Interfor International - Weekly Security Matters Digest - Sept 14

Interfor International – Weekly Security & Covid Digest – September 14

Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest-September  14, 2021

Global Security Matters

  • Microsoft announced plans to more than quadruple its cybersecurity investment to $20 billion over the next five years.  A shortage of workers in cybersecurity means increased spending has not resulted in better protection from hackers, a trend Microsoft hopes to change. 
  • Lebanese billionaire Najib Mikati became Prime Minister of the country on Friday and is facing a looming economic crisis.  Since fall 2019, the Lebanese pound has lost more than 90 percent of its value against the dollar, businesses have closed, and skilled professionals have fled the country. 
  • Germany’s national parliamentary vote on September 26 will end Germany’s second longest-serving Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 16-year-long chancellorship. 
  • Officials from the United States, Japan, and South Korea will hold a meeting in Tokyo on September 13 regarding the North Korean nuclear threat.  The Biden Administration has expressed openness to diplomacy to achieve denuclearization but has shown no willingness to ease sanctions. 

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 4,641,746 (662,254 in United States) 

Full Vaccinations Administered: 2.37 billion, globally (United States: 179M – 54.5% of population)

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics released data showing the number of cases among children has “increased exponentially” in recent weeks, a 240% increase since early July.
  • Nealy one million New York City public school students returned to class on Monday to begin a new school year. It was the first day of classes without a remote option since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
  • Florida’s governor announced that cities and counties that require public employees to be vaccinated will face fines of $5,000 each time they enforce mask mandates.
  • A year and a half after the pandemic forced all 41 Broadway theaters to shut down, some of the industry’s biggest shows are resuming performances.
  • France is tightening restrictions on US tourists as cases surge due to the Delta variant. Starting September 12, only vaccinated travelers will be allowed to visit.
  • Cuba will begin vaccinating children as young as two, making it the only country so far to immunize children that young.
  • The US has donated almost two million vaccines to Tunisia since July, recently delivering another 188 thousand doses.
  • Greece introduced new measures banning unvaccinated people from indoor venues, including cafes and restaurants. Unvaccinated persons will be allowed to enter theaters and gyms with proof of a negative test. The measures will remain in place through March.
  • England will begin offering Covid-19 booster shots to those over 50, younger adults with health conditions, and front-line healthcare workers starting next week.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin is quarantining after several people in his inner circle tested positive for Covid-19.