A "peace plan," the coronavirus, and how Facebook stalks you everywhere you go
Third Cultured vol. 47
|Kyle Borland||Feb 1|
I hope your weekend is off to a great start. This week was a monumental one on a lot of fronts – the coronavirus, impeachment, Libya, a Middle East “peace plan” – and our world isn’t slowing down at all with the US election right around the corner. However, next week we put one of those to bed: Trump’s impeachment.
Yesterday, the Senate voted (49-51) for no witnesses in President Trump’s trial.
On Wednesday, the senators will vote to acquit the president at 10am. Unfortunately for the president, that means he’ll give his State of the Union before being acquited.
Maybe I’ll write someday about what (another) impeachment means for our country. To Millennials, it seems to be how our country functions. We’ve had four presidents – Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump – and two of them were impeached. #Sustainable
This is America. It has been for a while.
Thanks for reading,
Three Things to Know
One American Thing
President Trump and Bibi proposed the long-awaited Middle East Peace Plan. You can read the 80-page report, here. Palestine vehemently opposes the plan with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas planned to speak at the UN Security Council in the coming weeks to denounce it with global backing. Which won’t be hard seeing as our closest allies in Europe don’t even support the “peace” plan.Netanyahu lays out conditions for Palestinian statehood: -Palestinians must recognise Israel as Jewish state -Israel full security control over West Bank -Hamas must disarm -No Right of Return for Palestinian refugees -Jerusalem united under Israeli control -No settlers uprooted
One International Thing
Updates on 2019-nCoV: The Wuhan Coronavirus (interactive map)
Deaths rose to 259 (all in China), and confirmed Chinese cases are at 11,791. Global authorities have confirmed about 12,207 cases. Hong Kong researchers estimate more than 75,000 are already infected in Wuhan.
US declared nCoV a public health emergency.
WHO declared nCoV a global health emergency on Thursday.
2019-nCoV infections surpassed the 2003 SARS outbreak.
US State Department authorized diplomatic personnel to leave China.
Chinese officials hid knowledge of the coronavirus for more than 40 days.
Misinformation continues to spread (even from the CCP).
The crisis put a spotlight on China’s overrun healthcare sector.
Human-to-human transfers were confirmed in Europe for the first time.
Lunar New Year holiday was extended in China to limit travel nationwide.
One Cultural Thing
Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Syria
Taliban fighters won’t let US forces near the downed plane site. There are believed to be four to six casualties but it is not yet confirmed.
ISIS promised to attack Israel to stop the peace plan. They are also making use of turmoil in Afghanistan to infiltrate religious schools to find prime radicalization targets.
A military plane crashed in Afghanistan but the US denies it fell by enemy fire.
Five Mortars struck Baghdad’s Green Zone – the US embassy – with one hitting a US dining hall and injuring one US servicemember.
Over the weekend, Afghan forces ramped up airstrikes against the Taliban amid a stalemate in peace negotiations, killing 51.
Trump and Iraqi PM met on the sidelines of Davos to discuss next steps.
Extremists killed three US troops at a base in Manda Bay, Kenya in early January. Shabab – an affiliate of Al Qaeda – destroyed an American surveillance plane and ignited gunfight that lasted hours because reinforcements were 1,200 miles away. The attack demonstrates the group’s capability to strike directly at the US and its allies.
France is pleading with the US to not withdraw from the Sahel.
Mali is increasing its army by 50%, or 10,000 soldiers, to fight extremists.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Thursday the US would not be withdrawing all of its 6,000 troops from Africa as some worried.
50 US service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) after Iran’s initial missile strike, after initial reports of 0.
ISIS is staging a comeback in Iraq and Syria amid Iran-US tension flare-ups.
Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile has reached 1,200 kilograms.
Iranian Basij forces commander Abdolhossein Mojaddami was gunned down in front of his home last Wednesday.
Kenya to begin free-trade negotiations with the US, first sub-Saharan nation to do so.
Longest drug-smuggling tunnel ever was discovered in San Diego.
Meanwhile, some strong winds knocked down President Trump’s border wall.
Megaconstellations of satellites are the next frontier of warfare infrastructure.
National Security Adviser wants a 355-ship Navy by 2035, but the Navy isn’t biting.
Solitary confinement is globally regarded as torture…so, why does America love it?
Space Force got a familiar logo!
Staffers of color on Pete Buttigieg’s campaign are quitting out of frustration of being tokenized and sidelined or outright ignored by the campaign’s leaders.
Starting this week, the following countries are included in the travel ban: Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.
The Guardian revealed US-born Rinaldo Nazzaro – aka “Norman Spear” and “Roman Wolf” – to be the leader of US-based neo-Nazi terror network “the Base,” which was recently the target of raids by the FBI after an investigation into domestic terrorism uncovered their plans to start a race war.
China, Europe, Russia, and Everyone Else
1,317 days later, Brexit is done. Britain has left the European Union.
Bolivia’s “interim” president decided she wanted to run for the full-time role.
Britain and the EU both sided with Huawei in the 5G dispute. The latest (and biggest) blow to DC.
EU parliament passed the final approval needed for Brexit to occur on Friday.
Germany called for sanctions on any country that breaks the Libyan arms embargo. The ceasefire brokered at the Berlin Libya Summit last week fell almost immediately apart with attacks on Tripoli continuing unfettered.
France deployed navy ships to Greece to counterbalance Turkey in Eastern Med.
India’s Modi miscalculated by doubling-down on Hindu Nationalism. The backlash domestically and internationally isn’t simmering down and his mandate is wiped out.
In Syria, Assad is making a final push to regain control of the Idlib province and, with it, complete control over Syria. 120,000 people have fled the region in the past 12 days, moving closer to the Turkish border.
Netanyahu surrendered his immunity, moments before Israel’s Knesset stripped it from him and he will now face corruption charges, the first sitting PM to do so.
Ukraine joined NATO’s arms procurement system. The move all but solidifies Kyiv’s pivot to the West. Moscow miscalculated in the medium-to-long term with the Crimean Annexation. All it accomplished was pushing Ukraine into NATO’s open arms while creating a combat-tested, democratic army in Eastern Europe.
Zimbabwe is shutting off water access for 96 hours a week amid a unending drought.
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Cities, Climate, Culture & Corporations
30,000 – Number of people displaced by heavy rains in southeast Brazil that also killed 54 people and left 18 missing.
Airbus to pay $3-5 billion in fines as part of a settlement in its corruption probe by US, French and British authorities. I’m sure Boeing is happy to see its rival stumble.
American’s library visits outnumbered movie tickets in 2019.
Boeing’s Washington factory is shut down amid the 737 MAX grounding scandal, but the company also has to figure out what to do with their feathered falcon friends who rely on the plant to survive.
Facebook hired Fox News executives to run its “News Tab.”
New Jersey became the first US state to require developers to take climate change into account to win government approval for projects.