US-Soldaten in Afghanistan



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"Joe Biden should end the US pretence over Israel’s 'secret' nuclear weapons"

Der frühere Erzbischof und Friedensnobelpreisträger Desmond Tutu fordert, dass der kommende US-Präsident Joe Biden die Israel-Politik der "nuklearen Mehrdeutigkeit" aufgeben und das israelische Atomwaffenprogramm offiziell anerkennen sollte. "This farce should end. The US government should uphold its laws and cut off funding to Israel because of its acquisition and proliferation of nuclear weapons. The incoming Biden administration should forthrightly acknowledge Israel as a leading state sponsor of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and properly implement US law. Other governments – in particular South Africa’s – should insist on the rule of law and for meaningful disarmament, and immediately urge the US government in the strongest possible terms to act. Apartheid was horrible in South Africa and it’s horrible when Israel practises its own form of apartheid against the Palestinians, with checkpoints and a system of oppressive policies. Indeed another US statute, the Leahy law, prohibits US military aid to governments that systematically violate human rights."

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"Nine out of 10 in poor nations to miss out on inoculation as west buys up Covid vaccines"

Sarah Boseley berichtet, dass reiche Staaten derzeit alles daran setzen, um vorrangigen Zugriff auf die neuen Covid-19-Impfstoffe zu erhalten. "Nine out of 10 people in 70 low-income countries are unlikely to be vaccinated against Covid-19 next year because the majority of the most promising vaccines coming on-stream have been bought up by the west, campaigners have said. As the first people get vaccinated in the UK, the People’s Vaccine Alliance is warning that the deals done by rich countries’ governments will leave the poor at the mercy of the rampaging virus. Rich countries with 14% of the world’s population have secured 53% of the most promising vaccines. Canada has bought more doses per head of population than any other – enough to vaccinate each Canadian five times, said the alliance, which includes Amnesty International, Frontline AIDS, Global Justice Now and Oxfam. 'No one should be blocked from getting a life-saving vaccine because of the country they live in or the amount of money in their pocket,' said Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s health policy manager."

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"Ethiopia: Tigray leader rejects surrender ultimatum, says people are 'ready to die'"

Der Präsident Äthiopiens hat den abtrünnigen Anführern der Region Tigray am Sonntag ein dreitägiges Ultimatum gestellt. "The leader of Ethiopia’s dissident Tigray region has said his people are 'ready to die' defending their homeland, rejecting prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s Sunday night ultimatum that they surrender within 72 hours. Abiy launched a military campaign against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on 4 November, accusing it of attacking two federal military camps in the northern region, as well as defying and seeking to destabilise his government. The federal army says its forces are within 37 miles (60km) of Mekelle, which is the seat of the TPLF, ahead of a threatened bombardment of the city of half a million people."

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"Australian special forces involved in murder of 39 Afghan civilians, war crimes report alleges"

Australische Spezialeinheiten haben bei ihrem Einsatz in Afghanistan 39 Zivilisten ermordet, so das Fazit eines neuen Untersuchungsberichts. "Australian special forces were allegedly involved in the murder of 39 Afghan civilians, in some cases executing prisoners to 'blood' junior soldiers before inventing cover stories and planting weapons on corpses, a major report has found. For more than four years, the Maj Gen Justice Paul Brereton has investigated allegations that a small group within the elite Special Air Services and commandos regiments killed and brutalised Afghan civilians, in some cases allegedly slitting throats, gloating about their actions, keeping kill counts, and photographing bodies with planted phones and weapons to justify their actions. The findings of Brereton’s report, released on Thursday, are confronting and damning. Brereton describes the special forces’ actions as 'disgraceful and a profound betrayal' of the Australian Defence Force."

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"With Trump gone, can we talk about the fear of fascism we had about him?"

