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From global think tanks – July 14, 2022

With The Science of Where Magazine

AROUND THE WORLD

Australia

Australia – Pacific Islands

Brazil 

  • July 14, 2022. HRW. Candidates running for president, Congress, state legislature, and governor in the October 2022 Brazil elections should put forward proposals to address the country’s serious human rights problems. The issues should include police abuse, violence against women and forest defenders, the impact of environmental destruction, and the rights of people with disabilities. Brazil: Candidates Should Address Human Rights

China – South Pacific

  • July 14, 2022. , The Strategist. Beijing is moving at high speed to co-opt South Pacific states economically and then use that leverage to achieve broader goals, including the ability to project military power across the Indo-Pacific. China also working to undercut Pacific regionalism and obtain advantage from its bilateral engagement with individual Pacific states, with obvious successes in Solomon Islands, while Manasseh Sogavare remains prime minister, and now with Kiribati. China in the South Pacific: splintering regionalism and strategic gains through economics

Europe – Taiwan

Germany

  • July 13, 2022. Artyom Sokolov, Valdai Discussion Club. On February 15, 2022, Olaf Scholz made his first visit to Moscow as Chancellor of Germany. Despite the fact that a significant part of the time in the negotiations with the President of Russia was devoted to the situation in the South-East of Ukraine, the leaders of Russia and Germany also discussed the prospects for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the trade balance, economic indicators, and interaction between non-government organisations. The chancellor laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Against the backdrop of a rather cold visit to Russia by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock a few weeks earlier, Scholz’s trip looked like a step towards normalising the stalled Russian-German dialogue. Germany and Ukraine

Japan

  • July 14, 2022.  Rumi Aoyama, East Asia Forum. The Indo-Pacific Framework for Economic Prosperity (IPEF) was launched in May 2022 during US President Joe Biden’s first visit to Asia. Of the 13 participants, Japan is the only country to announce it will join all four pillars of the IPEF. Will Tokyo’s IPEF membership mix with Japan–China relations?
  • July 13, 2022.  Brad Glosserman, East Asia Forum. In May 2022, Japan’s National Diet passed its long-anticipated economic security bill. The legislation reflects growing concern about the vulnerabilities created by extended supply chains, dependence on foreign sources of critical materials and theft of intellectual property. It is the latest in a series of moves to better prepare Japan for the intensifying geopolitical competition of the 21st century. Japan flirts with techno-nationalism

Russia – Iran – India

  • July 13, 2022. Vali Kaleji, The Jamestown Foundation. As the Ukraine war has entered its fifth month, and two decades after Iran, Russia and India signed the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) in 2002, Dariush Jamali, head of the Iranian-Russian Port of Solyanka in Astrakhan Oblast, announced that the first transit shipment from Russia to India had been sent through Iran by way of the INSTC (Mehr News Agency, June 11). This shipment passed on a multimodal route through Astrakhan Port, specifically the Solyanka part (Russia); Bandar Abbas and Chabahar ports (Iran); and Nhava Sheva Port (India). The Rise of Multimodal Transportation Among Russia, Iran and India

