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December 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 dedicated to the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia.

Climate Change and Security

Newsletter: Climate change will get worse in 2022. But it won’t be the end

December 30, 2021 

While the effects of climate change the coronavirus pandemic continued to pile up over the course of 2021, it is important to remember that these systemic issues formed gradually. Because of this, we must be prepared for their solutions to develop gradually as well. 


The Five Biggest Climate Stories of 2021

December 28, 2021 

A brief review of the major climate change-related developments of 2021  


The rare spots of good news on climate change

December 23, 2021 

While climate change predictions remain disastrous, at least we have the blueprint for substantial climate change policy. 


The Year in Climate News

December 22, 2021 

A brief review of the major climate change events of 2021. 


Climate change news coverage reached all-time high, language to describe it shifting

December 21, 2021 

According to media analysis, climate change coverage was at its highest towards the end of 2021. Furthermore, the words used to describe climate change have intensified.  


Revealed: Biden administration was not legally bound to auction gulf drilling rights

December 13, 2021 

The Biden administration openly contradicts its previous statement that claimed that the government was legally obliged to lease areas in the gulf for oil drilling. This of course violates Biden’s campaign promises to try and limit the harmful effects of drilling for oil. 


Sailing away: superyacht industry booms during Covid pandemic

December 12, 2021 

Even though the global pandemic and harmful effects of climate change have taken a massive toll on many in the world economy, the wealthy have managed to purchase more yachts than ever before. 


Security and International Relations

The Two-State Solution Is Dead—and Liberal Zionists Can’t Save It

December 31, 2021

There is no prospect for a two-state solution between Palestine and Israel while the latter continues to relegate the former to less than 22% of the land. 


The Problem With Sanctions

December 30, 2021 

While many questions the ethics of the use of crippling sanctions, there is no indication the U.S., or any major power for that matter, will refrain from imposing sanctions that constrict the lives of innocent civilians. 


Maximum fissures: Iran nuclear deal talks head toward oblivion

December 27, 2021 

There is little to no hope that the U.S. and Iran will restore the Iran Nuclear Deal. 


Putin urges West to act quickly to offer security guarantees

December 23, 2021

Putin states that he is open to negotiations with Biden but urges him to limit the expansion of NATO


India, 5 Central Asian countries pitch for immediate humanitarian assistance to Afghan people

December 19, 2021

India and 5 other Asian countries propose a joint humanitarian effort to help Afghan refugees. 


A Deal Is Still Possible in Syria But Washington Has to Stop Ignoring the Conflict

December 13, 2021 

The U.S. maintains its military presence in Syria and does not look for a solution. 


Migration and Displacement

Mexico disbands makeshift camp with thousands of migrants

December 30, 2021 

The large migrant caravan that grew on the Guatemalan border has been forcefully disbanded by Mexican authorities. 


In 2021, the EU hardened its borders as new refugee crises flared

December 29, 2021

After irregular migration, many European countries tighten up their border security. 


2021 Year in Review: Refugee, migrant numbers rise, despite travel curbs

December 29, 2021 

While international travel came to a halt in 2021, a record number of people forced were forced to migrate. 


Bodies of some 27 refugees wash ashore in Libya: Red Crescent

December 26, 2021

Migrants headed for Europe washed up on the coast of Libya, including a young child. 


Lebanon crises increase suffering of migrant domestic workers

December 25, 2021 

The major fule crisis in Lebanon, which has led to crippling economic depression, has had terrible effects on the migrant workers. 


All Europe must share responsibility for migrants, pope says

December 22, 2021

In spite of the tightening of European borders as forced migration reaches an all-time high, the Pope states that it’s the EU’s responsibility to help migrants. 


Thousands of Afghans stuck at U.S. military bases face long road to resettlement

December 20, 2021 

There are almost 30,000 Afghan refugees waiting in U.S. military bases. 



The climate crisis is killing migrants trying to cross the US border, study finds

December 16, 2021

Record temperatures are killing migrants trying to cross the Sonoran desert. 


