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The Daily Brief: Taliban Takes Control Of Two-Thirds of Afghanistan

The Taliban advances over Afghanistan, taking over 18 of the 34 provincial capitals as of Friday

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Map of Afghanistan ca 1875

Josef Chavanne (1846-1903)., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • In just weeks, the Taliban in Afghanistan have managed to take over half of the provincial capitals in the country. 
  • On Friday, Afghan Parliament member Gul Ahmad Kamin reported the second largest city Kandahar was taken under siege by the extremists, along with a handful of other cities, as they descended closer to Kabul.
  • The Taliban released a statement claiming “Hundreds of weapons, vehicles and ammunition were seized,” after government soldiers surrendered to the rapid advances made.
  • No government officials have admitted to the captures, although as of Friday the group controls 18 of the 34 provincial capitals, and more reports of house raids and harassment were perpetrated against Afghans by the group. 
  • United Nations (UN) secretary general Antonio Guterres released a message on behalf of the UN committee, stating they are “deeply disturbed by early indications that the Taliban are imposing severe restrictions on human rights in the areas under their control, particularly targeting women and journalists,” claiming “prolonged civil war” or “isolation” is threatened. 
  • The situation in Afghanistan is currently being monitored hourly by the UN. The United States military has warned that all of Afghanistan has a minimum of 30 days before potential take over by the Taliban. 
  • American Senator Mitch McConnal claimed the U.S. should consider airstrikes to avoid security threats, stating “it is not too late to prevent the Taliban from overrunning Kabul. The Administration should move quickly to hammer Taliban advances with air strikes, provide critical support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) defending the capital, and prevent the seemingly imminent fall of the city.”
  • Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States have all agreed to deploy soldiers to help with evacuations, as the number of Afghans displaced reaches 400,000. 

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Zambia Faces Social Media Blackout Amidst Elections

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By  Rei-artur  pt  en  Rei-artur blog, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Citizens in Zambia have complained about the shutdown of various social media sites following the Presidential and Parliamentary elections, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 
  • Voter turnout reached an unpredicted high on Thursday, as voters still waited to cast their ballot even as voting came to an end at 6PM local time. 
  • A police spokeswoman on national TV stated “Social media may spark a lot of violence… If social media is not responsibly used then it can cause a lot of harm to our country especially at this time when results will be announced.”
  • Election results are expected on Friday, but the restrictions raised some concerns about the fairness of the elections. The government has yet to comment on the social media blackout. 


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Elon Musk Meets With German Politician About Construction of “Gigafactory”

File:Tesla's Gigafactory on 2017-08-08 by Planet Labs.jpg

Planet Labs, Inc., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Tesla Founder Elon Musk recently met with a potential German Chancellor Armin Laschet to talk about the “Gigafactory” construction. 
  • The Tesla “Gigafactory” to open in Germany will be an electric component factory run by Tesla Inc, previously aimed to start in July before met with multiple environmental group lawsuits. 
  • Laschet thanked Musk for his business, as the meet with Musk helped to fuel his campaign as he was met with a sharp decline in the polls.
  • The decision to allocate around $10 million to the construction of the factory was met with some backlash, as groups argued it should be allocated towards school or home constructions. 

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2 Teachers Plus 2 Educators Lose Their Lives within Days of Coronavirus Infection 

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  • Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has been against the mask mandate especially for kids in schools. 
  • Broward School District voted to make masks mandatory for students as schools are set to open in a week however, the Governor has threatened to withhold pay for any School District’s employee pay who enforces the mask mandate.
  • Delta has been rampantly spreading. Florida has one of the highest death rates from COVID-19 in the US; New Jersey being the highest. 

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Another Friday, Another Mosque Attack on the Palestinians 

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  • Israeli forces attacked the Ibrahimi Mosque while Muslims performed their sacred Friday prayers. 
  • Israeli Defence Ministry claimed that the Friday prayers were blocking the construction at the Mosque which are being undertaken to accommodate Jewish and Muslims visitors to the Mosque. The Mosque is divided with barriers for Muslims and Jewish visitors.
  • The site has seen a lot of conflict in its History as in 1994 a Jewish worshipper started shooting at Muslim worshippers casusing the loss of many lives. 

Philippines Puts More Lockdown Restrictions as COVID Cases Rise

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https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Philippines_(ja).png

  • Healthcare workers are being overworked with the rise of infections in Manila. The country is trying to vaccinate as many people as possible to get the cases under control.
  • The work shifts which usually are 8 hours long have been turned into 16 hours without a break as new cases keep pouring in.
  • A huge number of children have been admitted to the hospital. There is a chance that the lockdown might be pushed to the 20th of August. 

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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Defend Roe v Wade 0035 52061678896
  • 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.

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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

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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