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The Daily Brief: Helicopter Crash Kills Indian Chief of Defence

A helicopter crash in southern India killed 13 individuals, including Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat

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India Helicopter crash
  • An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crashed on Wednesday in southern Tamil Nadu, killing 13 people onboard, including Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.
  • There was only one survivor from the crash, Group Captain Varun Singh. He is currently being treated in a military hospital. Rawat’s wife also died in the crash.
  • The cause of the crash is still unknown, and authorities have opened an investigation.
  • Rawat has been the Chief of Defence Staff since 2019, which is when the position was created. He was Chief of Army Staff for three years before that. 
  • Rawat has also been a leader for the Indian army for more than 40 years, and has received several awards for his service.
  • The Indian Army described Rawat as “a visionary who initiated far reaching reforms in the Indian military’s higher defence organisation.”
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted about the victims of the crash, stating, “They served India with utmost diligence. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.” 
  • Modi also spoke about Rawat in particular, stating, “Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional.”
  • Indian President Ram Nath Kovind also shared his condolences to Rawat, stating, “The nation has lost one of its bravest sons. His four decades of selfless service to the motherland was marked by exceptional gallantry and heroism.”
  • Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, also commented on the incident on Twitter, calling it a “tragic accident”.

Other Headlines: 

Olaf Scholz is Sworn in as Germany’s Chancellor

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  • Olaf Scholz was sworn in as Germany’s new chancellor on Wednesday, replacing Angela Merkel after her 16 years in office.
  • Scholz is the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and has been working with the Merkel government as vice-chancellor and finance minister since 2018.
  • A three party coalition has been formed with Free Democrats and Greens, with different departments being led by different parties.

Vishal Garg, CEO of Better.com, Apologizes for Firing Employees over Zoom

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  • Vishal Garg, the CEO of Better.com issued an apology for the mass firing he conducted via Zoom video call on Dec. 1.
  • The leaked video of the mortgage company’s employees being laid off en masse met severe backlash on social media platforms.
  • Despite the apology, critics state that the apology was intended for the current workers, not those who were laid off.
  • 900 employees, accounting for 9% of the company’s workforce, were dismissed from their posts in the Zoom call.  Some claimed they were taken by surprise, especially because the company recently received $750 million in funding.
  • The apology message was posted on the company’s website.

Another Billionaire Sent to Space, This Time from Japan

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  • Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire, joins the ranks of other billionaires who made it into space.
  • Maezawa-san was launched into space in a Russian Soyuz rocket on Wednesday.
  • The billionaire is accompanied by Alexander Misurkin, a Russian cosmonaut, and Yozo Hirano, Maezawa-san’s production assistant who will document the journey.
  • The journey is expected to last 12 days at the International Space Station (ISS).  
  • The Japanese billionaire crowd-sourced activities to complete and promised to complete 100 tasks while in space.  The activities include playing golf, throwing a paper airplane, blowing bubbles, and introducing other astronauts. 

Detained Saudi Man Accused of Involvement in Khashoggi Killing Released

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  • A Saudi national was arrested Tuesday at Charles de Gaulle airport for suspected involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • The accused man, Khalid Alotaibi, was released by French officials on the basis of a mistaken identity on Wednesday.  A man with the same name has been listed on documentation in connection with Khashoggi’s killing, which took place in Turkey in 2018. 
  • Khashoggi was a journalist for the Washington Post and a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS).  
  • The journalist was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in October 2018.  His remains have never been found.

Prime Minister Marin of Finland Apologizes for Clubbing after Covid-19 Contact

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  • Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister of Finland, went clubbing on Saturday.  Earlier that day, her foreign minister tested positive for Covid-19.
  • The PM was initially informed that isolation was not necessary because of her vaccination status.  A follow-up text message confirmed she needed to be isolated, but the message was sent to her work phone which she left at home that night.
  • Prime Minister Marin took a Covid test once she saw the text on Sunday.  The result was negative.
  • Ms. Marin’s initial reactions were defensive, but then she apologized on a Facebook post for exercising better judgment.
  • Finland’s Covid guidelines do not mandate isolation if someone is fully vaccinated (two doses) and comes in contact with a Covid-positive individual.  It is, however, recommended to avoid social contact while awaiting Covid test access. 

