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Why Hong Kong’s “zero-covid” strategy could backfire

The Economist – 6 October 2021 The people of Hong Kong can enjoy freedom within their own borders however are subject to strict immigration and quarantine rules out-with as a result of a no-toleration approach to the pandemic. The Economist explains why Hong Kong’s ‘zero-Covid’ strategy has resulted in a population with high vaccine-hesitancy and…

Asian countries are at last abandoning zero-covid strategies

The Economist – 9 October 2021 “Yet those with a good first act are struggling in the second. The coronavirus, especially the highly infectious Delta variant, usually has the last word”. According to this article on The Economist, despite the risks of low vaccination rates, Southeast Asian countries opening up their economies are right to…

Coronavirus: Southeast Asian countries choose to reopen, balancing virus with economy

Bloomberg, South China Morning Post – 13 September 2021 Despite experiencing one of the worst waves of infections, countries in Southeast Asia are slowly concluding that their un-sustainable ‘zero-Covid’ policies are crippling the domestic economy. Replicating Singapore’s strategy, they are choosing to open up their economies. Read the full article here.

Afghanistan’s female volleyball players tell of threats and fear

George Wright, BBC News – 23 September 2021 Zahra Fayazi, a former coach for the Afghanistan women’s volleyball team, tells the BBC her fears as her fellow teammates move from province to province in an attempt to escape the Taliban whilst one has already been killed. Zahra states “I can’t see a future for volleyball…

The war in Afghanistan has shaped an entire generation in the West

Constanze Stelzenmuller, Brookings – 2 September 2021 “The outcome of the final, but as yet unfinished, act of the West’s intervention in Afghanistan will determine its legitimacy. And what happens now will affect trust between politicians, civil societies, and the armed forces for years to come.” This article on Brookings describes why the aftermath of…

What the Arab Gulf is thinking after the Afghanistan withdrawal

Kirsten Fontenrose, Atlantic Council – 23 September 2021 Kirsten Fontenrose of the Atlantic Council reports on how the three heavyweights in the Gulf, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are responding to the crisis in Afghanistan. This article looks, specifically, at how it will impact their relationship with the U.S. and also their security environment.…

As the West cuts aid lifelines, Afghanistan’s real crisis looms

Rashmee Roshan Lall, openDemocracy – 21 September 2021 Donors have pledged more than $1bn in aid support for Afghanistan at the 13 September UN conference in Geneva, convened by secretary-general Antonio Guterres. Despite this large amount of emergency aid, this article on openDemocracy asks “how will Afghanistan continue to operate when neither the government nor…