Categorie
China Japan USA

Survey shows most Japanese don’t want Tokyo to take sides in China-US rivalry (Xu Keyue, Xing Xiaojing and Zhang Changyue, Global Times)

A poll on China-Japan relations showed that a majority of the respondents in both countries cited US pressure as an obstacle for China-Japan ties amid the backdrop of China-US competition, while more than half of Japanese respondents said their country should not “pick sides,” far exceeding those who preferred to side with the US.

Survey shows most Japanese don’t want Tokyo to take sides in China-US rivalry – Global Times

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Afghanistan China Russia

‘Moscow format’ talks highlight China-Russia coordination on Afghan issue, conspicuous US absence (Liu Caiyu, Global Times)

The “Moscow format” talks on Wednesday highlighted the prominent role of China-Russia coordination on the Afghan crisis when the US and some Western countries chose to evade responsibility, experts said, as Moscow gathered 10 countries and the Taliban to focus on the developing political and military situation in Afghanistan.

‘Moscow format’ talks highlight China-Russia coordination on Afghan issue, conspicuous US absence – Global Times

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China

Mutually-beneficial science plan under BRI helps global biodiversity cause (Zhang Hui, Global Times)

China announced it would establish a Kunming Biodiversity Fund and take the lead by investing 1.5 billion yuan ($233 million) to support biodiversity protection in developing countries during the just concluded first part of the COP15 summit, which injected much hope and confidence into the global biodiversity cause.

Mutually-beneficial science plan under BRI helps global biodiversity cause – Global Times

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China USA

China’s Hypersonic Test Raises Questions About US Missile Defense, Deterrence (Patrick Tucker, Defense One)

The “deeply concerning” test of a Chinese hypersonic missile shows that the United States has “a lot of work to do” on technology and policy, military officials and lawmakers said yesterday.

The August test, first reported in the Financial Times, featured a hypersonic glide vehicle that entered orbit. Hypersonic weapons descend at more than five times the speed of sound while retaining enough maneuverability to evade missile defenses designed for the more predictable paths of ICBMs. China’s recent orbital test suggests that a weapon based on its vehicle could have essentially unlimited range.

China’s Hypersonic Test Raises Questions About US Missile Defense, Deterrence – Defense One

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USA

Army Delays IVAS Display Headset by a Year (Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One)

The Army is delaying testing and fielding of its augmented-reality headset while tweaks are made to improve the system, service officials announced Monday.

One of the Army’s top-priority equipment programs, the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, is a heads-up digital display that enables soldiers to view video or other data from a network.

Army Delays IVAS Display Headset by a Year – Defense One

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USA

The Army is getting great power competition all wrong (Daniel L. Davis, Defense News)

Last week, Gen. Charles Flynn, commander of the U.S. Army Pacific, said he wants to “signal” strength to China by putting “boots on the ground” in Asia, “the most consequential region, at the most consequential time against the most consequential adversary.”

But rather than adopting an antagonistic stance, the purpose of the U.S. Army is first to deter any would-be adversary from attacking the United States, and failing that, to defeat them. Seeking confrontation with a competitor does not contribute to our security.

The Army is getting great power competition all wrong (defensenews.com)

Categorie
Central America

A Central American missile crisis? (Christopher J. Hunter, Defense News)

Late Saturday evening, Oct. 16, China’s successful August test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile was publicly reported for the first time by the “Financial Times,” a ”capability that caught US intelligence by surprise,” according to “Financial Times” sources.

Fifty-nine years earlier, on Oct. 16, 1962, the Soviet Union’s forward deployment of nuclear capable ballistic missiles in Cuba also caught the United States by surprise.

A Central American missile crisis? (defensenews.com)

Categorie
Iraq Turkey

Turkish producer to supply aerostat systems to Iraq (Burak Ege Bekdil, Defense News)

Otonom Teknoloji, a privately owned Turkish defense technology company, has said it signed a deal with the Iraqi government for supplying aerostat and airship systems.

The firm said on Oct. 17 that the deal would also involve technological know-how transfer and co-production options in the future. No financial details of the sale were disclosed.

Turkish producer to supply aerostat systems to Iraq (defensenews.com)

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USA

Space Force teams with venture capital company on SpaceWERX (Nathan Strout, Defense News)

The U.S. Space Force has signed a research agreement with venture capital firm Embedded Ventures to explore whether it can use venture capital practices to accelerate innovation with SpaceWERX, the service’s new effort to attract industry startups.

Embedded Ventures said it signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, with the Space Force. While CRADAs do not include funding, they allow the Department of Defense to more easily share technologies and information with a given company.

Space Force teams with venture capital company on SpaceWERX (defensenews.com)

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USA

L3Harris: First flight of future Compass Call paves way for 2022 delivery (Stephen Losey, Defense News)

The airplane that will one day be the Air Force’s next electronic warfare aircraft, the EC-37B Compass Call, has made its first flight and the contractor handling the program says it is on track to be delivered to the service for testing next year.

The current version of the Compass Call, the EC-130H, played a lesser-known — but vital — role in the last two decades of war in the Middle East region, jamming the communications and bomb transmissions of militant groups such as the Taliban and Islamic State. But those decades-old air frames — some of which date back to the Vietnam War era — are aging and sorely need replacing.

L3Harris: First flight of future Compass Call paves way for 2022 delivery (defensenews.com)

Categorie
Afghanistan Ukraine

Ukraine defense minister: Don’t compare us to Afghanistan (Joe Gould, Defense News)

Ukraine’s defense minister fired back Tuesday at Russian predictions that the U.S., in light of its rushed exit from Afghanistan, will eventually abandon Ukraine.

“I’m not going to compare relations between the U.S. and Ukraine with relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan,” Andriy Taran said. “Ukraine is a country that fights for its own independence and territorial integrity. We have no doubt of the support from our strategic partner.”

Ukraine defense minister: Don’t compare us to Afghanistan (defensenews.com)

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USA

Is the spike in federal revenue permanent? (Kyle Pomerleau, AEI)

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently published its monthly budget review for September, now estimating a spike in federal tax receipts for the 2021 fiscal year. According to CBO, individual income tax receipts will climb by $443 billion (27.5 percent), and corporate income tax receipts will climb by $158 billion (74.8 percent). Overall, federal revenue is estimated to increase by 18.3 percent between 2020 and 2021, the largest one-year jump in 44 years, and will hit 17.8 percent of GDP, which is the highest since 2015.

Is the spike in federal revenue permanent? | American Enterprise Institute – AEI

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USA

Unemployment insurance at a crossroads: Tracing program design during and beyond COVID-19 (Amy Simon, AEI)

The COVID-19-related emergency policy interventions in the unemployment insurance (UI) system1 unfolded quickly and will have long-lasting ramifications. While the Great Recession produced modest policy changes, the 2020 relief bills, follow-on state implementation efforts, and record-breaking increases in claims have shifted the paradigm. This creates a unique opportunity to examine long-running structural questions in UI program design and how targeted improvements now could help restructure and reform the system. This report recaps the history of the first eighteen months of these changes, highlights the intersection of technology and program implementation, and suggests both intermediate and long-term considerations for policymakers and stakeholders.

Unemployment insurance at a crossroads: Tracing program design during and beyond COVID-19 | American Enterprise Institute – AEI

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USA

A reset for assessment: Toward a less burdensome accountability system (Jack Buckley, AEI)

Standardized educational assessments are often criticized as overly burdensome, competing for vital instructional time and narrowing the curriculum to what is tested. They are regarded as expensive, diverting scarce resources from students, teachers, and classrooms to shadowy testing companies. They are unfair, showing stubborn achievement gaps between rich and poor, Black and White, and suburban and rural students year after year.

A reset for assessment: Toward a less burdensome accountability system | American Enterprise Institute – AEI

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USA

The divided state of our unions (W. Bradford Wilcox, Lyman Stone, Wendy Wang, Jason Carroll, AEI)

Where is the American family headed as COVID-19 finally seems to be abating? Focusing on family formation in the United States, this report considers three possibilities: (a) the “decadence-deepens scenario,” where marriage and fertility fall further in the wake of the pandemic; (b) the “renaissance scenario,” where men and women turn towards family formation in response to the existential questions and loneliness raised by the last year-and-a-half; and (c) the “family polarization scenario,” where economic, religious, and partisan divides in family formation deepen in post-COVID America.

