Interfor International - Weekly Security Matters Digest - July 20

Interfor International – Weekly Security/Covid Digest – July 20

Interfor’s Weekly Security/Covid Digest -July 20, 2021

Global Security Matters

  • China has imposed strict regulations on the country’s top ride-sharing app, Didi. These actions by the CCP have raised questions about Chinese companies’ future listings on foreign stock markets. Some argue that these actions combined with anti-monopoly fines imposed against Alibaba and others will damage the Communist Party’s interests. Didi’s shares crashed 20% on the New York Stock Exchange as the Chinese government placed it under data-security review.
  • On Sunday, the leader of the Taliban said they are committed to a diplomatic resolution to end decades of war in Afghanistan. This move comes after Taliban insurgents have battled for weeks across dozens of districts in Afghanistan, gaining territory in the process. Taliban leaders recently met with a high-level Afghan government delegation in Qatar to jump-start stalled peace talks.
  • The Biden administration publicly accused hackers associated with the Chinese government of breaching Microsoft email systems used by many of the world’s largest companies, governments, and military contractors. A coalition of nations, including the European Union and all NATO members, condemned the attack but stopped short of imposing sanctions. 
  • The Foreign Minister of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, recently announced that Mexico has proposed reopening diplomatic and commercial relationships with North Korea. Ebrard, a potential candidate for Mexico’s next presidential election, could be appealing to the governing Morena party’s base while showing foreign-policy independence from the US. Mexico cut ties with North Korea under the previous administration and complies with UN resolutions on Pyongyang.

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 4,098,725 (609,268 in United States) 

Full Vaccinations Administered: 1.02 billion, globally (United States: 161M – 49.2% of population)

  • The US has upgraded travel warnings for Britain, advising Americans not to travel there due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.
  • The weekly rolling average for cases in the US has nearly tripled in the last month. The pace of deaths is also up sharply, 24.7% from its low point two weeks ago.
  • Los Angeles county imposed a new mask mandate amid a resurgence in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations. The new rule requires that everyone wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio rejected calls for reinstating the indoor mask mandate even though Covid-19 infections are ticking back up. Instead, he called for more vaccination efforts in the five boroughs.
  • Canada will reopen to fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents, starting August 9.
  • England lifted most of its Covid-19 restrictions as the country moves into phase four of the reopening plan. There will be no limits on the size of social gatherings and social distancing is no longer required. Masks are recommended but not essential.
  • A devastating third wave of coronavirus infections is hitting several countries in Southeast Asia as the delta variant takes hold in the region. Countries such as Vietnam, Laos and Thailand are struggling to contain fresh outbreaks.
  • As of Sunday, Indonesia reported over 73,000 deaths and more than 2.8 million confirmed cases, surpassing India and Brazil as the world’s leader in new infection rates.
  • France, Greece, The Netherlands, and Spain announced new restrictions in an effort to slow a rising rate of Covid-19 delta variant infections.