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The Daily Brief: Taliban Extend Violence to Major Cities, Attempting to Take Control.

Violence in Afghanistan is spreading as the Taliban take advantage of the lack of US troops and attempt to capture major cities

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Al Jazeera English, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Summary: 

  • The US and UK both accused the Taliban of killing “dozens of civilians in revenge killings” and committing possible war crimes. Thousands of civilians have fled due to recent fighting in the cities of Lashkar Gah and others.
  • Houses are being bombed, gunfire fills the air, and air strikes hit unexpectedly, pushing civilians out of the country for fear of death. Lashkar Gah in particular is a major Afghan city, and it could be the first provincial capital to be taken by the Taliban.
  • The Taliban have taken over the Helmand TV Station, which is a government run radio and television station located in the city of Lashkar Gah.
  • The United States’ has been increasing airstrikes against the Taliban, as the majority of US troops are now out of the region. Afghan security forces have been deployed on the ground to fight the militants.
  • Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani blames the US for the recent violence, stating that the US withdrew troops abruptly, and that the situation will be “under control within six months”. Ghani also warned of consequences due to the withdrawal.
  • The US is working to assist more and more Afghanis, especially those who have worked as employees with American organisations in the past, and giving them refugee status.
  • Afghanistan’s second and third largest city, Kandahar and Herat, have also been under attack by the Taliban, with government forces fighting fiercely to keep the cities from being taken.

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OTHER HEADLINES

Krystina Timanovskaya Forced to End Her Run

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  • Krystina Timanovskaya was forced to go back home to Belarus by the team after not agreeing with her coaches during the Tokyo Olympics. 
  • Belarus team claims that she is being sent home because she is not emotionally fit to compete.
  • The country has a history of mistreating its athletes who do not comply with coaches ‘ orders. 
  • Ms. Timanovskaya was last seen at the Poland embassy and is said to have sought asylum there. 

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Reaching for the Gold in Brotherhood 

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  • Italy’s and Qatar’s high jumpers in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics agree to share the Gold medal in a show of brotherhood.
  • Both jumpers, Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi, competed for the high jump gold medal for hours but were not able to cross the 2.39m height. 
  • After missing the record breaking height of high jump, both athletes asked if they could both get the gold and authorities agreed. This iconic moment of friendship and brotherhood has made way to the hearts of the viewers. 

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UK and Iran Summon Diplomats After Oil Tanker Incident

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W. Bulach, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Both the UK and Iran have summoned one another’s diplomats after a drone attack on an oil tanker last week. The UK, US, and Israel blame Iran for the attack, while Iran denies the accusations.
  • As the UK summoned Iran’s ambassador, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that Iran should “face up to the consequences of what they’ve done”. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that there would be consequences coordinated with the UK, Israel, and Romania.
  • Iran summoned the British Chargé d’Affaires in Iran as a protest against the accusations. A spokesman for the foreign ministry stated that Iran will not hesitate in “protecting its security and national interests and will respond promptly and strongly to any possible adventure”.

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Olympics Update: USWNT Out, Biles in, Qatar and Italy Share Gold

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filip bossuyt from Kortrijk, Belgium, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • USWNT lost to Canada in the women’s soccer semi finals 1-0, ending the USA’s hopes of being the first team to win the FIFA World Cup and receive an Olympic gold medal.
  • Lamont Marcell Jacobs, Italian sprinter, set the new record for the 100 meter event, winning gold and becoming the fastest man in the world.
  • Simone Biles, American gymnast, is scheduled to compete in the women’s gymnastics final event, the balance beam. This will be her final chance to compete for the gold after missing three of her individual events.
  • The U.S. women’s volleyball team defeated Italy even after one player, Jordan Thompson, had to be subbed out due to an ankle injury. USA was losing up to the fourth set, but was able to tie and bring in the win in the fifth set.
  • Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, Belarusian sprinter, was granted a humanitarian visa by Poland after refusing to fly home, and claiming she was being forced to return home.
  • Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi decided to share the gold medal in men’s high jump instead of going for the jump off in a heartwarming, and viral turn of events.
  • USA leads in total medal count, and China leads in Gold medals. Japan and Australia trail fairly far behind in both the gold and total medal count

