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"Pentagon sees coronavirus crisis lasting several months"

Das Pentagon geht davon aus, dass die Coronakrise mehrere Monate anhalten wird und in einigen Ländern zu "politischem Chaos" führen könnte. "US Defense Secretary Mark Esper (…) and General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed questions from members of the US military around the world in a virtual online event. (…) The two men warned that the pandemic could destabilize some countries, to the point where they could present a threat to the United States. The pandemic 'could lead in some cases... to sort of breakdowns. It could lead to political chaos in certain countries. We have to be attuned to that,' Milley said. He noted that shortages of masks, gloves and respirators could have 'severe internal consequences to certain countries that go well beyond the immediate medical issues.' The US will aid its allies, said Esper, but 'with potential adversaries or adversaries (the coronavirus) may cause them to act out in different ways, in ways that impact our security posture, our readiness.' 'So we need to be very conscious and be on the lookout for that as this unfolds,' he said."

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"US sees new pressure point as coronavirus hits Iran"

Der Iran ist vom Coronavirus besonders stark betroffen. Die US-Regierung sieht die Krise Shaun Tandon zufolge als Gelegenheit, um Teheran noch stärker unter Druck zu setzen. "After months of piling pressure on Tehran, the United States is seeing an unexpected new variable - the novel coronavirus, which has taken a substantial toll not just on Iran but inside its government. US policymakers are asking whether deaths within the regime are widespread enough that they could alter decision-making - although a deadly rocket attack Wednesday in Iraq, which Washington blamed on Iran, showed at least that the cycle of conflict between the countries is not abating. (…) One key test will be if the United States blocks Iran's request for an IMF loan - the first sought by Tehran since the late shah's era. Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, doubted the impact of coronavirus deaths on the sprawling leadership. 'Iran has experienced extraordinary pressure since the US imposed the oil embargo, with blow after blow, but the regime is still there,' she said. The big exception, she said, would be if the pandemic somehow reaches Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, an 80-year-old whose health has long been the subject of speculation."

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"US blocks UN statement backing Syria ceasefire: diplomats"

Eine unterstützende Erklärung des UN-Sicherheitsrats zum neuen Waffenstillstand in Idlib ist am Veto der USA gescheitert. "The United States blocked the adoption of a UN Security Council statement Friday supporting a Syrian ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey, diplomats said following a closed-door meeting. 'It's premature,' the United States said, rejecting the joint statement which Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, had asked the other 14 member states to adopt, according to diplomats. 'Various countries took note and welcome the agreement,' said Nebenzia. 'But due to a position from one delegation, it was not possible.'"

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"Biggest jump in world defence spending in 10 years: study"

Einer neuen Studie des International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) zufolge sind die globalen Militärausgaben im vergangenen Jahr um 4% gestiegen. "Global spending on defence rose by four percent in 2019, the largest growth in 10 years, led by big increases from the US and China, a study said Friday. Beijing's military modernisation programme - which includes developing new hard-to-detect hypersonic missiles - is alarming Washington and helping drive US defence spending, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said. The IISS's annual 'Military Balance' report said the increase alone in US spending from 2018 to 2019 - $53.4 billion - was almost as big as Britain's entire defence budget. Both China and the US increased spending by 6.6 percent, the report said, while Europe - driven by ongoing concerns about Russia - stepped up by 4.2 percent."

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"US wants to reduce presence in Africa, warns top officer"

US-Generalstabschef Mark Milley zufolge fasst das Pentagon eine spürbare Reduzierung der in Afrika stationierten US-Truppen ins Auge. Frankreich und Länder der Sahel-Zone haben vor den Folgen eines solchen Schritts für den regionalen Antiterrorkampf gewarnt. "Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, said resources 'could be reduced and then shifted, either to increase readiness of the force in the continental US or shifted to' the Pacific. As he flew in for talks with NATO counterparts in Brussels, Milley said Defense Secretary Mark Esper, had not made up his mind what changes to make. (…) The Sahel countries also said they hoped Washington would maintain its 'crucial support' in combating the Islamist extremists. 'If the Americans decided to leave Africa, this would be very bad news for us,' Macron commented. 'I hope to convince President Trump that the fight against terrorism is playing out in this region as well.'"