Nach Ansicht von Cas Mudde ist es an der Zeit, den immer wieder geäußerten "Faschismus"- Vorwurf gegen US-Präsident Trump zu hinterfragen. "While not having used the term 'fascism' myself, or the 'Weimar America' framework, I have been part of the alarmist shift in public discourse too. At various times in the past months I have expressed my concerns about an 'authoritarian turn' under Trump, more recently, even the fear of significant intimidation and violence by pro-Trump far-right gangs (from the Proud Boys to the Three Percenters). Obviously, everything is still possible, both before and after Biden’s scheduled inauguration on 20 January, but it is time to refocus on what has (not) happened rather than what could happen. (…) it is time for journalists and pundits to move on too, and to start a critical self-assessment of our analyses and commentary of the past years. Where were we right and where wrong? Just because something can happen, or has happened in another region or time, does not mean it will happen in 21st-century US."

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"Macron wants to fix France's social ills – but he won't do it by 'reforming' Islam"

Arthur Goldhammer kritisiert dagegen die Reaktion des französischen Präsidenten auf die jüngsten islamistischen Terroranschläge. Macron habe sich mit seiner Forderung nach einer Reform des französischen Islam "patriotischen Leidenschaften" gebeugt. "(…) it is hard to believe that [small-bore regulatory measures] will do much to advance the other aspects of Macron’s five-point programme, namely, to create an 'enlightened Islam' in France and 'to make the Republic once again beloved' by its citizens. What Macron has failed to notice is that these two tenets stand in opposition to each other. To 'enlighten' religion is to quench the passions of faith with cool reason, while inflaming patriotic passions with talk of war achieves precisely the opposite. The best way to defeat impassioned jihadists might just be to demonstrate by example that cooler heads can indeed prevail, even in the face of repeated provocation and jingoistic reaction. The disjunction between the president’s philosophical flights and his more mundane regulatory agenda unfortunately leaves him defenceless against those who, like Ciotti, see no alternative to 'annihilating' the enemy. But then again, with the passionate declaration écrasez l’infâme!, the enlightenment extolled by Macron had its own anti-religious war cry: 'crush the vile thing'."

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"Anger towards Emmanuel Macron grows in Muslim world"

In vielen muslimischen Ländern wachse die Wut auf den französischen Präsidenten, berichtet der Guardian. "Rage is growing across the Muslim world at the French president and his perceived attacks on Islam and the prophet Muhammad, leading to calls for boycotts of the French products and security warnings for France’s citizens in majority-Muslim states. The backlash has cut across an extraordinarily diverse Muslim world with a myriad of cultures, sects, political systems and levels of economic development. It has stoked historical and present-day grievances from the markets of Herat in Afghanistan to the upmarket neighbourhoods of Amman and the universities of Islamabad."

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"Operation Condor: the cold war conspiracy that terrorised South America"

Giles Tremlett hat sich in diesem ausführlichen Bericht für den Guardian mit der Aufarbeitung der Verbrechen der lateinamerikanischen Militärdiktaturen der 1970er und 1980er Jahre beschäftigt. "During the 1970s and 80s, eight US-backed military dictatorships jointly plotted the cross-border kidnap, torture, rape and murder of hundreds of their political opponents. Now some of the perpetrators are finally facing justice."

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"Hamas and Israel agree end to cross-border bombing in Gaza"

In der Einigung zwischen Israel und der Hamas zur Einstellung der jüngsten Feindseligkeiten hat sich Israel offenbar zu einer Lockerung der Blockade Gazas bereit erklärt. "In the latest escalation, Israel has bombed Gaza almost daily since 6 August, in response to airborne incendiary devices and, less frequently, rockets launched across the border. (…) An Egyptian delegation had been shuttling between the two sides to try to broker a renewal of an informal truce under which Israel committed to ease its 13-year-old blockade of Gaza in return for calm on the border. (…) Financial aid from gas-rich Qatar has been a major component of a truce first agreed in November 2018 and renewed several times since. Israel had also agreed to take other steps to alleviate unemployment of more than 50% in Gaza, but disagreements over implementation have fuelled repeated flare-ups."

