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June 2021 Media Roundup

Security in Context 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

June 2021

Climate Change and Security

Dutch Court Orders Shell Oil Company to Halve Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2030

(May 27, 2021)

A Dutch court ordered the Royal Dutch Shell oil company to reduce its emissions by 50% by 2030. This ruling only affects the Dutch Shell oil company but could set a precedent for further institutional regulation of oil companies. 


Despite pandemic, carbon dioxide level in atmosphere hits record high

(June 7, 2021)

While the pandemic has slowed economies worldwide, leading to a significant decrease in global greenhouse gas emissions, total atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography say that growing atmospheric carbon levels can only be curtailed if the international community addresses the extensive use of fossil fuels.


As leaders gather for G-7, a key question: Will rich countries help poor ones grapple with climate change?

(June 7, 2021)

Poorer nations are facing the brunt of climate change despite their minuscule carbon footprint. Over 10 years ago, the wealthiest nations pledged to form a climate change relief fund of $100 billion dollars by 2020. However, this commitment has largely been an empty promise as the money flow to poorer countries dealing with climate change has been scattered and unorganized. 

NATO to tackle climate change for first time, summit communique to say

(June 14, 2021)

NATO agreed to help mitigate climate change, as there are many threats to the alliance’s security. Nato will incorporate climate change considerations.


Global warming may have already passed irreversible tipping point

(June 15, 2021)

After the largest scientific expedition to the arctic, which included over 300 scientists from 20 different countries, Scientists concluded that it is very likely northern ice caps have been irreversibly damaged. 

Security and International Relations

U.S. Weighs Possibility of Airstrikes if Afghan Forces Face Crisis

(June 9, 2021)

The Pentagon is considering reauthorizing military engagement in Afghanistan which contradicts President Biden’s plans to end U.S. military presence in the Middle East. While no decisions have been made yet, military officials explain that major points of interest in Afghanistan, notably Kabul and Kandahar, must be protected from the Taliban. U.S. military strategy would potentially include the use of drones and warplanes. 


U.S. Lifts Some Sanctions on Iranians Before Nuclear Talks

(June 10, 2021)

The U.S. lifts sanctions on two Iranian companies and three Iranian government officials. However, the State and Treasury Departments also stated that several new sanctions have been imposed on a dozen entities and individuals in Iran for providing financial support for Houthi rebels in Yemen. 


New Israeli government is just as bad as the last, says Palestinian PM

(June 14, 2021)

Mohammad Shtayyeh, the Prime Minister of Palestine, condemns the upcoming Israeli Prime Minister Naftalli Bennett and his support for Israeli settlements. Bennett, who served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff, has explicitly advocated for the occupation of Palestine and the strengthening of Israeli settlements. 


Gaza: Protests against Israeli far-right march through Jerusalem

(June 15, 2020)

Far-right Israeli nationalists marched in Jerusalem on the anniversary of the 1967 Israeli occupation of the eastern part of the city adding to the overall assault on the Palestinian people. Some nationalist were heard chanting “death to all Arabs" which, according to several  Palestinians witnesses, occurs every year. In response, Palestinian protesters organized rallies and speeches condemning Israelis who support the occupation and burned images of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his successor, Naftali Bennett.


Moroccan king congratulates Israel’s new prime minister

(June 17, 2021)

The King of Morocco congratulated Israel’s new prime minister Naftali Bennett in an effort to promote diplomacy and peace between Israel and Palestine. He sent the congratulatory letter shortly after the leader of Hamas visited the Moroccan King. This cordial interaction between Bennett and king Muhammad shows that the Moroccan government is not taking a hard stance on Israel’s bombing of Palestine. 


Biden and Putin Agree to Begin Work on Arms Control & Cybersecurity in Effort to Avoid New Cold War

(June 17, 2021)

After a three hour summit in Geneva, President Joe Biden and President Vladamir Putin agree to form a cooperative diplomatic agenda after Russia was implicated in several cyber attacks against the U.S. Pressure mounted as the summit approached but according to Putin, both parties are committed to forming a more cooperative relationship. This contradicts Biden’s statements to the press calling Putin a quote “killer.”


