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Interfor International - Weekly Security Matters Digest - Aug 2

Interfor International – Weekly Security & Covid Digest – August 2, 2022

Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest – August 2, 2022

Global Security Matters

  • The United States killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike led by the CIA in Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taipei today, as part of a wider Asia tour.  China emphasized a visit to Taiwan would breach the “one China” policy governing the territory’s status.  Chinese President Xi Jinping warned of military action if Pelosi visits Taiwan.  Analysts believe Xi will want to show a strong response to any sign of the US supporting Taiwanese independence.  As a potential escalation nears between the US and China, analysts are urging EU leaders to prepare for worst-case scenarios.
  • The first grain ship left the port of Odessa on Monday under a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey.  Russia has agreed to end its blockade of Ukrainian ports and not target ports while shipments are in transit, although whether it will abide by this agreement remains to be seen.
  • The UN Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for three months.  The Council called on authorities to implement measures to create an environment safe for elections.  The Council also called on parties to abstain from actions that could undermine the October 2020 ceasefire and emphasized that there can be no military solution in Libya.  The current situation is in a highly volatile state, exasperated by the economic situation, demonstrations across the country, and periodic violence by militias.
  • Myanmar’s military regime announced the extension of its emergency rule until 2023.  Military leadership has promised to hold free elections in the future.  Since the coup last year, the military has eliminated the rule of law, resulting in hundreds of deaths and criminal acts by security forces.  The coup progressively weakens Southeast Asia security and cooperation and leaves the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with a reduced role in the region, strengthening China’s influence.
  • Nine African countries have initiated a European Union (EU) funded Interpol port security project (PSP) to enhance capabilities of law enforcement to prevent, detect, and investigate threats.  Ports are critical infrastructure that require protection to avoid damage to the global economy.  Illicit activities threatening the security of ports also impact political conditions of the countries and the entire region.

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 6,403,021 (1,030,502 in United States) 

US Hospitalization Rate: 13% (3% decline in the past week) 

  • The Biden administration now expects to begin a Covid-19 booster campaign with retooled vaccines in September, following Pfizer and Moderna’s promise that they can deliver doses by then.
  • The US Navy separated 259 sailors for their refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in the last month, reaching a total of 1,466 separations. 
  • Japan is considering altering Covid-19 measures, including a potential change in the collection of infection numbers, in a bid to lessen the burden on hospitals as they strain under a resurgence of the coronavirus across the country.
  • Hong Kong approved giving the Covid-19 vaccine to children six months to three years of age and are offering only one vaccine choice: Sinovac from China.
  • The gambling hub of Macao will allow bars, restaurants, salons, gyms, and entertainment venues to reopen, lifting a citywide Covid-19 lockdown that lasted more than a month.

Monkeypox:

  • New York City officials declares monkeypox a public health emergency, saying the city is the epicenter of the state’s outbreak and the move will boost measures to help slow the spread of the disease.

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