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The Daily Brief: ASEAN Position on Myanmar Junta Strains Diplomatic Relations

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) may decide to exclude Myanmar Junta Chief Min Aung Hlaing from a leaders’ summit this month; sources have stated that ASEAN will request a non-political representative to attend the summit in place of Aung Hlaing.

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Min_Aung_Hlaing_in_June_2017.jpg

ASEAN has proposed excluding Myanmar’s military ruler from a leaders’ summit this month, a move which will likely increase tensions in the East.
Summary:

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) may decide to exclude Myanmar Junta Chief Min Aung Hlaing from a leaders’ summit this month; sources have stated that ASEAN will request a non-political representative to attend the summit in place of Aung Hlaing.
  • The proposal was made by foreign ministers at a special meeting addressing Myanmar’s failure to follow a peace process it agreed to with ASEAN 5 months ago.
  • ASEAN’s decision is a rare stance for the organization which typically follows a policy of engagement and noninterference.
  • A recent announcement from Myanmar’s military-installed government has also revealed that an ASEAN special envoy abruptly cancelled their trip to the country after finding that they would not be allowed to meet all the officials they requested to meet, including  former leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • The UN has taken a similar, albeit much tougher, stance to ASEAN regarding Myanmar with UN Chief Antonio Guterres refusing to attend a virtual meeting with Myanmar’s military envoy in attendance.
  • Guterres’s refusal came at the last minute and was meant to avoid signaling any recognition of Myanmar’s military government.
  • Sources:

Al Jazeera

Reuters

AP

  • Tweets:

Apple Takes Down Popular Quran and Bible Apps in China

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  • Apple has deleted the Quran Majeed and Bible application in China following a request from authorities who claim that the apps contains illegal religious texts.
  • PDMS, the Quran Majeed app maker, has stated, “According to Apple, our app Quran Majeed has been removed from the China App store because it includes content that requires additional documentation from Chinese authorities”.
  • The deletions were first noted by Apple Censorship, a global activist website which monitors the Apple Store.
  • Sources:

BBC

Business Insider

  • Tweets:

30 Killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan Mosque Attack

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  • A suicide attack in Kandahar’s largest Shia mosque has killed about 32 and left 68 injured. 
  • Last week another attack on a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s northern city of Kunduz killed and injured 90.
  • Sources claim that the first attack in the north was committed by ISIS-K.
  • ISIS-K or Islamic State Khosaran opposes the Taliban’s regime and considers Shia muslims to be apostates.
  • Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/15/asia/mosque-blast-kandahar-intl/index.html

https://www.npr.org/2021/10/15/1046287550/suicide-bombers-attack-mosque-afghanistan

  • Twitter:

David Amess Stabbed to Death While Meeting with Voters

Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=David+Amess&title=Special:MediaSearch&go=Go&type=image

  • David Amess, a conservative British lawmaker, was stabbed to death this past Friday while attending a meeting with voters. 
  • The suspected attacker is aged 25 and of Somali heritage. He has been arrested for murder and possession of a knife. 
  • Prime minister Boris Johnson has praised Sir David Amess for being a committed public servant and one of the kindest individuals in the field of politics. 
  • Colleagues across parliament have expressed their feelings of shock and paid tribute
  • Sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/europe/british-lawmaker-stabbed-holding-meetings-constituents-rcna3080

https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/british-lawmaker-amess-stabbed-multiple-times-sky-2021-10-15/

  • Twitter: 

Norway: Bow and Arrow Attack Kills 5  

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  • A man has killed 5 and leaves two injured with a bow and arrow in Kongsberg, Norway. 
  • This attack has been considered one of the country’s deadliest because attacks are not common in Norway.
  • Police statements show that the homicides had occurred both indoors and outdoors, further details about how the victims were killed has not yet been provided.
  • The perpetrator of the attack is 37 year old Espen Anderson Bråthen; he will undergo a forensic psychiatric examination due to the crime he has committed.  
  • Sources: 

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/15/europe/norway-bow-and-arrow-attack-suspect-intl/index.html

  • Twitter:

