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The Daily Brief: US And Qatar Impose Sanctions on Hezbollah Financial Group

The United States Treasury Department has placed sanctions on seven individuals accused of sending millions of dollars worth to the Hezbollah organization, claiming “terrorist activity.”

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Summary 

  • The United States Treasury department in partnership with Qatar has placed sanctions against a “major” Hezbollah financial group for aiding “terrorist activity.” 
  • The seven individuals affiliated with the group and located in the Arabian Peninsula are accused of sending tens of millions to Hezbollah, along with other organizations in business with the group. 
  • “Through sustained information-sharing and collaboration on this and other networks of Lebanese Hizballah financial facilitators operating in the Arabian Peninsula, the U.S. government will continue to disrupt the financial support that flows to terrorist groups,” the US Treasury department released in a statement. 
  • The Hezbollah group has been deemed a terrorist organization by the US since the 90s, functioning as a militant group and a Shi’ite political party in Lebanon, backed by Iran and outwardly against Israel, having previously fired rockets into the country and been the cause of civilian deaths.  
  • Just two weeks prior, the US imposed sanctions on Lebanon and Kuwait financial groups who were also accused to be funding the Hezbollah group. 
  • Director of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Affairs Andrea Gacki said the sanctions protect “international partners” of the country against “terrorist abuse.” 
  • Qatar, who’s relations with the United States have improved in the last month, backed the move, stating it fufils the countries “obligations and its unrelenting efforts in combating terrorism at the local, regional and international levels.”
  • In response, the Hezbollah group stated the sanctions imposed aid to the worsening financial crises in Lebanon, leading to sparsity of essentials such as medicine and fuel.  

Sources

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/us-issues-sanctions-tied-supporters-hezbollah-iran-treasury-2021-09-17/

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/9/29/us-issues-hezbollah-related-sanctions-in-coordination-with-qatar

https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-qatar-announce-joint-sanctions-against-hezbollah-financing/

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Other Headlines

Sentence Hearing of Sarah Everard Reveals Kidnapper Showed Fake Police Warrant Card, Handcuffed Her

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  • The sentencing hearing in the case of Sarah Everard revealed that her kidnapper and murderer handcuffed and convinced Everard to get in his car under the guise of breaking covid-19 restrictions. 
  • Wayne Couzens, the former London police officer identified as the kidnapper, later raped, strangled and killed, and then burning her body in Ashford, Kent. Her body was found near Couzens house, prompting the arrest. 
  • “She spent the last hours on this Earth with the very worst of humanity.” Everard’s mother, Susan, stated during the hearing. “Our lives will never be the same… Her death leaves a yawning chasm in our lives that cannot be filled,”
  • Couzens awaits sentencing this Thursday, and could spend up to a lifetime in jail after admittance of kidnap, rape, and murder.

Sources

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-58739421

https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/29/uk/uk-sarah-everard-murder-sentencing-intl-gbr/index.html


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YouTube Broadens Ban on Spread of Vaccine Misinformation to Include Ban on Anti-vaccine Content in General

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  • YouTube’s new policy bans all forms of misinformation against vaccines.  The previous ban was limited to the Covid-19 vaccines.
  • The new policy comes in the wake of circulating claims that suggested vaccines were ineffective and dangerous, resulting in cancer or autism.
  • The accounts of famous anti-vaccine influencers, such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Joseph Mercola, were terminated.
  • YouTube is not the only company to enact such a ban on anti-vaccine content.  Facebook banned anti-vaccine content in February.

Source:

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/youtube-cracks-anti-vaccine-videos-bans-major-accounts-rcna2400

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Ilya Sachkov Detained, Treason Suspected

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  • Sachkov, the head of cyber security firm Group-IB, will be detained for two months by a Moscow court order.
  • Searches of the firm’s offices in Moscow and St Petersburg took place earlier this week.  
  • Sachkov’s company helps its clients around the world prevent cyber attacks.
  • Treason could land an individual up to 20 years of jail time in Russia.
  • According to a source at Tass, a state news agency, the 35-year-old CEO did not disclose classified information to intelligence services.

Source:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-58738952

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Najla Bouden Romdhan Makes History as First Female Prime Minister of Tunisia 

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  • President Kais Saied of Tunisia appointed the first female prime minister of the country.  Her name is Najla Bouden Romdhan.
  • Romdhan was previously involved in the higher education ministry in 2011.
  • The appointment comes two months after President Saied seized the government, citing the appointment as an example of honor to Tunisian women.
  • President Saied announced last week that the government will report to him, suggesting that the prime minister’s role will be less prominent than in previous governments.

