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China CPEC India USA

Attempts by the US and India to sabotage CPEC doomed to fail (Global Times)

As the flagship project under the framework of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has become a main target of fierce slander by anti-China forces in the US, India and some other countries. Responding to the relentless attacks, a Pakistani official recently said that the US was “conniving in cahoots with India against the economic lifeline of Pakistan.”

Attempts by the US and India to sabotage CPEC doomed to fail – Global Times

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China

Tesla completes innovation, data centers in Shanghai, shows confidence in China (Global Times)

US-based electric vehicle maker Tesla announced the completion of its highly anticipated research and development (R&D) and innovation center and its Gigafactory data center in Shanghai, in a move that analysts say showed Tesla’s positive attitude toward the Chinese market despite tensions between China and the US in a wide range of areas, including data security.

Tesla completes innovation, data centers in Shanghai, shows confidence in China – Global Times

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China

CISA to step up efforts to ensure iron ore supplies (Global Times)

The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) vowed on Monday to ratchet up efforts to ensure iron ore supplies as Chinese steel mills reported better profitability during the first three quarters of 2021, despite rising raw material costs and tightening environmental protection measures.

CISA to step up efforts to ensure iron ore supplies – Global Times

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China

Domestic chip firms’ profits surge amid tightened supply (Zhang Honpei, Global Times)

Chinese semiconductor firms have reported strong profitability in the July-September quarter thanks to price hikes caused by global semiconductor shortages since 2020, which has seriously disrupted the output of electronic products makers and auto manufacturers for months.

Domestic chip firms’ profits surge amid tightened supply – Global Times

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China Vietnam

Chinese firms in Vietnam face logistics disruptions, labor shortages (Zhang Dan and Liu Yang, Global Times)

Logistical disruptions and labor shortages are straining Chinese manufacturers in Ho Chi Minh City after the southern business hub in Vietnam eased COVID-19 lockdown measures, a local business association said.

As a crucial link in the global supply chain, Vietnam faces a threat to its export-oriented economy from a lack of workers, which is affecting manufacturing for global firms, including sportswear brands Nike and Adidas, and tech giant Apple.

Chinese firms in Vietnam face logistics disruptions, labor shortages – Global Times

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China

Chinese border troops in Xinjiang get new all-terrain vehicle for winter logistics support (Liu Xuanzun, Global Times)

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Xinjiang Military Command has received a new type of all-terrain vehicle, which is expected to ensure logistics support to plateau border defense troops as winter draws close and as China-India border tensions again risk rising after the latest military talks failed to reach an agreement due to unrealistic Indian demands.

Chinese border troops in Xinjiang get new all-terrain vehicle for winter logistics support – Global Times

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China Japan

Wang Yi offers 5 suggestions on improving China-Japan ties at Beijing-Tokyo Forum (Xu Keyue and Xing Xiaojing, Global Times)

As next year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered five suggestions to guide bilateral relations at the 17th Annual Beijing-Tokyo Forum via video in Beijing on Monday. He highlighted the importance of rebuilding mutual trust, upgrading cooperation, managing differences, expanding exchanges and enhancing coordination.

Wang Yi offers 5 suggestions on improving China-Japan ties at Beijing-Tokyo Forum – Global Times

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Afghanistan China

Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi to meet Afghan Taliban in Qatar in first high-level meeting with Afghan interim govt (Global Times)

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet a delegation of the Afghan Taliban interim government in Qatar to exchange views on the situation in Afghanistan and other topics of concern for both sides. It is a continuation of communication between the two sides since their meeting in North China’s Tianjin in July, Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Monday.

Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi to meet Afghan Taliban in Qatar in first high-level meeting with Afghan interim govt – Global Times

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Hong Kong

Amnesty to close two Hong Kong offices, cites security law (Al Jazeera)

Amnesty International will close its two offices in Hong Kong by the end of the year, the human rights group has announced, with its local chapter ceasing operations on Sunday.

Amnesty, which has its head office in London, said it would continue its research, advocacy and campaigning work from its other offices in the Asia Pacific.

Amnesty to close two Hong Kong offices, cites security law | Politics News | Al Jazeera

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Cyber Security

Russian agency behind Solarwinds still targeting US: Microsoft (Al Jazeera)

The Russian-based agency behind the enormous SolarWinds cyberattack that targeted an array of United States federal agencies last year has continued to target hundreds more US companies and organisations in its latest wave of attacks, the Microsoft company has said.

In a blog post, Microsoft, said the Russian agency Nobelium’s latest wave targeted “resellers and other technology service providers” of cloud services. Those attacks were part of a broader campaign this year, Microsoft said, adding it had notified 609 customers between July 1 and October 19 that they had been attacked. The customers were targeted a total of 22,868 times, it added.

Russian agency behind Solarwinds still targeting US: Microsoft | Cybersecurity News | Al Jazeera

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Afghanistan

‘Children going to die’: UN warns of ‘acute’ Afghan food crisis (Al Jazeera)

Millions of Afghans, including children, could die of starvation unless urgent action is taken to pull Afghanistan back from the brink of collapse, a senior United Nations official has warned, calling for frozen funds to be freed for humanitarian efforts.

The World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley told Reuters news agency that 22.8 million people – more than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million population – were facing acute food insecurity and “marching to starvation” compared with 14 million just two months ago.

‘Children going to die’: UN warns of ‘acute’ Afghan food crisis | Humanitarian Crises News | Al Jazeera

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Sudan

Sudan’s military dissolves cabinet, announces state of emergency (Al Jazeera)

Sudan’s military leader has declared a state of emergency across the country while dissolving its transitional cabinet and the sovereign council in a huge blow to the country’s already fragile transition towards democracy.

Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan made a televised announcement on Monday as thousands of pro-democracy protesters flooded the streets of the capital Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman, after soldiers arrested several government officials.

Sudan’s military dissolves cabinet, announces state of emergency | Military News | Al Jazeera

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Sudan

Timeline: Sudan’s political situation since al-Bashir’s removal (Al Jazeera)

After weeks of tensions between military and civilian figures, who have shared power in Sudan since the overthrow of its longtime leader Omar al-Bashir two years ago, armed forces detained the prime minister before the military leader dissolved the ruling council and declared a state of emergency.

Civilian members of the ruling council and government ministers were also detained along with Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, with a statement from the information ministry saying the PM refused to support the “coup”.

Timeline: Sudan’s political situation since al-Bashir’s removal | Protests News | Al Jazeera

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Sudan

‘Utterly unacceptable’: World reacts to Sudan ‘coup’ (Al Jazeera)

World leaders and human rights groups have condemned the detention of several high-ranking Sudanese officials in what appears to be a coup attempt, as a senior military official dissolved the government.

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, a general who headed the Sovereign Council, a power-sharing ruling body, announced a state of emergency across the country and dissolved the council and the transitional government on Monday.

‘Utterly unacceptable’: World reacts to Sudan ‘coup’ | Protests News | Al Jazeera

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Marco Emanuele Progetto di Civiltà

Giudizio storico in cammino. L’acqua sporca e il bambino (Marco Emanuele)

Non confondiamo le cose. La transizione ecologica e la trasformazione digitale sono l’una una necessità storica impellente (è ormai assodato che il pianeta è in pericolo) e la seconda una straordinaria possibilità per rendere davvero migliori le nostre vite. Guardare solo al lato negativo di questi processi è sbagliato: infatti, se nessuno nega che quella transizione e quella trasformazione avranno impatti importanti sui mercati del lavoro, qui si considera fondamentale avere un Governo Politico dei processi. Tutte le riconversioni e le tutele che occorre e che occorrerà mettere in campo non annullano la bontà di scelte strategiche epocali.

Perché insisto con il tema del ri-pensare (pensare continuamente) la Politica ? La metamorfosi del mondo, evidenziata nella velocità e nella radicalità dei cambiamenti, è fondata sulla flessibilità. Se guardiamo alla innovazione tecnologica, ciò che possiamo scrivere oggi su una soluzione tecnologica o su una tecnologia emergente sarà certamente vecchio in pochissimo tempo. È per questo che urge lavorare sui fondamenti, portando la flessibilità della metamorfosi in atto (che continuerà) nella natura della Politica: il che non significa snaturare la politica ma renderla progressivamente adeguata alle metamorfosi della storia.

Ilaria Bifarini (op.cit., p.129) scrive: I nuovi mercati di domani sono nicchie di innovazione tecnologica e socio-istituzionale nate all’interno degli attuali sistemi economici, che hanno il potenziale di rimodellare i paradigmi consolidati di economie. Per trasformare e accompagnare le economie nella ripresa post-Covid, i governi e le imprese dovranno combinare innovazioni tecnologiche e socio-istituzionali rivoluzionarie.

Occorre leggere questa sintesi in chiave di pensiero complesso e critico. Il tempo che stiamo vivendo ci offre la straordinaria possibilità, utilizzando le nostre intelligenze, di lanciare un messaggio molto più forte di quello, rispettabile ma non efficace, delle piazze agitate. I moderati, che sono la maggioranza, dovrebbero uscire dall’astensionismo mettendo in campo la loro responsabilità progettuale e progettante e ritrovare le ragioni di un impegno. Occorre riconvertire la rabbia e l’indifferenza in un progetto storico, in un progetto di civiltà.

Ciò che ha scritto Bifarini, se interpretato in logica antagonista, aprirebbe scenari inquietanti: non escludendoli, il messaggio che si vuole dare è che è possibile individuare soluzioni che tengano insieme innovazione-qualità dei processi democratici-coesione sociale. Occorre ripartire dal Governo Politico delle città e dei servizi essenziali per i cittadini, primi fra tutti la salute e la scuola.

Ho sempre cercato, prima in attività di volontariato nell’ambito della cooperazione internazionale e poi in attività di docenza, di porre in evidenza come il pensiero antagonista giochi a favore del sistema che si vorrebbe sfidare. Non vi è dubbio che, negli ultimi trent’anni della nostra storia, si siano poste le basi per un mondo in stile Grande Reset e la pandemia, per alcuni, è stata la grande possibilità per fissare il tema. Ora tutti insieme abbiamo una grande occasione: dare una rinnovata anima critica, Politica, ai processi storici.

