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The Daily Brief: Taliban Make Territorial Gains In Afghanistan

Taliban Make Territorial Gains In Afghanistan

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Summary: 

  • Tensions are rising in Afghanistan as the Taliban have taken control of 50 of the country’s 370 provinces.
  • According to the UN’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan, the 50 provinces surround provincial capitals, indicating a possible roadmap to the Taliban’s next set of targets.
  • Many government soldiers were forced to abandon their posts and flee to neighboring areas in order to minimize civilian casualties.
  • Shir Khan Bandar is the most recent region to fall to Taliban control, along with all the crossings into neighboring Tajikistan.
  • Approximately 10,000 troops – from the U.S and the U.N. – remain to be withdrawn from Afghanistan.
  • The original goal to withdraw completely by September 11th is still in place, however international lawmakers have indicated that the situation is fluid and subject to adjustment.
  • The Afghani government has plans to retake lost territories and mount a strong counter offensive, according to military officials.

Sources:

Tweets:

UN Representative Claims Tigray Under “Effective Control” From Eritrea

Tigray Region Ethiopia location map
Mikey641 and OpenStreetMap contributors, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker, a United Nations expert who specializes in Human rights in Eretria, released a statement stating that Eritrea now has “effective control” in different parts of Tigray. 
  • Despite Eritrea’s denial at first, their troops have been residing in Tigray for months after the federal government faced attacks and have come under fire for alleged human rights abuses and abduction of men from refugee camps. 
  • Babiker urged for further investigations into the matter and called on the Eritrea troops to pull out of Tigray camps. 
  • Eritrea’s foreign affairs minister denied allegations and knowledge of the whereabouts of the abducted men, and that Babiker should be fired from his role. 

Bitcoin Declines at About 10%

  • Bitcoin declined to below $30,000 this Tuesday, the lowest since January, effectively crushing the entirety of the year’s gains. 
  • The decline comes after a crypto crackdown in China, after the government attempts to shut down cryptocurrency services. Bad press from different sources, mainly Elon Musk, also had an effect on the downfall. 
  • Bitcoin fell somewhere around 10% at $29,333, posing a challenge to regenerate support at such a low range. However, the company has pulled through on five separate occasions under the same pretenses. 

Tweets:

Vatican Opposes Zan Law on Grounds of Religious Freedom 

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Ankitaganguly2912, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • A new Zan bill proposed in Italy faces opposition from the Vatican on grounds of infringing on freedom of religion – the Zan bill would make discrimination and incitement to violence against LGBT individuals a punishable offence.
  • Defendants of the Zan bill, named after Alessandro Zan, a politician and LGBT activist maintain that the bill does not violate religious freedoms and has safeguards to ensure religious rights are protected.
  • In addition to LGBT individuals, the bill includes women and people with disabilities as those under legal protections of law, with those found guilty of hate crimes facing a punishment of up to three-four years in prison.
  • The Vatican objects on the grounds of the Lateran Treaty, which recognizes the Vatican as an independent state – there is also concern that Catholics could be punished by law for expressing their viewpoints on LGBT issues and not participating in national days against homophobia and transphobia.

Canada Urges Independent U.N. Observations of Xinjiang 

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Dilmurat Turgun, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • More than 90 countries led by Canada urge China to allow independent U.N. observation of the Xinjiang region, home to more than a million Muslim ehtnic Uighurs, with reports indicating human rights abuse and violations including torture and forced labor.
  • Canada’s ambassador drafted a statement delivered at the Human Rights Council with backing from several other countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia.
  • China has denied claims of abuse and ethnic cleansing towards Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims, claiming instead that camps serve as vocational skills training centers intended to combat religious extremism.
  • The statement drew attention to reports of forced sterilizations, sexual violence, and forced separation of children from their parents
  • The statement intends to send a strong message to China that international pressure will be faced in response to human rights violations
  • 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

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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Daily Brief

