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The Daily Brief: Largest Democratic News Source To Shut Down in Hong Kong

Largest Democratic News Source To Shut Down in Hong Kong

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Apple Daily Hong Kong Headquarters 23 06 2021

LN9267, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary 

  • The largest Democratic news source in Hong Kong announced its shut down on Wednesday, following alleged breaking of national security laws, in order to maintain employee “safety.” 
  • The Apple Daily Management operated in Hong Kong for over 20 years, being the largest critic of leadership and anti-government news source providing political analyses as well as celebrity gossip and scandals. 
  • The paper was also a strong supporter of the 2019 anti-government protests in Hong Kong, again becoming a target of the government which attempted to stop the resistance it faced. 
  • The national security law which was breached came into play just last year after these protests, making “secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces with the maximum sentence life in prison” illegal and being the cause of more than 100 arrests since June. 
  • In the ongoing attempt to lessen criticism, Apple Daily’s accounts were frozen, offices raided, and top editors taken into custody, including the founder Jimmy Lai, after undermining the government. 
  • Apple Daily released a final statement, saying “Even if the ending is not what we want, even if it’s difficult to let go, we need to continue living and keep the determination we have shared with Hong Kong people that has remained unchanged over 26 years.” 
  • Government representative Ronny Tong claimed the paper’s shutdown was all a “political stunt,” stating to BBC, “People around the world probably will accuse the Hong Kong government of forcing Apple Daily to close down. But the fact of the matter is, they don’t need to.”
  • However, many international powers voice concern over the closure of the news website, stating fears of the law’s power to stop any dissent from arising. 
  • The last tangible copy will be printed on Thursday, and the online version will no longer be updated. Next digital thanked readers and journalists for their “loyal support over the years,” as supporters gathered outside the office to flash lit cellphones in solidarity. 

Sources

https://apnews.com/article/hong-kong-trials-45ac5f77462ecd0e4971c3bc099a587d

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/23/world/asia/apple-daily-hong-kong.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-57578926

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Other Headlines

Ethiopian Forces Target Tigray with an Airstrike that Killed at Least 50 People 

  • An airstrike which landed near the Tigray village of Togoga took the lives of 51 civilians and injured more than 100 other people.
  • Health care workers stated soldiers prevented medical personnel from reaching the wounded resulting in numerous casualties.
  • The airstrike comes amid the bombardment of attacks from Ethiopian and Eritrean forces on the Tigray region. 
  • The European Union has denounced Ethiopia’s behavior toward Tigray calling it a “horrific series” of abuses.
  • Tweets:

Russia Fires Warning Shots on British Royal Navy Destroyer in the Black Sea

  • The British Royal Navy ship claims it was conducting an innocent passage through the Black Sea when a Russian border patrol ship fired at the vessel and an SU-24 jet dropped bombs in the ship’s path.
  • Russia states that the HMS Defender was warned that weapons would be used if the state borders of the Russian Federation were violated.
  • Therefore, when the HMS Defender crossed 2 miles inside the border near the coast of Cape Fiolent on Crimea action was taken by Russia.
  • Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted in response to the situation “A clear proof of Ukraine’s position: Russia’s aggressive and provocative actions in the Black and Azov seas, its occupation & militarisation of Crimea pose a lasting threat to Ukraine and allies…We need a new quality of cooperation between Ukraine & NATO allies in the Black Sea.”
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Major Countries Meet at Berlin Conference to Discuss Libya Crisis

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kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Close to twenty major countries met in Berlin at a conference discussing the importance of Libya’s upcoming elections and the presence of foreign forces.
  • Libya’s transitional government emphasized its intent to hold general elections in December, which US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said was crucial for peace in the country.
  • German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated that the world leaders present had not withdrawn their troops as promised last year. After the countries committed to removing foreign mercenaries at this conference, Maas stated that “we will not let up, and we will not rest, until the last foreign forces have left Libya.”
  • There are about 20,000 foreign fighters in Libya, estimates the UN. In 2011, dictator and longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown by a NATO-back uprising, causing sustained violence.
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Major Voting Rights Bill Filibustered by Senate Republicans

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Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • A major voting rights bill, called the For the People Act, was blocked in the Senate after all GOP Republicans voted against it in a 50-50 vote, preventing it from even being debated.
  • The bill tackles the entire electoral system in the biggest way yet, with reforms regarding money in politics, redrawing of congressional districts, ballot restrictions, and much more. Republicans call this bill an infringement of state rights and partisan legislation.
  • The bill has little shot of passing now, with much conversation surrounding the elimination of the filibuster, which many Progressives believe is the best way forward. 
  • Several Democrats argued that President Joe Biden needs to be more vocal on this issue, especially with midterm elections coming up, stating that their support on his infrastructure package hangs in the balance.
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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.

