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The Daily Brief: Tentative Diplomacy Ensues Between North and South Koreas

Tentative Diplomacy Ensues Between North and South Koreas

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Summary: 

  • The Koreas have resumed communication, a renewed effort since talks broke down in June 2020.
  • The leaders of both countries have exchanged letters and the news agencies of the Koreas have announced that multiple communication lines have been reopened.
  • North and South Koreas have pledged to speak by phone daily.
  • North and South Korean leaders had met multiple times in 2018, but talks deteriorated during a summit with former US President Donald Trump.
  • Both the United Nations and the United States have expressed hope for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
  • Interestingly, the Korean War was ended by armistice – a cessation in violence – as opposed to a peace treaty. The two countries are technically still at war.
  • The two countries continue to wrestle with fraught issues, including North Korea’s alleged growing nuclear arsenal.

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Vaccine Inaccess Widens Gap For Global Recovery

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JUANITOPROGAMER777, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • The International Monetary Fund’s “World Economic Outlook” suggests uneven economic recovery in the post pandemic period.
  • Inequitable vaccine distribution along with inconsistent financial footing are cited as the underpinnings of the widening gap.
  • Overall, the global economy is expected to grow by 6%.
  • It is unclear how much virus variants will impact growth.

Tweets:

Tokyo Olympics Five Days In

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Agência Brasil Fotografias, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • American Gymnast Simon Biles has announced her leave from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in order to prioritize her “health and wellbeing.” 
  • The Olympics, which had been postponed for a year due to Covid-19, continues on as Tokoyo reaches an all-time-high in the number of new coronavirus cases. 
  • Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron during Tuesday’s opening ceremony after her elimination in the tennis tournament, and the United States remained in the lead with a total of 25 gold medals. 

Tweets

Twitter Accused of Allowing Antisemantic Tweets On Their Site

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Danuj Jayawardena, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • After complaints from a campaign against antisemitism, Twitter claimed 40% of 1,000 antisemantic Tweets reported, including ones stating “Hitler was right” and “Jews control the world” didn’t breach their community guidelines. 
  • The charity called Campaign Against Antisemitism was a partner of Twitter, helping to remove antisemantic Tweets on the website after allegations of keeping up antisemetic Tweets last year. However, the campaign recently came forward to blame Twitter for its continued inaction from antisemantic abuse despite their efforts. 
  • The campaigns spokesperson Stephen Silverman released a statement saying, “It is clear that the company is neither capable nor interested in tackling anti-Semitism, and it must now fall to an independent regulator to assume that role instead.”

Tweets

Hong Kong Charges First Person Under New Security Law

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Studio Incendo, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • The first person to be tried under China’s new security Law has been charged guilty in Hong Kong and faces life imprisonment. 
  • The law gives unclear politican offenses which include terrorism and subversion amist the rising pro-democracy protests. Tong Ying-kit did not receive bail and was tried in front of three panel judges instead of a jury. 
  • Ying-kit was found guilty of terrorism for driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers, and incitement to commit suscession for carrying a famous anti-government banner.
  • The historic jurisdiction paves the way to future cases and interpretation of the law, as over 60 people, including pro-democracy politicians, await similar fates. 

Tweets: 

Industrial Explosion in Germany Leads to Casualties, Several Missing 

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Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
  • An explosion at an industrial power plant in western Germany has led to two fatalities, and several missing people as the accident shook the city of Leverkusen, home to the commercial waste power plant and several other industries.
  • Authorities quickly labeled the event an “extreme threat” and warned residents to take safety measures such as staying indoors, closing doors and windows, and switching off air conditioning.
  • City officials have said at least 16 people have suffered injuries with four workers missing – officials say they have hope of recovering those missing.
  • The blast occurred in storage tanks for solvents at a waste management facility – the powerful blaze took firefighters almost four hours to extinguish.
  • Leverkusen’s mayor, Uwe Richrath called the accident a “tragic day” for the city – a city well known for its ties to the chemical industry, including the Bayer pharmaceutical giant.
  • By mid-afternoon, authorities stated the smoke no longer posed an acute danger and emergency personnel were sent to rescue missing workers – Mr. Richrath still urged residents to maintain cautionary measures.

Tweets:

President of Tunisia, Kais Saied Promises Formation of New Government Amid Turmoil

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AlQalamTV TUNISIA, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Tunisian President Kais Saied has expanded his power, suspending Parliament and firing Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, in a move his opponents have labeled a “coup” and “unconstitutional.”
  • Several residents in Tunis expressed their agreement with the President’s decision and promise to form a new government within 30 days – days of demonstrations, protests, and political upheaval have deepened the economic and political crisis of the country.
  • Mr. Saied has cited Article 80 of the 2014 Constitution, which gives the President superior powers in case of “imminent threat” to the country – Mr. Saied stated the grim death toll of the pandemic and political turmoil counted as such a threat, much to the agreement of many Tunisians.
  • The president’s latest actions, albeit viewed as a power grab, provide hope to some Tunisians exhausted and enraged by the country’s faltering economy, including high unemployment rates, inflation, poor living conditions, and political instability.  

Tweets

 

Palestinian Man Tortured Before Death in Prison According to Family

Makbula Nassar, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • The family of a Palestinian man, Abdo Yusuf al-Khatib al-Tamimi has claimed that he was beaten and tortured to death by Israeli forces at Israel’s notorious Moskabiya detention center.
  • The 43-year old man was a father of four – his pregnant wife Rana had said other detainees heard yelling, screaming, and blows before al-Tamimi went quiet in prison.
  • Rana’s mother stated there was a confrontation with prison guards and al-Tamimi prior to the alleged assault.
  • Images released show wounds and bruises on the body of al-Tamimi – an autopsy was performed in the presence of a Palestinian doctor, but results have not yet been released.

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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  • 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 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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