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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

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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Daily Brief

China Threatens Consequences if Pelosi Visits Taiwan

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800px Nancy Pelosi 47998984512
  • 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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Daily Brief

First Grain Ship Departs Ukraine After Six Months of Russian Blockade

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Odesa pristav
  • 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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Daily Brief

Concerns Rise As US Teeters on the Brink of Recession

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US Stock Market Investing in the United States
  • 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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Daily Brief

North Korea Could Possibly Be Preparing another Nuclear Test

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North Koreas ballistic missile North Korea Victory Day 2013 01
  • 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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Daily Brief

Russia Limits Gas Supply to Germany

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Black Sea port of Theodosiya panoramio
  • 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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