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The Daily Brief: US President Joe Biden’s Executive Order Ushers In A New Series Of Sanctions On Russia

The US Government Has Imposed Several New Sanctions On The Kremlin As Punishment For Election Interference, Cyber Hacking, And Suspicious Activity Near Ukraine.

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US President Joe Bidens Executive Order Ushers In A New Series Of Sanctions On Russia

Summary:

  • The Biden Administration has taken a strong stance on Russia’s recent “malign” actions by placing new sanctions on the country.
  • Allegations against the Kremlin include: interfering with US elections in 2020, hacking the US tech company SolarWinds, poisoning prominent activist Alexander Navalny with a nerve agent, and bullying Ukraine.
  • The sanctions were enacted through US President Joe Biden’s executive order in an effort to strengthen his administration’s response to Russia. 
  • The US Treasury Department has blacklisted 6 Russian tech companies related to Russia’s intelligence services and 32 entities and individuals accused of committing “acts of disinformation and interference”.
  • The US will also be removing 10 individuals from the Russian embassy in Washington, DC, including members of the Russian intelligence services.
  • Russia denies all of these allegations and has stated through their foreign ministry that “a series of retaliatory measures will follow soon”. 
  • President Biden has expressed that he does not want “to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia” however he is “prepared to take further actions” if Russia continues to interfere with US democracy.
  • In a “candid” conversation with Putin earlier this week, Biden proposed a summit between the US and Russia in order to discuss diplomatic relations.
  • Sources:
  • NBC
  • Reuters

Tweets:

Other Headlines: 

French Citizens Advised to Leave Pakistan Amidst Protests

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AnoshNadeemButt, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • The French embassy in Pakistan has advised French citizens and officials to leave Pakistan amidst violent anti-French protests. Pakistan has stated that this announcement comes from France’s own assessment.
  • This announcement comes after a ban earlier this week on Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, a far-right group dedicated to protesting blasphemous remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron. They have demanded the expulsion of the French ambassador and a ban on French goods.
  • Protests erupted this week after Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s leader, Saad Rizvi, was arrested. Two police officers have been killed in the protests, and hundreds injured.
  • Tweets:

Car Bomb Explodes in Iraq’s Capital

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  • A car bomb in Baghdad killed at least one person and destroyed several other cars as it was driving through a market filled with predominantly Shiite Muslims.
  • Iraqi President Barham Salih condemned the attack, and no group has claimed responsibility.
  • Explosions in Baghdad have become less frequent after the defeat of ISIS in 2017, with the most recent attack occurring in January, killing more than 30 people and injuring many.
  • This explosion comes after a drone strike earlier this week hit US led forces and a Turkish military base.
  • Tweets:

Advocacy Groups Pushback Against Instagram App For Children

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  • More than 35 advocacy groups across the globe are advocating against the creation of an Instagram app usable by children under 13.
  • Instagram has been pushing for the development of such an app in response to the many accounts made by children on Instagram by falsely verifying their age to be 13; the new app is expected to be designed with ads and technology appropriate for children.
  • Children advocacy groups have written a letter to Mark Zuckerberg outlining the dangers of a youth media platform such as body shaming and addiction.
  • These groups argue that such apps are manipulative in using children and adolescent’s desire for peer approval and can lead to devastating psychological and mental health effects.

Taliban Claim Victory As U.S. Troops Withdraw From Afghanistan

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  • President Biden’s decision to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan has led some Taliban groups to claim that they have won the war against America.
  • The U.S. is planning to commence withdrawal of military troops as early as May 1st, with President Biden stating that the exit would not be in haste and will take place responsibly.
  • The Taliban have claimed that they will not attend any peace treaties or conferences until all foreign forces have exited the country.
  • 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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Daily Brief

India playing the “All religions matter” card in the UN

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India violence

In a recent event that marked the first anniversary of the International Day of Countering Hate Speech, Ambassador Tirumurti from India urged the UN that fighting religiophobia should not be a “selective exercise” that involves only one or two religions but one that should be applied equally to phobias against non-Abrahamic religions as well. He had also addressed terrorism concerns that have been plaguing India due to the cross-border tensions that are on the rise.

It is ironic that such statements were made during an event whose sole purpose is to counter hate in a country where religiophobia against people practising Abrahamic religions is at an all-time high. Last week, India was in the news for all the wrong reasons due to comments made against the Prophet Muhammad (saw) by the official spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), one of India’s major political parties. Clashes erupted around the country in retaliation and houses that belonged to Muslim activists were bulldozed and razed to the ground simply because they had raised objections against the ruling party for the hateful comments made. Even though the cause for all that is happening in India is predominantly Islamaphobia, it is surprising how the religion of Islam was not mentioned anywhere in the list of Abrahamic religions given by Mr Tirumurti[1] . Leaving out the religion of Islam takes us back to the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and The National Register of Citizens (NRC) bill that was passed but not implemented yet required Muslims living in India to submit documents showing that they are indeed the citizens of India.

Mr Tirumurti also mentioned that India follows pluralism as it was recognised by the UAE and Egypt to promote fraternity on the International Day of Fraternity[2] . He defines Pluralism as “where every religion is respected, is a sine qua non of tolerance and harmony,”. However, what happened in India a few days prior is a stark contrast to the definition that he read out during the event.

