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The Daily Brief: United States and China engage in brusque opening round of talks

Biden Administration and Chinese government embark on ambitious agenda around human rights, cybersecurity and economic relations.

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United States and China engage in brusque opening round of talks

Summary:

  • Criticisms and unveiled derisions were the opening salvo of a two day in-person meeting between the United States and China, being conducted in Anchorage, Alaska.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China’s lead diplomat Yang Jiechi are meeting to assess the US-China relationship, which has become increasingly fractious over the last few years.
  • From a human rights perspective, the U.S. has expressed concern over the mass detention and accused genocide of the Uighur Muslim population in Xinjiang, as well as attempts to squash democratic rights in Hong Kong.
  • China has countered by calling into question the U.S.’s commitment to human rights, given deteriorating race relations with African Americans.
  • Trade is another area where the two countries differ; the U.S. alleges China is artificially devaluing its currency, while China seeks for the U.S. to lift tariffs on Chinese imports.
  • The two major powers also spar on security, with China accusing the U.S. of pushing into the South China Sea and the U.S. angry over China’s suspected involvement in cyber attacks.
  • Despite the tense public exchanges, both countries insisted that substantive conversations followed behind closed doors.

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Germany Faces an Abrupt Incline to Coronavirus Cases 

  • Coronavirus cases reach the biggest daily rise since January as Germany faces the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Germany along with other European countries is noticing a steep rise in cases after the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was taken out of circulation due to fears of possible side effects.
  • After two reports of blood clots in patients who received the shot the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was halted, however European medicines regulators have assured that the vaccine is safe and effective.
  • German Chancellor Angela Markle said “We agreed that, should the seven-day incidence rate exceed 100 per 100,000 people in a region or state, we will go back to the restrictions which were in place until 7 March – we called it the emergency brake.”

The Group of Seven Propose an Expansion to IMF Reserves 

  • The world’s seven largest advanced economies, known as the Group of Seven (G7), have agreed to expand the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) reserves, a move which has not been done since 2009.
  • The proposal is to increase the volume of Special Drawing Rights (SDR’s) for an attempt to help vulnerable nations cope with the crisis brought on during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • A Credit ratings agency, Fitch, said that while a bump to SRD’s would “help countries to deal with immediate external financing pressures, [an increase] is insufficient to alleviate broader debt service challenges.” 

Increasing US Support for Taiwan Prior to Meeting with China

  • The Biden Administration has approved an export of technologies to Taiwan for a new submarine fleet, a move that parallels the supportive stance the Trump Administration had with Taiwan.
  • Later this week, top US officials are meeting with top Beijing officials, who have repeatedly warned against US relations with Taiwan as China is preparing to take control of Taiwan by any means, including extreme force.
  • Beijing has increased military pressure in Taiwan, with an attack expected in the next few years and the US likely to defend Taiwan.

Gunmen Attack in Niger Kills 58 Civilians

  • 58 civilians in Niger were attacked by gunmen on motorcycles, who also attacked a nearby village, with no immediate claim of responsibility.
  • The border between Mali and Niger continues to have high tension, with armed groups present having ties to ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
  • Deadly attacks by militants have occurred recently, with 100 people being killed in a coordinated attack in January.

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

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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Daily Brief

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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Daily Brief

Russian Missile Sets Ukraine Shopping Center on Fire

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781px Nevsky Centre Shopping Mall in Russia
  • A busy shopping center in Ukraine was set on fire by Russian missiles on Monday, killing at least thirteen people and injuring dozens. The total number of casualties is still unknown.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that “The number of victims is impossible to imagine” and that there could have been up to 1,000 people in the mall.
  • The attack came during the G7 summit, where world leaders condemned recent atrocities and promised to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” in a joint statement. President Zelensky spoke to the leaders at the summit and stated that he wants the war to end before winter.
  • NATO has decided to increase the number of troops in its rapid reaction force from 40,000 to 300,000, more than eightfold. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated this move is part of the “biggest overhaul of collective defense and deterrence since the Cold War.”
  • The United States has announced that it will provide Ukraine with advanced medium and long-range air defense capabilities.

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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