US Lifts Travel Ban For Fully Vaccinated Individuals

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  • New instructions from the White House state that vaccinated individuals who have tested 72 hours before traveling can enter the US. 
  • Travelers who have received the Astrazeneca, Sinovac, and Sinopharm vaccines will be allowed entry to the US. 
  • As of November 8th visitors can come from countries such as the UK, Brasil, Iran, India and 26 other European countries which were previously not allowed to enter.
  • The lifting of the travel ban is a relief for airline companies such as United and Delta who have struggled with profitability in international travel. 
  • Sources: 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-58929441

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/15/us-to-lift-travel-ban-on-nov-8-allowing-vaccinated-international-visitors-into-the-country.html

  • Twitter:

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

The Daily Brief: Israel Urges Stronger Line on Iran as Nuclear Talks Reach Impasse

Long-awaited Iran nuclear talks have shown no significant progress which has led to several nations questioning Iran’s commitment to the process

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  • Negotiators, including the US and European powers, met with Iran in Vienna last week to resume long-awaited negotiations related to Iran’s nuclear program however no significant progress has been made.
  • European diplomats have openly expressed frustration with the negotiation proceedings and thrown doubt on Iran’s commitment to reach a resolution.
  • Israel has also amped up rhetoric concerning Iran’s nuclear negotiations and has even dispatched two top security officials to the White House for consultations.
  • Israel is an outside observer to the nuclear talks however they hold a stake in the outcome as a neighbor to Iran. 
  • Israel is strongly pushing for a hard line on Iran’s nuclear program claiming that “Iran must begin to pay a price for its violations.”

Other Headlines:

Thirteen Die in A Misinformed Shootout Near the Myanmar Border

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  • After receiving some intelligence inputs about militant movement near the Myanmar border, soldiers from Assam Rifles, an Indian army unit, opened fire on a truck carrying over 30 coal mine laborers, killing six. 
  • Seven more civilians and an Indian soldier died when angry locals confronted troops in a protest for killing innocent people. 
  • Nagaland’s chief minister, Neiphou Rio, deemed the incident “unfortunate” and “highly condemnable” but has yet to take any action regarding the incident.

Brazilian Supreme Court Investigates President Bolsonaro for Linking COVID-19 Vaccines to AIDS

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  • In October, during a live broadcast, through multiple social medias, Brazil’s President Bolsonaro linked the contraction of AIDS to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • On Friday, Brazil’s top courts opened the investigation after a request from a Senate investigative committee, who found 9 crimes related to Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic.
  • Justice Moraes will be closely monitoring the prosecutor general’s probe, as the Supreme Court themselves do not conduct their own investigations.

Big Oil CEOs Fear US Banning Oil Exports

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  • Democrats have been calling on Biden to ban US oil companies from exporting oil overseas, a step further than just releasing strategic oil reserves.
  • American Petroleum Institute CEO, Mike Sommers, warns that an export ban would drive up gas prices and help foreign producers with revenue and market share.
  • Democratic lawmakers say that banning the export of oil would actually boost domestic supply and drive prices down for American families.
  • These decisions could also impact the prices American families are dealing with in higher house heating costs.

More Than 20 Nations Condemn the Taliban Over Summary Killings

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  • Many Nations, including the US and EU, have condemned the Taliban over their alleged killings of former Afghanistan police and government officials.
  • A Saturday report includes over 47 disappearances and killings of the Afghan National Security Forces, although Taliban officials pledged it would rule differently than when they were in power in the 1990s.
  • Earlier last week, US officials held talks with Taliban officials regarding concerns over human rights and countrywide education for both men and women.

Violence Erupts in Brussels Protests Regarding COVID Restrictions

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  • On Sunday, thousands marched peacefully through the Belgium capital to the EU headquarters until a group of protestors began throwing stones at the police who returned fire with tear gas and water cannons.
  • The demonstrators were protesting the new COVID restrictions which include showing a vaccine pass in order to enter restaurants and bars. 
  • These new violent protests come just after a much larger group of protestors clashed with police in late November, leading to arrests and injuries on both sides. 

