Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Tuesday, 24 May 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa
CHINESE MILITARY FLEXES POWER DURING BIDEN VISIT TO ASIA: China launched naval and air exercises in the contested South China Sea as U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in South Korea to meet with President Yoon Suk-yeol and promote his forthcoming economic plan for the region. Yesterday while in Japan, Biden said that the U.S. would defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression in a statement that ended U.S. strategic ambiguity regarding the island nation. China’s Maritime Safety Administration announced that it would be conducting exercises in the South China Sea through Monday. It said non-Chinese aircraft and vessels would be prohibited from entering the area but gave no further details. – M.M.
RUSSIAN BOTS SWAY PUBLIC CONVERSATION: Cybersecurity research firm Nisos said Russia developed a “powerful botnet” that could execute cyberattacks and sway public opinion on social media. First discovered in March 2020, the Fronton botnet can “turn off the Internet in a small country,” but its newly discovered primary function is “for coordinated inauthentic behavior on a massive scale.” The ‘SANA’ dashboard allows botnet operators to “coordinate inauthentic behavior and propagate disinformation at a global scale.” – D.M.
SENATE INTRODUCES NEW GUN CONTROL BILL: Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the “Federal Firearms Licensing Act” which substantially expands the federal government’s role in the sale of firearms. Under the bill, U.S. citizens will be required to complete firearm safety training, a written test, a firing test, background investigation, proof of ID, fingerprints, and firearm registry to receive a purchase permit. A permit may be denied for many reasons, including “any recent acquisition of firearms, ammunition, or other deadly weapons.” – D.M.
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