KW 43: Canceled reading about Xi Jinping to take place after all, Turkey’s Erdogan steps back from expulsions of Western diplomats, Migration via Belarus route – more than 4200 illegal entries in October

NEWS

Canceled reading about Xi Jinping to take place after all: Events to mark the publication of a new German book about Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Confucius Institutes in Duisburg and Hanover were initially canceled, apparently after influence from China. Human rights activists have long seen the Confucius Institutes as a propaganda and espionage tool of the Communist Party. Despite enormous criticism, many German universities continue to work with the institutes. A university spokeswoman has now announced that the online event will be held as planned this Wednesday evening, but by the university’s East Asia Institute instead of the Confucius Institute at the University of Duisburg-Essen, a university spokeswoman announced.
spiegel.de, zeit.de

Turkey’s Erdogan steps back from expulsions of Western diplomats: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stepped back on Monday from a threat to expel ten Western ambassadors. The embassies involved had issued identical statements confirming their compliance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, statements which were then welcomed by Erdogan. The ambassadors had previously angered Turkey by calling for the release of businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala — jailed in 2017 despite not having been convicted of a crime — in a joint statement last week. Erdogan had said on Saturday that the statement was an “impudence” and ordered the ambassadors to be declared persona non grata.
nytimes.com, euronews.com

Migration via Belarus route – more than 4200 illegal entries in October: An increasing number of migrants are entering Germany illegally via Belarus and Poland. According to the police, there were more than 4200 illegal entries in October alone. 6657 unauthorized border crossings with a connection to Belarus have been registered since the beginning of the year. Most of the people come from crisis regions such as Syria and Iraq. The refugees will now be distributed more quickly in Germany in order to relieve the border region. This project is expected to start in the first week of November. A spokesperson for the Federal Police Headquarters in Berlin said that preparations have already started. It is also planned to provide heated rooms for the initial registration by police. In addition, Poland plans to better protect its border with neighboring Belarus.
tagesschau.de, sueddeutsche.de

Half of Afghans face hunger this winter: More than half of Afghanistan’s population is facing acute hunger as the country has been thrown into one of the world’s largest food crises. Almost 23 million Afghans will be hungry due to conflict, drought and an economic downturn that is severely affecting livelihoods and people’s access to food as a harsh winter looms, the United Nations has warned; an increase of nearly 35% compared with last year.
theguardian.com

Egypt’s President Sisi ends state of emergency for the first time in years: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced Monday that he had lifted a four-year-old state of emergency, undoing powers that had given the government sweeping authority to quash protests, detain dissidents and control everyday life in the most populous Arab country. The proclamation, which comes amid global criticism of Egypt’s human rights abuses, theoretically ends a decree that had been renewed every three months since 2017. But critics called it a superficial change that would not fundamentally alter the repressive system that has prevailed in Egypt for most of the past 40 years.
nytimes.com, reuters.com

Why Iran fears chaos in Afghanistan dw.com
New law in Poland enables large-scale deportations fr.de
Sudan’s military takes power in coup, arrests prime minister apnews.com
Israel labels six Palestinian civil society groups ‚terrorist,‘ setting challenge for international donors cnn.com
United States cuts off $700 million in aid to Sudan amid military coup forbes.com

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

The People’s Republic of China dramatically ramped up military pressure on Taiwan over the weekend, flying successively larger numbers of warplanes near the breakaway island republic. The flights – conducted over a four-day period between between Friday, October 1 and Friday, October 4 – broke records each day for the number of aircraft involved, totaling nearly 150.
popularmechanics.com

BACKGROUND

German police halt armed far-right vigilantes on Polish border: Police in Germany said they have stopped more than 50 far-right vigilantes armed with pepper spray, a bayonet, a machete and batons who were trying to patrol the Polish border to stop migrants entering the country. The vigilantes were following a call by the Third Way, a far-right party with suspected links to neo-Nazi groups, for its members to stop illegal crossings near the town of Guben. Dozens of people held a vigil in Guben on Saturday to show their opposition to the planned far-right patrols.
theguardian.com

US kills senior al Qaeda leader in Syria airstrike: An airstrike in northwest Syria Friday killed senior al Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, according to the US Central Command. The military said it has „no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike,“ which was carried out by an MQ-9 drone. „The removal of this al-Qaeda senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians,“ Central Command spokesperson Maj. John Rigsbee said in statement.
cnn.com

Dozens killed in fighting between Somalia army and former allied group: At least 30 people died and over 100 were injured in intensified fighting between the Somali National Army and its former ally Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a in the Somali state of Galmudug over the weekend, residents and hospital officials said. The clashes, in the state’s second-largest district of Guriceel, run the risk of distracting both groups from their fights against Al Shabaab, analysts and residents said. This round of fighting broke out early Saturday and continued into Sunday, residents told Reuters.
reuters.com

QUOTE

„We have to make it very clear to Russia that in the end – and this is, after all, the deterrence doctrine – we are also prepared to use such means so that it acts as a deterrent beforehand and no one gets the idea of attacking NATO partners in, say, the spaces over the Baltic or in the Black Sea“
said German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
faz.net

SECURE?

Pokémon card bought with swindled Covid loan: Federal prosecutors say a Georgia man used a pandemic relief loan to buy a $57,000 Pokemon card. Court records show a Dublin man is charged with lying on an application for a pandemic economic relief loan about the number of people his business employed and the company’s gross revenue. He faces one count of wire fraud. The court filing said he received $85,000 in August of last year, and used the money to buy a Pokemon card for $57,789.
apnews.com

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