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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

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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  • 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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  • 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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