Migration and Displacement

Climate disasters ‘caused more internal displacement than war’ in 2020

(May 20, 2021)

The most displaces in 2020 in the world are from Syria (6.6 million), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (5.3 million), and Colombia (4.9 million). More comes from all the world showing status of poverty, food insecurity, and conflicts. 


Australian government ordered to pay Iraqi asylum seeker $350,000 for over two years of unlawful detention

(June 7, 2021)

The Australian government unlawfully held an Iraqi asylum seeker for over 2 years and paid him $350,000 in damages. Alison Battisson, director of Human Rights for All, explains that the case is especially significant because it focuses on the purpose of the detention in the high court. If the Australian government does not actively pursue the purpose of the detention, it is unlawful regardless of the detainees visa status. 


Kamala Harris tells Guatemala migrants: ‘do not come to US’ 

(June 9, 2021)

Vice president Kamala Harris traveled to Guatemala and Mexico and delivered an address on immigration. When describing U.S. immigration policy under the new administration she addresses those seeking refuge repeatedly stating, “do not come. Do not come.” She explains that the U.S. is committed to establishing a strong border while working to better life in migrant’s respective countries. However, her blunt order aimed at migrants, many of which migrate in desperation, received criticism from progressive politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. 

Forced displacement reaches new high amid COVID: UN

(June 18, 2021)

UNHCR announced that 82.4 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced at the end of 2020, which is the highest number record in the recent years. In their analysis, food insecurity, poverty, climate change, and conflicts force people to find security elsewhere. 

Refugees are paying the highest price in the COVID-19 pandemic

(June 18, 2021)

The statues of refugees in camps around the world have been the worst. Due to COVID-19 around the world, prices have been going higher in local markets, especially in Bangladesh, Colombia, and Turkey. 

Covid-19, Capitalism & Economy

Lack of Vaccines Fuels Terrorism in Africa

(June 10, 2021)

Leaders across Africa met in Paris to discuss the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic which provides international terrorist groups an opportunity to strengthen their presence. Less than 2% of vaccines globally have been distributed in Africa, which is incredibly concerning as access to vaccines plays a major role in global economic recovery. Struggling African countries are forced to choose between ongoing counterterrorism efforts or attending to the needs of the economy and public health.  


Young, Indian, Unvaccinated: the world's largest inoculation drive falters

(June 10, 2021)

After a surge of covid-19 cases in India in April, the Indian government is struggling to vaccinate its 1.34 billion inhabitants. On May 1st, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expanded vaccination eligibility to people between the ages of 18-45 in an effort to combat the surge in cases. However, despite this change in policy, due to a lack of covid-19 vaccinations, only 8% of the newly eligible individuals have received their first dose. 


Nepal’s Vaccine Disaster Has Left Millions Unprotected

(June 14, 2021)

While Nepal handled the coronavirus very well at the beginning of the pandemic, the country has been hit hard by the second wave. Nepal’s infection rate rivals that of India, likely reaching 800,000 infections by mid-July. This is roughly 36% of the country’s population. 


Novavax COVID-19 vaccine more than 90% effective in U.S. trial

(June 14, 2021)

Novavax conducted a study for their new Covid-19 vaccine on 30,000 individuals from the U.S. and Mexico and found it to be over 90% effective. This vaccine is more effective against more transmittable variants of the coronavirus as well. 


Disaster Capitalism: Puerto Rico Plunged into Darkness After Privatization of Electric Utility

(June 15, 2021)

The private U.S. and Canadian based energy company LUMA Energy officially took over the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) despite efforts from activists to block its privatization. After a fire and a cyber attack that disrupted Puerto Rico’s power grid last week, millions of people are still without power.

Technologies of surveillance/Data Analytics/AI

Silicon Valley reboots its relationship with the US military

(May 16, 2021)

Silicon Valley and the U.S. military are becoming more and more intertwined. While there are many instances where tech companies have refused to sell software to the U.S. military, tech giants such as Microsoft have secured several multi-billion dollar contracts with the government. Additionally, hundreds of software engineers are taking on various military contracts with the U.S. government.

Human rights groups call for an end to digital surveillance of immigrants

(June 1, 2021)

More than 96,000 immigrants are being surveilled by Biden administration. Human Rights organizations have called on ICE and the administration to stop the use of GPS-tracking ankle monitors and facial recognition software to monitor people. 


