Panama Covid-19 update – it seems the health ministry owes local hotels some $6 million for use of hotel rooms as so-called hospital hotels during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, another 463 new cases reported and 3 new fatalities, with active cases dropping to “only” 7,965; of which 96 in ICU and 283 in other wards.
29 AUGUST 2021
RIOT POLICE, BODY SCANNERS AND SOCIAL BREAKDOWN IN TOY TOWN
Excellent article in Coda on 28 July about Playmobil riot play set!
GERMANY: BIGGEST ARMS EXPORTS TO HUNGARY, THEN US
On 29 August, Deutsche Welle reported on the Economy Ministry releasing data showing export licences worth more than €22 billion had been granted. Hungary is the greatest recipient, followed by the US. The 10 most important customers for Germany’s arms industry include several non-EU and non-NATO member states, such as Algeria (€2 billion), Egypt (€1.88 billion) and Qatar (€720 million), and other recipients include India, Indonesia and Pakistan, with increases for the developing world.
IRAN AND SYRIA VOW ‘MIGHTY STEPS’ IN CONFRONTING US SANCTIONS
On 29 August, the Times of Israel and others reported that the announcement was made by Iran’s new Foreign Minister on being received at the airport for a visit to Damascus by his Syrian counterpart. Iran has been one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s strongest backers, sending thousands of fighters from around the region to help.
TUNISIA’S “ARAB SPRING” REMAINS IN PERIL
On 27 August, Defence Web reported that President Saïed’s extension of emergency measures has aggravated fears of autocracy – but hope is not yet dead.
2 PIRATE ATTACKS OFF SOMALIA THIS YEAR
On 27 August, Defence Web reported that, just ahead of a reduced Indian Ocean high risk piracy area (HRA) announcement, a motor vessel (was attacked by pirates off Somalia. It involved a skiff carrying at least 4 armed men, opening fire with small arms and RPG. An RPG caused damage in the vicinity of the bridge of the ship. Nevertheless, the reduced Indian Ocean high HRA announcement was made on 20 August by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), to become active on 1 September, following a reduction in piracy off Somalia and the Horn of Africa. The recent attack was only the second this year off the Horn of Africa. The article notes that the Gulf of Guinea remains particularly dangerous for seafarers with 32% of all reported incidents taking place in the region.
UK: MISUSE OF DRUGS – NEW CLASS C DRUGS
On 18 August, PNLD reported that 3 benzodiazepines, known as flualprazolam, flunitrazolam and norfludiazepam, have been added Schedule 2 to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 on 18 August, therefore making the compounds Class C drugs from that date.
RESPONDING TO THE PROLIFERATION OF UNINHABITED UNDERWATER VEHICLES (UUV)
On 26 August, an article from the Centre for International Maritime Security started with a reference to a “kamikaze” UUV used in an attempt to attack Israeli offshore gas and oil installations, which Hamas had unsuccessfully targeted in the past using rockets and uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAV). However, it says that UUV have been in use since the 1950s, with the US and Russia leading and UUV are now owned by over 50 nations across the world. It says that understanding why and how this technology proliferates is crucial to recognising the role of such new technologies in international security and preparing effective responses. Looking at their history and proliferation – and recent examples of their use (and capture), the article points out that at least 30 states have the indigenous capacity to manufacture UUV. It is said that the current status of aerial drones and their widespread use across the world offers militaries, policymakers, and international organisations the opportunity to prevent a similar scenario from occurring with underwater drones.
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