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August 2021 Media Roundup

This is a roundup of news articles, reports, and other materials focusing on (in)security issues and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of Security in Context. The goal is to shed light on knowledge production on security-related issues that are of public interest from different perspectives. Entries may include academic journal articles, think tank reports, non-governmental organizations releases, official documents or government-commissioned research, and regular news items. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each roundup to admin@securityincontext.com

This month's Media Roundup includes a section on Afghanistan.

Climate Change and Security

How to Talk About Climate Change as Catastrophes Pile Up

July 20, 2021 

Many large media outlets that report on climate disasters fail to explicitly identify the human activity as its direct cause. 


U.N. climate panel confronts implausibly hot forecasts of future warming

July 27, 2021

While the climate is changing at an alarming rate, scientists are beginning to question the credibility of certain predictive climate models. 


Diagnosing Earth: the science behind the IPCC’s upcoming climate report

August 5, 2021

The United Nations gathered the world's top climate scientists to deliver a comprehensive climate report. 


Climate change: IPCC report is 'code red for humanity'

August 9, 2021

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that global surface temperature has risen substantially over the last 10 years and the rate of sea level rise has tripled since 1971.  

 

It’s now or never: Scientists warn time of reckoning has come for the planet

August 15, 2021 

There is a multitude of social and political problems that need to be addressed in order to begin a more ambitious approach to climate change. 

Security and International Relations

South Africa's ex-leader Zuma seeks further delay in corruption trial

July 19, 2021

Former South African President Jacob Zuma sought to delay his corruption trial. While South African authorities have been able to restabilize the society, Zuma’s trial triggered massive civil unrest from his supporters. 


Wang Yi and Portuguese Minister of State and Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva Hold First Round of China-Portugal Strategic Dialogue at the Foreign Ministers' Level

July 22, 2021 

China’s Wang Yi met with the Portuguese Minister of State to further a dialogue between China and Portugal and facilitate growth in China-Europe strategic relations. 


Israel granted official observer status at the African Union

July 23, 2021 

Israel’s observer status in the African Union (AU) was confirmed after Israel's ambassador to Ethiopia presented his credentials to the Chairman of the AU Commission. 


Qatar’s foreign minister visits Iran to meet top officials

July 25, 2021 

Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani visited Tehran unannounced and met with top Iranian officials to discuss bilateral cooperation in regional developments. This is part of a larger effort to strengthen communication between GCC countries. 

The Rocky New Era of the Saudi-Emirati Relationship

July 27, 2021 

The United Arab Emirates and Saudi relations begin to falter as their positions on foreign policy issues such as the war in Yemen and Gulf relations with Israel differ. 


Top Bahraini official arrives to deepen Israel relations

August 8, 2021

Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Bahrain's undersecretary to the Foreign Ministry, met with Israeli officials to further develop diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Israel. This will likely add to the international undermining of Palestine. 


Ethiopia Plunges Deeper Into Conflict

August 12, 2021 

The conflict between Ethiopian and Tigraryian forces continues to get more and more violent with little hope for a diplomatic resolution. 


Myanmar: Asia’s Orphaned Cinderella

August 12, 2021 

The prospect for civil war in Myanmar continues to materialize and the international community largely ignores the situation. 


Migration and Displacement

Why are so many migrants coming to one of Europe’s smallest countries? Blame Belarus, officials say.

August 1st, 2021 

There has been a massive increase in the number of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa and Iraq crossing the Belerusian border. Lithuanian officials claim that Belerusian President Alexander Lukashenko orchestrated the influx of immigrants as a response to E.U. sanctions. 


New IRAP Report Recommends Actions to Tackle Climate Displacement

August 2, 2021 

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) has published a report on the ways in which the international community can address climate displacement.  

 

‘A sample of hell’: Rohingya forced to rebuild camps again after deadly floods

August 7, 2021 

Intense monsoon rain in Bangladesh has displaced over 21,000 Rohingya refugees. 


UNHCR alarmed over US 'expulsion flights' to southern Mexico

August 11, 2021 

UNHCR has urged U.S. President Biden to end the practice of deporting families who are in urgent need. Under a policy called Title 42, people are being denied asylum protections and procedures. 


Rohingya refugees receive first COVID vaccinations in Bangladesh

August 11, 2021 

Rohingya refugees will have an opportunity to receive their first vaccines. Facilitated by UNHCR, Bangladeshi authorities will organize the vaccination drive. 


Germany and the Netherlands halt deportations to Afghanistan

August 11, 2021 

The Netherlands and Germany have stopped deporting Afghan migrants due to the conflict in Afghanistan. 



Covid-19, Capitalism & Economy

Delta variant drives surge in coronavirus cases worldwide, WHO warns

July 21, 2021 

As the Delta variant spreads, more countries are taking more serious health and safety precautions. Citing an open-access database in Germany, the World Health Organization states that 75% of sequenced virus samples are Delta. 


Global COVID-19 cases surpass 200 mln as Delta variant spreads

August 4, 2021 

As Covid-19 continues to spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a moratorium on vaccine boosters until every country reaches a 10% vaccination rate. 


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Additional Vaccine Dose for Certain Immunocompromised Individuals

August 12, 2021 

The United States Food and Drug Administration has given emergency authorizations for the distribution of second vaccine doses for people at severe risk. 


The World May Never Reach Herd Immunity Against Covid-19

August 13, 2021

The Delta variant has significantly diminished the prospect for herd immunity. 


Indonesia reports most COVID-19 deaths in past week; world up 0.1%

August 15, 2021 

Indonesia suffered the most Covid-19 deaths last week as the virus swept through the country. The statistics show that developing countries are suffering the most as their vaccination distribution rates pale in comparison to others. 

