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The daily Brief: New COVID Variant, Omicron, Found in South Africa Causes Alarm

Countries across the EU quickly issued travel bans after a new COVID variant detected in South Africa is the cause for a recent uptake in positive cases in the African country

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  • This week, South African scientists detected a new variant of Coronavirus that has accounted for a large uptake in COVID cases in South Africa called Omicron.
  • Research is still being done but the initial view of the new variant shows a “very unusual constellation” of mutations that scientists fear could evade the current COVID vaccine and potentially attack other parts of the immune system that were previously protected. 
  • As of right now, the majority of the COVID cases with the new variant have been amongst younger people. 
  • The variant comes amid what scientists expected to be the 4th wave of COVID sweeping the world ahead of holiday travel. 
  • Though the rise of the new variant is concerning, WHO officials have urged people to not panic and instead encouraged vaccinations to decrease the chances of the variant spreading to new areas. 
  • With the rise of the new variant, many countries across the EU including the UK, have issued new travel bans for travelers coming from various nations in Africa. 
  • UK officials stated that the ban was necessary until more research is done to find out if the new variant is resistant to the current COVID vaccine. 
  • WHO officials say it can take weeks to find out if the new variant is resistant to the current COVID vaccine but researchers are working quickly to find out. 

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Belarus President Meets Migrants At Border Camp And Encourages Them to “Go Through” If They Wish

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  • Addressing a group of asylum seekers near the Polish border, Belarus President, Alexander Lukashenko, encouraged migrants to “go through, go” if they wished and that Belarus forces would not stop them if they decided to pass through. 
  • The Polish and Belarus border has been inundated with migrants for weeks during the brutal winter, causing a humanitarian crisis that has no end in sight. 
  • The EU has alleged that Belarus has caused the humanitarian crisis in response to recent sanctions being imposed on Belarus, while Lukashenko states the crisis is the EU’s fault for not fully addressing the migrant issue. 
  • Lukashenko’s visit to the migrants comes amid Poland’s PM’s visit to the UK to discuss the ongoing crisis. 

Bitcoin, Ether, and Oil Prices All Dip As New Virus Variant Sparks Fear 

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  • Amid the spread of a new COVID-19 variant, the cryptocurrency giant, Bitcoin, crashed by 9% to $53,552 and Ethereum has dropped by 12% as worried traders sell shares across the globe.
  • Oil also crashed by 10% threatening the recovery of oil needed to meet the current demand. 
  • As of now, researchers are still trying to determine if this new COVID variant is transmissible or lethal in comparison to other variants. 

Ukrainian President Uncovers Russian Supported Coup

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  • Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, alleges that Ukraine has spoiled a Russian-led plot to overthrow the government.
  • Zelensky stated that he obtained audio evidence of Russian officials and Ukraine’s richest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, discussing a planned coup for December 1st and 2nd. 
  • Although Zelensky stops short of naming Russian President, Vladimir Putin, both Akhmetov and the Kremlin deny the allegations. 
  • The Ukrainian leader further accused the Russian government of being very dangerous as Russian troops have created a build-up near the Ukrainian border. 

Turkish Police Fires Tear Gas at Female Protestors in Istanbul

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  • Police forces in Istanbul fired tear gas at protestors, the majority of whom were female who joined together to mark the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.”
  • The protest began peacefully until Turkish Police prevented protestors from continuing on their route firing tear gas canisters and rubber bullets, quickly dispersing the crowd. 
  • The protestors took to the streets to show their disapproval for Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, withdrawing from the landmark Istanbul Convention in July, an agreement that protects women in over 45 countries. 
  • According to the “We Will Stop Femicide” platform, at least 285 women have been killed by men in 2021 alone. Statistics show that the number of femicides has exceeded in the last year alone with 251 women being killed by November 15th of 2020.

Sudanese Prime Minister Has Agreed to Back Military Takeover 

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  • According to the Deputy head of the governing sovereign council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok agreed to the current takeover of the military before the coup occurred. 
  • Dagalo stated that the coup on October 25th was the result of a long discussion and was ultimately agreed upon by the then interim PM, Hamdok. 
  • Hamdok was detained by the military on October 25th but has since been reinstated as interim premier to encourage a transition to civilian rule. 
  • On Sunday, Hamdok signed a 14 point agreement with military head, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, with the intent of saying that there must be an end to the country’s bloodshed referring to protestors who had been killed by security officials. 

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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Born and raised in the Bay Area, California, Faiza is a mother of two with a degree in Psychology and Paralegal Studies. She is passionate about lending her voice to those who are disadvantaged.

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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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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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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Russia Limits Gas Supply to Germany

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  • 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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