- 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.
Sentence Hearing of Sarah Everard Reveals Kidnapper Showed Fake Police Warrant Card, Handcuffed Her
- 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.
YouTube Broadens Ban on Spread of Vaccine Misinformation to Include Ban on Anti-vaccine Content in General
- 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.
Ilya Sachkov Detained, Treason Suspected
- 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.
Najla Bouden Romdhan Makes History as First Female Prime Minister of Tunisia
- 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.
North Korea: Testing of Hypersonic Missile ‘Successful’
- 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.
UK Army Assisting With Issues Related To Fuel Shortage
- 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.
High Death Toll In Ecuador Prison Riot
- 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.
Aboriginal People Reclaim Daintree Rainforest After 4 Years of Discussion
- 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.
Ivory-billed Woodpecker And 22 Other Species Declared Extinct
- 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.
Salman Rushdie Severely Stabbed due to his Publication of the Book “The Satanic Verses”
- 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.
China Threatens Consequences if Pelosi Visits Taiwan
- 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.
First Grain Ship Departs Ukraine After Six Months of Russian Blockade
- 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.”
Concerns Rise As US Teeters on the Brink of Recession
- 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.
North Korea Could Possibly Be Preparing another Nuclear Test￼
- 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.
Russia Limits Gas Supply to Germany
- 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.”
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