How the autocrats steal elections

16/09/2022: Transparency International
On Wednesday, news broke that the Russian government may have spent as much as US$300 million since 2014 on influencing elections and buying political influence abroad. Reportedly, some of the countries affected include Albania, Montenegro, Madagascar, possibly Ecuador and an unnamed country in Asia.



Image: Christopher Penler / ShutterstockThat same day, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen highlighted “covert foreign influence and shady funding” by authoritarian regimes as a threat to democracy, specifically calling out China.

Most countries recognise the threat of foreign political finance. In fact, 70 per cent of countries around the world ban foreign-sponsored campaign donations. To wiggle around this ban and to disguise the origin of money, China and Russia have abused the global financial system’s loopholes – including anonymous shell companies. According to a 2020 study by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, both countries have increasingly relied on such means to sway elections and interfere in other democratic processes.
Tiếp tục đọc How the autocrats steal elections

Council on Foreign Relations – Daily news brief Sept. 14, 2022

Top of the Agenda

EU’s Von der Leyen Proposes Energy Market Reforms to Address High CostsIn her annual state of the union address, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged sweeping efforts (Politico) to reduce energy prices that have soared amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. The proposed plan, which requires approval from European Union (EU) member states, includes new taxes on energy companies and “comprehensive reform” of the EU’s electricity market.
Von der Leyen said she aims for the taxes on energy firms to raise $140 billion (Reuters) for European governments to disburse to citizens. She also pledged to work to ensure that Ukraine has “seamless access” to the EU’s single market. European leaders are scheduled to discuss the proposals at the end of the month. 
Tiếp tục đọc “Council on Foreign Relations – Daily news brief Sept. 14, 2022”

Myanmar: Increasing evidence of crimes against humanity since coup

Protesters attend a march against the military coup in Myanmar.

(Unsplash/Pyae Sone Htun) Protesters attend a march against the military coup in Myanmar.

12 September 2022 United Nations News

Human Rights

Crimes against humanity and war crimes have intensified in the wake of the February 2021 military coup in Myanmar, the UN Human Rights Council heard on Monday. 

The Geneva-based body was briefed by Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM), who presented its latest report. 

The Mechanism was established by the Council to collect and preserve evidence of the most serious international crimes in the country. 

Tiếp tục đọc “Myanmar: Increasing evidence of crimes against humanity since coup”

Council on Foreign Relations: Daily news brief Sept. 12, 2022

Top of the Agenda

Ukrainian Forces Make Sweeping Gains in Country’s Northeast

Ukraine’s military has recaptured (FT) 3,000 square kilometers (1,158 square miles) of Russia-held territories in the Kharkiv region this month following a weekend blitz. The new counteroffensive struck the military’s strongest blow to Russian forces since repelling them from Kyiv in March. Russia’s defense ministry acknowledged the losses (BBC) of several cities in the region. Kyiv warned of Russian retaliation, and Russian air strikes hit Ukraine’s second-largest thermal power plant last night.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the advances demonstrated the effect of Western military support in the war. Separately, the Russia-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was shut down (AP) yesterday to avoid the risk of a nuclear disaster.
Tiếp tục đọc “Council on Foreign Relations: Daily news brief Sept. 12, 2022”

Vietnam encourages diaspora to embrace language and culture in ‘soft power’ push

.Officials have declared September 8 as a day to celebrate the Vietnamese language, amid fears it is ‘at risk of fading’ in communities around the world, from Cambodia to France and the USAs.

.Some overseas-born Vietnamese have grown up shunning the language and culture, ‘what’s at stake is the communication between generations’, a researcher says

Sen Nguyen, Spet. 10,2022, SCMP

People walk under Vietnamese national flags at an alley in Hanoi. Photo: EPA-EFE

People walk under Vietnamese national flags at an alley in Hanoi. Photo: EPA-EFE

When Dannie Doan moved to the United States at age 13 with her family, she refrained from speaking in her native language even though Texas had a large Vietnamese community.

Newly-arrived immigrants felt intense pressure to assimilate and learn “perfect English”, she said.

“There’s also a layer of discrimination if you speak a foreign language in public,” added Doan, who is now 31 and works as a climate adaptation professional. “Those incidents of white people yelling ‘Speak English’ isn’t that uncommon.”

Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam encourages diaspora to embrace language and culture in ‘soft power’ push”

China’s power crisis adds to headaches ahead of the 20th Party Congress

Wendy Wu, SCMP <wendy.wu@e.scmp.com> Unsubscribe  

Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Sign up here First China’s zero-Covid policy, then property woes, now a power crisis tests Beijing ahead of key event Andrew MullenDeputy Editor, Political Economy  10 September 2022

Welcome to our 869 newly joined SCMP Global Impact readers who signed up in the past week.