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 Daily Brief: Macron and Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Meet in the Hopes of Resolving Riyadh and Beirut Crisis

A three way call held on Saturday by France, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon to discuss opening trade between the countries in an effort to ease tensions

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  • President Macron has been on a Middle Eastern tour. He sat down with Saudi Arabian Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, to discuss a resolution for the crisi between Riyadh and Lebanon. 
  • Bothe countries, France and Saudi Arabia, have promised to help Lebanese people with aid and work together to open up trade within the countries. Lebanon has been plagued with corruption with governmental powers resulting in a humanitarian crisis in the country. 
  • After George Kordahi’s comments. Riyadh in the previous month pulled out its ambassador from Beirut and banned trade from Lebanon. Mr. Kordahi is known to be an ally of the Hezbollah movement which has been flagged as a terrorist movement by Saudi Arabia. Hezbollah is financially supported and backed by Iran. 
  • In the past, Saudi Arabia has adopted the position of no communication between any government backed by Hezbollah but this has opened up channels of communication in hopes to see better political relationships between the countries. 

Other Headlines:

Mt. Semeru’s Eruption Leaves 13 Dead and Many Fleeting Their Homes for Life 

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  • Mt. Semeru’s eruption in Indonesia has taken 13 lives and left large clouds of ash in the area leaving the nearby towns unlivable for now.
  • Evacuation missions have not been going well due to the ash, and smoke in the air making it hard to breathe. 
  • The area also received heavy rainfall turning the debris of the eruption into mud.
  • The volcanic ash in the air is also making flights change their path in the air. The ash can solidify onto the planes in cooler temperatures causing engine and aircraft damage.

Chris Cuomo Terminated From CNN

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  • Chris Cuomo, famed CNN anchor, has been terminated by CNN as of today.
  • The hugely popular commentator is accused of using his professional connections to help his brother, former New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, fight sexual harrassment allegations.
  • Recently released private text and email exchanges from Chris Cuomo revealed deep involvement in designing Andrew Cuomo’s defense strategy.
  • Journalists are generally discouraged from participating in partisan matters.

Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Assailant

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  • Israeli security forces have killed a Palestinian man, who was complicit in the stabbing of an Israel citizen.
  • The attack on the Israeli citizen occurred near the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • The assailant proceeded to approach two Israeli police officers, who shot and killed him.
  • There have been at least five “knifings” by Palestinians against Israelis in the last three months.

Chinese Ride-Hailing App To De-List from US Stock Exchange

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  • Chinese ride hailing app Didi Giant will remove its shares from the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Didi, similar to Uber, will list on the Hong Kong exchange instead.
  • Concerns have been swirling over Didi since the summer, when its IPO raised criticisms for unresolved cybersecurity issues.
  • The United States has also tightened laws around Chinese companies that list and trade in the U.S.

All Eyes on Gambia’s Presidential Election

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  • Polls have closed in The Gambia and vote tallying has begun for the country’s next President.
  • This election is historic because it’s the first time in decades that Yahya Jammeh is not on the ballot.
  • The Gambian voting process utilizes marbles, which are dropped by voters into the preferred candidate’s voting drum.
  • Nearly one million new voters were expected to take part in the election, a testament to the country’s strong interest in democratic rule.

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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The Daily Brief: UAE Signs Record Arms Deal of $19 Billion With France

On the first day of a two-day visit, French President Emmanuel Macron signed a deal that will allow the UAE to acquire 80 Rafale fighter jets and 12 military helicopters

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  • While visiting the Arab Gulf, French President Emmanuel Macron signed the largest-ever overseas deal of Rafale jets with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Dubai on Friday. 
  • Macron stated that “this contract cements a strategic partnership that is stronger than ever and directly contributes to regional stability.” 
  • The record deal is estimated to support at least 7,000 jobs in France and will guarantee a supply chain for French Aviation manufacturer, Dassault Aviation until the end of 2031.
  • The UAE has been actively acquiring arms for years and is still in talks with the US to acquire F-35’s, however, the US has hesitated to approve the deal due to the UAE’s ongoing relationship with China. 
  • Human rights activists opposed the deal, stating that the UAE will use the acquired arms to commit unlawful attacks or war crimes against Yemen or other countries. 
  • The deal comes as a win for France as Australia recently pulled out of a $66 billion dollar submarine deal with France and chose to sign a deal with the US instead.