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"Belarus's leader pleads for Putin's help as post-election protests grow"

Weißrusslands Präsident Lukashenko habe sich angesichts der andauernden Proteste im eigenen Land an Russland gewandt, berichtet Shaun Walker aus Minsk. "Lukashenko appealed to the Russian president’s visceral fear of revolution at home and suggested that if his regime fell, Putin too was in danger. 'This is a threat not just to Belarus … if Belarusians do not hold out, the wave will head over there too,' he said in televised remarks to a meeting of advisers on Saturday, claiming that the protests were organised by shadowy figures from abroad. 'Both sides expressed confidence that all the problems that have arisen will be resolved soon,' said a Kremlin transcript of a phone call between the two men, which took place later on Saturday. (…) Throughout last week, Lukashenko provided a masterclass in how to win an election and lose all legitimacy within the space of a few days. It is possible that if he had acted with more restraint – rigging the vote with a more plausible margin of victory, or crushing the protests but without the systematic sadism – he could now be sailing towards another term of stagnant authoritarianism. Instead, he is clinging on, and the coalition opposed to him has broadened with extraordinary speed."

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"Hiroshima at 75: bitter row persists over US decision to drop the bomb"

75 Jahre nach dem Atombombenabwurf über Hiroshima dauere die Debatte darüber an, ob die damalige Entscheidung des US-Militärs tatsächlich gerechtfertigt war, schreibt Julian Borger in seiner Reportage aus Washington. "The disagreements are not limited to historians. While the air force view – which reflects US orthodoxy – is that the use of atomic weapons stopped the war and prevented much worse bloodshed, the National Museum of the US Navy has a different take. 'The vast destruction wreaked by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the loss of 135,000 people made little impact on the Japanese military,' it says on a plaque beside a replica of Little Boy, the bomb Enola Gay dropped on Hiroshima. 'However, the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on 9 August – fulfilling a promise of the Yalta conference in February – changed their minds.' The plaque reflects the views of US navy leadership at the time. '[T]he use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender,' wrote Adm William Leahy, who presided over the combined US-UK chiefs of staff."

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"Portland: protesters bring down fence as confrontation with Trump agents rises"

Chris McGreal berichtet über die Konfrontation zwischen Protestierenden und Sicherheitskräften, die am Sonntag zum Schutz eines Gerichtsgebäudes in Portland eingesetzt worden waren. "The confrontation between protesters and federal paramilitaries in Portland escalated early on Sunday morning, when demonstrators finally broke down a steel fence around the courthouse after days of trying. The federal agents fired waves of teargas and 'non-lethal projectiles' to drive back thousands besieging the courthouse to demand Donald Trump withdraw the paramilitaries, ostensibly sent to curb two months of Black Lives Matters protests. The city police, who had largely withdrawn in recent days, declared a riot and joined federal agents in making arrests."

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"Protests greet first day of Hong Kong's new security laws"

Die Verabschiedung des neuen Sicherheitsgesetzes für Hongkong hat wie erwartet neue Proteste in der Stadt und im Ausland ausgelöst. "Alarmingly, the law appears to apply to anyone, whether they are a Hong Kong resident or not, or even in Hong Kong at all. 'If you’ve ever said anything that might offend the PRC [People’s Republic of China] or Hong Kong authorities, stay out of Hong Kong,' said Donald Clarke, law professor at George Washington University. Hong Kong University legal professor, Eric Cheung, said the laws were worse than he ever expected. 'The law does not define national security, meaning that the definition of national security will be defined by the People’s Republic of China national security law,' he said. (…) It remains unclear whether Hongkongers will heed the call to protest given the risks posed by the new security law – which came into effect overnight – and increasingly aggressive police tactics towards even peaceful gatherings in recent months."

