Iran and the US election: The United States and Iran have not had diplomatic relations since the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. The Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action – or JCPOA for short – of 2015 was described by many observers as a diplomatic breakthrough: Under Barack Obama, the US government together with China, Russia, France, Great Britain, Germany and the EU signed an agreement with Iran. US President Donald Trump described the nuclear deal as “the worst deal of all time” and reversed it after his election victory. Could everything be different with Joe Biden as US president? Iranian media and politicians doubt that the US sanctions against Iran would be lifted if Biden wins the election. Biden had announced that the United States would again be included in the nuclear deal if the government in Tehran ended its violations of the treaty. But in the opinion of the Iranian Parliament President Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf, it does not matter who wins the elections in the US, “he will only want to harm us”.
Suspected terrorist attack in front of synagogue in Vienna: At least four people were killed and a further 22 were injured, including a police officer who is now in a stable condition after surgery, in an attack that took place in six locations across the Austrian capital Vienna. In an interview with CNN, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said there was one gunman and he was probably alone. Authorities had previously feared that the perpetrator didn’t act alone and that another gunman might be at large. Kurz said the situation was more or less under control, but Austrian authorities are trying to find out if there are any others who supported the attacker. Kurz confirmed the gunman was born in Austria and had a family background from Northern Macedonia. It was clearly an attack driven by „hatred of our way of life, our democracy“, the chancellor said. He earlier spoke of a „repulsive terror attack“.
Pressure on Frontex over pushbacks: The EU’s border agency Frontex is allegedly involved in illegal pushbacks in the Aegean Sea. EU Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson has called on the agency to investigate the accusations. She said it would be completely unacceptable if it turned out that there had been such pushbacks with the participation of Frontex. The agency has announced that it has launched an internal inquiry into the suspicious incidents recently reported by the media.
German army could wait years for new assault rifles: Germany has abandoned the Heckler & Koch G36 rifles in favor of new weapons from a lesser-known local manufacturer, C.G. Haenel. But mistakes made in the procurement procedure could result in a delay of at least nine to twelve months. The German Defense Committee was briefed on Friday in a secret session. The fact that Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer also appeared alongside top officials shows how much the project has become a personal embarrassment for the minister. She is said to have left the briefing rather irritated. The procurement office had known about the problem for a long time, but did not consider it to be that important. A specialist law firm will now have to clarify whether the office should have responded earlier to the information about patent disputes.
Turkey condemns “Charlie Hebdo” cartoon: Turkey has vowed to take legal and diplomatic actions over a “Charlie Hebdo” cartoon mocking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The cartoon on the cover of the magazine showed Erdogan sitting in a white T-shirt and underpants and holding a canned drink, while lifting up the skirt of woman in a hijab, with the caption: “Erdogan: In private, he is very funny.” The Ankara prosecutor’s office launched an official investigation into the publication, the Anadolu news agency reported. Insulting the head of state is a crime in Turkey with a penalty of up to four years in prison. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sis said on Wednesday freedom of expression should stop if it offends more than 1.5 billion people. The controversy also follows French President Emmanuel Macron’s pledge to defend secularism after the gruesome murder of a French teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
france24.com, cnbc.com, dw.com, bbc.com
Pandemic: Fighting the virus faz.net
Military deployment: German parliament approves further deployment in Iraq deutschlandfunk.de
Edward Snowden: US whistleblower and his wife want to apply for Russian citizenship zeit.de
Hong Kong: 19-year-old activist was charged on the basis of China’s security law spiegel.de
Gender parity in the army: Maybe in 80 years rnd.de
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Tens of thousands of women and men in Poland have been protesting against a top court ruling last week introduced a near total ban on abortion in the predominantly Catholic nation.
US election: What will a Biden or Trump win mean for the European Union? Four years of the Trump presidency has challenged transatlantic norms, with trade wars, a questioning of the military alliance and a view that the EU is a threat rather than an ally. President Barack Obama’s former advisor, Robert Malley, believes that Joe Biden as president would try and repair and restitch the multilateral alliance, particularly with the EU. Jana Puglierin, Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said: „The biggest fear is that the EU would fall apart because you would have one camp who would see the Trump two Presidency as an opportunity to double down on European sovereignty and you would see another camp that would try to stick with the United States whatever it takes and that can easily divide the European Union.“
Despite all the unpredictability – Russia is hoping for Trump’s re-election: So far, it seems that Russia has held back from trying to influence the US election. There have been some phishing attempts to break into the networks of campaign teams, officials and think tanks, but apart from that, no significant tampering has been detected, according to US security experts. However, US intelligence officials consider Russia to be the worst foreign cyber threat and at the same time fear that Moscow might try to capitalize on a possible election chaos. Even if relations between Russia and the United States were not always positive during Donald Trump’s first term in office, the Kremlin is still hoping for his re-election. Trump is more of a pragmatist, a businessman who pays less attention to things like democracy and human rights, explains the Russian political scientist Malek Dudakow. He is convinced that the Kremlin is betting on the re-election of the incumbent.
Is Islamist terror finding its way to Europe? After the attack on a gay couple in Dresden, Germany on October 4, the beheading of a teacher near Paris on October 16, and the assassination attempt in Nice on October 29, a man shot a gun in the city center of Vienna last night. According to Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the attack was clearly motivated by Islamic extremism. The attacker who was shot and killed by the police was known to security authorities as an extremist and also had a criminal record for membership in a terrorist organization. The German security authorities also received a warning some time ago about the attack in Dresden. A similarly depressing picture emerges in France: The teacher Samuel Paty had already been insulted and threatened on the internet before his death – but neither the school nor the security authorities did anything to protect him. Europe is being attacked by a series of Islamist terror. The question that now arises: Is Europe up to this ongoing challenge? Security authorities are now cooperating effectively with one another, so that large-scale coordinated terrorist attacks have become more difficult. Still, it seems that Islamist terror will remain and is likely to increase.
tagesspiegel.de, faz.net, sueddeutsche.de
„Unlike his opponents, Mr. Trump had a feeling for what had happened in American society, a feeling for the changes – and he took advantage of that.“
Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with the „Financial Times“ last year.
20 years Security Council resolution 1325 – purely a declaration of intent? Mass rape has become a part of almost every war strategy: in the Bosnian war, for example, more than 25,000 women were systematically raped, in Rwanda thousands of Tutsi women were raped and infected with HIV, and soldiers in Myanmar assaulted women. The United Nations therefore enshrined women’s rights in peace processes for the first time. With resolution 1325, the contracting states promised to protect women, women and girls from sexualized violence in war zones. But the results after twenty years are sobering.