Other Headlines:

Turkey’s Lira Continues to Crash Forcing Turkey Central Bank To Intervene

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  • For the second time this week, the Turkey Central Bank has had to dip into the country’s foreign exchange market to sell dollars to help the crashing lira currency. 
  • The lira crashed an additional 30 percent this week compared to the US dollar as the country continues to gradually slash interest rates with the hopes of becoming a free market independent of short-term foreign cash. 
  • Though Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan states the decrease in interest rates will help the country in the long term, many companies are scrambling to keep supplies up as imports are affected by the exchange rates. 
  • The policy to lower the Turkish interest rate is expected to ease in January after the interest rate is lowered once more this month, however, economists expect the lira to remain unstable for some time. 

Lebanese Minister Resigns in Order To Ease Crisis with Saudis

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  • As of Friday, Lebanon’s information minister, George Kordahi has resigned hoping to anticipate ease into international relations with Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries.
  • Kordahi, who was formerly a well-known game show host, decided to step down before French President Emmanuel Macron visits Saudi Arabia this Saturday. 
  • Macron’s trip to the Gulf will further discuss strengthening cooperation with Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries and preventing Lebanon’s crisis from further sinking.

Indonesian Court Ruling Leaves Workers In Limbo

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  • The Indonesian Constitutional Court has deemed a 2020 law intended to entice foreign investors as unconstitutional and has given a deadline of two years to correct the flaws found. 
  • Though the recent ruling is considered a win for unions and business owners who challenged the 2020 policy, many were hoping that the law would be permanently suspended and would no longer be valid. 
  • With the law still essentially in effect, workers across Indonesia are now forced to still abide by a law that is deemed “unconstitutional” and undermines job security, wages and violates workers’ rights. 

China Responds To Biden’s “Summit of Democracy”

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  • Days before the “Summit of Democracy” hosted by US President Joe Biden is set to begin, China announced that they will be releasing their own report titled, “China: Democracy that Works,” in response. 
  • With China and Russia not invited to the summit, many feel that Biden is creating a global divide between democracies and autocracies. 
  • Chinese officials responded to the “Summit of Democracy” stating their system serves the people of China and highlighted US failings from gun violence and the Janurary 6th insurrection at the US capitol. 
  • According to the US White House, the two day summit aims to “galvanize commitments and initiatives across three principal themes: defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights.”

Grizzlies Win By 73 Setting A New NBA Record

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  • Memphis Grizzlies won 152-79 over the Oklahoma City Thunders setting a new NBA record for highest margin of victory. 
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. led the way with 27 points for the Grizzlies, who were without their best player but still had 9 players out of 12 scoring in the double digits. 
  • The previous margin was set by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1991 when they beat the Miami Heat by 69 points.

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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The Daily Brief: Germany to Impose Restrictions on Unvaccinated

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that unvaccinated people will be barred from entering certain public spaces amidst Germany’s fourth Covid wave

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  • Germany has decided to impose a lockdown on unvaccinated people, preventing them from entering restaurants, shops, theaters, and other gatherings.
  • Those who have recovered from Covid-19 are not included in the restrictions.
  • A vaccine mandate is also being considered by Parliament, which could be implemented as early as February. Nearly 70% of Germany’s population is vaccinated.
  • In addition to restrictions on the unvaccinated, certain venues and gatherings will be shut down if they are held in a highly infected area or the number of people gathering is too large.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the new measures as one of her last actions as Chancellor, stating that these measures are being implemented as an act of “national solidarity”.
  • Germany is also pushing for its citizens to receive booster shots, stating that nine months after the second jab, vaccinated people will lose their vaccination status.
  • Merkel’s successor, Olaf Scholz, will be taking office next week. He has shown support for a mandatory vaccine mandate.
  • Germany is currently facing its fourth wave of Covid, which is expected to worsen with the spread of the Omicron variant.

Other Headlines: 

Biden Administration Reinstates ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy

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  • The Biden administration has announced they will reinstate the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, requiring asylum applicants to remain in Mexico as they await their immigration court hearings.
  • The policy was from the Trump administration and suspended early on during Biden’s presidency. Current administration officials emphasized the new measure was only implemented due to a court order stating that the administration had violated federal law.
  • Mexico agreed to the policy under the condition that “a number of humanitarian improvements” would be made.