Si aprono nuovi mercati, è chiaro (nota n.1). Diventa decisivo ri-congiungere tali mercati-in-evoluzione con i sistemi politico-istituzionali e i sistemi sociali (le disuguaglianze sono il tema del millennio). Per non rischiare di buttare il bambino con l’acqua sporca, rischiando di non cogliere le straordinarie opportunità offerte dal tempo che viviamo, occorre ri-vitalizzare, dare nuova vita, all’anima Politica della con-vivenza. Si è capito, infatti, che i player tecnologici proseguono nel loro cammino incessante mentre la Politica arranca: in aggiunta, se si vuole difendere la democrazia, occorre criticare i sistemi autocratici che si pongono come Stati tecnocratici (offrendo lo stesso rischio degli Stati teocratici) e aumentare il livello d’impegno, di visione e di dialogo nelle democrazie liberali. L’unico modo per difendere la democrazia è ri-lanciarla lavorandoci dentro, recuperando il suo profondo: c’è una evidente questione democratica da affrontare.

Nella prospettiva qui evocata, il lavoro in democrazia è molto più lungo e articolato che in altri sistemi. La mia riflessione paga il prezzo di un quadro di riferimento da ri-costruire e, soprattutto, è infinitamente più fragile rispetto alle posizioni di chi esprime assoluta certezza nel futuro (chi immagina il futuro del mondo come una categoria da “fine della storia”), di chi è indifferente, di chi adotta il pensiero antagonista. Ma la sfida è troppo grande e delicata per fermarsi.

Se si sostiene che il pericolo del Grande Reset è nella cancellazione delle differenze (si vorrebbe un mondo omologato), il lavoro in democrazia è necessario. Qui entra in gioco il tema del “glocale”. Ciò che chiamiamo globalizzazione, l’interrelazione sistemica planetaria (secondo alcuni in fase di arretramento), lascia aperto un grande spazio di azione: “colorare” delle infinite differenze dei mondi un processo top-down che, per natura, domina e controlla e, soprattutto, non libera le identità in chiave progettuale. Queste identità, represse o addirittura cancellate, inevitabilmente si rivoltano contro, cercano possibilità di auto-determinazione, vogliono recuperare un ruolo storico che, a oggi, è sostanzialmente negato.

In democrazia, la tanto evocata distanza tra i cittadini e le istituzioni si forma laddove lo Stato opprime le differenze. L’auto-determinazione prevede l’auto-organizzazione, una sorta di “federalismo progettuale”. L’occasione storica del recovery post-pandemia può aiutarci a ri-pensare per ri-costruire processi democratici secondo complessità e progettualità.

Note:

  1. Ilaria Bifarini (op.cit.,pp.131-132): E’ stato stimato che la genomica costituirà un mercato di 35,7 miliardi di dollari entro il 2024. Negli ultimi cinque anni gli ambiti di applicazione si sono moltiplicati: non solo terapie migliori e più precise in base al codice genetico e alle potenziali reazioni farmacologiche, ma anche consulenza genetica rivolta direttamente ai consumatori, gene-editing per correggere le mutazioni e, al di fuori delle scienze della vita, l’utilizzo del DNA per le applicazioni informatiche per archiviare molti più dati in minore spazio o la genetica come identificazione biometrica per sistemi di sicurezza più evoluti. (…) Altro mercato cruciale sarà chiaramente quello dei big data, considerati il nuovo petrolio. Secondo gli analisi del Forum (World Economic Forum), i meccanismi attraverso i quali vengono attualmente scambiati lasciano troppi volumi di dati generati inutilizzati, che vanno valorizzati.
Categorie
Europe

Europe Needs Better Policies on Digital Skills and Data Sharing to Foster Digital Transformation (Christophe Carugati, Center for Data Innovation)

Increasing the use of data is a  key priority of the European Commission to ensure digital transformation—the adoption of digital technologies by organizations—by 2030. However, organizations face many barriers to using data, including a lack of technical skills and too many data silos where data is isolated and not accessible to others. The Commission has begun to address these concerns through funding programs, such as the Digital Europe Programme that funds digital skills development, and legislative proposals, such as the Data Governance Act and the Data Act that foster data-sharing. However, these initiatives do not fully address these barriers, including some of its own making. Instead, the Commission should address digital literacy issues with targeted programs aimed at boosting in-demand digital skills and revising existing policies that are at odds with the goal of improving data-sharing.

Europe Needs Better Policies on Digital Skills and Data Sharing to Foster Digital Transformation – Center for Data Innovation

Categorie
Digital Transformation Emerging and Disruptive Technology

Artificial Intelligence-Based Algorithm Predicts Heart Failure (Erin McNemar, MPA, Health IT Analytics)

Mount Sinai researchers created an artificial intelligence-based computer algorithm that can detect subtle changes in electrocardiograms to predict whether a patient is experiencing heart failure.

“We showed that deep-learning algorithms can recognize blood pumping problems on both sides of the heart from ECG waveform data,” Assistant Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences Benjamin S. Glicksberg, PhD, said in a press release.

Artificial Intelligence-Based Algorithm Predicts Heart Failure (healthitanalytics.com)

Categorie
Canada

This is what your house looks like on climate change: AI-fuelled site predicts the future (Daniel J. Rowe, CTV News)

What would your neighbourhood look like underwater if a flash flood hit, like the one in Brooklyn in 2013?

What if a fire ripped through your community like one did in Lytton, B.C. this summer?

Artificial intelligence predicts how climate change could affect your neighbourhood | CTV News

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UAE

UAE deploys lightning-fast supercomputer for weather forecasting (Samihah Zaman, Gulf News)

A new supercomputer called ‘Atmosphere’ will now enable faster weather forecasting in the UAE and facilitate climate research.

The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), the UAE’s official weather bureau, announced its deployment of the supercomputer on Monday. The device has been developed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

UAE deploys lightning-fast supercomputer for weather forecasting | Uae – Gulf News

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USA

Predictive Model Illustrates Transmissibility of COVID-19 (Erin McNemar, MPA, Health IT Analytics)

University of Chicago researchers used flu data and similarities to create a predictive model showing how COVID-19 spreads.

While COVID-19 is more transmissible and deadlier than most influenzas epidemics encountered in our lifetimes, COVID-19 and the flu do share some characteristics. Both illnesses primarily infect the upper respiratory system and are spread by droplets, fomites, and contact.

Predictive Model Illustrates Transmissibility of COVID-19 (healthitanalytics.com)

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USA

Should You Buy a Home in the US? (Robert J. Shiller, Project-Syndicate)

Even at currently elevated US home-price levels, buying still makes sense for those who are set on ownership. But buyers need to be sure that they can accept what could be a rather bumpy and disappointing long-term path for home values.

Should You Buy a Home in the US? by Robert J. Shiller – Project Syndicate (project-syndicate.org)

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Albania

Despite calls, Albania remains reluctant to find its 6,000 missing communism victims (Alice Taylor, Euractiv)

Nazmi Uruci’s descendants have been searching for his remains for almost 80 years. Born in northern Albania in 1904, Nazmi was a customs official during the short reign of Albania’s first and last reigning monarch, King Zog.

Despite calls, Albania remains reluctant to find its 6,000 missing communism victims – EURACTIV.com

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Europe Germany

Germany says EU border protection is ‘legitimate’ (Euractiv)

Germany’s interior minister said Sunday (24 October) it was “legitimate” to protect borders, after several EU states asked Brussels to pay for barriers to prevent illegal migrants from entering the bloc.

Germany says EU border protection is ‘legitimate’ – EURACTIV.com

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China Europe

Chinese companies blame “misinformation” for difficult political climate in EU (Janos Ammann, Euractiv)

62% of Chinese companies in Europe believe that the political climate has deteriorated for them. In a recent survey, they blame “media disinformation” among other factors, a line commonly used by the Chinese Communist Party to discredit criticism.

Chinese companies blame “misinformation” for difficult political climate in EU – EURACTIV.com

Categorie
Climate Change Ecological Transition

Deforestation continues unabated ahead of COP26 (Kyra Taylor, Euractiv)

An average of 2,400 trees is cut down every minute, leading to an area the size of Belgium being deforested each year, according to the Latin America regional director for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), who was speaking ahead of the COP26 climate summit.

Deforestation continues unabated ahead of COP26 – EURACTIV.com

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Europe

‘Sun beneath our feet’: The European cities turning to geothermal (Anna Gumbau, Euractiv)

A growing number of cities in Europe are betting on geothermal to provide households with clean heating, but the little-known renewable energy source will need more attention from Brussels in order to scale up.

‘Sun beneath our feet’: The European cities turning to geothermal – EURACTIV.com

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Uzbekistan

Uzbeks vote to re-elect their president (Georgi Gotev, Euractiv)

Uzbekistan held presidential elections on Sunday (24 October) amid little doubt that incumbent Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who has opened the Central Asian country to the world in recent years, will be re-elected for another five-year term.

Uzbeks vote to re-elect their president – EURACTIV.com

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Germany Poland

German police stop far-right vigilantes patrolling Polish border (Euractiv)

German police said on Sunday (24 October) they had stopped more than 50 far-right vigilantes armed with pepper spray, a bayonet, a machete and batons who were trying to patrol the Polish border to stop migrants from entering the country.

German police stop far-right vigilantes patrolling Polish border – EURACTIV.com

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Ethiopia

Ethiopia: What Next? (Simon Rynn and Ahmed Hassen, RUSI)

On 29 September, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs head warned of looming famine in Ethiopia’s Tigray becoming a ‘stain on our conscience’. The Ethiopian government responded quickly, expelling seven UN humanitarian staff from the country in advance of the swearing in of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on 4 October.

Ethiopia: What Next? | Royal United Services Institute (rusi.org)

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Israel Palestine

Bombing of media tower in Gaza hurt Israel’s image, says army investigator (Middle East Eye)

A former Israeli general has said that his investigation into Israel’s air strike attack on a tower housing media offices in the Gaza Strip in May caused more damage to Israel’s image than it provided operational benefit.

Retired Major General Nitzan Alon, who led an investigation into the incident before leaving the military, said the bombing, which destroyed offices used by the Associated Press, Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye and at least four other agencies, amounted to an “own goal”, a term used to describe a player kicking the ball into their own team’s net in football.

Bombing of media tower in Gaza hurt Israel’s image, says army investigator | Middle East Eye

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Sudan

Sudan: Military coup feared as Hamdok and other civilian leaders detained (Middle East Eye)

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and most other ministers in the country’s civilian government have been arrested in their homes as part of an apparent military coup.

Soldiers arrested the cabinet ministers and a large number of pro-government party leaders on Monday, three political sources told Reuters, in what appears to be the gravest threat to Sudan’s fraught transition towards democracy.

Sudan: Military coup feared as Hamdok and other civilian leaders detained | Middle East Eye

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Iran Syria

Iran’s new brigade infiltrates tribes in east Syria (Mohammed Hardan, Al Monitor)

Since the beginning of 2021, Iran has begun working on forming the Hashemiyoon military brigade in Syria, allowing only Shiites to join it. The newly formed faction, which began operating in mid-August, has joined the other pro-Iranian factions in Syria, including Zainabiyoun BrigadesFatemiyoun Brigade and al-Husseinoun Brigade.