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Crime

Six People Killed in Shooting at Independence Day Parade

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800px 4th of July Independence Day Parade 2014 DC 14466342590
  • Six people were shot dead at an Independence Day parade near Chicago, Illinois. The gunman is still unknown and actively being searched for.
  • The gunman, who is being described as a white man near the age of 20, started shooting at random with a high powered rifle from a rooftop. The parade, which should have included hours of activities and entertainment, quickly ended and crowds were dispersed.
  • Those living in nearby suburbs or areas where the suspect might have gone have been told to shelter in place.
  • July 4th marks the colonies gaining independence in 1776 from Great Britain and the formation of the United States of America.

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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Crime

Eight Gang Members Arrested and In Possession of Underwater Drones

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800px Drug trafficking Caribean Sea
  • Spanish police arrested eight gang members that had unmanned underwater drones, six aerial drones, as well as other illegal substances in their possession.
  • The police said the drones could be used for illegal purposes, specifically “to be delivered to French narco-traffickers to be used to transport significant quantities of cocaine.”
  • One of the underwater vehicles was completely built, and two more were still being completed. The drones could potentially be controlled from anywhere in the world.
  • More than a year long investigation was carried out with the help of the French police to investigate the gang and arrest members in Cadiz, Malaga, and Barcelona.

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

Three People Killed in Copenhagen Mall Shooting

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800px Fisketorvet Copenhagen Mall Interior 15915770832
  • Three people were killed at a mall in Copenhagen, Denmark after a gunman started randomly shooting with a rifle.
  • The suspect is a 22-year old Danish man with a mental health condition and “known among psychiatric services,” according to Copenhagen police chief Soren Thomassen.
  • Two Danish teenagers were killed, one boy and one girl, and a 47-year old Russian citizen. Four other people are in critical condition from the shooting.
  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spoke about the incident, stating, “Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second.”

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

Argentina’s Economy Minister Quits

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Martin Guzman
  • Argentina’s economy minister, Martin Guzmán, resigned from his post after a week of economic crisis in a 7 page letter published on Twitter.
  • Guzmán initiated office in 2019 taking lead in restructuring Argentina’s debt.
  • In addition to the global rise of food and energy costs, Argentina is battling with 60% inflation.
  • In his letter of resignation, Guzmán calls for a “political agreement within the governing coalition.”
  • Many speculate his statement was in reference to his deputy – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – whom he was openly at odds with when approaching the country’s economic problems.
  • Prior to the resignation, Fernández took to criticizing economic policy starting with Guzmán’s inflation strategy.

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

3 Hezbollah Drones Shot down by Israel

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Levant Basin
  • The Israeli military says one drone was shot down by an F16 fighter jet and the other two by Barak 8 missiles via ship.
  • The drones were unarmed.
  • In an official statement Hezbollah confirms ownership of the drones which were heading for the Karish gas field in disputed territory off the Mediterranean coast of Israel.
  • Israel previously announced plans to extract gas from the offshore rig, eliciting threats from Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.
  • The disputed territory amplified tensions between Israel and Lebanon.
  • Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, accuses Hezbollah of barring Lebanon from cooperating with Israel concerning maritime borders.
  • This incident evoked support for Hezbollah, many taking to social media platforms to express gratitude for the militant group’s brazen confrontation against Israel’s platform in the Mediterranean. 

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 Forces Finally Abandon Snake Island as a Gesture of Goodwill

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Battle of Snake Island 2022
  • Russian forces have officially abandoned Snake or Zmiinyi Island as a gesture of goodwill in order to prove that it was not obstructing grain exports. But this claim was instantly dismissed by Ukraine once Moscow continued to shell its grain stores. 
  • Snake Island was seized by Russians on February 24; the island, which is just 22 miles away from Ukraine, is exposed to attacks from all directions, including air and sea. Once Russia seized it, Ukraine attacked the island itself and any vessels carrying troops or heavy weaponry. 
  • Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov states that controlling this island and stationing troops doesn’t make sense for either side and the island is an easy target. He argued that maintaining “fire control,”.which is having the capability to strike any target approaching the island, is a better advantage for either side. 
  • The key question is whether the Ukrainians will consider  exporting grain to reboot the war economy. However, the Russian warships still gain dominance over the Black Sea, and although they are offering Ukraine to export grains from Odessa, Ukraine rejected it due to it having to remove mines from outside the port. 

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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