Source:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/29/africa/tunisia-prime-minister-najla-bouden-romdhane-intl/index.html

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North Korea: Testing of Hypersonic Missile ‘Successful’

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  • On Tuesday, North Korea state media claimed that hypersonic missile testing was successful.
  • Hwasong-8 is among the top five weapons of the state’s military development plan.  
  • It is suspected that the missile is a nuclear weapon.
  • Despite sanctions, North Korea’s arsenal of weapons continues to grow.
  • The sheer agility of hypersonic missiles makes them more difficult for missile defense systems to detect.   

Source:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58729701

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UK Army Assisting With Issues Related To Fuel Shortage 

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  • There is a shortage of lorry drivers who deliver fuel to petrol pumps, causing vehicle owners to panic buy petrol.
  • The UK military is training troops to transport fuel to ease the crisis. 
  • The UK government is also authorizing an extension for specialized licenses that allow drivers to transport fuel and other goods. 

Sources

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-58713770

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High Death Toll In Ecuador Prison Riot

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  • More than 100 prisoners in a Guayaquil prison have died and 52 others have been injured due to violence between rival gangs. 
  • Los Lobos and Los Choneros prison gangs had a dispute and used guns, knives, and other weapons in the riots. 
  • Violence often occurs in Ecuador prisons due to clashes between rival prison gangs, overpopulation, and frequent shortage of staff.

Source:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/29/death-toll-in-ecuador-prison-riot-rises-officials

Aboriginal People Reclaim Daintree Rainforest After 4 Years of Discussion

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  • Management of Australia’s oldest rainforest will be overseen by the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people. 
  • Daintree has attained Unesco World Heritage site. 
  • It is known for its biodiversity and ecosystem.
  • Thai agreement recognizes the right of the Aboriginal people to take charge of the rainforest they call home. 

Source:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-58729781

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Ivory-billed Woodpecker And 22 Other Species Declared Extinct

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  • Water pollution, climate change, logging, hunting, and other factors have caused the ivory-billed woodpecker, flat pigtoe mussel, and 21 other species to be declared extinct by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. 
  • All 23 species were not expected to survive when they were placed on the endangered species list in the 1960s. 
  • Wildlife officials will bring back criminal enforcement to punish companies whose actions cause the death of birds. 

Source:

https://apnews.com/article/climate-change-science-animals-wildlife-fish-b6e61676548a1d7b2f81a6512cbed7a7

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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

Cancelling Canada Day: A Country Perpetuating Injustice Cannot be Celebrated

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Canada Day is celebrated every July 1st, but as the injustices against Indigenous people in the country become mainstream, calls to cancel the celebrations are amplified.

With fireworks and large festivals, Canada Day is celebrated from coast to coast on July 1st by millions of people, every year. The day, for many Canadians, is one of joy and gratitude, for the home that Canada has become for them. 

However, following the discovery of mass graves at the site of former Residential Schools, celebrating Canada Day is becoming confusing for many. 

Residential schools, among other historical policies, made essentially to assimilate Indigenous peoples and erase their culture, are one of the causes of deeply rooted intergenerational trauma and disproportionate access to resources in Indigenous communities.

Canada Day, which marks the day of confederation and the day that Canada became its own nation also marks the day that the oppression of Indigenous peoples was taken into Canada’s own hands. Calls to ‘cancel Canada Day’ become louder each year, as the injustices which were perpetuated to help bring the country to where it is today become more widely known.

Canada, the “true, north, strong and free”, as described in the country’s national anthem, was established at the price of the lives, autonomy and rights of hundreds of thousands of Indigenous peoples.

Canada recognizes its Indigenous population broadly as the FNMI — which stands for the First Nations, the Métis and the Inuit. All three Indigenous nations were directly impacted during colonization, through forced relocations, harmful policies, and cultural genocides.

The Indian Act following confederation was a legal document which specifically prevented the First Nations people in Canada from many things, including cultural practices, political actions and restricted their freedom. Under this act, First Nations could not leave reserves that the government forced them onto, without explicit permission from an Indian Agent first. The RCMP – the Royal Canadian Mounted Police known today as Canada’s FBI – was made with the intention to force and keep Indigenous peoples on their reserves.