The divided state of our unions | American Enterprise Institute – AEI

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USA

Invoking Big Tech as an accusation can endanger American security (Klon Kitchen, AEI)

Could Congress’s antitrust campaign against Big Tech derail America’s strategic competition with China? A bipartisan collection of senior national security leaders — including a former Secretary of Defense, former Director of National Intelligence, former CIA executives, and a former White House Homeland Security adviser — think so, and we would do well to listen.

Invoking Big Tech as an accusation can endanger American security | American Enterprise Institute – AEI

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USA

House reconciliation bill struggles with Biden’s flawed $400,000 tax pledge (Alan D. Viard, AEI)

During his successful presidential campaign last year, Joe Biden made a sweeping and misguided pledge about his tax plan: “Nobody making under 400,000 bucks would have their taxes raised, period, bingo.” The pledge’s flaws, which I have previously discussed, are on full display in the budget reconciliation bill recently assembled by the House Budget Committee. Some of the bill’s provisions depart from the principles of good tax policy to comply with the pledge, while others violate the pledge in an effort to follow tax policy principles.

House reconciliation bill struggles with Biden’s flawed $400,000 tax pledge | American Enterprise Institute – AEI

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USA

What the US Recovery Is Missing (Laura Tyson, Lenny Mendonca, Project-Syndicate)

Although the US economy has recovered faster than many others around the world, persistent labor-market problems lurk beneath the surface. The deep class-, race-, and gender-based inequalities laid bare by the pandemic are getting worse, demanding concerted action by policymakers.

What the US Recovery Is Missing by Laura Tyson & Lenny Mendonca – Project Syndicate (project-syndicate.org)
Categorie
Climate Change Southeast Asia

ASEAN Countries Must Lead on Biodiversity (Tony La Viña, Project-Syndicate)

Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, and it is also highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Policymakers in the region must ensure that plans to preserve nature while promoting sustainable economic growth are part of the post-pandemic recovery.

ASEAN Countries Must Lead on Biodiversity by Tony La Viña – Project Syndicate (project-syndicate.org)

Categorie
Climate Change Pandemic

Competition and Coexistence (Carl Bildt, Project-Syndicate)

Just when the world needs to come together to tackle the pandemic and mobilize a response to climate change, geopolitical tensions are rising, threatening the prospects of cooperation. The situation demands a level of global statesmanship that has yet to materialize.

Competition and Coexistence by Carl Bildt – Project Syndicate (project-syndicate.org)

Categorie
China USA

Learning to Manage the China Threat (Shlomo Ben-Ami, Project-Syndicate)

While regime change in China is not impossible, it is not likely, and would almost certainly not lead to Western-style democracy if it occurred. Given this, the US should be seeking to mitigate the security threat China poses through collective security arrangements, not attempting to cause regime change.

Learning to Manage the China Threat by Shlomo Ben-Ami – Project Syndicate (project-syndicate.org)

Categorie
Belarus Russia

Russia-Belarus ‘Union Shield’ drills to become key event of 2023 — defense chief (TASS)

“We summed up and approved the results of the joint work of our defense ministries in 2019-2021 and mapped out measures for military security provision through 2024 and endorsed the corresponding plan,” Sergey Shoigu noted

Russia-Belarus ‘Union Shield’ drills to become key event of 2023 — defense chief – Military & Defense – TASS

Categorie
Belarus NATO

NATO’s growing strike potential worsens Eastern Europe situation — Belarus defense chief (TASS)

As Viktor Khrenin pointed out, “in these conditions, the international security and arms control system is being dismantled, which raises the level of distrust and whips up tension in the region”

NATO’s growing strike potential worsens Eastern Europe situation — Belarus defense chief – Military & Defense – TASS

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Belarus Russia

Moscow, Minsk prolong agreements on presence of two Russian military facilities in Belarus (TASS)

According to the Russian defense minister, “the results of today’s meeting once again confirmed the unanimity of approaches of Russian and Belarusian defense ministries to cooperation in the defense sphere”

Moscow, Minsk prolong agreements on presence of two Russian military facilities in Belarus – Military & Defense – TASS

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Belarus Russia

West’s pressure drove Moscow, Minsk into new military doctrine, says Russian defense chief (TASS)

Sergey Shoigu noted that defense ministries of both countries moved over to planning bilateral military cooperation based on a five-year strategic partnership program

West’s pressure drove Moscow, Minsk into new military doctrine, says Russian defense chief – Military & Defense – TASS

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NATO Russia

NATO steps up military aircraft flights near Russian borders by 30%, says defense chief (TASS)

As the Russian defense minister pointed out, “the intensity of operational and combat training under the NATO aegis remains high”

NATO steps up military aircraft flights near Russian borders by 30%, says defense chief – Military & Defense – TASS

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Russia

Russian arms exports total $15 bln annually, Deputy PM’s office says (TASS)

According to Yuri Borisov, Russia is holding on to second place among defense exporters

Russian arms exports total $15 bln annually, Deputy PM’s office says – Business & Economy – TASS

Categorie
Europe USA

US begins modernizing tactical nuclear weapons and storage sites in Europe — Shoigu (TASS)

As the Russian defense minister pointed out, “a cause for special concern is the engagement of pilots from the bloc’s non-nuclear member states in the drills to practice employing tactical nuclear weapons”

US begins modernizing tactical nuclear weapons and storage sites in Europe — Shoigu – Military & Defense – TASS

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Black Sea Russia

Two Russian Su-30 fighter jets escort four US aircraft over Black Sea — Defense Ministry (TASS)

The ministry noted that following the turnaround of foreign military aircraft from Russia’s state border, the Su-30s safely returned to the airfield base
Two Russian Su-30 fighter jets escort four US aircraft over Black Sea — Defense Ministry – Military & Defense – TASS
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Russia

Russian navy to get at least three Karakurt-class corvettes in 2021-2022 — source (TASS)

Currently, the Russian Navy operates three Project 22800 corvettes: the Mytishchi, the Sovetsk and the Odintsovo. All of them are operating in the Russian Baltic Fleet

Russian navy to get at least three Karakurt-class corvettes in 2021-2022 — source – Military & Defense – TASS

Categorie
Afghanistan Russia

Kremlin says direct contacts with Taliban needed to comprehend developments in Afghanistan (TASS)

According to Dmitry Peskov, the situation in Afghanistan is of paramount importance for Russia, its neighbors and allies in various associations

Kremlin says direct contacts with Taliban needed to comprehend developments in Afghanistan – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS

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Afghanistan Moscow Talks

Moscow consultations help facilitate consensus on Afghanistan, Lavrov says (TASS)

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that participants in the Moscow consultations would discuss possible political and military developments in Afghanistan and prospects for the formation of an inclusive government

Moscow consultations help facilitate consensus on Afghanistan, Lavrov says – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS

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Afghanistan Russia

Russia urges Taliban not to use Afghanistan’s territory against other countries — Lavrov (TASS)

In particular, the Russian foreign minister mentioned Afghanistan’s near neighbors — the Central Asian states

Russia urges Taliban not to use Afghanistan’s territory against other countries — Lavrov – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS

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Afghanistan Moscow Talks

Recognizing Taliban government not to be discussed at Moscow talks, says envoy (TASS)

Representatives from ten countries in the region as well as a high-ranking delegation from the Taliban representing Afghanistan will attend the Moscow talks on Afghanistan

Recognizing Taliban government not to be discussed at Moscow talks, says envoy – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS

Categorie
Afghanistan Al Qaeda ISIS

Al-Qaeda, Islamic State seek to take advantage of instability in Afghanistan — Lavrov (TASS)

According to Russia’s top diplomat, the situation in Afghanistan following the establishment of a new balance of power cannot be described as stable

Al-Qaeda, Islamic State seek to take advantage of instability in Afghanistan — Lavrov – World – TASS

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Afghanistan Russia USA

Russia regrets US is absent from Moscow talks on Afghanistan — Lavrov (TASS)

Lavrov recalled that the United States dodged participation in a meeting of the enlarged troika (Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan) for a second time and voiced the hope there were no fundamental problems behind this

Russia regrets US is absent from Moscow talks on Afghanistan — Lavrov – World – TASS

Categorie
Iran Russia

Iran, Russia agree on security-ensuring activities in region (IRNA)

Iran’s Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri who is paying a visit to Moscow said that Iran and Russia agreed to have activities in the region that ensure security.

In an exclusive interview with IRNA correspondent in Moscow on Wednesday, Baqeri said that the talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia Valery Gerasimov were positive and constructive.

