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As we have entered Spring Break, this week’s Monday Briefing brings us to Ethiopia, in the middle of a conflict that we may be neglecting. In other news, Pakistan’s political turmoil, a shooting in Brooklyn, natural calamities in the Philippines, and latest in Ukraine. Find it all in this week’s #MondayBriefing


The head of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has criticized the global community’s focus on the war of Ukraine, arguing that other crises that are very much impactful in other areas of the world are not being given an appropriate consideration. Ongoing emergencies in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Tedros’ home country Ethiopia are gathering only a “fraction” of the concern for Ukraine, which has been attributed to the presence of a systemic form of racism. 

It is undeniable, though, that there are currently few areas in the world right now where the health of millions of people is more under threat than Ethiopia. It has been about 17 months since war broke out between the government-led forces of Ethiopia, under the command of former Nobel Peace Prize prime minister Abiy Ahmed, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front rebel forces. Belgium’s Ghent University estimate as many as half a million people have died so far: between 50,000 and 100,000 from the fighting, 150,000 to 200,000 from starvation and more than 100,000 from the lack of medical attention. Reports of atrocities including torture, murder, rape have sparked spurious outrage

About 3 weeks ago, Abiy Ahmed’s government declared a surprise truce, saying it hoped that the move would ease humanitarian access to Tigray. About 2,000 trucks should have been able to bring food, medicines and other essentials to the conflict-ridden area. Instead, only about 20 trucks have arrived.  

Mainstream media can shape our view of the world merely by choosing what to report on, and it may lead to forgetting that there are currently 28 ongoing conflicts in the world, each with its own set of atrocities coming with it. Tedros’ argument can be simply viewed as an attempt to have such magnitude and heterogeneity acknowledged. 

Around the World 

Shehbaz Sharif Becomes Pakistan’s Interim Prime Minister Amid Turmoil. The Pakistani Parliament selected the opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif to become the country’s prime minister on Monday, ushering in a new government after the ouster of Imram Khan and capping a week of political turmoil that pushed the fragile democracy to the brink in the past few days. The vote came after Mr. Khan was removed from office in a no-confidence vote. 

Biden Urges Modi Not to Increase India’s Reliance on Russian Oil and Gas. Biden and Modi had an online meeting in which Biden offered to help Modi acquire oil and other energy from other sources than Russia so that economic pressure on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine is maintained. However, American officials stated that Biden did not ask India to condemn Russia by name. The Modi administration has tried to remain neutral on the conflict and refrained from condemning Russia likely due to India’s reliance on Russia for military hardware. 

Related:  Monday Briefing 20/11/2023

Quarter of a billion people now face extreme poverty, warns Oxfam. According to the confederation of charitable organizations Oxfam, the rising price of food caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the increased energy costs could push 250 million people into extreme poverty. 

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak fined for breaking lockdown laws. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been given a fixed-penalty notice for breaking his own Covid laws by attending a party for his birthday in no. 10 during the first lockdown, in 2020, in what has become known in mainstream media as Partygate

Tropical storm Megi: Philippines death toll rises to 123 as landslides bury villages. The tropical storm Megi is the strongest to hit the Philippines this year. Sodden soil and torrents of mud are the main causes of devastation. With the ground unstable due to landslides, most of the rescue operations are being carried out by boat, many are just recovering dead bodies from the mud. The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change, due to which natural phenomena are expected to only get more powerful.   

At least 29 injured in Brooklyn subway shooting, undetonated devices found. On Tuesday, a man disguised as a construction worker set off smoke bombs before opening fire in a Brooklyn subway car during the early-morning rush, leaving 29 wounded. 

Uk Justice minister resigns over No 10 revelations. Wolfson, UK’s Justice minister, tendered his resignation after PM Johnson and Chancellor Sunak were among others to be fined by the Metropolitan Police for breaking strict lockdown restrictions by attending Johnson’s birthday party in June 2020. In response to the PM downplaying the event of breaking his own laws, Wolfson stated he found himself unable, in his role, to be “resolutely committed both to the observance of the law and also to the rule of law”.  

Indonesia passes bill outlawing sexual abuse and forced marriage. The long-awaited legislation, first proposed 10 years ago, criminalizes nine forms of sexual violence, among which forced sterilization, physical and verbal assault. It enforces for victims to be offered counselling and receive monetary compensation from their convicted abusers. In Indonesia, the regulation comes amid a recent surge in incidents of violence against women. 

UK to send asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing.The deal entails that people coming to the UK seeking asylum as illegal immigrants could be sent to Rwanda for processing and be ‘encouraged’ to settle there to assist the country’s labor shortages. The attempt to outsource asylum processing to a country that, as of a 2020 Human Rights Report, is known to ill-treat and torture detainees, both in official and unofficial facilities, is a hazardous choice endangering the safeguard of asylum seekers’ human rights and dignities.  

Related:  Monday Briefing 25/09/2023

US says Ukraine missiles hit Russian warship as Moscow threatens Kyiv. According to a senior US official, Russia’s Moskva cruiser, which holds a great strategic and symbolic significance for the Cremlin, was hit by two Ukranian missiles before it sank. 

More than 150 Palestinians injured in clash at al-Aqsa mosque, say medics. In the most significant violence in Jerusalem since last year, more than 150 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with the Israeli police. 

