NEWSWorthy

NEWSWorthy is a news roundup related to international affairs.  ACIR's goal is to inform members of foreign policy and global issues.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in these articles are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the position of the members of the Board of Directors or members of Atlanta Council on International Affairs, a non-partisan 501c.3. organization 501c.3. that seeks to educate the public on a wide variety of international issues from multiple points of view.



NORTH AMERICA

July 1, 2020

Boogaloo, an anti-lockdown and anti-BLM movement in the US, has started garnering support from Canadians via social media. Facebook says it is working to ban all Boogaloo content from its site.


SUPPORT FOR ANTI-GOVERNMENT, PRO-GUN BOOGALOO MOVEMENT GROWING IN CANADA

cbc.ca/news



AFRICA

July 1, 2020

A protestor was recently killed during demonstrations in Sudan that have largely been peaceful. Citizens are calling for a swifter democratic transition and more civilian rule, among other specific demands.


ONE KILLED IN SUDAN AS THOUSANDS RALLY FOR FASTER REFORM

aljazeera.com



AFRICA

July 1, 2020

Talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over access to the Nile have carried over to the social media platform TikTok in metaphorical, politically charged videos. Egypt worries a dam-filling project will reduce its water access.


NILE: ETHIOPIANS AND EGYPTIANS TRADE TIKTOK THREATS

bbc.com/news



MIDDLE EAST

July 1, 2020

Russia, Turkey and Iran recently met virtually to discuss the need for a political settlement in Syria and an inclusive dialogue on a constitutional order to stabilize the country, now in its 9th year of ongoing civil strife.


LEADERS OF RUSSIA, TURKEY, IRAN TALK ABOUT STABILIZING SYRIA

news.yahoo.com



EUROPE

July 1, 2020

A package of constitutional reforms in Russia was put up to a vote, either for or against the entire package. If passed, Putin could stay in office until 2036. He recently said Russia should “not look for successors.”


RUSSIANS VOTE ON REFORMS THAT COULD ALLOW PUTIN TO REMAIN PRESIDENT UNTIL 2036

cbsnews.com



LATIN AMERICA

June 30, 2020

After the EU sanctioned 11 officials close to Maduro, the Venezuelan president dismissed the bloc’s ambassador to the country, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa. Maduro said anyone who doesn’t respect Venezuela should leave it.


VENEZUELA'S MADURO ORDERS EU ENVOY TO LEAVE AFTER SANCTIONS

nbcnews.com



NORTH AMERICA

June 30, 2020

Six years after 43 students went missing, Mexico’s Attorney General has issued new arrest warrants for municipal officials linked to the case and its previous, flawed investigation. More charges against officials are expected.


NEW ARREST WARRANTS ISSUED IN CASE OF MEXICO’S MISSING 43

apnews.com



LATIN AMERICA

June 29, 2020

A study found that increased temperatures in the Amazon resulting from deforestation are producing lower crop yields. Forest-clearing made way for farming but is now starting to impede it.


AMAZON DEFORESTATION MAY HURT BRAZIL'S CORN YIELDS, STUDY WARNS

aljazeera.com



MIDDLE EAST

June 28, 2020

American intelligence found Russian bounties offered to Taliban-linked militants to kill US and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Policy responses will come once intel has passed the proper verification channels.


RUSSIAN BOUNTIES TO TALIBAN-LINKED MILITANTS RESULTED IN DEATHS OF U.S. TROOPS, ACCORDING TO INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENTS

washingtonpost.com



MIDDLE EAST

June 26, 2020

The Taliban has largely agreed to keep its “most dangerous” prisoners in the custody of the Afghan government, paving the way for intra-Afghan talks to begin mid-July. The sides agreed on an alternative set of prisoners for release.


TALIBAN PRISONER ISSUE ALMOST RESOLVED, PEACE TALKS EXPECTED 'SOON': SOURCES, OFFICIALS

reuters.com



DEFENSE

June 26, 2020

The Navy has tested the release of the StormBreaker, a smart bomb that can strike moving targets regardless of weather condition. Raytheon and the Pentagon are still working out operational issues.


THE PENTAGON IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO FIELDING ITS SMARTEST BOMB EVER

taskandpurpose.com



EUROPE

June 26, 2020

NATO is growing wary of stronger Chinese presence in Europe and Africa, mirroring the playbook Russia has followed in terms of strategic economic and military investments. More US-EU dialogue on China is needed.