Iran’s new brigade infiltrates tribes in east Syria – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Germany Poland

Germany Bolsters Security On Polish Border Amid Migrant Crisis (RFE RL)

Germany has deployed hundreds of extra police to the Polish frontier to help deal with a recent influx of migrants crossing from Belarus, and a government official said Berlin is prepared to step up border controls if needed.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper on October 24 that 800 police have already been sent to the region and, “If necessary, I am ready to reinforce this even more.”

Germany Bolsters Security On Polish Border Amid Migrant Crisis (rferl.org)

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Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s President Poised For Victory In Poll Without Real Opposition (RFE RL)

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev looks set for an easy victory after voters in the Central Asia’s most populous nation cast ballots on October 24 in an election that featured no genuine opposition.

Mirziyoev faced four little-known candidates who are largely pro-government. Three opposition parties were not allowed to register or have candidates in the race.

Uzbekistan’s President Poised For Victory In Poll Without Real Opposition (rferl.org)

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Afghanistan Russia USA

Moscow expects US to fulfill promise of assistance to Afghanistan, says Russian envoy (TASS)

Moscow is counting on Washington to will fulfill its promise of socio-economic assistance to Afghanistan, Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said, addressing an online press conference on Monday.

Moscow expects US to fulfill promise of assistance to Afghanistan, says Russian envoy – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS

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Afghanistan Russia

Russia to support UN in organizing donor conference on Afghanistan — envoy (TASS)

Moscow is interested in convening a UN donor conference on Afghanistan as soon as possible, Special Russian Presidential Representative for Afghanistan, Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov said at an online conference on Monday.

Russia to support UN in organizing donor conference on Afghanistan — envoy – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS

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Europe Russia

Putin requests providing measures to neutralize European energy crisis aftermath in Russia (TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has tasked the government with developing measures to neutralize in the country the negative consequences of Europe’s energy crisis by November, the Kremlin website reported on Monday.

Putin requests providing measures to neutralize European energy crisis aftermath in Russia – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS

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Afghanistan Russia

Moscow to push for unfreezing of Afghan foreign assets, says Russian envoy (TASS)

The freezing of Afghanistan’s assets in the US and EU is ridiculous, they should be unfrozen, which Moscow will be pushing for, Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov told an online press conference on Monday.

Moscow to push for unfreezing of Afghan foreign assets, says Russian envoy – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS

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Afghanistan Russia

Russia preparing emergency humanitarian aid for Afghanistan — envoy (TASS)

Russia’s Defense and Emergencies Ministries are preparing humanitarian aid that they will render to Afghanistan as emergency assistance soon, Special Russian Presidential Representative for Afghanistan, Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov said at an online conference on Monday.

Russia preparing emergency humanitarian aid for Afghanistan — envoy – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS

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Iran

Expansion of industrial production to help develop trades (IRNA)

Focus on export of industrial production will help Iran boost trade ties with neighboring countries, an Iranian official believes.

Chairman of Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Hadi Tizhoush Taban told IRNA on Monday that expansion of trade relations with neighboring states is a proper strategy, which will bring about economic and security achievements.

Expansion of industrial production to help develop trades – IRNA English

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Belarus Iran Lithuania

Foreign Ministry pursuing Iranian citizens’ problems along Belarus-Lithuania border (IRNA)

Foreign Ministry spokesman elaborating on latest status of Iranian citizens’ difficulties on Belarus-Lithuania border emphasized here on Sunday that the Foreign Ministry will pursue the matter seriously till its full resolving and release of those Iranian citizens.

Foreign Ministry pursuing Iranian citizens’ problems along Belarus-Lithuania border – IRNA English

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35th International Islamic Unity Conference

WFPIST Chief: Lack of theist democracy in some Islamic countries, Islamic world’s problems (IRNA)

Secretary general of World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought (WFPIST) said here on Sunday that one of the problems faced by the Islamic world today is the lack of theist democracy in some Islamic countries, breaching the citizenship rights in them, and ignoring their peoples’ most natural and righteous demands.

WFPIST Chief: Lack of theist democracy in some Islamic countries, Islamic world’s problems – IRNA English

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35th International Islamic Unity Conference

Muslims have hopes in materializing Islamic unity conference objectives (IRNA)

Syrian Grand Mufti Sheikh Badreddin al-Hasoun said here on Sunday that the world Muslims have great hope in materializing the objectives of the Islamic Unity Conference objectives, which are pivots for construction of Islamic world’s offspring in the future.

Muslims have hopes in materializing Islamic unity conference objectives – IRNA English

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35th International Islamic Unity Conference Palestine

Palestine, pivot of Islamic world unity (IRNA)

The 35th Islamic Unity Conference, featuring prominent clerics from 39 countries around the globe, was held in Tehran more prosperously than ever before, with emphasis on numerous commonalties among followers of different Islamic schools of thought, particularly Palestine, the pivot of Islamic world unity.

The founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the late Imam Khomeini, had long before the Islamic Revolution supported the ideals of the Palestinian nation both verbally and in practice.

Palestine, pivot of Islamic world unity – IRNA English

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China

China’s provincial GDP growth rates signal steady recovery, challenges (Li Xuanmin, Global Times)

Local GDP growth paces in Chinese provinces showed a mixed performance in the first three quarters of 2021, with eight of the 23 provincial level economies that have released quarterly GDP figures expanding at speeds above the national average of 9.8 percent, though a series of challenges, including new COVID-19 outbreaks and heavy rains, constrained economic activities.

China’s provincial GDP growth rates signal steady recovery, challenges – Global Times

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China

Chipmakers risk violating Chinese laws over US’ hegemonic data request (Global Times)

The US government appears to be close to gaining access to sensitive data held by major global chip suppliers including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC). The move has not only gone beyond normal market regulation, but may also plunge the semiconductor industry into a new round of geopolitical backbiting amid ongoing China-US tensions.

GT Voice: Chipmakers risk violating Chinese laws over US’ hegemonic data request – Global Times

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China

Chinese magnesium exports likely to drop 10% in 2021 amid global shortages (Global Times)

Chinese magnesium producers and traders in Yulin, Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, one of the world’s largest magnesium production bases that supplies more than 50 percent of global consumption, are dealing with high prices and tight liquidity, as supplies shrink and demand booms.

Chinese magnesium exports likely to drop 10% in 2021 amid global shortages – Global Times

Categorie
China

Advanced technologies support Beijing Winter Olympics, from 5G, air disinfector to robots (Global Times)

As the 100-day countdown to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics approaches, a number of topics on social media have generated millions of comments and discussions, of which the advanced technologies that will support the world-class sporting event have aroused wide attention.

Advanced technologies support Beijing Winter Olympics, from 5G, air disinfector to robots – Global Times

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China

China to deepen reforms on energy structure, restrict coal consumption, official says (Global Times)

China will modify its current energy structure with measures including establishing a carbon dioxide emissions scale control system and restricting coal-fired power projects, He Lifeng, chairman of National Development and Reform Commission, said in an article published in the People’s Daily on Monday.

China to deepen reforms on energy structure, restrict coal consumption, official says – Global Times

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China

Chinese legislators adjust national defense mobilization laws amid tense China-US ties (Leng Shumei, Global Times)

Chinese legislators passed a decision to temporarily adjust the application of relevant statutory provisions during the reform of the national defense mobilization system, which expert said is not only an important part of China’s military reform, but a necessary move given the increasingly tense military environment China faces, especially the strained China-US ties.

Chinese legislators adjust national defense mobilization laws amid tense China-US ties – Global Times

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China

Chinese expert refutes attack from US and Taiwan politicians against UN Resolution 2758 (Global Times)

October 25 marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the UN. On October 25, 1971, at its 26th session, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 with an overwhelming majority where it decided to restore all lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the UN and recognize the representatives of its government as the only legitimate UN representatives of China.

Chinese expert refutes attack from US and Taiwan politicians against UN Resolution 2758 – Global Times

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China UN

Xi reiterates China’s role in defending UN’s central role in intl affairs, upholding true multilateralism (Global Times)

Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s peaceful development pattern and its role in defending the authority of the United Nations and multilateralism and international order during a speech at the commemorative meeting marking the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the People’s Republic of China’s lawful seat in the United Nations on Monday.

Xi reiterates China’s role in defending UN’s central role in intl affairs, upholding true multilateralism – Global Times

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China

PLA conducts 1st underwater port demolition test providing data for future combat (Liu Xuanzun, Global Times)

In the first of its kind in China, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently conducted an underwater explosion test which simulated an attack on a hostile high-piled wharf.

The test gathered a large amount of data that can be used in future combat for attacking enemy ports, which can contribute to cutoff of enemy supply lines, military experts said on Sunday.

PLA conducts 1st underwater port demolition test providing data for future combat – Global Times

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China Japan Russia

Chinese, Russian warships tackle Japanese close-in recon, ‘display confidence’ in 1st joint sea patrol (Global Times)

A Chinese-Russian naval flotilla tackled external challenges, including close-in reconnaissance by Japanese forces, during the fleets’ first joint sea patrol over the past week.

The seven-day patrol saw the warships circumnavigate Japan by traversing the Sea of Japan, the West Pacific and the East China Sea, transiting several strategically important straits in the process, with Chinese experts saying on Sunday that it displays China and Russia’s firm determination to safeguard international and regional strategic stability and the high confidence in their capabilities of doing so.

Chinese, Russian warships tackle Japanese close-in recon, ‘display confidence’ in 1st joint sea patrol – Global Times

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China Taiwan

What’s behind the spike in Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone? (Corey Lee Bell, The Strategist)

A problem in recent public commentary on tensions between China and Taiwan has been a conflation of what we know and what we fear. Nowhere is this more evident than on the topic of incursions by Chinese military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, or ADIZ.

This month saw a shift from a pattern of incremental increases in the number of People’s Liberation Army Air Force aircraft participating in coordinated incursions into Taiwanese airspace to an exponential explosion. The campaign peaked at 56 aircraft on 4 October, with 159 over the four-day period of 1–4 October. The increase has prompted concerns that the threat of war across the Taiwan Strait is escalating.

What’s behind the spike in Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone? | The Strategist (aspistrategist.org.au)

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AUKUS Australia

Making the shift to nuclear-powered submarines: safety first (Peter Briggs, The Strategist)

The agreement for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) is the most significant part of the recent AUKUS announcement. The offer of assistance from the United Kingdom and the United States to acquire this capability places us at an excellent starting point for what will be a challenging national journey.

