WORLD ROUNDUPRise in Iranian Assassination Abroad | China’s Hamburg Terminal Acquisition | War in Ukraine’s Lesson for Western Armies, and more

Published 1 December 2022

··Rise in Iranian Assassination, Kidnapping Plots Alarms Western Officials
The list of Iranian targets in the West is long

··What Is the War in Ukraine Teaching Western Armies?
It shows the importance of dispersal, firepower and stockpiles

··How Hungary Used Citizens’ COVID Data to Help the Ruling Party
Human Rights Watch reports on Viktor Orban’s abuse of data

··Will the U.N. Tax Convention Empower Africa?
Reducing reliance on tax havens and bring much-needed revenue to African governments

··Sanctions on Russia Are Working. Here’s Why.
The confusion around the effectiveness of sanctions stems from a lack of clarity about their goals

··What Jiang Zemin’s Death Means for the CCP
Chinese mourning of the former leader is not so much about the man himself — but as a contrast with the current leader

··Cosco’s Hamburg Terminal Acquisition: Lessons for Europe
Europe is waking up to the dangers of overreliance on authoritarian powers

··Viktor Orbán’s Controversial ‘Greater Hungary’ Scarf Explained
This is not the first time Orbán has courted the controversial idea of Greater Hungary

··China’s ‘White Paper’ Protest Movement Echoes Freedom Struggles Across Asia and the World
Chinese authorities will clamp down on the current dissent, but it is harder to foresee when the next cracks will appear

Rise in Iranian Assassination, Kidnapping Plots Alarms Western Officials  (Shane Harris, Souad Mekhennet and Yeganeh Torbati, Washington Post)
Tehran has targeted former senior U.S. government officials; dissidents who have fled the country for the United States, Britain, Canada, Turkey and Europe; media organizations critical of the regime; and Jewish civilians or those with links to Israel, according to the officials and government documents.

What Is the War in Ukraine Teaching Western Armies?  (Economist)
From the moment that Russian troops crossed into Ukraine on February 24th this year, pundits offered sweeping pronouncements about the future of war. The death of the tank was declared on the basis of snatched video footage. Turkish drones were hailed as unstoppable game-changers. Western anti-tank weapons were thrust into an early starring role. Now, nine months into the war, more considered reflections are emerging. There is much that Western armed forces can learn.

How Hungary Used Citizens’ COVID Data to Help the Ruling Party  (Economist)
In December 2020, when Hungary’s health authority set up a website for citizens to register for covid-19 vaccinations, it included a tick-box for those who wanted to receive further information. Gabor Toka, a political-science professor, found it odd that the box did not specify that future communications should be about covid. To see what would happen, he ticked the box for his own registration but left it unticked for his mother’s. Some months later, when Hungary’s general-election campaign swung into gear, he found that he (but not his mother) started to get campaign emails from the ruling party, Fidesz.
Mr. Toka was not the only one. A report published on December 1st by Human Rights Watch suggests that Fidesz seems to have gained access to state databases and used them to send campaign messages to voters. In addition to emails, people got phone calls and text messages from Fidesz candidates urging them to vote and reminding them what a wonderful job the government was doing.