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Weekly Round-Up

1. Extreme weather felt across the world.

Temperatures across the world have soared over the past week with a handful of places reaching record highs. These extreme conditions have led to Pakistan registering the hottest temperature on earth in Jacobabad, a sweltering 52’C. A temperature so great it is understood as beyond the biological tolerance level of the human body. In Canada’s far west temperatures have soared to never seen before levels approaching the 50’C mark. The impact on the local population has been significant with numerous deaths and the entire town of Lytton having been razed to the ground from a related firestorm.

The obvious culprit for the extreme weather is climate change, which is one of the explanations offered. Particularly the extreme heat in Jacobabad, which is situated in the Indus Valley, believed to be one of the world’s most impacted regions from a changing climate.

2. Arrests made in connection of Ugandan Transport Minister shooting.

Police in Uganda have arrested four suspects associated with the shooting of Uganda’s transport minister, Katumba Wamala. The brutal attack saw the Minister’s daughter and driver killed, with Minister Wamala hospitalised. Police believe the attackers were trained in the same camp as a rebel group in the DR Congo, with the organisation looking to recommence terror operations in Uganda.

3. Anti-monarch protests in Eswatini turn violent.

Pro-democracy campaigners have turned violent in their protests against King Mswati III. Government buildings, shops, and trucks have been set on fire by youths frustrated by a lack of work opportunities and a democratic voice. Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku has called for calm. Security forces have been deployed on the streets to prevent the crisis from worsening, with many residents fleeing the capital Mbabane.

4. Singaporean survey demonstrates spike in cyber attacks.

A survey conducted by Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA) was released this week and pointed to a notable uptick in cyber attacks on Singaporeans. According to the survey 37% of respondents were victims of at least one cyber security incident last year. Up from 28% between 2019-20. Unauthorised attempts to access their online accounts; having their accounts used by hackers to contact other people; and being locked out of their online accounts or files by hackers were the three most cited causes of attack. The head of the CSA, David Koh, argued that Singaporean’s ever greater digital footprint, in particular as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic meant citizens needed to maintain good “cyber hygiene” more than ever.

5. Australia to arm Papua New Guinean patrol boats.

In the latest sign of ever growing Pacific security cooperation, Australia’s Department of Defence has announced it will arm the Papua New Guinea Defence Force’s four new Guardian-class Patrol Boats. The equipment will be delivered through the Pacific Maritime Security Programme. The commitment and support of Papua New Guinea by Australia is not new, with the two countries sharing a long and inter-twined security, economic and political relationship. Yet, this latest news further points to a recalibration of security priorities for Australia and indeed countries in the Pacific as the region looks to respond to shifting geopolitical realities.


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