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Israeli Court Offers Compromises on Sheikh Jarrah Evictions, Palestinians Reject 

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Ian McKellar from San Francisco, CA, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Israeli courts have offered a compromise to the question of eviction of Palestinian homes in Sheikh Jarrah, an issue escalating tensions and conflict in recent months leading to an 11-day war.
  • Monday’s proceedings examined the cases of four Palestinian families, including a total of 70 people – the Israeli compromise calls for a “protected status” of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, preventing them from eviction, provided they pay rent to a Jewish settlement organization.
  • Palestinians have refused the agreement – the threat of evictions has stirred one of the worst Israel-Palestine conflicts in recent years, with Israeli police tactics against residents and demonstrators capturing international attention.
  • The United Nations’ human rights chief has called on Israel to not carry out any evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, issuing a warning that such action would constitute a war crime under international law.

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U.S. Senate Moves Forward with Infrastructure Bill

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The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • The U.S. Senate is moving forward in completing work this week on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that would invest in fixing the nation’s roads, bridges, and mass-transit systems.
  • The Senate began voting on the 2,702 page bill Monday – the bill has faced criticism and complaint from several Republican senators.
  • If approved, the legislation would be among the largest infrastructure investments in decades – leading to $550 billion in new spending on rails, roads, electric vehicle charging, and replacing lead water pipes.
  • The bill would also provide billions of dollars to improve highways, make drinking water safer, and reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife among other goals – while it is a large investment, the American Society for Civil Engineers estimates a total of $13 trillion is needed to adequately upgrade all aspects of infrastructure.

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Giant Panda on Loan from China Gives Birth to Twins in France

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Gzen92, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • A giant panda on loan to France from China has given birth to two baby twin cubs Monday, at the Beauval Zoo in central France, in what experts say is a rare event.
  • The mother Huan Huan and father Yuan Zi of the cubs are on loan from China to France in a decades long tradition of China to gift friendly nations with their national mascot as a sign of “panda diplomacy.”
    Panda reproduction is a difficult and rare feat, both in captivity and in the wild – veterinarians carried out artificial insemination after several mating attempts by Huan Huan and Yuan Zi at Beauval Zoo.
  • The cubs will spend a few years in France before being returned to China – the loan signals good political relations with France.

Myanmar Coup Leader Declared Prime Minister, Extending State of Emergency

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VOA Burmese, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Myanmar’s military leader, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing declared himself prime minister of the nation six months after seizing power from the elected government.
  • The commander-in-chief has extended the country’s state of emergency for another two years – a state of emergency was stated when military troops moved against the elected rule of Aung San Suu Kyi, for whom the military claimed without credible evidence that her landslide victory was the result of massive voter fraud.
  • The military coup was met by overwhelming public protests and a military crackdown, leading to at least 939 people being killed by authorities.
  • U.S. State Department officials have stated the extension of the state of emergency and holding off elections until 2023 clearly demonstrates the military rulers are stalling for time and pressure must be placed on them by other Southeast Asian countries.

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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.

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Daily Brief

Cancelling Canada Day: A Country Perpetuating Injustice Cannot be Celebrated

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Canada Day is celebrated every July 1st, but as the injustices against Indigenous people in the country become mainstream, calls to cancel the celebrations are amplified.

With fireworks and large festivals, Canada Day is celebrated from coast to coast on July 1st by millions of people, every year. The day, for many Canadians, is one of joy and gratitude, for the home that Canada has become for them. 

However, following the discovery of mass graves at the site of former Residential Schools, celebrating Canada Day is becoming confusing for many. 

Residential schools, among other historical policies, made essentially to assimilate Indigenous peoples and erase their culture, are one of the causes of deeply rooted intergenerational trauma and disproportionate access to resources in Indigenous communities.

Canada Day, which marks the day of confederation and the day that Canada became its own nation also marks the day that the oppression of Indigenous peoples was taken into Canada’s own hands. Calls to ‘cancel Canada Day’ become louder each year, as the injustices which were perpetuated to help bring the country to where it is today become more widely known.

Canada, the “true, north, strong and free”, as described in the country’s national anthem, was established at the price of the lives, autonomy and rights of hundreds of thousands of Indigenous peoples.

