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Interfor International - Weekly Security Matters Digest - July 13

Interfor International – Weekly Security & Covid Digest – July 13

Interfor’s Weekly Security Digest -July 13, 2021

Global Security Matters

  • Hundreds of Cubans took part in the largest protest against the Cuban government in 30 years as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak, lack of food, and a worsening economic crisis. In response, the Cuban government allegedly shut down the internet, deployed anti-riot forces, and arrested protestors. The government of Cuba blamed the US for the protests due to the tightening of a commercial, economic, and financial embargo. 
  • The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has thrown the country into a state of political chaos, amid a dispute over who will take charge. Moïse’s murder was a blow to a country already reeling from gang violence and widespread protests. Protests began in cities throughout Haiti on July 7, 2018, in response to increased fuel prices but evolved into demands for Moïse to resign. 
  • China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a three-year plan to develop the country’s cyber-security industry, after estimating the sector could be worth $38.6 billion by 2023. The plan comes as Chinese authorities step up efforts to draft regulations to better govern data storage, data transfer, and personal data privacy.
  • In a unanimous vote Friday, the 15-member UN security council agreed to extend a cross-border aid operation into Syria from Turkey. This move came after Russia agreed to a compromise in last-minute talks with the United States, ensuring the delivery of humanitarian help to millions of Syrians for up to 12 months. 
  • Microsoft issued an urgent security warning asking users to immediately install an update after security researchers found a serious flaw in the operating system. The security flaw, known as PrintNightmare, affects the Windows Print Spooler service, responsible for allowing users to access a printer. Microsoft warned that hackers could do serious damage to a computer including viewing and deleting data or even creating new accounts with full user rights. 

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 4,041,027 (607,442 in United States) 

Full Vaccinations Administered: 940 million, globally (United States: 159M – 48.5% of population)

  • The FDA on Monday warned about a possible link between the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and the autoimmune disorder known as Guillain-Barre syndrome. The agency said the data “suggests an association” between the vaccine and a higher risk of the condition, but not enough to establish a causal relationship.
  • Los Angeles is seeing “exponential growth” of Covid-19 cases as the Delta variant takes over as the dominant coronavirus strain. While 60% of those over age 16 have been fully vaccinated, the case rate has jumped from 1.74 cases to 3.5 cases per 100,000 people in one week. The overwhelming majority of those testing positive in the county are unvaccinated, representing 99.96% of all new infections.
  • Some New York City neighborhoods are experiencing a large increase in Covid-19 cases with new daily case average up 32% over the last seven days. Staten Island’s seven-day positivity rate is 1.42%, the highest in the city and the only borough higher than 1%.
  • The CDC said that vaccinated teachers and students do not need to wear masks inside school buildings, easing itsCovid-19 guidelines.
  • The government of Greece ordered all healthcare workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19, with suspensions threatened for those who refuse.
  • Japan’s prime minister ordered a state of emergency for Tokyo. The plan aims to contain a resurgence in Covid-19 infections and curb the movement of people during the Olympics, which runs July 23 to August 8. Most events will have no spectators.
  • France will soon require people to use a Covid-19 “health passport” to get into non-essential places such as bars, cafés, and restaurants. Starting August 1, patrons will have to show they are vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus, or tested negative.
  • Israel’s ministry of health on Monday began offering a third dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to severely immunocompromised adults in what health experts say could be the first phase of an experiment to provide coronavirus booster shots for older people and the most vulnerable.

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Stay safe and healthy,