Such a combination of support was inconceivable five years ago when I began publicly agitating for SSNs. Today it is the right strategic decision to meet the changing circumstances facing Australia and its Western allies. It will ensure that our submarine crews have safer, more survivable and hugely more effective submarines.

Making the shift to nuclear-powered submarines: safety first | The Strategist (aspistrategist.org.au)

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Australia

Australia and Digicel: Hands-off no more? (Sharar Hameiri, The Interpreter)

The Australian government’s decision to finance Telstra’s takeover of the Pacific’s biggest telecommunications provider, Digicel, via a $1.33 billion loan from Export Finance Australia, is the clearest indication yet that competing with China is changing government-firm relations in Australia in profound and potentially lasting ways.

Australia has long been one of the world’s staunchest exponents of the doctrine of “free market” liberalism, manifesting in governmental support for trade liberalisation and market competition. Whereas other countries have paid lip-service to these ideas but continued to support national firms at home and abroad in various tacit ways, the Australian government has generally let Australian firms operate internationally with very little government guidance and support.

Australia and Digicel: Hands-off no more? | The Interpreter (lowyinstitute.org)

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Climate Change Ecological Transition Global Topics

Glasgow: a tipping point for serious action (Anthony Burke, The Interpreter)

In a little over a week, the most consequential climate meeting in human history begins in Glasgow, Scotland. The Earth has warmed by up to 1.3°C since 1880. Devastating fires, cyclones and weather are wreaking havoc around the world. And current emissions trends put the world on a path toward 3°C of catastrophic heating by 2100, which would trigger tipping points such as the melting of the poles, the loss of the Amazon rainforest, and a drastic slowdown in the Atlantic ocean circulation.

Glasgow: a tipping point for serious action | The Interpreter (lowyinstitute.org)

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Non Alignment Movement

There is life in the Non- Alignment Movement yet (Nina Markovic Khaze, The Interpreter)

Local observers of international affairs may have missed the Non-Aligned Movement’s 60th anniversary commemorative summit earlier this month. A Cold War relic, NAM, as it is typically known, held a two-day special meeting in Belgrade, Serbia. The guest list boasted Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, along with delegations from more than 100 countries and several regional institutions.

There is life in the Non-Alignment Movement yet | The Interpreter (lowyinstitute.org)

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Taiwan UN

Taiwan taps on United Nations’ door, 50 years after departure (Erin Hale, Al Jazeera)

Fifty years ago on October 25, the Republic of China (ROC) – the official name for Taiwan –  was formally expelled from the United Nations by a vote of the General Assembly and replaced by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which had taken power in Beijing at the end of the country’s civil war in 1949.

The ROC government had fled to the island of Taiwan with millions of refugees as the communists took power but continued to hold the seat of “China” at the UN and was a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power. Despite being exiled, officials in Taipei had the support of the US thanks to fears in the West that communism might sweep through Asia.

Taiwan taps on United Nations’ door, 50 years after departure | News | Al Jazeera

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Colombia USA

Colombia to extradite Otoniel to the US as soon as possible (Al Jazeera)

Colombia plans to extradite the man it calls the world’s most dangerous drug trafficker to the United States where he is wanted on a number of charges.

Dairo Antonio Usuga, known as Otoniel, was captured by Colombia’s armed forces during an operation in a rural area of Colombia’s Uraba region on Saturday. The raid involved more than 500 members of Colombia’s special forces and 22 helicopters.

Colombia to extradite Otoniel to the US as soon as possible | Crime News | Al Jazeera

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Iran Israel

Iran’s Khamenei urges reversal of Arab-Israeli normalisations (Al Jazeera)

Arab nations that normalised ties with Israel last year have “sinned” and should reverse such moves, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Sunday.

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco agreed to normalise ties with Israel in 2020, as Washington under the administration of then-US President Donald Trump made Arab-Israeli rapprochement a foreign policy priority.

Iran’s Khamenei urges reversal of Arab-Israeli normalisations | News | Al Jazeera

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Kashmir

Civilian shot dead in Kashmir as India’s home minister visits (Rifat Fareed, Al Jazeera)

A 19-year-old civilian has been shot dead in Indian-administered Kashmir in what his family called “cold-blooded murder” by Indian forces.

It was the 12th civilian killing this month in the region either by rebel fighters or security forces.

Civilian shot dead in Kashmir as India’s home minister visits | News | Al Jazeera

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Ethiopia Tigray

Ethiopia: The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Tigray (Al Jazeera)

Air attacks against the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) are increasing – and so too is the humanitarian cost.

It has been described as the world’s worst hunger crisis in a decade. And it is feared the situation in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray will become even bleaker.

The United Nations has suspended all humanitarian flights to the regional capital, Mekelle.

After 11 months of conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, millions of people are displaced and nearly 500,000 face famine-like conditions.

So how can aid agencies ease the crisis?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra

Guests:

Neamin Zeleke – Member of the Global Ethiopian Advocates Nexus

William Davison – Senior Ethiopia analyst at International Crisis Group

Jan Abbink – Professor of politics and governance in Africa at Leiden University

Ethiopia: The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Tigray | News | Al Jazeera

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Ethiopia Tigray

Ethiopia launches new air raids on Tigray region: Gov’t (Al Jazeera)

Ethiopia’s military has carried out a second air attack in the northern part of Tigray, according to a statement issued by the government shortly after it said it launched an air raid on a rebel-held facility in Tigray’s west.

The raids on Sunday would be the seventh and eighth aerial bombardments in the war-hit region in a week.

Ethiopia launches new air raids on Tigray region: Gov’t | News | Al Jazeera

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Burkina Faso

‘Kill them all, don’t spare anyone’: A massacre in Burkina Faso (Sam Mednick, Al Jazeera)

Lying concealed atop his bus while watching armed men murder people below, the only thought that brought Abdoulaye Diallo some comfort was the hope that if he died on a Friday, a holy day in Islam, he would go to heaven.

“I knew I’d be killed…[but] if I died on a Friday my paradise was guaranteed,” Diallo tells Al Jazeera, sitting in Dori, Burkina Faso, a town in the country’s Sahel region to which he fled. “So, I recited some Quranic verses while on top of the bus awaiting my death.”

‘Kill them all, don’t spare anyone’: A massacre in Burkina Faso | Conflict | Al Jazeera

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Sudan

Sudan’s PM Abdalla Hamdok under house arrest: Report (Al Jazeera)

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok was put under house arrest after an unidentified military force besieged his house early on Monday, according to Al Hadath TV.

The Sudanese network cited unidentified sources, and an independent confirmation was not immediately available.

Sudan’s PM Abdalla Hamdok under house arrest: Report | Politics News | Al Jazeera

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Israel Palestine

Israel to build 1,300 new West Bank settler homes (Al Jazeera)

Israel has announced plans to build more residences for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, drawing immediate condemnation from Palestinians, peace activists and neighbouring Jordan.

The announcement on Sunday from the Ministry of Construction and Housing in right-wing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government said tenders had been published for 1,355 homes in the West Bank, which was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israel to build 1,300 new West Bank settler homes | Israel-Palestine conflict News | Al Jazeera

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Palestine

Nizar Banat family to seek international justice ‘if necessary’ (Al Jazeera)

The family of Nizar Banat, a fierce critic of the Palestinian Authority (PA) who was allegedly beaten to death by its security forces in May, has resolved to seek international justice if necessary despite coming under heavy pressure to drop the legal fight.

Nizar’s family appeared before the Ramallah military court on Sunday and presented witness statements as part of the ongoing trial for 14 security officers implicated in his death.

Nizar Banat family to seek international justice ‘if necessary’ | Occupied West Bank News | Al Jazeera

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Tunisia

Analysis: How Tunisia reached financial meltdown (Mourad Teyeb, Al Jazeera)

The shock that followed the July 25 power grab by President Kais Saied is gone, and Tunisians now wake up to one of the most dangerous economic crises since independence.

Because everything is politicised in Tunisia, people like to harangue about who is responsible for the collapse of the country’s economy rather than understand its real causes and discuss the best solutions to save it.

Analysis: How Tunisia reached financial meltdown | Business and Economy News | Al Jazeera

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G20 Global Topics

The G20 and the road to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis (East Asia Forum)

When the G20 leaders first met in November 2008, they recognised that a recovery from the global financial crisis could not be orchestrated by rich economies alone. The composition of the G20 reflected the shift in the world’s economic centre of gravity, towards Asia and the emerging economies around the world. Its agenda back in 2008 reflected the fact that a global recovery could only be achieved with truly global cooperation.

The G20 and the road to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis | East Asia Forum

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G20 Global Topics

The G20 needs to do more than recycle the G7’s agenda (Adam Triggs, East Asia Forum)

The world economy is facing a two-speed recovery. The rich world is overheating. The poor world is stagnating, with Asia’s developing countries at its centre. Left to fester, both worlds will soon start exporting problems to each other, creating a dangerous feedback loop.

The G20 needs to do more than recycle the G7’s agenda | East Asia Forum

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Iran JCPOA UN

UN Nuclear Chief Says Restrictions On Access To Iranian Facility Threaten Work Of Monitoring Program (RFE RL)

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog says his monitoring program in Iran has been restricted at a key facility, raising concern that it will not be possible for world powers that are party to a 2015 nuclear deal to “reconstruct the picture” of Iran’s nuclear program down the road.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi made the comments in an interview with NBC News broadcast on October 23. Grossi is currently visiting Washington as the countries that are party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) urge Iran to return to negotiations to restore the deal.

UN Nuclear Chief Says Restrictions On Access To Iranian Facility Threaten Work Of Monitoring Program (rferl.org)

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Hungary

Orban, Opposition Hold Budapest Rallies To Launch Election Campaign (RFE RL)

Prime Minister Viktor Orban and joint opposition leader Peter Marki-Zay both held campaign-style rallies in Budapest on October 23, nearly six months ahead of an election that is expected to be closely contested.

Tens of thousands of Orban supporters marched on their way to hear the prime minister give a speech devoted to the commemoration of the country’s 1956 uprising against Soviet domination.

Orban, Opposition Hold Budapest Rallies To Launch Election Campaign (rferl.org)

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Iran

Iranian Governor Assaulted During Inauguration Ceremony (RFE RL)

The new governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan Province was assaulted during his inauguration ceremony by a man who rushed the stage and slapped him.

The new governor, General Abedin Khorram, had just approached the podium on October 23 in the city of Tabriz when an unidentified man strode onto the stage and struck him without warning.

