Mint Lite | French security bill, Kissinger, Thai constitution, measles & others4 min read . Updated: 17 Nov 2020, 10:27 PM IST
Stories, opinions, news and views that matter, from around the world
Shocking many human rights activists, France's lower house of parliament has opened a debate on a security bill that would permit the imprisonment of people who publish images of police officers with intent to cause them harm. If passed, the bill could make it a criminal offence to disseminate by "whatever media, with the intent of causing physical or psychological harm, an image of the face or any other element that could identify a police officer" reports the Associated Press.
Kissinger fears a US-China war
Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State, has warned that America and China are slowly drifting towards confrontation, and the harsh rhetoric could escalate into a military conflict between the world’s largest economies. Speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, he said that the new administration under president-elect Joe Biden should move to restore communication lines with China that have all but snapped under Donald Trump’s presidency. A military conflict between the two nations, locked in bitter tariff and geopolitical supremacy battles, could tip the world into a catastrophe comparable to World War I. What is even more worrying is that the availability of sophisticated military technologies would make it difficult to control such a crisis. The rapid deterioration in ties this year means China and the US are sliding towards a new Cold War, Kissinger said.
Yet another Thai constitution?
Thai lawmakers are now considering an amendment to the constitution. Seven draft constitutional amendments are scheduled to be voted on in a two-day joint session of the House and Senate. According to the rules in the country, any constitutional change requires both House and Senate to vote for it. However, hundreds of Thai royalists demonstrated outside parliament on Tuesday, calling on lawmakers to reject changes to the constitution drawn up by the country's former military junta. Protesters have been demanding constitutional change, but have also called for the monarch's role to also be more clearly accountable under the constitution and for the reversal of changes that gave the current king personal control of the royal fortune and some army units. This isn’t the first time Thailand is thinking of an amendment. Since the abolition of absolute monarchy in 1932, the country has had 20 constitutions.
Iota may repeat Eta’s havoc
Hurricane Iota, the strongest one of the hurricane season, made landfall in Nicaragua as a dangerous category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. It hit the coast about 45 kilometers south of the Nicaraguan city of Puerto Cabezas. While the wind speeds had lessened from its original speed, Iota’s path can bring about a humanitarian crisis. Nicaragua seems to be facing nature’s wrath, as Iota made landfall barely 25 kilometers south of where Hurricane Eta had made landfall on Nov 3, also as a category 4 storm. The previous storm came with torrential rains that weakened the soil in the area, leaving it prone to new deadly landslides and floods, forecasters warned. Hurricane Eta killed more than 100 people and forced tens of thousands to evacuate.
Chirp on, Mudge’s here
If Twitter’s appeal has grown, so has its vulnerability to potential security breaches. In July this year, official twitter accounts of high-profile personalities such as Barack Obama, Tesla chief Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Kim Kardashian were hacked into for promoting a cryptocurrency scam. The social media giant, under increased regulatory glare and pressure to prevent similar breaches, has recruited Peiter Zatko, a well-known hacker and widely known by his hacker handle Mudge, to the new position of head of security, Reuters reported. He has been given a wide mandate to recommend changes in structure and practices in order to curb engineering missteps as well as misinformation. Zatko, who will report to CEO Jack Dorsey, is expected to take over management of key security functions following an up to 60-day review. His most recent stint was at electronic payments unicorn Stripe where he oversaw security.
Covid disrupts measles vaccination
Measles cases have surged in the recent past, as medical attention got diverted towards coronavirus vaccination, says The Guardian. Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, showed that globally there was a significant step backward in progress toward measles elimination in 2019. Compared with the historic low in reported cases in 2016, reported measles cases increased 556% in 2019, with increases in numbers of reported cases and incidence in all WHO regions. The jump in 2019 was driven by large outbreaks in several countries such as Madagascar. However, the CDC does mention that India, along with China and Colombia has been able to have considerable success. Achieving measles elimination goals will require strengthening essential immunization systems to increase 2-dose coverage, close historical immunity gaps through catch-up vaccination to prevent outbreaks and improve surveillance and preparedness for rapidly responding to outbreaks
Curated by Sohini Sen. Have something to share with us? Write to us at feedback@livemint or tweet to @shohinisen