What we’re reading: UN agrees on ocean treaty, Americans kidnapped in Mexico and more



Dolphins frolic in the Pacific Ocean off of Long Beach, Calif., on May 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

By Walter Flanagin

U.N. agrees on treaty to protect ocean life in international waters

An agreement on The High Seas Treaty was reached on Saturday after 38 hours of talks at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City, according to the BBC. The treaty marks the first international agreement on ocean protection since 1982.

The US Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs told CNN the treaty will help to conserve and protect 30% of the global ocean by 2030.

Only 1.2% of the international waters, where all countries have a right to fish, ship and do research, are currently protected. Marine life living outside of protected areas have been at risk from climate change, overfishing and shipping traffic.

The new protections will put limits on how much fishing can take place, shipping routes and exploration activities like deep sea mining from sea beds 200m below the surface, according to the BBC.

A subsidiary of U.S. tech firm ATX Inc. sold electronics to a Chinese company linked to spy balloon program

AXT Inc., a tech company based out of Northern California, has ties to the state-owned Chinese defense firm, China Electronics Technology Group Corp. (CETC), According to NBC News.

ATX owns an 85% stake in a subsidiary company that produces semiconductors in China. One of the subsidiary’s biggest customers is the CETC, according to ATX’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The CETC has been linked to the Chinese government’s spy balloon program.

A division of the CETC was blacklisted by the Biden administration after the U.S. shot down a suspected surveillance balloon in February.

Four U.S. citizens kidnapped after crossing the border into Mexico

Four Americans were kidnapped Friday after gunmen opened fire on their vehicle in Matamoros near the U.S.-Mexico border, according to USA Today.

The U.S. State Department has issued a “Do Not Travel” advisory for U.S. citizens in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas where the kidnapping happened.

The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for the return of the missing victims and the arrest of the culprits, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Anyone with information about the kidnapping should reach out to the FBI San Antonio Division or submit an online tip here

Gunmen kidnapped four U.S. citizens who crossed into Mexico from Texas last week to buy medicine and got caught in a shootout. (Associated Press)

Russia resorts to fighting with obsolete Soviet tanks following heavy armored losses

According to official intelligence from the U.K.’s ministry of defense, Russia recently deployed 800 T-62 main battle tanks to replace tanks lost in the Ukraine conflict, reported by the Independent.

The T-62 was first introduced in 1961. Some of the tanks have received upgrades to their sighting systems, but they lack modern explosive armor, British intelligence officials said.


Afghan guerrillas stand around a Soviet T-62 tank which they captured in working order after fighting around the Afghan village of Arghandab on Nov. 6, 1988. They placed anti-communist posters on the tank such as the one held by the guerrilla in the foreground. This poster shows Afghan president Najib sprouting horns and claws rising in a plume of smoke from an oil lamp with the Soviet hammer and sickle emblem on it. A translation of the Bari language slogan written on it says: “Najib is the slave of the lamp of Satan.” (AP Photo/Joe Gaal)

British intelligence also reported seeing Russian BTR-50 armored personnel carriers (APCs) deployed in Ukraine for the first time in recent days, according to the Washington Times. The BTR-50 was first used in 1954.