McKay Savage from London, UK, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
- Heavy rains and deadly floods have claimed the lives of at least 136 people, with several missing and tens of thousands forced to evacuate – the states of Maharashtra, Goa, and Mumbai have been most heavily affected.
- Hundreds of homes have been damaged and a rescue mission is ongoing to desperately locate survivors of the heavy monsoon rains as people lose their properties and belongings.
- While many factors are attributed to flooding, experts claim climate change and global warming most likely contribute to the extreme rainfall seen in South Asia, as well as flooding experienced by Europe and parts of China this year.
- Goa’s floods were the worst in decades, according to its chief minister Pramod Sawant – however, the state did not suffer any casualties as seen in Maharashtra.
- The Raigad district in Maharashtra suffered coastal landslides, devastating homes and leading to 47 deaths with 53 people feared trapped among the rubble and mud – the downpour caused rivers to overflow and burst their banks.
- Approximately 90,000 people have been evacuated in Maharashtra – near the city of Mumbai, the downpours have caused terrified residents to climb rooftops and upper stories to escape swelling waters.
- Water levels rose to nearly 20 feet (6 meters) in areas south of Mumbai, completely submerging roads and homes as the region experienced 24 hours of uninterrupted rainfall.
- Experts predict the torrential downpour will continue for the next few days – hundreds of villages in the region affected by the monsoon were without electricity and drinking water.
- Rescuers are equipped with lifejackets, rubber boats, and other materials to help locate survivors – the National Disaster Response Force, the Indian Army, Coast Guards, Navy, Air Force and state authorities have been deployed in the rescue mission.
- The monsoon season lasts from June to September in India, with heavy rainfalls causing displacements and loss of life each year – farmers depend on the rainfall for agriculture, however climate change has led to more harsh flooding affecting the country.
- Al Jazeera:
China Prepares for Typhoon In-Fa After Deadly Flooding
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
- The eastern coastal province of Zhejiang in China has closed all ports and train stations and suspended all flights in the region as authorities prepare for Typhoon In-Fa after the country experienced deadly flooding just days earlier.
- People have been ordered to stay indoors as high winds, rough seas, and more flooding are expected in Zhejiang, near Shanghai.
- Previous flooding led to historic damage in China, including 58 casualties.
- The typhoon could bring more downpours, with officials fearing it could exacerbate the difficulty of search and rescue missions for survivors of previous flooding.
- A tropical storm is also expected to hit Tokyo, Japan next week where the Olympic Games are being held.
Brazilians Protest Against Bolsonaro Yet Again
Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
- Protests erupted in Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian towns against Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic and corruption allegations. More than half of Brazilians support the impeachment of Bolsonaro.
- Protestors also expressed anger over Brazil’s slow vaccine rollout and high unemployment rate. President Bolsonaro has downplayed the severity of the virus and has not implemented public health regulations.
- A Senate commission is currently investigating Brazil’s handling of the pandemic, with Bolsonaro’s popularity steadily decreasing. Brazil has faced 548,000 deaths so far, one of the highest death tolls in the world.
Guatemalan Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Flees Country After Being Fired
Carlos Sebastián, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
- Guatemalan anti-corruption prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval was forced to flee Guatemala to protect himself after being fired from his post on Friday as head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity (FECI).
- Sandoval fled to a town bordering El Salvador accompanied by human rights activists, a Swedish ambassador, and a journalist. Sandoval stated that he will continue working, but will not be used by those “who have made exploiting government funds a way of life.”
- Sandoval’s firing led to criticism from US President Joe Biden’s administration, who stated that it is a step back in the fight against corruption. Guatemala’s Attorney General stated that Sandoval was fired because he committed “frequent abuses to the institutionality” of the ministry.
Vietnam’s Capital Enters 15 Day Lockdown Due to Covid
Ji-Elle, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
- The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, has been put under a 15-day lockdown because of Covid-19. Gatherings of more than two people have been banned, and only essential businesses are permitted to stay open.
- The city of Hanoi normally has eight million people and a bustling atmosphere, but now has shuttered shops and an air of fear. Seventy infections were reported on Friday, which is a record high for the city.
- Vietnam has had more than 83,000 infections and 300 deaths since April. Vietnam did well at the beginning of the pandemic and was able to contain the virus, but its vaccine rollout has been slow, causing the recent numbers.
Taliban Advance Triggers Night Curfew in Afghanistan
- The Taliban has made huge territory gains through their offensive attacks pushing Afghanistan’s government to impose a night curfew from 10 PM to 4 AM.
- Following US withdrawal the Taliban made quick advances resulting in half of Afghanistan’s territory to now be under Taliban control.
- Afghanistan has seen tremendous violence in the past few months as the Taliban’s armed militants and Afghani defense forces clashed numerous times.
- The curfew is intended to limit Taliban movement and curb violence in the country.
Anti-Lockdown Protests Take Place Around the World as Covid Resurges
- Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Australia, France, Italy and the UK to protest Covid-19 lockdowns and vaccine pass schemes.
- Several governments are considering restricting access to restaurants and public spaces to unvaccinated individuals in order to limit the spread of coronavirus and encourage vaccination.
- In response to such policies demonstrators have marched through the streets of their respective countries.
- In some cases police disperse crowds with force, using tools such as tear gas and water cannons to break up demonstrations.
Lebanon Signs Fuel Deal With Iraq to Ease Economic Crisis
The Media Office of the Prime Minister of Iraq, CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons
- Iraq has agreed to supply Lebanon with 1 million tonnes of heavy oil fuel a year in return for goods and services.
- Lebanon’s economy is currently in freefall; foreign reserves are nearly dried out and the country regularly faces medicine, food, and power shortages.
- The fuel deal with Iraq is intended to ease Lebanon’s power shortages and help rebuild the country’s crashing economy which has left many Lebanese people without access to basic goods.
Salman Rushdie Severely Stabbed due to his Publication of the Book “The Satanic Verses”
- 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.
China Threatens Consequences if Pelosi Visits Taiwan
- 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.
First Grain Ship Departs Ukraine After Six Months of Russian Blockade
- 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.”
Concerns Rise As US Teeters on the Brink of Recession
- 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.
North Korea Could Possibly Be Preparing another Nuclear Test￼
- 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.
Russia Limits Gas Supply to Germany
- 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.”
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