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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

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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