The World Health Organization’s Director of Health Promotion, Rudiger Krech, highlighted the global turmoil caused not only by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but also by other crises such as climate change, social issues and regional conflicts. Krech emphasised the importance of each country in helping people better cope with the uncertainty of multiple crises, drawing parallels with the founding of WHO after World War II. Despite the lessons of past pandemics, Krech emphasised the need for better crisis management and preparation for future pandemics and other crises. To manage ongoing crises and support their populations, countries must work together.
Hundreds of British citizens are reported to be trapped in Sudan. Fighting between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is raging. While many foreign nationals have already been evacuated, there has been criticism from British citizens that the government is not doing enough to help them escape. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Crisis Centre has been accused of failing to communicate with them. A small British military reconnaissance team is currently in Sudan to assess evacuation options, but Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell has warned that movement in Khartoum remains extremely dangerous. Since the conflict began more than a week ago, some British citizens claim to have received virtually no help from government officials.
According to a report by UNESCO on behalf of UN-Water, 2 billion people globally lack access to safe drinking water, and 3.6 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation. The report warns that these shortages will worsen, especially in cities, if international cooperation is not increased. The global urban population facing water scarcity is expected to increase to 1.7-2.4 billion people by 2050. The report calls for strong international mechanisms to prevent the global water crisis from spiraling out of control. It suggests that partnerships and people’s participation increase benefits, and inclusive stakeholder participation promotes buy-in and ownership. It also notes that cooperation between urban and rural communities is essential to maintaining food security and upholding farmer incomes. Ghana is cited as an example of a country that still has significant access issues to safe water.
Samsung employees accidentally leaked confidential information to ChatGPT while using it for help at work, according to The Economist Korea. The incidents involved engineers sharing source code and meeting recordings with ChatGPT, which could violate GDPR compliance. Samsung is investigating the leak and has limited ChatGPT’s upload capacity. It may also develop its own internal AI chatbot to prevent future incidents. However, ChatGPT’s data policy states that it uses data to train its models unless users opt out, and its usage guide warns against sharing sensitive information in conversations.
The United States, South Korea, and Japan conducted a joint missile defense exercise aimed at countering North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal. The exercise was held in international waters off South Korea’s eastern coast and involved an Aegis destroyer from each country. The exercise aimed to improve the countries’ response capabilities against ballistic missiles and strengthen their ability to conduct joint operations. North Korea has used such drills as a pretext to accelerate its own weapons development, creating a tit-for-tat cycle that has raised tensions in recent months. Experts say Kim wants to pressure the United States into accepting North Korea as a legitimate nuclear power and hopes to negotiate an easing of sanctions from a position of strength. Meanwhile, there are signs that the costs of Kim’s campaign are piling up as North Korea apparently grapples with food insecurity and other domestic problems worsened by pandemic-related border restrictions.