Weekly update: 24 October – 30 October 2022 The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 24 October to 30 October 2022.
Guernica 37 will provide weekly media updates from the International Criminal Court, European Court of Human Rights, United Nations, European Union and other sources. Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at email@example.com for consideration.
Ukraine / Russia – 24 October 2022
NATO's secretary general has warned Russia over its "false" claim that Kyiv might use a "dirty bomb" - conventional explosives laced with radioactive material. Jens Stoltenberg tweeted that the NATO allies "reject this allegation" and "Russia must not use it as a pretext for escalation". Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu made the dirty bomb remarks in a call with his UK counterpart Ben Wallace. Ukraine also condemned the remarks. President Volodymyr Zelensky said this meant Russia itself could be preparing an attack of this kind.
United States (US) – 24 October 2022
Two Chinese nationals have been charged with paying thousands of dollars in cash and jewellery to obstruct a federal investigation into a major telecommunications company. According to prosecutors, the two men attempted to recruit a US law enforcement official as an intelligence asset to help interfere with the probe. The official, however, was working as a double agent for the FBI. Eleven other Chinese citizens were also charged in two other spying cases. According to charging documents, the two men - identified as Gouchun He and Zheng Wang - attempted to cultivate a relationship with a US law enforcement official and sought details of the investigation, including witnesses, evidence and potential criminal charges. They also asked the official to secretly record trial strategy meetings.
Myanmar – 24 October 2022
On the evening of 23 October 2022, the Myanmar military carried out an airstrike on a music concert in Hpakant, Kachin State, organised by the opposition Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) to commemorate the ethnic organisation’s 62nd anniversary. Local media reported that at least 60 people were killed and 100 injured, and that the Myanmar military blocked access to medical care for those harmed. The concert was held at a base also used for military training by the KIO’s armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
Ukraine – 25 October 2022
The UN's nuclear watchdog IAEA says its inspectors have regularly visited two sites in Ukraine at the centre of Russian claims that Kyiv is preparing a so-called dirty bomb. Inspectors would return in the coming days following a Ukrainian request, director general Rafael Grossi said. Russia has not offered any evidence for its allegations, which NATO dismisses.
United Kingdom (UK) / China – 25 October 2022
UK government agencies have broken the law by not investigating the importation of cotton products manufactured by forced Uyghur labourers in China, the high court has heard. The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is challenging the home secretary, HM Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency (NCA), claiming a failure or refusal to investigate imports from Xinjiang, allegedly home to 380 internment camps, was unlawful.
Sudan – 26 October 2022
At least 230 people have been killed and more than 200 injured in attacks on villages in Sudan’s Blue Nile state over the past few days, according to authorities. Gamal Nasser al-Sayed, the health minister in the southern state, which borders Ethiopia and South Sudan, told the Guardian that more than 30,000 people in eight villages in the Wad al-Mahi area had had to flee as their homes were torched and villagers were attacked.
Ukraine / Russia – 26 October 2022
The video released by the Ukrainian military declares the following: “Your leadership is planning to drag the Belarusian people into a dirty war, to stain them with blood and death”, adding that “if the Belarusian army supports Russian aggression, we will respond…with our entire arsenal of weapons.”
The warning comes as Russia is sending thousands of troops back to Belarus, prompting fears the two countries could be planning a joint incursion across Ukraine's northern border.
China / Netherlands – 26 October 2022
The Chinese government has been accused of establishing at least two undeclared "police stations" in the Netherlands. Dutch media found evidence that the "overseas service stations", which promise to provide diplomatic services, are being used to try to silence Chinese dissidents in Europe. A spokesperson for the Dutch foreign ministry said the existence of the unofficial police outposts is illegal. The Chinese embassy says it is not aware of their existence.
Somalia – 27 October 2022
The UN’s humanitarian chief has questioned why billions of dollars pledged to tackle the climate crisis have not been used to fight famine in Somalia. Martin Griffiths said he did not know where the promised $100bn (£87bn) a year to fight the impact of global heating in poorer countries had gone, and called for greater transparency around climate finance.
United Kingdom (UK) – 27 October 2022
Police should be banned from using live facial recognition technology in all public spaces because they are breaking ethical standards and human rights laws, a study has concluded. LFR involves linking cameras to databases containing photos of people. Images from the cameras can then be checked against those photos to see if they match. British police have experimented with the technology, believing it can help combat crime and terrorism. But in some cases, courts have found against the way police have used LFR, and how they have dealt with infringements of the privacy rights of people walking in the streets where the technology has been used. There are also concerns about racial bias.
India – 28 October 2022
The national body that protects human rights has said that young girls in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan are being sold as “repayment” for loans their parents cannot afford. The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the state government demanding a police inquiry and answers within a month to what it called an “abominable” practice. People living in many rural areas in India often have to borrow money from fellow villagers when a family member falls seriously ill and needs medical treatment.
Ukraine / Russia – 28 October 2022
President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia has launched more than 30 drone attacks on Ukraine in just two days. He added that in total, Moscow had also carried out some 4,500 missile strikes and over 8,000 air raids. Speaking from Kyiv and standing beside what appeared to be a downed Iranian Shahed drone, Mr Zelensky pledged to "clip the wings" of Moscow's air power. Western officials believe Iran has supplied a large number of drones to Russia, but Moscow and Tehran deny it.