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Interfor International - Weekly Security Matters Digest - July 6

Interfor International – Weekly Security & Covid-19 Digest – July 6

Interfor International – Weekly Security & Covid-19 Digest – July 6

NOTEWORTHY DEVELOPMENTS 

Global Security Matters

  • German authorities granted 2,400 visas to Afghan military employees and their relatives. This move comes in the wake of Germany’s decision to withdraw its troops last week. Germany had the second-largest foreign contingent in Afghanistan after the United States.
  • The Australian government is reevaluating potential risks posed by Chinese economic investment. The government halted some infrastructure plans in the interest of national security. China used similar strategies, particularly in developing countries in Africa and Pacific island nations to boost their influence.
  • The “eye of fire” that burned on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico has been brought under control, according to Mexico’s state-run oil company Pemex. Pemex said in a statement that the fire, blamed on a gas leak from an underwater pipeline, began at 5:15 a.m. and was put out by 10:45 a.m. local time. An investigation regarding the incident has been launched. 
  • Lebanon is suffering through a major financial crisis in the aftermath of the pandemic and the huge explosion in the Beirut port nearly a year ago. The World Bank said the crisis could rank among the world’s three worst since the mid-1800s in terms of standards of living. Lebanon’s currency has lost over 90% of its value since the fall of 2019 as businesses have shut down. 

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 3,986,720 (605,567 in United States) 

Full Vaccinations Administered: 895 million, globally (United States: 157M – 47.9% of population)

  • The United States missed the White House goal of 70% of adults receiving at least the first dose of a vaccine by July 4 by just 3%. The miss is largely due to reticence by adults in some states to receive any vaccination.
  • Covid-19 cases were up in nearly half of US states heading into July 4th weekend. Alaska and Arkansas more than doubled cases in the past week, while South Carolina and Kansas are up more than 50%.
  • In Missouri, the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients jumped by nearly 30% in a hard-hit area where vaccines rates are low, leading to a temporary ventilator shortage and a public call for help from respiratory therapists.
  • Washington, DC said it does not plan to bring back mask requirements, even as the delta variant raises concerns about the vulnerability of individuals who remain unvaccinated.
  • About 99.2% of recent Covid-19 deaths in the US involve unvaccinated people. Dr. Anthony Fauci said this is a “tragic” situation that could be easily remedied.
  • Germany is lifting a ban on tourists from the UK and Portugal, starting Wednesday. Visitors who are fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that England will lift mask requirements and social distancing rules starting July 19.
  • Israel and South Korea agreed to swap hundreds of thousands of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in coming months to meet their countries’ needs.
  • More than 60 Indonesians died as a public hospital on the country’s main island of Java ran out of oxygen as Covid rages and oxygen supplies dwindled.
  • Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel is currently hospitalized with Covid-19 and in “serious but stable condition” due to low oxygen levels in his blood.

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