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The Daily Brief: US Congress passes President Biden’s $1 Trillion “Build Back Better” Infrastructure Bill

In what many consider a monumental achievement for the Biden administration, the US Congress passed the “Build Back Better” infrastructure bill in a 228 to 206 vote Friday.

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President Joe Biden on the Build Back Better Agenda scaled

Summary: 

  • After debating for several months, Democrats and Republicans put aside differences to pass a sweeping $1 trillion dollar infrastructure bill that many herald as Biden’s biggest domestic achievement. 
  • The “Build Back Better” bill consists of $550 Billion dollars in new federal expenditures to upgrade roads, highways, bridges, and transportation systems in the US over the next 8 years and promises to create new jobs and increase US global competitiveness. 
  • The landmark bill further promises funding for high-speed internet, clean drinking water, and the installation of new electric vehicle charging stations.  
  • The passage comes as a win for Democrats as Biden’s approval rate in the US continues to decline and amid fears of Democrats losing the majority vote in the upcoming midterm elections. 
  • Six notable Democrats voted against the bill as the second portion, which consists of $1.75 trillion dollars being allocated for healthcare, education, and climate change initiatives, remains undone.
  • The liberal-leaning Democrats opposed to the bill were Jamaal Bowman (NY), Cori Bush (MO), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), Ayanna Pressley (MA), and Rashida Tlaib (MI). 
  • A promise to vote on the 2nd portion is set for November 20th, under the condition that a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office finds that its costs line up with previous White House estimates. 
  • In the coming weeks, Biden and other cabinet officials will be touring the nation promoting the “Build Back Better” bill and its intended purpose. 

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At Least 100 People Killed And Dozens Injured In Fuel Tanker Blast In Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Ambulance

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  • On Friday, a fuel tanker exploded after a collision with another vehicle during heavy traffic in the capital city of Freetown, Sierra Leone.
  • The devastating blast has left at least 100 killed while dozens have been injured.
  • Many of the victims perished while in their cars stuck in traffic while others were killed when they attempted to collect fuel from the leaking tanker. 
  • The flames from the explosion spread through neighbouring shops and homes causing further devastation to the area. 
  • The death toll is expected to rise as many in the hospital are in critical condition. 

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At Least Eight People Killed at AstroWorld Music Festival

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  • Rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas quickly turned into a mass casualty incident with at least 8 dead after the overpacked crowd began rushing one another.
  • The audience of roughly 50,000 people ran toward the stage causing many to fall and get trampled while many became unconscious in the chaos of it all.
  • Some 300 people were treated at an on-site field hospital while 17 others, including 11 who went into cardiac arrest, were taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance.
  • 19-year-old festival-goer Hamad Al Barrak stated “There were just too many people…People were up on each other. We were all pressed together. You felt like you couldn’t breathe.”

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Palestinian Boy Shot Down by Israeli Forces in Beit Dajan

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  • 13-year-old Mohammed Da’das was killed by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank after protesting against illegal Israeli settlements.
  • Da’das was shot in the stomach during the weekly protests and was later taken to a hospital where he died from the wound.
  • Six other Palestinians also required treatment after Israeli troops released tear gas in the village of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

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Sudan Activists Demand a Full Civilian Government 

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  • Civilian protest movements across Sudan announce a nationwide two-day strike and refuse to return to sharing power with the military after the coup.
  • Following the removal of ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019 by the Sudanese Professionals Association, Sudan has been in conflict regarding who should lead.
  • Delicate military and civilian relations were broken when last week’s coup ledto the arrest of dozens of government officials and the destruction of the transitional administration.
  • Civilian activists now refuse to negotiate and are demanding a full civilian government.

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Knife Attack on German Train Leaves Numerous People Injured

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  • Three people have been left severely injured after a knife attack on one of Germany’s high-speed trains traveling from the Bavarian city of Regensburg to Nuremberg.
  • The train was stopped in Seubersdorf where one man was arrested after local police were contacted around 9 am local time.
  • Several others were injured in the attack, however, police were unable to provide an exact number.
  • No motives have been tied to the incident, though similar attacks have been carried out since 2015.

