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The Daily Brief: Iraq Parliamentary Elections See Lowest Voter Turnout Since 2003

Despite month-long campaigns and millions of foreign dollars spent trying to increase voter trust in the Iraqi election system, turnout in Iraq’s recent parliamentary elections was only 19% by midday.

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The Daily Brief Iraq Parliamentary Elections See Lowest Voter Turnout Since 2003

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Polls have closed in Iraq’s Parliamentary elections following exceedingly low voter turnout.
Summary:

  • Despite month-long campaigns and millions of foreign dollars spent trying to increase voter trust in the Iraqi election system, turnout in Iraq’s recent parliamentary elections was only 19% by midday.
  • Polls closed at 6 PM local time, but the Iraqi Electoral Commission indicated that turnout had only increased slightly through the afternoon.
  • This election is the sixth nationwide vote to take place since the 2003 US invasion which gutted the Iraqi government and instated a political system marred with corruption.
  • Low turnout suggests public skepticism of the election process and its ability to actually bring about change in the country.
  • As polls neared a close, mosque loudspeakers and politicians on social media urged voters to cast their ballot.
  • The international community sent hundreds of observers to monitor the elections and prevent voting fraud.
  • Moqtada al-Sadr, leader of the established Shia-dominated ruling elite, is expected to sweep the polls.
  • al-Sadr is a former armed group leader, religious conservative, and strongly opposes foreign interference; his el;ection would not greatly alter the power balance in the Middle East but it would increase his sway over the Iraqi government.
  • Election results are expected to be released within the next 48 hours, however negotiations to choose a prime minister tasked with forming the government may drag on for months.
  • Sources:

Al Jazeera

Washington Post

  • Tweets:

Pope Launches 2-Year Consultation on Future of Catholic Church

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  • Pope Francis has opened a 2-year, 3-stage process to consult with every parish and dioceses around the world to define the future of the Catholic Church.
  • The initiative has been named “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission” and it aims to clarify the Church’s stance on controversial issues and identify discrimination against those on the margins of society such as women, minorities, and youth. 
  • The first stage of the process involves discussing with parishes, the second stage will gather Bishops to analyze findings, and the third stage encompasses a month-long assembly of Bishops at the Vatican in October 2023.
  • Sources:

BBC

Reuters

  • Tweets:

Protests Take Hold in Brussels. Climate Change Needs to Stop. 

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  • Slogans are waving. Protests in the streets of Brussels are demanding for action to be taken about climate change. 
  • More than 80 organizations were a part of this big event. The Police estimated that there were about 25,000 protesters 
  • Youth make up a large portion of the protesters.
  • Earlier this Month, propositions are made that fossil fuel industries should be taken out by 2030. This was said by a Swedish activist who was in Milan. 
  • Sources:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/10/thousands-march-in-brussels-to-demand-action-on-climate-change

  • Tweets:

Brazil Faces High Covid Deaths 

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  • Johns Hopkins University reports a high volume of Covid deaths in Brazil, with tolls reaching approximately 600,000. This is the second highest national death count for Covid, right under the United States.
  • The US is said to have 712,695 deaths due to Covid-19 while South America has suffered about 600,425 deaths. 
  • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been made fun of for his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. He declared that he would not get vaccinated because he has already had Covid. Bolsonaro has also not been very tolerant of lockdowns, even when hospitals were filled to the brim. 
  • Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/09/americas/brazil-passes-60000-covid-deaths-intl/index.html

  • Tweets:

Father of Pakistan’s Atomic Bomb Dead at Age 85 

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  • Abdul Qadeer Khan, father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb, died on Sunday at the age of 85 due to Covid-19 related complications.
  • Khan sold nuclear weapons technology and distributed them to Iran and North Korea during his career. Some people believe he may have sold illegal nuclear secrets to opponents of the US. 
  • Abdul Qadeer Khan was admitted to the hospital on August 26 due to testing positive for Coronavirus. Later on, he went to a military hospital in the city of Rawalpindi. He was released a couple of weeks ago but was soon readmitted because of his deteriorating condition. 
  • Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/10/10/abdul-qadeer-khan-pakistan-nuclear-weapons/

  • Tweets:

187 Migrants Found in Abandoned Trailer

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  • An abandoned trailer packed with 187 migrants from Central America was found by Mexican authorities on Sunday. 
  • These migrants are fleeing places such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras due to violence and financial issues. 
  • In December, Mexican authorities were able to save 110 migrants who were trapped inside a trailer in Veracruz. The migrants were trying to reach the United States. 
  • Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2017/07/30/americas/mexico-migrants-rescued/index.html

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

Credit Suisse Found Guilty for Involvement in Money Laundering Scheme

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800px Credit Suisse Zurich
  • Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court found Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second largest bank, guilty for its involvement in a money laundering scheme involving a Bulgarian drug trafficking gang.
  • The bank is being fined 21 million Swiss francs ($22 million) due to its poor monitoring and implementation of anti-money laundering rules. More than 12 million francs worth of assets are also being confiscated due to their connection with the criminal group.
  • Credit Suisse has denied any wrongdoings and stated that it has been “continuously testing its anti-money laundering framework and has been strengthening it over time, in accordance with evolving regulatory standards.”
  • This case originated from actions taken by a former employee in 2007 and 2008, and two other Bulgarian citizens’ actions in 2005 and 2009. Some of their sentences and fines were suspended due to the amount of time passed since the crimes took 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

