This week, Critical State, our global security newsletter, takes a deep dive into research on how national governments interact with their distributed networks to exercise a putative monopoly on violence.
The number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continues to soar in the US, Europe and elsewhere, with death tolls expected to rise quickly as well. And, the leaders of Japan, South Korea and Australia had their first calls with US President-elect Joe Biden, reaffirming close relations. Also, the second typhoon in a week in a half has struck the Philippines.
Out on bail after facing charges of cyber libel, veteran Filipina journalist Maria Ressa tells The World's Marco Werman that working in journalism in the Philippines is "tougher than a war zone" and that this moment is "a battle for the truth."
Two American astronauts are set to make history on a SpaceX rocket launching from the Kennedy Space Center today. The European Union and Japan have unveiled huge stimulus packages to help economies rebound in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Also, Twitter slaps a fact-check label on US President Donald Trump's tweets for the first time. In China, officials are urging a change to a long-standing chopstick tradition. And, bilingual comedians are working to reach their audiences through the pandemic.
The NGO Global Witness detailed in its annual report how the Philippines has been identified as the deadliest country in the world for environmental activists, in large part due to violence and intimidation from the mining, energy, and logging industries.
Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-Catholic scorn does not appear to be seriously damaging his appeal. The first polls of 2019 show the president’s approval rating is up to 80 percent, despite 8 in 10 Filipinos being Catholic.
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