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"Himalayan flashpoint could spiral out of control as India and China face off"

Julian Borger zufolge könnte der chinesisch-indische Konflikt im Himalaja nach dem jüngsten Zusammenstoß schnell außer Kontrolle geraten. "What is clear is that there will be more of these clashes without a clear change of direction and an attempt to agree on where the LAC [Line of Actual Control] should be, and how both sides should behave around it. In the broadest terms the deadly brawl in the Galwan valley was the latest symptom of an increasingly aggressive Chinese policy on territory and borders, of the sort that has been playing out among the rocks and reefs of the South China Sea. (…) Since May, Chinese troops appear to have stopped their Indian counterparts from approaching areas where both sides have patrolled over the years. And Beijing has sent in reinforcements. What distinguishes the current confrontation from previous incidents is not just the death toll but the fact that there have been standoffs in multiple locations. (…) The timing of the incident may be connected to the weather. The melting snows of spring provide an opportunity for aggressive moves. The pandemic may also have played a role. It led to India putting off military exercises, and an extra motive for Beijing to look for distractions from its own failures in governance."

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"Afghan power deal hands top military post to man accused of torturing rival"

Nach wochenlangem Streit haben sich der afghanische Präsident Ashraf Ghani und seine Rivale Abdullah Abdullah auf einen Kompromiss zur Machtverteilung verständigt. Die Vereinbarung würde dem früheren Vizepräsidenten Abdul Rashid Dostum, dem u.a. die Folter politischer Gegner vorgeworfen wird, einen hohen Posten in den afghanischen Streitkräften verschaffen. "The five-page draft agreement would allow Ghani to stay on as president, but give Abdullah control of half the cabinet posts and leadership of the office managing a US-brokered peace process, Tolo Television reported. The title to be offered to Dostum is a recognition of his political power, despite decades of scandal and longstanding accusations of human rights abuses. He still commands one of the largest, and most reliable voting blocs in the country, among his ethnic Uzbek community in northern Afghanistan. Those votes have persuaded other politicians to set aside their scruples to broker deals with him. He ran on Ghani’s ticket in 2014, even though the president had previously called him a 'known killer'. (…) This is the second time Ghani and Abdullah have negotiated a power-sharing deal; the 2019 election was a virtual replay of the 2014 contest, down to the disputed results and mutual accusations of cheating."

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"US military chief: 'Weight of evidence' that Covid-19 did not originate in a lab"

Das US-Militär hält es nach der Prüfung entsprechender Hinweise nach wie vor für unwahrscheinlich, dass Sars-CoV-2 aus einem chinesischen Forschungslabor in Wuhan stammt. "The Pentagon’s top general has said that US intelligence has looked into the possibility that the coronavirus outbreak could have started in a Chinese laboratory, but that the 'weight of evidence' so far pointed towards 'natural' origins. (…) 'There’s a lot of rumour and speculation in a wide variety of media, blog sites, etc,' [the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen Mark Milley,] told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday. 'It should be no surprise to you that we’ve taken a keen interest in that, and we’ve had a lot of intelligence look at that. And I would just say at this point, it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural. But we don’t know for certain.' Most scientists say that this coronavirus probably originated in bats but found its way to humans through an intermediary animal."

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"Growth in surveillance may be hard to scale back after pandemic, experts say"

Viele Experten bezweifeln dem Guardian zufolge, dass die neuen Maßnahmen zur Überwachung der Bevölkerung nach dem Ende der Corona-Pandemie vollständig zurückgefahren werden. "Governments in at least 25 countries are employing vast programmes for mobile data tracking, apps to record personal contact with others, CCTV networks equipped with facial recognition, permission schemes to go outside and drones to enforce social isolation regimes. The methods have been adopted by authoritarian states and democracies alike and have opened lucrative new markets for companies that extract, sell, and analyse private data. One of the world’s foremost experts on mobile phone surveillance said the pandemic had created a '9/11 on steroids' that could lead to grave abuses of power. 'Most of these measures don’t have sunset clauses. They could establish what many people are describing as a new normal,' Ron Deibert, who heads the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, said in an interview with the Guardian."

