NASA writes: Where there’s water, there’s life. That’s the case on Earth, at least, and also why scientists remain tantalized by any evidence suggesting there’s liquid water on cold, dry Mars. The Red Planet is a difficult place to look for liquid water: While water ice is plentiful, any water warm enough to be liquid on the surface would last for only a few moments before turning into vapor in Mars’ wispy air.
INSS writes: At the start of H. E. President Isaac Herzog’s term of office, and following the many global and local developments and changes over the past six months – including a new administration in Washington, President Biden’s decision to try to return to the nuclear deal with Iran, the formation of a new government in Israel, and growing tensions in Israeli society, including clashes between Arabs and Jews in Israeli cities – the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) presented to President Herzog highlights on the main strategic challenges facing Israel and policy recommendations for addressing those challenges.
Burak Bekdil writes: Turks are hungry for fairy tales. Any feel-good news propaganda—including Erdoğan’s “The West, including the Germans, are jealous of us!” tirade—finds millions of receptive listeners in Turkey’s postmodern marketplace of absurdity.
go to BESA Center: Give War a Chance: Turkish Leader Finesses Political Defeat (besacenter.org)
James M. Dorsey writes: Widely seen as a populist with ultra-conservative leanings, Pakistani PM Imran Khan increasingly appears to reinforce widespread traditionalist attitudes that reject religious tolerance as well as the rights of women and minorities.
Arvin Khoshnood writes: Amid a fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, nightly demonstrations are occurring inside Iran—especially in the oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan. The protests initially concerned a water shortage and power outages, but have since turned into demonstrations demanding an end to the Islamist regime.
go to East Asia Forum: Demonstrations in Iranian Khuzestan Demand an End to the Islamic Regime (besacenter.org)
Jake Read write: At the G7 summit in June in Cornwall, participants recognised the need to defend and modernise the multilateral rules-based trade system and agreed to get behind urgent, wholescale trade reform. They acknowledged that the rulebook has long been out of date and that the world trade system is in need of repair.
go to East Asia Forum: Asia is in a critical position to kick-start global trade reform (eastasiaforum.org)
Lina Gong writes: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many disruptions to humanitarian action since 2020. As traditional donors struggled with domestic COVID-19 responses, emerging donors such as China and India seized the opportunity to increase their humanitarian footprint. Both countries provided humanitarian aid to over 150 countries and international organisations in 2020, with online technical support as one important avenue of their aid activities. Their move to online aid delivery conforms with a general trend in the humanitarian sector towards the greater use of remote humanitarian programming.
go to East Asia Forum: The rise of China and India’s remote humanitarian aid (eastasiaforum.org)
Ranj Alaaldin and Adrianna Pita write: The White House meeting between President Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was primarily framed around the future of U.S. military forces in Iraq, but in addition to the destabilizing threats of ISIS and Iran-aligned militias, Iraq is also struggling with a deep economic crisis and need for significant political reforms. Ranj Alaaldin details Kadhimi’s efforts to address Iraq’s interconnected crises and how the U.S. is still critical to Iraq’s future.
go to Brookings: What will US combat forces withdrawal mean for Iraq? (brookings.edu)
Lindsey Barrett, Laura Moy, Paul Ohm, and Ashkan Soltani write: How does a hundred-year-old agency shift its resources and focus to grapple effectively with Big Tech and some of the biggest policy puzzles of a generation? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has faced this challenge since the dotcom era. As it still scrambles to adjust, the FTC has received harsh criticism in recent years for its approvals of ballooning tech mergers and its seeming inability to deter or avert privacy scandal after privacy scandal. At the same time, popular interest in reining in Big Tech and protecting privacy has mounted. Perched at the intersection of these two issues is a wonky but fundamental problem for the agency: Do the FTC’s longstanding conflict-of-interest rules unnecessarily impede the agency’s ability to attract, retain, and deploy technical expertise that it badly needs?