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The Daily Brief: Tokyo 2020 off to a Shaky Start

Tokyo 2020 off to a Shaky Start

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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Monument of Olympic Rings

Dick Thomas Johnson, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • The long-awaited Tokyo 2020 Olympics have now begun, a year after their scheduled start date of July 23, 2020.
  • The 2020 Olympics were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and then met with scandal after scandal causing 4 organizers to be dismissed from their positions.
  • The latest dismissal was issued to opening ceremony director Kentaro Kobayashi one day before the Olympics was scheduled to begin.
  • Kobayashi was discharged due to the emergence of a 1990’s video in which he appears to joke about the Holocaust.
  • Beyond organizational changes, Tokyo 2020 is also destabilized by the rapid uptake in coronavirus cases. 
  • The Covid-19 delta variant has drastically increased the global case count and heightened health concerns. 
  • At least 18 Olympic athletes have publicly dropped out of the global event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Despite these setbacks Tokyo 2021 has persevered, giving athletes a chance to showcase their hard work and talent in front of a global audience.
  • This grand event also allows athletes to express their beliefs to an audience of billions. Several athletes have already taken this chance to kneel ahead of their matches to protest racial inequality.
  • Sources:

CNN

BBC

  • Tweets:

Other Headlines:

Death Toll Rises in China Floods as Social Media Unites to Help Survivors

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Chase Chesser, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Central China has suffered extreme flooding in recent days causing streets, homes, and cars to be engulfed in water 1 yard deep.
  • Subways in Zhengzhou province were submerged in water for hours, trapping passengers and killing 12 people.
  • Weibo users united to gather resources and support for victims of the floods which have killed at least 33 people, caused another 8 to go missing, and gave rise to $190 million worth of economic damage.

Tweets:

Iran Opens New Oil Terminal Allowing Bypass of Strait of Hormuz

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Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran has opened a new oil terminal that allows them an alternative to the Strait of Hormuz, which is a narrow strip of water that transports around 20% of the world’s crude oil.
  • The new oil terminal required around $2 billion and two years to complete. It is expected to reduce transportation and insurance costs for oil tankers, as well as several days of sailing time.
  • There have been confrontations between the US and Iranian military in the Strait of Hormuz, as well as attacks on some Iranian vessels, adding to the significance of this new terminal. Rouhani stated, “This is a strategic move and an important step for Iran. It will secure the continuation of our oil exports.”
  • The strait has been a source of controversy due to Iran threatening to close it after the US placed sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the nuclear agreement. US President Joe Biden is working to reenter the nuclear agreement.

Tweets

UK Faces Food and Labor Shortages Due to Covid

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Christopher Corneschi, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • UK supply chains are suffering from food and gas shortages due to the rise in Covid-19 cases causing workers to stay at home. Major supermarket chains and other industries are also facing a staffing shortage because of the pandemic. 
  • BP, a British oil and gas company, announced that they are experiencing fuel issues and are temporarily closing a handful of sites. The company attributed the issue to a shortage of truck drivers because workers are staying at home due to Covid.
  • Around 50,000 new cases are reported daily in the UK, and a new NHS Test and Trace service notifies people via a “ping” if they’ve been in close contact with an infected person, leading to this crisis being named a ‘pingdemic’.

Tweets

Hong Kong Police Arrest Five Union Members for Sedition 

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Studio Incendo, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Hong Kong police have arrested five authors of children’s books, stating that their stories of wolves and sheep have incited hatred against the Chinese government and are the basis for sedition.
  • Steve Li, a senior superintendent of the national security department stated the content of the books was “stirring hatred” and “inciting violence.”
  • The arrest of the authors was made under a colonial-era law targeting sedition.
  • A title of one of the books “Defenders of the Sheep Village,” narrates the story of wolves wanting to occupy a village of sheep, who use their horns for defense – police say the story is connected to the 2019 protests in Hong Kong.

Tweets:

Norway Remembers Victims on 10 Year Anniversary of Extremist Attack

Julian-G. Albert, CC BY 2.0 by via Wikimedia Commons
  • A vigil was held in Oslo, Norway where thousands of people gathered to remember a national tragedy that took the lives of 77 people, including several teenagers in a bomb attack and gun rampage by a right-wing extremist, Anders Behring Brevik.
  • Brevik was sentenced to 21 years in prison, the maximum possible term a year after the attack.
  • Memorials commemorating the victims of the attack were held throughout the country, including a service at Oslo Cathedral which rang church bells as thousands gathered. 
  • Jens Stoltenberg, who was prime minister at the time of the attack condemned Brevik as an extremist who used violence for political motives, and not one who respected democracy.

Tweets:

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.

Tweets

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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