Russian Missile Sets Ukraine Shopping Center on Fire

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781px Nevsky Centre Shopping Mall in Russia
  • A busy shopping center in Ukraine was set on fire by Russian missiles on Monday, killing at least thirteen people and injuring dozens. The total number of casualties is still unknown.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that “The number of victims is impossible to imagine” and that there could have been up to 1,000 people in the mall.
  • The attack came during the G7 summit, where world leaders condemned recent atrocities and promised to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” in a joint statement. President Zelensky spoke to the leaders at the summit and stated that he wants the war to end before winter.
  • NATO has decided to increase the number of troops in its rapid reaction force from 40,000 to 300,000, more than eightfold. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated this move is part of the “biggest overhaul of collective defense and deterrence since the Cold War.”
  • The United States has announced that it will provide Ukraine with advanced medium and long-range air defense capabilities.

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

World Watches as the United States Supreme Court Abolishes a Woman’s Right to an Abortion

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  • The United States’ top justices voted to eliminate the constitutional right to an abortion, a law that had been in place for over 50 years.
  • The closely watched decision was heralded by some and derided by others, depending on their position on the controversial concept of a woman’s right to choose for her own body.
  • With the abolition of the constitutional right, it is expected that many states in the U.S. will implement near total bans of abortion rights, while other states such as California, Oregon and Washington have reaffirmed their commitment to preserve the right to an abortion.
  • Planned Parenthood, the advocacy face for abortion rights, is mobilizing around the country to bolster and increase services in those states that will preserve the right, and engage voters in those states that plan to abolish the right.

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

The EU Approves Ukraine for Candidacy

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Munster Stadtweinhaus Beflaggung Ukraine und EU 2022 0219 scaled
  • The EU has finally approved the application of Ukraine to become a candidate country for admission to the 27- country organization. Ukraine will now join the official candidate list, which already includes Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. 
  • The US is expected to provide an additional $450m in security assistance to Ukraine. Which includes four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems. 
  • The EU and Norway have agreed to cooperate and provide the EU’s 27 countries with gas from Western Europe’s biggest provider. The EU imports roughly ⅕ of its gas from Norway compared to the 40% it was receiving from Russia. Currently, Russia has been cutting gas supplies to countries refusing to pay for it in roubles. 
  • Melbourne is considering utilizing its largely vacant $200m Center for National Resilience building to house hundreds of refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine and Afghanistan. The center will only be able to temporarily house about 500 refugees from Afghanistan and about 200 from Ukraine. 
  • Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov thanked US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after receiving and welcoming the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) from the United States. 
  • Nike joined other leading Western brands by formally making a full exit from Russia, three months after suspending its operations. Telecoms equipment maker Cisco is also planning to wind down business in Russia and Belarus as well.

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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US Supreme Court Expands Gun Carrying Rights Causing National Outrage 

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Open Carry of a 9mm Browning Hi Power in Eagle Colorado scaled
  • The US Supreme Court expanded gun carrying rights after a New York law denied the plaintiffs Robert Nash and Brandon Koch from carrying a concealed weapon in public, despite them having licenses for recreational gun ownership. 
  • The US court ruled that the New York law requiring residents to prove “proper cause” to carry a concealed weapon is unconstitutional. Justice Clarence Thomas, who represented the 6 justices who ruled in favor of the decision, stated that Americans have the right to carry “commonly used” firearms in public for personal defense. 
  • This decision comes amid an intense national debate over gun violence, and could possibly challenge the  outcome of similar regulations in other states, such as California and New Jersey, and affect a quarter of Americans by allowing more people to carry guns legally. 
  • Three liberal justices, Elena Kahan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer, were against the majority decision, and Justice Breyer noted that “since the start of this year alone (2022), there have already been 277 reported mass shootings – an average of more than one per day.”
  • While the National Rifle Association (NRA) celebrated the judgment, President Biden stated that he was “deeply disappointed” by the court’s decision and that the ruling “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should trouble us all.” 
  • New York Mayor Eric Adams also agreed with Biden and stated that he would review other ways to restrict gun access by restricting the application process for buying guns and looking into bans of firearms at specific locations. 

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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