Interfor International - Weekly Security Digest - January 10, 2023

Interfor International – Weekly Security Digest – January 10, 2023

Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest – January 10, 2023

Global Security Matters

  • Thousands of Bolsonaro supporters stormed Brazil’s capital on January 8th. The protestors were supporters of Brazil’s ousted former president, Jair Bolsonaro, and believe the election was stolen. They stormed Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court, and presidential offices on Sunday in a similar fashion to the January 6 storming of the United States Capitol. The protestors set fires, used barricades as weapons, overturned furniture, and looted. Brazilian Army soldiers helped retake control of some buildings. The newly elected president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, issued an emergency decree until January 31.  
  • Anti-government protestors in Peru attempted to take over an airport in the Puno regionleading to the deaths of several people. After a two-week pause of protesting against President Dina Boluarte and leaving 22 dead in December, protests resumed, demanding Boluarte’s resignation, the release of former President Pedro Castillo, the closure of congress, and constitutional changes. The protestors set fire to a police tank outside the Inca Manco Capac airport, and police used tear gas to disperse them. 
  • Cold River, a Russian hacking group, targeted three US nuclear research labs. The breach occurred last summer when Cold River targeted the Brookhaven, Argonne, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories by creating fake login pages which were emailed to nuclear scientists in hopes they would reveal their passwords. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Cold River increased its hacking campaign against Western allies of Ukraine. Cold River is responsible for hacking and leaking the emails of Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of the UK’s MI6. The group is reportedly supporting the Kremlin’s information operations.  
  • The European Union (EU) decided to extend its Naval Force Operation Atalanta off the coast of Africa for two years. Despite the withdrawal of a piracy High Risk designation for Somalia, the mission will now run until December 31, 2024. Due to the success of reducing piracy in the region, Operation Atalanta can now focus on enhancing its role in maritime security. The operation will also be extended to the north of the Red Sea.  

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths:6,684,756 (1,091,184 in United States) 

US Hospitalization Rate: 2 % increase in the past week

  • China opened its borders with Hong Kong and ended a quarantine requirement for visitors after multiple years of Covid-19 travel restrictions.
  • Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House coronavirus response coordinator stated: “We’re seeing sustained increases of Covid-19 infections across the nation, so Covid is the thing that concerns us most, as we look at the days and weeks ahead.”
  • A new Covid variant has taken over in the United States, called XBB.1.5 or “Kraken.” According to the CDC(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), XBB.1.5 now accounts for almost a third of new infections and is the dominant variant in the Northeast US.
  • More schools across the United States are adding mask mandates as Covid-19 cases continue to rise. Districts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania were first, with schools in Massachusetts and Michigan following.
  • There is ‘no immediate threat’ for the European region from a Covid-19 outbreak in China, but more information is needed, said the director of the World Health Organization’s European office, Hans Kluge.