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The Daily Brief: Taliban Announces New Afghanistan Government

Taliban Announces New Afghanistan Government

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Armed Afghan civilians during the 2021 Taliban offensive 1

Summary: 

  • Following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan earlier in August, the extremist groups spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid announced its new government system, appointing Mohammed Hasan Akhund as the prime minister. 
  • Additionally, the 33 other Pashtun majority cabinet members were named as the country’s “new Islamic government” officials, as stated by Mujahid. 
  • Two members already have a negative international repertoire. Akhund has sanctions against him by the United Nations, while Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani network and appointed the government’s interior minister, is on a United States Terrorist list and one of the FBI’s most wanted men for deaths of over 150 people. 
  • Others named were said to be currently acting as the country’s officials, and the official government positions haven’t been finalized. None of the current officials are women. 
  • The Taliban released a statement claiming they want “strong and healthy relations with our neighbours and all other countries based on mutual respect and interaction.” 
  • Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada stated on Tuesday that he “assure[s] all the countrymen that the figures will work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and sharia law in the country,” following the announcement. 
  • The structure of the government, however, similarly mirrors the oppressive Taliban rule in the 90s, raising skepticism to the groups alleged inclusivity with the already conservative leadership. 
  • Already hundreds of women were subject to violent beatings by the Taliban after peacefully protesting for their rights, making it the second attack by the Taliban on citizens in less than a week.  

Sources

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/7/taliban-announce-acting-ministers-of-new-government

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58479750

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/09/07/world/afghanistan-news

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Presidencia El Salvador from San Salvador, El Salvador, América Central, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
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  • The announcement by President Nayib Bukele, who promised anyone who downloaded the “Chivo” digital wallet $30, forced it into temporary suspension after thousands of attempts to download the application. 
  • The announcement also means businesses could now potentially accept the well known unstable crypto cash as a form of currency. 
  • Some critics warn of increases in money laundering following the mandate, while others say it will decrease international commission expenses. 

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Voice of America News: Henry Ridgwell from the Turkish border by Aleppo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
  • In a recent report, Amnesty International finds that Syrian Refugees returning home to Syria, are subject to torture, detention, and disappearance by the Syrian government.
  • Amnesty International found that the Syrian officials committed human rights violations to at least 66 returnees, 13 of which were children. 
  • The report urges European countries who have been forcing Syrian Refugees to return home, to halt all deportation processes as Syria is still unsafe to return to.
  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was sworn in as president for his fourth term in May and denies the accusations.

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Texas Governor Signs Restrictive Election Bill into Law

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World Travel & Tourism Council, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed a restrictive election bill into law, limiting mail-in ballots and, according to him, making “it easier than ever before for anybody to go cast a ballot,” while also making sure “it is harder than ever for people to cheat at the ballot box.”
  • The bill eliminates drive thru voting and 24 hour early voting centers, among other things. Opponents of the bill claim it unjustly targets marginalized voters, such as people of color, the elderly, and those with disabilities, from easy access to voting.
  • Three federal lawsuits have been filed to block the bill, and US Vice President Kamala Harris stated, “the bill limits the options that enabled a historic number of Texans, especially citizens of colour, to vote safely in our last election”.

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President Biden Visits Areas Affected by Ida, Blaming Climate Change

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  • US President Joe Biden visited parts of the country where Hurricane Ida has inflicted damage to thousands of lives, including in Queens, New York, where he declared that “Climate change poses an existential threat to our lives, to our economy, and the threat is here.”
  • Biden also spoke about his infrastructure plan, which he stated would help prevent damage from future natural disasters and extreme weather. He also approved disaster declarations for New Jersey and New York, allowing access to additional federal aid.
  • Biden started his trip by visiting Louisiana, where the hurricane first hit, before heading to New Jersey and New York. Nearly 100 deaths have been reported due to this disaster and thousands have had their lives uprooted.

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Israel and the US Will Work Together to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program

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防衛省・自衛隊, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • Israel’s Chief of General Staff Aviv Kohavi stated that the military’s plans responding to Iran’s growing nuclear program are being “greatly accelerated” amidst drawn out talks to return to the 2015 nuclear deal limiting Tehran’s enrichment of uranium.
  • US defence chief Lloyd Austin also reiterated these statements, declaring that “Iran’s support for terrorism and its willingness to supply increasingly lethal weapons to non-state groups undermines the regional stability that we all seek.”
  • The US and Israel announced that they will be working together to put a stop to Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Iran has stated that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful, and that it will agree to return to the nuclear deal if the US withdraws sanctions that are continuing to hurt Iran’s economy

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Chinese Aircraft Enters Taiwan’s Air Defence Zone

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L.G.Liao, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL 1.2, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Taiwan announced that nineteen Chinese military jets entered its air defence zone, prompting radio warnings and missile defense systems to be deployed.
  • The aircraft included nuclear-capable bombers, named H-6 bombers, and anti-submarine aircraft.
  • China has not commented on this latest incursion. The last Chinese aircraft to invade Taiwanese airspace was in June, which included 28 military jets.

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US Surpasses 40 Million COVID Cases

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Alberto Giuliani, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • As of this week, the US has surpassed 40 million known COVID-19 cases with an estimated 161,000 new COVID cases a day. 
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  • The highly contagious delta variant has ravaged the unvaccinated population with the US averaging 1,385 deaths a day. 

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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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Odesa pristav
  • 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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US Stock Market Investing in the United States
  • 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 Koreas ballistic missile North Korea Victory Day 2013 01
  • 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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Black Sea port of Theodosiya panoramio
  • 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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