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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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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.
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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.

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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