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  • OSINTSUM: Thursday 27 June 2024

OSINTSUM: Thursday 27 June 2024

Renewed clashes in Kenya despite finance bill U-turn, outgoing Dutch PM appointed new NATO head, and Denmark to begin taxing farmers for greenhouse gas emissions

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OSINTSUM
Global Situation Update
Thursday 27 June 2024

International

Diplomacy: NATO has appointed outgoing Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte as its next secretary-general. Rutte will take over from Jens Stoltenberg, who assumed office in 2014 and had his mandate extended four times, on 1 October.
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Health: The UN has warned that a global shortage of heroin, driven by a Taliban ban on opium farming in Afghanistan which has led to a 95% in production, could lead to an increase in overdose deaths as users switch to more readily-available synthetic opioids.
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Africa

Kenya: Police have clashed with demonstrators in Nairobi ahead of planned protests against a controversial finance bill, despite President William Ruto deciding not to go ahead with it after opposition to the legislation led to civil unrest which saw the parliament building stormed and partially burned.
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Morocco: Authorities allowed an Israeli warship to dock in the port of Tangier for a resupply en route from the US after Spain’s government refused the vessel permission to use its ports.
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Sudan: Civilians have fled the city of Sennar, a trading hub in the southeast of the country, as paramilitaries from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) advance towards it. The RSF has been accused of committing crimes against humanity in population centres it has already gained control of.
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Tanzania: Tanzania has signed an agreement of cooperation with South Korea which will see the Asian nation build a fishing port and fishery infrastructure in Zanzibar.
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Asia/Oceania

Afghanistan: A UN-led meeting with Afghanistan’s Taliban in Qatar this weekend will not be a discussion about international recognition of the group, according to UN political affairs head Rosemary DiCarlo. The meeting will be attended by envoys from 25 countries and is the first one to be attended by the Taliban.
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North Korea: South Korean intelligence reported North Korea may have test-launched a hypersonic missile yesterday, but added that the launch failed when it exploded in midair over the North Korean coast after reaching an altitude of approximately 62km.
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Philippines: The Philippines has not asked the US for support in resupplying its troops stationed on the Second Thomas Shoal despite China’s coast guard using “aggressive and illegal force” to disrupt a resupply mission last week, according to Manila’s Washington ambassador, who added that the US was only providing “visuals” to aid his country.
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Europe

Denmark: Denmark will begin taxing farmers for greenhouse gasses emitted by livestock from 2030 in the first levy of its kind. The move aims to reduce Danish greenhouse gas emissions by 70% from 1990 levels by 2030.
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France: Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin ordered the dissolution of extreme right-wing and radical Islamist groups four days ahead of the first round of the country’s snap elections - which could see the far-right National Rally party come to power - on 30 June.
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France: A Paris appeals court ruled that an international arrest warrant which was issued against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for complicity in war crimes in Syria’s civil war is valid and in place, despite French prosecutors asserting he had absolute immunity as a serving head of state.
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Germany: Germany has signed a declaration of intent with China on how to discuss cross-border data transfer, in a further step towards Chinese carmakers being able to transfer data to Germany. Currently, the EU and US have concerns over the possible security risks of allowing Chinese technology entering their markets and collecting data locally.
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Belgium: A meeting between the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia aimed at renewing peace talks and normalising relations which was due to take place in Brussels failed to materialise amid continued signs of animosity between both sides. EU foreign police head Josep Borrell said he would attempt to broker a meeting again next week.
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Poland: Prime Minister Donald Tusk said his government would proceed with plans set out by the previous leadership to build a huge air hub - which will be called The Central Communication Port - in the centre of the country. The port will serve around 40 million civilian passengers per year and could also be used for military purposes.
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UK: Police have arrested a man suspected of involvement in a honey-trap plot which targeted politicians and journalists with flirtatious text messages in an effort to obtain kompromat and sensitive data. The man is reported to be a male in his mid-20s and a member of the opposition Labour Party.
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Latin America/Caribbean

Bolivia: Police have arrested the leader of yesterday’s coup attempt, hours after an armoured vehicle broke down the main gate of the presidential palace in La Paz, allowing soldiers to storm it. General Juan Jose Zuniga had said he wanted to “restructure democracy” and a change of government, but was arrested shortly after speaking to reporters.
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Brazil: President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he has still not met his Argentinian counterpart Javier Milei - who is an ally of Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro - as he wants an apology from Milei for insulting him numerous times last year first.
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Haiti: Hundreds of Kenyan police officers have arrived in Haiti as part of a US-backed security intervention aimed at rescuing the Caribbean country from gang violence that has caused a country-wide humanitarian and security crisis and seen over half a million people displaced.
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Middle East

Iran: The US has imposed sanctions on nearly 50 entities and individuals deemed to be part of an Iranian operation to direct billions of laundered dollars emanating from oil proceeds and other illicit sources towards terrorist organisations such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis.
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Israel: Yemen’s Houthis said they targeted a ship in Israel’s Haifa port - the Portuguese-flagged MSC Manzanillo - with a number of UAVs in a joint military operation with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq. Israel’s military said it was not aware of any such incident.
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Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expects the issuance of arrest warrants against him and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant by 24 July, after the International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan requested them on 20 May for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip.
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Jordan: Jordanian security forces have detonated a cache of explosives concealed in a commercial warehouse southeast of Amman, thwarting what authorities say was part of an Iran-backed plot to destabilise the kingdom.
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Jordan: Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said his country would not send troops to the Gaza Strip to replace Israeli forces, telling a press conference that Jordan would not “clean up after [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu”, and that it was seeking a comprehensive plan to achieve peace through a two-state solution.
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Russia/Ukraine

Baltics: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland have called on the EU to build a defence line along the bloc’s border with Russia and Belarus to protect itself from military threats and other harmful activities by Moscow.
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Belarus: The EU has adopted a sanctions package against Belarus aimed at closing a loophole which currently allows Russia to circumvent EU sanctions against it. The sanctions include measures on dual-use components such as chips which can be used in both civilian appliances and military equipment.
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Russia: The EU adopted its 14th package of sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, which include clauses that increase responsibility on EU companies exporting via non-EU countries.
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Russia: A report by the Royal United Services Institute has found that Russia is still able to access critical weapons components from abroad and has expanded its capacity for producing core weapons since the start of its invasion of Ukraine despite the imposition of Western sanctions.
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Ukraine: NATO will offer Ukraine a new headquarters to manage its military assistance at the upcoming 75th anniversary summit in Washington, US, in an assurance of the bloc’s long-term commitment to the country’s security that is being viewed as a “bridge” to its eventual membership.
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US: US Ambassador to Beijing, Nicholas Burns, has described China’s support for Russia - in contradiction of its claims of neutrality - in its invasion of Ukraine as a “major mistake”, adding that the invasion had become an “existential crisis” in Europe.
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US/Canada

US: Volvo is to delay deliveries of its EX30 electric vehicle as it focuses on expanding production of the compact SUV outside of China in the wake of tariff increases on exports from the Asian nation. It was due to begin selling the model in the US later this year, but will now not start doing so until next year.
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US: Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner said a key objective for China in the event of a conflict with the US would be to disrupt day-to-day civilian life from an information standpoint, and that the Defense Department was shoring up its infrastructure to withstand such attacks.
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US: Commerce ministers from the US, Japan, and South Korea promised to cooperate on strategic issues including artificial intelligence (AI) safety, export controls, clean energy and semiconductor supply chains at the inaugural Trilateral Commerce and Industry Ministerial Meeting in Washington DC.

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