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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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Crime

Six People Killed in Shooting at Independence Day Parade

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800px 4th of July Independence Day Parade 2014 DC 14466342590
  • Six people were shot dead at an Independence Day parade near Chicago, Illinois. The gunman is still unknown and actively being searched for.
  • The gunman, who is being described as a white man near the age of 20, started shooting at random with a high powered rifle from a rooftop. The parade, which should have included hours of activities and entertainment, quickly ended and crowds were dispersed.
  • Those living in nearby suburbs or areas where the suspect might have gone have been told to shelter in place.
  • July 4th marks the colonies gaining independence in 1776 from Great Britain and the formation of the United States of America.

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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Crime

Eight Gang Members Arrested and In Possession of Underwater Drones

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800px Drug trafficking Caribean Sea
  • Spanish police arrested eight gang members that had unmanned underwater drones, six aerial drones, as well as other illegal substances in their possession.
  • The police said the drones could be used for illegal purposes, specifically “to be delivered to French narco-traffickers to be used to transport significant quantities of cocaine.”
  • One of the underwater vehicles was completely built, and two more were still being completed. The drones could potentially be controlled from anywhere in the world.
  • More than a year long investigation was carried out with the help of the French police to investigate the gang and arrest members in Cadiz, Malaga, and Barcelona.

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

Three People Killed in Copenhagen Mall Shooting

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800px Fisketorvet Copenhagen Mall Interior 15915770832
  • Three people were killed at a mall in Copenhagen, Denmark after a gunman started randomly shooting with a rifle.
  • The suspect is a 22-year old Danish man with a mental health condition and “known among psychiatric services,” according to Copenhagen police chief Soren Thomassen.
  • Two Danish teenagers were killed, one boy and one girl, and a 47-year old Russian citizen. Four other people are in critical condition from the shooting.
  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spoke about the incident, stating, “Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second.”

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

Argentina’s Economy Minister Quits

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Martin Guzman
  • Argentina’s economy minister, Martin Guzmán, resigned from his post after a week of economic crisis in a 7 page letter published on Twitter.
  • Guzmán initiated office in 2019 taking lead in restructuring Argentina’s debt.
  • In addition to the global rise of food and energy costs, Argentina is battling with 60% inflation.
  • In his letter of resignation, Guzmán calls for a “political agreement within the governing coalition.”
  • Many speculate his statement was in reference to his deputy – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – whom he was openly at odds with when approaching the country’s economic problems.
  • Prior to the resignation, Fernández took to criticizing economic policy starting with Guzmán’s inflation strategy.

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

3 Hezbollah Drones Shot down by Israel

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Levant Basin
  • The Israeli military says one drone was shot down by an F16 fighter jet and the other two by Barak 8 missiles via ship.
  • The drones were unarmed.
  • In an official statement Hezbollah confirms ownership of the drones which were heading for the Karish gas field in disputed territory off the Mediterranean coast of Israel.
  • Israel previously announced plans to extract gas from the offshore rig, eliciting threats from Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.
  • The disputed territory amplified tensions between Israel and Lebanon.
  • Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, accuses Hezbollah of barring Lebanon from cooperating with Israel concerning maritime borders.
  • This incident evoked support for Hezbollah, many taking to social media platforms to express gratitude for the militant group’s brazen confrontation against Israel’s platform in the Mediterranean. 

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 Forces Finally Abandon Snake Island as a Gesture of Goodwill

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Battle of Snake Island 2022
  • Russian forces have officially abandoned Snake or Zmiinyi Island as a gesture of goodwill in order to prove that it was not obstructing grain exports. But this claim was instantly dismissed by Ukraine once Moscow continued to shell its grain stores. 
  • Snake Island was seized by Russians on February 24; the island, which is just 22 miles away from Ukraine, is exposed to attacks from all directions, including air and sea. Once Russia seized it, Ukraine attacked the island itself and any vessels carrying troops or heavy weaponry. 
  • Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov states that controlling this island and stationing troops doesn’t make sense for either side and the island is an easy target. He argued that maintaining “fire control,”.which is having the capability to strike any target approaching the island, is a better advantage for either side. 
  • The key question is whether the Ukrainians will consider  exporting grain to reboot the war economy. However, the Russian warships still gain dominance over the Black Sea, and although they are offering Ukraine to export grains from Odessa, Ukraine rejected it due to it having to remove mines from outside the port. 

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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