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The Daily Brief: Government Military Forces in Ethiopia Reclaim Cities

Recapture Represents Major Advances Against Tigray Rebels

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  • Military forces loyal to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed have recaptured the cities of Dessie and Kombolcha. 
  • The two cities had been seized by rebels affiliated with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) about one month ago. 
  • Yesterday’s recapture follows an earlier feat by government forces, when they reclaimed the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lalibela.
  • The TPLF has conceded territorial losses, as a strategy to reprioritize their military engagement.
  • Ethiopia has been embroiled in a year long conflict with the TPLF, which has propelled the country into severe famine.
  • Ethiopia is trying to position itself as a stable world partner, promoting a recent visit by Chinese government officials as testimony.
  • Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country.

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U.S. to Implement Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

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  • The United States announced they will not send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in Beijing this year.
  • The motion represents a statement of protest against the government of China’s ongoing human rights abuses of minorities, most notably, crimes perpetuated against the Uyghur Muslim population.
  • The United States’ moral stand has been further validated by the three week disapperance of Chinese pro tennis star Peng Shuai, after she openly alleged that a former Chinese public official had made unwanted sexual advances towards her. 
  • China has strongly condemned the diplomatic boycott, pledging to retaliate in kind.

Refugees in Lebanon Face Crises Amidst Economic Collapse 

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  • Refugees in Lebanon take a major hit amidst the ongoing economic crises, with insufficient funding leading to limited educational access and healthcare according to officials. 
  • The United Nations for Palestinian Refugees reported the dispariaty of funds prohibited payment towards almost 30,000 of its employees. 
  • The limitation could cause an “existential crisis,” according to Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

AstraZeneca Creator Warns “More Contagious” Pandemics in our Future

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  • British Vaccianoligist Sarah Gilbert warned of “more contagious” and “more lethal” future pandemics which the world should continue to prepare for. 
  • “We cannot allow a situation where we have gone through all we have gone through, and then find that the enormous economic losses we have sustained mean that there is still no funding for pandemic preparedness,” Gilbert stated during the 44th Richard Dimbleby Lecture. 
  • Gilbert called for retention of recent advances made during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed over 5 million people across the world. 

Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi Found Guilty On All Charges

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  • A court in Myanmar has convicted Aung San Suu Kyi guilty on 11 different charges, including disobeying Covid mandates and instigating dissent. 
  • Suu Kyi, the previous state counselor awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 1991, was taken into custody following the military coup back in February and is currently being held in an undisclosed location. 
  • The charges and verdict are both met widely with criticism by Amnesty International, called “farcical and corrupt,” aiding towards “a devastating pattern of arbitrary punishment”,
  • Suu Kyi has denied all the claims, but faces life imprisonment. 

Canada Taps Into Maple Syrup Reserves Following Shortage

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  • Maple syrup shortages across Canada have forced the country to dip into their strategic reserves. 
  • The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, producers of over 70% of all syrup distribution, reported they’ve released half off the stockpile, making it the first time in three years. 
  • The growing demand of maple syrup worldwide has been difficult to upkeep as the process for retaining syrup, which includes getting maple sap directly from trees for boiling, is dependent on weather conditions.  
  • “That’s why the reserve is made, to never miss maple syrup. And we won’t miss maple syrup!” Producer Helene Normandin stated. 

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: Violence In The Middle East Escalates After Saudi-Led Air Strike On Yemen Prison Kills At Least 70

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Almigdad Mojalli/VOA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary: 