Iran, Russia agree on security-ensuring activities in region – IRNA English

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Iran IRNA

Iran’s Army to hold Defenders of Velayat Sky 1400 air defense drill (IRNA)

Iranian Army Air Force Commander Brigadier General Hamid Vahedi said on Wednesday that Iranian armed forces are to hold a decentralized air defense drill named “10th Defenders of Velayat Sky 1400” tomorrow (Thursday).

Iran’s Army to hold Defenders of Velayat Sky 1400 air defense drill – IRNA English

Categorie
Iran Iraq

Iran, Iraq sign joint statement on expanding legal, judicial ties (IRNA)

Justice ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq signed a joint communiqué on expanding legal and judicial relations.

Iran, Iraq sign joint statement on expanding legal, judicial ties – IRNA English

 

Categorie
Iran Syria

Iran underscores drafting Syrian constitution without foreign interference (IRNA)

Senior Advisor to Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Asghar Khaji in a meeting with the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen emphasized drafting the Syrian constitution without foreign interference.

Iran underscores drafting Syrian constitution without foreign interference – IRNA English

Categorie
Cyprus Egypt Greece

Egypt-Greece-Cyprus summit prioritizes energy cooperation (Al Monitor)

Egypt, Greece and Cyprus held a tripartite meeting in Athens Tuesday as the alliance between the Eastern Mediterranean states continues to strengthen.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi participated in the ninth annual summit along with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. The trio discussed electricity cooperation, energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus’ dispute with Turkey and more, Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency reported.

Egypt-Greece-Cyprus summit prioritizes energy cooperation – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

Categorie
Afghanistan Iran

Iran to host Afghanistan’s neighbors for Oct. 27 talks (Al Monitor)

Iran will host the foreign ministers from Afghanistan’s neighboring countries for a summit on Oct. 27, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters that the one-day meeting next week will bring together diplomats from Russia, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan — the six members of the so-called Moscow format talks on Afghanistan.

Iran to host Afghanistan’s neighbors for Oct. 27 talks – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

Categorie
Afghanistan Iran Pakistan

Iran, Pakistan work to strengthen ties as Afghan situation remains fluid (Sabena Siddiqui, Al Monitor)

Iran’s army chief, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, headed a high-level military delegation to Islamabad last week at the invitation of his Pakistani counterpart Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. Marking a new phase in military ties between both neighbors, the trip held special significance as it took place at a time when the region is going through major geopolitical changes.

Iran, Pakistan work to strengthen ties as Afghan situation remains fluid – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

Categorie
Syrian Kurdish Turkey

Syrian Kurdish forces ‘fully prepared’ for possible Turkish attack (Mohammed Hardan, Al Monitor)

Turkey has threatened to launch a military operation against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which has recently stepped up its attacks in the areas controlled by the Turkish-backed factions in north Syria.

On Oct. 7, a rocket attack targeted a Turkish military convoy in the area, killing a Turkish soldier.

Syrian Kurdish forces ‘fully prepared’ for possible Turkish attack – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

Categorie
Palestine

Tribal courts rule Palestine with unforgiving traditions (Rasha Abou Jalal, Al Monitor)

Many Palestinians take their conflicts and long-standing disputes to tribal courts, which are known for moving quickly to issue rulings. The official court system generally takes much longer, sometimes years, to decide on a case.

Community elders, dignitaries and the heads of families occupy an informal but prominent position in the tribal judiciary system, which settles disputes between individuals and families in cases and complaints ranging from verbal abuse to murder.

Tribal courts rule Palestine with unforgiving traditions – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

Categorie
Iran Israel USA

Iran commander rejoices at US ‘defeats’ (Al Monitor)

The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said the United States has “fled” Afghanistan and is currently counting its “last months” in Iraq as well. Underlining Washington’s regional “defeats,” Hossein Salami added that US “plots” in Lebanon and Syria have also failed.

Iran commander rejoices at US ‘defeats’ – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Comoros Israel

Comoros could be next to normalize ties with Israel (Rina Bassist, Al Monitor)

Reports yesterday say Israel and Comoros are in talks to establish diplomatic relations. The Islands of Comoros is a Muslim-majority country and member of the Arab League. If it happens, Comoros will be the fifth Muslim country to either normalize ties with Israel or advance normalization in the last year, in the framework of the 2020 Abraham Accords. These American-sponsored agreements brought about normalization of diplomatic ties between Israel, the Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco. Sudan is apparently also on its way to finalizing normalization.

Comoros could be next to normalize ties with Israel – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

Categorie
UAE

UAE budget boosts cybersecurity (Hussein Nagah, Al Monitor)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced the adoption of cybersecurity standards for government agencies as it revealed the budget for the next five years (2022-2026), which is the largest in the history of the Gulf state.

The announcement was made by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and vice president of the UAE, who stressed that cybersecurity is a sovereign priority, noting that cyberspace needs protection and updates.

UAE budget boosts cybersecurity – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Iraq

Iraqi election shakes up Shiite political old guard (Akeel Abbas, Al Monitor)

Final results of Iraq’s Oct. 10 elections were announced on Oct. 18. The results are expected to be approved by the federal court in two weeks without a major change.

Shiites have divided into three main groups: Sadrists with 73 seats, Nouri Maliki’s State of Law with 34 seats and the Popular Mobilization Unit’s Fatah with 17 seats. This is in addition to the majority of independents (about 40) who mostly are Shiite.

Iraqi election shakes up Shiite political old guard – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Iraq

Iraq captures mastermind of 2016 Islamic State terror attack that killed hundreds (Hassan Ali Ahmed, Al Monitor)

Al-Qaeda militant Ghazwan al-Zawbaee, who carried out attacks throughout Iraq on behalf of the Islamic State (IS), was captured by Iraqi security forces.

In a tweet, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi confirmed Ghazwan’s capture: “Five years after the terrorist bombing of Karrada, our brave forces succeeded in capturing the terrorist Ghazwan [al-]Zawbaee in a complex intelligence operation outside the country. He is the primary culprit behind the Karrada atrocity and many others.”

Iraq captures mastermind of 2016 Islamic State terror attack that killed hundreds – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

Categorie
Turkey

Ankara summons 10 ambassadors over call to free Turkish philanthropist (Diego Cupolo, Al Monitor)

Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the ambassadors of 10 nations Tuesday to rebuke a rare joint call for the release of jailed Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala.

On Monday, the fourth anniversary of Kavala’s detention without conviction, the embassies of the United States, Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden published a statement critical of the prominent civil rights activist’s continued imprisonment despite a 2019 European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling for his immediate release.

Ankara summons 10 ambassadors over call to free Turkish philanthropist – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Tunisia

Tunisia’s new government sworn in without parliamentary approval (Hanen Jebli, Al Monitor)

The moderate Islamist Ennahda party, Tunisia’s largest party in parliament, issued a statement Oct. 14 rejecting the new government headed by Najla Bouden. “It’s a de facto government of the unconstitutional Decree 117,” in reference to the order issued by President Kais Saied on Sept. 22, which put the executive and legislative powers in his hands.

Tunisia’s new government sworn in without parliamentary approval – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

Categorie
Egypt Ethiopia Turkey

Drone sale to Ethiopia could jeopardize Turkey-Egypt dialogue (Fehim Tastekin, Al Monitor)

Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones, touted as a game-changer for Ankara’s allies in the Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts, appear bound for further showing in African skies, but not without the risk of complicating Turkey’s foreign ties, primarily its fledgling bid at fence-mending with Egypt.

Drone sale to Ethiopia could jeopardize Turkey-Egypt dialogue – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Baltic States Russia

Non-Citizenship Issue in Baltic Countries Passing from the Scene (Paul Globe, The Jamestown Foundation)

In the 1990s, the status of ethnic Russians who did not automatically become citizens in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was a lively topic—especially in Moscow, where policymakers hoped to use those communities as a pressure device or even a fifth column against these countries. With the passage of time, however, ethnic-Russian populations in the Baltics have declined due to deaths, departures or assimilation.

