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Chatham House » Podcast » War in Ukraine: Disinformation and the cyber war

Why is controlling information so important?

If you are interested to know how misinformation, disinformation, and cyber war is conducted, and why it’s so vital for authoritarian regimes, this podcast may be useful to you.

The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, is a London-based independent policy institute and forum for debate and dialogue.

Chatham House » Podcast » Undercurrents »

How does Russia use disinformation and who are they targeting? How are social networks shaping the war in Ukraine? What can be done to stop the spread of disinformation?

Host Ned Sedgwick and guests Emily TaylorKeir GilesDamian Collins MP help us understand.

While listening to this podcast, I often found similarities with the tactics and techniques used by other authoritarian regimes and, to some extent, right-wing political parties around the world (ie banning books, reducing funding for education, reducing or controlling access to the Internet, …)

Now that the women’s team is more successful and popular, the U.S. men’s and women’s football, err… soccer teams will be paid equally under a new deal.

NPR »

Becky Sauerbrunn, a player on the women’s team and president of the United States Women’s National Team Players Association, said achieving equal pay was the result of gains players had made both on and off the field.

“We hope that this Agreement and its historic achievements in not only providing for equal pay but also in improving the training and playing environment for national team players will similarly serve as the foundation for continued growth of women’s soccer both in the United States and abroad,” Sauerbrunn said.

 

More at NPR »

Margaret Atwood » ‘Enforced childbirth is slavery’

This is an edited extract from the book ‘Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004 to 2021’ by Margaret Atwood, originally published March 2022.

Nobody likes abortion, even when safe and legal. It’s not what any woman would choose for a happy time on Saturday night. But nobody likes women bleeding to death on the bathroom floor from illegal abortions either. What to do?

Perhaps a different way of approaching the question would be to ask: What kind of country do you want to live in? One in which every individual is free to make decisions concerning his or her health and body, or one in which half the population is free and the other half is enslaved?

Women who cannot make their own decisions about whether or not to have babies are enslaved because the state claims ownership of their bodies and the right to dictate the use to which their bodies must be put. The only similar circumstance for men is conscription into an army. In both cases there is risk to the individual’s life, but an army conscript is at least provided with food, clothing, and lodging. Even criminals in prisons have a right to those things. If the state is mandating enforced childbirth, why should it not pay for prenatal care, for the birth itself, for postnatal care, and – for babies who are not sold off to richer families – for the cost of bringing up the child?

More at The Guardian »

“Worst drought” in his 99 years of life » 20 million people at risk of starvation

FT.com »

When the last of his 250 goats died, pastoralist Abdullahi Abdi Wali knew it was time to flee what he calls the “worst drought” in his 99 years of life.

“This is the first time I was displaced by a drought,” he said, looking back on his near-century in south-eastern Ethiopia.

After the death of his animals, Wali walked for five days under a scorching sun to reach a makeshift camp hosting 10,000 Ethiopian pastoralists outside the city of Gode, where they now receive food and water.

In the Horn of Africa as a whole, in an area stretching from northern Kenya to Somalia and swaths of Ethiopia, up to 20mn people could go hungry this year as delayed rains exacerbate what was already the worst drought in four decades.

More »

» Worsening drought in Horn of Africa puts up to 20 million at risk » World Food Programme (WFP)

» Horn Of Africa Drought Drives 20 Million Towards Hunger » Agence France-Presse via Barrons

 

Selfies with the Taliban?

Emma Graham-Harrison / The Guardian »

The correspondents were men, who apparently didn’t register one stark difference; it was also largely men in their videos. Most of the city’s women had vanished into their homes, terrified of what Taliban rule would mean for them.

It could have been a momentary slip of attention, at a time of intense pressure. But in the weeks that followed, this kind of blindness to the particular tragedy unfolding for Afghan women would play out again and again, first in male journalists’ coverage of the Taliban’s victory, and then in international organisations’ response to Afghanistan’s crisis.

Afghanistan was already the world’s worst country to live in as a woman before the Taliban took control. But with the group curtailing employment, and even trying to banish women’s faces from TV screens, it plunged to new depths, restrictions rarely seen in recent decades beyond the pages of dystopian novels, the short-lived borders of the IS caliphate, or the last time the Taliban controlled Afghanistan. This past week marked 90 days since the Taliban effectively barred girls from higher education, with no date for a return to high school.

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