Russia – Ukraine

  • July 13, 2022. Neil Melvin and Ed Arnold, RUSI. This episode considers where Russia’s war against Ukraine stands nearly five months after it began, as the conflict enters a potentially pivotal moment with Ukraine planning to mount a counteroffensive to reclaim lost territory.  Episode 30: Russia’s War Against Ukraine
  • July 14, 2022. Chatham House. This Chatham House research aims to address some of the longer-term conceptual challenges in understanding Russian hard power, which are not directly linked to current operations in Ukraine. Myths and misconceptions around Russian military intent
  • July 14, 2022. HRW. Russian forces in Ukraine have forcibly disappeared civilians and illegally transferred them to Russia, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch documented the detention of nine civilian men by Russian forces while they occupied Ukraine’s Kyiv region, and their apparent transfer to detention facilities in Russia’s Kursk and Bryansk regions when the forces rotated out or withdrew. Russia: Forcible Disappearances of Ukrainian Civilians
  • July 13, 2022. Valery Dzutsati, The Jamestown Foundation. On July 2, Russian police detained Tahir Sozaev, head of the village Belaya Rechka in Kabardino-Balkaria. Sozaev is suspected of fomenting interethnic discord between the Balkars and other ethnic groups. In December 2021, the municipal official reportedly posted a controversial audio message in a village group chat. Sozaev demanded that all trade in Belaya Rechka be conducted only in the Balkar language (Karachay-Balkar). The official warned shop owners to refrain from serving customers who spoke Russian. According to preliminary information, Sozaev also wanted to ban the sale of land in Belaya Rechka to ethnic Russians and Kabardians (i.e., Circassians) (Sovsekretno.ru, July 4). Invasion of Ukraine Has Unintended Consequences for Russian Ethnic Minorities
  • July 13, 2022. Vladimir Socor, The Jamestown Foundation. Four months into the biggest conventional war in Europe since World War II, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Allies did not demonstrate a coherent strategy to deal with this war at their summit in Madrid (see EDM, July 67811). While all Allies agree on defining it as an unprovoked war of aggression and destruction, most Allies view it as a two-sided conflict between Russia and Ukraine, loath to recognize that Russia views it as a conflict between itself and the West on Ukraine’s territory. Summit Shows NATO’s Limited Relevance to Ukraine (Part Three)
  • July 13, 2022. Hung Tran and Charles Dallara, Atlantic Council. The war in Ukraine has entered its fifth month and risks becoming severely protracted. The international community must step up its efforts to support Ukraine now by advancing Ukraine’s proposed roadmap to end the war and clarifying its economic policies in response to Russian aggression. Ukraine needs more international support
  • July 13, 2022.  Peter Dickinson, Atlantic Council. Vladimir Putin escalated his war against Ukrainian statehood on July 11 by expanding the fast-track distribution of Russian passports to include the whole of Ukraine. Putin weaponizes Russian passports in his genocidal war against Ukraine
  • July 13, 2022. Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan. The Kremlin likely ordered Russian “federal subjects” (regions) to form volunteer battalions to participate in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, instead of declaring partial or full mobilization in Russia. Russian war correspondent and milblogger Maksim Fomin stated that Russia has begun a “volunteer mobilization,” where every region must generate at least one volunteer battalion. The term “volunteer mobilization” likely implies that the Kremlin ordered the 85 “federal subjects” (regions, including occupied Sevastopol and Crimea) to recruit and financially incentivize volunteers to form new battalions, rather than referring to literal mobilization relying on conscription or the compulsory activation of all reservists in Russia. Russian outlets reported that regional officials recruit men up to 50 years old (or 60 for separate military specialties) for six-month contracts and offer salaries averaging 220,000 to 350,000 rubles per month (approximately $3,750 to $6,000). Separate regions offer an immediate enlistment bonus that averages 200,000 rubles (approximately $3,400) issued from the region‘s budget and social benefits for the servicemen and their families. Russian media has already confirmed the creation or deployment of volunteer battalions in Kursk, Primorskyi Krai, Republic of Bashkortostan, Chuvashia Republic, Chechnya, Republic of Tatarstan, Moscow City, Perm, Nizhny Novgorod, and Orenburg Oblasts in late June and early July. Tyumen Oblast officials announced the formation of volunteer units (not specifically a battalion) on July 7. Russia Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 13

Tunisia

  • July 14, 2022. HRW. Tunisian President Kais Saied has decreed a national referendum for July 25, 2022, on a new draft constitution, to replace the 2014 constitution. It was published in the Official Gazette on June 30, with a set of modifications to the draft text published in the gazette on July 8. Saied suspended much of the 2014 constitution in September 2021, two months after his move on July 25, 2021, to suspend parliament and greatly increase his authority. The following Questions & Answers assess what the changes in the proposed new constitution would mean for human rights and the rule of law in Tunisia. Q&A: Tunisia’s Constitutional Referendum

