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The Daily Brief: Two United States Congress Members travel to Afghanistan

Two United States Congress Members travel to Afghanistan

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Summary 

  • Two United States Congress Members traveled to Afghanistan in secret, only alerting House Leaders and Armed Services committees a notice, amidst mass evacuations at the Kabul airport following the Taliban takeover. 
  • Representative Seth Moulton and Peter Mijah were met with some backlash about their decision, releasing a statement claiming the trip was their “duty to provide oversight on the executive branch.” 
  • “We conducted this visit in secret, speaking about it only after our departure, to minimize the risk and disruption to the people on the ground,” they also stated, “and because we were there to gather information, not to grandstand.”
  • The State Department, Defense Department, and White House didn’t support the decision and were reportedly “furious” about the unplanned leave on the charter aircraft. 
  • President Joe Biden has stuck with the August 31st deadline to withdraw U.S. troops, a deadline both Congress members have tried to extend, calling the current efforts to evacuate Americans something “Washington should be ashamed” of. 
  • Following their trip on Tuesday, House speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement to “reiterate that the Departments of Defense and State have requested that Members not travel to Afghanistan and the region during this time of danger” to minimize security threats and safe evacuations.
  • The United States Military Joint Staff stated in a recent news briefing that up to 19,000 people were awaiting evacuations in Kabul. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken claimed there would be a continued effort in evacuations even after the August deadline. 

Sources

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/25/afghans-race-to-flee-taliban-as-us-keeps-airlift-deadline-live

https://apnews.com/article/business-evacuations-kabul-islamic-state-group-9aa28ed934ac7a00e5982dafeab84c84

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/two-house-members-secretly-travel-kabul-airport-amid-hurried-evacuations-n1277573

Tweets

Other Headlines

Gunman in Tanzania Kills Four Near French Embassy

Dar es salaam City
Vijay8808, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • This Wednesday, an unidentified gunman killed four and injured six in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 
  • Those victims included three police officers and an employee of a security company.The attack occurred near the local French Embassy in the country. 
  • Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan offered his condolences to those who lost their lives, stating the attack was “neutralized” on Twitter. 
  • The motive of the gunman is currently unknown, but the United States Embassy issued a security alert for local citizens to “avoid the area.”  

Sources

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/25/gunman-kills-several-near-french-embassy-in-tanzania

https://www.reuters.com/world/attacker-kills-two-policemen-near-french-embassy-tanzania-report-2021-08-25/

Tweets

Media Attacks on the Rise yet Again in Ghana

  • Despite being globally respected for their press freedom, Ghana has continued to strip journalists of their rights and shockingly seen an increased amount of torture and abuse at the hands of Ghanaian security agencies towards press workers.
  • Recently television company MTA, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International, was attacked in Ghana resulting in the loss of journalist Syed Taalay Ahmed.
  • Many blame the lack of prosecutions and sanctions against perpetrators for the continued assault, seeing as multiple cases of injustice toward journalists have lost traction in the simple investigative stage, never leaving the police station.
  • Emmanuel Ajafor, an editor for ModernGhana.com, relayed his horrific experience in Ghana stating “They slapped me and used a taser on both arms… They also made me go ‘head down legs up’ against a wall. I did this till I could no longer continue then they hit my back and I fell. They commanded me to do some push ups. I got exhausted and couldn’t do it anymore. One officer pulled me up by my trousers and another knocked my back with his elbow and I fell again.”
  • Reporters Without Borders along with more than 10 other local and international organizations have demanded a thorough investigation into the cases with hopes of reforming the treatment of journalists in Ghana.
  • Sources:

https://www.theafricareport.com/91219/ghana-arbitrary-arrests-torture-of-journalists-how-free-is-the-press/amp/

https://www.article19.org/resources/ghana-attacks-on-journalists/

  • Tweets:

Biden Ready to Meet with Israeli Official as Strained Relations Call for a Reset

  • US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett are set to meet at this week’s US-Isreali summit.
  • Palestine, China, and Iran are suspected to be the main topics of discussion.
  • Israel’s unrelenting occupancy of Palestine and disregard for the established ceasefire gives the US the opportunity to stay true to it’s word of wanting to support the creation of the Palestinian state. 
  • It is also presumed that the United Stated will call for Bennett to end cooperation with China and that Israel will push the US to exit the Iran nuclear deal.
  • Sources:

https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/opinions/2021/8/25/the-biden-bennett-summit-a-us-israeli-reset