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"Major oil-producing nations agree historic 10% cut in output"

Der "Ölkrieg" zwischen Saudi-Arabien und Russland sei durch eine "historische" Vereinbarung zur Reduzierung der Ölproduktion der wichtigsten Förderländer beendet worden, berichtet Jillian Ambrose. "Members of the Opec oil cartel and its allies have agreed to withhold almost 10m barrels a day from next month after the outbreak of Covid-19 wiped out demand for fossil fuels and triggered a collapse in global oil prices. The biggest oil production deal in history is double the size of the cuts agreed following the global financial crisis and marks a truce in the oil price war brewing between Saudi Arabia, Opec’s de facto leader, and Russia. (…) Donald Trump, the US president, tweeted his thanks to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and King Salman of Saudi Arabia for the 'big oil deal', which would save 'hundreds of thousands of energy jobs in the United States'."

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"Germany's devolved logic is helping it win the coronavirus race"

Philip Oltermann meint, dass der deutsche Föderalismus sich in der Coronakrise im Vergleich zu anderen Ländern trotz erster Zweifel als klarer Standortvorteil herausstelle. "At the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, such a highly devolved system of governance made the woman nominally in charge of the country look oddly powerless: even when Angela Merkel announced the first raft of social-distancing measures, she could only make recommendations that the federal states were free to implement or ignore. (…) A week and a half into the de facto lockdown, however, Germany is beginning to discover the upsides of a system which distributes, rather than centralises, power. The country suddenly finds itself being held up as the model to be emulated for its high rates of testing – seen by many as the only strategy for being able to navigate a route out of lockdown measures. German public health services are provided not by one central authority but by approximately 400 public health offices, run by municipality and rural district administrations. Such an environment allows for a variety of laboratories – some attached to universities or hospitals, others privately run, medium-sized businesses – which act largely autonomously of central control."

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"'Zero accountability': US accused of failure to report civilian deaths in Africa"

Amnesty International wirft dem US-Militär vor, zivile Opfer von Drohnenangriffen gegen mutmaßliche Terroristen in Afrika zu verschweigen. "Amnesty International accused the US military on Wednesday of providing 'zero accountability' for civilian victims of airstrikes by its Africa command, Africom. The rights group said its investigations into two February airstrikes that Africom claimed had killed al-Shabaab fighters showed 'no evidence' the two victims killed were militants. According to Amnesty, the victims were 18-year-old Nurto Kusow Omar Abukar, whose house was hit while she ate dinner with her family, and 53-year-old banana farmer Mohamud Salad Mohamud. 'We’ve documented case after case in the USA’s escalating air war on Somalia, where the Africom thinks it can simply smear its civilian victims as ‘terrorists’, no questions asked,' said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty’s east and southern Africa director."

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"Revealed: Saudis suspected of phone spying campaign in US"

Informationen eines Whistleblowers zufolge nutzt Saudi-Arabien eine Lücke in den globalen Mobilfunknetzen, um seine Bürger im Ausland auszuspionieren. "Data revealed by the whistleblower, who is seeking to expose vulnerabilities in a global messaging system called SS7, appears to suggest a systematic spying campaign by the kingdom, according to experts. The data suggests that millions of secret tracking requests emanated from Saudi Arabia over a four-month period beginning in November 2019. The tracking requests, which sought to establish the US location of Saudi–registered phones, appeared to originate from Saudi’s three biggest mobile phone companies. The whistleblower said they were unable to find any legitimate reason for the high volume of the requests for location information. 'There is no other explanation, no other technical reason to do this. Saudi Arabia is weaponising mobile technologies,' the whistleblower claimed."

