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The Daily Brief: Afghanistan Steeped in Chaos as Taliban Continue Rise to Power

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The Taliban’s capture of Kabul has spurred hectic evacuation efforts and urgent international action

  • Following the fall of Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul, to the Taliban, thousands of Afghan citizens and US allies have fled to Hamid Karzai International Airport which remains in US control.
  • The Pentagon has deployed thousands of troops to maintain the airport which has been surrounded by Taliban militants and crowds of people attempting to leave the country.
  • US Helicopters and special forces are also at Hamid Karzai International in order to facilitate quick and safe evacuations.
  • Some officials claim that the US is turning away Afghan military interpreters and other close U.S. allies in favor of U.S. citizens and green card holders.
  • US President Joe Biden has stated that he may push back the August 31st deadline for troop withdrawal considering the violent situation in Afghanistan.
  • Suhail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban delegation in Doha has claimed that “If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations – the answer is no. Or there would be consequences,”

Sources:

Al Jazeera

NYT

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Tennessee Floods Kill at Least 21 People and Leave 10 Unaccounted For

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  • Flash floods in middle Tennessee caused by intense rains killed at least 21 people, 20 from Waverly City and 1 from Humphrey County.
  • 7-month old twins were among the fatalities. 
  • In less than 24 hours nearly 17 inches of rainwater barreled through the streets and homes of Tennessee causing mass destruction and injury.
  • Climate Scientists have pointed to climate change as a cause behind Tennessee’s floods.

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Poland to Build Fence Along Border with Belarus

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  • Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced the creation of a 8 foot high fence and the doubling of military troops along its border with Belarus. The migrants are mostly from Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • The European Union has accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of having migrants flown into the country and then sent across the border into neighboring countries. This has been called a “hybrid war” and believed to be Belarus’ revenge for recent sanctions.
  • Blaszczak stated the migrants are “an attack on Poland … an attempt to trigger a migration crisis.” Poland is adamant on not creating a route for migrants to enter the European Union.

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Egypt Closes Border with Gaza to Encourage Ceasefire

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  • Egypt has closed its border with Gaza, named the Rafah crossing, amidst tensions between Hamas. The move is believed to push Hamas and Israel into agreeing to a ceasefire.
  • A spokesman for Hamas stated that they are discussing the reopening of Rafah with Egypt. During Gaza and Israel’s eleven day war in May, Egypt had kept the border open to assist Palestinians.
  • Israel and Palestine faced violent clashes this week, with protests led by Hamas leading to more than 40 Palestinians wounded by gunfire and one Israeli soldier in critical condition.

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The Paralympic Games Begin This Week in Tokyo

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  • The Paralympic Games begin this week in Tokyo, airing on prime time television for the first time. There is a huge change this year in the pay gap between Paralympic winners and Olympic winners, which is significantly smaller than previous years.
  • Similar to the Olympic Games, spectators are not allowed due to Covid and Japan’s rising number of infections. More than 4,000 athletes will compete this year in 28 different sports.
  • Athletes from Afghanistan were not able to travel to compete due to the Taliban’s takeover, but their country’s flag will still be flown in the opening ceremony in solidarity.

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Gang Leader in Haiti Offers Truce Amidst Earthquake Relief Efforts

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  • Amidst Haiti’s struggle of distributing aid and rebuilding communities after the devastating earthquake more than a week ago, a gang leader has offered a truce to relief operations after hijacked trucks, blocked roads, and other disorder.
  • Jimmy Cherizier’s, known as “Barbecue,” is the leader of the G9 Revolutionary Forces. His offer is tempting for many aid operations, but there is uncertainty whether the other gangs in the region will abide by the agreement.
  • More than 2,000 people have died from the earthquake, along with homes, businesses, and entire towns completely destroyed. People are living on the streets and hospitals are struggling to help injured patients.

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No New Documented COVID Cases in China Since July as Delta Outbreaks Wanes

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  • As of August 23rd, 2021 China has reported no new cases of COVID-19 since July. 
  • Cases of the delta variant surged in east China, at an airport in Nanjing where airport cleaning workers were infected leading to the worst outbreak in China affecting over 1200 people in 31 provinces.
  • Authorities have lifted lockdown restrictions in cities such as Beijing, Wuhan, and Jingmen of the Hubei province after attempting to fully quarantine to contain the virus.  

 Israel’s Struggle With COVID Despite Mass Majority Being Vaccinated

  • Despite Israel being one of the first countries to vaccinate rapidly since March Covid-19 continues to wreck the country.
  • By June the mandatory mask requirement was removed causing a 5.4% rise in Covid infection.
  • Israeli health officials have claimed that international traveling poses a source causing delta variant outbreaks.
  • The current death rate in Israel is still relatively slow with the ratio of 26 of 729 positive tested patients being hospitalized. 

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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

Credit Suisse Found Guilty for Involvement in Money Laundering Scheme

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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