Non-Citizenship Issue in Baltic Countries Passing from the Scene – Jamestown

Categorie
Belarus

The Belarusian Opposition and the Five Stages of Grief (Grigory Ioffe, The Jamestown Foundation)

Writing about the Belarusian opposition (BO) can be risky because any expressed negativity toward the opposition leaders is perceived in some quarters as tantamount to supporting dictatorship. Certainly, a healthy opposition is a valuable societal outlet for expressing legitimate disagreement with the authorities. And this is especially true in Belarus, where the electoral outcome officially made public on August 9, 2020, remains in doubt and the post-election protest rallies were notoriously crushed by the government. As of October 2021, there are 812 detainees labeled political prisoners by human rights groups (Spring96.org, October 17). And the Belarusian government has issued a series of draconian laws that open citizens up to charges of “terrorism” simply for subscribing to certain Telegram channels (Naviny, October 14). The absence of any officially tolerated conduits for voicing disagreement with such policies, thus, arguably qualifies the political regime of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka as “dictatorial.”

The Belarusian Opposition and the Five Stages of Grief – Jamestown

Categorie
Armenia Azerbaijan Turkey

‘Zangezur Corridor’ Closer to Realization as Armenia Readies to Normalize Relations With Turkey and Azerbaijan (Vasif Huseynov, The Jamestown Foundation)

On October 15, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, in an online summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), declared his country’s readiness to provide both railway and highway connection to Azerbaijan, via southern Armenian territories, that would link mainland Azerbaijan with its exclave of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Baku has routinely referred to this overland passage as the “Zangezur corridor,” with a reference to the historical name of what is today Armenia’s Syunik Province (Primeminister.am, October 15). Although Pashinian had previously confirmed the plans for the construction of a railway link between two parts of Azerbaijan via the Meghri region of Syunik Province, he had rejected Baku’s demand for an automobile road along the same route (see EDM, May 24).

‘Zangezur Corridor’ Closer to Realization as Armenia Readies to Normalize Relations With Turkey and Azerbaijan – Jamestown

Categorie
North Korea

N Korea confirms test of ‘new type’ submarine-launched missile (Al Jazeera)

North Korea has confirmed it test-fired a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), a day after South Korea reported the launch of what it said appeared to be an SLBM from North Korea’s east coast.

State media said on Wednesday a “new type” of SLBM had been launched, and released a series of photos.

N Korea confirms test of ‘new type’ submarine-launched missile | Weapons News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
China Muslim Uighurs

Xinjiang’s ‘architecture of repression’ targets Muslim Uighurs (Al Jazeera)

In November of 2018, Anayit Abliz, a Muslim Uighur from China’s far western region of Xinjiang, was sentenced to three years in prison for using a file-sharing application called Zapya and a virtual private network (VPN) to communicate online the previous year.

During the months of detention leading to his conviction, the teenager’s family was subjected to intrusive surveillance, with their daily activities chronicled in a series of reports filed under the heading, ‘Situation regarding persons who are detained or going through re-education’.

Xinjiang’s ‘architecture of repression’ targets Muslim Uighurs | Uighur News | Al Jazeera

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NATO Russia

Are NATO and Russia on a collision course? (Al Jazeera)

NATO and Russia have long tried to keep an open channel of communication.

But building trust between the two rivals has always been complicated.

They have disagreed on a number of issues, from security to intelligence gathering.

A recent dispute about spying has led Russia to break off diplomatic ties.

Earlier this month, NATO expelled eight members of Russia’s diplomatic mission to the alliance, saying they were “undeclared intelligence officers”.

Moscow denied the allegations and has now suspended its diplomatic mission altogether.

So, what’s next for Moscow and NATO?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra

Guests:

Dmitry Babich – Political analyst at Rossiya Sevodnya, a news agency

Theresa Fallon – Director of the Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies

Glenn Diesen – Professor of international relations at the University of Southeastern Norway

Are NATO and Russia on a collision course? | NATO News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Egypt Europe Greece

Greece pledges to link Egypt to European Union’s energy market (Al Jazeera)

Greece pledged Tuesday to link Egypt to the European Union’s energy market with an undersea cable that would carry electricity across the Mediterranean.

“[Egypt’s] link to Europe will be Greece,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said after talks in Athens with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. “We are seeking diversification of energy sources, and Egypt can also become a provider of electricity, which will be produced mainly by the sun.”

Greece pledges to link Egypt to European Union’s energy market | Energy News | Al Jazeera

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Brazil

Brazil’s Bolsonaro should face COVID charges: Senate inquiry (Al Jazeera)

The senator leading a congressional investigation into Brazil’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has recommended that President Jair Bolsonaro face criminal charges – including homicide – over a catalogue of alleged government errors that led to the deaths of thousands of people.

A nearly 1,200-page draft document prepared by opposition Senator Renan Calheiros for a Senate committee that discussed the matter late on Tuesday began an inquiry in April which alleges that Bolsonaro turned down early opportunities for the government to acquire vaccines, delaying Brazil’s inoculation campaign at the cost of an estimated 95,000 lives.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro should face COVID charges: Senate inquiry | Coronavirus pandemic News | Al Jazeera

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Haiti

Haitian gang demands $1m each for kidnapped US missionaries (Al Jazeera)

A gang that kidnapped members of a Christian missionary group from the United States is demanding $1m in ransom per person, a top Haitian official told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The official, who was not authorised to speak to the press, said someone from the 400 Mawozo gang called in the ransom demand shortly after kidnapping the missionaries on October 16.

Haitian gang demands $1m each for kidnapped US missionaries | Crime News | Al Jazeera

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Brazil

Brazil’s assets sink on fears aid programme will hurt fiscal rule (Martha Beck, Rachel Gamarski, Vinícius Andrade, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera)

Brazilian assets tumbled on Tuesday, leading losses across the globe, on reports the government will breach the country’s spending cap rule to finance a new social program, hurting the fiscal position of Latin America’s largest economy.

The new aid program to the poorest, dubbed Auxilio Brasil, will give handouts of as much as 400 reais ($72) per individual, according to people with knowledge of the matter. That amount is higher than the economic team had said was possible, which should mean about 30 billion reais of the new expenses will bypass Brazil’s spending cap rule this year, one of the people said, asking not to be named because discussions are private.

Brazil’s assets sink on fears aid programme will hurt fiscal rule | Business and Economy News | Al Jazeera

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Colombia

Colombia ‘responsible for kidnap, attack and rape of journalist’ (Al Jazeera)

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a ruling holding Colombia’s government responsible for the kidnap, torture and rape of a journalist by paramilitary groups in 2000.

Jineth Bedoya, a reporter at the time for the El Espectador newspaper, was investigating a weapons smuggling ring when she was abducted and assaulted by far-right militia members.

Colombia ‘responsible for kidnap, attack and rape of journalist’ | Freedom of the Press News | Al Jazeera

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Oil Prices

Oil price starts to drop after China looks to tame coal prices (Al Jazeera)

Oil prices turned down after the Chinese government flagged it was looking for ways to tame record high coal prices and that it would ensure coal mines operate at full capacity as Beijing moved to ease a power shortage.

Chinese coal prices and other commodity prices slumped in early trade, which in turn pulled oil prices down from an uptick earlier in the day.

Oil price starts to drop after China looks to tame coal prices | Business and Economy News | Al Jazeera

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Cryptocurrencies

Love them or hate them: Cryptocurrencies are here to stay (Al Jazeera)

Love cryptocurrencies or hate the very idea of them, they’re becoming more mainstream by the day.

Cryptocurrencies have surged so much that their total value has reached nearly $2.5 trillion, rivalling the world’s most valuable company, Apple, and have amassed more than 200 million users. At this size, it’s simply too big for the financial establishment to ignore.

Love them or hate them: Cryptocurrencies are here to stay | Crypto News | Al Jazeera

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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka reverses organic farming drive as tea suffers (Al Jazeera)

Sri Lanka has backed down from its ambitious plans to become the world’s first completely organic farming nation, reversing a ban on imports of chemical fertiliser.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had imposed a total ban on agrochemicals in May, saying he wanted to make Sri Lankan farming 100 percent organic.

Sri Lanka reverses organic farming drive as tea suffers | Agriculture News | Al Jazeera

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Kashmir

What is behind the recent surge in violence in Kashmir? (Al Jazeera)

A surge in violence in Indian-administered Kashmir in recent weeks, including a spate of suspected rebel attacks on civilians and a widespread crackdown by security forces, has left at least 33 people dead in the heavily militarised region since early October.

Kashmir, which is claimed in full by India and Pakistan but ruled in parts by the two neighbours, has been the site of a bloody armed rebellion against New Delhi since the 1990s.

