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Interfor International - Weekly Security Matters Digest -November 15

Interfor International – Weekly Security Digest – November 15, 2022

Interfor’s Weekly Security & Public Safety Digest – November 15, 2022

Global Security Matters

  • At least 6 people were killed and 81 injured in a bombing in Istanbul. A bomb was detonated Sunday on Istiklal Avenue, in a highly populated area. The region has previously been targeted by Kurdish separatists and militant Islamists. However, the attack has yet to be claimed and investigations are ongoing. Turkey’s president Erdogan designated the attack as an act of terrorism. A temporary ban was placed on reporting the explosion, and access to social media platforms was restricted.
  • Cybersecurity researchers found a spyware that is targeting Uyghurs. The spyware, named Badbazaar, masquerades as Android apps, including messaging services and prayer apps. The researchers state the spyware is connected to a hacking group backed by China and can be used to track people who use services as “pre-crime,” or as indicators of potential engagement in religious extremist or separatist activities. “Pre-crime” activities such as using a virtual private network (VPN) can lead to detention in a re-education camp. Evidence suggests that those behind the campaign are also looking to target Uyghurs in Muslim-majority countries. 
  • A state of emergency was declared in Central Darfur, Sudan. The state of emergency comes after at least 24 people were killed in a tribal conflict between the Arab tribes of Misseriya and Aulad Rached in villages near Zalingei. The fighting is reportedly continuing with houses being burned down despite the state of emergency and dispatch of government troops. According to the UN, tribal conflicts killed more than 800 people this year.

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 6,588,850 (1,070,947 in United States) 

US Hospitalization Rate: 4% decline in the past week

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now tracking the rise of another Covid-19 variant known as BN.1, the latest Omicron descendant now spreading around the US this fall.
  • Moderna announced that a booster dose of its bivalent Covid-19 vaccine performs better against two circulating versions of the omicron variant, compared with a booster shot of its original formula.
  • The US federal government took no action to lift the Covid-19 pandemic’s status as a public health emergency, meaning free vaccines and health services designed to combat Covid-19 will be available beyond mid-January 2023.
  • The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said there has been a 90% drop in global Covid-19 deaths since February, which he called a “cause for optimism.” 
  • A cruise ship with 800 Covid-19 positive passengers docked in Sydney, Australia, after being hit by a wave of infections.
  • Japan is entering its eighth wave of Covid-19 infections, the country’s top coronavirus adviser said.

Monkeypox

Global cases: 79,473              US cases: 28,947

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new data showing that 70% US monkeypox patients reported recent male-to-male sexual contact and ninety-five percent of US cases have occurred in men.

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