Technologies of surveillance/Data Analytics/AI

L3Harris Technologies Developing Future NATO Surveillance Concepts with International Team

July 19, 2021 

L3Harris Technologies, a multi-billion dollar aerospace defense technology innovator, is developing a new surveillance system for NATO. This system will replace the existing Airborne Warning and Control System. 


Scale of secretive cyber surveillance ‘an international human rights crisis’ in which NSO Group is complicit

July 23, 2021 

Amnesty International has started the Pegasus Project in order to protect individuals from the growth of digital surveillance which has threatened their privacy rights. The project is made up of 17 media organizations and 80 journalists from 10 different countries. 


Amnesty seeks moratorium on surveillance technology

July 24, 2021 

Amnesty International calls for a moratorium on surveillance technology due to a lack of legal framework to protect individual’s privacy. 


Reign of Terror review: from 9/11 to Trump by way of Snowden and Iraq

August 8, 2021 

The United States has little to show for the many years it has been involved in the Middle East. Tens of thousands of people have perished in these conflicts over many years. 

 

The NYPD Had a Secret Fund for Surveillance Tools

August 10, 2021 

Documents show that the NYPD has spent over $100 million dollars on surveillance since 2007 and investing in predictive policing software, facial-recognition software, and more. 


Group of UN experts calls for moratorium on surveillance technology

August 14,2021 

In accordance with the Pegasus Project, a project designed to expose how modern surveillance technology grossly infringes on the privacy rights of individuals, a group from the U.N. has called for a moratorium on new surveillance technology. 



Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality

UCLA Research Finds that U.S. Sick Leave Policies Widen Racial Inequalities, Lag Nearly Every Other Country

July 26, 2021 

Paid sick leave plays a massive role in the intense racial inequalities in the U.S. Many minorities are excluded from paid sick leave policies. 

Envisioning A Gender Just World: Global Thought Leaders Weigh In

August 4, 2021 

In this collaboration between Forbes, the Global Center for Gender Equality at Stanford, and the ERA Coalition, a diverse set of global activists, academics, politicians, and other thought leaders are asked what they think an equitable world looks like. 


U.S. markets regulator approves Nasdaq proposal to require corporate board diversity

August 6, 2021 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has just implemented a policy that requires certain companies to have diverse boards. Specific requirements include having two directors that are female or part of an underrepresented group. 


​​South Korea: Lawmakers must seize chance to pass landmark anti-discrimination act

August 9, 2021

South Korea is on the verge of introducing a bill that will ban all forms of discrimination. 


Parents across US revolt against school boards on masks, critical race theory and gender issues

August 12, 2021 

Parents across the U.S. are voicing their disapproval of social policies and safety protocols that they deem excessive and invasive. The policies in question include strict mask mandates, enforcing correct pronoun usage, and more. 


Arms, Weapons, and Military Industrial Complex

The Global Networks Working to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

July 19, 2021 

Nuclear nonproliferation networks have the potential to curb the expansion of nuclear arms. 


Analysis: Caught between China and the U.S., Asian countries stockpile powerful new missiles

July 20, 2021 

Asian countries are engaging in an arms race as they join China and the U.S. in an effort to develop more and more powerful military capabilities. 


We Need to Scale Back America’s War Machine

July 30, 2021 

Despite the changing landscape of international conflicts since the Cold War, the United States has been on an unwavering trajectory of military growth.


​​China’s Hypersonic Missiles: Methods and Motives

July 30, 2021

China continues to develop hypersonic missile delivery systems which will increase the speed and the maneuverability of their arsenal. 


US arms sales to Taiwan -- dirty deal, dangerous provocation

August 7, 2021 

The United States sold 750 million dollar worth of arms to Taiwan. This sale violates the one-China provision which recognizes the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate governing body of the country. 


We Can’t Fight the Climate Crisis Without Fighting the Military-Industrial Complex

August 13, 2021

The military-industrial complex is linked to the climate crisis because the U.S. military is the single largest consumer of oil and gas. The War in Afghanistan cost 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Afghanistan 

A Cycle of War Crimes: Today’s Crisis in Afghanistan Grew Out of 20 Years of U.S. War

August 6, 2021 

The U.S. has played a major role in the escalation of violence in Afghanistan and continues to act as if it has been an innocent bystander. 


Taliban’s Sweeping Offensive in Afghanistan Was “Inevitable” and Stems from Brutal U.S. War

August 11, 2021 

Given the nature of the strategic relationship between the U.S. and various Afghan factions, the Taliban’s seizure of Afghanistan and the collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces(ANSF) was inevitable. 


Taliban Sweep in Afghanistan Follows Years of U.S. Miscalculations

August 14, 2021

Despite warnings from the Pentagon, the Biden administration was stunned by the disintegration of the Afghan National Security Forces(ANSF at the hands of the Taliban after the withdrawal of American troops. 


For Biden, Images of Defeat He Wanted to Avoid

August 15, 2021

U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has proven to be disastrously complicated and completely contradictory to President Biden’s statements made prior to the evacuation. 


Biden’s Afghanistan Exit Raises Questions About His Foreign-Policy Record

August 15, 2021 

While President Biden framed himself as an experienced foreign policy leader on the campaign trail, the way he has handled Afghanistan suggests otherwise. 


Afghan government collapses as Taliban sweeps in, U.S. sends more troops to aid chaotic withdrawal

August 15, 2021 

Despite a 20 year U.S. military presence in Afghanistan ended by President Biden, the Taliban has been able to take control of several key provinces in the country as the Afghan military apparatus crumbles. 


​Billions spent on Afghan army ultimately benefited Taliban

August 16, 2021

It was a series of major strategic failures coupled with a lack of motivation by the Afghan National Security Forces(ANSF) which led to the Taliban’s successful sweeping offensives. 



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