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The Daily Brief: Enormous Fires In Cape Town Rage On For More Than 24 Hours

Tremendous Fires In Cape Town Continue To Rage On After Destroying Several Structures And Burning Down An Historic Library Over A Day of Destruction

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Enormous Fires In Cape Town Rage On For More Than 24 Hours
Discott, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • A widespread fire began this Sunday morning in Cape Town’s Table Mountain National Park.
  • Firefighters have managed to contain about 70 – 80% of the fire, however it could possibly flare up again due to weather conditions.
  • The City of Cape Town has stated that windy conditions have been a major hurdle in getting the fire under control.
  • About 150 firefighters are currently engaged in suppressing the fire which has raged on for more than 24 hours.
  • The blaze had spread towards Vredehoek, a suburb on the slopes of Table Mountain, causing the city to evacuate residents.
  • After most of the fire was contained residents were allowed to return to their homes.
  • The fire destroyed 9 structures, including historical landmarks, on Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
  • The historic Reading Room of the University of Cape Town’s Jagger Library was “completely gutted” by the flames.
  • Cape Town’s Executive Mayor Dan Plato has stated that the loss of “literary treasures” at the university library is “tragic” but “some of the most valuable works were saved by the quick activation of roller doors”.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Urges People to Vote in Person as Covid-19 Cases Pass 15 Million in India

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Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • India has more than 15 million Covid-19 cases across the country and reported more than 1,600 deaths in one day on Monday.
  • Amidst the second wave of coronavirus Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party in person in “record numbers” during the state assembly election in the eastern state of West Bengal.
  • This action was faced with staunch criticism and has pushed many Indian citizens to call for the resignation of PM Modi. 
  • Public in person election rallies continue all over India as hospitals in the nation face severe oxygen and bed shortages.
  • Tweets:

Germany’s Green Party Selects Their First Ever Chancellor Candidate 

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Scheint sinnig, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • The German Green Party has officially selected Annalena Baerbock to be their candidate for Chancellor in the country’s upcoming elections.
  • The Green Party, which began as a protest movement and opposition party, is now only a few percentage points behind Merkel’s CDU party.
  • Annalena Baerbock has been a member of the Green Party since 2005 and has worked as a spokeswoman for the party as well as a deputy member of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy. 
  • Baerbock is now one of the co-leaders of the party alongside Robert Habeck; since her leadership the Greens have consistently polled above 20%.
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Miguel Díaz-Canel Voted New Leader of Cuba’s Communist Party

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Kremlin.ru, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Miguel Díaz-Canel will succeed Raúl Castro as Cuba’s Communist Party first secretary, the most powerful position in the country.
  • Díaz-Canel has slowly worked his way up in the government, and the party delegates’ decision to elect him at the 8th Congress was unsurprising. As a strong supporter of the Castro family, no sudden or extreme changes are expected.
  • Raúl Castro stepped down as first secretary on Friday, marking the end of six decades with his family in power.
  • Sources:
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Two Killed in Tesla Car Crash With No Driver

2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance AWD Front
Vauxford, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Two people were killed in a car crash while sitting in the front and rear passenger seat of a 2019 Tesla Model S. The car crashed into a tree and caught fire, with no one in the driver’s seat.
  • It is unclear if the vehicle was equipped with Full Self Driving, which is an advanced software that is still being developed and available to certain customers.
  • The vehicle could have been using autopilot, which is an advanced feature on Tesla that allows the car to drive itself in many circumstances with minimal assistance from the driver. However, it requires someone in the driver’s seat and the steering wheel to be manned.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it would investigate the crash, leading to speculation of stricter regulations on autonomous driving systems. Tesla Inc.’s stock dropped significantly after the crash.
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Cuba Enters A New Age Of Government After 60 Years Of Castro Leadership

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Presidencia de la República Mexicana, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Raúl Castro has announced his intention to pass on leadership of Cuba’s ruling Communist Party to younger generations, leaving the island nation without a Castro at the helm for the first time in over 6 decades.
  • The announcement came on Friday from Castro himself, who turns 90 in June and wishes to leave the country to the youth “full of passion and anti-imperialist spirit”.
  • Mr. Castro is expected to formally step down and announce his replacement before the end of the Communist Party Congress on Monday.
  • Tweets:

Covid Death Toll Passes 3 Million As Cases Continue To Surge

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Pharexia (original author); Ratherous, AKS471883 (contributors); authors of File:BlankMap-World.svg (source file), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • The number of Covid cases to date is estimated at nearly 140 million, while the number of Covid-related deaths has surpassed 3 million.
  • India, as well as about half of the US states, are currently experiencing a surge with India recording 230,000 new cases on Saturday alone.
  • The World Health Organization has warned that the globe is “approaching the highest rate of infection” and that “cases and deaths are continuing to increase at worrying rates”.
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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

Cancelling Canada Day: A Country Perpetuating Injustice Cannot be Celebrated

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Canada Day is celebrated every July 1st, but as the injustices against Indigenous people in the country become mainstream, calls to cancel the celebrations are amplified.