Iranian Governor Assaulted During Inauguration Ceremony (rferl.org)

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Russia

Russia Issues Arrest Warrant For Prison-Torture Whistle-Blower (RFE RL)

Russia has issued an arrest warrant for a former prison inmate who has admitted to releasing graphic video evidence of hundreds of cases of inmate torture by other inmates at the direction of prison officials.

The Interior Ministry on October 23 issued the warrant without specifying the crime that the Belarus-born Syarhey Savelyeu is accused of.

Russia Issues Arrest Warrant For Prison-Torture Whistle-Blower (rferl.org)

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Kyrgyzstan Russia USA

Kyrgyz President Rejects Idea Of New U.S. Base In Kyrgyzstan (RFE RL)

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov has rejected the idea of hosting a U.S. military base in his country, saying such a move would place Kyrgyzstan in a “cat and mouse” game in terms of its relations with Washington and with Russia.

Japarov made the remark on October 23 during an annual press conference in which he answered questions from state and private media outlets as well as independent bloggers and freelance journalists.

Kyrgyz President Rejects Idea Of New U.S. Base In Kyrgyzstan (rferl.org)

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Afghanistan CSTO Russia Tajikistan

Russian-Led CSTO Stages More Counterterrorism Drills On Tajik-Afghan Border (RFE RL)

Members of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have completed another joint counterterrorism training exercise in Tajikistan near the border with Afghanistan.

The exercise on October 23 presented a scenario in which columns of vehicles transport militants across the border from Afghanistan into Tajikistan.

Russian-Led CSTO Stages More Counterterrorism Drills On Tajik-Afghan Border (rferl.org)

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Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan Votes In Presidential Election With Incumbent Mirziyoev Expected To Win (RFE RL)

Uzbekistan is holding a presidential election in which the incumbent, President Shavkat Mirziyoev, is widely expected to win a second term in office given the absence of opposition candidates.

Mirziyoev is facing four other little-known candidates who are largely pro-government. Three opposition parties were not allowed to register or have candidates in the race.

Uzbekistan Votes In Presidential Election With Incumbent Mirziyoev Expected To Win (rferl.org)

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Europe Hungary USA

Hungary’s Orban accuses EU, US of meddling in 2022 election (Al Jazeera)

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has accused Brussels and Washington of trying to meddle in Hungarian politics in advance of a parliamentary election in April next year.

Orban told tens of thousands of supporters at a rally in central Budapest on Saturday that Washington and billionaire George Soros were trying to get the left-wing opposition elected using their money, media and networks.

Hungary’s Orban accuses EU, US of meddling in 2022 election | Elections News | Al Jazeera

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Belarus Europe

Are the EU and Belarus playing politics with refugees? (Al Jazeera)

The European Union is divided on how to respond to a migration crisis in the Baltics.

Belarus is accused of giving tourist visas to refugees and migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and then helping them cross the border into the bloc.

Poland has recorded 16,000 attempts since August.

The EU is calling it “state-sponsored smuggling”, in retaliation for sanctions it imposed on Minsk for cracking down on dissent.

Refugees are stuck in the middle. Could this standoff lead to a humanitarian crisis?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom

Guests:

Jaroslav Romanchuk – Presdent of Mises Scientific Research Center and former Belarussian presidential candidate

Karel Lannoo – Chief executive of Centre for European Policy Studies

Are the EU and Belarus playing politics with refugees? | TV Shows | Al Jazeera

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Colombia

Otoniel: Colombia’s most wanted drug lord captured (Megan Janetsky, Al Jazeera)

Security forces in Colombia have captured Dairo Antonio Usuga, the country’s most wanted drug trafficker.

Better known as Otoniel, the leader of the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia or the Gulf Clan, was captured on Saturday in a rural area in the Uraba region.

Otoniel: Colombia’s most wanted drug lord captured | Drugs News | Al Jazeera

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North Korea USA

US urges N Korea to end ‘provocative’ tests, return to talks (Al Jazeera)

A senior United States diplomat has urged North Korea to end its “concerning and counterproductive” missile tests and resume negotiations.

Sung Kim, the top US official on North Korea affairs, spoke on Sunday after meeting with South Korean officials to discuss North Korea’s recent streak of missile tests, including its first underwater ballistic missile launch in two years.

US urges N Korea to end ‘provocative’ tests, return to talks | Nuclear Weapons News | Al Jazeera

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Uzbekistan

Voting under way in Uzbekistan’s presidential election (Al Jazeera)

Voters in Uzbekistan are casting their ballots in a presidential election in which incumbent President Shavkat Mirziyoyev faces no genuine opposition and is almost certain to win a second term.

Voting across the Central Asian country of 34 million people began at 8am local time (03:00 GMT) on Sunday and will last until 8pm (15:00 GMT).

Voting under way in Uzbekistan’s presidential election | Elections News | Al Jazeera

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Uganda

Blast in Ugandan capital Kampala kills one, injures five (Al Jazeera)

An explosion in Uganda’s capital Kampala, that killed one and injured five, was “a terrorist act”, according to President Yoweri Museveni, who promised to hunt down those responsible.

Police said the “serious blast” occurred at about 9pm (18:00 GMT) at a popular street-side restaurant strip in Kawempe division in Kampala on Saturday.

Blast in Ugandan capital Kampala kills one, injures five | News | Al Jazeera

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Nigeria

Gunmen attack Nigeria prison, free dozens of inmates: Official (Al Jazeera)

Gunmen have attacked a prison in southwestern Nigeria, freeing dozens of inmates, according to an official.

Olanrewaju Anjorin, a spokesman of the Oyo correctional centre in Oyo state, told The Associated Press news agency on Saturday that the gunmen attacked the facility late on Friday night.

Gunmen attack Nigeria prison, free dozens of inmates: Official | Prison News | Al Jazeera

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Marco Emanuele Progetto di Civiltà

Giudizio storico in cammino. Profitti silenziosi e antagonismi rumorosi (Marco Emanuele)

Questa riflessione è, nei fatti, un cammino nel “progetto di civiltà”: perché esso vive nella vita, considera le dinamiche che ci percorrono ed è partecipato dai nostri talenti e dalle nostre contraddizioni. Si tratta di una riflessione aperta e tutta da con-dividere.

Maturare giudizio storico significa ri-prendere (prendere continuamente) consapevolezza del mondo che siamo e in cui siamo. In termini di meta-contesto, possiamo dire di trovarci nella Quarta Rivoluzione Industriale. Ciò che è certo è che mai nessuna fase della storia umana si è caratterizzata per tali velocità e radicalità. Scrive Ilaria Bifarini (Il grande reset, Milano, 2021, p. 88): Come ha affermato con toni entusiastici Satya Nadella: “Abbiamo assistito a due anni di trasformazione digitale in due mesi”.

Altresì, sostiene Bifarini, l’economia dei ricchi e dei super ricchi non si ferma, le disuguaglianze (comunque consustanziali ai sistemi di mercato e problema ben presente da alcuni decenni a livello globale) crescono e le grandi ricchezze si concentrano. Nota l’Autrice (op.cit., pp 98-99): Come emerge da un rapporto della banca svizzera Ubs, da aprile a luglio 2020 gli ultra miliardari hanno aumentato il proprio reddito del 27,5%, portando la loro ricchezza a 10,2 trilioni di dollari, superando il precedente picco di 8,9 trilioni di dollari registrato a fine 2017. Anche il numero dei super ricchi è salito, raggiungendo il record di 2.189, rispetto ai 2.158 del 2017. A incrementare ulteriormente i loro patrimoni stellari ha inciso molto la scommessa sulla ripresa dei mercati azionari, che hanno toccato il loro punto più basso durante il lockdown di marzo e aprile per poi rimbalzare, compensando gran parte delle perdite. Come spiega al “The Guardian” Josef Stadler, manager di Ubs, i miliardari sono stati abili a trarre vantaggi dalla crisi: “non solo hanno cavalcato la tempesta al ribasso, ma hanno anche guardagnato sul rialzo”. È interessante, con Bifarini (op.cit., p.101), notare quanto segue sulla concentrazione della ricchezza: Secondo gli esperti della UBS, la concentrazione della ricchezza

oggi è di nuovo ai livelli del 1905, quando negli Stati Uniti famiglie come Carnegie, Rockfeller e Vanderbilt controllavano vastissime fortune. Al tempo a dominare erano petrolio e acciaio, oggi c’è l’industria del digitale e della farmaceutica.

La pandemia ha acceso una luce fortissima sulla potenza dell’economia digitale, giustamente ponendo la transizione digitale come uno dei pilastri strategici, insieme alla trasformazione ecologica, per il mondo post-pandemia. Coloro che si pongono contro tutto questo sottolineano, ad esempio guardando all’Italia, che la guerra al “nanismo” economico condotta dai protagonisti della Quarta Rivoluzione Industriale a danno delle micro-piccole-medie imprese rappresenti un colpo mortale ai fondamenti del nostro sistema economico. Questo è un tema estremamente interessante con il quale fare i conti. Ma non serve l’antagonismo per comprendere le ragioni di chi sembra essere sul versante perdente della storia: ci vuole realismo critico.

La corsa dell’economia digitale, complice la pandemia e le chiusure forzate, si è sviluppata considerevolmente e senza particolare “attenzione etica” a quanto accadeva a livello sociale, anzi facendone un dato di business. Uso una espressione così radicale perché, particolarmente nella fase di lockdown, si è esponenzialmente diffuso il disagio e sono proporzionalmente aumentati i profitti (nota n. 1).

Non vi è dubbio che nei tempi delle restrizioni, nella paura reale e/o costruita dai media, le persone abbiano cercato di evadere da una “galera” informativa che li appiattiva sul binomio pericolosità del virus-uscita dal virus. Se ci fermiamo un attimo a pensare quanto i media abbiano lasciato spazio a qualcosa che non fosse il Covid ci rendiamo conto che resta ben poco: e il resto, a ben guardare, era – ed è – praticamente invaso dal “pettegolezzo” politico. In aggiunta, senza contatto fisico, si è scatenata una rabbia che ha trovato sfogo sia nei dibattiti allucinanti dei talk televisivi (sempre gli stessi ospiti, quelli che – qualunque parte rappresentassero o rappresentino – provocano la rissa) e soprattutto nei social. In termini di giudizio storico, mentre i pochi continuano a guadagnare, è il pensiero antagonista (lasciato alle maggioranze “vinte”) che continua a trionfare. Insomma, i tantissimi che incarnano il pensiero antagonista fanno il gioco dell’avversario. Ho molti dubbi che tutto questo (paura, rabbia, miseria del dibattito pubblico) scompaia con la pandemia: si tratta, infatti, di qualcosa che ci appartiene e ci riguarda.