What is behind the recent surge in violence in Kashmir? | Conflict News | Al Jazeera

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Bangladesh

Bangladesh ruling party rallies for Hindus after deadly violence (Al Jazeera)

Thousands of members of Bangladesh’s ruling party have rallied in support of the nation’s besieged minority Hindus after one of the worst bouts of religious violence in the Muslim-majority nation in more than 10 years.

The wave of clashes left at least six people, including two Hindu men, dead and dozens of homes destroyed, according to local media. Police said 450 people had been arrested.

Bangladesh ruling party rallies for Hindus after deadly violence | Religion News | Al Jazeera

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Afghanistan USA

US: Taliban will have no access to Afghan central bank reserves (Al Jazeera)

Deputy United States Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said he sees no situation where the Taliban, who regained power in Afghanistan in August, would be allowed access to Afghan central bank reserves, which are largely held in the United States.

“We believe that it’s essential that we maintain our sanctions against the Taliban but at the same time find ways for legitimate humanitarian assistance to get to the Afghan people. That’s exactly what we’re doing,” Adeyemo told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.

US: Taliban will have no access to Afghan central bank reserves | Business and Economy News | Al Jazeera

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Mali

Mali asks Islamic body to open negotiations with al-Qaeda (Al Jazeera)

Mali’s government says that it has asked the country’s main Islamic body to open peace talks with leaders of al-Qaeda’s local affiliate in an effort to end a decade of conflict.

The latest announcement on Tuesday by the religious affairs ministry marks by far the most concrete step towards negotiations with group leaders, though it is not clear when talks would begin.

Mali asks Islamic body to open negotiations with al-Qaeda | Al-Qaeda News | Al Jazeera

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Africa Climate Change

Over 100 million people in Africa threatened by climate change (Al Jazeera)

A new report by the United Nations has warned that more than 100 million “extremely poor” people across Africa are threatened by accelerating climate change that could also melt away the continent’s few glaciers within two decades.

The report released on Tuesday by the World Meteorological Organization presented a grim reminder that Africa’s 1.3 billion people remain “extremely vulnerable” as the continent warms more and at a faster rate than the global average – when the continent’s 54 countries are responsible for less than 4 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Over 100 million people in Africa threatened by climate change | Climate Change News | Al Jazeera

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Africa Climate Change Climate Finance

Africa calls for climate finance tracker after donors fall short (Al Jazeera)

African countries want a new system to track funding from wealthy nations that are failing to meet a $100bn annual target to help the developing world tackle climate change, Africa’s lead climate negotiator has said.

The demand highlights tensions ahead of the COP26 climate summit between the world’s 20 largest economies, which are behind 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and developing countries that are bearing the brunt of the effects of global warming.

Africa calls for climate finance tracker after donors fall short | Climate Change News | Al Jazeera

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Syria

Bomb attack kills 13 Syrian military personnel: state media (Al Jazeera)

Two roadside bombs have exploded near a bus carrying troops in the Syrian capital Damascus, killing at least 13 military personnel and wounding three others, state TV reported.

Syrian state TV showed footage of the charred bus in central Damascus early Wednesday, saying the blasts occurred during rush hour when people were heading to work and school.

Bomb attack kills 13 Syrian military personnel: state media | Conflict News | Al Jazeera

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Israel Palestine

Palestinians condemn Israeli bill giving broad powers to police (Zena Al Tahhan, Al Jazeera)

Israel is taking steps towards over-policing and increasing its surveillance of the Palestinian population inside its 1949-borders under the pretext of curbing the high crime rate within the community, Palestinians say.

In the latest measure, the Israeli cabinet approved a proposal on Sunday granting police with what Palestinians view as overly broad powers – allowing them to freely search homes without a court warrant – “if they think they can find a suspect or evidence related to a serious crime”, according to Israeli media.

Palestinians condemn Israeli bill giving broad powers to police | Israel-Palestine conflict News | Al Jazeera

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Europe Turkey

EU accuses Turkey of ‘backsliding’ on reforms to join bloc (Al Jazeera)

The European Union’s executive body has said that Turkey’s bid to join the bloc had “come to a standstill” amid serious democratic shortfalls in its annual report, which was slammed by the Turkish foreign ministry as making “baseless claims”.

The European Commission said in the report published on Tuesday that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government had overseen a continued erosion of democracy and the rule of law and had ignored the EU’s recommendations last year.

EU accuses Turkey of ‘backsliding’ on reforms to join bloc | European Union News | Al Jazeera

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Lebanon

Beirut blast judge summons ex-ministers as pressure mounts (Kareem Chehayeb, Al Jazeera)

The lead investigator of the Beirut Port blast probe summoned two charged ex-ministers again as Lebanese leaders continue to mount pressure on him.

Judge Tarek Bitar on Tuesday scheduled interrogations with former ministers Nouhad Machnouk and Ghazi Zeiter on October 29. Both are currently sitting members of parliament.

Beirut blast judge summons ex-ministers as pressure mounts | Beirut explosion News | Al Jazeera

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Iran USA

Over-compliance with US sanctions hurting Iran’s ‘butterfly kids’ (UN News)

Over-compliance with United States-imposed sanctions against Iran is harming the right to health, and people with a rare skin disease are among those affected, many of them children, experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council said on Tuesday.

These patients suffer from epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a severe and life-threatening skin condition, which causes extremely painful wounds. Many are children, who are often referred to as “butterfly kids” because of their fragile skin.

Over-compliance with US sanctions hurting Iran’s ‘butterfly kids’ | | UN News

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South Sudan

UNHCR responding to worst flooding in decades in South Sudan (UN News)

Weeks of heavy rain have caused unrelenting floods, affecting more than 700,000 people across the country, UNHCR Representative in the country Arafat Jamal said on Tuesday.

UNHCR responding to worst flooding in decades in South Sudan | | UN News
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Myanmar

Myanmar: Three million in urgent need of life-saving assistance, protection (UN News)

Updating journalists at the daily media briefing in New York, Stéphane Dujarric cited humanitarians in saying that “conflict, food insecurity, natural disasters and COVID-19” have left some three million women, children and men in urgent need of life-saving assistance and protection.

Myanmar: Three million in urgent need of life-saving assistance, protection | | UN News
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Yemen

Yemen war reaches ‘shameful milestone’ – 10,000 children now killed or maimed (UN News)

That’s the equivalent of four children every day, UNICEF spokesperson James Elder said. Urging all parties to the conflict to stop the fighting, he added that “Yemen is the most difficult place in the world to be a child. And, incredulously, it is getting worse.”

Yemen war reaches ‘shameful milestone’ – 10,000 children now killed or maimed  | | UN News

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India Vietnam

Rethinking India’s economic policy towards Vietnam (Kannan Reghunathan Nair, Phan Xuan Dung, East Asia Forum)

Since the upgrade of bilateral relations to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ in 2016, India–Vietnam strategic coordination has continued to deepen — as reflected through increased defence and maritime security cooperation. But New Delhi and Hanoi’s economic ties are lagging behind, limiting their ability to address shared security and strategic concerns raised by China’s economic rise in India’s backyard and maritime assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Rethinking India’s economic policy towards Vietnam | East Asia Forum

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Africa China France Germany

Why France and Germany won’t join China’s ‘Africa Quad’ (Lucas Engel, Reed Piercey, Deborah Brautigam, East Asia Forum)

Chinese President Xi Jinping invited the leaders of Germany and France to join a ‘quad’ of cooperation with African countries during a virtual summit on 5 July 2021. But why did Beijing suddenly propose this partnership? And is the move likely to bear fruit?

Why France and Germany won’t join China’s ‘Africa Quad’ | East Asia Forum

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USA

Reimagining local public finance: Equitable reform of taxes, fines, and fees (Tonantzin Carmona, Brookings)

As a result of the American Recovery Plan Act (ARP), many cities and counties are seeking to make transformative investments while prioritizing equity in the process. Naturally, the spending decisions local governments are making have received a lot of attention.

Reimagining local public finance: Equitable reform of taxes, fines, and fees (brookings.edu)

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Future of Cities

Understanding child-friendly urban design (Helen Shwe Hadani, Jennifer S. Vey, Shwetha Parvathy, and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Brookings)

More than half of the world’s children are growing up in cities. By 2030, up to 60 percent of the world’s urban population will be under 18 years old. Yet, children and families are often invisible to urban planners, developers, and architects when creating city-wide policies that impact transportation, air and noise pollution, and health and well-being. “The truth is that the vast majority of urban planning decisions and projects take no account of their potential impact on children and make no effort to seek children’s views…All too often, this is down to a simple lack of respect for children’s rights or abilities,” writes Tim Gill in his recent book “Urban Playground.”

