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The Daily Brief: Afghan Government and Taliban to Hold Talks in Doha Amid Increasing Violence

Negotiators for the Afghanistan’s government and the Taliban have met in Doha for high stakes talks regarding growing conflict in the country.

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800px Dr. Abdullah Abdullah at Embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi 2016 02 01 2

Hariva, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • A senior delegation of the Afghan government, including former chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, met with several Taliban representatives in Doha to discuss increasing conflict in Afghanistan.
  • Negotiations continued for hours on Saturday and are set to resume on Sunday when the Afghan government believes that they will “definitely have a final result of all the work they have done.”
  • Negotiators hope to conclude talks by 9/11 which is when the US government will conclude pulling out troops from the country.
  • Armed conflict between the military and Taliban has plagued Afghanistan for years, however US troop withdrawal has heightened tensions and increased violence substantially.
  • Representatives for both the Taliban and Afghan government have stated that the solution to conflict in Afghanistan lies in dialogue.
  • Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem claims that the Taliban has “repeatedly confirmed its readiness for dialogue and negotiations” and believes that problems can “only be solved by dialogue”.
  • Abdullah Abdullah, head of the Afghan government’s High Council for National Reconciliation, hopes that the negotiations will be “important steps to continue the peace process, to prevent the killing of the people”.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel Bids Farewell to White House Ahead of Expected Retirement This Fall

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  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has received what is likely to be her last official welcome to the White House as she looks to retire from her long held position in the fall.
  • Merkel has now worked with 4 US presidents, four French Presidents and five British Prime Ministers over the course of her historic career as Germany’s first female chancellor.
  • Chancellor Merkel and President Biden communicated with each other in a friendly and warm manner with Biden even telling Merkel that he will “truly miss” seeing her at summits.
  • With Merkel looking to exit her position as Chancellor, US-German relations are entering a new age in which both countries appear concerned over growing disagreements regarding the Nord Stream pipeline project.

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DACA Ruled Illegal by US Federal Judge

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Pax Ahimsa Gethen, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

  • Judge Andrew Hanen, a US federal judge, has ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, created by former US President Barack Obama, is illegal. Hanen also stated that no new applicants should be enrolled in the program.
  • Hanen said the program violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but since there are around 650,000 people already enrolled in the program, there should be no deportations or criminal actions taken against current DACA recipients.
  • US President Joe Biden has tried to protect and strengthen the program. Former US President Donald Trump tried to end the DACA, but the US Supreme Court blocked his bid.
  • DACA is a program that protects immigrants who came to the US unlawfully as children from deportation, and enables them to apply for a driver’s license, work authorization, and social security number.

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Man Killed in Protests Held in Iran Over Water Crisis

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Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

  • Protests are being held in different cities across Iran in response to the current water crisis. The drought has hurt households, farmers, the livestock industry, and caused power blackouts for the past few weeks.
  • Protests have included fires, blocked roads, and security forces shooting bullets to disperse crowds. One person has been killed, and many arrested during the protests.
  • Average precipitation is down by at least 50% this year, leaving dams unable to provide for the country. Iran has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, with its economy suffering, inflation higher than 50%, and high unemployment rates.

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Former Haitian Official Emerges as Key Suspect in Presidential Assassination

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Policía Nacional de los colombianos, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

  • Former Haitian Justice Ministry official Joseph Felix Badio has emerged as a key suspect in the assasination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise. An arrest warrant has been issued.
  • Badio gave the order for the assassination to mercenaries, according to Colombia authorities. He was fired from Haiti’s administration in May for serious breaches in professional conduct.
  • President Moise was assassinated ten days ago in his private residence. Twenty six Colombians and two Haitian Americans have been implicated in the incident.

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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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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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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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