With fireworks and large festivals, Canada Day is celebrated from coast to coast on July 1st by millions of people, every year. The day, for many Canadians, is one of joy and gratitude, for the home that Canada has become for them. 

However, following the discovery of mass graves at the site of former Residential Schools, celebrating Canada Day is becoming confusing for many. 

Residential schools, among other historical policies, made essentially to assimilate Indigenous peoples and erase their culture, are one of the causes of deeply rooted intergenerational trauma and disproportionate access to resources in Indigenous communities.

Canada Day, which marks the day of confederation and the day that Canada became its own nation also marks the day that the oppression of Indigenous peoples was taken into Canada’s own hands. Calls to ‘cancel Canada Day’ become louder each year, as the injustices which were perpetuated to help bring the country to where it is today become more widely known.

Canada, the “true, north, strong and free”, as described in the country’s national anthem, was established at the price of the lives, autonomy and rights of hundreds of thousands of Indigenous peoples.

Canada recognizes its Indigenous population broadly as the FNMI — which stands for the First Nations, the Métis and the Inuit. All three Indigenous nations were directly impacted during colonization, through forced relocations, harmful policies, and cultural genocides.

The Indian Act following confederation was a legal document which specifically prevented the First Nations people in Canada from many things, including cultural practices, political actions and restricted their freedom. Under this act, First Nations could not leave reserves that the government forced them onto, without explicit permission from an Indian Agent first. The RCMP – the Royal Canadian Mounted Police known today as Canada’s FBI – was made with the intention to force and keep Indigenous peoples on their reserves.

First Nations and Métis were also predominantly affected by residential schools and the sixties scoop, when Indigenous children were taken from their homes and given up for adoption. Both of these efforts were made with the goal of assimilating Indigenous children, by “killing the Indian in the child“.

The Inuit faced dehumanization with their forced relocation into the High Arctic, a land they were not traditionally accustomed to. They were used as human flagpoles in the race to claim the Arctic, giving Canada a land advantage over countries like Russia and the United States.

For the sake of Canada’s growth as a Western nation, Indigenous peoples were used as pawns. First Nations and Métis were forced onto reserves to make space for European settlers, while the government commissioned a mass Inuit dog slaughter, to keep the Inuit stranded in the High Arctic, so that Canada could not lose their claim over that land.

The birth of a nation had become more important than the lives of Indigenous peoples who have existed since time immemorial. And because of that, Canada was born with blood on its hands — blood it has yet to wash off in full, as the country’s growth continues to be more important than respecting Indigenous peoples who’ve lived there for centuries.

The Canadian government has a long-standing history of making promises to the Indigenous community and then turning their back on them — whether that means refusing to turn their words into action or taking action that has the opposite impact.

Indigenous peoples in Canada have been long subject to unjust conditions: many communities lack access to clean water. The government has acknowledged this; however, it hasn’t done much beyond that to actually improve living standards on reserves. Indigenous peoples are subject to disproportionate rates of police brutality and violence, especially in the North. Despite multiple reports recording the numbers, institutions are not doing much to change their practices.

Most prominently, the pipeline debate has shown how the government is willing to backtrack on their promises to Indigenous peoples to protect their rights, if it results in a growth for the country. Although Justin Trudeau ran a campaign in 2016 heavily opposing the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipelines, in 2019 his government bought the pipelines to take over the project and continue it, despite protests from Indigenous peoples pleading otherwise.

Time and time again, Indigenous communities in Canada seem to be living in an entirely different country; the “true, north, strong and free,” seems more like a betraying, oppressive and unjust nation. Their rights are considered dispensable in favour of material growth, and in society, they face stereotypes that lessen their quality of life.

The question: to celebrate or to not celebrate, might seem like a hard one when Canada Day is meant to be a day where Canadians rejoice for all that the country is to them. But the answer is quite straightforward, when it is the suffering of people caused by Canada in question.

For many — those born in Canada, those who immigrated here, and those seeking refuge here — there is much to be grateful for, on Canada Day. But showing gratitude for living in a country such as Canada and acknowledging the injustices it participates in are not mutually exclusive attitudes.

Sol Mamakwa, an Indigenous MPP for Kiiwetinoong, an electoral riding in Ontario, stated in a message for Canada Day, “It is my hope that Canadians will be able to strike a balance between honouring all that Canada has done for them today while still recognizing the real history of oppression, colonialism and genocide.”

Even if most Canadians do not experience the struggles of Indigenous peoples firsthand, these struggles still affect the very fabric of Canada. The country is only as great as it treats its Indigenous peoples, whose losses the country was built upon. And every single Canadian plays a role in advocating for the better treatment of Indigenous peoples.

To celebrate Canada Day, we must want better for the people who have lost everything for it, but we also must mourn with them for all the loss they have had to face. 

Canada Day should become a holiday more meaningful than fireworks and festivals: it needs to become a day of reflection. We must cancel Canada Day’s insensitive celebrations, by understanding the context of it, because injustice simply isn’t something you can celebrate.

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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I am a student from Ontario, Canada, and an aspiring journalist. I enjoy reading, writing and learning about the world around us - the issues with it and how we can make it a better place.

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Daily Brief

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

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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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  • 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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  • 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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