domenica, Febbraio 25, 2024

L’INDIA E IL DATABASE BIOMETRICO AADHAAR

FOCUSNegli ultimi dieci anni, il governo indiano ha assemblato un vasto database biometrico progettato per migliorare la fornitura di servizi sociali agli oltre 1 miliardo di cittadini del paese. Il database Aadhaar è uno dei più grandi programmi di identità biometrica del mondo ed è stato accreditato per aver reso più facile per gli indiani l’accesso ai sussidi e ai pagamenti delle pensioni. Utilizzando impronte digitali e scansioni dell’iride, Aadhaar ha consentito al governo di verificare l’identità dei residenti del paese con relativa facilità. Ora, la Commissione elettorale dell’India vuole collegare il proprio database di registrazione degli elettori con Aadhaar, una mossa che avrebbe profonde conseguenze non solo per la privacy dei cittadini indiani ma per il futuro dei database biometrici in tutto il mondo. (Patrick Jones per Brookings)

 

AROUND THE WORLD

Africa

  • April 28. By HRW.  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has worsened the food security crisis in many African countries, Human Rights Watch said today. Many countries in East, West, Middle, and Southern Africa rely on Russia and Ukraine for a significant percentage of their wheat, fertilizer, or vegetable oils imports, but the war disrupts global commodity markets and trade flows to Africaincreasing already high food prices in the region. Even countries that import little from the two countries are indirectly impacted by higher world prices for key commodities. Governments and donors should ensure affordable food access in Africa by scaling up economic and emergency assistance and social protection efforts. Otherwise, millions of people across the African continent may experience hunger. (read more)

Australia

  • April 27. By Christian Downie, The Interpreter. The Australian government’s announcement on 13 April that it will subsidise the country’s oil refineries to the tune of $250 million for projects that will not be completed until 2024 highlights the problems with Australia’s present approach to energy security. (read more)

Australia – Pacific

  • April 28. By , The Strategist. Australia’s Pacific security problem is simple: we’re not thinking big enough about our role and we have convinced ourselves that we’re incapable of moving quickly to counter China. (read more)

China

  • April 28. By Global Times. The Port of Shanghai, one of the world’s largest ports in terms of cargo tonnage, reported a stable increase in turnover during the first quarter of 2022, but the port has seen significant disruptions since the end of March, when a severe wave of COVID-19 started in the major Chinese financial and trade hub, according to official data on Thursday. (read more)
  • April 28. By Chu Daye, Global Times. China will scrap tariffs on coal imports from May 1 to March 31, 2023, the Ministry of Finance announced on Thursday, marking a rare move to ensure energy security amid growing uncertainties in global coal supply due to geopolitical volatility and other factors. (read more)
  • April 28. By Global Times. International rules should be the norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, rather than the rules of a small circle or clique, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded on Thursday to UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ “warning” that China must play by international rules. (read more)
  • April 28. By Simon Tay, East Asia Forum. Anyone seeking to manage China’s regional economic integration must proceed with caution, but not without hope. Influencing Asia’s largest economy and political player is not going to be easy, especially given the growth and nature of China–US tensions. (read more)

China – Africa

  • April 28. By Wan Hengyi, Global Times. China’s top legislature is willing to uphold the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, and is ready to work with African counterparts to realize true democracy, according to a virtual seminar between China and 22 Francophone African countries. (read more)

China – Australia – Solomon Islands

  • April 28. By Global Times. What right does Australia have to draw a “red line” between China and the Solomon Islands? If this is not violation of other countries’ sovereignty, what is? China’s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng asked during a video conference at the launch ceremony of the China-Pacific Island Countries Cooperation Center on Climate Change. (read more)

China – Europe

  • April 28. By Matthew Fulco, Al Jazeera. China and Europe may not be in a cold war, but bilateral relations are increasingly chilly. China’s failure to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, considered an existential threat to European security, is the latest and gravest in a series of challenges by Beijing to the rules-based order on which the European Union professes to operate. (read more)