OPEC+ Okays Increase In Oil Output Despite Omicron Fears

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  • After discussing various options, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia, and allies (OPEC+) decided Thursday, that they will go ahead with increasing oil output in January 2022, despite fears of COVID Variant, Omicron, driving down demand. 
  • With fuel prices soaring and President Joe Biden’s approval rate at an all-time low, the US praised the coordinated decision from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other OPEC partners. 
  • Starting January 2022, OPEC+ nations are set to begin producing 400,000 barrels of oil per day in an effort to restore the oil supply that was greatly slashed last year during the pandemic. 
  • OPEC+ is set to meet again on January 4th, 2022 but is open to meeting sooner if the economy changes and adjustments need to be made.

Women’s Tennis Association Suspends Tournaments In China Over Peng Shuai Concerns

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  • Effective immediately, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), has suspended all future tournaments in China and Hong Kong due to concerns over the safety of tennis star, Peng Shuai.
  • In an online statement, WTA CEO and Chairman, Steve Simon said, “Unfortunately, the leadership in China has not addressed this very serious issue in any credible way. While we now know where Peng is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe, and not subject to censorship, coercion, and intimidation,”
  • Shuai went missing earlier this year shortly after accusing a former Chinese official of forcing her into a decade-long sexual affair. 
  • Officials from the International Olympic Committee state they have had two video calls with Shuai since she went missing but they have yet to release any video or transcripts from the alleged video call thus creating further suspicion. 

Austrian Chancellor Steps Down After Only Two Months In Office

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  • Alexander Schallenberg stepped down as Austrian Chancellor Thursday after only being in the position for two months. 
  • The announcement came hours after Schallenberg’s predecessor, Sebastian Kurz, announced that he will be stepping down as party leader and retiring from politics all while still being investigated for corruption and bribery for manipulating polls. 
  • With Kurz’s retirement announcement, Schallenberg stated his reasoning for stepping down was because he believed that the head of the Austrian government and the head of the party with the most votes, should be the same person.
  • Schallenberg intends to remain in the chancellor position until a new leader from the Austrian People’s Party (OeVP) is chosen. 

As Tensions Rise, US Warns Russia Over War With Ukraine

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  • US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken met with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov on Thursday to discuss the ongoing military buildup along the Russian and Ukraine border. 
  • The meeting comes after weeks of Ukraine and their Western allies voicing concerns of a Russian military buildup with many fearing that Russia intends to invade Ukraine in the coming weeks. 
  • Russia denies the accusation and instead accuses Ukraine of building up its forces thus creating the ongoing tension. 
  • Blinken warned Russia that there would be “serious consequences” should Russia invade Ukraine. 
  • Russian President, Vladimir Putin, expressed a desire to discuss the matter with US President Joe Biden, and both nations are working to ensure that the meeting occurs before tensions escalate further. 

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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The Daily Brief: Supreme Court Indicates Allowing Mississippi Abortion Law

Supreme Court Justices show partiality against Roe v. Wade in Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban

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  • Dozens of individuals protest outside the United States Supreme Court as judges indicate towards passing the Mississippi abortion law in the case of ​​Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
  • The ban states a women 15 weeks into her pregnancy will not be allowed an abortion, even in circumstances of incest or rape. The law originally passed in 2018, but has been blocked by two federal courts since then. 
  • Solicitor General Scott Stewart urged Supreme Court to repeal the ruling of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Case, which protects a womens right to abortions, as he stated was a “poison to the law” without any ties to the constitution. 
  • Justice Sonya Sotomayor countered, stating the constitution didn’t cover many issues including abortion, and that “15 justices over 50 years” backed Roe v. Wade, making any alternate decision unrecoverable for America. 
  • Representative of the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, Julie Riekelman, spoke next, stating: “Mississippi’s ban on abortion, two months before viability, is flatly unconstitutional under decades of precedent,” and that the law would “force women to remain pregnant and give birth against their will”.
  • The 6-3 conservative majority recently showed partiality against Roe v. Wade ruling, despite its direct opposition to Mississippi’s law. 
  • Although known for his centrism, Chief Justice John Robert stated his candor in allowing up to a viability of 22 to 23 week, while Chief Justice Brett Kavenhaugh showed his willingness to overturn the previous milestones completely. 
  • Officials warn of the nationwide effects with the continuation of the overturned Roe V. Wade ruling, with over 20 states projected to likely follow suit in prohibiting abortions and an influx of out-of-state abortions in the remaining states with clinics. 