Covid-19, Capitalism & Economy


‘The easy part is over’: uncertainty looms after world economy’s Covid rebound

December 31, 2021 

It may be difficult to deal with the unforeseen long-term effects of uneven global economic recovery. 


Two years of coronavirus: how pandemic unfolded around the world

December 31, 2021 

A brief review of how the pandemic played out globally over the last two years. 


Israel Tests Fourth Vaccine Doses as COVID Surges in Largely Unvaccinated African Nations

December 28, 2021 

As the Omicron variant disseminates through Africa, Israel continues clinical trials of a fource Covid vaccine shot. 


Covid News: U.S. Daily Record for Cases Is Broken

December 28, 2021 

The U.S breaks the record for most new Covid cases in one day despite being the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world. 


No One Is Safe Until Everyone Is Safe: Oxfam on Vaccine Equity & Taking On Moderna

December 23, 2021 

An important dispute arises as Moderna attempts to secure the patent on its vaccine even though three scientists responsible for its development come from the National Institutes of Health. 


WHO warns world cannot ‘boost its way out’ of pandemic

December 22, 2021 

The Chief Scientist at the WHO warns that when wealthy countries rush the development and distribution of vaccine boosters it creates an uneven global distribution of vaccines. This might prolong the pandemic because the boosters lack efficacy.   



4 charts show the current state of the Covid pandemic heading into 2022

December 22, 2021 

A visual representation of the state of the pandemic. 



Technologies of surveillance/Data Analytics/AI


Activists denounce China’s secret residential surveillance system

December 28, 2021 

Many protest China’s residential surveillance system which enables them to detain both Chinese and foreign individuals. 


Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald & Chris Hedges on NSA Leaks, Assange & Protecting a Free Internet

December 24, 2021 

Journalists and academics discuss the state of mass surveillance today. 


Meta bans surveillance-for-hire firms for targeting users

December 16, 2021 

Facebook bans 7 private surveillance companies that we’re gathering information on its users. The nature of their relationship with Meta remains in the dark. 


How Domestic Surveillance of Journalists & Citizens Became Standard US Government Practice

December 16, 2021 

A division within the Customs and Border Protection agency using systems designed to monitor potential terrorist threats surveyed 20 US journalists. 


Documents link Huawei to Uyghur surveillance projects, report claims

December 15, 2021 

A private surveillance company has developed surveillance technology for the Chinese government which specifically targets its Uyghur population. 


Extraditing Julian Assange to the US Would Further Jeopardise Global Press Freedoms

December 15, 2021 

A British court came to the verdict that Julian Assange could be extradited to the U.S. Assange has been persecuted and held against his will for the last 9 years after leaking damning information that revealed U.S. war crimes. 


13-year anniversary since Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at George W Bush

December 14, 2021 

It’s been 13 years since Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi tried to hit George Bush with his shoes. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison and served 9 months before he was released. 


U.S. State Department phones hacked with Israeli company spyware - sources

December 3, 2021 

An unknown individual hacked into 9 U.S. embassy employees’ iPhones using technology from an Israel-based private surveillance company. This is the same company responsible for gathering information from Meta. 


Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality

Tutu’s advocacy for LGBTQ rights did not sway most of Africa  

December 29, 2021 

While South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu campaigned for LGBTQ rights, homosexuality is still outlawed in neighboring African countries. 


Gender pay gap at UK’s biggest firms is growing, data suggests

December 29, 2021 

On average, women’s hourly wage is 10% less than men’s in the UK. This is an increase from 9% in 2018. 


bell hooks: A Black American voice that reached the world

December 18, 2021 

Gloria Jean Watkins who wrote under the pen name bell hooks has died at the age of 69. 


Half of U.S. States Have Big Racial Vaccine Gaps Heading Into Omicron

December 16, 2021 

In half the U.S. states there is a significant difference in vaccination rates among white people and minorities.  


Younger Americans still more likely than older adults to say there are other countries better than the U.S.

December 16

Americans under the age of 30 are much more likely to question America’s standing on the world stage. 