China – Iran

  • April 28. By Liu Caiyu and Guo Yuandan.  Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday and both sides agreed to further deepen cooperation in military and other areas, during a rare visit by the Chinese Defense Minister to Iran that experts say could help elevate China-Iran military ties to an unprecedented level against the backdrop of an increasingly hostile US and a tumultuous global situation.  (read more)

China – USA

  • April 28. By Global Times. Diplomats, experts and scholars from both China and the US said on Wednesday that a path should be found to let go of differences and move toward stability and peace, especially at a moment when bilateral relations are most challenging. (read more)

China – USA – Taiwan

  • April 28. By Wang Qi, Global Times. The latest US effort to help separatist forces on the island of Taiwan “regain observer status” at the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the WHO, will prove futile again, just like how numerous political stunts pulled by the separatists over the past five years failed to achieve any meaningful results, Chinese experts said on Thursday. (read more)

Egypt – Russia

  • April 28. By Al Monitor. In spite of the ongoing war in Ukraine and US and Western sanctions on Moscow, Russia sent a delegation to visit the Dabaa nuclear power plant in Egypt April 17. (read more)

Europe

  • April 28. By Valdai Discussion Club. In a situation where the European international order has found itself in such a massive crisis that radical military solutions have become possible, the most natural solution may indeed be Germany acquiring its own nuclear weapons. It does not matter at all that this arsenal will officially be called “European”, like, for example, the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank, which manages financial policy in the Eurozone, writes Valdai Club Programme Director Timofei Bordachev. (read more)
  • April 28. By HRW. The European Union’s proposed batteries regulation should require importers and manufacturers to source the bauxite, copper, and iron used in batteries responsibly, a coalition of 16 organizations said today. The coalition includes Amnesty International, Earthworks, Finnwatch, Germanwatch, Human Rights Watch, Inclusive Development International, INKOTA, PowerShift, RAID, SOMO, and Transport & Environment, as well as human rights and environmental activists from producer countries. (read more)

Indonesia

  • April 27. By I Gede Wahyu Wicaksana, East Asia Forum. The crisis in Ukraine should prompt Indonesia to reconsider the direction and strategy of its foreign policy. The war is not directly expanding to Indonesia’s immediate geopolitical environment, but it is impacting its strategic situation. China and the United States’ interest and influence in the Russia–Ukraine conflict are also shaping the future of the Indo-Pacific order. (read more)

Pakistan

  • April 28. By Al Jazeera. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, son of assassinated former Premier Benazir Bhutto, as foreign minister, giving his coalition ally a senior role in repairing frayed ties with the United States and other Western countries. On Wednesday, President Arif Alvi took the oath from the Oxford-educated Bhutto-Zardari, scion of the country’s leading political dynasty. (read more)

Pakistan – China 

  • April 28. By Global Times. Pakistan’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday, the day he was sworn into the post, visited the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan to send condolences to the Chinese victims of the terror attack at the Confucius Institute in the University of Karachi in Pakistan. (read more)

Quad

  • April 28. By , The Strategist, Project-Syndicate.  When the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue was first conceived as a strategic coalition of the Indo-Pacific’s four leading democracies, many doubted that it would amount to much. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi mocked it as a ‘headline-grabbing idea’ that would dissipate ‘like the sea foam in the Pacific or Indian Ocean’. But continued Chinese expansionism, combined with former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s determination to build broad resistance to it, has produced an increasingly consolidated group with real potential to bolster regional security. The question is whether it will deliver. (read more)