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"Masked men, murder and mass displacement: how terror came to Burkina Faso"


Mordkampagnen bewaffneter Gruppen und die resultierende Massenvertreibung hunderttausender Menschen gefährden nach Ansicht einiger Beobachter den staatlichen Zusammenhalt Burkina Fasos, berichtet Michael Safi. "A landlocked nation of 19 million people in the heart of west Africa, Burkina Faso was celebrated only a few years ago as a stable, vibrant young democracy. Now it is being eaten away at its eastern and northern fringes. Armed groups, including some aligned with al-Qaida and Islamic State, are waging a campaign of indiscriminate killing that has driven soldiers, teachers, health workers and other symbols of the state from vast swathes of the country’s borders. 'We are at a point now where the very existence of the country is at stake,' says Zéphirin Diabré, the leader of the opposition party Union for Progress and Reform. (…) In the past year, attacks on civilians have surged, triggering a tenfold increase in displaced people, whose numbers rival those of Syrians from Idlib and Myanmar’s Rohingya. According to official records, nearly 800,000 Burkinabè people had fled their homes as of 29 February. But not all are being registered, and aid groups say the real number is far greater."

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"Suspected military supplies pour into Libya as UN flounders"

Das UN-Waffenembargo für Libyen werde von internationalen Verbündeten der Konfliktparteien in großem Maßstab ignoriert, berichten Jason Burke und Patrick Wintour. "International powers are increasing deliveries of suspected military supplies to factions in Libya’s civil war, ignoring a poorly enforced UN embargo as the shattered country braces for a new round of fighting. The United Arab Emirates, which is backing Khalifa Haftar, the warlord commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army, is thought to have sent more than 100 deliveries by air since mid-January, according to flight-tracking data. (…) The UN’s inability to enforce an arms embargo, the continued fighting around Tripoli and the impasse in negotiations over a ceasefire led to the resignation of the UN special envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salamé, at the beginning of March. He had been angered that the UN was not willing to back up its own officials and censure the widely known suppliers of arms in the civil war. Diplomatic divisions in the west over support for Haftar had also weakened him. The recently retired UN weapons inspector for Libya, Moncef Kartas, said there was 'no respect for the UN arms embargo, absolutely none'. The UN deputy special envoy for Libya, Stephanie Williams, has described the UN arms embargo imposed on Libya as a joke."

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"'The new normal': China's excessive coronavirus public monitoring could be here to stay"

Der Coronavirus habe der chinesischen Regierung einen Vorwand geliefert, neue Maßnahmen zur Massenüberwachung umzusetzen, die auch nach dem Ende der Epidemie Bestand haben könnten, schreibt Lily Kuo in ihrer Reportage aus Hongkong. "Experts say the virus, which emerged in Wuhan in December, has given authorities a pretence for accelerating the mass collection of personal data to track citizens, a dangerous prospect given that the country does not have stringent laws governing personal data. 'It’s mission creep,' said Maya Wang, senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch. According to Wang, the virus is likely to be a catalyst for a further expansion of the surveillance regime, as major events like the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing or the Shanghai Expo in 2010 were. 'The techniques of mass surveillance became more permanent after these events,' she said. 'With the coronavirus outbreak the idea of risk scoring and restrictions on movement quickly became reality,' she said. 'Over time we see more and more intrusive use of technology and less ability of people to push back.' Many Chinese residents see the extra layers of public monitoring as additional bureaucratic hurdles, more frustrating than sinister, that further demonstrate the government’s ineffectiveness in handling the outbreak."

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"'An absolute disaster': Iran struggles as coronavirus spreads

Die Coronavirus-Epidemie hat auch den Iran hart getroffen. Patrick Wintour berichtet in seiner Reportage, dass die iranische Öffentlichkeit die Politik für die schnelle Ausbreitung des Virus mitverantwortlich mache. "(…) the suspicion remains that Iran’s public services are overwhelmed, and the authorities have simply been too slow to react, especially by not quarantining the worst affected cities, a decision that is now openly criticised by media and epidemiologists. (…) Indeed the suspicion lingers that the government did not reveal the scale of the problem at the outset because it was desperate to boost the turnout in the parliamentary elections. Khamenei himself accused Iran’s enemies of exaggerating the threat of coronavirus to scare voters away from the polls. But on Tuesday, as state media reported that 23 members of parliament had been infected, and all politicians were told to avoid the public, the odds of repairing that broken trust – and finding a way out of the crisis – looked more remote than ever."

