1. Toronto named second safest city on earth, Singapore and Sydney take third and fourth spots respectively.
In the Economist magazine’s annual audit of the world’s safest cities, three cities in the Commonwealth – Toronto, Singapore and Sydney occupy 3 of the top 5 spots in a survey of 60 different cities from across the planet. The audit takes into account a breadth of security concerns from digital, infrastructure and personal security to environmental security and, particularly relevant in light of COVID-19, health security.
Toronto’s accolade of second safest on earth comes on the back of the newly included ‘environmental security’ criteria, allowing Canada’s largest city to shift up from sixth place the last time it was evaluated in 2019.
2. Forty feared kidnapped in raids in Nigeria.
A raid on the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara has left a feared forty people missing. According to eyewitnesses, the town of Rini was attacked about an hour after midnight. They said the attackers stormed the town of and started shooting sporadically while people fled for safety.
Nigeria’s northern states have experienced a surge in kidnappings in recent years as hostage takers seek to extract costly ransoms for their victims. The latest kidnappings by suspected bandits in Zamfara comes as another 15 hostages have been freed in nearby Kaduna state having had ransoms paid on their behalf.
3. Army to remain on streets in South Africa for one more month.
The South African Army has had its deployment to the streets of South Africa extended for another month after troops were committed in response to widespread looting and disturbance following the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma. Peace and security has largely been re-established in the Rainbow nation with the Army clearly having provided the necessary force to calm looters down.
4. India and Australia agree to boost naval ties.
Chiefs of the Indian and Australian navies have signed a guidance document to streamline interaction between the two forces. The document builds on the established and increasingly warm ties between the two Commonwealth nations as they seek to uphold the international rules based system in the wider Indo-Pacific.
The Indian Navy issued a statement stating that the ‘Joint Guidance’ will “serve as a guideline document to showcase the intent of both the Navies to work together bi/ multi-laterally” and its broad scope is focused on “developing mutual understanding, cooperate for regional security, collaborate in mutually beneficial activities and to develop interoperability”.