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"'Missed his moment': opposition corruption scandal undermines Venezuela's Guaido"

Die venezolanische Opposition um Juan Guaido stehe im Zentrum eines neuen Korruptionsskandals, berichten Angus Berwick and Mariela Nava. Im Land breite sich die Überzeugung aus, dass Guaido seine Gelegenheit zum Sturz von Präsident Maduro verpasst habe. "To a dozen Venezuelans interviewed by Reuters around the country, the scandal has marked another blow to Guaido's reputation and to their hopes of seeing the back of the deeply unpopular Maduro, who has presided over a five-year economic crisis and an expanding authoritarian state. For Mario Silva, an engineer waiting by a bus stop in the crumbling western city of Maracaibo, it was time to move on. 'Guaido missed his moment,' the 60-year-old said. (…) Last month, Guaido struggled to launch a new wave of street protests. Attendance was a fraction of the crowds he drew earlier this year. His flagging momentum has caused some of his fellow lawmakers to start jostling for a new leadership battle, though most have not yet started criticizing him publicly, according to interviews with analysts and politicians."

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"Taliban say new intra-Afghan peace talks to be held in China"

Die Associated Press berichtet über neue Versuche, die Gespräche über ein Ende des Kriegs in Afghanistan wiederzubeleben. "A fresh round of intra-Afghan peace talks will be held in China next week, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said Tuesday, raising hopes for renewed negotiations, even as violence surges in Afghanistan's 18-year war. The talks planned for Oct. 28 and 29 will be the first meeting between Taliban and prominent Afghans from Kabul since a July round of talks held in Doha, the capital of the Middle Eastern State of Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office. On Monday, the U.S. State Department said its peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, started a fresh round of talks with European, NATO and U.N. allies about ending the war. Khalilzad will later meet with Russian and Chinese representatives 'to discuss shared interests in seeing the war in Afghanistan come to an end,' the State Department said."

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"Exclusive: Document reveals the FBI is tracking border protest groups as extremist organizations"

Das FBI betrachtet einige Gruppen, die aktiv gegen die amerikanische Einwanderungspolitik protestieren, einem internen Dokument zufolge als potentielle extremistische Bedrohung. "The FBI has gathered intelligence from people with 'direct access' to the organizations and is monitoring their social media, according to the document, called an 'external intelligence note,' that was obtained by Yahoo News. The note, which was produced by the FBI office in Phoenix and sent to other law enforcement and government agencies, said there are indications these groups are 'increasingly arming themselves and using lethal force to further their goals.' However, almost all of the evidence cited in the report involved nonviolent protest activity. (...) What constitutes an extremist threat is the subject of ongoing debate. Some left-wing organizations have, in fact, been associated with violent attacks against opponents. Critics have pointed out, however, that such groups present less of a threat than some of those on the right, including white supremacists, who were involved in the majority of domestic terror incidents last year."

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"Exclusive: FBI document warns conspiracy theories are a new domestic terrorism threat"

Yahoo News ist an ein Dokument gelangt, dem zufolge das FBI bestimmte Verschwörungstheorien als terroristische Bedrohungen behandelt. "The FBI intelligence bulletin from the bureau’s Phoenix field office, dated May 30, 2019, describes 'conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists,' as a growing threat, and notes that it is the first such report to do so. It lists a number of arrests, including some that haven’t been publicized, related to violent incidents motivated by fringe beliefs. The document specifically mentions QAnon, a shadowy network that believes in a deep state conspiracy against President Trump, and Pizzagate, the theory that a pedophile ring including Clinton associates was being run out of the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant (which didn’t actually have a basement). (...) The new category is different in that it focuses not on racial motivations, but on violence based specifically on beliefs that, in the words of the FBI document, 'attempt to explain events or circumstances as the result of a group of actors working in secret to benefit themselves at the expense of others' and are 'usually at odds with official or prevailing explanations of events.' (...) While not all conspiracy theories are deadly, those identified in the FBI’s 15-page report led to either attempted or successfully carried-out violent attacks."

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"'Let me guess, you want to nuke them all': Trump constantly baiting John Bolton in front of officials, report says"

