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The Daily Brief: Heavy Rains Bring Deadly Floods to Western Europe

Heavy Rains Bring Deadly Floods to Western Europe

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1280px Flood of the Rhine River 2018

Spielvogel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • Record rainfall in western europe has caused rivers to swell and burst their banks leading to large scale flooding across Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.
  • At least 70 people have been killed due to the intense flooding and more than a thousand remain unaccounted for.
  • The western German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia were hit the hardest by the downpour and subsequent flooding from nearby rivers.
  • Hundreds of firefighters, emergency responders and soldiers are working to rescue victims and evacuate towns hit hardest by the floods.
  • Dozens of homes and cars have been destroyed by the water torrents leaving hundreds stuck under debris and rubble.
  • Environmental activists and politicians have pointed to climate change as the cause for the flooding. 
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the flooding “catastrophic” and said that she is “grieving those who have lost their lives”. She also assured Germans that their “government – federal, regional and community – collectively will do everything under the most difficult conditions to save lives, alleviate dangers and to relieve distress.”
  • Sources:

BBC

NYT

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Other Headlines:

COVID-19 Surges in Africa, Overwhelms Healthcare System

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  • Africa is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, leading to a 43% increase in coronavirus related deaths in one week according to the World Health Organization.
  • The new Delta variant has spread on the continent, with hospitals lacking intensive-care units and oxygen supplies; fatalities from COVID-19 have risen from 4,383 the week of June 28 – July 2 to 6,273 the week of July 5 – 11.
  • WHO regional director for Africa stated hospitals have reached a “breaking point” in the countries most impacted by the virus, as a shortage of healthcare workers, poor infrastructure and lack of resources have led to the inability to care for severely ill patients.
  • WHO officials also warned South Africa of a devastating COVID-19 surge following several days of looting and political unrest – a rise in COVID-19 related deaths have been fueled by vaccine shortages and public fatigue with loss of precautionary measures.

Tweets:

Lebanon PM-Designate Quits as the Country Faces a Political Deadlock

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Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Months of continued political deadlock have led to the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, plunging the nation into a deeper crisis as it faces social, economic, and political turmoil.
  • Mr. Hariri was selected to form a new government after the previous one resigned following the massive explosion in Beirut that left hundreds dead – yet, after months of disagreement over appointment of cabinet members and ministers with President Michel Aoun, the PM-designate has given up the task.
  • Lebanon is suffering one of the worst financial contractions since the mid-1800s – a currency collapse has led to rising inflation, coupled with food, medicine, electricity and fuel shortages.
  • The international community is refusing to provide Lebanon with aid until a new government is formed with a crackdown on corruption – foreign minister of France has called the failure to form a new government “yet another terrible incident.”

Tweets:

Cuban Government Eases Import Duties After Widespread Protests

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Emmanuel Huybrechts from Laval, Canada, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • Following intense anti-government protests in Cuba against food and medicine shortages, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz removed import duties on food brought into the country by travellers.
  • Cuba saw widespread and record breaking protests on Sunday. People were angry with the handling of the pandemic, electricity outages, and limiting of civil liberties. More than 200 people were arrested for protesting, and one person was killed.
  • Those who relied on relatives outside of Cuba to help get them food and medicine were struggling with the import duties. As of now, up to 10kg of medicine and a small amount of food can be brought into Cuba without taxes.
  • Cuba’s economy is severely struggling with the lack of tourism and the pandemic. Many wait in long lines to buy food or medicine. Cuba blames the economic hardships on US trade sanctions.

Tweets

Leaked Kremlin Documents Show that Russia Helped Trump in 2016 Election

Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • In what looks to be leaked Kremlin documents according to the Guardian, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized an operation to assist former US President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
  • A meeting with Putin and other government officials took place in January 2016 where it was decided that Trump as the US President would be most beneficial to Russia’s objectives.
  • Putin’s signature is seen to be approving three spy agencies to support Trump in the election. Independent experts believe the leaked papers are authentic, but it has not been officially established.
  • The papers also described Trump as an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex”. Hillary Clinton, the main rival in the 2016 election, was not explicitly mentioned in the papers.

