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The Daily Brief: Bold Offensive by Taliban in Southern Afghanistan

Story Headline: Violence erupts in response to delayed troop withdrawal by the United States

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Bold Offensive by Taliban in Southern Afghanistan

Summary

  • Taliban forces have allegedly launched attacks at multiple checkpoints in southern Afghanistan. 
  • Included in the skirmishes was the blowing up of an army base and ground assaults at several government strongholds.
  • Attacks were recorded on multiple fronts, including Helmand and Farah provinces.
  • Government forces have pushed back with both air raids and use of elite commando forces.
  • The violence was largely expected, as the United States announced troop withdrawal by Sept 11, 2021, as opposed to the May 1st deadline previously agreed upon.
  • Government forces have sustained significant losses and the world community remains uncertain about whether the Afghani government can maintain control in the absence of foreign troops. 
  • The Taliban have refused to participate in a peace conference in Turkey next month, leading many to believe that they will not act in good faith towards the restoration of Afghanistan.
  • Taliban forces have yet to comment on the attacks.

Sources

Tweets

FDA Planning to Approve the Pfizer Vaccine for Children

Pfizer BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine %282020%29 D
U.S. Secretary of Defense, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its plans to make the Pfizer vaccine available for children between the ages of 12-15 as soon as next week. 
  • Children being vaccinated are key to lowering hospitalizations and deaths attributed to the pandemic. Reports of trial runs leading up to the authorization proved that adolescents react towards the vaccine, generally showcasing similar effects as those aged 16 to 25. 
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that before administration, Pfizer must be revised through a meeting with their committee on immunization practices post FDA proposal.  
  • If approved, it would allow for many high school children to be fully vaccinated before the Fall 2021 school year,  but would also increase the demand for vaccines over the states. 

Tweets: 

Mexico Metro Overpass Collapses, Killing Over 20 People And Raising Safety Concerns

Juan Carlos Fonseca Mata, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • A Metro overpass in Mexico city collapsed Monday evening after a support beam holding it up collapsed onto a busy street, killing 24 people and injuring over 60.  
  • Rescue teams waited for morning before continuing efforts as the “Golden Line” Metro system hung over the road. 
  • City Mayor Claudia Sheinbum announced at the scene their plan of hiring an “international company certified in Metros and structural matters to conduct an external technical investigation” into the cause of the crash. 
  • The system was built over four years ago under previous Mayor now Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebard, and the incident brings on questions towards the metro’s safety. Along with Sheinbaum, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez urged that the investigation take place and that nothing be hidden from the Mexican people in the process. 

Tweets: 

Violence Erupts in Colombia Following Proposed Tax Reform

Marcha 7 de abril
Danieland, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Tens to thousands of protestors in Colombia came out on streets in outcry of a proposed tax bill that would exacerbate wealth inequality amid already dire economic consequences of the pandemic in which lower and middle income classes have suffered disproportionately.
  • Protests turned violent after police were deployed to quell the demonstrators; footage on social media captured violent scenes of shootings, tear gas, and other uses of force.
  • World leaders, including the United Nations human rights office have condemned the violence, which led to at least 20 deaths and 900 injuries.
  • Many experts surmise that the protests have erupted in response to not just the proposed tax bill, but a product of rising political turmoil, corruption, inequality, and injustice Colombians are perceiving by their government.

Tweets:  

Era of Darkness Feared in El Salvador After Removal of Officials

Nayib Bukele 2
Fsociety, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Newly sworn-in lawmakers are feared to have brought insult to the new and fragile democracy in El Salvador by removal of the attorney general and Constitutional Court judges.
  • The Biden administration and several U.S. lawmakers have condemned the perceived power grab by El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, as the officials removed the remaining checks on his administration’s power.
  • The removed officials were replaced by Bukele’s allied picks sparking a constitutional crisis, with many international organizations, including the United Nations condemning the break of constitutional rights and controlling power.