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

Daily Brief

Salman Rushdie Severely Stabbed due to his Publication of the Book “The Satanic Verses”

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Salman Rushdie 2014
  • Salman Rushdie, an author, was severely stabbed in his neck and abdomen on stage by a suspect named Hadi Matar, causing him to be on a ventilator and potentially losing an eye.
  • An Iranian leader back in the 20th century wanted Rushdie killed because of his novel, Satanic Verses, that many Muslims found disrespectful. This led Salman to go into hiding for almost a decade.
  • Translators from different countries reading this book were harshly stabbed to death when the book came out and Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khomeini called for Salman’s execution for three million dollars.
  • The Iranian government has not yet responded to this issue, but many Iranians in the media claim him to be an apostate who later became an atheist.

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

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Daily Brief

China Threatens Consequences if Pelosi Visits Taiwan

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  • US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed inTaiwan. Prior to the visit, China’s Foreign Ministry has voiced their disapproval, stating that “China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized in response  that “The speaker will make her own decisions about whether or not to visit Taiwan,” and that the US is looking to Beijing to “act responsibly and not to engage in any escalation going forward.”
  • The US has made it clear that members of Congress routinely visit Taiwan and that this trip is non-threatening and has precedent. Even so, some officials have expressed concern that China may invade Taiwan’s air defense zone or send missiles near Taiwan in retaliation.
  • Pelosi has criticized China’s leadership and vocalized support for Taiwan in the past. She is currently on her tour of Asia, with scheduled visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.

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

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Daily Brief

First Grain Ship Departs Ukraine After Six Months of Russian Blockade

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  • The first shipment of grain departed the port of Odesa on Monday after Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports for the last six months trapped around 20 million metric tons of wheat and corn.
  • Russia recently made a deal with Ukraine, brokered by the UN and Turkey, allowing grain exports to resume, appeasing fears of a global food supply crisis and rising prices.
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba celebrated the shipment, calling it a “day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.”
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was more hesitant to celebrate the shipment, stating “it is too early to draw any conclusions and make any forecasts” and he wants to “see how the agreement works and whether security will be really guaranteed.”

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

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Daily Brief

Concerns Rise As US Teeters on the Brink of Recession

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  • The US economy declines for the second quarter in a row, causing, what other countries would consider, an economic recession. 
  • The prices for groceries, gas, and other basics are rising at the fastest pace since 1981. The US Central Bank is quickly trying to raise borrowing costs in order to cool the economy and ease the prices on goods, but with the contraction, at the annual rate of 0.9% in the 3 months to July, many are still getting concerned. 
  • President Biden struggles to convince the public that the economy is sound, with the unemployment rate at a low 3.6%. But with inflation in the US hitting 9.1% in June, the fastest price appreciation in 4 months, consumer spending has slowed at an annual rate of 1%. 
  • Many other countries, such as China and the UK, have been hit harder by the surge in energy prices and the War in Ukraine, causing risks from abroad. Other countries are facing much more serious problems and once they’re hit, their problems can spill over and affect the US. 

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

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Daily Brief

North Korea Could Possibly Be Preparing another Nuclear Test

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  • North Korea could be preparing a seventh nuclear test, especially after Mr. Kim announced that the country is fully ready for any military confrontation with the US at a Korean War Anniversary event. 
  • A US special representative in North Korea states that Jong-Un has tested an unprecedented number of missiles this year—31 to 25. Jong-Un also stated that threats from the US required North Korea to achieve the urgent historical task of strengthening its self-defense. 
  • Jong-un also stated that South Korea is reviving a plan to counter North Korea’s threat by mounting precautionary strikes; in June alone, South Korea launched 8 missiles of its own.
  • The North Korean regime is especially angry with South Korea’s new president Yoon Suk-yeol and his so-called Kill Chain strategy. This strategy allows South Korea to launch ballistic missiles and air strikes on North Korean targets if it ever feels threatened. 
  • North Korea has also not been getting as much engagement with Washington ever since Biden replaced Trump, and could be hinting at some sort of deliberate escalation by the North, and preparations have been underway at the Punggye Ri test site since March.

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

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Daily Brief

Russia Limits Gas Supply to Germany

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  • Gazprom, a major Russian energy provider, has stated it will reduce the supply of gas to Germany by half via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline due to repair work. 
  • Germany has said that they see no technical reason for the decrease in gas supply. The European Union continues to accuse Russia of weaponizing energy, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stating, “This is an open gas war that Russia is waging against a united Europe.”
  • Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement to allow the export of grain via the Black Sea after Russia continued to block millions of tonnes from being exported. The next day, Russia struck missiles at the port, some of which hit the infrastructure of the port.
  • The US and Ukraine are optimistic that the agreement will still be implemented, with the US State Department stating, “Despite these attacks, we do understand that the parties are continuing preparations to open Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for food and fertilizer exports…we also continue to expect that the Black Sea agreement will be implemented.”

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

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