Interfor’s Weekly Security Digest -June 22, 2021
Global Security Matters
- Last Tuesday the Biden administration unveiled a plan to combat domestic extremism. The strategy outlines four priorities, including improving information sharing among law enforcement, combating recruitment by extremist groups, investigating these groups, and confronting racism and bigotry as drivers of domestic terrorism.
- Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned the US of an increased nuclear threat from Iran in light of the recent election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi. Iran has expanded its nuclear program since the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. Negotiators from six signatory countries began talks in April with hopes of repairing the deal.
- The Biden administration is preparing to propose additional sanctions against Russia in the aftermath of the poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny. The sanctions are designed to respond to what national security advisor Jake Sullivan calls “Russia’s harmful activities,” including election interference, the solar winds hack, and the treatment of Alexey Navalny.
Total Deaths: 3,874,630 (602,107 in United States)
Full Vaccinations Administered: 782 million, globally (United States: 150M – 45.7% of population)
- The United States extended Covid-19 restrictions on non-essential travel at land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico until July 21, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
- The Biden administration announced its plan for allocating an additional 55 million Covid vaccines globally by the end of this month. Roughly 75% of the doses will be shared through the COVAX global vaccine program, with the remaining 25% going to countries with regional priorities and other considerations.
- Colorado has the second most Delta variant cases in the US after Missouri, according to health officials. 40% of new Covid-19 cases in the state are the more contagious Delta variant, while nationally, the Delta variant makes up about 10% of cases.
- New York City is offering the chance to win cash prices or a vacation package as an incentive to get vaccinated. The city’s “Weekly NYC Vaccine Contest” runs through mid-July and is offered free of charge to first time vaccine recipients.
- The European Union recently announced that the US has been added to a list of countries for which travel restrictions should gradually be lifted. This list applies to all American tourists regardless of vaccination status.
- Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days when entering Canada beginning July 5. Travelers will have to provide proof of full vaccination at least 14 days prior to travel and a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of entering Canada.
- According to a state health body, China has surpassed 1 billion doses of its Sinovac vaccine. As the rollout continues, questions have emerged regarding the efficacy of the vaccine. Hundreds of Indonesian healthcare workers were infected after being inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine.
- Cuba recorded 1,561 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, the highest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic. Cuban officials are widely administering the Cuban-made vaccine candidates, and report that as of Monday they have given more than four million doses on the island.