Russia – Ukraine

  • April 27. By Hlib Parfonov, The Jamestown Foundation. The war in Ukraine has showcased the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) by both sides, a capability that has enabled much more extensive combined-arms operations by their respective militaries. Drones have been ever-present both at the platoon–battalion level as well as in operational-strategic missions, as infamously exemplified by Ukraine’s Turkish-built Bayraktar unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) (see EDM, March 16). (read more)
  • April 27. By Roger McDermott, The Jamestown Foundation. Moscow’s official statements since February 24, 2022, concerning possible nuclear escalation should the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) directly intervene in the Russo-Ukrainian war represent a deliberate policy of strategic deterrence. (read more)
  • April 27. By Roger McDermott, The Jamestown Foundation. Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Western governments and analysts have periodically expressed fears that the Kremlin might try to escalate by using nuclear weapons. (read more)
  • April 28. By HRW. Russian authorities should stop broadcasting programs featuring images of and interviews with captured Ukrainian soldiers that expose them to public curiosity, Human Rights Watch said today. Such treatment of prisoners of war, or POWs, violates protections under the Geneva Conventions intended to ensure dignified treatment of captured combatants on all sides. (read more)

Southeast Asia

  • April 28. By Meg Hocking, The Interpreter. The Philippines has made considerable strides in wage equality between men and women in recent years. So too in the areas of female participation in politics and female education attainment. The Philippines ranked 17 out of 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021. (read more)

Sudan

  • April 28. By HRW. Sudan’s security forces have unlawfully detained hundreds of protesters since December 2021 and forcibly disappeared scores as part of its broader clampdown on opposition to the October 25 military coup, Human Rights Watch said today. (read more)

Taiwan

  • April 28. By  Late on an April weeknight, the mood in a basement office workshop in Taipei is surprisingly upbeat as participants take turns wrapping each other in homemade stretchers and learn how to pack a gunshot wound. The event, organised by non-governmental organisation Forward Alliance, is the first of a series of workshops designed to teach civilians the basics of trauma medicine and the skills to survive an emergency. (read more)

Timor – Leste

  • April 27. By Joao da Cruz Cardoso, The Interpreter. Following Timor-Leste’s presidential run-off election on 19 April, José Ramos-Horta has been confirmed as the country’s next president in a landslide victory over Francisco “Lú-Olo” Guterres. The outcome reveals a political scene still dominated by the old guard – the heroes of the independence struggle. The election campaign provided a glimpse of the rift between one-time friends in arms, while solidifying the alliance of the political parties that form the current government. Both José Maria Vasconcelos “Taur Matan Ruak” (president of Partido Libertação Popular, PLP) and José dos Santos Naimori Bukar (president of Partido Kmanek Haburas Unidade Nasional Timor Oan, KHUNTO) were campaigning for the incumbent Guterres. (read more)

Turkey – Iraq – Syria

  • April 28. By Fehim Tastekin, Al Monitor. Turkey’s fresh military operation against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, under way since April 18, has sparked debates in the Iraqi parliament over claims of a secret deal between the two countries, allowing Turkish troops to advance 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) inside Iraq. (read more)

Turkey – Saudi Arabia

  • April 28. By Al Jazeera. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia and meet the country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), marking a turnaround in relations that had hit a low following the 2018 murder of a prominent Saudi critic at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. (read more)

Turkey – Syria

USA

  • April 28. By Global Times. In the first three months of 2022, the US posted its poorest quarterly economic performance since the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the headwinds from soaring inflation, interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and the pullback from Omicron weighing on growth momentum. (read more)

USA – Taiwan

  • April 28. By Al Jazeera. The US House of Representatives has unanimously passed legislation calling on the State Department to submit a plan to help Taiwan regain its observer status at the World Health Organization (WHO) in a rare show of bipartisan cooperation. The House passed the bill 425 to 0 on Wednesday, after it passed the Senate last August. It will now go to the White House where President Joe Biden is expected to sign the measure into law. (read more)

West Papua

  • April 28. By Eduard Lazarus, The Interpreter. On 12 April, the Indonesian parliament announced plans to establish three new provinces in West Papua. Currently, the western part of the island of New Guinea consists of two provinces: West Papua Province and Papua Province. The plan is to break down these two administrative regions into five, with the addition of the South Papua Province, Central Papua Province, and the Papua Central Highlands Province. (read more)