Understanding child-friendly urban design (brookings.edu)

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Climate Change SDGs USA

Leveraging the Biden-Harris climate agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (Anthony F. Pipa and Kaysie Brown, Brookings)

In November, at the COP26 U.N. Climate Change Conference, the U.S. will join the community of nations keeping alive the promise to meet the agreed target to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels. The Biden administration will continue to work to reestablish U.S. leadership and increase global commitments for tackling climate change amid lingering skepticism from other countries. Its strategy for achieving its own ambitious target goes beyond a narrow focus on mitigation to include other important dimensions such as quality jobs, public health, and environmental justice. This offers an opportunity to leverage the areas of intersection and synergy between the U.S. climate agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to advance U.S. climate ambitions, both at home and abroad.

Leveraging the Biden-Harris climate agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (brookings.edu)

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USA

How pandemic-era fiscal policy affects the level of GDP (Louise Sheiner, Sophia Campbell, Manuel Alcalá Kovalski, and Eric Milstein, Brookings)

Fiscal policy, including both automatic stabilizers and pandemic-related tax and spending legislation, played a significant role in cushioning the blows to the economy of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021. The Hutchins Center Fiscal Impact Measure (FIM)—which measures how much federal, state, and local tax and spending policy adds to or subtracts from overall economic growth—shows that fiscal policy has boosted economic growth on average since the start of the pandemic, but will restrain growth going forward as the effects of the stimulus wane.

How pandemic-era fiscal policy affects the level of GDP (brookings.edu)

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35th International Islamic Unity Conference IRNA Islam

Islamic world is land of friendship: Croatian Muslim cleric (IRNA)

All Muslims should echo the fact that the Islamic world is the land of friendship and love, a Croatian Mufti said, calling for preventing arrogant powers from sowing discord among Muslim nations.

Aziz Hasanovic , president of the Meshihat of the Islamic Community in Croatia, made the remarks in the opening ceremony of the 35th International Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran on Tuesday.

Islamic world is land of friendship: Croatian Muslim cleric – IRNA English

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Iran IRNA Russia

Iran-Russia to strengthen defense-military ties (IRNA)

Iran’s Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri, who is on a visit to Moscow, held a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and both sides highlighted the need to strengthen military-defense ties.

Both sides, assessed the level of bilateral ties between the two countries, especially in the military field, as favorable and emphasized strengthening cooperation.

Iran-Russia to strengthen defense-military ties – IRNA English

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Iran Iraq IRNA

Iran calls for further interaction with Iraq in fighting narcotic smugglers (IRNA)

Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said that Iran expects further interaction with Iraq with regard to fighting narcotics smugglers.

Speaking in a meeting with Iraqi Justice Minister Salar Abdul Sattar Muhammad, Montazeri said that Iran and Iraq have signed four official contracts.

Iran calls for further interaction with Iraq in fighting narcotic smugglers – IRNA English

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Atlantic Council China USA

We’re at the perilous beginning of an uncertain era in US-China relations (Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council)

The United States and China represent the most significant—and potentially most perilous—bilateral relationship in human history. Given that reality, neither side is managing their rising tensions with adequate skill or durable strategy.

That’s the way Stephen Heintz of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund put it in a conversation with me a couple of days ago. It is also the subtext of conversations I’ve had with world leaders visiting Washington, DC, this past week for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings.

We’re at the perilous beginning of an uncertain era in US-China relations – Atlantic Council

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Atlantic Council USA

The Powell Doctrine’s wisdom must live on (Christopher Preble, Atlantic Council)

The death of Colin Powell offers a somber opportunity to reflect on his legacy of public service. Of the many things that Powell may be remembered for, I hope that the Powell Doctrine survives.

The Powell Doctrine’s wisdom must live on – Atlantic Council

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Azerbaijan France The Jamestown Foundation

Cautious Optimism in Azerbaijani-French Relations: The View From Baku (Shabnam Hasanova, The Jamestown Foundation)

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s interview with French television channel France 24 late last month (September 28) highlighted both current and future perspectives for bilateral relations between the two countries. At the same time, it sent a signal to Armenia, which has long presumed to have a much closer relationship with France (President.az, September 28).

Cautious Optimism in Azerbaijani-French Relations: The View From Baku – Jamestown

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Cossacks Russia The Jamestown Foundation

Russia’s Cossacks: Strategic Asset or Financial Liability? (Aslan Doukaev, The Jamestown Foundation)

The Cossack revivalist movement in southern Russia (and beyond) since the collapse of the Soviet Union is marked by two parallel tendencies. On the one hand, there is Cossack activism based on appeals to ancestral identity. This is geared not merely toward the revitalization of Cossack culture and way of life immortalized by Leo Tolstoy and Mikhail Sholokhov but also toward convincing the Kremlin that, despite the Soviet-era reprisals, the Cossacks are still a force to be reckoned with, and that they could serve as protectors of Russian interests, especially in frontier regions. “The main goal of Cossackdom in the North Caucasus is to serve as the guarantor of Russian presence in this geopolitically important region of the country,” the ataman (chieftain) of a Cossack organization in the southern Russian Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia said in an interview in early October (EADdaily, October 7).

Russia’s Cossacks: Strategic Asset or Financial Liability? – Jamestown

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Europe Russia The Jamestown Foundation

The EU-Russia Antagonism Stretches From Ukraine to the Arctic (Pavel K. Baev, The Jamestown Foundation)

In its multi-domain confrontation with the West, Russia presumes that the main driver is the rivalry with the United States, while typically portraying the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a sworn but disorganized enemy. However, it is in fact the European Union that is engaged in the most direct antagonism with Russia and regularly takes aim at the most rotten pillars of the corrupt autocratic regime upheld by President Vladimir Putin. Russian-US relations have remained on an even keel since Presidents Putin and Joseph Biden’s Geneva summit in mid-June; but the visit to Moscow last week (October 11–13) by Victoria Nuland, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, reconfirmed—tense as her meetings in the Kremlin were—that (uneasy) stability (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, October 12; Kommersant, October 14; see EDM, October 14). And while NATO was the designated adversary in the recent Russian Zapad 2021 massive military exercises, tensions between Moscow and the transatlantic alliance have subsided since (see EDM, October 12). The EU, on the other hand, has meanwhile continued to tighten its sanctions against Belarus, Russia’s closest ally, and expand the bloc’s relations with Ukraine.

The EU-Russia Antagonism Stretches From Ukraine to the Arctic – Jamestown

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Global Times Hong Kong

HKEX launches first A-share derivatives product in fresh boost for city’s financial market (Global Times)

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX), the operator of Asia’s third-largest stock exchange, on Monday launched its first A-share derivatives contract, offering global investors an appealing risk management tool that attests to China’s economic rebalancing, as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) muscles in as an international financial hub that backstops the globalization of the country’s capital markets.

HKEX launches first A-share derivatives product in fresh boost for city’s financial market – Global Times

Categorie
Belt and Road Initiative China Global Times

China speeds up new-energy cooperation with BRI partners amid push for green development (Chu Daye, Global Times)

China will deepen energy cooperation with partner countries under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the nuclear, new energy and smart energy sectors, as countries rise to climate challenges, Vice Premier Han Zheng said at the second Belt and Road Energy Ministerial Conference held in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province on Monday.

China speeds up new-energy cooperation with BRI partners amid push for green development – Global Times

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China Global Times UK

Does UK leader Johnson truly welcome Chinese investment? (Global Times)

There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for Chinese investors when it comes to entering the UK market ever since the relationship between China and the UK soured in about two years ago.

Ahead of the Global Investment Summit held in London on Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during an interview with Bloomberg that Britain will not “pitchfork away” every offer of Chinese investment.

GT Voice: Does UK leader Johnson truly welcome Chinese investment? – Global Times

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China Global Times

Nation knows how to overcome temporary economic difficulties (Global Times)

Soaring coal prices are tightening up supply of coal and electricity in many countries, including China. Some regions in China have experienced power rationing, becoming catnip for some Western media outlets to exaggerate the impact of a power shortage on China’s overall economy.

Nation knows how to overcome temporary economic difficulties – Global Times

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Alibaba China Global Times

Alibaba unveils self-developed chip amid China’s push for tech self-reliance (Global Times)

Chinese internet giant Alibaba on Tuesday unveiled its new chip for cloud computing, the company’s latest breakthrough in the core technology sector amid the nation’s push for technology self-reliance.