“Till this is done, such international days will never achieve their objectives. There cannot be double standards on religiophobia,” stated the Ambassador. His remarks on how all religions must be treated equally to combat religiophobia are similar in nature to the “All Lives Matter” slogan created for the sole purpose of undermining the ‘Black Lives Matter movement. India needs to look back at itself to understand the definition of double standards as the country itself has become the epitome of the word by denying the extremist allegations while executing the same on minorities.[3] 

Regarding the statement given by Mr Tirumurti in the UN, Mahmooda, a Muslim citizen of India, living in Chennai said, “This is yet another flag of insignificance being pinned upon the Muslims”. This is a testament to the fact on how the government of India and the majority is still undermining and undervaluing the lives of Muslims who have made India their home for several decades now. 

“Fascism is always denied when it’s being perpetrated. Furthermore, there’s a convenient narrative orchestrated through different avenues to justify the hostility against the persecuted” remarked Aslam who is a 35 year old non-residential Indian living in the UAE.

Safura, a Muslim in her mid-20’s said that she understands that all religions must be considered equal in the religiophobia narrative and that “one cannot value one’s human life more than the other”, but it baffled her that Islam was left out of the conversation in an event that strives to fight against religiophobia despite the fact that Muslims are the most persecuted around the world. 

This makes us wonder if India believes that Muslims are the reason why religiophobia still exists and hence all the other religions must be saved from it? Unfortunately, the answer to this question can be provided by Mr Tirumurti alone.


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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Trump Knew His Supporters Were Armed in Jan. 6 Capitol Riots

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  • Former White House aid, Cassidy Hutchinson, stated that former US President Donald Trump was aware that rioters were armed on January 6th, 2021 when they stormed the US Capitol, but he did not want to stop them.
  • Hutchinson worked as a top advisor to Mr Trump’s chief of staff, and testified at a hearing to a select House committee that was in charge of investigating the Jan 6th riot at the US Capitol.
  • Hutchinson recounted how Mr. Trump said that rioters were “not here to hurt me” and that security should “let them in.” She also stated that he lunged at the driver of the limousine in a rage when he was told he could not be taken to the Capitol.
  • Mr Trump denied several parts of Hutchinson’s testimony, stating, “I didn’t want or request that we make room for people with guns to watch my speech.”

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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Fire During Colombia Prison Riot Kills 51

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  • A fire broke out in a Colombian prison during a riot, killing 51 inmates and injuring dozens. The fire was started by an inmate setting a mattress ablaze during the commotion and the flames spreading.
  • Colombian President Ivan Duque requested a “quick investigation to explain this terrible situation” and expressed his solidarity “to the families of the victims.”
  • No prisoners seem to have escaped and the fire is now under control. Twenty four people are currently in the hospital.
  • Prisons in Colombia are extremely overcrowded, as it was in this case, making riots and fighting amongst inmates a common occurrence.

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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50 Migrants Found Dead Near the US-Mexico Border

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U.S
  • Fifty migrants were found dead near the US-Mexico border in an abandoned semi truck due to “poverty and desperation,” according to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
  • The vehicle in which the victims were found was lacking air conditioning and water and, coupled with the extremely hot climate, it is suspected that they likely died from dehydration and heat stroke.
  • Migrants from Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala were among the victims. Sixteen people survived the incident and were taken to the hospital.
  • US President Joe Biden spoke about the incident, stating that his administration “will continue to do everything possible to stop human smugglers and traffickers from taking advantage of people who are seeking to enter the United States between ports of entry.”

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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Credit Suisse Found Guilty for Involvement in Money Laundering Scheme

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800px Credit Suisse Zurich
  • Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court found Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second largest bank, guilty for its involvement in a money laundering scheme involving a Bulgarian drug trafficking gang.
  • The bank is being fined 21 million Swiss francs ($22 million) due to its poor monitoring and implementation of anti-money laundering rules. More than 12 million francs worth of assets are also being confiscated due to their connection with the criminal group.
  • Credit Suisse has denied any wrongdoings and stated that it has been “continuously testing its anti-money laundering framework and has been strengthening it over time, in accordance with evolving regulatory standards.”
  • This case originated from actions taken by a former employee in 2007 and 2008, and two other Bulgarian citizens’ actions in 2005 and 2009. Some of their sentences and fines were suspended due to the amount of time passed since the crimes took place.

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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Chlorine Gas Leak in Jordan Port City Kills Thirteen People

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Port Of Aqaba City
  • A gas leak in Aqaba, Jordan killed at least thirteen people and injured more than 250. A storage container carrying between 25 and 30 tonnes of chlorine gas fell as it was being exported to Djibouti, releasing the gas.
  • A video of the incident on state TV shows the container being dropped onto the deck of the ship and a yellow colored gas spreading through the air as people try to evacuate. The accident seems to be a result of the crane malfunctioning.
  • If chlorine is inhaled at high levels, it can cause life-threatening damage. A nearby beach in Aqaba was evacuated as a safety precaution, and residents who live in the nearest residential area, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) away, were advised to stay inside and close windows.
  • Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh traveled to Aqaba and visited some of the injured at the hospital. He also formed a team led by the interior minister to investigate the incident.

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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