  • After a night of intense bombings across Yemen, at least 70 people have been killed and 138 were wounded when a Saudi bomb hit a prison in Saada, Yemen. 
  • Hours after the attack, rescue workers were still on scene searching through the rubble for any additional survivors. The number of casualties is expected to increase with many people seriously injured or missing. 
  • The devastating attack comes just days after the Houthis launched an unprecedented deadly drone attack in the UAE that left 3 people dead. 
  • Although Saudi has not taken responsibility for the prison bombing, officials have stated that the Saudi coalition has been conducting intensified air raids on targets that they consider to be linked to Houthi rebels since the UAE attack. 
  • Just south of Saada, in the vital port city of Hodeidah, 3 children were killed while playing football when a bomb hit a telecommunication tower that left all of Yemen with no internet. 
  • 12 hours after the deadly attack, Yemen was still without internet with many humanitarian organizations including the UN condemning the internet blackout and stating that attacks on civilian infrastructure are prohibited by international humanitarian law.
  • Calls for de-escalation by the international community have continued to be ignored by both sides and Yemeni citizens continue to suffer as the country faces a humanitarian catastrophe with at least 377,000 citizens killed either through violence or through starvation since the war began 7 years ago. 

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Top US and Russian Diplomats Meet To Diffuse Escalating Tensions

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  • To end a whirlwind European tour, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken met with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov on Friday for 90 minutes to de-escalate the ongoing Ukraine and Russian border crisis. 
  • After the talks, Blinken stated that Friday’s discussion put Washington and Moscow on “a clearer path to understanding each other’s positions” and that now Russia had a choice to make. 
  • Blinken stated, “[Russia] can choose the path of diplomacy that can lead to peace and security or the path that will lead only to conflict, severe consequences, and international condemnation.” 
  • Lavrov stated that the onus was now on the US as Russia has submitted a long list of security demands that they feel are necessary for Moscow’s safety and the safety of the region. 
  • Both sides called Friday’s talk “frank and substantive” and agreed on being open to continuing further dialogue with each other. 

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Peru’s Castillo Declares Major Oil Spill Linked to Eruption in Tonga

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US Coast Guard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • As of January 20th, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo has declared an “Environmental Emergency” as a huge oil spill has been difficult for clean-up teams to contain. 
  • An Italian-flagged ship spilled 6,000 barrels of oil in the Pacific on Saturday in front of the La Pampilla refinery when unusual swells caused by the volcanic eruption thousands of miles away in Tonga rocked the ship. Dirtied waters and beaches along the country’s pacific coast have washed up dead birds and seals. 
  • Castillo stated, “We are at a critical moment in environmental matters. This is the most worrying ecological disaster on the Peruvian coast in recent times,”. A spokeswoman from the La pampilla Refinery stated that it was the Peruvian Navy’s fault for not issuing a tsunami warning after the Tongan eruption.
  • According to Prime Minister Mirtha Vásquez, the United Nations will provide a team of experts to help contain the oil spill. Due to the ecological effect of the oil spill, 21 beaches have been affected and people have been barred for health concerns. 

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US Charges Four Belarus Officials With Air Piracy Over Ryanair Flight Diversion

Dickelbers, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

  • US Prosecutors have charged four Belarusian officials with aircraft piracy for claiming that there was a bomb onboard a Ryanair aircraft traveling from Greece to Lithuania to get an opposing journalist onboard, arrested.
  • The US attorney, which has jurisdiction on the case since US citizens were on board, stated, “Since the dawn of powered flight, countries around the world have cooperated to keep passenger airplanes safe. The defendants shattered those standards by diverting an airplane to further the improper purpose of suppressing dissent and free speech.”
  • Sources state that Ryanair flight controllers told the pilots about a bomb threat against the jetliner and ordered the crew to land the plane in the city of Minsk, Belarus. Shortly after the plane landed, opposing journalist and activist, Raman Pratasevich was arrested and the Belarusian military scrambled a MiG-29 fighter jet to encourage the crew to follow flight official orders. 
  • 26-year-old Raman Pratasevich ran a messaging app that organized mass demonstrations against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Pratasevich left the country in 2019 and faced charges of inciting riots. 