First Nations and Métis were also predominantly affected by residential schools and the sixties scoop, when Indigenous children were taken from their homes and given up for adoption. Both of these efforts were made with the goal of assimilating Indigenous children, by “killing the Indian in the child“.

The Inuit faced dehumanization with their forced relocation into the High Arctic, a land they were not traditionally accustomed to. They were used as human flagpoles in the race to claim the Arctic, giving Canada a land advantage over countries like Russia and the United States.

For the sake of Canada’s growth as a Western nation, Indigenous peoples were used as pawns. First Nations and Métis were forced onto reserves to make space for European settlers, while the government commissioned a mass Inuit dog slaughter, to keep the Inuit stranded in the High Arctic, so that Canada could not lose their claim over that land.

The birth of a nation had become more important than the lives of Indigenous peoples who have existed since time immemorial. And because of that, Canada was born with blood on its hands — blood it has yet to wash off in full, as the country’s growth continues to be more important than respecting Indigenous peoples who’ve lived there for centuries.

The Canadian government has a long-standing history of making promises to the Indigenous community and then turning their back on them — whether that means refusing to turn their words into action or taking action that has the opposite impact.

Indigenous peoples in Canada have been long subject to unjust conditions: many communities lack access to clean water. The government has acknowledged this; however, it hasn’t done much beyond that to actually improve living standards on reserves. Indigenous peoples are subject to disproportionate rates of police brutality and violence, especially in the North. Despite multiple reports recording the numbers, institutions are not doing much to change their practices.

Most prominently, the pipeline debate has shown how the government is willing to backtrack on their promises to Indigenous peoples to protect their rights, if it results in a growth for the country. Although Justin Trudeau ran a campaign in 2016 heavily opposing the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipelines, in 2019 his government bought the pipelines to take over the project and continue it, despite protests from Indigenous peoples pleading otherwise.

Time and time again, Indigenous communities in Canada seem to be living in an entirely different country; the “true, north, strong and free,” seems more like a betraying, oppressive and unjust nation. Their rights are considered dispensable in favour of material growth, and in society, they face stereotypes that lessen their quality of life.

The question: to celebrate or to not celebrate, might seem like a hard one when Canada Day is meant to be a day where Canadians rejoice for all that the country is to them. But the answer is quite straightforward, when it is the suffering of people caused by Canada in question.

For many — those born in Canada, those who immigrated here, and those seeking refuge here — there is much to be grateful for, on Canada Day. But showing gratitude for living in a country such as Canada and acknowledging the injustices it participates in are not mutually exclusive attitudes.

Sol Mamakwa, an Indigenous MPP for Kiiwetinoong, an electoral riding in Ontario, stated in a message for Canada Day, “It is my hope that Canadians will be able to strike a balance between honouring all that Canada has done for them today while still recognizing the real history of oppression, colonialism and genocide.”

Even if most Canadians do not experience the struggles of Indigenous peoples firsthand, these struggles still affect the very fabric of Canada. The country is only as great as it treats its Indigenous peoples, whose losses the country was built upon. And every single Canadian plays a role in advocating for the better treatment of Indigenous peoples.

To celebrate Canada Day, we must want better for the people who have lost everything for it, but we also must mourn with them for all the loss they have had to face. 

Canada Day should become a holiday more meaningful than fireworks and festivals: it needs to become a day of reflection. We must cancel Canada Day’s insensitive celebrations, by understanding the context of it, because injustice simply isn’t something you can celebrate.

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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I am a student from Ontario, Canada, and an aspiring journalist. I enjoy reading, writing and learning about the world around us - the issues with it and how we can make it a better place.

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Daily Brief

India playing the “All religions matter” card in the UN

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In a recent event that marked the first anniversary of the International Day of Countering Hate Speech, Ambassador Tirumurti from India urged the UN that fighting religiophobia should not be a “selective exercise” that involves only one or two religions but one that should be applied equally to phobias against non-Abrahamic religions as well. He had also addressed terrorism concerns that have been plaguing India due to the cross-border tensions that are on the rise.