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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Crime

Six People Killed in Shooting at Independence Day Parade

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800px 4th of July Independence Day Parade 2014 DC 14466342590
  • Six people were shot dead at an Independence Day parade near Chicago, Illinois. The gunman is still unknown and actively being searched for.
  • The gunman, who is being described as a white man near the age of 20, started shooting at random with a high powered rifle from a rooftop. The parade, which should have included hours of activities and entertainment, quickly ended and crowds were dispersed.
  • Those living in nearby suburbs or areas where the suspect might have gone have been told to shelter in place.
  • July 4th marks the colonies gaining independence in 1776 from Great Britain and the formation of the United States of America.

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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Crime

Eight Gang Members Arrested and In Possession of Underwater Drones

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800px Drug trafficking Caribean Sea
  • Spanish police arrested eight gang members that had unmanned underwater drones, six aerial drones, as well as other illegal substances in their possession.
  • The police said the drones could be used for illegal purposes, specifically “to be delivered to French narco-traffickers to be used to transport significant quantities of cocaine.”
  • One of the underwater vehicles was completely built, and two more were still being completed. The drones could potentially be controlled from anywhere in the world.
  • More than a year long investigation was carried out with the help of the French police to investigate the gang and arrest members in Cadiz, Malaga, and Barcelona.

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

Three People Killed in Copenhagen Mall Shooting

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800px Fisketorvet Copenhagen Mall Interior 15915770832
  • Three people were killed at a mall in Copenhagen, Denmark after a gunman started randomly shooting with a rifle.
  • The suspect is a 22-year old Danish man with a mental health condition and “known among psychiatric services,” according to Copenhagen police chief Soren Thomassen.
  • Two Danish teenagers were killed, one boy and one girl, and a 47-year old Russian citizen. Four other people are in critical condition from the shooting.
  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spoke about the incident, stating, “Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second.”

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

Argentina’s Economy Minister Quits

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Martin Guzman
  • Argentina’s economy minister, Martin Guzmán, resigned from his post after a week of economic crisis in a 7 page letter published on Twitter.
  • Guzmán initiated office in 2019 taking lead in restructuring Argentina’s debt.
  • In addition to the global rise of food and energy costs, Argentina is battling with 60% inflation.
  • In his letter of resignation, Guzmán calls for a “political agreement within the governing coalition.”
  • Many speculate his statement was in reference to his deputy – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – whom he was openly at odds with when approaching the country’s economic problems.
  • Prior to the resignation, Fernández took to criticizing economic policy starting with Guzmán’s inflation strategy.

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

3 Hezbollah Drones Shot down by Israel

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Levant Basin
  • The Israeli military says one drone was shot down by an F16 fighter jet and the other two by Barak 8 missiles via ship.
  • The drones were unarmed.
  • In an official statement Hezbollah confirms ownership of the drones which were heading for the Karish gas field in disputed territory off the Mediterranean coast of Israel.
  • Israel previously announced plans to extract gas from the offshore rig, eliciting threats from Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.
  • The disputed territory amplified tensions between Israel and Lebanon.
  • Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, accuses Hezbollah of barring Lebanon from cooperating with Israel concerning maritime borders.
  • This incident evoked support for Hezbollah, many taking to social media platforms to express gratitude for the militant group’s brazen confrontation against Israel’s platform in the Mediterranean. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Russian Forces Finally Abandon Snake Island as a Gesture of Goodwill

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Battle of Snake Island 2022
  • Russian forces have officially abandoned Snake or Zmiinyi Island as a gesture of goodwill in order to prove that it was not obstructing grain exports. But this claim was instantly dismissed by Ukraine once Moscow continued to shell its grain stores. 
  • Snake Island was seized by Russians on February 24; the island, which is just 22 miles away from Ukraine, is exposed to attacks from all directions, including air and sea. Once Russia seized it, Ukraine attacked the island itself and any vessels carrying troops or heavy weaponry. 
  • Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov states that controlling this island and stationing troops doesn’t make sense for either side and the island is an easy target. He argued that maintaining “fire control,”.which is having the capability to strike any target approaching the island, is a better advantage for either side. 
  • The key question is whether the Ukrainians will consider  exporting grain to reboot the war economy. However, the Russian warships still gain dominance over the Black Sea, and although they are offering Ukraine to export grains from Odessa, Ukraine rejected it due to it having to remove mines from outside the port. 

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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