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/25/1030695431/israels-new-leader-wants-a-fresh-start-with-america-that-will-be-tough

  • Tweets:

Delta Airlines to Charge Unvaccinated Employees More for Health Insurance 

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  • Delta Air Line’s employees who remain unvaccinated will soon see a $200 increase to their monthly health insurance bill as the company changes its policy.
  • The airline will also begin regular weekly testing of unvaccinated employees along with implementing a limit on the number of sick days available for those who contract Covid-19.
  • The company stated “The average hospital stay for Covid-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person…This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company.”
  • Sources:

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/08/25/business/delta-unvaccinated-insurance-cost-increase/index.html

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2021/08/25/delta-air-lines-unvaccinated-employees-will-face-200-fees-if-they-dont-get-covid-vaccine.html

  • Tweets:

Johnson and Johnson Booster Shot Shows Huge Spike in Developing Antibodies

  • Johnson and Johnson is now reporting that booster shots given six to eight months after their one shot coronavirus vaccine is generating antibodies nine times greater than booster shots given 28 days after the initial dosage.
  • Dr. Mathai Mammen, global head of research and development for Janssen, said in a statement that “We have established that a single shot of our COVID-19 vaccine generates strong and robust immune responses that are durable and persistent through eight months. With these new data, we also see that a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine further increases antibody responses among study participants who had previously received our vaccine.”
  • This new evidence prompts many to believe that the FDA, CDC, NIH, and the White House will soon recommend those vaccinated with the Johnson and Johnson dose to receive a second shot.
  • Sources:

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/08/25/health/johnson-vaccine-booster-data/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/25/health/johnson-johnson-vaccine-booster-shot.amp.html

  • Tweets:

Fastest-Traveling Asteroid Orbiting the Inner Solar System 

Solar system Painting
  • 2021 PH27 is a 1 kilometer-sized asteroid that makes a full orbit close to the sun every 113 days. 
  • The asteroid seems to be composed of rock and metal that can withstand extreme heat. 
  • The origins of 2021 PH27 are unknown but astronomers believe it may either be a dislodged asteroid or an extinct comet. 
  • Once 2021 PH27 travels behind the sun, it will not be seen until early 2022.
  • It is predicted that in a couple million years, 2021 PH27 will eventually crash into either Mercury, Venus, or the sun due to massive gravitational forces.    

Tweets:

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/24/world/asteroid-shortest-orbit-sun-scn/index.html

2020 Paralympics Being Held In Tokyo

070912 Michelle Errichiello 3b 2012 Summer Paralympics %2801%29
Australian Paralympic Committee, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • Tokyo is hosting this year’s Paralympics from August 24 to September 5, introducing badminton and Tae Kwon Do for the first time. 
  • The Paralympics are always held in the same host city as the Olympics due to an agreement between the International Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee, despite the uptick of cases in Tokyo resulting in no audience. 
  • New Zealand is one country opting not to participate in the opening ceremony due to COVID-19. Team USA features a number of athletes who have served in the military or are currently active duty. 

Tweets:

Sources: 

https://www.npr.org/live-updates/morning-edition-2021-08-24#what-you-need-to-know-about-team-usa

https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/25/sport/paralympics-tokyo-2020-day-1-intl-hnk-spt/index.html

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/24/1030632463/tokyo-paralympic-sports-athletes-to-watch

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

World Watches as the United States Supreme Court Abolishes a Woman’s Right to an Abortion

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Defend Roe v Wade 0035 52061678896
  • 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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Daily Brief

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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Daily Brief

France’s Highest Administrative Court Upholds Burkini Ban in Grenoble

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Islamic Swimming 5320154186
  • 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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Chinese Air Force Fighter Jet beijing Aviation Museum 26408343121 scaled
  • 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.

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

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Anti terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine War Ukraine 26832552950
  • 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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