As US withdraws, Afghanistan’s lure returns for Southeast Asian extremists – women and children included

It took 25-year-old Wardini and her two young children almost two months to travel with smugglers by road from Jordan, through Iran, to western Afghanistan. By the time they were arrested by Afghan border guards, she had burned their Indonesian passports. They were not going home, she told an Indonesian consular officer who visited her in a Kabul prison in 2019. With the end of days near, she and her children, both then under three, would live in “Khorasan, the blessed land”, she said.

Rumors of U.S. Secretly Harboring Top China Official Swirl

Reports that a top Chinese official defected to the U.S. have swept Chinese-language media this week. The alleged reason? Sharing sensitive information about COVID-19 origins.

Chinese-language anti-communist media and Twitter are abuzz this week with rumors that a vice minister of State Security, Dong Jingwei defected in mid-February, flying from Hong Kong to the United States with his daughter, Dong Yang.

Des experts de l’ONU alertent sur la prolifération des engins explosifs improvisés en RDC

“Le groupe recommande que le Conseil de sécurité charge la Monusco (force de l’ONU en RDCongo) d’améliorer sa capacité de lutte contre les engins explosifs improvisés”, indique son rapport. Les Casques bleus doivent développer leurs “capacités de sensibilisation, de recherche, de détection et d’intervention sur les engins explosifs improvisés”, précisent les experts dans leurs conclusions.

Biden rallies NATO support ahead of confrontation with Putin

President Joe Biden used his first appearance at a NATO summit since taking office to call on Russian President Vladimir Putin to step back from provocative actions targeting the U.S. and its allies on Monday. NATO leaders joined the United States in formally accusing Moscow and Beijing of malign actions.

Biden’s sharp words for Russia and his friendly interactions with NATO allies marked a sharp shift in tone from the past four years and highlighted the renewed U.S. commitment to the 30-country alliance that was frequently maligned by predecessor Donald Trump.

G7 is divided over China

G7 is divided over the China issue.

A report by The Telegraph (“China divides G7 as Biden calls for international investigation into origins of Covid-19”, June 14, 2021) said:

“Joe Biden has called for an international investigation to establish whether Covid-19 leaked from a Chinese laboratory as he tried to rally G7 leaders behind a ‘competition with autocracies.’

Biden clears the air on ties with Russia and China

The US President Joe Biden’s op-ed in Washington Post My trip to Europe is about America rallying the world’s democracies will draw wide attention in world capitals from Brussels to Beijing.

He says right at the outset that this weeklong trip to Europe, the first overseas trip of his presidency, is “about realising America’s renewed commitment to our allies and partners, and demonstrating the capacity of democracies to both meet the challenges and deter the threats of this new age.”

China’s ‘New IP’ Tech Standards Could Hardwire Repression Into the Internet

This week, the 10th anniversary installment of RightsCon, the annual “human rights meets Silicon Valley” jamboree, will take place, with more than 8,500 participants expected to take part in 500 virtual sessions over five days.

Ever since Edward Snowden revealed the U.S. government’s mass surveillance programs, the human rights community has perceived Big Tech and Western governments as the two principal “bad guys” in the global tech landscape.