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The Daily Brief: U.S. to Continue Kabul Evacuations Despite Continued Threats of Attacks

Credible Sources Provide Threats of Imminent Attacks as U.S. Continues Evacuations Following August 31 Deadline.

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Kabul Afghanistan panoramio 1

seair21, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • The White House has said the next few days will be among the most dangerous as the U.S. continues Afghan evacuations after a deadly suicide bombing attack at Kabul airport on Thursday.
  • The U.S. has evacuated approximately 110,000 Afghan refugees so far and is expected to continue operations until the August 31 deadline.
  • American forces are facing increased security threats of a second devastating attack, with the death toll from Thursday’s suicide bombing reaching 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members.
  • The U.S. stated that 4,200 people were evacuated from Afghanistan within a 12-hour period Friday. 
  • France has ended its evacuation operations Friday, citing worsening security conditions at the airport – it has evacuated 3,000 people from the country.
  • Crowds of Afghans desperate to flee the Taliban appeared larger than ever Friday, despite harrowing scenes of victims bodies lined up close together following the aftermath of Thursday’s bombing.
  • Families looked for loved ones among the dead bodies lined up on a hospital sidewalk for identification – the victims were desperately seeking a seat on U.S. run airlifts.
  • Thursday’s attack was carried out by a suicide bomber affiliated with Afghanistan’s Islamic State (IS) group, an enemy to both the West and the Taliban.

Sources:

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Other Headlines:

Biden Vows to Hunt Down Jihadists for Retaliation, Launches Airstrike Against IS

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Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • President Biden has said the U.S. cannot “forgive” the perpetrators of the deadly attack on Kabul airport Thursday, leading to the deaths of 169 Afghans and 13 American troops.
  • The U.S. military has launched an airstrike against the Islamic State, bombing an IS member.
  • Hours after the devastating attack, Mr. Biden vowed to continue the evacuation efforts stating the U.S. would remain undeterred in its mission.
  • President Biden has stated the U.S. military has been ordered to attack the leadership and facilities of Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K), held responsible for the attack.
  • The jihadist group has stated that the attack targeted interpreters and collaborators with the American army.
  • A U.S. representative has expressed concerns that the failed foreign policy events in Afghanistan could increase terror threats against the U.S. in the future.

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Lawmakers Flooded with Desperate Pleas to Help Evacuate

  •  Both Democrats and Republicans have received desperate, emotional pleas to help evacuate loved ones and friends from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.
  • Tissues are kept on the conference table for crying breaks as lawmakers receive innumerable, frantic calls for help with the evacuation process.
  • Many describe a sense of helplessness and not being able to do enough, as requests for evacuation are ever increasing following the deadly Kabul attack Thursday.
  • Among repeated stories of death, despair, and tragedy, lawmakers say they are working 18 hours a day and find joy in the seemingly small success stories they encounter.

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Hurricane Ida Expected to Devastate U.S. Gulf Coast

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=gulf+coast+usa&title=Special:MediaSearch&go=Go&type=image

  • An unyielding hurricane is making its way towards the Gulf Coast of the United States.
  • Hurricane Ida is projected to be a category 4 storm when it hits, with winds of around 140 mph.
  • Portions of the Gulf Coast have been ordered to evacuate.
  • Climate change is a contributing factor to such storms, as higher sea temperatures warms the air above, producing more energy to power storms such as hurricanes and typhoons.

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Kidnapped School Children Returned In Nigeria

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=nigeria&title=Special:MediaSearch&go=Go&type=image

  • Kidnappers in Nigeria have returned over 100 children, after holding them in captivity for three months.
  • Of the 136 captured, six died in captivity and 15 escaped. 
  • Kidnapping is seen as a lucrative venture in Nigeria, with over 1000 kidnappings since last December.
  • There are unconfirmed reports of hefty ransoms having been paid. 

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Former Malian Leader Released From House Arrest

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=Bah+Ndaw&title=Special:MediaSearch&go=Go&type=image

  • Bah Ndaw, former interim president of Mali, has been freed from house arrest
  • Ndaw was removed from office in May following a military junta led coup.
  • Ndaw had been put in office following a military coup in August 2020.
  • The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has urged the fair treatment of Ndaw, along with former prime minister, Moctar Ouane. 

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Alarm Over Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations In The United States

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=coronavirus+&title=Special:MediaSearch&go=Go&type=image

  • Over 100,000 people in the United States have been hospitalized due to Covid-19.
  • This is the highest number since January 2020.
  • Hospitals in some parts of the country are operating under constraints and have requested resources from state and federal agencies.
  • The highly transmissible Delta variant is the driving force behind the significant increase.

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Biden Aims For Diplomacy With Iran To Revive 2015 Nuclear Deal 

The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • In their first face-to-face meeting, Biden and the newly appointed Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, discussed the future of Iran and the US’s interest in re-entering the previously brokered 2015 Nuclear deal.
  • Biden made it clear that the US will first approach Iran with diplomacy but will pursue other avenues if necessary, to ensure Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. 
  • This meeting comes just weeks after Iran swore in their new president, Ebrahim Raisi. 
  • Iran has made considerable advancements in the field of Nuclear science since Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018. Iranian officials stress that Iran’s intentions are peaceful and are not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. 

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Kenyan Gridlock Leaves Drivers Stranded Overnight 

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Sabina Müller, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Kenyans are frustrated after spending hours in a traffic jam in Nairobi. Some spend up to 11 hours in the gridlock. 
  • Traffic is common in Nairobi but became exponentially worse with massive construction on the expressway and a reported accident. 
  • Kenyans have asked officials to provide alternative routes to ease the traffic while construction is underway.  
  • The construction is a part of a $550 million project to create a 17 mile expressway that aims to ease traffic woes in and out of the Kenyan capital.  

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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.

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.

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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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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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