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National security wrap

Posted By , , and on April 11, 2019 @ 14:14

The beat

Sudanese police ordered to step aside amid protests

Protests calling for the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir are ongoing in Sudan and police have been ordered [1] not to intervene. Interior Minister Bishara Gomaa says tear gas and live rounds have been used against protesters, causing at least seven deaths and 15 injuries. The opposition disputes those figures, saying around 20 [2] people have been killed so far. The protests have escalated [3] in recent weeks as soldiers reportedly began shielding protesters from other security forces.

Tile thief trapped by Pompeii police

Italian police have arrested [4] a British tourist for removing tiles from a floor mosaic in Pompeii. After she crossed a barrier in a dwelling known as Casa dell’Ancora, or ‘House of the Anchor’, the British tourist allegedly used a tool to chip off parts of the mosaic and caused an estimated A$4,700 [5] in damage to the archaeological site.

Human rights in focus for Mexican National Guard

Mexico’s newly formed National Guard will receive training from [6] the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights after an agreement was signed between the UN and the Mexican government. The National Guard was approved [7] by the Mexican Congress last month and both military police and federal police will be among its ranks. The UN is set to provide technical assistance to the new force and has emphasised the strong link between stable and secure societies and full respect for human rights.


Trump ‘purges’ Department of Homeland Security

In a ‘near systematic purge [8]’ of the US Department of Homeland Security, President Donald Trump has accepted the resignations of the department’s secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, and Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, and pulled the nomination of Ronald Vitiello for the role of immigration and customs enforcement chief. Trump said he wants to move the department in a ‘new direction’, after the number of people apprehended along the US southern border with Mexico reached 103,000 [9] last month. That number is higher than in any month since 2008 [10].

Bangladesh and Myanmar hold border talks

A five-day conference [11] between Border Guard Bangladesh and the Myanmar Police Force is underway in Naypyidaw, Myanmar. The talks will cover drug smuggling, trespassing, tackling terrorism and ‘firing at frontiers’. Meanwhile, Bangladesh has deployed border guards [12] to St Martin’s Island after maps printed in Myanmar showed it as part of that country’s territory.

New border crossing between China and North Korea

A new border crossing on the Yalu River between China and North Korea opened [13] on Monday. The border checkpoint connects the northeastern Chinese city of Jian with the North Korean city of Manpo and is the fourth checkpoint between the two countries. It’s unclear what role the crossing will have in moving goods between the nations, given the UN sanctions against North Korea. In the past, China has provided a lifeline to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, helping to keep the country’s struggling economy afloat.

CT scan

Iran responds to US terrorism listing

The US has designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organisation, claiming that Iran uses terrorism as ‘a tool of statecraft’ [14]. It’s the first time the US has labelled part of another country’s military a terrorist group and will allow the US to impose further sanctions on Iran. Iran has responded [15] by naming US Central Command as a terrorist organisation and President Hassan Rouhani said the US is the ‘leader of world terrorism’.

Australia’s child terrorism laws in breach of UN convention

A report tabled in parliament last week found [16] that sentencing and non-parole periods for children convicted of terrorism offences breach Australia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Law Council of Australia says that when dealing with children, the justice system’s main focus must be rehabilitation and reintegration back into society.

German woman on trial for war crimes

A German woman is on trial [17] in Munich for the murder of a five-year-old Yazidi girl whom she kept as a slave during her time with the Islamic State terror group. The woman has also been charged with war crimes, terrorism and weapons offences. The girl’s mother, who was also held as a slave, is expected to testify.

First responder

Former emergency service bosses call for greater action on climate change

Twenty-three former emergency service chiefs have issued a joint statement [18] urging the Australian government to take more action to tackle climate change. Although the government recently announced [19] a $2 billion ‘climate solutions fund’ to reduce emissions, it has been criticised for not doing more as Australia becomes increasingly vulnerable [20] to natural disasters and extreme weather events.

Iran devastated by floods

Several countries [21] have assisted in local recovery efforts in Iran after record floods inundated all but three of its 31 provinces. Incredible images [22] show torrents of water destroying buildings and flooding entire towns. According to NASA [23], some parts of the country received 70% of their annual rainfall in one day. The extent of the flooding has raised questions about the government’s poor water management and extensive construction of dams [24]. Iran has been affected by years of drought [25].

Mozambique vaccinates hundreds of thousands against cholera

Nearly a month after Cyclone Idai devastated Mozambique, more than 593,000 people [26] have been vaccinated to help prevent the spread of cholera. It’s an important achievement, as this figure represents roughly 73% of the target population. The disease has spread through contaminated water and food in the wake of the disaster, infecting more than 3,100 people.

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URLs in this post:

[1] ordered: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47858523

[2] around 20: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-sudan-protests/sudan-opposition-says-around-20-killed-since-sit-in-began-idUKKCN1RL0AQ

[3] escalated: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/07/world/africa/sudan-protests-al-bashir.html

[4] arrested: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/woman-pompeii-mosaic-tiles-italy-detained-a8860386.html

[5] A$4,700: https://www.thelocal.it/20190408/british-tourist-arrested-for-stealing-pompeii-mosaic-tiles

[6] training from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/un-to-help-human-rights-training-of-mexicos-national-guard/2019/04/09/7aab2664-5b09-11e9-98d4-844088d135f2_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c4ec3e2423cf

[7] approved: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-politics-military/mexicos-congress-oks-new-national-guard-championed-by-lopez-obrador-idUSKCN1QV3E9

[8] near systematic purge: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/08/politics/miller-nielsen-trump-immigration-homeland-security/index.html

[9] reached 103,000: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration/usbp-sw-border-apprehensions

[10] higher than in any month since 2008: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/09/politics/apprehensions-border-highest-decade/index.html

[11] conference: https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/foreign-affairs/2019/04/09/bangladesh-myanmar-border-talks-begin-in-naypyidaw

[12] deployed border guards: https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3005065/bangladesh-deploys-border-guards-island-near-myanmar

[13] opened: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-08/china-north-korea-open-new-border-crossing-despite-sanctions

[14] ‘a tool of statecraft’: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/09/world/middleeast/iran-revolutionary-guards-.html

[15] Iran has responded: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47865522

[16] found: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-08/child-terrorism-sentencing-breaches-international-law/10979810

[17] on trial: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/09/world/europe/germany-isis-trial.html

[18] joint statement: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/former-fire-chiefs-demand-urgent-action-on-escalating-climate-change-threat

[19] recently announced: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-25/scott-morrison-announces-new-$2bn-climate-change-policy/10844922

[20] increasingly vulnerable: https://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/fire-season-extended-as-conditions-remain-extraordinarily-dry-in-parts-of-nsw-20190329-p51909.html

[21] Several countries: https://reliefweb.int/report/iran-islamic-republic/half-dozen-countries-help-iran-flood-survivors-un-sets-channel-cash

[22] Incredible images: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-47820657/thousands-of-homes-destroyed-as-iran-braces-for-more-floods

[23] According to NASA: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/144785/floods-ravage-iran-and-iraq

[24] poor water management and extensive construction of dams: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/iransource/nowruz-floods-in-iran-anger-many-but-reasons-are-complex

[25] years of drought: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/01/drought-climate-change-turn-iran-sistan-and-baluchestan-into-dust-bowl/

[26] more than 593,000 people: https://reliefweb.int/report/mozambique/mozambique-cyclone-idai-floods-situation-report-no-6-7-april-2019

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