1 February 2023   (Government Executive)
U.S. National Security Director Avril Haines says that ongoing investigations into the handling of sensitive documents by former U.S. presidents and vice- presidents highlight problems with “over-classification” protocols. “We must keep certain information secret or we will not be able to do our job in the intelligence community,” she said, suggesting it is overdone. “It does have to meet a national security standard.”
1 February 2023
A new paper from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute explores the financial cost of war using links between taxation and defence spending and drawing on data from 100 countries, including Ukraine. It offers evidence to understand how increases in military spending may affect tax structures, but also how low-income, autocratic and conflict-affected countries fund their military spending.
31 January 2023   (BBC)
Saudi Arabia’s capital punishment rate has nearly doubled since 2015, according to reports by international and Saudi human rights groups. They said the death penalty, often carried out in secrecy has been used routinely to silence political dissidents and protestors, including detainees who were children when they were arrested.
31 January 2023   (CNN)
Schools and transportation networks in France were heavily disrupted today for the second time this month as unions staged widespread strikes against government plans to gradually raise most worker’ retirement age to 64 from 62. Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne says the plan is “not negotiable” due to a national pension funding deficit.
31 January 2023   (Al Jazeera)
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says all countries ae “dangerously unprepared” for future pandemics in an evolving era of climate-related disasters. In a January 30 World Disasters Report, it urges countries to update preparedness plans by the end of this year. “The next pandemic could be just around the corner,” says its Nepali Secretary General Jagan Chapagain. “If the experience of COVID-19 won’t quicken our steps toward preparedness, what will?”
31 January 2023   (BBC)
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who left his country after losing last October’s election, claiming it was fraudulent, has applied for a six-month U.S. tourist visa. He arrived in Florida on a diplomatic visa before supporters rioted in Brasilia and Democrats in Congress say the U.S. “must not provide shelter for him, or any authoritarian who has inspired such violence against democratic institutions.”
31 January 2023   (AP)
Reacting to reports that Huawei’s access to U.S. chips and other computer essentials could be further constrained, China accused it today of pursuing “technology hegemony.” A Commerce Department “entity” list has limited the global telecom giant’s access since 2019 and the Chinese foreign ministry said the latest development would be “over-stretching the concept of national security and abusing state power.”
31 January 2023   (CP)
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told a parliamentary committee January 30 that while testing continues, there is no reason to believe national security is at risk from a RCMP standing order for radio-frequency filtering gear from Sinclair Technologies. The Ontario firm is a subsidiary of Norsat International in B.C. which is owned by Shenzen-based Hytera, banned in the U.S. because of its links to the Chinese military.
31 January 2023   (BBC)
A Taliban splinter group is being blamed for a January 30 suicide-bomb attack that killed at least 100 persons and wounded scores of others in Pakistan near its northwestern border with Afghanistan. The mosque in Peshawar is within a high-security zone which includes regional security headquarters.
30 January 2023   (AP)
U.S. President Joe Biden said today that his administration will end early three years of emergency coronavirus pandemic measures on May 11. The Democrat administration is responding to pressure by Republican members of Congress to terminate the measure immediately. The delay effectively enables health authorities to transition to handling the situation endemically.
30 January 2023   (Globe & Mail)
Researchers at 50 Canadian universities have collaborated for nearly two decades with Chinese military scientists at the National University of Defence Technology, according to Strider Technologies, a strategic intelligence company headquartered in Utah. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has warned that China increasingly uses joint academic research to obtain innovative science and technology. NUDT was blacklisted by the U.S. in 2015 because it posed a “significant risk” to national-security or foreign-policy interests.
30 January 2023   (Globe & Mail)
Only 14 of a batch of 48 grant applications to the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council have been approved because national security agencies considered 32 others too risky; two were withdrawn. The reviews stem from government guidelines introduced in July 2021 at a time of heightened concern about the rise of China and other authoritarian regimes.