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Energy Giants Leave Myanmar Over Human Rights Abuses

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  • Energy giants, Chevron, and Total Energies announced that they will be leaving Mynamar citing rampant human rights violations and deteriorating rule of law in the country since the military lead coup d’etat occurred in February 2021. 
  • Since the coup, the oil and gas fields of Mynamar continue to account for the military’s/government primary source of funding. 
  • The announcement to leave Mynamar comes just one day after Total Energies CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, urged Human rights and international leaders to impose gas and oil sanctions on Myanmar since the military has taken over their bank accounts and have continued to kill, torture, and commit horrific acts of violence to those who oppose them all while using the oil and gas sectors profits. 
  • Total Energy is expected to complete the removal process within 6 months while Chevron has not yet confirmed a timeline on their complete removal. 

Netflix Stock Plunges as Subscriber Growth Worries Deepen and Erase Pandemic Gains

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stockcatalog, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Netflix stocks plunged by 20% after the company revealed they only gained 8.3 million worldwide subscribers, a number that is 200,000 below what was forecasted. 
  • With a surge in viewership during the start of the pandemic in 2020, Netflix currently has a total of 222 million subscribers, more than any other video streaming company. With companies such as Walt Disney Co. and Apple starting their streaming services and with competition increasing, Netflix has decided to expand into video games as of last year.
  • Netflix further raised its price by 10% in the North American region; causing subscribers to cancel their subscriptions, due to the company’s history with price hikes. 
  • Many investors are concerned that the company may be reaching its peak of popularity and have caused subscription prices to plummet by 40%. CEOs of the company Ted Sarandos and Reed Hastings both expressed concerns of frustration and that due to COVID it has been bumpy and that the company will continue to figure it out.  

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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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The Daily Brief: Ukraine Responds to Biden’s Remarks

Ukraine’s president forcefully responds to President Biden’s remarks regarding a potential “minor incursion” from Russia

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  • On Wednesday, President Biden spoke about Russia, stating that they are likely to take action in Ukraine. He stated that if it is a “minor incursion,” then the US will likely “fight about what to do and not do” in terms of holding Russia accountable.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky replied forcefully to President Biden, stating that “There are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones.”
  • President Biden clarified his remarks the following day, stating, “If any – any – assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion …  it will be met with severe and coordinated economic response.”
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also clarified the United States’ position, stating that any invasion in Ukraine would invoke a “swift, severe and united response” from the US.
  • Germany, France, and the United Kingdom have expressed their support with President Biden regarding Ukraine.
  • Similar to the US, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock urged Russia to take “steps towards de-escalation” and warned of “serious consequences”.
  • The US placed new sanctions on four members of the Ukrainian government, two current members of Parliament and two former government officials. Blinken said the men worked “to degrade the ability of the Ukrainian state to independently function.”
  • Russia currently has tens of thousands of troops stationed at Ukraine’s border, with tensions rising due to the threat of invasion.
  • The US and Russia have held diplomatic talks in the past week, with another scheduled for Friday between Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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Foreign Aid Reaches Tonga After Volcano Eruption and Tsunami

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  • The first foreign airplanes carrying aid landed in Tongo after the country faced a volcano eruption and tsunami that left a blanket of ash and debris throughout the country.
  • New Zealand and Australia confirmed that their planes had arrived after a thick layer of ash was cleared from the airport runway, which had been preventing planes from landing.
  • Communication in Tonga is limited, with internet service still not fully restored.
  • Australia and Japan are sending clean drinking water, and New Zealand is sending a desalination plant that can produce 70,000 liters of water per day.

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Explosion in Ghana After Motorcycle Hits Vehicle Carrying Mining Explosives

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  • In Ghana, a motorcycle collided with a vehicle carrying explosives causing an explosion near the town of Bogoso.The explosives were being delivered to a nearby mine run by Chirano Gold Mines. The blast completely flattened the small town of Apiate, and caused almost every building to collapse, trapping people and animals in the rubble. 
  • Police have not confirmed the number of casualties,  but stated that most of the victims have been rescued and admitted to various hospitals. The rest of the public has been advised to move out of the area and move to nearby towns, where classrooms, churches, and other facilities were encouraged to open doors to the victims by police. 
  • Ghana’s President Nana-Afulo-Addo had called on the military to join the emergency efforts in order to help contain the situation, and stated that the country’s disaster management agency is trying its best to bring rapid relief to the residents. 
  • This is not the first gas explosion that Ghana has witnessed in recent years. In 2015, more than 150 people were killed in a gas explosion in the capital of Accra.

