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The Daily Brief: Israel Blames Iran In Armed Drone Attack on Oil Tanker

Following the deadly drone attack off the Coast of Oman, Israel, the US, and UK all suspect Iranian involvement.

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המכללה האקדמית ספיר, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • Following the armed drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman, both the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel suspect Iran for the strike which killed two. 
  • The Zodiac operated tanker was hit on Thursday, moving to the United States under the country’s naval escort, and killed one Romanian and one British national citizen.
  • After the United States responded to the distress call and ordered a forensic inspection, it was confirmed that multiple drones were involved, although no blame was formally stated.  
  • Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid claimed “Iranian terrorism” in response to the breach of international law, and stated on Friday how “Iran is not just a Israel problem… The World must not be silent.” 
  • The accusations come during high tensions between Iran and Israel, who both have blamed each other for similar incidents on ships within the same coast. 
  • Lapid also stated how he stressed to British Foriegn secretary the need for a “tough response” towards Iran.  
  • On top of investigations by the UK Maritime Time Operations naval authority, the United States Department stated they were “monitoring the situation closely,” while the UK government urgently tries to “establish the facts.” 
  • Iran has yet to formally respond to allegations or address the attack. 

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OTHER HEADLINES

30,000 Afghanis Are Forced to Flee Weekly as Taliban Strengthens Hold on Country

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TheMapLurker, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • As the Taliban tightens it’s hold on Afghanistan, up to 30,000 Afghanis flee the extremist groups’ harsh military agenda each week. 
  • In what the United Nations are calling a “humanitarian crisis,” it was reported that over 300,000 Afghans have been displaced in 2021, raising concerns from countless countries on the potential refugee crises. 
  • The Biden Administration has agreed to evacuate 2,500 Afghans following the pullout of troops and NATO forces earlier this year, stating their hope to “continue to relocate more [Afghans] over the course of the next few weeks.”
  • Still, many face displacement over the coming months as the rate of illegal crosses of the border jumped up to 40% after military pullout. 

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Billboard Depicting Macron as Hitler Deemed Blasphemy

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Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • A billboard showing French President Emmanuel Macron dressed like Adolf Hitler was posted as a form of political satire. Macron has sued the French street advertiser, alleging that it was a public insult and blasphemous.
  • The billboard was posted as a response to France’s recent Covid-19 policies, which have sparked protests and outrage by thousands in France, with some even comparing Macron to a dictator.
  • This case is controversial due to cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that were offensive and blasphemous to Muslims around the world, but deemed freedom of expression and therefore legal. Macron not allowing this billboard due to his personal offense is seen as hypocrisy by some.

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Olympics Update: Doping, Anger Frustrations, and China Leading in Golds

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Joshua Sadli from Melbourne, Australia, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • China currently has the most gold medals, and is tied with the USA for number of total medals.
  • Blessing Okagbare, a Nigerian sprinter, has been suspended temporarily from the Olympics for doping and using human growth hormones prior to competing.
  • Fares Elbakh, a Qatari weightlifter, won a gold medal and became Qatar’s first Olympic champion.
  • Simone Biles, American gymnast, has withdrawn from two more gymnastic tournaments due to mental health reasons. USA Gymnastics announced that “she will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam.”
  • After losing his bronze medal matches, Novak Djokovic threw his racket into the stands and destroyed another racket by slamming it into the net. 

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Turkey Faces “Disaster Areas” as Wildfires Rage on

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Bureau of Land Management, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Turkey continues to battle through wildfires, with animals, agricultural land, and houses burning for the past week. Hot weather has exacerbated the situation.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared many parts of Turkey a “disaster area”. Erdogan flew over disaster areas on a helicopter and stated that steps would be taken to ​​”heal our nation’s wounds, compensate for its losses, and improve its opportunities.”
  • Six people have died in total, including two firefighters. Tourists on the Mediterannean coast had to be evacuated as a precaution. Private boats and yachts were used to assist evacuations.

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Saturn and Jupiter Reaching Opposition This Month

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Kevin Gill from Nashua, NH, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Earth will be positioned between Saturn and the Sun on August 1st and 2nd, making it appear more luminous in the night sky when seen with a telescope. This is defined as the planet’s opposition.
  • Saturn will appear especially bright for the rest of the month. On August 19th, Jupiter is expected to be the brightest planet in the sky, reaching its highest point at midnight.
  • This viewing will be best available to people in North America, and this occurrence happens roughly once a year. Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is expected to also be visible.

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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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Odesa pristav
  • 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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US Stock Market Investing in the United States
  • 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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