USA

  • July 13, 2022. Joseph W. Kane and Martha Ross, Brookings. Funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is starting to flow across the country, accelerating thousands of transportation, water, energy, and other projects. But those are just the beginning of the $860 billion in investments over the coming years that will reach transportation departments, water utilities, and other infrastructure owners and operators at a state and local level. And the challenge facing these entities is not simply getting more shovels in the ground, but maximizing the economic reach of this generational funding. That’s especially the case for millions of workers who remain unemployed, underemployed, or disconnected from the labor market. Service and conservation programs can lead to infrastructure careers
  • July 13, 2022. Marvin Kalb, Brookings. Journalism now faces a genuine dilemma. If one is to believe the stories from Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump is musing these days about a July announcement of his third run for the presidency. 2024 may be just around the corner. Why make such an early announcement? Trump creates a dilemma for journalists

USA – Middle East

  • July 13, 2022. Jacqueline Feldscher, Defense One. President Joe Biden touted America’s “unshakeable commitment” to Israeli security on Wednesday after landing in Tel Aviv on his first trip to the Middle East as president.  Biden’s Trip to ‘Stabilize’ US-Mideast Ties Kicks Off in Israel
  • July 13, 2022. Ben Cahill, CSIS. Energy is unmistakably on the agenda for President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia. A splashy production announcement by Saudi Arabia seems unlikely, although surprises are possible. Even if the trip does not produce an immediate breakthrough, more constructive dialogue between Washington and Riyadh on energy matters is sorely needed. Don’t Expect Saudi Arabia to Save the Day
  • July 13, 2022. CSIS. ​CSIS’s Jon Alterman joins the podcast to discuss President Biden’s visit to the Middle East and what the administration can gain strategically from the trip. Biden’s Mideast Visit
  • July 13, 2022. R. Clarke Cooper, Atlantic Council. If US President Joe Biden wants to foster regional stability, bolster US relationships in the Middle East, and advance normalization with Israel—in addition to the anticipated Jerusalem Declaration to re-affirm US-Israeli security cooperation and commit to denying nuclear capability to Iran—the president has two significant tools provided to him when he took office in 2021. US interests and capacity for Middle East stability exist, but President Biden must convey will
  • July 13, 2022. Ruth Marks Eglash and Scott Lasensky, Atlantic Council. This week’s presidential visit to the Middle East will spotlight major strategic questions, such as Israeli-Saudi normalization, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and how to revive the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. However, one lesser-known element of Washington’s alliance with Israel will be squarely on US President Joe Biden’s agenda: Israel’s long-running quest to join America’s visa waiver program. Biden is visiting Israel. Travel is squarely on the agenda

TOPICS

Cybersecurity

Defense, Military, Space

Digital & Tech

  • July 13, 2022. John Breeden II, Nextgov. The advantages of installing 3D printing across the federal government could be huge, although the technology has been slow to reach that potential. That could finally be changing as the Navy has deployed the first 3D printer onboard a warship that is capable of printing reliable metal parts while underway at sea. Heavy Metal on the High Seas
  • July 13, 2022. Elizabeth Stoycheff, Nextgov. Website cookies are online surveillance tools, and the commercial and government entities that use them would prefer people not read those notifications too closely. People who do read the notifications carefully will find that they have the option to say no to some or all cookies. Browser Cookies Make People More Cautious Online, Study Finds
  • July 13, 2022. Edward Graham, Nextgov. The U.S. Department of State has implemented some leading recruitment and retention practices to address its IT workforce challenges, but more is needed to strengthen and measure the effectiveness of these steps, according to a watchdog report released to the general public on July 12. GAO: State Department Needs to Do More to Address IT Workforce Challenges

