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The Daily Brief: President Biden Stands “Squarely Behind” Decision to Leave Afghanistan

President Biden Stands “Squarely Behind” Decision to Leave Afghanistan

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Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • US President Joe Biden stands “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw troops, but admitted that the Taliban took control at a faster pace than he had expected.
  • Biden stated, ​​”I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces…this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.”
  • He also placed blame on the Afghan government, stating that the US should not be fighting a war that “Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”
  • The US State Department stated that the US would only support a new administration in Kabul that safeguards human rights, including those of women and children, and that they would be waiting to see how the Taliban act.
  • Biden clarified that the United States’ mission has always been to prevent attacks on its own land, which had been completed successfully in Afghanistan.
  • Kabul’s main airport and runway was packed with people trying to escape Afghanistan, many fruitlessly hanging onto a US Air Force jet as it took off and dying in the process. All civilian and military flights were stopped until there were no more people on the runway.
  • The US Embassy has been evacuated, and thousands of US troops entered Afghanistan to enable US and Allied civilian personnel to leave the country.
  • The United Nations Security Council unanimously agreed on the establishment of a new government in Afghanistan that should include women, as well as put an end to terrorism. UN chief Antonio Guterres reiterated that the UN, “will stay and deliver in support of the Afghan people in their hour of need.”
  • Sources

https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/16/politics/biden-afghanistan-speech/index.html

https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-afghanistan-taliban-5abab9d1a552dc93b10a76973a3d25

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/16/un-chief-urges-security-council-not-to-abandon-afghanistan

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Other Headlines:

Rockets Fired at Israel from Gaza After Violent Clashes

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https://www.flickr.com/people/45644610@N03, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • The Israeli military has announced that a rocket launched from Gaza has been intercepted by their aerial defence system in the town of Sderot in Southern Israel.
  • This is the first attack to come from Gaza since the war and ceasefire agreement in May. Sirens went off in Israel, but there were no casualties. 
  • The rocket attack has not been claimed by anyone yet. It comes after recent violent clashes between Israel security forces and Palestinians in the West Bank, where four Palestinians were shot and killed.

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Protestors Angry After Lebanon Blast

Shahen books, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • Protestors gathered around Lebanon’s prime minister-designate Najib Mikati’s house after a fuel tanker explosion killed 33 people and injured dozens on Sunday. Violent clashes with the police occurred involving tear gas.
  • Mikati stated, “Although I understand the cries of people and their right to protest, what happened… is not a peaceful protest but unacceptable vandalism,”
  • The cause of the explosion is not confirmed. It occured as the Lebanese military was distributing fuel to residents that they had confiscated earlier.
  • Hospitals in the Akkar province where the blast occurred, an extremely poor area, do not have the ability to treat severe burns and are also running low on supplies.

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Tesla Auto-Pilot Under Investigation

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Ivan Radic, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is officially opening up an investigation to look at Tesla’s auto-pilot crashes and accidents caused by the self-driving feature. 
  • Almost eleven of the accidents where the autopilot was being used were incidents when Teslas crashed into parked vehicles. The technology is lacking the system to recognize parked vehicles when on the road. In most of the eleven accidents a parked first responder vehicle was involved. 
  • However Tesla officials have stated that the cars are not completely self drivable. They need a driver’s attention and presence. It is assisted driving rather than self driving. 

Global Economic Recovery Under Water as China Suffers

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Photo: Marcin Konsek / Wikimedia Commons
  • China’s new restrictions due to the Delta variant slows down the manufacturing of materials and the supply chain. 
  • China as other countries is not only suffering from the consequences and restrictions set to control the spread of the Delta variant but also natural disasters such as floods due to the devastating effects of Global warming. This has resulted in slowing the global economic growth which took a hit during the pandemic. 
  • This has also met with low US consumer confidence as unemployment rates rise in the US. China’s supply demand has also been hit with the new restriction imposed to curb the pollution rates of the country. 

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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  • 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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  • 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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