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Massive Stampede Kills At Least 29 in Monrovia, Liberia 

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  • During an all-night Christian worship event at New Kru Town in Monrovia, Liberia, a massive stampede occurred, killing at least 29 people, including children. The two-day event was being held in a football field, and was led by Pastor Abraham Kromah; this kind of event is commonly referred to as a “crusade” in Liberia.  
  • It is unclear what initiated the stampede, but police suggested that the event was attacked by bands of Liberian street gangs, known as Zogos, who must have attacked the worshippers with knives and machetes. One witness claimed that while running, some people dropped and others fell on the ground and walked over them.
  • President George Weah is expected to visit the tragic site Thursday afternoon and declare a 3-day period of national mourning in order to honor those that lost their lives. He also stated that the Liberian Red Cross and Disaster Management Agency have been notified in order to aid the victims.

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Hamtramck, Michigan Becomes the First City with Muslim-Led Council

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  • Hamtramck, Michigan became the first city in the nation to have a mayor and council that are all Muslim. Amer Ghalib, along with three new council members, were sworn in on Sunday afternoon.  The three council members were Adam Albarmaki, Amanda Jaczkowski, and Khalil Refai.
  • The city of 28,000 used to be largely Polish in the 20th century but is now home to a majority population of Middle Eastern and south Asian people. Ghalib states,”today, we are witness to the reality of the American dream. We are witness to the opportunity of living in a country where anyone can achieve their dreams.”
  • Ghalib unseated longtime Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski, who was running for a fifth term. Ghalib captured 68% of the vote with 100% of precincts reporting. The ceremony was held at Hamtramck High School, which Ghalib had previously attended.
  • In his speech, Ghalib focused more on what’s to come in the future; he mentioned improving safety by training first responders, repairing the sewer system, balancing the city’s budget, and working with higher levels of government to address crime.

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Apple’s AirTags Being Used to Track People

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  • Apple’s Airtags are button-sized devices that were designed to locate lost items through the “Find my” network, but there have been numerous reports in the US of the Airtag being utilized to track people. 
  • This device took inspiration from other tracking products on the market, such as Tile, and can be attached to any item such as keys or luggage that can be lost. The company claims that it has better security features than rival products and gas created a series of safeguards to protect people from being tracked, but criminal activity associated with the product has increased in the US. 
  • One of the preventative measures created is that people with an iphone would be alerted if an unregistered AirTag was moving with them, and then the device would make a beeping sound between 8-24 hours after the device is detected with the unregistered phone. Apple even made an app for Android users to download so that they can be notified of a rogue Airtag as well. Yet, it is very easy to register the AirTag and then disable it, and the sound of the “beep” is played after 8 hours and is only 60 decibels and can easily be muffled. 
  • Apple stated “we take customer safety very seriously and are committed to AirTag’s privacy and security.” Tile, AirTag’s major competitor, also stated that it is developing a solution to identify an unknown device near people, but no solution from either company has been released. 

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: US Blinken Touches Down in Ukraine, Calls on Russia To Stop “Relentless Aggressions”

US Secretary of Defense condemns Russia and warns of sanctions following military buildup on Ukrainian border

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  • US Secretary of Defence Anthony Blinken warned against attacks by Russia on Ukraine following the spread of 100,000 military troops across the Ukrainian border
  • Although Moscow has refused any plans to do so, Blinken stated in a visit to Ukraine that he believed Russia could invade “on very short notice,” and threatened sanctions against the country. 
  • He accused Russia of attempting to create a gap amongst Ukrainian citizens through means of “election interference to disinformation to cyber attacks”.
  • “I think one of Moscow’s long standing goals has been to try to sow divisions between and within our countries, and quite simply we cannot and will not let them do that,” Blinken also stated. 
  • President Joe Biden additionally said more defensive military assistance would be sent on top of the $200 million already provided to aid against the looming invasion. 
  • The US has called on other powers to hold Russia accountable for their “relentless aggressions,” asking the country to remove their military presence from the border and curtail tensions with Ukraine.
  • However, Moscow has refused to do so, claiming security reasons and urging a ban on Ukraine from joining NATO as well as restricting the country’s military drills with other member states. 
  • The ongoing conflict between the countries has already resulted in over 14,000 deaths and over 2 million displaced citizens since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian war in 2014. 