Vediamo le piazze che si agitano, molto spesso prendendo a pretesto decisioni del governo che, a sensazione di chi scrive, non meriterebbero troppa agitazione sociale. Occorre, invece, cercare di comprendere la ragione politica di quelle piazze: al di là delle strumentalizzazioni a opera di frange estreme (fenomeno antico), si tratta di piazze del disagio, composte da persone che sentono di trovarsi in una fase storica in cui è tolta loro la possibilità di essere soggetti di Politica, ritrovandosi a essere soggetti alla politica di pochi. Esplode, in sostanza, il bisogno di rappresentanza, ciò che la pandemia ha soltanto aggravato, e di proteggere il proprio futuro e quello delle proprie famiglie. Tutto questo, va da sé, si lega con l’astensione dilagante: alle ultime elezioni amministrative nei Comuni più importanti d’Italia abbiamo sentito il silenzio assordante di chi urlava la propria indifferenza a un sistema che non garantisce effettiva cittadinanza. Le persone non si fidano delle classi dirigenti (non solo politiche) perché sentono che queste fanno un altro gioco, certamente non il loro.

Se Klaus Schwab, fondatore del World Economic Forum, sostiene che occorre ripensare il capitalismo, qui – molto più umilmente – si sostiene che occorra ri-pensare i paradigmi della Politica, a oggi ancora legati a un mondo che non c’è più. Le piazze che richiamavo nel paragrafo precedente, infatti, lottano contro un “nemico” che non riescono a definire, una sorta di nemico in perenne metamorfosi. Ebbene, è chiaro che siamo in una grande metamorfosi: ma non si può dare come soluzione il ripensamento di una faccia (a esempio, il capitalismo) del mosaico di realtà. Se quel ripensamento è necessario esso va inquadrato in un ripensamento più grande, complesso, sistemico, Politico. Senza questo, infatti, accadrà che le grandi corporation – come già avviene – si “truccheranno di etica” ma nulla toccherà i punti sensibili di un sistema malato nel profondo, malato politico: coloro che davvero comandano saranno più etici e il loro potere sarà salvo e accresciuto.

Intanto le piazze, in maniera semplicisticamente antagonista e senza ripensare la Politica, continueranno a contestare chi è sempre più sfuggente e potente.

Note:

(1) – Ilaria Bifarini, op.cit., pp. 104 e 105: Brian Solis, considerato uno dei massimi opinionisti ed esperti mondiali di new media, antropologo digitale “evangelista” dell’innovazione globale presso Salesforce, multinazionale attiva nelle tecnologie della Quarta Rivoluzione Industriale, ha rivelato come la dichiarata pandemia avrebbe dato vita a una nuova tipologia di consumatori, di grande interesse per il marketing e l’industria di produzione, ribattezzata generazione Novel, o N. Si tratta di un segmento di clienti emergente, che acquista on line ed è galvanizzato dagli effetti del Covid, emotivamente stressato, guidato dalla paura, dall’ansia e dalla preoccupazione. Le aziende dovranno concentrarsi sulla generazione N, per intercettare in che modo l’uso crescente e accelerato della tecnologia da parte dei consumatori influisca sulle loro preferenze, sui loro comportamenti e sulla routine. Queste intuizioni saranno fondamentali per guidare il brand, il prodotto e le strategie di mercato a essere più tempestive, pertinenti ed empatiche.

Categorie
Israel Palestine

Palestinian NGOs designated ‘terrorists’ call for support (Al Jazeera)

Palestinian human rights groups designated by Israel as “terrorist organisations” have called for international support to reverse the decision, which has the potential to compromise their ability to do humanitarian work.

A military order signed by Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz on Friday effectively outlawed six organisations, placing them at risk of imminent reprisals. They were accused of being linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), whose armed wing has carried out deadly attacks against Israelis.

Palestinian NGOs designated ‘terrorists’ call for support | Human Rights News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Iraq

Muqtada al-Sadr: Iraq’s kingmaker in uncertain times (Thomas O Falk, Al Jazeera)

Muqtada al-Sadr remains one of Iraq’s most influential political figures and plays a pivotal role when it comes to the country’s future. He is currently considered the kingmaker, but it remains unclear if he can form a government with stability.

In the latest elections, al-Sadr’s party obtained 70 of a total of 329 parliamentary seats – a significant increase compared with the result of 2018, when his movement won 54 seats.

Muqtada al-Sadr: Iraq’s kingmaker in uncertain times | Politics News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Singapore

Singapore’s aspirations to become an education and knowledge hub (Ravinder Sidhu, East Asia Forum)

Maintaining that ‘people are its most precious resource’, Singapore has made a name for itself as a country committed to human resource development. The city-state has invested in research infrastructure and matching budgets to turn itself into an educational and knowledge hub. But the future of international higher education in Singapore is far from guaranteed.

Singapore’s aspirations to become an education and knowledge hub (eastasiaforum.org)

Categorie
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s rising food prices belies deeper economic issues (Dushni Weerakoon, East Asia Forum)

Sri Lanka recently passed emergency regulations to deal with food shortages and price increases. Such powers are typically invoked to address public security concerns. But in this instance, they are being used to give the government extra powers to seize stocks of essential food items hoarded by traders. This justification sidesteps a fundamental question about the economic policy choices that have created the need for such drastic measures. An artificially maintained ‘official’ exchange rate in an economy hobbled by high debt levels has disincentivised food importers from releasing stocks at controlled domestic prices.

Sri Lanka’s rising food prices belies deeper economic issues | East Asia Forum

Categorie
Nepal

Personalities split Nepal’s communist parties (Anil Sigdel, East Asia Forum)

The alliance between the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist and Leninist) (CPN-UML) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) (CPN-MC), which won a landslide victory in the elections three years ago, has now fractured into three different political parties. The merger between the CPN-UML, led by then prime minister KP Sharma Oli, and the CPN-MC, led by former rebel leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal (known as Prachanda) — which unified almost all strands of communists in the country into a long-awaited single party — has broken after only three years. The opposition Nepali Congress has now taken government.

Personalities split Nepal’s communist parties | East Asia Forum

Categorie
South Korea

Squid Game shines a light on inequality in South Korea (Stella Jang, East Asia Forum)

Recent portrayals of South Korean inequality have captivated international audiences. Squid Game is on track to become Netflix’s most watched show ever, with viewers struggling to look away as 456 desperate individuals compete to the death for prize money.

Squid Game shines a light on inequality in South Korea (eastasiaforum.org)

Categorie
Japan

Is Kishida a dove or a hawk? (Kazuhiko Togo, East Asia Forum)

Shortly after his victory in the contest for the position of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President, and being sworn in as Japan’s new prime minister, Fumio Kishida dissolved the lower house and called a national election for 31 October. If the LDP retains sufficient power in this election and the July 2022 upper house election, Kishida could lead Japan for at least several years. An important question then for Japan’s future is whether Kishida will remain a dove or follow former prime minister Shinzo Abe’s more hawkish line.

Is Kishida a dove or a hawk? (eastasiaforum.org)

Categorie
North Korea South Korea

South Korea seeks to develop missile defense against N. Korea’s artillery barrage (Brian Kim, Defense News)

LIG Nex1, a South Korean precision missile developer, displayed this week a mock-up of a low-altitude missile defense system.

The LAMD concept model was displayed at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2021 at an air base in Seongnam, south of Seoul. The LAMD consists of a missile launcher, a command post and a multifunctional radar.

South Korea seeks to develop missile defense against N. Korea’s artillery barrage (defensenews.com)

Categorie
China Japan Russia

Chinese-Russian task force sails around Japan (Mike Yeo, Defense News)

A joint Chinese-Russian naval armada has sailed around Japan following a joint exercise in the Sea of Japan, sailing through a narrow international waterway between two of Japan’s main islands.

The 10-ship naval task force, split evenly between Chinese and Russian vessels, sailed through the Tsugaru Strait, which runs between the Japanese islands of Hokkaido and Honshu, during their transit from the Sea of Japan into the western Pacific on Oct.18.

Chinese-Russian task force sails around Japan (defensenews.com)

Categorie
South Korea

KAI unveils electric basic trainer (Brian Kim, Defense News)

Korea Aerospace Industries, or KAI, showcased this week a concept model of an electrically powered basic trainer aircraft during the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2021 at an airbase in Seongnam, just south of Seoul.

Nicknamed “Black Kite,” the twin-seat concept aircraft features an electric propulsion system powering a total of four propellers mounted on the wings. It is expected to replace the KT-1 basic trainer in service with the South Korean Air Force.

KAI unveils electric basic trainer (defensenews.com)

Categorie
NATO

Russia fears complicate NATO’s new China focus (Joe Gould, Defense News)

One of U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s top jobs at the NATO ministerial conference this week was to keep steering the 30-member alliance’s focus to China, but some Eastern European allies say the U.S.-China rivalry must not overshadow concerns about Russia.

The two-day meeting between defense chiefs yielded new agreements on tech investments and policies, mirroring the Pentagon’s focus on technological competition with China. When asked by reporters about China, Austin made clear the U.S. sees NATO as its ace.

Russia fears complicate NATO’s new China focus (defensenews.com)

Categorie
Europe Financial Crime

Laura Kovesi: Is the EU doing enough to tackle financial crime? (Al Jazeera)

The European Union is a single market of 27 countries. While the bloc was officially formed in 1993, it took its member states 25 years longer to agree on the creation of a common public prosecutor’s office.

The office is responsible for prosecuting and bringing charges against those accused of crimes against the financial interests of the EU. But Poland, Hungary, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden remain outside of the agreement.

So, without the support of all the member states, how much authority does it have to do its job? The European chief prosecutor, Laura Kovesi, talks to Al Jazeera.

Laura Kovesi: Is the EU doing enough to tackle financial crime? | European Union | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Moldova

Moldova declares state of emergency over gas crisis (Al Jazeera)

Moldova’s parliament has approved a government-requested state of emergency until November 20 as it tries to ease gas shortages amid soaring world energy prices.

The eternal flame at a World War II monument in the capital Chisinau has been extinguished due to gas shortages, the defence ministry said on Friday.

Moldova declares state of emergency over gas crisis | Oil and Gas News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Balkans

Bosnian Serb police drill seen as separatist ‘provocation’ (Al Jazeera)

Bosnia’s Serb police have held an “anti-terrorist” drill just outside the capital Sarajevo in a move seen by many as another provocation by the Serb separatist leadership.

