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The Daily Brief: The Omicron Variant Begins to Sweep Over the World Pushing Leaders to Make Strict Decisions

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has begun to make its way through Europe and has also likely found its way to the U.S.

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  • New data has found that the variant which was thought to initially start in South Africa was actually already in the Netherlands when South African officials alerted WHO.
  • The World Health Organization has urged countries to remain calm and to take rational steps in regards to the variant, however many countries have already begun to implement travel restrictions as well as vaccine mandates.
  • At least 38 countries have put some form of travel restrictions following the announcement of the variant.
  • Many critics blame the spread of the omicron variant on western countries hoarding vaccines and thus preventing poorer countries from being able to vaccinate their masses.
  • Spain and Brazil have both confirmed at least two cases of Omicron Covid-19 while Fauci states that the variant has likely made its way to the U.S. despite no cases being confirmed.
  • Mexico has also changed course and stated that they will be administering third dose vaccines to their above 60 population.
  • The prime minister of Greece has announced that any unvaccinated above 60 individuals that fail to schedule a vaccine appointment by January 16th will be fined.

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Colombia’s FARC Removed From Terrorism Blacklist Under the Biden Administration 

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  • The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are no longer under the designation of a “foreign terrorist organization” following the United States’ decision on Tuesday.
  • The 2016 peace agreement with Colombia brought an end to years of political violence and guaranteed the FARC a share of seats in the Colombian legislature.
  • By removing the terrorist label placed in 1997 from the rebel group the U.S. will now be able to work with members of the group.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated “The decision to revoke the designation does not change the posture with regards to any charges or potential charges in the United States against former leaders of the FARC, including for narcotrafficking.”

With No End In Sight Violent Protests Continue in Sudan

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  • Tens of thousands of protestors marched through the Sudanese capital of Khartoum to oppose the government’s military rule since last month’s coup. 
  • The peaceful protest quickly became violent as Sudanese Security Forces began to fire tear gas and chase protestors as they approached the Presidential Palace. 
  • Many nearby bridges that connected Khartoum to neighboring towns were closed in an effort to disperse protestors. 
  • Protests are expected to continue until the Sudanese military relinquishes power and appoints a civilian-run government. 

NATO And US Meet In Latvia To Discuss Ongoing Russian Military Buildup Near Ukraine Border

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  • Led by the US, NATO officials are meeting in Latvia this week for two days to discuss the ongoing military buildup by Russia along the Ukraine border.
  • For the second time this year, Russia has dispatched armored units, drones, electronic warfare equipment, and tens of thousands of troops to the Ukraine border causing tensions to escalate between the two nations. 
  • On Tuesday, NATO officials and the US issued warnings to Russia stating there would be “strong consequences” should Russia attack the NATO ally of Ukraine. 
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin also issued a warning that NATO should cease all military drills currently being held in Ukraine near the Russian border and that NATO should not continue with the planned expansion of military structures in Ukraine. 

After Weeks Of Recounts, Iraq Finally Confirms Election Results

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  • After weeks worth of recounts and rejections, Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, was reaffirmed as the winner of the Iraqi Parliamentary Elections held in October. 
  • The recount and appeals process attributed to five parliamentary seats changing in various cities of Iraq. 
  • Al-Sadr’s political party called the “Sadardist Movement” won 73 out of the 329 seats in the Iraqi Parliament. 
  • With the final recount done, voter turnout was confirmed to be only 44%, the lowest since the US established a new political system in Iraq in 2003. 
  • Officials state it could be months before a new parliament or PM could take control. 

Philippine’s Dutertes’ Presidential Pick, Bows Out Of Election

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  • After days of speculation, Philippine Senator, Christopher “Bong” Go bowed out of the Philippines Presidential election on Tuesday. 
  • Go, who is currently a close aide to current Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte and was backed by Duterte, said it was just “not his time” and that his family did not want him to be President at this time either. 
  • With Go out, many are unsure who Duterte will now back once he leaves the presidency after completing his full term. 
  • The current front runner in the presidential election is Ferdinand Marcos, followed by Leni Robredo, Francisco Domagoso, and boxing great Manny Pacquiao.

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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Born and raised in the Bay Area, California, Faiza is a mother of two with a degree in Psychology and Paralegal Studies. She is passionate about lending her voice to those who are disadvantaged.

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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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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First Grain Ship Departs Ukraine After Six Months of Russian Blockade

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  • 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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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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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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Russia Limits Gas Supply to Germany

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  • 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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