US-Präsident Trump mache aus seiner spöttischen Haltung gegenüber Sicherheitsberater Bolton auch in Regierungssitzungen oder bei diplomatischen Treffen kaum einen Hehl, berichtet Adam Forrest vom britischen Independent. Eine Entlassung Boltons bleibe allerdings unwahrscheinlich, da Trump ihn als "bad cop" gebrauchen könne. "During a White House Situation Room meeting last year, Mr Trump reportedly said to his hawkish national security chief: 'Ok, John, let me guess, you want to nuke them all?' According to the report by the Axios website, Mr Trump turned to Mr Bolton in an Oval Office meeting with Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar and said: 'John, is Ireland one of those countries you want to invade?' Quoting unnamed senior administration officials, the account claimed the president recently joked that 'John has never seen a war he doesn’t like', repeating sentiments made in public. 'If it was up to him he’d take on the whole world at one time, okay?' Mr Trump recently told NBC’s Meet the Press. Yet the president is said to get 'quite touchy' if critics of Mr Bolton complain the national security adviser could pull the US into unnecessary conflict against Mr Trump’s will. 'He doesn't want anyone to believe he’s anybody’s pawn.' Sources said Mr Trump likes to keep Mr Bolton on his team because his aggressive reputation gives the president the opportunity to play 'good cop' to his adviser’s 'bad cop' routine."

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"Islamic State expands reach in Afghanistan, threatening West"

Der "Islamische Staat" in Afghanistan könnte für den Westen nach Ansicht von Experten bald gefährlicher werden als die Taliban, schreibt Kathy Gannon. "Nearly two decades after the U.S.-led invasion, the extremist group is seen as an even greater threat than the Taliban because of its increasingly sophisticated military capabilities and its strategy of targeting civilians, both in Afghanistan and abroad. Concerns run so deep that many have come to see the Taliban, which have also clashed with IS, as a potential partner in containing it. A U.S. intelligence official based in Afghanistan told The Associated Press that a recent wave of attacks in the capital, Kabul, is 'practice runs' for even bigger attacks in Europe and the United States. 'This group is the most near-term threat to our homelands from Afghanistan,' the official said on condition of anonymity to preserve his operational security. 'The IS core mandate is: You will conduct external attacks' in the U.S. and Europe. 'That is their goal. It's just a matter of time,' he said. 'It is very scary.'"

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"Trump revokes Obama order on reporting civilian deaths in drone strikes"

US-Präsident Trump hat eine Anordnung seines Amtsvorgängers zurückgezogen, die das US-Militär verpflichtete, die Zahl der zivilen Opfer von Drohnenangriffen außerhalb von Kriegszonen zu veröffentlichen. "In a statement, the White House National Security Council said Trump’s order removes 'superfluous reporting requirements' that 'distract our intelligence professionals from their primary mission.' 'This is a shameful decision that will shroud this administration’s actions in even more secrecy with little accountability for its victims,' Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International USA's director of security with human rights, said in a statement. 'The public deserves to know how many civilians are killed by U.S. actions. This is an unconscionable decision and in complete disregard of fundamental human rights. It is incomprehensible that this vital work will be left only to human rights organizations such as ours.'"

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"Global arms control architecture 'collapsing': UN"

UN-Generalsekretär Antonio Guterres hat angesichts des drohenden Endes des INF-Vertrags mit deutlichen Worten vor einem völligen Kollaps der internationalen Rüstungskontrolle gewarnt. "Secretary General Antonio Guterres used an address to the UN's Conference on Disarmament to warn that one of the cornerstones of diplomatic achievement over the last half century -- arms control -- was in 'grave danger'. 'I will be blunt. Key components of the international arms control architecture are collapsing,' Guterres said. The United States has already begun the process of withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, in response to Moscow's deployment of the 9M729 missile, prompting Russia to announce its own withdrawal. 'We simply cannot afford to return to the unrestrained nuclear competition of the darkest days of the Cold War,' Guterres said. 'I call on the parties to the INF Treaty to use the time remaining to engage in sincere dialogue on the various issues that have been raised,' he added. 'It is very important that this treaty be preserved.'"

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"Ukraine says will send naval ships through Kerch Strait soon"

Das ukrainische Verteidigungsministerium hat der Associated Press zufolge angekündigt, bald weitere Kriegsschiffe durch die von Russland kontrollierte Straße von Kertsch zu schicken. "Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak told reporters on Friday that his country intends to send naval ships through the Kerch Strait soon, saying that 'otherwise Russia will fully occupy the Sea of Azov.' Ukraine has ports both on the Black Sea and on the Sea of Azov which are linked by the Kerch Strait that separates Crimea from Russia. More than 140 ships were stuck on both sides of the strait on Friday due to excessive checks and delays on the Russian side, the Ukrainian Border Guard Service said, accusing Russia of creating a bottleneck for Ukrainian ships and preventing them from passing."

