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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.

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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.”

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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. 

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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.

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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

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.

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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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