Aug 19 · 5 min read

Welcome back to this week’s edition of The Globalist — A concise weekly digest of the top readings, content, ideas, and discussions from our global bureaux and correspondents at ComplexGlobal.

This week we explore the relationship between North and South Korea over war drills, China’s gathering of military force near the HK border in response to the ongoing protests, India revoking Kashmir’s special status, the shocking lone wolf stabbing attack of earlier in the week in Sydney’s CBD, Donald Trump eyeing to purchase Greenland andBrazil’s ongoing challenges in looking after the Amazon Rainforest sustainably.

A volatile week this week, particularly as the protests enter their tenth week in Hong Kong and India takes extraordinary security measures in Kashmir. Alongside the lone wolf incident in Sydney earlier in the week, we’re keeping close tabs on a variety of security incidents globally, ready to respond and assist our clients where they need us most. We’re in regular contact with our clients as they work and operate in these areas ensuring they’re kept abreast of all the latest alerts and happenings ensuring early intervention if needed. For further information regarding any of the news and incidents, we’re following or to find out how we can better help you operate globally, get in touch with our team today.

DPRK snubs peace talks with South over war drills

North Korea has rejected any further talks with South Korea, calling its decision “completely the fault of South Korea’s actions”. It issued a statement in response to a speech by South Korea President Moon Jae-in on Thursday. Meanwhile, early on Friday North Korea test-fired two missiles into the sea off its eastern coast, the South Korean military said. It is the sixth such test in less than a month.

Chinese paramilitary forces gathered near HK border

China has deployed large numbers of paramilitary personnel close to the border with Hong Kong, in what observers say is intended to send a message to protesters in the Asian financial hub. On Wednesday, CNN teams on the ground in the mainland Chinese city of Shenzhen saw uniformed members of the People’s Armed Police Force (PAP) with riot shields and batons, as well as numerous semi-militarized vehicles, stationed at the city’s Bay Sports Center. The PAP is the 1.5 million-member paramilitary force the government regularly deploys to quell protests within its borders. It is under the command of China’s central military commission, headed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

India revokes Kashmir’s special status

The Indian government has revoked the special status of Indian-administered Kashmir in its constitution, the most far-reaching political move on the disputed region in nearly 70 years. A presidential decree issued on August 5 revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution that guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority state, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters, except defence, communications, and foreign affairs. In the lead-up to the move, India sent thousands of additional troops to the disputed region, imposed a crippling curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet, and arrested political leaders.

Searching for answers after Sydney stabbing

In a dingy city laneway near Clarence Street in Sydney, Mert Ney paused for a moment. He held the phone away from his body, tilted it up towards his face and appeared to take a selfie. Dressed in baggy jeans and a hoodie, by now the 20-year-old had allegedly killed Michaela Dunn, 24, in a residential apartment in the Clarence House building. After emerging from the laneway, he stabbed Linda Bo, 41, in front of pedestrians and ran erratically onto the road, bringing traffic to a halt.

Trump wants to purchase Greenland from Denmark

Donald Trump is fond of bragging about his conspicuous wealth and buying power, plastering his name over buildings and gilding the elevators of Trump Tower. But his latest reported aspiration is on the extravagant side, even for him: to purchase Greenland from Denmark. According to the Wall Street Journal, the US president has “expressed interest” in buying the expansive icy territory for the US, and has asked his aides to explore the possibility. He has even sought the view of the White House counsel, though the Journal noted his inquiries came “with varying degrees of seriousness”.

Sustainability: Deathwatch for the Amazon

Although its cradle is the sparsely wooded savannah, humankind has long looked to forests for food, fuel, timber, and sublime inspiration. Still a livelihood for 1.5bn people, forests maintain local and regional ecosystems and, for the other 6.2bn, provide a fragile and creaking buffer against climate change. Now droughts, wildfires, and other human-induced changes are compounding the damage from chainsaws. In the tropics, which contain half of the world’s forest biomass, the tree-cover loss has accelerated by two-thirds since 2015; if it were a country, the shrinkage would make the tropical rainforest the world’s third-biggest carbon-dioxide emitter, after China and America.

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