Chlorine Gas Leak in Jordan Port City Kills Thirteen People

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Port Of Aqaba City
  • A gas leak in Aqaba, Jordan killed at least thirteen people and injured more than 250. A storage container carrying between 25 and 30 tonnes of chlorine gas fell as it was being exported to Djibouti, releasing the gas.
  • A video of the incident on state TV shows the container being dropped onto the deck of the ship and a yellow colored gas spreading through the air as people try to evacuate. The accident seems to be a result of the crane malfunctioning.
  • If chlorine is inhaled at high levels, it can cause life-threatening damage. A nearby beach in Aqaba was evacuated as a safety precaution, and residents who live in the nearest residential area, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) away, were advised to stay inside and close windows.
  • Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh traveled to Aqaba and visited some of the injured at the hospital. He also formed a team led by the interior minister to investigate the incident.

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 Missile Sets Ukraine Shopping Center on Fire

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781px Nevsky Centre Shopping Mall in Russia
  • A busy shopping center in Ukraine was set on fire by Russian missiles on Monday, killing at least thirteen people and injuring dozens. The total number of casualties is still unknown.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that “The number of victims is impossible to imagine” and that there could have been up to 1,000 people in the mall.
  • The attack came during the G7 summit, where world leaders condemned recent atrocities and promised to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” in a joint statement. President Zelensky spoke to the leaders at the summit and stated that he wants the war to end before winter.
  • NATO has decided to increase the number of troops in its rapid reaction force from 40,000 to 300,000, more than eightfold. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated this move is part of the “biggest overhaul of collective defense and deterrence since the Cold War.”
  • The United States has announced that it will provide Ukraine with advanced medium and long-range air defense capabilities.

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

World Watches as the United States Supreme Court Abolishes a Woman’s Right to an Abortion

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  • The United States’ top justices voted to eliminate the constitutional right to an abortion, a law that had been in place for over 50 years.
  • The closely watched decision was heralded by some and derided by others, depending on their position on the controversial concept of a woman’s right to choose for her own body.
  • With the abolition of the constitutional right, it is expected that many states in the U.S. will implement near total bans of abortion rights, while other states such as California, Oregon and Washington have reaffirmed their commitment to preserve the right to an abortion.
  • Planned Parenthood, the advocacy face for abortion rights, is mobilizing around the country to bolster and increase services in those states that will preserve the right, and engage voters in those states that plan to abolish the right.

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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Daily Brief

The EU Approves Ukraine for Candidacy

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  • The EU has finally approved the application of Ukraine to become a candidate country for admission to the 27- country organization. Ukraine will now join the official candidate list, which already includes Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. 
  • The US is expected to provide an additional $450m in security assistance to Ukraine. Which includes four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems. 
  • The EU and Norway have agreed to cooperate and provide the EU’s 27 countries with gas from Western Europe’s biggest provider. The EU imports roughly ⅕ of its gas from Norway compared to the 40% it was receiving from Russia. Currently, Russia has been cutting gas supplies to countries refusing to pay for it in roubles. 
  • Melbourne is considering utilizing its largely vacant $200m Center for National Resilience building to house hundreds of refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine and Afghanistan. The center will only be able to temporarily house about 500 refugees from Afghanistan and about 200 from Ukraine. 
  • Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov thanked US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after receiving and welcoming the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) from the United States. 
  • Nike joined other leading Western brands by formally making a full exit from Russia, three months after suspending its operations. Telecoms equipment maker Cisco is also planning to wind down business in Russia and Belarus as well.

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

US Supreme Court Expands Gun Carrying Rights Causing National Outrage 

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Open Carry of a 9mm Browning Hi Power in Eagle Colorado scaled
  • The US Supreme Court expanded gun carrying rights after a New York law denied the plaintiffs Robert Nash and Brandon Koch from carrying a concealed weapon in public, despite them having licenses for recreational gun ownership. 
  • The US court ruled that the New York law requiring residents to prove “proper cause” to carry a concealed weapon is unconstitutional. Justice Clarence Thomas, who represented the 6 justices who ruled in favor of the decision, stated that Americans have the right to carry “commonly used” firearms in public for personal defense. 
  • This decision comes amid an intense national debate over gun violence, and could possibly challenge the  outcome of similar regulations in other states, such as California and New Jersey, and affect a quarter of Americans by allowing more people to carry guns legally. 
  • Three liberal justices, Elena Kahan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer, were against the majority decision, and Justice Breyer noted that “since the start of this year alone (2022), there have already been 277 reported mass shootings – an average of more than one per day.”
  • While the National Rifle Association (NRA) celebrated the judgment, President Biden stated that he was “deeply disappointed” by the court’s decision and that the ruling “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should trouble us all.” 
  • New York Mayor Eric Adams also agreed with Biden and stated that he would review other ways to restrict gun access by restricting the application process for buying guns and looking into bans of firearms at specific locations. 

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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