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The Daily Brief: “The Dominant Variant”

Fast Spreading Covid Variant Found To Be Most Transmissible

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The Delta Variant already affects over 80 countries, some whom lifted Covid restrictions after the vaccine rollout, prompting WHO to urge people to express caution

Summary 

  • The Delta Variant was found to be the most transmissible type of Covid, affecting over 80 countries including the United Kingdom and United States. 
  • It is unclear as of now whether or not the new variant has a worse effect on the individual’s health, although some unconfirmed reports point to more dangerous symptoms, but so far research suggests the current Covid-19 vaccine is effective against it.  
  • This Friday, World Health Organization (WHO) assistant director general Dr. Mariangela Simao released a statement about the variant and how “Vaccine alone won’t stop the community transition… People need to continue to use masks consistently, be in ventilated spaces, hand hygiene… the physical distance, avoid crowding.” 
  • Most countries have lifted restrictions with the vaccine rollout and as more individuals are receiving doses. However, The Wall Street Journal released a report that just under half of adults who caught the delta variant in Israel were already vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. 
  • United States President Joe Biden stressed the dangerousness of the variant and importance of young people getting vaccinated, calling the rising cases a “serious concern” for the country.
  • Just recently Sydney, Australia went into a lockdown to combat the rising cases of the Delta Variant, a nation with lower rates of vaccinated individuals. 
  • In the United Kingdom, more than 100,000 people have tested positive for the variant. Britain’s Health Minister Matt Hancock recently resigned after breaking social distancing guidelines set in place to combat the variant. 

Sources

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/25/delta-who-urges-fully-vaccinated-people-to-continue-to-wear-masks-as-variant-spreads.html

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/06/26/world/covid-vaccine-coronavirus-mask#latin-americas-students-robbed-by-pandemic-shutdowns-are-leaving-school-in-alarming-numbers

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President Erdogan Begins Work on Canal Istanbul Project

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  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a ceremony beginning Canal Istanbul, a project intended to create a twenty eight mile canal linking the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. The project is estimated to cost $15 billion and take six years.
  • The Turkish government says one of the main purposes of the canal is to reduce marine traffic in the Bosporus Strait, which is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. The Bosporus has had a more than fifty percent increase in traffic in the last fifteen years.
  • Critics of this project believe that the environmental damage that would occur is too large, and that Turkey will incur too much debt given that much of the funding is from China.

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Colombian President Duque’s Helicopter Hit with Gunfire

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  • A helicopter carrying Colombian President Iván Duque was hit with gunfire as it flew near the Venezualen border towards the city of Cucuta. The helicopter also carried several other political figures.
  • No one was injured in the attack, and the President responded by saying he will not waver on his commitment to tackle drug trafficking and organized crime, stating that “…Colombia is always strong in the face of crime and our institutions are above any threat.”
  • The National Liberation Army (ELN) and other criminal groups involved in drug trafficking are located in the Catatumbo region, which is the area where the helicopter was shot.
  • A three billion pesos award has been offered by Colombia for information regarding the attack.

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Thousands March in Iraqi Military Parade Showcasing Weaponry

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  • Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) hosted a large parade in which thousands of its members marched alongside tanks, ammunition, rocket launchers, and more at a military base in Eastern Iraq.
  • PMF was created with several Muslim Shia militias backed by Iran, and they played a large part in fighting against the Islamic State group. The parade marked the seventh anniversary of PMF’s creation. 
  • Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi attended the event and stated, “I esteem your sacrifices, and the sacrifices of the Iraqi armed forces.” The Iran backed factions that are part of the PMF have political influence as well as military strength.

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Three People Killed in Knife Attack in Germany

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  • Three people were killed and several injured in a knife attack in Würzburg, Germany. The suspect is a 24-year old man with a history of mental illness who used a kitchen knife taken from a supermarket.
  • Police shot the suspect in the leg and arrested him shortly after the attack. The suspect’s record shows other violent offenses. He had been committed to a psychiatric hospital prior to the attack.
  • Video footage on social media shows other people near the victims using chairs, umbrellas, and other methods to restrain the suspect. Bavaria’s governor Markus Soeder responded to the attack, writing “We grieve with the victims and their families.”