Energy

  • July 14, 2022. World Nuclear News. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for Holtec International’s proposed consolidated HI-STORE interim storage facility (CISF). The final EIS includes the NRC staff’s recommendation that there are no environmental impacts that would preclude the NRC from issuing a construction and operation licence for environmental reasons. NRC issues final EIS on New Mexico used fuel facility : Waste & Recycling
  • July 14, 2022. World Nuclear News. The Global Fusion Industry in 2022 report says that USD2.83 billion of investment was declared by private nuclear fusion companies over the past year. Commercial fusion funding sees sharp rise, industry study says : New Nuclear
  • July 13, 2022. World Nuclear News.  Denison Mines has received approval from the Saskatchewan Minister of Environment to prepare, construct and operate the facilities required to carry out the in-situ leach (ISL) feasibility field test planned for the Phoenix deposit at the Wheeler River uranium project. Approval for Denison’s ISL testing of Phoenix deposit : Uranium & Fuel
  • July 13, 2022. World Nuclear News. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has issued a request for proposals for supplying up to 5000 MW of carbon-free energy that must be operational before 2029. Nuclear power, along with renewables, is listed among the sources acceptable to TVA. TVA seeks suppliers of carbon-free energy : Corporate
  • July 13, 2022. World Nuclear News. Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between Rosatom and Myanmar’s Ministry of Science and Technology cover cooperation in training and skills development in the field of nuclear energy and shaping positive public opinion on nuclear energy in Myanmar. Russia’s Rosatom and Myanmar sign nuclear energy MoUs : New Nuclear
  • July 13, 2022. World Nuclear News. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and X-energy have signed a framework agreement to seek opportunities for the decarbonisation of high-temperature industrial applications through the deployment of Xe-100 small modular reactors (SMRs) in Canada. OPG, X-energy to examine industrial applications for Xe-100 : New Nuclear

Health & Digital

Global

  • July  12, 2022. Jessica Cecil, Leslie Vinjamuri, Chatham House. You have had a long and distinguished career with the BBC. Your most recent leadership role at the BBC was setting up and directing its Trusted News Initiative. We’ve seen the pernicious effects of disinformation. Getting credible information into the public sphere is essential for citizens and also for elected officials if they are to make good decisions. As a leader in this field, what is your perspective on the debate about disinformation? What is at stake? Disinformation is a high-stake game threatening freedom
  • July 13, 2022. Kristalina Georgieva, IMF blog. As G20 ministers and central bank governors gather in Bali this week, they face a global economic outlook that has darkened significantly. Facing a Darkening Economic Outlook: How the G20 Can Respond
  • July 13, 2022. Ugo Gentilini, World Bank blogs. Over the past 30 months we have been carefully tracking countries’ unprecedented social protection responses to Covid-19. But what are we learning from such wealth of experiences?  Ten lessons from the largest scale up of cash transfers in history
  • July 13, 2022. Alen Mulabdic, Gauray Nayyar, World Bank blogs. The advent of industrial robots, the increasing frequency of natural disasters, and changing geopolitical scenarios has placed the spotlight on the reconfiguration of global value chains through reshoring, nearshoring, and friend-shoring. This has raised concerns about the prospects of export-led manufacturing growth—that typically benefited a substantial part of the economy’s workforce through opportunities for scale economies, knowledge spillovers, and increased competition—in hitherto less industrialized countries. Conventional wisdom was pessimistic about export-led growth in the services sector that traditionally relied more on physical proximity between the service-provider and consumer. The promise of export-led services growth is real
  • July 14, 2022. Valdai Discussion Club. Realising the positive chances from the emerging new period of growth of the association, all countries need to remain diplomatic in promoting their priorities, and seek a delicate balance that will give the BRICS the required stability in the next development cycle, writes Valdai Club expert Dmitry Razumovsky. BRICS — How Will the Organisation Get a ‘Second Wind’?
  • July 12, 2022. Ekaterina Arapova , Yaroslav Lissovolik, Valdai Discussion Club. Topping the agenda of the 2017 BRICS Summit was Chinese President Xi Jinping’s newly introduced concept of BRICS+ aimed at expanding partnerships within the group of emerging markets and establishing South-South cooperation.  BRICS+: The Global South Responds To New Challenges (in the Context of China’s BRICS Chairmanship)