Sources

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/supreme-court-roe-v-wade-abortion-case-12-01-21/index.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-59495210

https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/30/politics/dobbs-v-jackson-womens-health-organization-what-to-watch/index.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/01/sotomayor-supreme-court-liberals-sound-alarm-in-fight-to-overturn-roe-v-wade.html

Tweets

Other Headlines 

EU Chief States Mandatory Jabs Should be Considered With Spread of Omicron

File:Ursula von der Leyen CDU Parteitag 2014 by Olaf Kosinsky-1.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ursula_von_der_Leyen_CDU_Parteitag_2014_by_Olaf_Kosinsky-1.jpg

  • EU Chief Ursula von der Leyen stated that mandatory jabs should be considered amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and recent Omicron variant, dubbed “highly contagious.” 
  • Von der Leyen also stated that all 27 member states should quickly launch booster shots and enforce PCR tests prior to traveling. 
  • The World Health Organization stated their “concern” of the Omicron variant, with the majority in South Africa and traveling to the United States EU countries,urging individuals to receive the vaccine which “will still prevent severe disease.” 

Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/01/eu-must-consider-mandatory-covid-jabs-says-von-der-leyen

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59497462

Tweets

Michigan High School Shooter Charged with Murder

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  • Ethan Crumbley was arrested Wednesday for the shooting at Oxford High School.  Recovered videos from Crumbley’s phone indicated his desire to shoot and kill students at school the next day.
  • The shooting resulted in four deaths and seven others injured during the tragedy on Tuesday afternoon.
  • The shooting at Oxford High School ranked as the country’s deadliest K-12 school shooting since 2018.
  • The suspect faces first-degree murder charges (four counts) and terrorism causing death.  Crumbley will be charged as an adult.  Other charges include assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm.

Sources

https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/01/us/michigan-oxford-high-school-shooting-wednesday/index.html

Tweets

EU Restricts Asylum Seekers at the Belarus Border

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  • New measures the European Union (EU) proposed could permit Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania to ease up on protections for asylum seekers at the Belarus border.
  • The new proposal grants member states bordering Belarus the ability to detain those seeking asylum for an additional time period during application processing.
  • The three member states have not been challenged on their pushback policy against migrants attempting to enter the EU.
  • The proposed measures have yet to be approved by the Council of the EU.  If approved, the measures may be enforced for six months, possibly longer.
  • Source:

Sources

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/01/world/europe/asylum-rights-poland-eu.html

Tweets

At Least 29 Killed in Capsized Nigerian Boat

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  • A Nigerian boat with students onboard capsized in northern Nigeria.  At least 29 are dead.
  • The boat carrying approximately 40 students was sailing along the Watari dam. The fire service spokesperson Saminu Yusuf Abdullahi claimed the boat was overloaded.
  • Seven students were rescued and undergoing treatment in the hospital.

Sources

https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/01/africa/nigeria-students-boat-capsize-intl/index.html

Tweets

Jeffrey Epstein Pilot Testifies He Flew People of Influence on Epstein’s Plane

File:Ghislaine Maxwell.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/Ghislaine_Maxwell.jpg

  • Larry Visoski, Jeffrey Epstein’s pilot for over 25 years, was the first witness to testify in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial Tuesday.
  • Maxwell was Epstein’s longtime girlfriend and is on trial for her involvement in Epstein’s crimes.
  • Visoski recalled Prince Andrew, Kevin Spacey, and former US Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump on Epstein’s private plane, nicknamed the “Lolita Express.”
  • Epstein’s pilot stated that he never saw any sexual activity or any indication of any such activity, take place on the plane.  