THE US NAVY'S TOP ADMIRAL IN EUROPE SAYS CHINA IS COPYING RUSSIA'S INTERFERENCE PLAYBOOK THERE

businessinsider.com



ASIA

June 26, 2020

Protestors in Hong Kong are urging foreign consulates to stand with the city against the new national security law imposed by Beijing, in the form of sanctions, asset freezes and/or termination of special privileges.


NATIONAL SECURITY LAW: BEIJING WILL NOT BE DETERRED BY OPPOSITION TO LEGISLATION, BASIC LAW COMMITTEE VICE-CHAIRMAN MARIA TAM SAYS

scmp.com



MIDDLE EAST

June 26, 2020

As annexation of the West Bank goes into effect, mounting pro-Palestine sentiment in the US and Europe may drive Israel to pivot to China and Russia, countries with weaker political opposition to Israeli settlement.


ISRAEL'S ANNEXATION PLANS WILL LEAVE IT IN NEED OF NEW ALLIES

worldview.stratfor.com



WORLD

June 23, 2020

Just as countries use fiscal stimulus as part of COVID-19 relief, they also need to undertake “climate stimulus,” which can coincide with market-based measures to achieve sustained “low-carbon economic growth.”


CLIMATE CHANGE MERITS A FISCAL RESPONSE LIKE COVID-19’S

brookings.edu



ASIA

June 23, 2020

US-China tensions in the South China Sea are only rising. Each side patrols the territory but sees the other’s moves as provocative. It doesn’t help that hundreds of interstate comms channels have shut down.


RISK OF MILITARY CONFLICT BETWEEN US AND CHINA HIGHER THAN EVER, EXPERTS SAY

scmp.com



DEFENSE

June 23, 2020

US and Russia have concluded, without China, an initial round of nuclear talks, which included establishing several technical working groups. A second round may take place later this summer.


US, RUSSIA HOLD NEW NUCLEAR ARMS TALKS, BUT WITHOUT CHINA

defensenews.com



DEFENSE

June 23, 2020

The US intel community can learn from private sector business models to adapt to disruptive change and devise innovative solutions to new and age-old national security challenges.


THE US INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY IS BEING DISRUPTED

defenseone.com



NORTH AMERICA

June 23, 2020

Canada’s election season last fall saw an almost level playing field between Republicans and Liberals in terms of election expenses, both over $20mil. Meanwhile, the New Democrats incurred only about $10mil.


CONSERVATIVE ELECTION SPENDING OUTPACED LIBERALS BY A LITTLE AND THE NDP BY A LOT

cbc.ca/news



AFRICA

June 23, 2020

Somalia-based terrorist group, Al-Shabab, was behind a suicide attack outside Turkey’s largest foreign military base in the capital of Mogadishu. Two civilians, along with the bomber, were killed.


AL-SHABAB CLAIMS SUICIDE ATTACK OUTSIDE TURKISH BASE IN SOMALIA

aljazeera.com



ASIA

June 23, 2020

To assuage concerns over the HK national security law, Lam assured a judiciary would select judges to preside over cases. Also controversial is the nationality of judges. Foreign judges have been common in the past.


HONG KONG LEADER CARRIE LAM REASSURES ON NATIONAL SECURITY LEGISLATION

channelnewsasia.com



NORTH AMERICA

June 23, 2020

Mexico’s federal economic competition commission, Cofece, has brought a new government energy policy before the supreme court, on the grounds that it unduly restricts private electricity generators.


MEXICO: GOVERNMENT’S ENERGY POLICY FACES FRESH LEGAL CHALLENGE

latinnews.com



AFRICA

June 23, 2020

Malawi citizens return to the polls after courts ordered a rerun of the May 2019 presidential election due to widespread irregularity. Local and global organizations are observing to ensure free, fair elections.


MALAWI POLL RERUN: VOTING ENDS, BALLOT COUNTING BEGINS

africanews.com



MIDDLE EAST

June 23, 2020

The Saudi Crown Prince is after a former intel official for sensitive documents that could threaten his grip on power. His government has already seized the official’s children and brother to try and coerce him to return from Canada.


MBS PRESSURES EX-INTEL OFFICIAL'S FAMILY OVER DOCUMENTS: REPORT

aljazeera.com



LATIN AMERICA

June 23, 2020

29 European and American companies sent a letter warning Brazil that continued deforestation and intrusions on public and Indigenous territory are creating an uncertain investment climate in the area.


