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NAGORNO KARABAKH – Uneasy Peace Takes Hold in Contested Region of Azerbaijan (Simon Ostrovsky, Pulitzer Center)

Ethnic Armenian forces last week handed over two regions to Azerbaijani control as part of a Russia-brokered armistice that ended the six-week war over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Moscow has sent peacekeepers to the ethnic Armenian enclave, representing the return of its military to Azerbaijan for the first time since the Soviet Union ended. Simon Ostrovsky reports with Pulitzer Center support.

https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/uneasy-peace-takes-hold-contested-region-azerbaijan

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COVID19 – The Financial Equivalent of a Vaccine (Harold James, Project-Syndicate)

While the advanced economies can rely on their central banks to support massive fiscal stimulus in response to the COVID-19 crisis, many developing countries’ hands are tied by higher borrowing costs. This is both unfair and unsustainable, pointing to the need for a new, truly global monetary mechanism.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sdrs-to-buy-up-distressed-sovereign-debt-by-harold-james-2020-12
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COVID19 – Language and Lockdowns (Kaushik Basu, Project-Syndicate)

Reducing the policy discussion on COVID-19 lockdowns to a simple binary debate – yes or no – oversimplifies a complex problem. At least until a safe, effective vaccine becomes available, all countries need different forms of tailored, limited lockdowns and rules of behavior.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/covid19-policy-debates-language-and-lockdowns-by-kaushik-basu-2020-12

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COVID19/VACCINES – Designing Vaccines for People, Not Profits (Mariana Mazzucato, Henry Lishi Li, Els Torreele, Project-Syndicate)

For all the hope spurred by announcements of demonstrated efficacy in multiple COVID-19 vaccine candidates, there is still a long way to go to deliver on the promise of a universal, freely available “people’s vaccine.” As matters stand, national and private interests are trumping the principle of health justice.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/covid-vaccines-for-profit-not-for-people-by-mariana-mazzucato-et-al-2020-12

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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – Mission Sustainable Development (Jeffrey D. Sachs, Project-Syndicate)

Nearly 60 years ago, President John F. Kennedy put the United States on a mission to the future by proclaiming that it would land a man on the moon within a decade. Our generation’s moonshot mission is sustainable development on Earth.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/mission-sustainable-development-by-jeffrey-d-sachs-2020-12

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GLOBAL EYE – Covering climate change in 2021 and beyond (ICFJ)

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is connecting journalists with health experts and newsroom leaders through a webinar series on COVID-19. The series is part of our ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum — a project with our International Journalists’ Network (IJNet).

2020 is on track to become the planet’s hottest on record. Experts say the climate crisis could erase the progress made in human health over the past century, and the communities hit hardest by climate change are among the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the same time, momentum for climate action is growing, renewable energy is on the rise and the world’s second-most-polluting country — the United States — has chosen a president-elect determined to rejoin the Paris climate accord.

In an ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum webinar, Imelda Abano, president of the Philippine Network of Environmental JournalistsDavid Callaway, founder and editor of Callaway Climate Insights, and Gustavo Faleiros, founder of Brazil-based InfoAmazonia and environmental investigations editor for the Pulitzer Center, sat down with ICFJ Senior Program Director Jennifer Dorroh to discuss top climate stories to cover in 2021.

https://www.icfj.org/news/covering-climate-change-2021-and-beyond

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NATO – NATO must adapt to global threats, not just Russia: Report (Al Jazeera)

NATO must significantly broaden its scope to help deal with climate change, future pandemics and “terrorism” while focusing on new security threats from China, a new high-level report commissioned by the military alliance said on Tuesday.

Seen by some as a Cold War relic until Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization found new purpose in its military modernisation but now needs to “play a larger part in an international order”, said the 67-page report presented to NATO foreign ministers.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/1/nato-must-adapt-to-global-threats-not-just-russia-report

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USA – Barr appoints special counsel in Russia probe investigation (Al Jazeera)

Attorney General William Barr has given extra protection to the prosecutor he appointed to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, giving him the authority of a special counsel to complete the work without being easily fired.

Barr told The Associated Press news agency that he had appointed US Attorney John Durham as a special counsel in October under the same federal statute that governed Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the original Russia probe.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/2/barr-appoints-special-counsel-in-russia-probe-investigation

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USA/UAE – US Congress to vote on F-35 sale to UAE: Republican senator (Al Jazeera)

A leading Republican ally of President Donald Trump has predicted the United States Congress will not block the sale of advanced F-35 fights jets and Reaper drones to the United Arab Emirates.

Senator Roy Blunt, who chairs the Senate Republican Policy Committee, told reporters at the US Capitol there would be votes in Congress on the $23bn arms sale to the UAE.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/2/us-congress-to-vote-on-f-35-sale-to-uae-republican

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