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The Daily Brief: Taliban Leaders Meets with China’s Foreign Minister

Taliban Leaders Meets with China’s Foreign Minister

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Summary:

  • China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in China this week. Nine other Taliban leaders traveled for the meeting as well.
  • Yi described the Taliban as a major force in Afghanistan, and hoped that they would lead the “peace, reconciliation and reconstruction process” of the country. Yi also reiterated China’s policy of “non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.”
  • The Taliban is in control of a large part of Afghanistan, which is increasing now that the United States’ has withdrawn the majority of troops from the region. China’s meeting signifies the extremist groups’ presence as a major political force.
  • China stated that the United States’ withdrawal of troops was a failure of US policy, while also being an opportunity for the stabilization and progression of Afghanistan by its own people.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that China’s relationship with the Taliban is beneficial if indeed the purpose is for a “peaceful resolution of the conflict” and an inclusive government.
  • Taliban recently admitted to killing Nazar Mohammad, an Afghan comic who posted comedic content on TikTok. His disturbing killing was spread on social media.
  • Civilian casualties in Afghanistan have been significantly higher this year than in years prior, amidst US troop withdrawal and the new offense launched by the Taliban.

Sources

https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/29/china/china-taliban-tianjin-afghanistan-intl-hnk/index.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58007517

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/29/afghanistan-pariah-state-taliban-blinken-china

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Tunisian President Fires More High Level Officials

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Amy Keus from Constanta, Romania, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Tunisian President Kais Saied fired more high level officials from his administration, including the army’s chief prosecutor. This move comes after the sacking of the Prime Minister on Sunday and the suspension of Parliament for thirty days.
  • Saied also took away the immunity of lawmakers and gave himself judicial powers. He defends his actions by stating that the country’s constitution allows him to take extreme measures in the case of “imminent threat”.
  • Protests were held across the country earlier this week, but then banned by the government. There is significant support for Saied’s decisions, but international powers worry about the lack of democracy in the decisions made.
  • Tunisia is facing a rise in Covid-19 infections, while also battling a struggling economy that has high inflation and high unemployment.

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Qatar Approves Electoral Law Allowing Citizens to Vote in Shura Council Elections

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UNCTAD, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar has signed off on an electoral law for the elections being held for the Shura Council. This will be the first legislative election for the country.
  • One third of the council, which is fifteen of the seats, will still be appointed by the emir. The rest of the seats will be decided by vote in elections held in October. All members, regardless of their appointment, will have the same rights and responsibilities.
  • Qatar has been divided into thirty electoral districts, with one candidate per district. Those whose grandfathers were born in Qatar and are citizens aged 18 and older are eligible to vote.
  • These partial elections were allowed in 2003 in a referendum to the constitution. Qatar has a ban on all political parties, and this recent development is a step for wider citizen participation.

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Olympic 2021 Live Updates: Track and Field Begins, Team USA’s Sunisa Lee Wins Gold

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Atos International, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Team USA gymnast Sunisa Lee won a gold medal in the all-around gymnastics competition after Simone Biles withdrew due to mental health concerns, continuing the American streak of gold medals in gymnastics since 2004.
  • Lee, aged 18, is a first-generation Hmong American whose aspirations to achieve the Olympic gold medal dream were drawn both by her father who suffered a debilitating accident in 2019 and the Hmong American community.
  • The mayor of Lee’s hometown in St. Paul Minnesota has honored her achievement by declaring July 30 “Sunisa Lee Day.”
  • The silver medal was won by Rebeca Andrade of Brazil, who was awarded the first medal ever for Brazil in women’s gymnastics – Angelina Melnikova won the bronze medal for Russia.
  • In the men’s 100-meter freestyle swimming competition, Caeleb Dressel broke an Olympic record and also won a gold medal for Team USA.
  • The United States has the highest number of medals 38, 14 of which are gold – China follows second with 31, 15 of which are gold.
  • The track and field competition will begin Friday morning.

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Maltese Government Responsible for Journalist’s Assassination According to Inquiry

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Ethan Doyle White, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in 2018 after a bomb detonated inside her rental car – her family alleges the journalist was killed due to her consistent reporting on corruption in Malta’s government.
  • An independent inquiry was made into the case starting in December 2019, with findings published by Prime Minister Robert Abela.
  • The public inquiry found that the State was responsible for creating an “atmosphere of impunity” that ultimately led to Galizia’s assassination – the inquiry also states the government did not recognize all the risks to Galizia’s life and did not take action to protect her from such threats.
  • A handful of individuals have been charged in the crime – one of three men pleaded guilty while a fourth has been charged with complicity in the killing.

