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The Daily Brief: Taliban Increases Grip Over Freedoms In Afghanistan

Taliban Increases Grip Over Freedoms In Afghanistan

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Afghanistan map taliban advances.webp

Summary: 

  • The Taliban continues to consolidate its power over Afghanistan and roll back important human rights.
  • Women working in Afghanistan have been told to not report for work until protective measures could be implemented countrywide.
  • The Taliban have stated that they are not currently equipped to interact with women in an appropriate manner.
  • The Taliban has also asked that Afghanis not attempt to leave the country.
  • The leadership is fearful that the skilled Afghanis will leave the country without the intellectual resources needed to rebuild.
  • Currently, the deadline for evacuation flights out of Afghanistan is August 31st. 
  • The Taliban opposes any extension to the evacuation.
  • The Taliban have reportedly closed all routes to the airport in order to prevent Afghani nationals from departure.

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Sources:

Longstanding Arrangement For Worship At Al Aqsa Shifts Seismically

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Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia
  • A longstanding tradition of preserving worship in Al Aqsa Mosque for Muslims only has ended.
  • The Israeli government has recently begun allowing Jewish worshippers to pray inside the mosque as well.
  • Given the religious diversity of the site, the allocation of worship allowed for Muslims only inside the mosque and Jewish persons at the Wailing Wall.
  • The previous allocation originates from the fact that Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem remains unrecognized by the international community.

Sources

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Leaked Images Show Grim Reality in Iran’s Prisons  

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Ensie & Matthias, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • An alleged cyberattack on surveillance cameras of Iran’s Evin prison displayed footage of grim living conditions of prison inmates, including situations of abuse and torture.
  • Political prisoners and prisoners of conscience are shown to be beaten, humiliated, and denied medical and family visits among other human rights abuses.
  • The head of Evin prison apologized and admitted to human rights violations, although Iran rarely admits to such violations.
  • A hacking group called Edalat-e-Ali (Justice for Ali), referring to the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad in the name, posted images and videos from the prison on social media accounts and claimed to carry out the cyberattack to reveal the predicament of prisoners.

https://apnews.com/article/technology-health-religion-iran-prisons-01dfade61d7a706d630bf83d30d8cb02

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-prisons-head-apologises-after-leaked-pictures-show-abuse-2021-08-24/

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Algeria Breaks Diplomatic Relations with Morocco

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Bibobhj, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  •  Algeria has announced that it will be cutting diplomatic ties with its neighbor Morocco, after Foreign Minister Ramdane Lamamra accused the country of “hostile actions.”
  • Decades of tensions between the two nations have resulted in a closed border since 1994, although diplomatic relations have not been halted since then.
  • Among issues leading to conflict, the territory of Western Sahara has been the source of major disputes, with Morocco claiming as its own and Algeria backing the territory’s independence
  •  Mr. Lamamra has also accused Morocco of using Pegasus software to spy on Algerian officials.
  • Sources

https://www.reuters.com/world/algeria-says-cutting-diplomatic-ties-with-morocco-2021-08-24/

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/24/algeria-cuts-diplomatic-ties-with-morocco

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Unemployment in South Africa Reaches All Time High

  • South Africa’s unemployment rate has surged, reaching 34.4% an increase from 32.6% in the first three months through March.
  • It is predicted unemployment will continue to worsen as the nation grapples with COVID-19 waves leading to significant lockdowns and restrictions.
  • An expanded definition of unemployment, including people available for work but not seeking jobs, puts the percentage even higher to 44.4% of the labor force.
  • The eruption of riots in July, which turned deadly costing hundreds of lives also took an economic toll, with many businesses looted and shuttered.
  • Source:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-24/south-african-unemployment-rate-rises-to-highest-in-the-world

https://www.reuters.com/article/safrica-economy-unemployment/update-1-south-africas-unemployment-rate-climbs-to-new-record-high-above-34-idUSL8N2PV1R2 

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Drug Cartel Leader in Mexico Arrested

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edans, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  •  Eduardo Arellano Felix, a drug cartel leader sentenced to 15 years in prison in the United States, has been rearrested upon his arrival to his homeland Mexico.
  • Felix had completed most of his sentence, and was handed over to Mexican authorities upon crossing the border from Texas.
  • He was charged with crime and drug trafficking and was involved in the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix cartel that moved hundreds of tons of cocaine and cannabis from Mexico to the U.S.
  • The infamous Arellano Felix cartel has smuggled millions of dollars in narcotics at the height of its power.

US Increasing Efforts to Reduce CO2 Emissions

  • The US pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions about 50% by 2035
  • At 6.6 billion tons of CO2 annually, the US is the second worst polluting country. globally, with China producing the most greenhouse gas emissions in the world
  • The legislation the US Senate passed includes an infrastructure spending bill and a budget policy.
  • The House of Representatives will deliberate the legislation this week.
  • If passed, the federal government will invest in more electric vehicle charging stations and hybrid and electric school buses.
  • These measures followed an August 9 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the UN that suggested drastic measures to CO2 emissions must progress immediately to avoid rising above a global temperature rise of 2C (3.6F), the point (temperature) of no-return.

Sources:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/24/us-congress-nears-first-major-steps-to-control-co2-emissions

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Airbnb Offers Free Stay to Afghan Refugees

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  • Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky announced Tuesday that the accommodation organization will offer housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees for free.
  • This altruistic effort is not unheard of by Airbnb; host responses for people facing crises date as early as Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and as recently as the California wildfires.
  • The funding will come from sources such as Airbnb, Chesky himself, and the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.
  • The company did not specify the length of stay, but indicated that both short-term and long-term stays were available.

Sources:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58315378

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.

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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