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"Uganda's 'locust commander' leads the battle against a new enemy"

Sally Hayden berichtet in ihrer Reportage über den Kampf des ugandischen Militärs gegen die verheerende Heuschreckenplage in Ostafrika. "Swarms of locusts – billions in total – have spread to eight countries in east Africa, after they crossed the Red Sea from Yemen at the end of last year. The insects can travel roughly 90 miles a day and eat their own body weight in crops. The UN has warned the locust swarms could increase 500 times by June, posing a major threat to the region. In response, Uganda has deployed its army. Kavuma, 59, doesn’t know why he was put in charge, but he sees the locusts as a formidable enemy. 'When we started two weeks ago we did not know much about these creatures,' Kavuma says. 'Now I am a professor. I know how they behave, the pattern of their movements.'"

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"African countries braced for 'inevitable' arrival of coronavirus"

Nach Ansicht vieler Experten ist es allerdings nur eine Frage der Zeit, bis der Coronavirus auch in Afrika ankommt, schreiben Karen McVeigh und Sarah Boseley im Guardian. "African health authorities are stepping up preparedness for coronavirus after the head of the World Health Organzation described the outbreak as a 'very grave threat for the rest of the world'. The number of African countries that can test for the virus tripled to 15 this week, with more expected to have testing labs up and running in the coming days. The head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said health centres were on 'high alert' for new cases. (…) Asked about the ability of health systems in African nations to cope with the intensive care needs of a coronavirus outbreak, Yao said it would present 'quite a challenge'. 'I can tell you straight away the capacity to manage a large number of patients is not there in many African countries. We remain concerned. That’s why we are ensuring heath systems are on high alert,' he said. 'With the exception of large countries like Kenya and South Africa, most African hospitals have very limited intensive care facilities. A hospital may have only 10 beds capable of intensive care. Imagine having a cluster of cases that requires intensive care. That could be quite a challenge.'"

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"Syria: half a million people have fled Idlib offensive, says UN body"

Die neuen Kämpfe in der syrischen Idlib-Provinz haben die Zahl der Flüchtlinge UN-Angaben zufolge auf etwa 520.000 anwachsen lassen. "A regime offensive in Syria’s last rebel enclave has caused one of the biggest waves of displacement in the nine-year war, as tensions spiked between Ankara and Damascus following a deadly exchange of fire. (…) The exodus, coinciding with a biting winter, is one of the largest since the 2011 start of a conflict that has seen more than half of Syria’s pre-war population of 20 million displaced. (…) Government troops and militia forces backed by Russian and other allied forces have in recent weeks upped the pressure on the jihadist-dominated region."

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"Turkey renews military pledge to Libya as threat of Mediterranean war grows"

Die türkische Regierung habe ihre Bereitschaft zur Entsendung von Truppen nach Libyen angesichts der Offensive von General Haftar zur Einnahme von Tripolis noch einmal bekräftigt, berichtet Patrick Wintour aus Doha. "Turkey, along with the UAE, was formally found by the UN to be breaking the UN arms embargo, but the Turkish government seems determined not to let Tripoli to fall into hands of the UAE-backed Haftar. Haftar claims to be removing Islamist terrorists from Tripoli. His opponents describe him as a war criminal who will snuff out any chance of democracy in Libya. Haftar’s assault was launched in April, but until now has been bogged down in the suburbs of the capital. The already multi-layered conflict has been made more complex by the arrival of 200 Russian mercenaries backing Haftar, an intervention that Serraj is highlighting to drum up support for his government in Washington."

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