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The Daily Brief: Massive Fire Ravages South African Parliament Buildings.

A large fire in Cape Town has gutted several parliament buildings and led to the arrest of one suspect.

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Marulphoto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • Several Houses of Parliament have been destroyed by a massive fire in the South African capital of Cape Town.
  • Officials have stated that the fires were burning in “two very distinct areas” and although the scale of destruction is not immediately clear the damage will likely be extensive.
  • Firefighters have worked for hours to extinguish the fire which has ravaged the historic parliament buildings. 
  • Police arrested a man on Sunday morning outside of the parliamentary complex; the man will face charges of arson, housebreaking, and theft.
  • The man is in his early 50’s and was arrested in connection to the fire however officials have not given any more details.
  • JP Smith, Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, has stated that “the entire parliamentary complex is severely damaged — waterlogged and smoke damaged… the roof above the old assembly hall is completely gone.”
  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived at the scene to inspect the damage and he claimed to be “deeply saddened” by the event which “devastated the parliamentary precinct and its contents and assets, including Parliament’s historical treasures of heritage.”

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Sudan’s Prime Minister Resigns Amid Mass Anti-Coup Protests

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Ola A .Alsheikh, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has resigned from his position following mass protests against the military regime established in the country through a coup on October 25th. 
  • Hamdok announced his resignation through a video address following reports of 3 people being directly killed by Sudanese security forces at anti-coup protests. 
  • The civilian-allied Sudanese Central Doctors Committee has reported that at least 57 people have been killed by Sudanese security forces since the October 25th coup. 

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South Korean Crosses to North Korea in Rare Defection

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  • A South Korean citizen crossed the heavily armed and fortified Military Demarcation Line border to North Korea in a rare defection.
  • This defection comes two months after Kim Jong UN declared a national emergency, sealing off a border town in which an illegal South to North defector claimed he had COVID symptoms.
  • Strict lockdowns and restrictions on movement have sent the number of South Korean defectors to an all time low.

European Union Flag Taken Down From Arc De Triomphe Amid Political Outrage

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  • The large EU flag that marked the next block of EU presidency in France was taken down from the Arc De Triomphe after severe criticism from far right wing politicians.
  • Claiming it was an attack on France’s identity, far right leader Marine Le Pen and other right leaning politicians were said to be outraged.
  • European affairs minister, Clément Beaune, said they did not bend to the far right politicians, rather that the flag was scheduled to come down that day, while pointing out that the French flag was also not a permanent fixture of the Arc.

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Iran Requests Action From UN on US Assassination of Qassem Soleimani

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  • Iran has formally asked the UN to take action against the US for the killing of their top general two years ago.
  • Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission in Baghdad when his convoy was destroyed with US missiles by direct orders from former President Trump, bringing the two countries to the edge of war.
  • This request comes days before the second anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination, for which a week of events is being planned.

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US Removes Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea From Trade Program

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  • The US cut access to a duty free program for Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea following alleged human rights violations and political coups. 
  • Mali and Guinea were removed due to recent coups, whereas Ethiopia was cut off because of human rights violations in the Tigray region.
  • Removal from the trade program will likely affect all three countries’ economies which are already depressed due to political conflicts, the Covid-19 pandemic and high inflation; no comment has been made by the African countries’ embassies.

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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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Saira is a Muslim American with a passion for writing, economics, and justice.  With a background as a UC Berkeley graduate with a bachelors in economics allows her to quantitatively analyze critical developments from around the globe as well as their long term impacts on financial systems and social welfare. She is dedicated to reporting in an investigative, honest and compassionate manner to give voice to those who need it most.

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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Daily Brief

Pope Francis Apologizes for Indigenous Abuse in Canadian Residential Schools

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  • Pope Francis traveled to the grounds of a former residential school near Alberta, Canada and formally apologized for the Church’s role in the abuse of indigenous people and erasure of indigenous culture.
  • The majority of the schools were run by members of the Roman Catholic Church in the late 1800s and 1900s. Around 150,000 indigenous children were sent to the schools and more than 3,000 are estimated to have died.
  • In his speech, the Pope asked for forgiveness and highlighted the Church’s role in the schools system, stating, “I ask forgiveness, in particular, for the ways in which many members of the Church and of religious communities cooperated… in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of that time, which culminated in the system of residential schools.”
  • Indigenous chiefs, survivors of the residential schools, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were some of the few in attendance for the Pope’s remarks.

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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