Canada recognizes its Indigenous population broadly as the FNMI — which stands for the First Nations, the Métis and the Inuit. All three Indigenous nations were directly impacted during colonization, through forced relocations, harmful policies, and cultural genocides.

The Indian Act following confederation was a legal document which specifically prevented the First Nations people in Canada from many things, including cultural practices, political actions and restricted their freedom. Under this act, First Nations could not leave reserves that the government forced them onto, without explicit permission from an Indian Agent first. The RCMP – the Royal Canadian Mounted Police known today as Canada’s FBI – was made with the intention to force and keep Indigenous peoples on their reserves.

First Nations and Métis were also predominantly affected by residential schools and the sixties scoop, when Indigenous children were taken from their homes and given up for adoption. Both of these efforts were made with the goal of assimilating Indigenous children, by “killing the Indian in the child“.

The Inuit faced dehumanization with their forced relocation into the High Arctic, a land they were not traditionally accustomed to. They were used as human flagpoles in the race to claim the Arctic, giving Canada a land advantage over countries like Russia and the United States.

For the sake of Canada’s growth as a Western nation, Indigenous peoples were used as pawns. First Nations and Métis were forced onto reserves to make space for European settlers, while the government commissioned a mass Inuit dog slaughter, to keep the Inuit stranded in the High Arctic, so that Canada could not lose their claim over that land.

The birth of a nation had become more important than the lives of Indigenous peoples who have existed since time immemorial. And because of that, Canada was born with blood on its hands — blood it has yet to wash off in full, as the country’s growth continues to be more important than respecting Indigenous peoples who’ve lived there for centuries.

The Canadian government has a long-standing history of making promises to the Indigenous community and then turning their back on them — whether that means refusing to turn their words into action or taking action that has the opposite impact.

Indigenous peoples in Canada have been long subject to unjust conditions: many communities lack access to clean water. The government has acknowledged this; however, it hasn’t done much beyond that to actually improve living standards on reserves. Indigenous peoples are subject to disproportionate rates of police brutality and violence, especially in the North. Despite multiple reports recording the numbers, institutions are not doing much to change their practices.

Most prominently, the pipeline debate has shown how the government is willing to backtrack on their promises to Indigenous peoples to protect their rights, if it results in a growth for the country. Although Justin Trudeau ran a campaign in 2016 heavily opposing the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipelines, in 2019 his government bought the pipelines to take over the project and continue it, despite protests from Indigenous peoples pleading otherwise.

Time and time again, Indigenous communities in Canada seem to be living in an entirely different country; the “true, north, strong and free,” seems more like a betraying, oppressive and unjust nation. Their rights are considered dispensable in favour of material growth, and in society, they face stereotypes that lessen their quality of life.

The question: to celebrate or to not celebrate, might seem like a hard one when Canada Day is meant to be a day where Canadians rejoice for all that the country is to them. But the answer is quite straightforward, when it is the suffering of people caused by Canada in question.

For many — those born in Canada, those who immigrated here, and those seeking refuge here — there is much to be grateful for, on Canada Day. But showing gratitude for living in a country such as Canada and acknowledging the injustices it participates in are not mutually exclusive attitudes.

Sol Mamakwa, an Indigenous MPP for Kiiwetinoong, an electoral riding in Ontario, stated in a message for Canada Day, “It is my hope that Canadians will be able to strike a balance between honouring all that Canada has done for them today while still recognizing the real history of oppression, colonialism and genocide.”

Even if most Canadians do not experience the struggles of Indigenous peoples firsthand, these struggles still affect the very fabric of Canada. The country is only as great as it treats its Indigenous peoples, whose losses the country was built upon. And every single Canadian plays a role in advocating for the better treatment of Indigenous peoples.

To celebrate Canada Day, we must want better for the people who have lost everything for it, but we also must mourn with them for all the loss they have had to face. 

Canada Day should become a holiday more meaningful than fireworks and festivals: it needs to become a day of reflection. We must cancel Canada Day’s insensitive celebrations, by understanding the context of it, because injustice simply isn’t something you can celebrate.

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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I am a student from Ontario, Canada, and an aspiring journalist. I enjoy reading, writing and learning about the world around us - the issues with it and how we can make it a better place.

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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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  • 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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