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The Daily Brief: Russia Hosts Taliban For Talks In Moscow

Russia hosted Taliban officials from Afghanistan in Moscow this Wednesday, marking it to be the first international conference since the takeover earlier this year.

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The Daily Brief Russia Hosts Taliban For Talks In Moscow

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The Taliban attended their first international conference since seizing the country, as Russia and other countries discussed the urgency to restore the country.  
Summary 

  • Russia hosted Taliban officials from Afghanistan in Moscow this Wednesday, marking it to be the first international conference since the takeover earlier this year. 
  • After omitting official acknowledgement of the group, Russia and ten other countries backed the decision for a United Nations donor conference to push back potential humanitarian calamities and economic downfalls in an effort to restore the country. 
  • The call comes after persisting fear that Afghanistan will fall back into a strict rule under the Taliban jurisdiction as it did in the 1990s, limiting rights of women and enacting human rights violations. 
  • Other concerns following the takeover include refugee crisis, lack of food aid, acts of extremism, and trafficking of drugs over the Middle Eastern country’s borders. 
  • Although still listed as a terrorist group in Russia, the country commended the Taliban’s efforts to stabilize the country, while also stressing that the group uphold “human rights and inclusivity” by appointing diverse members into office. 
  • Alternately, Russia and other countries in alignment with their ideologies including China, Pakistan, and India, and Iran, called on the International community not to turn a blind eye on the people of Afghanistan in the midst of controversial opinions of the new government.  
  • To prevent terrorism and drugs crossing over to neighbored nations, Russia has also pledged military aid and conducted joint military drills. 
  • The conference happened only a day after Afghanistan’s interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, praised members of his family for being “heros of Islam and the country” for their role in a suicide attack on the Kabul intercontinential hotel. 

Sources 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/20/russia-holds-high-profile-afghanistan-talks-with-taliban

https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-faces-difficult-balancing-act-as-it-hosts-taliban-in-moscow-11634722296

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/20/russia-hosts-taliban-for-talks-but-warns-no-recognition-for-now

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Other Headlines 

Nikolas Cruz Pleads Guilty to Parkland High School Massacre

File:Nikolas J. Cruz being arrested by police in Florida, February 14, 2018.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nikolas_J._Cruz_being_arrested_by_police_in_Florida,_February_14,_2018.jpg 

  • Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty to 34 charges this Wednesday, admitting to killing 17 people and injuring 17 more in the 2018 Majority Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. 
  • At 19, Cruz loaded into an Uber with an AR-15 rifle en route to his former high school. There, he randomly fired at multiple students and staff in the school’s halls and classes. 
  • Cruz faces life imprisonment and the death penalty for the deadliest high school shooting in United States history.  
  • The trial comes after a $25 million settlement between the school county and 52 victims of the school shooting, including those killed, injured, and ones who suffered from PTSD. 

Sources 

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/19/us/florida-parkland-massacre-settlement/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/20/us/nikolas-cruz-parkland-shooting-guilty/index.html

https://www.npr.org/2021/10/20/1047735142/nikolas-cruz-pleads-guilty-on-all-charges-in-parkland-school-shooting-rampage

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Former German Soldiers Arrested for Attempting to Form Private Army to Fight in Yemen’s Civil War

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File:Yemeni Civil War.jpg – Wikimedia Commons 

  • Two former German soldiers, Arend-Adolf G and Achim A, were accused of terrorism after a southern German police raid.
  • The plan was to recruit 150 former soldiers and policemen to make up a private army funded by the Saudi Arabian government.  
  • The civil war in Yemen has been ongoing since 2014 between the Saudi-backed government and the Houthi movement.  The Houthis have backing from Iran.   
  • Arend-Adolf G and Achim A’s army was supposed to capture Houthi-held territories in Yemen.
  • The ex-soldiers will appear in court on Wednesday.

Source:

Ex-German soldiers arrested over alleged terror plot in Yemen’s war – BBC News 

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14 People Killed in Bomb Attack in Damascus, Syria

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File:Damascus, Syria, The city square.jpg – Wikimedia Commons 

  • A bus with Syrian soldiers exploded when two bombs attached to the bus detonated.
  • Following the attack, the government’s artillery shells killed 10 people, including four children in Northern Syria.  The town is under rebel control and the attack was an attempt to gain back territories from the insurgents. 
  • Qasioun Brigades claimed that they were responsible for the morning rush hour attack.
  • Today’s attack in the northwest was the most violent attack since the 2020 truce in the region.  
  • The last suicide bombing was in 2017.  The conflict in Syria has not come to an end since it began in March 2011.

Source:

Bus bombs kill 14 in Syria capital; shells elsewhere kill 10 (apnews.com) 

Tweets:

Brazilian Senators: President Bolsonaro Should Be Charged with Crimes Against Humanity 

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File:Jair Bolsonaro (cropped).jpg – Wikimedia Commons 

  • On Wednesday, Brazilian Senators accused President Jair Bolsonaro of crimes against humanity (among other charges) based on his poor management of the Covid-19 situation in the country. 
  • This is the first CPI (parliamentary commission of inquiry) that resulted in such a long list of allegations against the country’s President.
  • Bolsonaro claims he is innocent.
  • President Bolsonaro continues to support drugs such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as viable treatment options against the virus.  There are insufficient data to support these drugs’ efficacy against Covid-19.  
  • The report also recommended 65 other individuals be charged with various crimes.
  • The vote on the final report will take place next week.

Source:

Jair Bolsonaro: Brazilian senators call for crimes against humanity charges against president – CNN 

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Airstrikes in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

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File:Syria airstrike 140923-F-ML224-220.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

  • Wednesday marked another day of airstrikes in Mekelle in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
  • The target of the strikes was sites housing weapons used by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).  
  • Mesfin Industrial Engineering is a weapons storage site for the TPLF.   
  • The fighting started in November 2020 when the Ethiopian government tried to drive out the TPLF.
  • Earlier this week, another airstrike killed three children and injured another civilian.
  • Safety concerns in Tigray have forced the United Nations to move 100 staff members out of the area in response to the escalating conflict.

Source:

Ethiopia conflict: Fresh airstrikes hit Mekelle, capital of Tigray region – CNN 

Tweets:

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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India violence

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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800px Credit Suisse Zurich
  • 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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Daily Brief

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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