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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

Daily Brief

Salman Rushdie Severely Stabbed due to his Publication of the Book “The Satanic Verses”

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Salman Rushdie 2014
  • Salman Rushdie, an author, was severely stabbed in his neck and abdomen on stage by a suspect named Hadi Matar, causing him to be on a ventilator and potentially losing an eye.
  • An Iranian leader back in the 20th century wanted Rushdie killed because of his novel, Satanic Verses, that many Muslims found disrespectful. This led Salman to go into hiding for almost a decade.
  • Translators from different countries reading this book were harshly stabbed to death when the book came out and Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khomeini called for Salman’s execution for three million dollars.
  • The Iranian government has not yet responded to this issue, but many Iranians in the media claim him to be an apostate who later became an atheist.

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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China Threatens Consequences if Pelosi Visits Taiwan

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  • US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed inTaiwan. Prior to the visit, China’s Foreign Ministry has voiced their disapproval, stating that “China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized in response  that “The speaker will make her own decisions about whether or not to visit Taiwan,” and that the US is looking to Beijing to “act responsibly and not to engage in any escalation going forward.”
  • The US has made it clear that members of Congress routinely visit Taiwan and that this trip is non-threatening and has precedent. Even so, some officials have expressed concern that China may invade Taiwan’s air defense zone or send missiles near Taiwan in retaliation.
  • Pelosi has criticized China’s leadership and vocalized support for Taiwan in the past. She is currently on her tour of Asia, with scheduled visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.

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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First Grain Ship Departs Ukraine After Six Months of Russian Blockade

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Odesa pristav
  • The first shipment of grain departed the port of Odesa on Monday after Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports for the last six months trapped around 20 million metric tons of wheat and corn.
  • Russia recently made a deal with Ukraine, brokered by the UN and Turkey, allowing grain exports to resume, appeasing fears of a global food supply crisis and rising prices.
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba celebrated the shipment, calling it a “day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.”
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was more hesitant to celebrate the shipment, stating “it is too early to draw any conclusions and make any forecasts” and he wants to “see how the agreement works and whether security will be really guaranteed.”

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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Concerns Rise As US Teeters on the Brink of Recession

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US Stock Market Investing in the United States
  • The US economy declines for the second quarter in a row, causing, what other countries would consider, an economic recession. 
  • The prices for groceries, gas, and other basics are rising at the fastest pace since 1981. The US Central Bank is quickly trying to raise borrowing costs in order to cool the economy and ease the prices on goods, but with the contraction, at the annual rate of 0.9% in the 3 months to July, many are still getting concerned. 
  • President Biden struggles to convince the public that the economy is sound, with the unemployment rate at a low 3.6%. But with inflation in the US hitting 9.1% in June, the fastest price appreciation in 4 months, consumer spending has slowed at an annual rate of 1%. 
  • Many other countries, such as China and the UK, have been hit harder by the surge in energy prices and the War in Ukraine, causing risks from abroad. Other countries are facing much more serious problems and once they’re hit, their problems can spill over and affect the US. 

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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North Korea Could Possibly Be Preparing another Nuclear Test

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  • North Korea could be preparing a seventh nuclear test, especially after Mr. Kim announced that the country is fully ready for any military confrontation with the US at a Korean War Anniversary event. 
  • A US special representative in North Korea states that Jong-Un has tested an unprecedented number of missiles this year—31 to 25. Jong-Un also stated that threats from the US required North Korea to achieve the urgent historical task of strengthening its self-defense. 
  • Jong-un also stated that South Korea is reviving a plan to counter North Korea’s threat by mounting precautionary strikes; in June alone, South Korea launched 8 missiles of its own.
  • The North Korean regime is especially angry with South Korea’s new president Yoon Suk-yeol and his so-called Kill Chain strategy. This strategy allows South Korea to launch ballistic missiles and air strikes on North Korean targets if it ever feels threatened. 
  • North Korea has also not been getting as much engagement with Washington ever since Biden replaced Trump, and could be hinting at some sort of deliberate escalation by the North, and preparations have been underway at the Punggye Ri test site since March.

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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Russia Limits Gas Supply to Germany

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Black Sea port of Theodosiya panoramio
  • Gazprom, a major Russian energy provider, has stated it will reduce the supply of gas to Germany by half via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline due to repair work. 
  • Germany has said that they see no technical reason for the decrease in gas supply. The European Union continues to accuse Russia of weaponizing energy, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stating, “This is an open gas war that Russia is waging against a united Europe.”
  • Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement to allow the export of grain via the Black Sea after Russia continued to block millions of tonnes from being exported. The next day, Russia struck missiles at the port, some of which hit the infrastructure of the port.
  • The US and Ukraine are optimistic that the agreement will still be implemented, with the US State Department stating, “Despite these attacks, we do understand that the parties are continuing preparations to open Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for food and fertilizer exports…we also continue to expect that the Black Sea agreement will be implemented.”

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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