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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 19/07/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 19/07/2021

The Guardian – Shaun Walker, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Nina Lakhani and Michael Safi / Spyware leak suggests lawyers and activists at risk across globe

  • A leak of phone data suggests human rights lawyers, activists and dissidents across the globe were selected as possible candidates for invasive surveillance through their phones.
  • Their mobile phone numbers appeared in leaked records, indicating they were selected prior to possible surveillance targeting by governmental clients of the Israeli company NSO Group, which developed the Pegasus spyware.
  • NSO has repeatedly said Pegasus, which can access all data on a target’s device as well as turn it into an audio or video recorder, is meant for use only against terrorists and serious criminals.
  • The selection of activists, dissidents and journalists by NSO clients paints a very different picture, though one that campaigners will say was grimly predictable given the tool has been sold to some of the world’s most repressive regimes.
  • The Washington Post – Michael Birnbaum, Andras Petho and Jean-Baptiste Chastand / In Orban’s Hungary, spyware was used to monitor journalists and others who might challenge the government

Financial Times – Ruchir Sharma / The two big reasons to doubt the global boom

  • Though economists expect the reopening boom in the global economy to roar through the coming quarters, there are two increasingly pressing reasons to question its strength and length: China and the US.
  • The two superpowers are the locomotives of global growth, but cracks are appearing in their economic engines. China alone accounted for more than a third of growth in the world economy over the past five years.
  • Today a 1 percentage point slowdown in China shaves a third of a point off global growth in gross domestic product, so the world has reason to worry when Beijing tightens the screws. That’s happening, with the crackdown on the tech sector.
  • Americans have chosen to spend only about a third of their pandemic stimulus checks, saving or paying down their debts with the rest. The new Delta variant threatens to reinforce this caution. 
  • The Economist / Will the economic recovery survive the end of emergency stimulus?

Bloomberg – Kitty Donaldson and Tim Ross / U.K. set for big reopening as cases soar the most in the world

  • Boris Johnson’s plan to get the U.K. back to normal is in disarray, with Covid-19 cases rising the most in the world and a public outcry over the prime minister’s perceived attempt to dodge isolation rules.
  • Pandemic restrictions are ending in England on Monday, a moment that was meant to herald the full reopening of an economy battered by its deepest recession in 300 years.
  • The move comes, though, with the U.K. adding more than 54,000 new cases Saturday, and over 47,600 on Sunday, more than Indonesia, the pandemic’s current epicenter, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • The spread of the delta variant has pushed the U.K. infection rates toward records. Hospitalizations are at the highest since late March, although they’ve risen at a slower pace than new infections.
  • Financial Times – Leo Lewis and Kana Inagaki / Tokyo Olympics hit by rising Covid cases and scandals days before opening

The New York Times – Somini Sengupta / ‘No one is safe’: extreme weather batters the wealthy world

  • Some of Europe’s richest countries lay in disarray this weekend, as raging rivers burst through their banks in Germany and Belgium, submerging towns, slamming parked cars against trees and leaving Europeans shellshocked at the intensity of the destruction.
  • Only days before in the Northwestern United States, a region famed for its cool, foggy weather, hundreds had died of heat. In Canada, wildfire had burned a village off the map. Moscow reeled from record temperatures. 
  • The extreme weather disasters across Europe and North America have driven home two essential facts of science and history: The world as a whole is neither prepared to slow down climate change, nor live with it.
  • The week’s events have now ravaged some of the world’s wealthiest nations, whose affluence has been enabled by more than a century of burning coal, oil and gas — activities that pumped the greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that are warming the world.
  • Foreign Affairs – Simone Tagliapietra / A safety net for the green economy

Today’s military reads:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.


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