House approves Omar-backed bill to combat Islamophobia following Boebert's anti-Muslim remarks

December 14, 2021 

The house approved a bill that would crack down on anti-Muslim sentiment after a republican representative called Representative Ilhan Omar anti-semitic and questioned whether she was involved in a terrorist organization. 


Arms, Weapons, and Military Industrial Complex

How Silicon Valley and a New Pentagon Strategy Are Breaching the Defense Business

December 29, 2021 

Traditional military stocks are doing very poorly as the U.S. military looks to invest in digital strategic military resources out of Silicon Valley.


Will $778 billion make America safer?

December 28, 2021

Despite Biden’s rhetorical shift towards divesting in pointless military campaigns after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, he has just signed a $778 billion dollar defense budget. 


Why the US is paying more for the military after the Afghanistan war is over

December 22, 2021 

The U.S. continues to spend more than the next 11 countries combined on the military even after claiming that it’s time to stop spending so much on pointless military projects. Of course, what is not mentioned, is that about half the military budget goes to private contractors. 


Japan passes record $317B extra budget. Here’s what it includes

December 21, 2021 

Japan passes an additional military budget to alleviate the harmful economic effects of covid


Why can’t we cut all military spending?

December 21, 2021 

Why can’t we completely reinvest all military spending into combating climate change and eliminating poverty? 


Commentary: The Ethical Use of AI in the Security, Defense Industry

December 21, 2021 

While AI technology may be able to eliminate targets more effectively and with less collateral damage, it must always be difficult to kill another human being. There is always a human cost in war so there must always be a human that pulls the trigger. 



UAE Suspends Talks with U.S. on $23 Billion Arms Sale

December 15, 2021 

The UAE paused talks on a multi-billion-dollar arms sale with the U.S. While the Biden administration briefly suspended a deal that included Saudi Arabia earlier this year due to criticism of the war in Yemen, Biden has reaffirmed his commitment to the sale. 


Ethiopia

How Ethiopia’s Conflict Deepened in 2021

December 27, 2021

A review of brutal conflict in Ethiopia that began in November of 2020. 


Tigrayan forces announce retreat, but Ethiopia rejects peace overture

December 22, 2021 

While Tigrayan rebel forces have given up several provinces they have seized in order to broker peace with the Ethiopian government, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed refuses to withdraw troops. 


The Daunting Obstacles to Peace in Ethiopia

December 21, 2021 

While the Tigray People’s Liberation Front has tried to come to a peace deal with the Ethiopian government, giving up occupied provinces is not enough for the government to stop the conflict. 


A Fractured Giant: Ethiopia’s struggle to build a nation

December 21, 2021 

Ethiopia has a rich history of conflict that stems from cultural, ethnic, and religious differences. 


Ethiopia says army clearing Tigrayan forces from two northern regions

December 21, 2021 

The Ethiopian government rejects the statements made by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front that they are retreating in order to broker peace. Rather, the Ethiopian army claims they had to remove them by force. 


UN rights council orders probe into abuses in Ethiopia’s conflict

December 17, 2021 

While the UN voted to launch an international human rights investigation into the Ethiopian conflict due to “generalized violence,” the Ethiopian government has pledged not to cooperate with the investigation and has condemned the UN calling its decision politically motivated. 


Ethiopia: New wave of atrocities in Western Tigray

December 16, 2021

After an investigation, Amnesty International found that Amhara forces are brutally violating the human rights of Tigrayan civilians.  


Ethiopia civil war: How PM Abiy led fight-back against rebel advance

December 15, 2021 

Prime Minister Abiy of Ethiopia deployed a multifaceted approach to bolster approval for a significant military offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front 


Ethiopia accuses US and allies of ‘destructive’ approach

December 7, 2021

After the U.S. denounced Ethiopian forces’ unlawful detaining of the Tigrayan people, the spokesperson for Prime Minister Abiy said that the U.S. was “perpetuating a destructive narrative.”


Ethiopia: Key facts about the situation

December 2, 2021 

An overview of several developments of the conflict in Ethiopia.


UPCOMING EVENTS

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