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The Daily Brief: Gruesome beheadings and attacks on civilians intensify campaign of violence in Northern Mozambique

Insurgents set siege on the city of Palma in a long-term effort to destabilize the region.

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Gruesome beheadings and attacks on civilians intensify campaign of violence in Northern Mozambique

Summary:

  • Rebel forces allegedly tied to the Islamic State Central Africa Province laid bare the city of Palma on Monday.
  • Over 50 people were killed, some in brutal fashion, including civilians, foreigners, Christians and Mozambican army troops.
  • Rebels in Mozambique have risen in notoriety over the last few years; the United States has officially labelled them a terrorist organization and has sent military specialists to help the Mozambican government counter rebel attacks.
  • Palma was specifically targeted because it is the site of foreign investment by the France based oil and gas company, Total, which has invested millions of dollars to extract liquified natural gas from the area.
  • Violence has escalated to the point that the Mozambican government has contracted with a private military company, the Dyck Advisory Group, to fortify Mozambican police forces.
  • Palma is not the first city to fall under rebel control; port Mocimboa da Praia was captured by rebels in August 2020.
  • The growing humanitarian crisis in Mozambique has caught the attention of disaster relief organizations such as Doctors Without Borders.

Sources:

https://apnews.com/article/mozambique-palma-rebels-beheaded-bodies-e0b0a68eec8f322ebbcaf13384f890fd

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/28/world/africa/mozambique-palma-hotel-insurgents.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/29/who-are-the-fighters-launching-attacks-in-northern-mozambique

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US Imposes Economic Sanctions on Myanmar

  • The US has stopped trade under the 2013 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Myanmar until a democratic government is restored. This does not end all trade between the two countries, and the US has imposed additional economic sanctions as well.
  • The US has expressed support for the protestors in Myanmar, and has condemned the military for their use of violence.
  • Over one hundred people were killed by the military in Myanmar this weekend alone, totaling the number of deaths to nearly 500. Air strikes were launched on Monday, causing thousands to flee to Thailand for safety.

French Bill Targeting Muslims Reaches the Senate

  • The French Senate is preparing to discuss a bill that is said to strengthen French Republican principles and limit extremism, but many are calling it an attack on Muslims, specifically their freedom of expression.
  • Some disputed parts of the bill include an obligation for organizations to sign a “republican commitment” before being able to receive funding from the state, the powers given to authorities to dissolve religious organizations, and the regulations on foreign funding.
  • This bill follows a pattern of discrimination of the Muslim minority in France, which French President Emmanuel Macron believes is necessary to tackle “Islamist separatism” and preserve the country’s secular system.

French Weight Loss Pill Pulled From Market After 500 Recorded Deaths

  • After being on the market for 33 years Servier’s Mediator pill, which was marketed as a weight loss drug and has been connected to hundreds of deaths, was discontinued.
  • Jean-Philippe Seta, Servier’s former deputy boss, has been sentenced to a suspended jail sentence of 4 years. 
  • Experts predict up to 2,100 people may die due to the medication while a recorded 500 people have already passed with heart complications related to the drug. 
  • Servier has been charged $3.1 million for aggravated deceit, manslaughter, and causing unintentional injury.
  • France’s medicine agency was fined $356,000 due to their delay in suspending the Mediator drug.

The Trial of Derek Chauvin Begins in Minneapolis 

  • With the conclusion of the jury selection on March 23 the trial of Derek Chauvin began early Monday morning.
  • Charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of George Floyd, Chauvin will be defended by attorney Eric Nelson.
  • With four of the 12 jurors being black and two jurors described as multiracial the jury is one of the most diverse ever seen in a felony jury trial, however after widespread circulation of the video depicting the crime ambiguity was difficult to find in the jury selected.

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

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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Daily Brief

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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Daily Brief

World Watches as the United States Supreme Court Abolishes a Woman’s Right to an Abortion

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Defend Roe v Wade 0035 52061678896
  • The United States’ top justices voted to eliminate the constitutional right to an abortion, a law that had been in place for over 50 years.
  • The closely watched decision was heralded by some and derided by others, depending on their position on the controversial concept of a woman’s right to choose for her own body.
  • With the abolition of the constitutional right, it is expected that many states in the U.S. will implement near total bans of abortion rights, while other states such as California, Oregon and Washington have reaffirmed their commitment to preserve the right to an abortion.
  • Planned Parenthood, the advocacy face for abortion rights, is mobilizing around the country to bolster and increase services in those states that will preserve the right, and engage voters in those states that plan to abolish the right.

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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

The EU Approves Ukraine for Candidacy

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Munster Stadtweinhaus Beflaggung Ukraine und EU 2022 0219 scaled
  • The EU has finally approved the application of Ukraine to become a candidate country for admission to the 27- country organization. Ukraine will now join the official candidate list, which already includes Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. 
  • The US is expected to provide an additional $450m in security assistance to Ukraine. Which includes four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems. 
  • The EU and Norway have agreed to cooperate and provide the EU’s 27 countries with gas from Western Europe’s biggest provider. The EU imports roughly ⅕ of its gas from Norway compared to the 40% it was receiving from Russia. Currently, Russia has been cutting gas supplies to countries refusing to pay for it in roubles. 
  • Melbourne is considering utilizing its largely vacant $200m Center for National Resilience building to house hundreds of refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine and Afghanistan. The center will only be able to temporarily house about 500 refugees from Afghanistan and about 200 from Ukraine. 
  • Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov thanked US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after receiving and welcoming the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) from the United States. 
  • Nike joined other leading Western brands by formally making a full exit from Russia, three months after suspending its operations. Telecoms equipment maker Cisco is also planning to wind down business in Russia and Belarus as well.

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

US Supreme Court Expands Gun Carrying Rights Causing National Outrage 

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Open Carry of a 9mm Browning Hi Power in Eagle Colorado scaled
  • The US Supreme Court expanded gun carrying rights after a New York law denied the plaintiffs Robert Nash and Brandon Koch from carrying a concealed weapon in public, despite them having licenses for recreational gun ownership. 
  • The US court ruled that the New York law requiring residents to prove “proper cause” to carry a concealed weapon is unconstitutional. Justice Clarence Thomas, who represented the 6 justices who ruled in favor of the decision, stated that Americans have the right to carry “commonly used” firearms in public for personal defense. 
  • This decision comes amid an intense national debate over gun violence, and could possibly challenge the  outcome of similar regulations in other states, such as California and New Jersey, and affect a quarter of Americans by allowing more people to carry guns legally. 
  • Three liberal justices, Elena Kahan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer, were against the majority decision, and Justice Breyer noted that “since the start of this year alone (2022), there have already been 277 reported mass shootings – an average of more than one per day.”
  • While the National Rifle Association (NRA) celebrated the judgment, President Biden stated that he was “deeply disappointed” by the court’s decision and that the ruling “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should trouble us all.” 
  • New York Mayor Eric Adams also agreed with Biden and stated that he would review other ways to restrict gun access by restricting the application process for buying guns and looking into bans of firearms at specific locations. 

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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