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UK Eases Covid Restriction

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  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the ease of Covid restrictions to begin next Thursday, claiming the Omicron wave has already peaked. 
  • Johnson stated individuals should take preventative measures against the virus, such as hand washing or receiving the vaccination, but that citizens should “learn to live with Covid in the same way we live with flu”. 
  • The ease includes optional face masks in public areas and no requirement for covid passes allowing access into large events, along with reallowing people to return to work. 
  • Johnson announces the news while facing calls for his resignation after allegedly breaking his own Covid rules back in 2020, currently under investigation.

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Thousands Volunteer to Rescue Hamsters in Hong Kong Covid Scare

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  • Authorities in Hong Kong ordered the mass culling of 2,000 hamsters after tracing a Covid outbreak back to a pet shop worker where 11 hamsters tested positive.
  • Health workers were seen wearing hazmat suits and carrying red plastic bags to their vans from pet shops under the zero tolerance policy for Covid, stating the government would take no chances.
  • Social media group “Hong Kong the Cute Hamster Group” took it upon themselves to help find new pet hamster owners and was contacted by around 3,000 people volunteering to take care of the unwanted animals.

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Syrian Doctor on Trial in Germany for Atrocities

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  • The Syrian doctor, Alaa Mousa, faces a trial in Germany for allegedly torturing opoonents of Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad, between 2011 and 2012. 
  • Accusations include having the detainees beaten with sticks, kicked, lit on fire, and even killing a prisoner with lethal injection. 
  • Dr. Mousa left Syria in 2015 and was working in a hospital in the German city of Kassel, when another Syrian refugee identified him and reported him to the authorities.
  • Human rights groups around the world have been working hard to bring justice for victims of the Syrian government, with Germany being at the forefront of this fight.

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Israeli Police Brutally Evict Palestinians from Jerusalem Home

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  • A Palestinian family was forcibly removed from their Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood by Israeli police where the family had peacefully resided for decades.
  • A digger then destroyed the family’s residence, turning the once happy home into rubble mixed with personal effects, while multiple people were arrested on allegedly “disrupting public order”.
  • The Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood has been the victim of these forceful evictions time and time again, as illegal Israeli settlers demand Palestinian homes. 
  • The British Consulate urged the Israeli government to “cease such practices which only serve to increase tensions on the ground”.

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France Closer to Hijab Ban in Sports

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  • In a step closer to Islamophobia, the French senate voted to ban hijabs in sports competitions under claims that hijabs would affect the neutrality of field play.
  • French senators stated they were banning “the wearing of the veil in sports competitions” , despite it being directly in odds with a French amendment stating all citizens are free to practice their religion. 
  • A group of hijab-wearing soccer players named Les Hijabeuses has been campaigning for their rights against this hijab ban, saying that all Muslim women should have the right to play their favorite sport at a competitive level while wearing the headscarf if they choose.
  • As in France, the persecution of Muslims in India is also rising, where girls wearing hijabs have been banned from attending state governed college classes, being humiliated and forced to sit outside, while threatened by their principal and teachers that they would ruin the student’s careers.

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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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The Daily Brief: Rising Conflict in Europe Drives NATO Chief to Invite Russia to Talks

Increasing tensions between Russia and the Ukraine prompts NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to set up a series of meetings in the NATO-Russia council.

