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The Daily Brief: Iran swears in new President Ebrahim Raisi

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Raisi is committed to lifting US sanctions and strengthening relations with nearby countries, while also inheriting international condemnation and a water crisis.

Summary:

  • Iran swore in Ebrahim Raisi as its eighth president on Thursday after he won the election in June. Raisi spoke to the necessity of lifting US sanctions, strengthening relations with neighboring countries, and fighting against corruption.
  • Top leaders from Iraq, Afghanistan, Armenia, Palestine, Russia, Azerbaijan, and many more countries were present at the inauguration ceremony. Pope Francis also sent a representative to attend.
  • Raisi has inherited a struggling economy and a water crisis that have led to violent protests.
  • The US has placed heavy sanctions on Iran, and the country is currently facing blame from the US, UK, and Israel for a drone attack on an oil tanker, which Iran denied involvement in.
  • Raisi is the frontrunner to replace Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has endorsed him as president. Khamenei directed Raisi to quickly present his cabinet picks and form his team.
  • In regards to the nuclear deal, Raisi stated that nuclear weapons are not part of Iran’s defense strategy. A US State Department spokesman urged Raisi to return to negotiations on the nuclear deal and “seize the opportunity now to advance diplomatic solutions.”
  • Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz announced that their military is prepared to attack Iran after the recent drone incident.

Sources

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-58097195

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/5/irans-raisi-sends-message-of-strength-in-inauguration

https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/05/middleeast/iran-president-raisi-inauguration-intl/index.html

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Olympics Update: India 41 Years Later, First Karate Champion, Age 14 Gold Medalist

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  • USA leads in the medal count with 91 total medals. China leads the gold medal count with 34.
  • India’s men’s hockey team secured a bronze medal after beating Germany 5-4. This is their first medal in 41 years, when they won a gold medal in Moscow 1980.
  • Quan Hongchan, 14-year old diver from China, won a gold medal in the women’s 10 meter platform. She is the second youngest person to win the event and the youngest athlete in the Tokyo Olympics this year.
  • Hugues Fabrice Zango won a bronze medal in the men’s triple jump, earning Burkina Faso its first ever Olympic medal.
  • The USWNT defeated Australia 4-3 in women’s soccer, taking home a bronze medal.
  • Kristina Timanovskaya, a Belarusian sprinter, is hoping to stay in Poland and compete in at least two more Olympics. She traveled to Poland for her safety and did not participate this year.
  • Belgium men’s hockey team defeated Australia in a dramatic penalty shootout. This is Belgium’s second gold medal in a team sport.
  • Sandra Sánchez won gold in the first karate competition, and became Spain’s oldest Olympic champion at 39 years and 323 days old.

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Israel Launched Airstrikes on Lebanon as Retaliation

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  • Israel launched airstrikes on Lebanon in retaliation for rocket attacks on Tuesday. No group has claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks from Lebanon.
  • Lebanese President Michel Aoun says that this attack “is the first of its kind since 2006” and that a complaint will be sent to the United Nations. Israel warned Lebanon “against further attempts to harm Israeli civilians and Israel’s sovereignty.”
  • Lebanon is currently facing a grave economic crisis and political crisis, with no functional government for the past year.

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Messi Leaves FC Barcelona as Contract Ends 

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  • Lionel Messi is set to leave FC Barcelona as his previous contract expired earlier this summer – an agreement between the player and the club for a five-year extension could not be met due to La Liga’s salary cap rules.
  • Barcelona released a statement expressing that despite “…both parties clearly wanting to sign a contract, it cannot be finalized due to financial and structural problems.”
  • With more than 30 titles and record breaking championships, the soccer player’s departure is a historic moment for the club – he has played for the club since 2000, earning 672 goals, 10 LaLiga titles, and the Champions League on four occasions.
  • Spanish clubs have a limit on spending – Barca’s spending stood over 600 million euros before the pandemic and was reduced to nearly half the previous season.

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Biden Administration Offers Protection for Hong Kong Residents in U.S.

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  • President Biden has announced Thursday that Hong Kong residents living in the U.S. would be offered a “safe haven” and protected from deportation, citing China’s infringement on human rights in Hong Kong.
  • Under the new protection, thousands of Hong Kong residents in the U.S. can extend their stay for up to 18 months as a response to Beijing’s crackdown on democracy in the Hong Kong region.
  • President Biden has stated China’s frequent assaults on Hong Kong autonomy and democracy in the past year, as well as a crackdown on freedom of the press necessitate the U.S. to stand by the people of Hong Kong.
  • The move is intended to make clear that the U.S. “will not stand idly by as the PRC breaks its promises to Hong Kong and to the international community.”

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British Police Make 11 Arrests Related to Racial Abuse Following Euro Finals

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  • British police have made 11 arrests so far in connection to the racist abuse targeted towards three Black players on England’s football team, following the defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 Final.
  • Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka faced hateful and derogatory speech on social media after missing penalties during the final of the European Championship last month.
  • The UK Football Policing Unit launched a hate crime investigation and received more than 600 reports from individuals, charities, clubs, and other organizations and found that 207 qualified as hate crimes against the players.
  • The crimes were widely condemned by British officials and the public – the Football Association stated it hoped the arrests would make clear to perpetrators that such abuse will not be tolerated.

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Apple Planning to Report Images of Child Sex Abuse to Law Enforcement

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  • Apple Inc. has stated it will launch new software that detects explicit images of minors and children in an effort to combat child sexual abuse.
  • The technology will be able to scan images on iphones, laptops, and other devices before they are stored onto iCloud photos to detect whether there is a match to a database of known child and sexual abuse images compiled by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
  • The system of matching images is expected to have a very high level of accuracy, in addition to manual review by a human reviewer if a match is found – in such instances, the user can be blocked and reported to law enforcement officials.
  • The technology can also be used to detect images sent under Messages app to or from children – while some have expressed privacy concerns, Apple maintains the system protects user privacy and only identifies a user if they have NCMEC images on their device.

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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.

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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Black Sea port of Theodosiya panoramio
  • 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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