The chipset launch will help boost the company’s cloud computing business, in which it already has the largest domestic market share, while catching up with global players like Amazon and Microsoft, analysts said.

Alibaba unveils self-developed chip amid China’s push for tech self-reliance – Global Times

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China Global Times USA

China welcomes US firms to expand investment, official says amid rising positive signs (Chi Jingyi, Global Times)

China welcomes US companies to expand investment in China and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, a senior Chinese official said on Monday, adding to growing positive signs for potential improvement in China-US trade ties and implementation of the China-US phase one trade agreement.

China welcomes US firms to expand investment, official says amid rising positive signs – Global Times

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Global Times Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) Wealth Management Connect (WMC)

Landmark cross- boundary wealth management connect sees solid start (Global Times)

The landmark Wealth Management Connect (WMC) pilot program in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) saw solid results on its first day of operations on Tuesday, with strong demand for cross-boundary wealth management products, marking another crucial development in the ever-closer financial cooperation in the GBA.

Landmark cross- boundary wealth management connect sees solid start – Global Times

Categorie
China Global Times Russia

China, Russia sign road transport deal in boost for bilateral energy trade (Global Times)

China has signed an agreement with Russia on road transportation of dangerous goods, which will effectively boost bilateral trade in energy products, including liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas, according to a statement released by the Chinese Ministry of Transport (MOT) on Tuesday.

China, Russia sign road transport deal in boost for bilateral energy trade – Global Times

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China Defense Military Russia

Chinese, Russian warships’ 1st joint patrol sails through Tsugaru Strait in line with intl law, ‘could feature encirclement of Japan or approach US’ (Guo Yuandan and Liu Xuanzun, Global Times)

Right after China and Russia wrapped up a joint naval exercise in the Sea of Japan on Sunday, 10 powerful warships from the two countries switched to the next mission and sailed through the Tsugaru Strait into the Pacific Ocean on Monday in their first joint maritime patrol, which experts said on Tuesday could see the joint task force encircle Japan or approach the US. The joint patrol displays a high level of political and military mutual trust that exists between China and Russia in terms of safeguarding regional peace and stability, at a time when the US is ganging up with its allies like Japan and Australia and interfering in and destabilizing Asia-Pacific affairs.

Chinese, Russian warships’ 1st joint patrol sails through Tsugaru Strait in line with intl law, ‘could feature encirclement of Japan or approach US’ – Global Times

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Defense Defense One USA

DDS Security Clearance Tool Evolves into ‘SITH’ Insider Threat Program (Aaron Boyd, Defense One)

An automated background investigations prototype developed by the Defense Digital Service is being retooled to focus instead on identifying insider threats, including a rebranding from the System for Automated Background Evaluation and Review, or SABER, to the System for Insider Threat Hindrance, or SITH.

The agency had been developing a tool to automate the preliminary information gathering involved in background investigations as part of the wider Trusted Workforce 2.0 program. The new security clearance process includes automating the initial review and replacing the five- to 10-year reinvestigation process with continuous vetting.

DDS Security Clearance Tool Evolves into ‘SITH’ Insider Threat Program – Defense One

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Defense Defense News Military North Korea South Korea

South Korea says North Korea fired projectile to sea (Associated Press, Defense News)

South Korea’s military says North Korea has fired an unidentified projectile to its eastern waters as it continued a recent streak of weapons tests apparently aimed at pressuring Washington and Seoul over a stalled nuclear diplomacy.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday did not immediately say what the North fired or how far the weapon flew.

South Korea says North Korea fired projectile to sea (defensenews.com)

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Australia Defense Defense News USA

Australian small boat with US comms package in testing for Marine Corps urgent need (Megan Eckstein, Defense News)

The mashup of an Australian small boat designed for safety and an American sensors and communications suite that helped Marines secure the Kabul airport during the August evacuation may help fill a capability gap as the U.S. Marine Corps eyes distributed operations in the Pacific.

Australia-based company the Whiskey Project is pitching its multimission reconnaissance craft (MMRC) as a way to meet the Marines’ needs to “sense first, see first and strike first” — in a craft with a low enough signature that it’s hard to detect, but has powerful organic and remote sensors and a communications package that can report back to decision-makers, company officials say.

Australian small boat with US comms package in testing for Marine Corps urgent need (defensenews.com)

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Biological Weapons Defense Defense News Nuclear Deterrence

The US must separate nuclear deterrence from biological weapons (Christine Parthemore and Andy Weber, Defense News)

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call in terms of the security, economic and public health devastation infectious diseases can cause.

In addition to the mass death and global disruption caused by the virus, and the indirect security consequences of those dynamics, there have also been direct consequences for security, including the sidelining of aircraft carriers, infection of heads of state and the quarantining of military leaders central to chains of command. For those tasked with addressing biological weapons threats, these effects continue to raise questions of whether some actors could be more likely to consider deliberately weaponizing diseases.

The US must separate nuclear deterrence from biological weapons (defensenews.com)

Categorie
Defense Defense News USA

Senate appropriators back 5 percent boost in defense spending for FY22 (Leo Shane III, Defense News)

Senate appropriators on Monday unveiled plans for about $24 billion in extra military spending this fiscal year above the president’s budget request, the latest blow for progressive lawmakers who hoped to significantly curb defense spending.

The move amounts to a 5 percent increase in defense spending for fiscal 2022 over last year, and brings the appropriations bill in line with planned spending outlined in the House and Senate drafts of the annual defense authorization bill.

Senate appropriators back 5 percent boost in defense spending for FY22 (defensenews.com)

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Defense Defense News Europe Israel

Israel’s Smart Shooter to pitch ‘one shot, one hit’ tech at European defense shows (Seth J. Frantzman, Defense News)

Smart Shooter is headed to France and Spain to pitch its fire control systems to governments interested in counter-drone technology and bolstering their homeland security forces. The Israeli company is known for its SMASH family of solutions, and has already arrived in Paris with its Smash 2000 Plus and Smash Hopper light remote-controlled weapon station.

The company’s SMASH family of solutions can be integrated onto assault rifles, and the business specializes in what it calls “one shot, one hit” capabilities to confront small UAV threats, meaning that the system controls the fire of the rifle so that each shot is released when the moving target is in the sight.

Israel’s Smart Shooter to pitch ‘one shot, one hit’ tech at European defense shows (defensenews.com)

Categorie
Defense Defense News USA

Northrop Grumman has developed a next-generation signals intelligence architecture (Mark Pomerlau, Defense News)

Northrop Grumman executives say the company is now offering a next-generation signals intelligence architecture that has won at least one contract.

Bill Thompson, director of Northrop’s signals intelligence operating unit, said the company wanted to update the legacy system it had been providing, the Airborne Signals Intelligence Platform.

Northrop Grumman has developed a next-generation signals intelligence architecture (defensenews.com)

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Black Sea Defense News Georgia Russia USA

US, Georgia sign military training pact amid Russian threat on the Black Sea (Joe Gould, Defense News)

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Georgian counterpart on Monday signed an agreement to extend U.S.-led military training for the embattled Black Sea ally as part of the secretary’s trip through the region to reaffirm support for eastern allies on the front lines of Russian aggression.

The action came on the first leg of Austin’s trip, ahead of visits to other Black Sea allies Ukraine and Romania to deliver a message of “unwavering” support for their sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian threats. Since Russia’s war with Georgia, it has had a 13-year grip on Georgia’s breakaway territories, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, that Austin decried on Monday.

US, Georgia sign military training pact amid Russian threat on the Black Sea (defensenews.com)

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Asia Cyber Space Digital Transformation ORF

Regulating Cyberspace — Perspectives from the private sector in Asia (Nisha Holla, Vikas Kathuria, ORF)

Today, most global citizens have digital avatars and are active in cyberspace. Especially in the wake of the pandemic, almost all aspects of interaction and subscription of services have moved online. Digital technologies have fast-tracked inclusion in multiple geographies in the last decade, including most Asian nations. Amongst other benefits, technology inclusion has proven to be most helpful in humanity’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Regulating Cyberspace — Perspectives from the private sector in Asia | ORF (orfonline.org)

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India Israel UAE USA

Did the US-UAE-Israel trilateral dialogue foreshadow a new Quad with India? (Navdeep Suri, ORF)

The October 13 meeting in Washington DC between Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Israel’s alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was a reminder of the extent of transformation in West Asia since the announcement of the Abraham Accords on 14 August 2020. A press statement issued by the State Department said that Blinken ‘welcomed the warming relations between Israel and the UAE, including the opening of respective embassies, appointment of ambassadors, new direct flights, dozens of cultural exchanges, and burgeoning economic and business ties that have benefited the people of both countries and the region.’