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Summary:

  • Despite NATO’s efforts, Moscow refuses to engage in further discussions with the council until the West answers their long list of security demands.
  • Russia’s borders with the Ukraine have seen a recent spike of nearly 100,000 troops making many fear a possible invasion.
  • The Kremlin holds that forces are necessary in those regions and blames the West for misinterpreting the security needs of the area.
  • Russia’s security demands include but are not limited to NATO giving up military activity in Eastern Europe and promising to never accept Ukraine as a member of the organization.
  • US President Joe Biden’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday and then German, French, and English officials on Thursday.
  • White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki stated “We’re now at a stage where Russia at any time could launch an attack on Ukraine…The fact that we’re seeing this movement of forces into Belarus clearly gives the Russians another approach, should they decide to take further military action against Ukraine…Russian military plans to begin activities several weeks before a military invasion is something we’ve been watching closely and our assessment has been that could happen anytime between mid-January and mid-February.”
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Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard in a $69 Billion Deal

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  • The Microsoft Corporation is set to become the number 3 gaming company in the world following the absorption of Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion bet.
  • The all-cash deal would have Microsoft paying $95 per share of the controversial Activision gaming company.
  • Tencent and Sony would be the only gaming company ahead of Microsoft in revenue.
  • Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft, stated “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms…We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.”

Yemen – The Humanitarian Crisis Facing The Poorest Arab Country After A 7 Year War

  • As violence escalated this weekend with the Yemeni Houthis sending deadly drone attacks to the UAE, many fear that the growing humanitarian crisis facing the most vulnerable in Yemen has no end in sight. 
  • Since the war between oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Yemen began 7 years ago, officials estimate that at least 377,000 Yemeni people have died directly and indirectly from the violence with 70% of the deaths recorded being children. 
  • 45% of the total Yemeni population is considered food insecure, with an estimated 50,000 people living in famine-like conditions. 
  • 4.6 million Yemenis have been forced from their homes with an estimated 3,468 people displaced within the first two weeks of 2022 which adds to the growing concerns of food insecurity and the spread of preventable diseases. 
  • The UN has continuously raised concerns that Yemen is already at the brink of a complete humanitarian disaster and that another 7 years of war will cause complete and total destruction to the Yemeni population. 
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New Charges Added to Nigerian Separatists Leader Currently Detained 

Adachineke, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • As the trial for Nnamdi Kanu continues, the Nigerian prosecution has added 8 additional terrorism and incitement charges to the 7 current terrorism charges that Kanu has pleaded not guilty to. 
  • Kanu, who is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a group that Nigeria has declared a terrorist group, which calls for the Igbo ethnic group’s homeland of Southeastern Nigeria to succeed from Nigeria, was blindsided by the additional charges. 
  • Kanu’s Lawyer, Mike Ozekhome accused the prosecution of ambushing Kanu and their team with the 8 additional charges “just to frustrate the trial” and to keep Kanu in detention for longer and requested time to prepare on how to plead the additional charges. 
  • Nigerian officials state Kanu and the IPOB are responsible for inciting violence on police stations and security forces since 2018. 
  • IPOB supporters have launched lockdown protests across the southeastern portion of Nigeria in opposition to Kanu’s trial and detainment. 
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Kashmir Journalist Arrested Under Controversial Law, One Day After Being Granted Bail

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  • Kashmir journalist, Sajid Gul, 26, was arrested this week in India controlled Kashmir under the controversial “Public Safety Act” (PSA), in which an individual can be detained for up to 6 months with no trial. 
  • Gul, who was granted bail in a separate case of alleged criminal conspiracy a day prior, will now be detained in a prison 200 miles away, where it will be difficult for his family to visit him. 
  • Indian officials state Gul’s social media presence spread falsehood and misinformation which goes against the sovereignty of the state. 
  • Amnesty International has called the PSA a lawless law and has been used to detain individuals throughout the Indian-controlled region of Kashmir unjustly. 
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North Korea Launches Missile Test For The 4th Time This Year