It is ironic that such statements were made during an event whose sole purpose is to counter hate in a country where religiophobia against people practising Abrahamic religions is at an all-time high. Last week, India was in the news for all the wrong reasons due to comments made against the Prophet Muhammad (saw) by the official spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), one of India’s major political parties. Clashes erupted around the country in retaliation and houses that belonged to Muslim activists were bulldozed and razed to the ground simply because they had raised objections against the ruling party for the hateful comments made. Even though the cause for all that is happening in India is predominantly Islamaphobia, it is surprising how the religion of Islam was not mentioned anywhere in the list of Abrahamic religions given by Mr Tirumurti[1] . Leaving out the religion of Islam takes us back to the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and The National Register of Citizens (NRC) bill that was passed but not implemented yet required Muslims living in India to submit documents showing that they are indeed the citizens of India.

Mr Tirumurti also mentioned that India follows pluralism as it was recognised by the UAE and Egypt to promote fraternity on the International Day of Fraternity[2] . He defines Pluralism as “where every religion is respected, is a sine qua non of tolerance and harmony,”. However, what happened in India a few days prior is a stark contrast to the definition that he read out during the event.

“Till this is done, such international days will never achieve their objectives. There cannot be double standards on religiophobia,” stated the Ambassador. His remarks on how all religions must be treated equally to combat religiophobia are similar in nature to the “All Lives Matter” slogan created for the sole purpose of undermining the ‘Black Lives Matter movement. India needs to look back at itself to understand the definition of double standards as the country itself has become the epitome of the word by denying the extremist allegations while executing the same on minorities.[3] 

Regarding the statement given by Mr Tirumurti in the UN, Mahmooda, a Muslim citizen of India, living in Chennai said, “This is yet another flag of insignificance being pinned upon the Muslims”. This is a testament to the fact on how the government of India and the majority is still undermining and undervaluing the lives of Muslims who have made India their home for several decades now. 

“Fascism is always denied when it’s being perpetrated. Furthermore, there’s a convenient narrative orchestrated through different avenues to justify the hostility against the persecuted” remarked Aslam who is a 35 year old non-residential Indian living in the UAE.

Safura, a Muslim in her mid-20’s said that she understands that all religions must be considered equal in the religiophobia narrative and that “one cannot value one’s human life more than the other”, but it baffled her that Islam was left out of the conversation in an event that strives to fight against religiophobia despite the fact that Muslims are the most persecuted around the world. 

This makes us wonder if India believes that Muslims are the reason why religiophobia still exists and hence all the other religions must be saved from it? Unfortunately, the answer to this question can be provided by Mr Tirumurti alone.


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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Trump Knew His Supporters Were Armed in Jan. 6 Capitol Riots

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  • Former White House aid, Cassidy Hutchinson, stated that former US President Donald Trump was aware that rioters were armed on January 6th, 2021 when they stormed the US Capitol, but he did not want to stop them.
  • Hutchinson worked as a top advisor to Mr Trump’s chief of staff, and testified at a hearing to a select House committee that was in charge of investigating the Jan 6th riot at the US Capitol.
  • Hutchinson recounted how Mr. Trump said that rioters were “not here to hurt me” and that security should “let them in.” She also stated that he lunged at the driver of the limousine in a rage when he was told he could not be taken to the Capitol.
  • Mr Trump denied several parts of Hutchinson’s testimony, stating, “I didn’t want or request that we make room for people with guns to watch my speech.”

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

Fire During Colombia Prison Riot Kills 51

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  • A fire broke out in a Colombian prison during a riot, killing 51 inmates and injuring dozens. The fire was started by an inmate setting a mattress ablaze during the commotion and the flames spreading.
  • Colombian President Ivan Duque requested a “quick investigation to explain this terrible situation” and expressed his solidarity “to the families of the victims.”
  • No prisoners seem to have escaped and the fire is now under control. Twenty four people are currently in the hospital.
  • Prisons in Colombia are extremely overcrowded, as it was in this case, making riots and fighting amongst inmates a common occurrence.

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

50 Migrants Found Dead Near the US-Mexico Border

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  • Fifty migrants were found dead near the US-Mexico border in an abandoned semi truck due to “poverty and desperation,” according to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
  • The vehicle in which the victims were found was lacking air conditioning and water and, coupled with the extremely hot climate, it is suspected that they likely died from dehydration and heat stroke.
  • Migrants from Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala were among the victims. Sixteen people survived the incident and were taken to the hospital.
  • US President Joe Biden spoke about the incident, stating that his administration “will continue to do everything possible to stop human smugglers and traffickers from taking advantage of people who are seeking to enter the United States between ports of entry.”

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

Credit Suisse Found Guilty for Involvement in Money Laundering Scheme

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  • 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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