Biden sanctions Chinese companies as Beijing says ‘normal communication’ resumed

(June 3, 2021)

Biden issued an executive order banning Americans from investing in a number of Chinese companies with alleged ties to defense or surveillance technology sectors, a move that analysts say will further complicate Washington’s trade relationship with Beijing.


US mulling military response to ransomware attacks, Biden officials say

(June 6, 2021)

Biden considers taking military action against growing cybersecurity threats in response to the recent cyber attacks targeting the world’s largest meatpacker and the largest fuel pipeline in America. U.S. government officials describe their growing concern for cybersecurity, even comparing them to 9/11. 

Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality

Gender Studies Departments In Solidarity With Palestinian Feminist Collective

(May 18, 2021)

Gender Studies departments across the U.S. express their solidarity with the Palestinian cause by affirming the commitments of the Palestinian Feminist Collective (PFC). Both the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Yale University and the Gender Studies department at UCLA have publicized their support. The PFC is a US-based organization that aims to challenge systemic gendered and colonial violence and is committed to the liberation of Palestine. Its membership includes intergenerational Arab/Palestinian women.   

The Right of Everyone to Sexual and Reproductive Health: Challenges and Opportunities During Covid-19

(June 10, 2021)

“Human Rights Watch is pleased to have the opportunity to offer input for the special rapporteur’s upcoming thematic report on the right of everyone to sexual and reproductive health—challenges and opportunities during Covid-19.”

How the $68 Billion Border Surveillance Industrial Complex Affects Us All

(June 11, 2021)

The surveillance industry is expected to be valued at $68 Billion by 2025. Consisting of governments, corporations, asset management firms, military companies, consultancy firms, and tech companies, the industry presents challenges to human rights.

OPINION: How Gaza’s war rubble removal can make way for gender equality

(June 14, 2021)

While bombs fell silent in Gaza, efforts to reconstruct Gaza and achieve gender equality are in question. Gender-responsive constructions need to be taken into consideration for  women and other vulnerable groups in Gaza. This means that the reconstruction planning should have more building parks and roads from war rubble and ashes.


Rainbow Roadmap: What to do, where to be, when to go to celebrate Pride Month 2021 across the country

(June 15, 2021)

Security measures at pride parades as the world celebrates Pride Month. 

More Black women are being elected to office. Few feel safe once they get there

(June 17, 2021)

Kiah Morris tells her story as a black woman in politics, and the threats that she has recieved over years. 


Arms, Weapons, and Military Industrial Complex

Infographic: What you need to know about Israel’s military

(June 4, 2021)

With the recent bombing and attacks by Israel to Palestinian Occupied Territories. Israel spent $22 billion on its military in 2020, the most per capita in the world.


U.S. Seizes Share of Ransom From Hackers in Colonial Pipeline Attack

(June 7, 2021)

The article describes cybersecurity and cyber-criminality in the US context and how law enforcement officials try to prevent cyber crime as cybercriminals highjacked  $2.3 million in bitcoin seized by the department of Justice.

India's missing military industrial complex

(June 11, 2021)

Compared to its neighbors, India is lagging in its military systems, especially in cyber warfare and industrial complex systems. 



Human Security

Turkey’s vision for NATO in an era of global challenges

(June 13, 2021)

Since 1952, Turkey has been a member of NATO, with a leading role in missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond. Turkey has recognized its failure in promoting human security in the region, especially during the pandemic.

Nato summit: leaders declare China presents security risk

(June 14, 2021)

NATO leaders believe that China poses a security risk, citing China’s “coercive policies” and the expansion of its nuclear arsenal.

Myanmar: Stop Holding Family, Friends Hostage

(June 14, 2021)

Since the February 2021 coup in Myanmar, oppression and arrest of activists and their families has continued. Activists and family members have been detained by security forces and heavily interrogated. 

Boris Johnson criticized for meeting Bahrain’s crown prince

(June 17, 2021)

Many Human Rights organizations have criticized British PM Boris Johnson for meeting with senior Bahraini officials in Downing Street to discuss a free trade deal with the Gulf states.


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