DEFENSE – MILITARY

  • April 28. By Naval News. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) have signed an agreement to supply the Philippine Navy with IAI’s ALPHA 3D Radar Systems. The systems will be integrated on the Philippine Navy’s new Corvette ships. (read more)
  • April 28. By Xavier Vavasseur, Naval News. The delivery of the corvette “Damsah”, the second of the Al Zubarah-class of four vessels ordered to Fincantieri by the Qatari Ministry of Defence within the national naval acquisition program, took place today at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard. (read more)
  • April 28. By Juho Lee, Naval News. The Republic of Korea (ROK) will acquire Raytheon’s Standard Missile (SM)-6 for its upcoming KDX III Batch II destroyers. Also known as RIM-174 Standard Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM), the SM-6 can perform anti-air warfare (AAW), ballistic missile defense (BMD) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) missions. (read more)
  • April 28. By Xavier Vavasseur, Naval News. Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. held a delivery ceremony and a self-defense ship flag raising ceremony for the first-in-class frigate ‘Mogami’ (もがみ). The event took place today at the MHI shipyard in Nagasaki. The first of the FFM frigates is now officially commissioned with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). (read more)
  • April 28. By
  • April 27. By Theresa Hitchens, Breaking Defense. Once the Pentagon’s top-priority program to speed the use of artificial intelligence across the military, Project Maven is now being transferred to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, according to senior Intelligence Community officials. (read more)
  • April 27. By Justin Katz, Breaking Defense. The Navy has changed its projected date for when it will resolve its ongoing strike fighter shortfall — again. (read more)
  • April 28. By Riad Kahwaji, Breaking Defense. A spike in seizures of arms and drugs in an already volatile region underlines the benefits of multinational maritime operations and the value of creating a new naval multinational task force dedicated to the security of the Red Sea waters, the head of United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) tells Breaking Defense. (read more)
  • April 28. By , The Strategist. In 2009, Australia’s government decided that it would replace eight Anzac-class frigates with nine ships optimised for antisubmarine warfare (ASW). There was no justification in the Royal Australian Navy capstone doctrine for acquiring and optimising a frigate for ASW, which it regarded as among the most difficult of naval operations to be conducted and most effectively performed using submarines and aircraft. General-purpose ships can contribute to ASW, but their primary tasks are air defence, anti-shipping and land attack, and command and control at sea. Soon, this can be expected to include serving as controlling nodes for unmanned vehicles of various types. (read more)

CYBER – TECH

  • April 28. By Deborah Brown, HRW. The same day that the United Nations General Assembly convened an emergency special session to respond to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early March, a very different set of negotiations was underway in another U.N. conference room. More than two years after its establishment, the Ad Hoc Committee to Elaborate a Comprehensive International Convention on Countering the Use of Information and Communication Technologies for Criminal Purposes (hereinafter the Ad Hoc Committee) held its first substantive session. In what are sure to be contentious negotiations over the next two years, government officials will meet several more times, with the goal of completing a global agreement by early 2024 that aims to facilitate international cooperation and coordination on cybercrime. (read more)
  • April 28. By Saritha Rai, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg. He co-founded software powerhouse Infosys Ltd., became a billionaire and went on to spearhead a colossal government program to create biometric identification for India’s almost 1.4 billion people. Now 66, Nandan Nilekani has one more ambitious goal. The high-profile mogul is helping Prime Minister Narendra Modi build an open technology network that seeks to level the playing field for small merchants in the country’s fragmented but fast-growing $1 trillion retail market. (read more)

HORIZONS

  • April 28. By Stormy-Annika Mildner, ORF. For decades, trade has been an important driver for economic growth, job creation, and wellbeing. It helped lift billions of people out of poverty, and promoted economic—and in some cases political—freedom. It allowed for a diffusion of knowledge and ideas and created interdependencies that—while not always preventing conflicts and wars, as Russia’s war on Ukraine shows—contributed to international stability. The multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its centre, held power politics at bay and allowed for settling trade disputes in a rules-based and mostly fair way. (read more)

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