Dear Global Impact Readers,

The adage goes “with great power comes great responsibility”, but who is responsible when the great power needed to light up and drive the world’s most populous nation runs out?

At the moment, Mother Nature is the main suspect behind China’s second power crisis in less than a year, having hit the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan in July and August after drought wreaked havoc on the hydropower-reliant region. In this issue, Wendy Wu, the Post’s economy editor, looks back at the latest crisis and asks what is next for China as it seeks energy security. In other news, we will be taking a break from our regular schedule in the coming weeks as China’s 20th party congress looms into view. Given the magnitude of the five-yearly event where major leadership changes are announced, and where Xi Jinping is expected this year to secure a third term as party’s leader, we will be focusing the coming issues on the key event that gets under way in Beijing from October 16. As the Post always looks to provide our readers with a window into China, given the 20th party congress will take up so much of the view over the next couple of months, we felt it only right we devote our flagship newsletter to such a key event to bring the latest news and analysis from our team of reporters in China and around the world straight into your inbox each week.

Andrew Mullen
Deputy Editor, Political Economy

Challenges ahead for China

When the Baihetan Dam, the world’s second-largest hydropower plant, located in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, became fully operational in July and began sending electricity more than 2,000km across China – eastward to Jiangsu province via a newly established ultra-high-voltage grid – few could have foreseen that a drought-induced power crisis was looming on the horizon.
Tiếp tục đọc “China’s power crisis adds to headaches ahead of the 20th Party Congress”

ICJ: Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation) – Declarations of Intervention by United States and Sweden

INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
Peace Palace, Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ The Hague, Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0)70 302 2323 Fax: +31 (0)70 364 9928

Press Release
Unofficial
No. 2022/33
8 September 2022
Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation)


The United States of America files a declaration of intervention in the
proceedings under Article 63 of the Statute

THE HAGUE, 8 September 2022. Yesterday, the United States of America, invoking Article 63 of the Statute of the Court, filed in the Registry of the Court a declaration of intervention in the case concerning Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation).


Pursuant to Article 63 of the Statute, whenever the construction of a convention to which States other than those concerned in the case are parties is in question, each of these States has the right to intervene in the proceedings. In this case, the construction given by the judgment of the Court will be equally binding upon them.


To avail itself of the right of intervention conferred by Article 63 of the Statute, the United States relies on its status as a party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”). In its declaration of intervention, the United States emphasizes that “all States Parties have a significant interest in ensuring the correct interpretation, application, or fulfilment of the Genocide Convention”, adding that its “views on the questions at issue in this case are further informed by the United States’ long history of supporting efforts to
prevent and punish genocide”.


In accordance with Article 83 of the Rules of Court, Ukraine and the Russian Federation have been invited to furnish written observations on the United States’ declaration of intervention. The United States’ declaration of intervention will be available on the Court’s website shortly.


  • 2 – History of the proceedings
    The history of the proceedings can be found in press releases Nos. 2022/4, 2022/6, 2022/7,
    2022/11, 2022/25, 2022/26, 2022/27, 2022/28, 2022/29 and 2022/31, available on the Court’s
    website.

Note: The Court’s press releases are prepared by its Registry for information purposes only
and do not constitute official documents.


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946.
The Court is composed of 15 judges elected for a nine-year term by the General Assembly and the
Security Council of the United Nations. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague
(Netherlands). The Court has a twofold role: first, to settle, in accordance with international law,
through judgments which have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned, legal
disputes submitted to it by States; and, second, to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred
to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and agencies of the system.


Information Department:
Mr. Andrey Poskakukhin, First Secretary of the Court, Head of Department (+31 (0)70 302 2336)
Ms Joanne Moore, Information Officer (+31 (0)70 302 2337)
Mr. Avo Sevag Garabet, Associate Information Officer (+31 (0)70 302 2394)
Ms Genoveva Madurga, Administrative Assistant (+31 (0)70 302 2396)

___________________

INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
Peace Palace, Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ The Hague, Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0)70 302 2323 Fax: +31 (0)70 364 9928

Press Release
Unofficial
No. 2022/34
9 September 2022

Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation)

The Kingdom of Sweden files a declaration of intervention in the
proceedings under Article 63 of the Statute

THE HAGUE, 9 September 2022. Today, the Kingdom of Sweden, invoking Article 63 of the Statute of the Court, filed in the Registry of the Court a declaration of intervention in the case concerning Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation).

Tiếp tục đọc “ICJ: Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation) – Declarations of Intervention by United States and Sweden”

United States and Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Partners Announce Negotiation Objectives

September 09, 2022 Office ò the US Trade Representative

LOS ANGELES – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo hosted counterparts from the 13 Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) partner countries – representing over 40% of the global economy – at the first official in-person Ministerial meeting. The ministers had positive and constructive discussions, and announced a substantial milestone in their pursuit of a high-standard and inclusive economic framework.
  