Stefan Krasowski, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Amid stalled denuclearisation talks, North Korea has fired its 4th missile test this year, adding to growing concerns about the communist country’s advancing missile program. 
  • The current missile test occurred on Friday using a pair of SRBMs fired from train cars while the previous 2 launches, attended by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, involved “hypersonic missiles” which are capable of high speeds and manoeuvrings after launch. 
  • The UN Security Council is expected to meet behind closed doors later this week to discuss the continued missile launches, while South Korean officials stated they consider every North Korean missile launch as a “direct and serious threat.”
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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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The Daily Brief: Drone Attack Kills Three in Abu Dhabi

Saudi Led Coalition Retaliates

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Ralf Roletschek, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary: 

  • A combined missile and drone attack in Abu Dhabi has resulted in the death of three individuals.
  • The attack was orchestrated by a Houthi militia faction in Yemen, which is largely supported by Iran.
  • Yemen has been plagued by civil war, with the Houthis fighting against the Yemen military, which is supported by a Saudi-led coalition.
  • The United Arab Emirates is a part of that coalition.
  • The Houthis in Yemen have previously attacked targets in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the UAE.
  • The attack has been met with retaliation, as Saudi led airstrikes pummeled Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a.
  • Casualties in Abu Dhabi included one Pakistani and two Indian.

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Turkey Sees Rise In Cryptocurrency Trafficking

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  • Turkey’s failing economy has prompted many to seek financial security in cryptocurrencies.
  • Because of the faltering Turkish lira, there has been increased purchase of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other electronic currencies.
  • Last year, Turkey saw record breaking transactions involving crypto, exceeding one million on some days.
  • The move to invest money in crypto currencies is questionable because the cryptocurrency market is also at times volatile.

Canada Passes Pfizer Pill

Norbert Nagel, Mörfelden-Walldorf, Germany, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Canada passed the Pifzer antiviral pill Paxlovid this Monday. 
  • The pill is able to be used at home against the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Canadian health minister has approved it for individuals at severe risk of illness after infection. 
  • The country is to receive 30,000 treatment courses, although worldwide supply shortages may affect issuing of the drug. 

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Seven Killed During Anti-Coup Protests in Sudan

  • Sudanese Medical officials have reported that at least seven are dead following anti-coup protests, shot by security forces. 
  • Thousands are protesting across the country amidst the military takeover, marching to the Presidential Palace in Khartoum and facing tear gas from officers. 
  • “Resistance committees have called on people to barricade neighborhoods and main streets to stop movement,” political group The Forces of Freedom and Change stated. 
  • The death toll of individuals due to protests now rises to 71 since October.

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3 Magnitude Earthquake in Afghanistan Kills 26

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  • A 5.3 magnitude earthquake has hit Afghanistan, killing 26 largely due to building collapses and destroying dozens of other houses. 
  • Rescue teams have been deployed to heavily affected areas, with officials fearing a greater death toll to come. 
  • The earthquake comes in the midst of a humanitarian crises, as the country remains on the brink of economic collapse and under the rule of the Taliban. 

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Zemmour Fined €10,000 for Hate Speech

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  • A Paris court has fined presidential candidate Eric Zemmour 10,000 euros due to hate speech. 
  • Zemmour previously called migrant children “theives,” “rapists,” and “murderers,” on national television in 2020.
  • He called the charges “ideological and stupid,” preaching for an “end of this system that tightens the noose around freedom of expression and democratic debate a bit more each day”.
  • Despite statements made, Zemmour stands with 13% in the polls at 4th 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

The Daily Brief: Tonga in Dire Need of Drinking Water and Food

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Summary:

  • The Island of Tonga is in dire need of help and aid. The whole Island has been facing  fresh water and food shortages. 
  • The Red Cross has stepped in and promised help as is New Zealand and Australia who are setting up efforts to help the ash covered island as conditions get worse for the inhabitants. 
  • Saturday evening a tremendous underwater volcanic eruption launched ash, steam and gas above the South Pacific ocean.
  • The eruption coated Tonga with a layer of ash and triggered tsunami waves which cut power and severed connection to nearly all of the island’s residents.
  • The tsunami destroyed boats and seaside shops along the Tongan shore and caused flooding across the island.
  • The dust blown into the air by the volcano has reportedly contaminated water and prompted authorities to advise residents to wear masks to avoid lung damage.
  • The disturbance in the South Pacific triggered tsunami warnings and evacuation orders in several countries including Japan and the US. 
  • Coastal California and Alaska have received some flooding due to the tsunami however as the evacuation orders are now being lifted as the tsunami threat recedes. 

