Suspects Detained in Haiti, Tokyo in State of Emergency, Taliban Advances in Herat, and More
As the world still reels from the recent Kaseya ransomware attack, there were several other high profile security incidents and reports that the Security Management team was keeping an eye on throughout the week. Here’s our rundown of what you need to know heading into the weekend.
Suspects Detained in Haiti Assassination Investigation
Haitian authorities detained 15 Colombians and two Americans in a round-up of 17 suspects detained for the assassination of the nation’s president earlier this week.
Six of the individuals are members of the Colombian Army, and the two Americans are said to hold dual U.S.-Haitian citizenship, NPR reports. Authorities are still searching for at least eight more suspects; three were previously killed by police.
“The head of the Colombian national police, General Jorge Luis Vargas Valencia, said President Iván Duque had ordered the high command of Colombia’s army and police to cooperate in the investigation,” according to NPR.
Haiti is in turmoil after a group stormed the home of President Jovenel Moïse on Wednesday and killed him. The group also critically injured Moïse’s wife before fleeing. Following the assassination, Prime Minister Claude Joseph has taken control of the police and the army and declared a “state of siege.” Constitutional experts, however, are unsure if Joseph has the right to make such a declaration because Moïse appointed a new prime minister before his death—Ariel Henry—to step into the role this week, The New York Times reports.
“The dueling claims created a volatile political crisis that left constitutional experts confused and diplomats worried about a broad societal collapse that could ignite violence or prompt Haitians to flee the country en masse, as they have after natural disasters, coups, or other periods of deep instability,” according to the Times.
Tokyo Declares State of Emergency
Just weeks before the Summer Olympics are set to begin in Japan, Tokyo declared a state of emergency and said that the games will take place without spectators to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said it was essential to prevent Tokyo, where the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 variant was spreading, from becoming a flashpoint of new infections,” Reuters reports. “People will also be asked not to gather for events on public roads, such as the triathlon, though officials said some venues outside the greater Tokyo metropolitan area would allow small numbers of spectators.”
In light of the state of emergency implemented in Tokyo, it has been decided at a five-party meeting today that no spectators will be allowed into any venues in Tokyo during the Olympic Games.— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 8, 2021
For further informationhttps://t.co/FVb4kueNKe
The state of emergency goes into effect on Monday, 12 July, and lasts until 22 August—expiring just before the Paralymics begin on 24 August.
“Tokyo reported 896 new cases on Thursday, up from 673 a week earlier,” ESPN reports. “It’s the 19th straight day that cases have topped the mark set seven days prior. New cases on Wednesday hit 920, the highest total since 1,010 were reported on May 13.”
Taliban Advances in Herat
The Taliban continues to advance into the western Herat province to seize two border crossings to Iran and Turkmenistan. The moves come after the United States withdrew forces from the region that provided support to Afghanistan’s Army.
“In Herat, the civil war era warlord Ismail Khan called up his supporters overnight, and deployed armed units to guard key parts of the city and its outskirts,” according to The Guardian. “He is in his mid-70s, but called on all armed men in the city to join the fight and promised to go to the frontline himself.”
U.S. intelligence and military officials have warned that Afghanistan’s government may fall to the Taliban without American aid.
“The Taliban are already moving rapidly to take over districts in the northern parts of Afghanistan, leading U.S. military commanders to raise the prospect of a civil war once U.S. troops are gone,” CNN reports.
Australia Debates Critical Infrastructure Bill
Tech industry representatives pushed back against legislation being considered by the Australian legislature that would allow the government to take control of a company during a cyberattack.
“Representatives from Google and Atlassian on Thursday said there is no realistic situation where software provided by security agencies like the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) or the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) during government assistance to a cyberattack on critical infrastructure would be any more useful than their own defenses,” according to Innovation Aus. “Amazon said it was unreasonable for the government to expect it could use the powers effectively and they would lead to ‘unintended negative consequences.’”
The Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020 would create security obligations for businesses that operate critical infrastructure, as well as allow the Australian government to take control of these businesses if they experience a cyberattack.
“The bill has been criticized across industry for unworkable reporting times, the introduction of unprecedented compulsive powers, and a lack of defined rules, which the government intends to establish with regulations,” Innovation Aus reports.
Famine Death Toll Rises
New research finds that 11 people die each minute from hunger, outpacing the death toll from COVID-19 which kills seven people per minute.
The findings were included in a report from anti-poverty organization Oxfam, which found that the number of individuals facing famine-like conditions around the globe increased six times over the past year.
“The humanitarian group also said that 155 million people around the world now live at crisis levels of food insecurity or worse—some 20 million more than last year,” according to The Washington Post. “Around two-thirds of them face hunger because their country is in military conflict.”
3 lethal Cs: Conflict, COVID , & Climate Change, have continued to deepen the hunger crisis. According to our report https://t.co/Gj0ENuufNc as many as 11 people are dying per minute from hunger.— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) July 9, 2021
You can take action and help end the #HungerVirus here: https://t.co/00CygN4ali pic.twitter.com/T2qgxd1KNp
United States Declined to Prosecute Most Hate Crimes Cases
The U.S. Department of Justice decided not to prosecute 82 percent of individuals charged with hate crimes between 2004 and 2019, a much lower rate of prosecution than for other federal crimes.
“The Bureau of Justice Statistics said prosecutors investigated 1,864 suspects for possible hate crimes from October 1, 2004—the beginning of the 2005 fiscal year—through September 30, 2019, and referred only 17 percent of those suspects for prosecution,” Reuters reports. “One percent of hate crime suspects had their cases resolved by a magistrate judge.”