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IRAN/USA – Iran’s top banker says US blocking COVID-19 vaccine purchase (Maziar Motamedi, Al Jazeera)

The United States is actively trying to prevent Iran’s efforts to buy a COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX, a global initiative undertaken by the World Health Organization, according to the chief of Iran’s central bank. Abdolnasser Hemmati on Monday said it must be “recorded in historical memory” that Iranian efforts to buy a vaccine through COVAX […]

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TURKEY – Erdogan seeks energy talks as EU mulls sanctions over East Med (Al Jazeera)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes “a win-win formula” can be found in a row with Greece over undersea resources, as the European Union mulls sanctions ahead of a key summit. NATO members Turkey and Greece have been at loggerheads over maritime territory in the Eastern Mediterranean, believed to be rich in energy resources including […]

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EUROPE/IRAN – European powers rebuke Iran after enrichment announcement (Al Jazeera)

France, Britain and Germany said on Monday they were “deeply concerned” by an Iranian announcement that it intended to install additional advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges and a parliamentary law that could expand its nuclear programme. “If Iran is serious about preserving a space for diplomacy, it must not implement these steps,” the three powers said in […]

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MACEDONIA/BULGARIA – On the Macedonian-Bulgarian dispute and historical revisionism (Katerina Kolozova, Al Jazeera)

In 2004, North Macedonia was one of the first post-Yugoslav states to receive an accession candidate status with the European Union. But 16 years on, the country is yet to open direct talks with the EU. Over this decade and a half, Skopje has been presented with requirements that no other candidate state has: first […]

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DARFUR – Darfur residents protest end of peacekeeping mission in war-ravaged region (Al Arabiya)

A displaced Sudanese woman walks past a UN-African Union mission to Darfur (UNAMID) vehicle at the Kalma camp for internally displaced people in Darfur’s state capital Niyala on October 9, 2019. (Ashraf Shazly/AFP) Crowds of people displaced by Sudan’s Darfur conflict protested Monday against the fast-approaching end to a long-running peacekeeping mission in the ravaged […]

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NATO/RUSSIA – In response to NATO ‘threat’, Russia adds firepower to Kaliningrad exclave (Al Arabiya)

Russian S-400 missile air defense systems are seen during a training exercise at a military base in Kaliningrad region, Russia August 11, 2020. (Reuters/Vitaly Nevar) Russia is beefing up its forces in its Kaliningrad exclave and has already formed a full motorized rifle division that includes a regiment of tanks, a naval admiral said on […]

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USA – Defense bill set to pass with state cybersecurity programs (OODA)

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CYBER – High-Severity Chrome Bugs Allow Browser Hacks (OODA)

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CHINA – China Stakes Its Claim to Quantum Supremacy (OODA)

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CHINA – China spacecraft is returning to Earth with moon samples in a first for the country (OODA)

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TECHNOLOGY – Airbus Bets on Hydrogen to Deliver Zero-Emission Jets (OODA)

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USA – Microsoft Unveils Top Secret Cloud for Government (Brandi Vincent, Nextgov)

Microsoft completed the buildout of a new, top secret cloud service for federal agencies, aiming to host some of the government’s most sensitive workloads. The product—Azure Government Top Secret—is listed among an array of new cloud-centered offerings the company’s Corporate Vice President of Azure Global Tom Keane unveiled in a blogpost early Monday, kicking off the company’s […]