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"Pentagon launched new classified operation to support Saudi coalition in Yemen"

Ein offenbar versehentlich veröffentlichtes Pentagon-Dokument verdeutlicht Yahoo News zufolge, dass die USA Saudi-Arabien Anfang des Jahres durch eine Geheimoperation im Krieg in Jemen aktiv unterstützt haben. "The existence of the new classified operation, code-named Yukon Journey, was partially revealed in a Defense Department inspector general report posted online earlier this month, which noted that 'the Secretary of Defense designated three new named contingency operations: Operation Yukon Journey, and operations in Northwest Africa and East Africa.' The three operations, which focus on al-Qaida and ISIS, are classified, the report notes, and the Pentagon has not publicly disclosed their location beyond saying they are in the Middle East and Africa. (...) The existence of a classified operation in Yemen raises the possibility that even as the Pentagon scales back unclassified operations, such as refueling Saudi-led coalition aircraft, covert support, to include possible U.S. special forces on the ground, could continue."

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"The CIA's communications suffered a catastrophic compromise. It started in Iran."

Die CIA hat im Jahr 2013 offenbar einen "katastrophalen" Kollaps ihres geheimen Kommunikationssystems erlitten, der weltweit zum Tod von dutzenden Menschen führte und dessen Folgen bis heute spürbar sind. "A former senior intelligence official with direct knowledge of the compromise said it had global implications for the CIA. 'You start thinking twice about people, from China to Russia to Iran to North Korea,' said the former official. The CIA was worried about its network 'totally unwinding worldwide.' Yahoo News’ reporting on this global communications failure is based on conversations with eleven former U.S. intelligence and government officials directly familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive operations. Multiple former intelligence officials said that the damage from the potential global compromise was serious — even catastrophic — and will persist for years."

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"Fiona Hill, Trump's top expert on Russia, is quietly shaping a tougher U.S. policy"

Alexander Nazaryan stellt die Russland-Expertin Fiona Hill vor, die im Hintergrund entscheidend an der Russland-Politik der Trump-Regierung mitwirkt. "[The Helsinki summit] represented a remarkable achievement for a woman who may understand Putin better than anyone in the American foreign policy establishment. Even more remarkable is that she has brought that expertise to an administration that has been accused of coddling the Kremlin. For nearly two decades, Hill has followed Putin’s trajectory, from the glum apparatchik presiding over the chaotic post-Yeltsin years to the modern-day czar who flouts international law and is suspected of hiding tens of billions of dollars in personal wealth abroad. That has earned her a top position in a White House split between those who admire the Kremlin and those who fear it. Between them stands a coal miner’s daughter, trying to negotiate a path both factions can countenance."

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"Fierce battles leave hospital in Iraqi city of Mosul gutted"

Bei den andauernden Kämpfen zwischen irakischen Regierungstruppen und IS-Kämpfern in der Stadt Mossul ist ein Krankenhaus diesem AP-Bericht zufolge nahezu vollständig zerstört worden. "After weeks of airstrikes and artillery fire, Mosul's al-Salam hospital is little more than a burnt-out shell. Retaken from the Islamic State group by Iraqi forces this month, the building's top floors were almost completely destroyed. The gardens around the complex are strewn with medical records and supplies. Bright blue hospital bedsheets hang from nearby trees. (...) Over the past month, coalition planes dropped 25 bombs on the hospital complex, according to a Pentagon statement provided to The Associated Press. After weeks of static front lines, the renewed air and ground assault brought Iraqi forces to the edge of the Tigris River. Since the Mosul operation was launched in October, Iraqi forces have slowly clawed back about a third of the city."

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"As Syria rebels face rout, allies Saudi, Turkey may send troops"

Ian Timberlake schreibt, dass die türkischen und saudischen Überlegungen über eine ausgeweitete Kriegsbeteiligung in Syrien nach Ansicht einiger Experten auf den drohenden Kollaps der "moderaten" Rebellenfraktionen zurückzuführen seien. "'I think Saudi Arabia is desperate to do something in Syria,' said Andreas Krieg of the Department of Defence Studies at King's College London. Krieg said the 'moderate' opposition is in danger of being routed if Aleppo falls to the regime, whose forces have closed in on Syria's second city, backed by intense Russian air strikes. 'This is a problem for Saudi and Qatar as they have massively invested into Syria via the moderate opposition as their surrogate on the ground,' said Krieg, who is also a consultant to Qatar's armed forces."