Sources

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-59484332

Tweets

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 Daily Brief: The Omicron Variant Begins to Sweep Over the World Pushing Leaders to Make Strict Decisions

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has begun to make its way through Europe and has also likely found its way to the U.S.

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  • New data has found that the variant which was thought to initially start in South Africa was actually already in the Netherlands when South African officials alerted WHO.
  • The World Health Organization has urged countries to remain calm and to take rational steps in regards to the variant, however many countries have already begun to implement travel restrictions as well as vaccine mandates.
  • At least 38 countries have put some form of travel restrictions following the announcement of the variant.
  • Many critics blame the spread of the omicron variant on western countries hoarding vaccines and thus preventing poorer countries from being able to vaccinate their masses.
  • Spain and Brazil have both confirmed at least two cases of Omicron Covid-19 while Fauci states that the variant has likely made its way to the U.S. despite no cases being confirmed.
  • Mexico has also changed course and stated that they will be administering third dose vaccines to their above 60 population.
  • The prime minister of Greece has announced that any unvaccinated above 60 individuals that fail to schedule a vaccine appointment by January 16th will be fined.

Other Stories:

Colombia’s FARC Removed From Terrorism Blacklist Under the Biden Administration 

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  • The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are no longer under the designation of a “foreign terrorist organization” following the United States’ decision on Tuesday.
  • The 2016 peace agreement with Colombia brought an end to years of political violence and guaranteed the FARC a share of seats in the Colombian legislature.
  • By removing the terrorist label placed in 1997 from the rebel group the U.S. will now be able to work with members of the group.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated “The decision to revoke the designation does not change the posture with regards to any charges or potential charges in the United States against former leaders of the FARC, including for narcotrafficking.”

With No End In Sight Violent Protests Continue in Sudan

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  • Tens of thousands of protestors marched through the Sudanese capital of Khartoum to oppose the government’s military rule since last month’s coup. 
  • The peaceful protest quickly became violent as Sudanese Security Forces began to fire tear gas and chase protestors as they approached the Presidential Palace. 
  • Many nearby bridges that connected Khartoum to neighboring towns were closed in an effort to disperse protestors. 
  • Protests are expected to continue until the Sudanese military relinquishes power and appoints a civilian-run government. 

NATO And US Meet In Latvia To Discuss Ongoing Russian Military Buildup Near Ukraine Border

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  • Led by the US, NATO officials are meeting in Latvia this week for two days to discuss the ongoing military buildup by Russia along the Ukraine border.
  • For the second time this year, Russia has dispatched armored units, drones, electronic warfare equipment, and tens of thousands of troops to the Ukraine border causing tensions to escalate between the two nations. 
  • On Tuesday, NATO officials and the US issued warnings to Russia stating there would be “strong consequences” should Russia attack the NATO ally of Ukraine. 
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin also issued a warning that NATO should cease all military drills currently being held in Ukraine near the Russian border and that NATO should not continue with the planned expansion of military structures in Ukraine. 

After Weeks Of Recounts, Iraq Finally Confirms Election Results

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  • After weeks worth of recounts and rejections, Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, was reaffirmed as the winner of the Iraqi Parliamentary Elections held in October. 
  • The recount and appeals process attributed to five parliamentary seats changing in various cities of Iraq. 
  • Al-Sadr’s political party called the “Sadardist Movement” won 73 out of the 329 seats in the Iraqi Parliament. 
  • With the final recount done, voter turnout was confirmed to be only 44%, the lowest since the US established a new political system in Iraq in 2003. 
  • Officials state it could be months before a new parliament or PM could take control. 

Philippine’s Dutertes’ Presidential Pick, Bows Out Of Election

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  • After days of speculation, Philippine Senator, Christopher “Bong” Go bowed out of the Philippines Presidential election on Tuesday. 
  • Go, who is currently a close aide to current Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte and was backed by Duterte, said it was just “not his time” and that his family did not want him to be President at this time either. 
  • With Go out, many are unsure who Duterte will now back once he leaves the presidency after completing his full term. 
  • The current front runner in the presidential election is Ferdinand Marcos, followed by Leni Robredo, Francisco Domagoso, and boxing great Manny Pacquiao.

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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