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Palestinian Man Killed on Funeral of 12-Year Old Boy by Israeli Forces

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Makbula Nassar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • A 20-year old Palestinian man was killed after being shot down by Israeli forces during the funeral of a 12-year old boy also killed by Israeli gunfire.
  • Mohammed Allamy, 12, was a passenger in a car driven by his father when the incident took place at the town of Beit Ummar, halfway between Bethlehem and Hebron.
  • An agency report indicated the 12 year old was shot in the chest and succumbed to wounds a few hours after being taken to a hospital – his father says “they took my heart from me.”
  • Shawkat Awad, 20 was among hundreds of protestors and mourners in Beit Ummar where Allamy’s body was laid to rest – he sustained gunshot wounds to his abdomen and head, ultimately proving fatal as he too succumbed to the gunshot wounds.

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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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Crime

Six People Killed in Shooting at Independence Day Parade

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  • Six people were shot dead at an Independence Day parade near Chicago, Illinois. The gunman is still unknown and actively being searched for.
  • The gunman, who is being described as a white man near the age of 20, started shooting at random with a high powered rifle from a rooftop. The parade, which should have included hours of activities and entertainment, quickly ended and crowds were dispersed.
  • Those living in nearby suburbs or areas where the suspect might have gone have been told to shelter in place.
  • July 4th marks the colonies gaining independence in 1776 from Great Britain and the formation of the United States of America.

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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Crime

Eight Gang Members Arrested and In Possession of Underwater Drones

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  • Spanish police arrested eight gang members that had unmanned underwater drones, six aerial drones, as well as other illegal substances in their possession.
  • The police said the drones could be used for illegal purposes, specifically “to be delivered to French narco-traffickers to be used to transport significant quantities of cocaine.”
  • One of the underwater vehicles was completely built, and two more were still being completed. The drones could potentially be controlled from anywhere in the world.
  • More than a year long investigation was carried out with the help of the French police to investigate the gang and arrest members in Cadiz, Malaga, and Barcelona.

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

Three People Killed in Copenhagen Mall Shooting

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  • Three people were killed at a mall in Copenhagen, Denmark after a gunman started randomly shooting with a rifle.
  • The suspect is a 22-year old Danish man with a mental health condition and “known among psychiatric services,” according to Copenhagen police chief Soren Thomassen.
  • Two Danish teenagers were killed, one boy and one girl, and a 47-year old Russian citizen. Four other people are in critical condition from the shooting.
  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spoke about the incident, stating, “Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second.”

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

Argentina’s Economy Minister Quits

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  • Argentina’s economy minister, Martin Guzmán, resigned from his post after a week of economic crisis in a 7 page letter published on Twitter.
  • Guzmán initiated office in 2019 taking lead in restructuring Argentina’s debt.
  • In addition to the global rise of food and energy costs, Argentina is battling with 60% inflation.
  • In his letter of resignation, Guzmán calls for a “political agreement within the governing coalition.”
  • Many speculate his statement was in reference to his deputy – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – whom he was openly at odds with when approaching the country’s economic problems.
  • Prior to the resignation, Fernández took to criticizing economic policy starting with Guzmán’s inflation strategy.

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

3 Hezbollah Drones Shot down by Israel

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  • The Israeli military says one drone was shot down by an F16 fighter jet and the other two by Barak 8 missiles via ship.
  • The drones were unarmed.
  • In an official statement Hezbollah confirms ownership of the drones which were heading for the Karish gas field in disputed territory off the Mediterranean coast of Israel.
  • Israel previously announced plans to extract gas from the offshore rig, eliciting threats from Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.
  • The disputed territory amplified tensions between Israel and Lebanon.
  • Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, accuses Hezbollah of barring Lebanon from cooperating with Israel concerning maritime borders.
  • This incident evoked support for Hezbollah, many taking to social media platforms to express gratitude for the militant group’s brazen confrontation against Israel’s platform in the Mediterranean. 

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

Russian Forces Finally Abandon Snake Island as a Gesture of Goodwill

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  • Russian forces have officially abandoned Snake or Zmiinyi Island as a gesture of goodwill in order to prove that it was not obstructing grain exports. But this claim was instantly dismissed by Ukraine once Moscow continued to shell its grain stores. 
  • Snake Island was seized by Russians on February 24; the island, which is just 22 miles away from Ukraine, is exposed to attacks from all directions, including air and sea. Once Russia seized it, Ukraine attacked the island itself and any vessels carrying troops or heavy weaponry. 
  • Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov states that controlling this island and stationing troops doesn’t make sense for either side and the island is an easy target. He argued that maintaining “fire control,”.which is having the capability to strike any target approaching the island, is a better advantage for either side. 
  • The key question is whether the Ukrainians will consider  exporting grain to reboot the war economy. However, the Russian warships still gain dominance over the Black Sea, and although they are offering Ukraine to export grains from Odessa, Ukraine rejected it due to it having to remove mines from outside the port. 

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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