way to help with ATACMS tactical ballistic missile strikes against Crimea, but detection would be primarily done by local air defenses.

North Korea Carries Out Suspected Ballistic Missile Launch

Yonhap, citing the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, reported that North Korea has conducted a suspected ballistic missile launch into the East Sea. The launch would come two days after a failed attempt to send a military satellite into orbit, where the space launch vehicle (SLV) exploded during its first stage. There is a possibility that this is another SLV launch. Waiting on clarification.