Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 30 Dec 2020


  • Joe Biden Calls for ‘Modernizing’ US Defences
  • Bangladesh Moves 2,000 Rohingya Refugees to Remote Island
  • When a Brexit Deal is not a Brexit Deal

Joe Biden Calls for ‘Modernizing’ US Defences

In a speech on Monday, 28 Dec, Joe Biden stressed the need for “modernizing” US defence capabilities in the face of threats from China and Russia. “We have to be able to innovate, to reimagine our defences against growing threats in new realms like cyberspace,” Biden said. “We’re still learning about the extent of the SolarWinds hack and the vulnerabilities that have been exposed. As I said last week, this attack constitutes a grave risk to our national security.” In comments last week, Biden slammed President Trump for not prioritizing cybersecurity and, like many have, blamed Russia for the SolarWinds hack, despite a lack of evidence that Moscow was involved. The former vice president has also vowed retaliation for the SolarWinds hack, and Biden’s chief of staff said the incoming administration’s response would be more than “just sanctions.” The response the US is quite puzzling when it’s been attacked and top secret information has bene gleaned, but there is no talk of terrorism, a war against enemies or the perpetrators. Russia has managed to expose America’s vulnerabilities and US politicians are busy blaming each other rather then moving against Russia.


Bangladesh Moves 2,000 Rohingya Refugees to Remote Island

Four Bangladesh navy ships carrying at least 1,800 Rohingya refugees have recently left the Chattogram port for Bhashan Char island in the Bay of Bengal, amid concerns many of the persecuted refugees were coerced into relocating to the flood-prone island. The government insisted that the persecuted refugees want to start new lives on Bhashan Char, where 1,600 others arrived earlier this month. Bangladesh eventually wants to relocate 100,000 Rohingya to the remote island in a move to decongest the refugee camps which shelter approximately one million Rohingya. But rights activists expressed new doubts about the transfers, saying some Rohingya had found their shanty homes in the camps padlocked so they had no choice but to go. Al Jazeera’s Tanvir Chowdhury said international journalists were not allowed to go to the island.


When a Brexit Deal is not a Brexit Deal

The UK and EU concluded the post Brexit trade deal, after 4 years of negotiations. Whilst the full details have still not been published, details continue to trickle out. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) as it’s known means the UK will be out of the Single Market on the last day of 2020 and largely free of the European Court of Justice. Trade in goods with the EU will remain free of tariffs and quotas. Services, which comprise 80% of the UK’s economy were not covered by the TCA. No protections have been afforded to the country’s financial services sector. This is quite a failing for what is touted to be a comprehensive free trade agreement. Despite the Prime Minster Boris Johnson claiming he has delivered on Brexit, the truth is he hasn’t and leaves little time for politicians to read the document before they vote for it.