Twitter launches poison pill to thwart $43bn bid by Elon Musk. Last Friday, Twitter’s board of directors unanimously adopted a year-long shareholder rights plan under which existing shareholders will be able to buy shares at a discount if anybody buys more than 15% of Twitter’s shares in the open market without board approval. The move is designed to hinder Elon Musk from building a Twitter stake that is greater than 15% which would enable Musk to exercise authority over the company even without an executive or directorship role. 

Russia warns US of repercussions if it sends more arms to Ukraine. According to the Washington Post, Russia sent a formal warning to the US not to send more arms to Ukraine or it could face “unpredictable consequences”, in a note that is to be considered as explicitly threatening.  

Italian News 

Italia-Algeria, accordo sul gas. Draghi: “Risposta significativa alla dipendenza dalla Russia”. Ad Algeri il premier Mario Draghi ha firmato un accordo con il presidente algerino Abdelmadjid Tebboune per il rafforzamento delle forniture energetiche. Questo è il primo passo verso una maggiore indipendenza dal gas russo. A tale incontro erano presenti anche il presidente dell’azienda algerina Sonatrach e l’amministratore delegat di Eni, Claudio Descalzi.  

Lo scontro tra Luciano Canfora e Giorgia Meloni. <<Lei? Neonazista nell’animo.>>. -<<Lo querelo>>. Durante un incontro presso il liceo scientifico Enrico Fermi di Bari, il filologo Luciano Canfora ha parlato della guerra in Ucraina, soffermandosi sull’incapacità dei politici italiani di gestire tale situazione. Durante l’intervento, Canfora ha definito Giorgia Meloni una “neonazista nell’animo” che, pur non facendo parte della maggioranza, “è  una pedina molto comoda per dimostrare che  il Paese è unito”. Il video di tale intervento è stato pubblicato dalla stessa Meloni su Facebook, la quale ha accusato Canfora di non occuparsi di cultura e formazione, ma di strumentalizzare il dialogo per fare propaganda agli studenti. Ha aggiunto: “La querela non gliela toglie nessuno”.  

Il processo per l’omicidio di Giulio Regeni è ancora fermo. Il processo per l’omicidio di Giulio Regeni è stato nuovamente rinviato, questa volta al 10 ottobre. Il motivo di tale rinvio risiede nel fatto che i quattro imputati non sarebbero a conoscenza del processo a loro carico, in quanto non è stato possibile inviare loro la notifica degli atti. Il ministero della giustizia ha inoltre informato il giudice che le autorità egiziane si sono rifiutate di collaborare, fornendo gli indirizzi degli imputati.  

Related:  Monday Briefing 13/02/2023

Cosa c’è nel nuovo decreto del governo per l’attuazione del PNRR. Mercoledì è stato approvato il Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza, necessario per usufruire dei finanziamenti europei volti alla ripresa degli Stati Membri dalla crisi pandemica. Tra le varie misure che verranno introdotte dal decreto ve ne sono alcune che mirano ad inasprire le sanzioni contro il “lavoro a nero”, un migliore meccanismo di controllo per il Superbonuss 110% e la possibilità per gli enti titolari di interventi da parte del Pnrr di assumere lavoratori in pensione con funzioni di consulenza.  

L’Anpi verso il 25 aprile: “Sulla guerra mai stati equidistanti. Resistenza ucraina diversa da quella italiana”. “Sarà un 25 Aprile di memoria di liberazione e impegno per la pace. Non siamo mai stati equidistanti nella tragedia di questa guerra, eravamo e siamo dalla parte degli aggrediti e contro gli aggressori” sono le parole di Gianfranco Pagliarulo, presidente dell’Associazione nazionale partigiani italiani. E aggiunge: “È giusto definire la lotta armata degli ucraini come una lotta di resistenza. Ma secondo noi sarebbe sbagliato identificare la resistenza italiana con la resistenza Ucraina”. Il commento è volto in particolare a placare alcune delle proteste scoppiate a seguito dell’aproccio ritenuto troppo morbido nei confronti di Mosca a seguito dell’eccidio di Bucha. In tale occasione, infatti, Pagliarulo ha condannato il massacro, ma ha chiesto che venisse istituita una commissione internazionale per cercare di capire cosa fosse avvenuto, perchè e chi fossero i responsabili.   

Bocconi News 

  • After 89 years, students in Italy will have the opportunity to be signed up to two different degrees at the same time 
  • Starting from May 1st, the limit of guests that will be allowed into residences at any given point in time will be taken away, even though, from a bureaucratic standpoint, the director of each residence will have the chance to manage specific situations according to individual needs. 
  • Until April 21st, it is possible to sign up for Bocconi & Jobs 
  • The Security Operation Center (SOC) has uploaded the mandatory cybersecurity course that has been introduced following the fake phishing campaign. The course is to be completed by all students by June 5th

In Case You Missed it: 

Lorenzo Garbarino and Eldana Nyssanbeva gathered together post-exam reflections from students and shared tips for effective learning and stress management. 

L’associazione studentesca bocconiana Keiron ha pubblicato un articolo sul reato di diffamazione aggravata legato ad uso improprio dei social network. 

Gabriele Bernard interviewed Stefano Brusoni, Professor of Technology and Innovation Management at ETH Zürich. 

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Every week, your TiL Monday Briefing 🗞: you better read it with a cup of coffee! ☕️

Current members of the team are Elisa Latora, Dragos-Ioan Ile, Chiara Todesco, Polina Mednikova, Theo Di Martino Taulois, Zoe Di Lieto, and Bojan Zeric.

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