The exercise on Friday was held in the ski resort at Mt Jahorina, the general area from where the Bosnian Serb military relentlessly shelled and sniped Sarajevo throughout Bosnia’s 1991-95 war. Thousands of Sarajevo citizens were killed or injured during the attacks.

Bosnian Serb police drill seen as separatist ‘provocation’ | Politics News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Defense/Military USA

New space race? US tests components for hypersonic weapons (Al Jazeera)

US forces have conducted three tests of hypersonic missile component prototypes, the Pentagon said, amid concerns from President Joe Biden about China’s advances in hypersonic weapons.

Sandia National Laboratories, a US government contractor, said on Thursday that it had conducted three tests successfully in Virginia a day earlier.

New space race? US tests components for hypersonic weapons | Military News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Nigeria

Nigerian official says new leader of ISIL-linked group killed (Al Jazeera)

Nigerian security forces have killed the new leader of an ISIL (ISIS)-linked group blamed for killing hundreds in Nigeria and neighbouring West African countries, a senior security official has said.

Nigeria’s national security adviser Babagana Monguno said on Friday that Malam Bako, who recently succeeded Abu Musab al-Barnawi as leader of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), was “taken out” by troops earlier this week.

Nigerian official says new leader of ISIL-linked group killed | ISIL/ISIS News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Mali

Mali denies asking Islamic body to negotiate with al-Qaeda (Al Jazeera)

The Malian government has denied that it plans to negotiate with leaders of al-Qaeda’s local affiliate, walking back an earlier statement from its religion ministry saying that it would do so.

“The Government informs the national and international public that to date, no national or international organisation has been officially mandated to carry out such an activity,” the government said in a statement published on social media on Thursday night.

Mali denies asking Islamic body to negotiate with al-Qaeda | Al-Qaeda News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Ethiopia Tigray UN

UN suspends all flights to Tigray amid Ethiopian air raids (Al Jazeera)

The United Nations has suspended all flights to the regional capital of the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia after government air raids forced a humanitarian flight carrying 11 passengers to abort landing in Mekelle.

The UN Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS) flight from Addis Ababa had been cleared by federal authorities, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, but “received instructions to abort landing by the Mekelle airport control tower”.

UN suspends all flights to Tigray amid Ethiopian air raids | Conflict News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Lebanon

Lebanon uprising protesters anxiously await military court trials (Kareem Chehayeb, Al Jazeera)

The anti-government uprising that swept across Lebanon two years ago might be a distant memory to many in the country, now struggling with compounding economic crises that have paralysed much of public life, but that is not the case for the dozens of protesters who are currently awaiting trial at military courts.

More than 200 people – including six minors – who were detained and released during the protests were summoned many months later to the military justice system, accused of engaging in acts of violence against security forces, according to the watchdog Legal Agenda. Most of them have yet to be tried.

Lebanon uprising protesters anxiously await military court trials | News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
West Bank

Fears of a Hamas takeover of the West Bank are exaggerated (Adnan Abu Amer, Al Jazeera)

Over the past few months, there has been an escalation of violence in the occupied West Bank. Armed clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli army in Jenin and Jerusalem and elsewhere have resulted in the deaths of several Palestinian fighters and civilians and the injuries of several soldiers from the Israeli occupation forces. There have been also stabbings, car-ramming attacks, and shootings at different locations targeting Israeli soldiers and settlers.

Fears of a Hamas takeover of the West Bank are exaggerated | Opinions | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Al Qaeda Syria USA

US kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria with drone strike (Al Jazeera)

The US military has killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar in a drone strike in Syria, a US Central Command spokesman said.

“The removal of this al-Qaeda senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organisation’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians,” US Army Major John Rigsbee said in a written statement late on Friday.

US kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria with drone strike | Al-Qaeda News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Lebanon

Lebanon’s President Aoun rejects draft electoral law (Kareem Chehayeb, Al Jazeera)

President Michel Aoun has sent a draft law to hold parliamentary elections ahead of time on 27 March instead of May back to parliament for reconsideration.

The president’s office said on Friday that holding elections almost two months ahead of schedule would pose logistical issues, shorten the timeframe for Lebanese expats to register, and prevent young people who would reach the voting age of 21 by May 8 from taking part.

Lebanon’s President Aoun rejects draft electoral law | Politics News | Al Jazeera

Categorie
Global Topics Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin Meets with Members of the Valdai Discussion Club. Transcript of the Plenary Session of the 18th Annual Meeting (Vladimir Putin, Valdai Discussion Club)

This year’s theme is Global Shake-up in the 21st Century: The Individual, Values and the State. The four-day programme includes over 15 in-person and online sessions.

Vladimir Putin Meets with Members of the Valdai Discussion Club. Transcript of the Plenary Session of the 18th Annual Meeting — Valdai Club

Categorie
Digital Transformation Emerging and Disruptive Technology

Ethics as Applied Intelligence (Anastasia Likhacheva, Valdai Discussion Club)

In any event, the competition between companies and mega-corporations, the rivalry among states, around intelligence and technology have different facets. At the national level, the club of the smartest brains is still very small, but more democratic, than the military technology club. If a country rushes to be more significant, there is no alternative than to develop technologies and patents, with an emphasis on a certain specialisation, or all at once – if it claims to be a superpower. This resembles  technological napalm.

Ethics as Applied Intelligence — Valdai Club

Categorie
Eurasia

Greater Eurasia: 30 Years on (Rakhim Oshakbayev, Valdai Discussion Club)

It is an exciting moment now for the states that appeared after the collapse of the USSR. For Kazakhstan and for other countries of the post-Soviet region, the 30th anniversary of independence is a great holiday, and everyone approaches this date with their own unique historical baggage.

There is also something that unites us: all the countries of Central Asia have been strongly “renewed” demographically. We have raised our own post-independence “generations”, who do not share the Soviet experience that united us all. These are new people, and they will build political and economic relations between our states in the future.

Greater Eurasia: 30 Years on — Valdai Club

Categorie
Global Topics Liberalism

Restraining the Excesses of Liberalism (Glenn Diesen, Valdai Discussion Club)

However, this article argues that restraining the excesses of liberalism is a positive and necessary correction as unfettered liberalism has undermined domestic and international stability. The system has not self-corrected as liberal ideology has blinded the West by the certainty of its own righteousness. We have now reached the breaking point where the current state of affairs no longer work.

Restraining the Excesses of Liberalism — Valdai Club

Categorie
Marco Emanuele Progetto di Civiltà

Verso un “progetto di civiltà” (Marco Emanuele)

Nel guardare all’ evoluzione del mondo colpito dalla pandemia, alcuni temi stanno in cima alle mie riflessioni. Non sono certo gli unici ma, cercando di individuare ciò che può fare la differenza, ragiono intorno:

  • alla metamorfosi del rischio;
  • all’impatto delle tecnologiche emergenti;
  • all’impatto del climate change;
  • alle metamorfosi del capitalismo verso una “nuova” economia;
  • allo “svuotamento” democratico;
  • alla rincorsa verso un “nuovo” ordine.

Si tratta, con tutta evidenza, di temi straordinariamente importanti e imprescindibilmente legati l’uno all’altro. La loro importanza e la loro interdipendenza costituiscono ciò che ci vincola a un pensiero complesso (che superi la linearità), sistemico (che superi la settorialità), critico (che superi la superficialità e gli antagonismi). Questo è il senso della ricerca che avvio oggi.

Siamo in un momento storico nel quale qualcuno potrebbe approfittare della pandemia per ricostruire un nuovo ordine ? La questione è affascinante ma, credendo in una visione progettuale della storia, preferisco lavorare sulla prospettiva di un “progetto di civiltà” ponendo l’umanità e il pianeta al centro. Una umanità e un pianeta certamente attraversati da una infinità di dinamiche create da noi e che, a ben guardare, rischiano di non essere più controllabili dalla intelligenza e dalla volontà dell’uomo.

Faccio fatica, per sensibilità e per ricerca personale, a utilizzare con facilità (come leggo molto spesso), l’aggettivo “totalitario”. Anche se, devo ammettere, in molte situazioni vedo l’avanzare di segni che richiamano quel pericolo. Se ne scrive molto riguardo all’utilizzo delle tecnologie. Se diciamo che la tecnologia non è neutra, il problema è la sua finalizzazione. Non esiste, dunque, una tecnologia buona o una tecnologia cattiva in sé e non si può dire, richiamando “linearmente” il totalitarismo, che sia l’avanzata tecnologica a rappresentare un pericolo bensì è l’uso che l’uomo può farne. In sostanza, tecnologia non fa rima con sorveglianza di massa.

Viviamo in un tempo, e questo è un dato che mi sembra incontrovertibile, nel quale la rabbia personale e sociale non viene canalizzata in un progetto storico. Essa, al contrario, viene esasperata e sfogata contro l’altro, di volta in volta individuando il bersaglio: che sia il migrante, il non vaccinato (o il vaccinato, a seconda dei casi), l’omosessuale, la multinazionale, il politico e quant’altri. Qui faccio una meta-considerazione non avendo alcun interesse a portare posizioni di parte o ad aderire ad alcuna parte.

La rabbia, in tal modo, diventa un’arma che, molto spesso, l’informazione spettacolarizzata (più spettacolo che informazione) e i social cavalcano e alimentano. E’ molto più facile rendere le opinioni delle Verità di Parte piuttosto che cercare parti di verità in ogni opinione e tentare un dialogo per costruire “giudizio storico”. Ecco, rispetto ai temi sopra richiamati, quelli che davvero cambiano la storia (e ogni nostra storia), c’è una trascuratezza sostanziale al posto della quale si scatena un dibattito superficiale e solo competitivo tra Opinioni-Verità. Ed è lasciando il vuoto intorno ai temi fondamentali che qualcuno lo riempie e se ne occupa: i progetti come il Grande Reset e/o i complotti dei quali si discute tra arrabbiati e delusi nascono dall’assenza della nostra responsabilità culturale e politica. E’ molto più comodo, infatti, lasciar fare a qualcuno per poi scatenarsi a criticarlo.

Se l’assenza di responsabilità è un tema perenne, e forse non del tutto risolvibile, ci sono momenti nella storia nei quali val bene esercitare un impegno adeguato. Quello che viviamo è uno di questi.

Per iniziare la ricerca, percorso del quale non vedo la fine, vorrei brevemente introdurre ciò che è, secondo me, un “progetto di civiltà”. Anzitutto, esso non è un progetto determinabile dall’inizio: è un processo complesso, sottolineando del progetto l’anima dinamica. Il “progetto di civiltà” è un cammino nel profondo della realtà, contraddittorio e incerto. E’ il tentativo di leggere le dinamiche del mondo “in progress” con l’occhio complesso, sistemico e critico.

