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The Daily Brief: Afghanistan Faces Drone Attacks, Safe Passage Resolutions, and Deadly Final Evacuations

Afghanistan Faces Drone Attacks, Safe Passage Resolutions, and Deadly Final Evacuations

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1280px Local soldier mentors Afghan police in Kabul

Summary:

  • A Sunday afternoon drone attack conducted by the US military killed 10 civilians in Kabul, including children.
  • The victims of the attack were from the Ahmadi and Nejrabi families and were aged from 2 to 40 years old.
  • The US claims that the attack was targeted at the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISIS-K).
  • The US was hit back by an air rocket attack aimed at Kabul international Airport where US forces have gathered to facilitate mass evacuations.
  • The rocket attack was conducted just 1 day before the US troop withdrawal deadline of August 31.
  • As preparation for US departure from Afghanistan the UN Security Council has approved a safe passage resolution which aims to ensure that exit from the country remains open civilians.
  • The US and several other countries released a joint statement assuring the public that the Taliban has agreed to allow exit to people with eligible travel documents to depart the country.
  • 98 nations have promised to open their doors to civilians fleeing Afghanistan.

Sources:

Al Jazeera

NYT

Bloomberg

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Hurricane Ida Leaves Carnage and Destruction in its Wake

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Infrogmation, CC BY 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • Ida has been downgraded from the status of a hurricane to a tropical storm, however the threat of flooding from the tremendous rains remains.
  • Rescue workers are continuing their search for missing persons while millions of Louisiana citizens remain without electricity.
  • Beyond electric failure, the storm has halted water supply for 300,000 residents and forced an additional 2,000 people to move to shelters.

Tweets:

Palestinian and Israeli Leaders Meet in Their First High-Level Meeting in Over a Decade

  • Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, met in a rare meeting this week to discuss ways to strengthen Israel and Palestine relations. 
  • Israel has agreed to advance the Palestinian Authority $155 Million, they will recognize the status of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, issue 16,000 work permits and 1,000 building permits to Palestinians living in parts of the West Bank. 
  • Gantz hopes to strengthen the Palestinian Authority while weakening Hamas’ power in the area. Hamas leaders condemned the meeting stating that it “further complicates the Palestinian situation.”
  • This meeting comes amidst continuous border clashes between Israeli authorities and Palestinian civilians. In recent weeks, an Israeli officer succumbed to a gunshot wound and two Palestinians, aged 12 and 32, were shot and killed by Israeli armed forces during border protests. 

Tweets:

North Korea Appears to Expand Banned Nuclear program in New UN Report

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  • In a recent report, the UN Nuclear Agency found indications of new nuclear activity at the Yongbyon facility, including the release of cooling water since July 2021. This is the first sign of activity at the North Korean facility since 2018. 
  • Since their expulsion from North Korea in 2009, the International Atomic Energy Agency has monitored the country’s Nuclear activities from afar via satellites. 
  • The UN states the new activity at the 5-Mega Reactor site, was “deeply troubling” and that they fear that the country is expanding their nuclear arsenal.
  • South Korean officials indicate they are continuously monitoring North Korea’s missile and nuclear activity in close cooperation with the United States. 

Tweets:

California Fires Continue To Ravage The State With New Fires Growing Rapidly

  • With dry and hot conditions continuing across the state, the latest fire in Southern California, Chaparral Fire, has already burned more than 1,400 acres and is only 10% contained since this Saturday.
  • Chaparral Fire is one of many burning across the state. The largest being the Dixie fire, which has already burned 764,000 acres in almost 2 months and is currently 48% percent contained. 
  • The Caldor Fire has prompted evacuation orders to the tourist area of Lake Tahoe. Fearing its spread to more populated areas of the state, authorities have made containing the Caldor fire a priority.
  • More than 1.66 Million acres have burned in California this year alone. The increase in wildfires across the Western United States has been attributed to global warming.

Tweets:

Non-Essential Travel Declines in US as Covid Cases Rise

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Mx. Granger, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Amidst a rise in Covid-19 cases in the US, the European Union has recommended that all non-essential travel be halted, which is a reversal from their advice in June lifting restrictions for the tourism season.
  • Domestic travel in the US has significantly decreased in the recent months with many travelers changing their plans due to the Delta variant’s increase in infections.
  • Singapore is currently the most vaccinated country, with 80% of its population having received both doses. The United Arab Emirates, Chile, and Uruguay have more than 70% of their populations fully vaccinated.

Tweets

More Than 500 Migrants Rescued From Fishing Boat in Italian Waters

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Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • More than 500 migrants were rescued off a fishing boat near the Italian island of Lampedusa on Saturday. Some of the migrants seemed to be victims of physical assault.
  • Prosecutors in Italy have opened an investigation into the incident, and some believe that the migrants were falsely imprisoned in Libya. Many of the passengers were from Africa, and some were from Bangladesh.
  • Among the passengers were three women and several children. Alida Serrachieri, a nurse from Doctors Without Borders, stated at least twenty migrants underwent burn and firearm wounds.

UN Announces End of Leaded Gas Use in Cars

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Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • The U.N. Environment Programme announced the end of leaded gas use in cars worldwide after Algeria, the last country to still sell leaded gas, stopped its sale.
  • After researchers discovered that leaded gas could potentially cause heart disease, brain damage, and premature deaths, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched a campaign in 2002 to end its use.
  • The UNEP stated that 1.2 million premature deaths will be prevented due to this latest milestone, and $2.44 trillion will be saved every year. Leaded gas is still used in the aviation industry for small aircrafts.

Tweets

China Restricts Online Gaming for Minors to Three Hours a Week

Magnus Fröderberg/norden.org, CC BY 2.5 DK , via Wikimedia Commons
  • China has imposed a rule allowing children under 18 to only play online games on Fridays, weekends, and holidays between 8pm and 9pm, totaling three hours per week. China stated this is for the betterment of children’s mental and physical health
  • Online gaming companies have been asked to enforce these new regulations, and inspections of these companies will be more frequent to check their adequate enforcement.
  • In 2019, China restricted gaming for minors to 90 minutes per day which could not be done between the hours of 10 PM and 8 AM. The measures also restricted microtransactions, in-game purchases, to a maximum amount of $28 to $57.

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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

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

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India violence

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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800px DC Capitol Storming IMG 7960
  • 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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Daily Brief

50 Migrants Found Dead Near the US-Mexico Border

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U.S
  • 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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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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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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