Interfor International - Weekly Security & Covid Digest - January 4, 2022

Interfor International – Weekly Security & Covid Digest – January 4, 2022

Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest – January 4, 2022

Global Security Matters

  • US and Russian officials will hold security talks on January 10th amid continued tensions between Russia and Ukraine.  The meeting will also focus on arms control and attempt to resolve Russian troop movements along the Ukrainian border.  
  • Mass protests in Sudan’s capital city Khartoum prompted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to resign.  Demonstrations erupted after the Prime Minister made a deal to share power with the army, which staged a coup in October.  The move leaves the military in full control. 
  • A Hong Kong pro-democracy news outlet, Citizen News, announced it will close on Tuesday.  The news agency cited a “deteriorating media environment,” pointing to last week’s raid on Stand News, another pro-democracy media outlet.  
  • Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper announced its website was hacked on the anniversary of the Soleimani killing.  The hacked website appeared to depict an illustration of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a US drone strike.  
  • Amid continued nuclear deal talks, Iran launched a satellite rocket, prompting condemnation from several world powers.  France’s foreign ministry said the launch was in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. 

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 5,446,606 (826,063 in United States) 

At least one dose administered: 60% globally (United States: 73% of population)

  • The WHO (World Health Organization) warned that the world will soon see a “tsunami of cases” of COVID-19 which will stretch throughout the winter: The highly transmissible omicron variant and the fast-spreading delta variant will lead to the surge of cases.
  • The US is reporting over 1 million daily Covid cases and more than 100,000 hospitalizations as Omicron surges. Airlines, schools and businesses are curbing operations for lack of healthy workers. 
  • Record high numbers of Covid-19 cases have been reported by countries around the globe.
  • The FDA (Food and Drug Administration)  authorized booster doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds. In addition, the time between the completion of a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and a booster dose has been shortened from six to five months.
  • Israel approved a fourth Covid vaccine shot for the elderly and the immune compromised. Meanwhile,  some persons in the US are getting unapproved fourth or fifth Covid-19 shots, despite uncertainty about its efficacy.
  • Several French MPs say they have received death threats as they debate a Covid-19 pass that would bar the unvaccinated from much of public life.