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Hindu Extremists Call For Muslim Genocide in India

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  • Extremist calls for a Muslim genocide in India gain traction as experts warn of an upcoming massacre.
  • Pooja Shakun Pandey, a senior member of the right-wing Hindu Mahasabha political party, was recorded at a recent rally saying, “If 100 of us become soldiers and are prepared to kill 2 million (Muslims), then we will win … protect India, and make it a Hindu nation”. Pandey’s words were met with roars of applause from the crowd
  • Gregory Stanton, the founder and director of Genocide Watch, warned of early “signs and processes” of Muslim genocide in the Indian state of Assam and Indian-administered Kashmir.

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Following a Three Week Lockdown, The Chinese City of Xi’an Lifts Some Restrictions

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  • Authorities in the Chinese city of Xi’an have begun easing some restrictions after a 3 week lockdown to extinguish a local outbreak before the Beijing Olympic Winter Games.
  • On December 22, the tourist city began a strict lockdown after an outbreak of the delta variant, in accord with its “zero COVID” policy.
  • So far, China has reported 104,864 total cases, 119 of them reported on Saturday and of those 64 were local.

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British Citizens Behind Synagogue Hostage Situation 

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  • British citizen Malik Akram has been identified as the man who took 4 hostages at a synagogue in Texas. Mr. Akram was shot dead after an 11 hour of negotiations. 
  • Manchester police has arrested two more individuals in UK who are said to have helped Mr. Akram in planning the incident that took place on Saturday. The identity of those two UK citizens have not been revealed yet. 
  • Initially four people including the rabbi were taken hostage with one man being released shortly after.
  • In a statement, President Biden said “…I don’t think there is sufficient information to know about why he insisted on the release of someone who’s been in prison for over 10 years, why he was engaged, why he was using anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli comments.”
  • The suspect asked for the release of Aafia Siddiqui a Pakistani MIT graduate and neuroscientist who was accused of assault and attempted murder.

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Mali’s Former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita Passes Away at 76

Office of the White House (Amanda Lucidon), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Mali’s former president Ibrahim Bubacar Keita passed away at the age of 76 in the capital of Bamako. The cause of death has not been specified.
  • Keita led Mali for seven years from 2013 to 2020 until he was removed in a coup after several anti-government protests occurred due to his handling of jihadist unrest, the economic crisis, and disputed elections. 
  • Keita had won the 2013 election in a landslide and was re-elected five years later. Yet a collapsing economy, slow reforms, and weakened public services and schools, in addition to the country’s perception of government corruption, increased anti-Keita sentiment and sparked large protests.

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Australia Deports Tennis Star Novak Djokovic after He Refuses to get Vaccinated

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  • Australia’s Minister Alew Hawke canceled Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time in a row after he refused to get vaccinated against Covid-19. The visa was canceled on grounds that Djokovic’s presence in the country may be a risk to the health and “good order” of the Australian public and may discourage others to get vaccinated as well. 
  • Djokovic will remain in Melbourne until he is deported; and a deportation order usually includes a three-year ban on returning to Australia. The 11 day battle over Djokovic’s COVID-19 vaccination status prevents him from defending his Australian Open title and fulfilling his goal of a record 21st Grand Slam. He was scheduled to play his first round Australian Open match on Monday night, but could not attend. 
  • Djokovic stated that he was “extremely disappointed” but added that he is willing to cooperate with authorities in relation to his departure from the country. The Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic also condemned this move and announced that he stood by the tennis player and that the Australian government should be subjecting all these rules on not only Djokovic but also his family and the entire nation.  

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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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