INVESTORS WARN BRAZIL AMBASSADORS ABOUT AMAZON DEFORESTATION

apnews.com



ASIA

June 23, 2020

India cuts back on diplomatic relations with Pakistan, both in its high commission abroad and at the Pakistani embassy at home. The decision is seen as the response to an alleged mistreatment of two Indians in Islamabad.


INDIA EXPELS DOZENS OF PAKISTAN DIPLOMATIC STAFF

bbc.com/news



MIDDLE EAST

June 22, 2020

The coast of Libya is seeing more naval rearmament, fueled by Turkish military activity and aid to Haftar’s forces. Italy is gaining ground in this already tense region, with many already rattled by Turkey’s behavior.


A NAVAL ARMS RACE IS GAINING SPEED IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

defensenews.com



EUROPE

June 22, 2020

Given or perhaps despite uncertainty over the US’ NATO posture, Nordic countries, esp. Norway, are eager to strengthen trans-Atlantic defenses with US and Germany to counter Russia in the High North.


NORDIC MILITARIES REKINDLE OLD ALLIANCES, AS RUSSIA WARMS TO THE REGION

defensenews.com



LATIN AMERICA

June 22, 2020

UK’s High Court will soon decide whether Maduro’s government or Guiado’s opposition has legal claim over Venezuelan central bank gold reserves. The ruling has no bearing outside the UK but nonetheless has political ramifications for both claimants.


VENEZUELA: UK COURT TO RULE ON LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT

latinnews.com



MIDDLE EAST

June 22, 2020

Recent US sanctions on Syria are poised to leave the war-torn country dependent on Iran and Russia, while China and UAE see less value in pursuing economic reconstruction than before in light of the new sanctions.

DEFENSE

June 20, 2020

Congressional defense committees are restricting funding on the procurement of unmanned surface warships until the Navy can demonstrate basic systems functioning via a working model.


THE PENTAGON WANTS TO FORGE AHEAD WITH ROBOT WARSHIPS, BUT CONGRESS WANTS TO SLOW THE TRAIN

defensenews.com



DEFENSE

June 19, 2020

The triad of US nuclear deterrence capability must keep up with modern challenges and technology. The Air Force’s GBSD program will be key to the stability of this three-pronged military posture.


KEEP MODERNIZATION OF THE GROUND BASED STRATEGIC DETERRENT PROGRAM ON TRACK

defensenews.com



DEFENSE

June 19, 2020

The UKFrance and Germany aren't backing the US’ unilateral decision to trigger a UN sanctions snapback on Iran if the weapons embargo can't be extended. The E3 remains committed to the terms of the JCPoA.


EUROPE TELLS U.S.: WE WON'T BACK UNILATERAL IRAN SANCTIONS SNAPBACK

reuters.com



DEFENSE

June 18, 2020

The Ford carrier continues to face obstacles in its design and the fact that it doesn’t align with the national strategy on great power competition. Its deployment date, already delayed until 2022, may be pushed back further.


THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER WE NEED

nationalreview.com



DEFENSE

June 18, 2020

The Pentagon is working to secure human involvement across all AI defense projects and has released five new ethical principles. Researchers will need to build predictability into unpredictable systems.


ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SYSTEMS NEED ‘CHECKS AND BALANCES’ THROUGHOUT DEVELOPMENT

c4isrnet.com



NORTH AMERICA

June 16, 2020

Protestors in in Mexico demand President Obrador provide answers as to how their loved ones went missing, many of whom were victims of the drug war. There is also anger over budget cuts to human rights assistance.


FAMILIES OF MISSING PEOPLE IN MEXICO ANGRILY CONFRONT PRES. LĂ“PEZ OBRADOR, DEMAND ANSWERS

nbcnews.com



ASIA

June 16, 2020

Central Asian economics ride on Chinese energy demand, but recent fluctuations in natural gas exports to Beijing may reflect its geopolitical strategy in the region. It has also taken advantage of falling fuel prices.


CENTRAL ASIAN GAS EXPORTS TO CHINA: BEIJING’S LATEST BARGAINING CHIP?

fpri.org



EUROPE

June 15, 2020

The EU has long taken an approach of “government by perpetual negotiation,” staying neutral on hot-button geopolitical issue. But how does this foreign policy doctrine work without common defense?


EUROPE AS A NEUTRAL GIANT

fpri.org



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