Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest -November 2, 2021
Global Security Matters
- A hacking competition in Chengdu, China saw 12 of 15 targets successfully breached, including iOS 15, Windows 10, and Google Chrome. The vulnerabilities exposed are expected to leak into the public domain in the coming months; full disclosure will be given to the affected companies.
- Belarus has forced the US embassy to close its offices of public diplomacy and USAID amid rising tensions over Belarus’s treatment of dissidents.
- Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani has agreed to resume nuclear talks before the end of November. Previous discussions were suspended in June after six rounds. The negotiations hope to revive the nuclear deal under which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program.
- The United States has expressed concerns over military operations in Myanmar in which more than 100 buildings have been destroyed. Myanmar has faced turmoil since a February 1st coup brought political instability.
- A military-backed coup in Sudan has led to mass demonstrations across the country. According to reports by Sudanese pro-democracy organizations, pro-coup security forces have killed three protestors.
Total Deaths: 5,005,279 (746,688 in United States)
At least one dose administered: 50.9% Globally (United States: 67% of population)
- The official global virus death toll has passed five million. The number is almost certainly an undercount.
- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Panel endorses Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for ages 5 to 11. Preparations are being made for the rollout, awaiting CDC approval.
- New York City begins enforcing a vaccine mandate for NYPD, FDNY and city workers, as thousands resist. 91% of city’s workforce has received at least one shot.
- 80% of adults in the US have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- The FDA delayed its decision on the Moderna vaccine for adolescents.
- A potentially faster-spreading “sub-lineage” of the Delta variant named AY.4.2 has been spotted by labs in at least 8 states.
- In Indonesia, the Novavax vaccine received emergency use authorization.
- From the US Director on National Intelligence (DNI): Intelligence agencies are not expected to be able to determine the origins of COVID-19.