“This meeting was a chance to deepen our partnerships and fill in the details about how we will work collectively to address the challenges and opportunities that will define the 21st century,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “After several days of intensive discussions, we have made real progress toward that goal and I am excited to continue developing this Framework, which will unlock enormous economic value for our region and serve as a model for the rest of the world to follow.”

Tiếp tục đọc “United States and Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Partners Announce Negotiation Objectives”

DC mayor declares public emergency over busloads of migrants

BY BRAD DRESS – 09/08/22 1:48 PM ET, The Hill

[TĐH: This dumb Republican-Democratic war using migrants as the pawns shows how broken American politics is]

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and District of Columbia Department of Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt hold a press conference in 2021.
Andrew Harnik/The Associated PressWashington Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and District of Columbia Department of Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt hold a press conference in 2021.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) on Thursday declared a public emergency over busloads of migrants from Texas and Arizona arriving in the nation’s capital.

Bowser said she was creating a new Office of Migrant Services to assist with the emergency, estimating that 9,400 migrants have been bused to her city since April and hundreds more are expected this fall.

Tiếp tục đọc “DC mayor declares public emergency over busloads of migrants”

Council on Foreign Relations: Daily News Brief Sept. 9, 2022

Top of the Agenda

UK’s King Charles III to Address Nation as World Mourns Queen Elizabeth II

The United Kingdom (UK) began a period of mourning (FT) after Queen Elizabeth II died yesterday. Preparations for her funeral have halted parts of British public life, including sports games and the Bank of England’s monetary policy meeting. Meanwhile, tributes from world leaders have poured in (The Guardian). U.S. President Joe Biden called the queen “a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons,” while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said she “personified dignity and decency in public life.” 

Queen Elizabeth’s son King Charles III will address the UK today and is expected to hold an audience with Liz Truss, who became the country’s prime minister three days ago. His official accession to the throne and proclamation as a monarch are expected tomorrow. 
Tiếp tục đọc “Council on Foreign Relations: Daily News Brief Sept. 9, 2022”

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)

The Conversation Global 3
Global Edition | 9 September 2022

The Conversation has published a range of content on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, from across our global academic network. A selection can be found below. In the hours and days to come we will of course carry many more articles on what her death means for the UK and the Commonwealth, and on the challenges that await King Charles
III. Follow our extensive coverage here
.Stephen Khan

Queen Elizabeth II: the end of the ‘new Elizabethan age’
Laura Clancy, Lancaster UniversityBritain has gone through unimaginable change culturally and politically during Elizabeth’s 70-year reign.Elizabeth II: Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Sipa US/Alamy Stock Photo
Tiếp tục đọc “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)”

Losing Momentum and Passing Opportunities in the U.S.-Vietnam Relationship

September 8, 2022 CSIS

In 2023, the United States and Vietnam will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their comprehensive partnership. The occasion will provide a window of opportunity to elevate the relationship to a strategic partnership. However, there are signs that Washington and Hanoi are losing momentum in bilateral security cooperation and passing opportunities to make necessary preparations for the upgrade to happen.

During his nomination hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Ambassador Marc Knapper stated that, if confirmed, he would prioritize deepening the United States’ strategic relationship with Vietnam. He would take steps to raise the current comprehensive partnership to a strategic partnership by “strengthening even further our security relationship,” “deepening our economic partnership,” and “deepening our people-to-people ties.”

Tiếp tục đọc “Losing Momentum and Passing Opportunities in the U.S.-Vietnam Relationship”

Council on Foreign Relations – Daily news brief Spet. 7, 2022



Top of the Agenda

U.S. Officials Say Russia Seeks to Buy Weapons From North KoreaNew U.S. intelligence shows Russia is seeking to purchase artillery shells and rockets (Reuters) from North Korea, American officials said yesterday. While Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations denied the allegations, White House spokesperson John Kirby said Moscow’s inquiry shows Russian President Vladimir Putin’s desperation amid the war in Ukraine. 

UN sanctions currently bar North Korea (AP) from selling weapons to other countries. It has attempted to strengthen relations with Russia since the start of the war and also expressed interest in sending workers to rebuild Russia-occupied territories in eastern Ukraine.

Analysis

“The only reason the Kremlin should have to buy artillery shells or rockets from North Korea or anyone is because Putin has been unwilling or unable to mobilize the Russian economy for war at even the most basic level,” the American Enterprise Institute’s Frederick W. Kagan tells the New York Times. 
Tiếp tục đọc “Council on Foreign Relations – Daily news brief Spet. 7, 2022”