Interoperability (International)

Ozone layer on the rebound

The World Meteorological Society said today that the planet’s ozone layer should recover fully within decades as chemicals which have depleted it are phased out, thanks to a protocol adopted in Montreal in 1989. The UN agency said the protective layer should rebound to 1980 levels by 2040 for most of the world, but the timeline for polar areas is longer. [node:read-more:link]

The “zero trust” paradigm

Canada joined its Five Eyes partners for a recent meeting at the headquarters of the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency and Cyber Command to discuss the “zero trust” paradigm which assumes communications networks are already compromised and, as a result, require continuous validation of users and devices. [node:read-more:link]

Advice for the “Three Amigos”

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his U.S. and Mexican counterparts prepare for a January 10 summit in Mexico City, business lobbies in the three countries are urging more of a “Team North America” approach. It’s been less than three years since their latest trilateral trade agreement took effect but it wasn’t long before protectionism and other issues threated to undermine the accord. [node:read-more:link]

Germany under internal pressure

Key figures campaigning for Germany to change course on Ukraine have links to the Russian government or the far-right, tapping into the postwar relationship between Germany and Soviet-era Russia. Europe’s largest economy is a key supporter of Ukraine within the EU, committing massive amounts of military and civil aid, but soaring energy prices are eroding public approval. [node:read-more:link]

Iran pressed over airliner shootdown

Canada is leading an international call for Iran to submit to arbitration to settle a dispute over its missile downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 shortly after it took off from Tehran two years ago. All 175 crew and passengers died, including 85 Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and the other countries seeking arbitration are Britain, Sweden and Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

AI a growing challenge for NATO

The growing role of artificial intelligence in cyber attacks is a “double-edged sword” and a “huge challenge” for NATO, according to David van Weel, Assistant Secretary-General for Emerging Security Challenges. ““Artificial intelligence allows defenders to scan networks more automatically, and fend off attacks rather than doing it manually,” the Dutch national says. “But the other way around, of course, it's the same game.” [node:read-more:link]

NGOs suspend Afghanistan programs

Three major foreign aid groups said on Christmas day that they would suspend operations in Afghanistan, a day after the Taliban forbade Afghan women from working at the NGOs. The Taliban, contradicting earlier statements, had earlier banned women from attending university, sparking widespread protests. [node:read-more:link]

Biden says Iran deal “dead”

The 2015 multinational nuclear agreement from which his predecessor withdrew in 2018 is “dead”, according to U.S. President Joe Biden. His comment in a video of him talking in November with a group of people at an undisclosed location believed to be in California, isn’t being disputed by the White House. “The president's comments are entirely consistent with what we're saying,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said December 20, but hedging his comment by adding that “We do not expect an agreement to occur in the near future.” [node:read-more:link]

Sweden’s NATO membership at stake

Turkey’s request for the extradition of an exiled journalist was rejected today by Sweden’s highest court. Bulent Kenes had been accused of using his position as editor of a Turkish newspaper to support calls for the ouster of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has identified him as one of the expatriates he wants returned if he is to support Sweden’s application for NATO membership. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. man faces long prison term

A British Columbia man and two from the U.S. face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years after beachcombers in Washington state found duffel banks containing methamphetamines and Fentanyl worth some $7 million. Their grand jury indictment in Seattle was delivered after an extensive investigation by the RCMP and U.S. agencies. [node:read-more:link]

Lockerbie bomber suspect in U.S.

A Libyan accused in the destruction of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 is in U.S. custody. All 270 crew and passengers died when the bomb detonated on a polar flight to New York from London. Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi had been in custody in Libya for unrelated crimes when charged by the U.S. two years ago. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine’s NATO application still stalled

Shortly after Russia invaded in late February, Ukraine announced it had signed an accelerated application to join NATO and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in September that “we are de facto allies.” But there is continued reluctance by a couple of members to agree as well as concern within the alliance about being drawn into a broader conflict. “We recognize and respect Ukraine’s aspirations,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says. “However, our focus now is on providing immediate support as Ukraine defends itself.” [node:read-more:link]

End of “airplane mode” on smartphones?

European Union airlines operating in the European Union can begin proving provide 5G mobile data by next June 30 but it’s unclear how the end of “airplane mode” would be affected. “The sky is no longer a limit when it comes to possibilities offered by super-fast, high-capacity connectivity,” says Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market. [node:read-more:link]

UN unveils record aid budget

The United Nations is asking its member states for a record US$51.5 billion in aid funding for 2023, some 25 per cent more than in 2022. Citing Russia’s war on Ukraine, drought in Africa and flooding in Pakistan, among other things, the UN’s emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said today that “humanitarian needs are shockingly high, as this year's extreme events are spilling into 2023.” [node:read-more:link]


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