Nel discutere un “progetto di civiltà” occorre avere la mente aperta e libera, capace di non escludere alcuno e alcunché dal proprio orizzonte di senso e di significato. Il male e il bene si com-penetrano in ciascuno di noi e nella realtà e, se le Opinioni non devono diventare Verità, ogni opinione va considerata e valorizzata laddove pone la possibilità di un confronto (anche aspro) e di un incontro per il dialogo.

Se un elemento decisivo del “progetto di civiltà” è la complessità, ne viene la tendenziale inclusione di ogni parte nel mosaico della storia. Siccome ogni particolare, nella realtà, non si integra perfettamente con ogni altro, con l’inclusione occorre operare mediazioni.

Le nostre società sono divise e sempre più disuguali. Ciò comporta esclusioni e prevaricazioni e, come alcuni sostengono, è il modello stesso che abbiamo impostato, e che non nasce con la pandemia, a porre le condizioni perché le divisioni e le disuguaglianze peggiorino. Se ci aggiungiamo il poco esercizio di responsabilità, di vivere responsabile, il gioco è fatto. Con inclusione e mediazione, una terza parola-chiave per un “progetto di civiltà” è coesione.

Circa trent’anni fa, con il crollo del muro di Berlino, il mondo ha cambiato equilibrio. E’ finito l’equilibrio bipolare.

Un dato che mi interessa portare nella ricerca è, a partire da quella grande speranza di libertà e di benessere per tutti, il punto in cui siamo oggi. Si pensava che la democrazia e il mercato avessero trionfato a livello globale; si pensava che sarebbe finita l’epoca dei muri; si pensava che il mondo si sarebbe pacificato. Tutti auspici che, forse esageratamente ottimistici allora, sono rimasti sostanzialmente tali.

Chi, come me, guarda a un “progetto di civiltà”, non può che essere realisticamente ottimista. E’ difficile, me ne rendo conto, ma è al contempo necessario: possiamo far tesoro degli errori commessi e provare, insieme, a fermarci per riflettere. Se, come si dice, con la pandemia nulla sarà più come prima, facciamo attenzione a che lo abbiamo detto, e scritto, tante altre volte: è davvero arrivato il tempo della responsabilità.

 

 

Categorie
Afghanistan

An Assessment of International Coalition Forces Intervention in Afghanistan (Brig (Dr) Ashok Pathak, VIF)

The Al Qaeda attack on the twin towers on 9 September 2001 turned America’s global war on terror into a crusade. The operation Enduring Freedom commenced in Afghanistan on 07 October 2001 followed by Desert Storm in Iraq (2003).

Our focus in this article is on the twenty year long war on terror in Afghanistan. The expectations from the American intervention in Afghanistan were coloured by what the popular international and Indian media propagated. Hence the specter of mid-August 2021 caused shock and surprise. Most observers were also puzzled and were hard put in finding answers to three questions. How did a super power (the only one at present) fail? How come the Taliban that was generally written off as a viable force, won so rapidly and comprehensively? What would be the global implications of these dramatic turn of events- especially for India?

An Assessment of International Coalition Forces Intervention in Afghanistan | Vivekananda International Foundation (vifindia.org)

Categorie
India Sri Lanka

Fresh Impetus to India-Sri Lanka Ties (Rup Narayan Das, VIF)

In a very significant development which will give an impetus to India-Sri Lanka relations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is inaugurating the direct flight from Sri Lanka to Kushinagar on 20th October. A number of high dignitaries and Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka will grace the occasion. Kushinagar is a major pilgrimage site that attracts a high number of Buddhist pilgrims including from Sri Lanka every year. It is believed that Gautam Buddha had attained Mahaparinirbana in Kushinagar after his death.

Fresh Impetus to India-Sri Lanka Ties | Vivekananda International Foundation (vifindia.org)

Categorie
China India

China: Profound, Palpable and Persistent Winds of Change-Implications for India (Lt Gen (Dr) Rakesh Sharma (Retd.), VIF)

Is China on throes of Cultural Revolution 2.0? What will be political effects of an economic slowdown in China, and near-term pain propelled by strong headwinds? Does this shifting dynamic and internal discourse in China matter to India? With the Taliban regime in the saddle in Afghanistan, is Pakistan on proverbial pig’s back to refocus on J&K? Are there significant, palpable changes in the national security environment in India, or are these over-hyped? Many, many such questions create serious anxieties.

China: Profound, Palpable and Persistent Winds of Change-Implications for India | Vivekananda International Foundation (vifindia.org)

Categorie
Artificial Intelligence Digital Transformation Emerging and Disruptive Technology

Winners and losers in the fulfilment of national artificial intelligence aspirations (Samar Fatima, Gregory S. Dawson, Kevin C. Desouza, and James S. Denford, Brookings)

The quest for national AI success has electrified the world—at last count, 44 countries have entered the race by creating their own national AI strategic plan. While the inclusion of countries like China, India, and the U.S. are expected, unexpected countries, including Uganda, Armenia, and Latvia, have also drafted national plans in hopes of realizing the promise. Our earlier posts, entitled “How different countries view artificial intelligence” and “Analyzing artificial intelligence plans in 34 countries” detailed how countries are approaching national AI plans, as well as how to interpret those plans. In this piece, we go a step further by examining indicators of future AI needs.

Winners and losers in the fulfilment of national artificial intelligence aspirations (brookings.edu)

Categorie
USA

How a New Orleans community land trust is providing permanently affordable housing and supporting Black entrepreneurs (Julius E. Kimbrough, Jr., Brookings)

The “Rebirth of 1800 St. Bernard” took place last year on a chilly December day by New Orleans standards. Attendees wore protective masks and socially distanced—a difficult feat with at least 100 people present. That day represented more than a groundbreaking for residents of New Orleans’ Seventh Ward; it promised the revival of a community anchor in the majority-Black neighborhood that had been decimated by Hurricane Katrina more than 15 years prior.

How a New Orleans community land trust is providing permanently affordable housing and supporting Black entrepreneurs (brookings.edu)

Categorie
Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa’s debt problem: Mapping the pandemic’s effect and the way forward (Chris Heitzig, Aloysius Uche Ordu, and Lemma Senbet, Brookings)

The COVID-19 pandemic has, thus far, spared Africa from the high number of cases and deaths seen in other regions in the world (Figure 1). As of April 2021, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for just 3 percent of the world’s cases and 4 percent of its deaths. Some experts attribute the relatively low case counts in sub-Saharan Africa to the region’s extremely young population or, importantly, the swift and preemptive lockdowns that many countries implemented in March 2020. While these lockdowns have likely saved lives, they have also left significant scars on the fiscal position of sub-Saharan Africa and the market conditions it faces. Dwindling revenues following the fall in global trade met a wave of unemployment among a population that lacks widespread access to safety nets and health infrastructure.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s debt problem: Mapping the pandemic’s effect and the way forward (brookings.edu)

Categorie
Digital Transformation Emerging and Disruptive Technology

To stop algorithmic bias, we first have to define it (Emily Bembeneck, Rebecca Nissan, and Ziad Obermeyer, Brookings)

In sectors as diverse as health care, criminal justice, and finance, algorithms are increasingly used to help make complex decisions that are otherwise troubled by human biases. Imagine criminal justice decisions made without race as a factor or hiring decisions made without gender preference. The upside of AI is clear: human decisionmakers are far from perfect, and algorithms hold great promise for improving the quality of decisions. But disturbing examples of algorithmic bias have come to light. Our own work has shown, for example, that a widely-used algorithm recommended less health care to Black patients despite greater health needs. In this case, a deeply biased algorithm reached massive scale without anyone catching it—not the makers of the algorithm, not the purchasers, not those affected, and not regulators.

To stop algorithmic bias, we first have to define it (brookings.edu)

Categorie
Climate Action Ecological Transition

How venture capital investment in deep tech can tackle climate change (Zachary Bogue, World Economic Forum)

  • The world must speed up progress on tackling climate change if it is to meet the Paris Agreement goals.
  • Venture capital investment can scale-up existing technologies to help reduce emissions.
  • We highlight the work of companies that are using “deep tech” to advance sustainable solutions.

Venture capital: deep tech can tackle climate change | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

Categorie
Climate Change Ecological Transition

The energy transition needs metals. But it needs social awareness too (Samah El-Shahat, Musaab Almulla, World Economic Forum)

  • Decarbonization will be mineral-intensive because clean-energy tech requires more metal.
  • Increased interest in ESG investing means metals extraction must take into account its social risks.
  • Mining companies may in future have to report on the impact of individual operations as part of more stringent ESG data reporting.

The energy transition needs metals. But it needs social awareness too | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

Categorie
Climate Change Ecological Transition

How the petrochemicals industry can reduce its carbon footprint (Robert MacLeod, World Economic Forum)

  • The chemical building blocks derived from petrochemicals continue to play a crucial role in society.
  • Syngas production contributes significantly to petrochemical CO2 emissions.
  • The technology exists to significantly reduce syngas CO2 emissions at scale and help the industry on its road to net zero.

Reducing the petrochemicals industry’s carbon footprint | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

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Climate Change Ecological Transition

COP26, fossil fuels and flooding: Everything to know about the environment this week (Joe Myers, World Economic Forum)

  • This weekly round-up brings you some of the key environment stories from the past seven days.
  • Top stories: Window for action closing – warning to G20 ahead of COP26; Fossil fuel production set to far exceed climate targets – UN; John Kerry on COP26.

COP26, fossil fuels and flooding: Everything to know about the environment this week | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

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South Korea Space

South Korea’s 1st homegrown space rocket reaches space but fails to orbit dummy payload (Park Si-soo, Space News)

South Korea’s first domestically built rocket reached its intended altitude in its maiden flight Oct. 21, but its third-stage engine shut down 46 seconds early, releasing its 1,500-kilogram dummy payload at less than orbital speed.

The dummy payload is expected to fall back to Earth south of Australia, but the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) did not immediately provide a timeline for the reentry.

South Korea’s 1st homegrown space rocket reaches space but fails to orbit dummy payload  – SpaceNews

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Defense/Military Space USA

Capella to work with U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center (Debra Werner, Space News)

Capella Space is working with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center (SMDTC) to satisfy Army demand for Earth observation with rapid tasking and delivery of synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) data.

Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) announced Oct. 21, Capella and the U.S. Army Payload Development Lab will explore applications for SAR through simulation and testing.

Capella to work with U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center – SpaceNews

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Space USA

York to expand manufacturing capacity, once again (Debra Werner, Space News)