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"Mass grave found in Iraq's Sinjar, Kurds clear bombs"

Die irakischen Kurden haben die lange vom "Islamischen Staat" besetzte Stadt Sinjar erfolgreich zurückerobert. Abdel Hamid Zebari berichtet, dass bei der Suche nach versteckten Bomben ein Massengrab mit mutmaßlich ermordeten jesidischen Frauen entdeckt worden sei. "Miyasir Hajji, a local council member, told AFP the grave on the edge of the town, which has not yet been excavated, is thought to contain the bodies of 78 women aged from 40 to around 80. 'It seems that the (IS) terrorist members only wanted young girls to enslave,' Hajji said, referring to the jihadists using women as sex slaves who can be bought and sold. Mahma Khalil, the local official responsible for the Sinjar area, confirmed that the mass grave had been found, and estimated it held some 80 victims."

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"Critics push U.S. to help Europe by taking more refugees"

Bill Trott und Matt Spetalnick berichten, dass die USA aufgrund ihrer geringen Bereitschaft zur Aufnahme von syrischen Flüchtlingen international in Kritik geraten seien. Das US-Außenministerium habe daraufhin auf finanzielle Hilfsleistungen und die Gefahr der Einwanderung von IS-Extremisten verwiesen. "But there are risks to sticking to current policy and not playing a more active role in helping Europe. Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that, given the graphic images of the refugees' plight, Washington may face an international image problem for admitting only a small number compared to European countries. (...) Writing in the New York Times, Michael Ignatieff, a former leader of Canada's Liberal Party and now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, said the United States, Canada and Middle East nations were wrong to consider the crisis as Europe's problem. The United States and its allies have a responsibility to the Syrian refugees - estimated at 4 million since civil war began in their homeland - since they are arming Syrian rebels and fighting Islamic State in the country, he said."

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"Ex-leader: Poland agreed to CIA site, not torture"

Der frühere polnische Präsident Aleksander Kwasniewski hat eingestanden, dass die CIA ein geheimes Gefängnis auf polnischem Boden betrieben habe. Kwasniewski hatte diese Anschuldigung zuvor jahrelang abgestritten, "In an effort to justify the sudden acknowledgment, Kwasniewski said later in a TV interview that he had been previously bound to keep state secrets. Kwasniewski also said the prison, which he referred to as a 'site,' was part of 'deepened' intelligence cooperation with the U.S. in the fight against terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks, and he insisted he had no knowledge of what took place inside it. He said he only learned that detainees had been tortured there from leaks to the press starting in 2006."

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"Feds identify suspected 'second leaker' for Snowden reporters"

Michael Isikoff zufolge ist es dem FBI gelungen, die Identität eines weiteren Whistleblowers zu enthüllen, der geheime Regierungsdokumente an die "Intercept"-Journalisten Jeremy Scahill und Ryan Devereaux übergeben haben soll. "The case in question involves an Aug. 5 story published by The Intercept, an investigative website co-founded by Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who first published sensitive NSA documents obtained from Snowden. Headlined 'Barack Obama's Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers,' the story cited a classified government document showing that nearly half the people on the U.S. government's master terrorist screening database had 'no recognized terrorist affiliation.'"

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"Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef ends his show"

Der aufgrund des Arabischen Frühlings auch im Westen bekannt gewordene ägyptische TV-Satiriker Bassem Youssef hat das Ende seiner Show angekündigt. Youssef begründete den Schritt mit dem politischen Klima in Ägypten und der wachsenden Sorge um die Sicherheit seiner Familie. "Youssef told reporters that Saudi-owned MBC-Misr TV, which has been carrying his show, had come under pressure to halt it, though he would not say from whom. He brushed aside a question on whether he believed el-Sissi was behind the network's decision. But he gave a sly jab to the ex-military chief when asked for details on the reasons. (...) 'I'm not a revolutionary and I'm not a warrior. I was expressing my views once a week. The present climate in Egypt is not suitable for a political satire program,' Youssef told reporters. 'I'm tired of struggling and fearing and worrying about my safety and that of my family.'"

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Europa, Asien, Afrika, Amerika und weltweite Phänomene und Institutionen. Die bpb bietet ein breites Angebot zu internationalen Themen.

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Wo gibt es Kriege und Gewaltkonflikte? Und wo herrscht am längsten Frieden? Welches Land gibt am meisten für Rüstung aus? liefert wichtige Daten und Fakten zu Krieg und Frieden.

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

Vom Kosovo nach Kolumbien, von Somalia nach Süd-Thailand: Weltweit schwelen über 280 politische Konflikte. Und immer wieder droht die Lage gewaltsam zu eskalieren.

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