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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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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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The EU Approves Ukraine for Candidacy

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  • 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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  • 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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France’s Highest Administrative Court Upholds Burkini Ban in Grenoble

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  • The city of Grenoble had recently challenged France’s highest administrative court by allowing full body burkinis to be worn at public pools. Burkinis are typically worn by Muslim women to maintain modesty while they swim. In France, burkinis have often been a point of extreme debate in the country as France’s secular values outlaw anything that violates the country’s belief in the separation of religion and state. 
  • Grenoble challenged the ban on burkini, stating that it violated the principle of neutrality in public services. Shortly after, the policy was suspended and the matter was referred to the Council of State for a decision. The Council of State has officially ruled that Grenoble cannot allow burkinis to be worn in public as that would then allow for “selective exceptions to the rules to satisfy religious demands.”
  • Furthermore, the ban on burkinis was linked back to hygiene concerns. The court stated that burkinis violate “the common rule, enacted for reasons of hygiene and safety, of wearing bathing suits close to the body.” 
  • French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin took to Twitter to label the ruling as a “victory” for “seperatism, for secularism, and beyond, for the whole Republic”. Others have criticized the ruling for not allowing women the right to dress as they please.

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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Samar is a UC San Diego graduate with a degree in Communication and a minor in Business. In addition to her passion for research and writing in relation to current events, she also utilizes her skills in areas such as digital marketing. Furthermore, she is deeply interested in positions that involve oral communication skills such as leadership roles and public speaking.

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Taiwan Deploys Jets After China Violates Air Defense Zone

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  • On Tuesday, multiple Chinese aircrafts entered Taiwan’s air defence zone, including bombers that flew over the southern region of the country. Taiwan’s air defence ministry stated that 17 fighter jets, 6 H-6 bombers, as well as electronic warfare was involved.
  • Fighter jets and missile systems were deployed by Taiwan as a warning to China. The incident marks the largest air defense zone violation by China since May 30th when multiple Chinese aircraft were reported in Taiwan’s ADIZ (air defense identification zone). Both China and Taiwan have dealt with increasing tension over sovereignty claims with China claiming Taiwan as their own territory. 
  • Taiwan has called out China’s tactic of entering into Taiwan’s air defense zone as “grey zone” warfare. The warfare strategy focuses on exhausting Taiwanese forces while also examining how they respond to such incursions. Since 2019, violations of Taiwan’s air defense zone by China have been increasing with 123 warplanes reported in this year.
  • Recently, Joe Biden had announced that the US military would get involved if China attempted to take Taiwan by force, stating that such a thing would not be “appropriate” for China to do. Shortly after this statement was made, China shared that recent military exercises around Taiwan would serve as a warning to the country for “colluding” with the United States. 

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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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Samar is a UC San Diego graduate with a degree in Communication and a minor in Business. In addition to her passion for research and writing in relation to current events, she also utilizes her skills in areas such as digital marketing. Furthermore, she is deeply interested in positions that involve oral communication skills such as leadership roles and public speaking.

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Ukraine Receives German Delivery of Long Range Weapons as Putin Announces ICBM

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  • Ukraine has announced that they’ve recently deployed a number of long-range weapons sent from Germany. Ukrainian Defence Minister Okeysii Reznikov recently thanked Germany’s Federal Minister of Defence for the howitzers they received. The delivery comes after Germany announced plans last month to step up their delivery of weapons to Ukraine. 
  • President Vladimir Putin has also disclosed plans for Russia to deploy Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles around the end of 2022. The deployment of ICBMs is part of Russia’s larger plan to strengthen their military through improved weapons such as the S-500 air defense and missile defense systems.
  • As both Russia and Ukraine expand their military arsenal, more settlements have been captured by Russian forces in the Luhansk region of Ukraine. Governor Serhiy Haidai has shared that Russian forces have captured the settlement of Toshkivka and several other settlements nearby. President Zelensky states in a video address that the current situation in Luhansk has been tough as Russian forces push into key areas of the region.
  • Meanwhile, massive amounts of wheat and grains remain stuck at the Black Sea ports of Ukraine. Turkey plans to initiate dialogue with Russian, Ukrainian, and United Nations officials about opening up corridors that would allow for safe grain export. The White House has stated that President Joe Biden has also been examining options for the safe exportation of grain with White House national security spokesperson, John Kirby, calling the grain blockage a weaponization of food.

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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.

+ posts

Samar is a UC San Diego graduate with a degree in Communication and a minor in Business. In addition to her passion for research and writing in relation to current events, she also utilizes her skills in areas such as digital marketing. Furthermore, she is deeply interested in positions that involve oral communication skills such as leadership roles and public speaking.

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