Did the US-UAE-Israel trilateral dialogue foreshadow a new Quad with India? | ORF (orfonline.org)

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ORF Space

Time to get serious about commercial satellite servicing (Brian Weeden, ORF)

Commercial satellite servicing—commonly defined as the ability to reposition, refuel, repair, assemble, and remove satellites on or from orbit—is finally becoming reality. Long proposed as being “just around the corner”, satellite servicing has made significant technological leaps in the last decade and is now emerging as a potential new market for private sector space activities that could provide incredible benefits. Yet, for satellite servicing to mature and thrive, governments need to step up and play their part. They need to move past the standard talking points on dual-use technologies and get serious about putting in place the policies and regulations that will help advance satellite servicing in a positive manner.

Time to get serious about commercial satellite servicing | ORF (orfonline.org)

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Defense Military Space

Want innovation in space? Support arms control (Jessica West, ORF)

Arms control and innovation seem like odd bedfellows. But maybe not as much as you’d think. Instead of seeing emerging technology as a challenge to arms control, and arms control as a means of inhibiting innovation, we need to consider the ways in which arms control can and does support technical innovation, as well as the ways in which new tech can enable and facilitate arms control agreements.

Want innovation in space? Support arms control | ORF (orfonline.org)

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ORF Techno-Democracies

The case for an alliance of Techno-Democracies (Martijn Rasser, ORF)

Technologies, and the policies for their development, deployment, and use are at the centre of global statecraft and a key enabler for economic, political, and military power. Tech-leading countries and groupings such as China, the European Union (EU), India, Japan, South Korea, and the United States (US) seek to shape the global technological landscape to strengthen their economic competitiveness, secure their national interests, and promote their geopolitical aims. The answer, in part, has been a turn to techno-nationalist policies of reshoring manufacturing and supply chains and drives for greater self-sufficiency across a spectrum of key technology areas including semiconductors and critical minerals.

The case for an alliance of Techno-Democracies | ORF (orfonline.org)

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Space

Return of ASATs and counterspace technologies: A slippery slope to weaponisation? (Alumenda Azácrate Ortega, ORF)

Counterspace technology is not a new phenomenon. In 1958, only one year after the successful launch of the erstwhile Soviet Union’s satellite, Sputnik 1—the first artificial satellite to ever complete an orbit around the Earth—the first nuclear tests in outer space were conducted. This was a cause for concern for the international community, which aimed to ensure that outer space did not become a new stage for warfare. And yet, despite this, counterspace capabilities remain an issue that has never been properly regulated. This regulatory gap nowadays presents a greater danger than ever: The more important space technology becomes to humankind—particularly for military purposes—the more eager states would be to protect their space assets. As such, in recent years, some states have been increasingly investing in the development and testing of anti-satellite weapons (ASATs), creating an escalatory cycle that threatens to pave the way towards the weaponisation of space, and eventually could lead to it becoming a theatre of conflict.

Return of ASATs and counterspace technologies: A slippery slope to weaponisation? | ORF (orfonline.org)

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Digital Transformation Emerging and Disruptive Technology ORF

When Algorithms decide and regulating those decisions (Pooja Haldea, Saksham, ORF)

Contrary to popular belief, the 1800’s Luddite Revolution was not just a fight against progress, but one for agency. Highly skilled weavers, including women, fought for autonomy and labour rights amidst the fear of their employment and agency being snatched away by machines. This new technology threatened to tip the balance of power in favour of the textile-mill-owning elites who controlled the means of production. Today, these old technology gods have been replaced by newer algorithmic ones. As Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered machines take control of our decisions, it might already be too late to take back control of what makes us human—free will and autonomy.

Be it users or citizens, almost all behaviours performed have a digital fingerprint. In the age of surveillance capitalism, the fight for free will is a losing battle. In a post-Cambridge Analytica world, algorithms challenge the bedrock of individual freedom and choices; preserving human choice would need to go beyond mere consent and focus on accountable regulatory mechanisms.

When Algorithms decide and regulating those decisions | ORF (orfonline.org)

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Africa Al Monitor Turkey

Erdogan embarks on three-country Africa tour (Al Monitor)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is visiting several African states this week.

Erdogan arrived in Angola in southern Africa on Sunday. He will also visit Nigeria and Togo in West Africa, the official Anadolu Agency reported.

Erdogan embarks on three-country Africa tour – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Al Monitor Russia Syria Turkey

Russia hasn’t cleared Turkish attack on strategic Syrian town (Metin Gurcan, Al Monitor)

Russian calculus over northern Syria might complicate Turkey’s plans for a new military incursion in the war-torn country.

Ankara’s preparations seem to be focusing on the northwestern Syrian town of Tell Rifaat, from where a series of rocket and missile attacks targeting adjoining Turkish-backed rebel-held areas over the past weeks have killed several Turkish troops on the ground.

Russia hasn’t cleared Turkish attack on strategic Syrian town – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Al Monitor Turkey

Will Turkey’s opposition blow golden opportunity to beat Erdogan? (Amberin Zaman, Al Monitor)

The leader of Turkey’s secular main opposition, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, delivered an Oct. 18 deadline over the weekend to members of Turkey’s sprawling bureaucracy. They needed to stop engaging in illegal, “mafialike” activities. If they ignored his calls, they would not be exonerated on the grounds that they were acting under orders from their superiors, Kilicdaroglu warned.

Will Turkey’s opposition blow golden opportunity to beat Erdogan? – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Al Monitor Syria Turkey

EU looks to boost Syrian businesses in Turkey (Mohammed Hardan, Al Monitor)

In coordination with the Directorate General of Development Agencies at the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Technology, the European Union announced Oct. 5 in the city of Urfa the launch of the ENHANCER project, developed by the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).

The project will award a grant of up to 30,000 euros (about $35,000) for Syrian businessmen in Turkey whose status is Under Temporary Protection.

EU looks to boost Syrian businesses in Turkey – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Al Monitor Tunisia

Activists call Tunisia’s first female prime minister mere distraction (Elizia Volkmann, Al Monitor)

When Najla Bouden was pronounced Tunisia’s first female prime minister in a decree by President Kais Saied on Sept. 29, her appointment was initially heralded as a milestone in Arab politics.

Bouden is the first female prime minister not only in Tunisia but in the wider Arabic world. Until now, she will be joined by nine more female ministers in the 25-member cabinet. However, she will not have the executive control that previous heads of government wielded. Executive, legislative and judicial powers lie firmly in the hands of Saied under another decree made Sept. 22.

Activists call Tunisia’s first female prime minister mere distraction – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Al Monitor Azerbaijan Qatar

Qatar, Azerbaijan sign visa agreement (Al Monitor)

Qatar and Azerbaijan signed a visa waiver agreement on Monday.

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani inked the deal with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov in Baku. The agreement stipulates a mutual exemption of visa requirements for passport holders in each country, the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was also present at the meeting.

Qatar, Azerbaijan sign visa agreement – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Al Monitor Europe Iran

EU says no plans for Iran nuclear meeting in Brussels (Al Monitor)

The European Union on Monday denied reports that the bloc planned to meet with Iranian officials on Thursday in an effort to revive the stalled nuclear deal talks.

“There will not be a meeting Thursday,” EU spokeswoman Nabila Massrali told AFP. “At this stage we cannot confirm if or when a meeting will take place.”

EU says no plans for Iran nuclear meeting in Brussels – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Al Monitor Israel Jordan

Israeli minister blames Netanyahu for jeopardizing ties with Jordan (Rina Bassist, Al Monitor)

Israeli Energy Minister Karin Elharar criticized Oct. 17 the attack last week by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the new water deal signed between Israel and Jordan. Interviewed by the army radio station, Elharar accused Netanyahu of attempting to damage relations between the two countries. “The leader of the opposition is creating fake news and claiming that we are giving the water for free, which didn’t happen. There are no free gifts, but relations that need to be developed. This is a strategic asset to Israel,” noted Elharar.

Israeli minister blames Netanyahu for jeopardizing ties with Jordan – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Al Monitor Europe Iran

Iran says no negotiations happening in Brussels (Al Monitor)

Iran has cla