Interfor International - Weekly Security Matters Digest - May 24

Interfor International – Weekly Security & Covid Digest – May 24, 2022

Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest – May 24, 2022

Global Security Matters

  • A State Department advisory cautioned US companies against doing business with state-owned enterprises in Sudan due to reputational risks.  Sudan has seen an increase in human rights abuses after a military coup in October 2021.  
  • The UK government and the FBI warned of increased cyberattacks targeting modern “smart” farm machinery.  A report from the University of Cambridge said devices used in agriculture, such as crop sprayers and drones, are vulnerable to hacks. 
  • A colonel in the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) was shot dead in Tehran.  Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi reportedly blamed the US and its allies for the killing.  
  • A 21-year-old Russian soldier was sentenced to life in prison over the shooting death of a unarmed civilian, marking the first war crime trial since the invasion of Ukraine. 
  • US President Joe Biden announced the US would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan.  The statement marks a stark pivot from the longstanding US policy of ambiguity regarding Taiwan.  

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 6,276,997 (1,000,826 in United States) 

At least one dose administered: 67.4 % globally (United States: 78.4% of population)

  • Federal health officials  warn Americans that Covid-19 cases are at a high level, but with a caveat: estimates are likely to be a significant under-count of true infections due to the amount of mild and unreported cases.
  • Pfizer said that preliminary findings from a clinical trial of children younger than five showed that three doses of their coronavirus vaccine produced a strong enough immune response to meet the criteria for regulatory authorization.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending Covid-19 booster shots for children ages 5-11 at least five months after their initial vaccine series. 
  • Beijing extended orders for workers and students to stay home and ordered additional mass testing as cases of Covid-19 rose in the Chinese capital.
  • North Korea reported 2.24 million people “sickened with fever,” a big jump from last week when the secretive nation acknowledged its first suspected case of Covid-19.
  • Sweden is recommending a fifth Covid-19 vaccine for people with an increased risk of severe illness, including those pregnant or over age 65.