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The Daily Brief: Cessation of Violence In Tigray Region of Ethiopia

International community welcomes stability in key region in Horn of Africa

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30 06 2021 Ethiopia Flag

Summary: 

  • Fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has ended and the government has declared a ceasefire.
  • The region has been in turmoil since November when Tigray fighters began efforts to overtake federal rule.
  • Tigray’s federally appointed interim government left the capital city, Mekele, and Tigray fighters of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front resumed military rule.
  • The United Nations has expressed cautious optimism for the cessation of violence.
  • The violence in Tigray has precipitated a severe famine in the region.
  • There are also reports of gang rapes and forced starvation resulting from the conflict.
  • International observers see Ethiopia as the linchpin to security in the Horn of Africa region.

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Pressure Mounts to Cancel Canada Day as Recent Events Bring Light to Troubled History

Laura Whitney, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Calls to cancel Canada Day, celebrated July 1 to mark the creation of the Dominion of Canada from the merging of three British colonies, have risen in response to devastating recent discoveries of hundreds of unmarked graves of Indigenous school children.
  • Leaders of Indigenous communities say the holiday and grim realities of Indigenous school children brought to light have renewed trauma inflicted on Indigenous people with forced assimilation, erasure of culture and language, and physical and sexual abuse.
  • Residential schools in Canada were run from the late 1800s to early 1990s and were recognized by government institutions, in addition to being run by Catholic organizations.
  • Canada’s leaders have drawn emphasis to healing and reflection on Canada Day – most virtual celebrations are still scheduled, but some local governments have removed plans for celebration and display.
  • The call to cancel Canada Day has also brought a divide, with leaders and the public voicing opposition to canceling the national holiday.

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Rising Delta Variant in South Africa Ushers Strict Lockdown Amid Third Wave

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Discott, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • South Africa is experiencing a deadly third wave of COVID-19, marked by rapid transmission of the Delta variant and ushering a stringent lockdown.
  • Doctors describe devastating conditions, with depleted oxygen supplies and desperate patients – the disease has led to 60,038 recorded deaths so far and is linked to up to 40% of cases on the African continent.
  • World-leading epidemiologist Professor Salim Abdool Karim has stated a particular mutation relating to the spike protein has made the Delta variant particularly dangerous and more transmissible.
  • Healthcare professionals are frustrated with an inadequate response to the Delta variant with its initial appearance in India, a lack of strategic vaccine rollout and other administrative failures are blamed for the new surge.

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Walmart Brings Low-Cost Analog Insulin Option to the Market

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MikeMozartJeepersMedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Walmart announced on Tuesday that they will be launching its first-ever private brand analog insulin in the US.
  • The retailer claims that their new insulin brand, named ReliOn NovoLog, will provide people living with diabetes “affordable solutions”. 
  • Walmart has priced their package of prefilled insulin pens at $85.88 and their analog insulin vials at $72.88. These prices translate into more than 50% savings relative to the current cash price of branded insulin products when bought without insurance.

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Covid Treatment in India Gives Rise to Black Fungus Epidemic

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Trilochan Netralaya, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Following a devastating second wave of Covid-19 in India, the subcontinent is now facing an outbreak of a rare fungal infection called mucormycosis.
  • Doctors believe that steroid treatment for Covid-19 is responsible for the rise of mucormycosis because steroid injections increase blood sugar levels making patients susceptible to the fungal infection.
  • Akshay Nair, an oculoplastic surgeon in Mumbai has stated that the infection is “a form of flesh-eating fungus that destroys tissues as it grows… If it involves the sinus, they have to be cleared. If it involves the eye — the eyeball, lids, muscles around the eye have to be removed, leaving behind the bare, bony socket.”
  • India has declared the fungal outbreak to be a national epidemic as tens of thousands of cases pour into hospitals.

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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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Daily Brief

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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Daily Brief

First Grain Ship Departs Ukraine After Six Months of Russian Blockade

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  • 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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Daily Brief

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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Daily Brief

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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Daily Brief

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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