Tweets:

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Crime

Six People Killed in Shooting at Independence Day Parade

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800px 4th of July Independence Day Parade 2014 DC 14466342590
  • Six people were shot dead at an Independence Day parade near Chicago, Illinois. The gunman is still unknown and actively being searched for.
  • The gunman, who is being described as a white man near the age of 20, started shooting at random with a high powered rifle from a rooftop. The parade, which should have included hours of activities and entertainment, quickly ended and crowds were dispersed.
  • Those living in nearby suburbs or areas where the suspect might have gone have been told to shelter in place.
  • July 4th marks the colonies gaining independence in 1776 from Great Britain and the formation of the United States of America.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Crime

Eight Gang Members Arrested and In Possession of Underwater Drones

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800px Drug trafficking Caribean Sea
  • Spanish police arrested eight gang members that had unmanned underwater drones, six aerial drones, as well as other illegal substances in their possession.
  • The police said the drones could be used for illegal purposes, specifically “to be delivered to French narco-traffickers to be used to transport significant quantities of cocaine.”
  • One of the underwater vehicles was completely built, and two more were still being completed. The drones could potentially be controlled from anywhere in the world.
  • More than a year long investigation was carried out with the help of the French police to investigate the gang and arrest members in Cadiz, Malaga, and Barcelona.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Three People Killed in Copenhagen Mall Shooting

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800px Fisketorvet Copenhagen Mall Interior 15915770832
  • Three people were killed at a mall in Copenhagen, Denmark after a gunman started randomly shooting with a rifle.
  • The suspect is a 22-year old Danish man with a mental health condition and “known among psychiatric services,” according to Copenhagen police chief Soren Thomassen.
  • Two Danish teenagers were killed, one boy and one girl, and a 47-year old Russian citizen. Four other people are in critical condition from the shooting.
  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spoke about the incident, stating, “Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second.”

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Argentina’s Economy Minister Quits

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Martin Guzman
  • Argentina’s economy minister, Martin Guzmán, resigned from his post after a week of economic crisis in a 7 page letter published on Twitter.
  • Guzmán initiated office in 2019 taking lead in restructuring Argentina’s debt.
  • In addition to the global rise of food and energy costs, Argentina is battling with 60% inflation.
  • In his letter of resignation, Guzmán calls for a “political agreement within the governing coalition.”
  • Many speculate his statement was in reference to his deputy – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – whom he was openly at odds with when approaching the country’s economic problems.
  • Prior to the resignation, Fernández took to criticizing economic policy starting with Guzmán’s inflation strategy.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

3 Hezbollah Drones Shot down by Israel

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Levant Basin
  • The Israeli military says one drone was shot down by an F16 fighter jet and the other two by Barak 8 missiles via ship.
  • The drones were unarmed.
  • In an official statement Hezbollah confirms ownership of the drones which were heading for the Karish gas field in disputed territory off the Mediterranean coast of Israel.
  • Israel previously announced plans to extract gas from the offshore rig, eliciting threats from Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.
  • The disputed territory amplified tensions between Israel and Lebanon.
  • Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, accuses Hezbollah of barring Lebanon from cooperating with Israel concerning maritime borders.
  • This incident evoked support for Hezbollah, many taking to social media platforms to express gratitude for the militant group’s brazen confrontation against Israel’s platform in the Mediterranean. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Russian Forces Finally Abandon Snake Island as a Gesture of Goodwill

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Battle of Snake Island 2022
  • Russian forces have officially abandoned Snake or Zmiinyi Island as a gesture of goodwill in order to prove that it was not obstructing grain exports. But this claim was instantly dismissed by Ukraine once Moscow continued to shell its grain stores. 
  • Snake Island was seized by Russians on February 24; the island, which is just 22 miles away from Ukraine, is exposed to attacks from all directions, including air and sea. Once Russia seized it, Ukraine attacked the island itself and any vessels carrying troops or heavy weaponry. 
  • Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov states that controlling this island and stationing troops doesn’t make sense for either side and the island is an easy target. He argued that maintaining “fire control,”.which is having the capability to strike any target approaching the island, is a better advantage for either side. 
  • The key question is whether the Ukrainians will consider  exporting grain to reboot the war economy. However, the Russian warships still gain dominance over the Black Sea, and although they are offering Ukraine to export grains from Odessa, Ukraine rejected it due to it having to remove mines from outside the port. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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