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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

  • Tweets

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.

Tweets

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.

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Daily Brief

India playing the “All religions matter” card in the UN

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In a recent event that marked the first anniversary of the International Day of Countering Hate Speech, Ambassador Tirumurti from India urged the UN that fighting religiophobia should not be a “selective exercise” that involves only one or two religions but one that should be applied equally to phobias against non-Abrahamic religions as well. He had also addressed terrorism concerns that have been plaguing India due to the cross-border tensions that are on the rise.

It is ironic that such statements were made during an event whose sole purpose is to counter hate in a country where religiophobia against people practising Abrahamic religions is at an all-time high. Last week, India was in the news for all the wrong reasons due to comments made against the Prophet Muhammad (saw) by the official spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), one of India’s major political parties. Clashes erupted around the country in retaliation and houses that belonged to Muslim activists were bulldozed and razed to the ground simply because they had raised objections against the ruling party for the hateful comments made. Even though the cause for all that is happening in India is predominantly Islamaphobia, it is surprising how the religion of Islam was not mentioned anywhere in the list of Abrahamic religions given by Mr Tirumurti[1] . Leaving out the religion of Islam takes us back to the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and The National Register of Citizens (NRC) bill that was passed but not implemented yet required Muslims living in India to submit documents showing that they are indeed the citizens of India.

Mr Tirumurti also mentioned that India follows pluralism as it was recognised by the UAE and Egypt to promote fraternity on the International Day of Fraternity[2] . He defines Pluralism as “where every religion is respected, is a sine qua non of tolerance and harmony,”. However, what happened in India a few days prior is a stark contrast to the definition that he read out during the event.

“Till this is done, such international days will never achieve their objectives. There cannot be double standards on religiophobia,” stated the Ambassador. His remarks on how all religions must be treated equally to combat religiophobia are similar in nature to the “All Lives Matter” slogan created for the sole purpose of undermining the ‘Black Lives Matter movement. India needs to look back at itself to understand the definition of double standards as the country itself has become the epitome of the word by denying the extremist allegations while executing the same on minorities.[3] 

Regarding the statement given by Mr Tirumurti in the UN, Mahmooda, a Muslim citizen of India, living in Chennai said, “This is yet another flag of insignificance being pinned upon the Muslims”. This is a testament to the fact on how the government of India and the majority is still undermining and undervaluing the lives of Muslims who have made India their home for several decades now. 

“Fascism is always denied when it’s being perpetrated. Furthermore, there’s a convenient narrative orchestrated through different avenues to justify the hostility against the persecuted” remarked Aslam who is a 35 year old non-residential Indian living in the UAE.

Safura, a Muslim in her mid-20’s said that she understands that all religions must be considered equal in the religiophobia narrative and that “one cannot value one’s human life more than the other”, but it baffled her that Islam was left out of the conversation in an event that strives to fight against religiophobia despite the fact that Muslims are the most persecuted around the world. 

This makes us wonder if India believes that Muslims are the reason why religiophobia still exists and hence all the other religions must be saved from it? Unfortunately, the answer to this question can be provided by Mr Tirumurti alone.


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

Trump Knew His Supporters Were Armed in Jan. 6 Capitol Riots

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  • Former White House aid, Cassidy Hutchinson, stated that former US President Donald Trump was aware that rioters were armed on January 6th, 2021 when they stormed the US Capitol, but he did not want to stop them.
  • Hutchinson worked as a top advisor to Mr Trump’s chief of staff, and testified at a hearing to a select House committee that was in charge of investigating the Jan 6th riot at the US Capitol.
  • Hutchinson recounted how Mr. Trump said that rioters were “not here to hurt me” and that security should “let them in.” She also stated that he lunged at the driver of the limousine in a rage when he was told he could not be taken to the Capitol.
  • Mr Trump denied several parts of Hutchinson’s testimony, stating, “I didn’t want or request that we make room for people with guns to watch my speech.”

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

Fire During Colombia Prison Riot Kills 51

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  • A fire broke out in a Colombian prison during a riot, killing 51 inmates and injuring dozens. The fire was started by an inmate setting a mattress ablaze during the commotion and the flames spreading.
  • Colombian President Ivan Duque requested a “quick investigation to explain this terrible situation” and expressed his solidarity “to the families of the victims.”
  • No prisoners seem to have escaped and the fire is now under control. Twenty four people are currently in the hospital.
  • Prisons in Colombia are extremely overcrowded, as it was in this case, making riots and fighting amongst inmates a common occurrence.

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

50 Migrants Found Dead Near the US-Mexico Border

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U.S
  • Fifty migrants were found dead near the US-Mexico border in an abandoned semi truck due to “poverty and desperation,” according to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
  • The vehicle in which the victims were found was lacking air conditioning and water and, coupled with the extremely hot climate, it is suspected that they likely died from dehydration and heat stroke.
  • Migrants from Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala were among the victims. Sixteen people survived the incident and were taken to the hospital.
  • US President Joe Biden spoke about the incident, stating that his administration “will continue to do everything possible to stop human smugglers and traffickers from taking advantage of people who are seeking to enter the United States between ports of entry.”

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

Credit Suisse Found Guilty for Involvement in Money Laundering Scheme

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  • Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court found Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second largest bank, guilty for its involvement in a money laundering scheme involving a Bulgarian drug trafficking gang.
  • The bank is being fined 21 million Swiss francs ($22 million) due to its poor monitoring and implementation of anti-money laundering rules. More than 12 million francs worth of assets are also being confiscated due to their connection with the criminal group.
  • Credit Suisse has denied any wrongdoings and stated that it has been “continuously testing its anti-money laundering framework and has been strengthening it over time, in accordance with evolving regulatory standards.”
  • This case originated from actions taken by a former employee in 2007 and 2008, and two other Bulgarian citizens’ actions in 2005 and 2009. Some of their sentences and fines were suspended due to the amount of time passed since the crimes took place.

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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Chlorine Gas Leak in Jordan Port City Kills Thirteen People

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Port Of Aqaba City
  • A gas leak in Aqaba, Jordan killed at least thirteen people and injured more than 250. A storage container carrying between 25 and 30 tonnes of chlorine gas fell as it was being exported to Djibouti, releasing the gas.
  • A video of the incident on state TV shows the container being dropped onto the deck of the ship and a yellow colored gas spreading through the air as people try to evacuate. The accident seems to be a result of the crane malfunctioning.
  • If chlorine is inhaled at high levels, it can cause life-threatening damage. A nearby beach in Aqaba was evacuated as a safety precaution, and residents who live in the nearest residential area, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) away, were advised to stay inside and close windows.
  • Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh traveled to Aqaba and visited some of the injured at the hospital. He also formed a team led by the interior minister to investigate the incident.

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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