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The Daily Brief: Omicron Variant Continues Spreading Faster than Ever Seen Before

The Omicron variant is spreading at an unprecedented rate according to the World Health Organization and the efficacy of vaccines have been brought into question.

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The Daily Brief Omicron Variant Continues Spreading Faster than Ever Seen Before

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WHO finds that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is already in 77 counties and was likely in most countries before its identification. 
Summary:

  • The Omicron variant is spreading at an unprecedented rate according to the World Health Organization and the efficacy of vaccines have been brought into question.
  • New studies by Discovery Health and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) have found that protection against catching Covid-19 had dropped to 33% from its initial 80% following the spread of the Omicron variant.
  • However, protection against hospitalization due to Covid-19 is at 70% compared to its prior 93% which gives hope that severe infection due to Covid-19 can be avoided through vaccination.
  • WHO is also demanding fair and equitable distribution of vaccines as western countries around the world make third dose boosters programs.
  • WHO Chief Dr. Tedros stated “Let me be very clear: WHO is not against boosters. We’re against inequity. Our main concern is to save lives, everywhere. It’s really quite simple: The priority in every country, and globally, must be to protect the least protected, not the most protected.”
  • With uncertainty due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 variants and doubts over vaccines one thing remains clear, protecting those in the most compromised position requires top priority.

Other Headlines:

Fuel Tanker Explosion in Haiti Kills Dozens

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  • A large truck hauling fuel exploded in Haiti’s second-largest city taking the lives of many and injuring dozens. 
  • Authorities find that at least 60 people have been killed due to a fuel tanker explosion in the northern city of Cap-Haitien.
  • Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry stated “Three days of national mourning will be decreed throughout the territory, in memory of the victims of this tragedy that has devastated the entire Haitian nation.”

Belarusian Opposition Leader To Serve 18 Years For Inciting Protests Against Belarus President 

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  • In the country’s latest crackdown of opposition leaders, popular Belarusian Youtube Blogger, Sergei Tikhanovsky, was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Tuesday, for opposing and inciting mass protests and unrest in 2020 against current Belarus President, Alexander Lukashenko. 
  • Many questioned the validity of the sentencing as Tikhanovsky’s criminal trial was held behind closed doors for months. 
  • Tikhanovsky’s wife, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who is currently in exile after entering into the presidential race on her husband’s behalf, expressed her outrage on the sentencing stating, “while hiding the political prisoners in closed trials, he [Lukashenko] hopes to continue repressions in silence. But the whole world watches. We won’t stop,”  
  • EU leaders and the US have expressed their concerns as Belarus continues to either jail or exile those who oppose Lukashenko’s presidency. 
  • Many believe Lukashenko began the ongoing migrant border crisis in Poland in retaliation to the EU denouncing Lukashenko and the ongoing imprisonment of those who oppose him.

New Civil Lawsuit States January 6th Riot Was A “Coordinated Act Of Domestic Terrorism”TBwIKKTRPlh7jlxV2Jjz48JLW7Pjjz5wG2vo9low8gK6zOXDLz6SO3X 9QrBCrU75w QSW5JgEZi37JcglWdszOcv1eMhZsLDYAThAjsvoTqOrr2k3yFj92y7 FR4IUbh2RPjUg

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  • The District of Columbia filed a civil lawsuit against far-right groups, Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, for coordinating, recruiting, and planning the insurrection on January 6th, 2021 in what was deemed a “coordinated act of domestic terrorism” 
  • Washington’s attorney general, Karl Racine, stated the lawsuit intended to seek compensation for damages incurred on Jan. 6th as well as inflict financial damage to the aforementioned groups. 
  • While many criminal cases have been filed against those who instigated the Capitol Riot, this will be the first civil lawsuit filed against the far-right group leaders.  
  • The new lawsuit comes as the House Select Committee continues to investigate the capitol attack and is now issuing subpoenas in an effort to focus on those who instigated the Capitol Riot.   

Discussions At A Standstill As World Leaders Meet To Revive Iran Nuclear Deal

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  • As world leaders continue to have closed-door discussions to revive the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, took to Twitter this week to express his ongoing frustrations with the stalled discussions.
  • Khani made it clear that “diplomacy is a two-way street” and stated that playing the blame game will not lead to any real diplomatic understandings leaving many to believe that the private discussions in Vienna were at a standstill. 
  • Khani’s comments came shortly after officials from France, the UK, and Germany expressed their disappointment on how they have not yet had any real discussions or negotiations on the topic at hand. 
  • With the talks still ongoing, Iran seeks to have harsh sanctions previously placed on their country removed while the US and other western leaders insist on keeping some sanctions even though Iran maintains that they have no intentions of creating a nuclear bomb. 

UN Finds Taliban Responsible For At Least 100 Deaths Since The Fall Of The Previous Afghan Government

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  • On Tuesday, the UN Deputy High Commissioner For Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, stated that the UN has received credible allegations that the Taliban were responsible for the death of at least 100 Afghan National Security Force personnel since the Taliban took over 3 months ago. 
  • Al-Nashif further reported that the bodies were then displayed for the public to see, creating fear amongst the Afghan population. 
  • Taliban spokesman, Qari Sayed Khosti, denied the allegations and stated some former members of the previous Afghan Security forces were killed due to personal enmities. 
  • The report further alleges that since taking over, the Taliban have committed various crimes, including targeted killings, suspicious disappearances, and restricting women’s rights. 

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, 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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  • 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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