Global Markets: Speedy, secret trial for Michael Spavor

Michael Kovrig's trial soon to follow

Compiled by Glen Hallick, MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, March 19 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– After only two hours, the espionage trial for Canadian Michael Spavor came to an end on Friday. Spavor, along with Michael Kovrig were detained by Chinese officials shortly after Canadian officials arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in December 2018 at the request of the United States. Known as ‘the Two Michaels,’ they were kept behind bars in separate locations in China for about a year before being charged with any crime. They were later indicted on espionage-related charges. The Canadian embassy’s request to have a representative at Spavor’s trial was denied as it was held in secret. The court didn’t indicate when it would hand down its decision. Kovrig is scheduled to go on trial in a few days.

– High-level talks between the United States and China got off to an acrimonious start on Thursday with United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken tossing the barb that China has been undermining global stability. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi shot back with the jab that the U.S. wasn’t, ”qualified to speak to China from a position of strength,” and accused the U.S. of inciting other countries to attack China. Despite the verbal posturing, meetings between the two largest economic superpowers continued Friday. The tete-a-tete in Anchorage, Alaska marked the first high-level talks between the U.S. and China since the elections in November.

– Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan became Tanzania’s first woman president on Friday following the death of President John Magufuli, whose death was announced on Wednesday. The 61-year-old Hassan will serve out the remainder of Magufuli’s second five-year term that he won in the October election. Hassan is said to be a consensus builder, rising from local government to the Tanzanian national assembly. She has been the country’s vice-president since 2015 and could mark a change of course from the abrasive Magufuli, who touted COVID-19 was a Western conspiracy and had little tolerance for dissent.

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