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The Daily Brief: Violence In The Middle East Escalates After Saudi-Led Air Strike On Yemen Prison Kills At Least 70

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800px Villagers scour rubble for belongings scattered during the bombing of Hajar Aukaish Yemen in April 2015

Almigdad Mojalli/VOA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary: 

  • After a night of intense bombings across Yemen, at least 70 people have been killed and 138 were wounded when a Saudi bomb hit a prison in Saada, Yemen. 
  • Hours after the attack, rescue workers were still on scene searching through the rubble for any additional survivors. The number of casualties is expected to increase with many people seriously injured or missing. 
  • The devastating attack comes just days after the Houthis launched an unprecedented deadly drone attack in the UAE that left 3 people dead. 
  • Although Saudi has not taken responsibility for the prison bombing, officials have stated that the Saudi coalition has been conducting intensified air raids on targets that they consider to be linked to Houthi rebels since the UAE attack. 
  • Just south of Saada, in the vital port city of Hodeidah, 3 children were killed while playing football when a bomb hit a telecommunication tower that left all of Yemen with no internet. 
  • 12 hours after the deadly attack, Yemen was still without internet with many humanitarian organizations including the UN condemning the internet blackout and stating that attacks on civilian infrastructure are prohibited by international humanitarian law.
  • Calls for de-escalation by the international community have continued to be ignored by both sides and Yemeni citizens continue to suffer as the country faces a humanitarian catastrophe with at least 377,000 citizens killed either through violence or through starvation since the war began 7 years ago. 

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Top US and Russian Diplomats Meet To Diffuse Escalating Tensions

U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • To end a whirlwind European tour, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken met with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov on Friday for 90 minutes to de-escalate the ongoing Ukraine and Russian border crisis. 
  • After the talks, Blinken stated that Friday’s discussion put Washington and Moscow on “a clearer path to understanding each other’s positions” and that now Russia had a choice to make. 
  • Blinken stated, “[Russia] can choose the path of diplomacy that can lead to peace and security or the path that will lead only to conflict, severe consequences, and international condemnation.” 
  • Lavrov stated that the onus was now on the US as Russia has submitted a long list of security demands that they feel are necessary for Moscow’s safety and the safety of the region. 
  • Both sides called Friday’s talk “frank and substantive” and agreed on being open to continuing further dialogue with each other. 

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Peru’s Castillo Declares Major Oil Spill Linked to Eruption in Tonga

File:Louisiana Oil Spill.jpg
US Coast Guard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • As of January 20th, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo has declared an “Environmental Emergency” as a huge oil spill has been difficult for clean-up teams to contain. 
  • An Italian-flagged ship spilled 6,000 barrels of oil in the Pacific on Saturday in front of the La Pampilla refinery when unusual swells caused by the volcanic eruption thousands of miles away in Tonga rocked the ship. Dirtied waters and beaches along the country’s pacific coast have washed up dead birds and seals. 
  • Castillo stated, “We are at a critical moment in environmental matters. This is the most worrying ecological disaster on the Peruvian coast in recent times,”. A spokeswoman from the La pampilla Refinery stated that it was the Peruvian Navy’s fault for not issuing a tsunami warning after the Tongan eruption.
  • According to Prime Minister Mirtha Vásquez, the United Nations will provide a team of experts to help contain the oil spill. Due to the ecological effect of the oil spill, 21 beaches have been affected and people have been barred for health concerns. 

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US Charges Four Belarus Officials With Air Piracy Over Ryanair Flight DiversionIK6vnOmiNxHer iplffM1iFYpXOfz1xWUSpPSWCOM5c3prGOiR46gogGklvrOr5jUafGZUYjWSjFaESFpEzEBVS1MLYVm 6so H nXKdAXm3f28x8UwSDICfyf3CfcDbw zIPruv

Dickelbers, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

  • US Prosecutors have charged four Belarusian officials with aircraft piracy for claiming that there was a bomb onboard a Ryanair aircraft traveling from Greece to Lithuania to get an opposing journalist onboard, arrested.
  • The US attorney, which has jurisdiction on the case since US citizens were on board, stated, “Since the dawn of powered flight, countries around the world have cooperated to keep passenger airplanes safe. The defendants shattered those standards by diverting an airplane to further the improper purpose of suppressing dissent and free speech.”
  • Sources state that Ryanair flight controllers told the pilots about a bomb threat against the jetliner and ordered the crew to land the plane in the city of Minsk, Belarus. Shortly after the plane landed, opposing journalist and activist, Raman Pratasevich was arrested and the Belarusian military scrambled a MiG-29 fighter jet to encourage the crew to follow flight official orders. 
  • 26-year-old Raman Pratasevich ran a messaging app that organized mass demonstrations against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Pratasevich left the country in 2019 and faced charges of inciting riots. 

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Energy Giants Leave Myanmar Over Human Rights Abuses

File:Liaohe oil field.jpg
Yoshi Canopus, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

  • Energy giants, Chevron, and Total Energies announced that they will be leaving Mynamar citing rampant human rights violations and deteriorating rule of law in the country since the military lead coup d’etat occurred in February 2021. 
  • Since the coup, the oil and gas fields of Mynamar continue to account for the military’s/government primary source of funding. 
  • The announcement to leave Mynamar comes just one day after Total Energies CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, urged Human rights and international leaders to impose gas and oil sanctions on Myanmar since the military has taken over their bank accounts and have continued to kill, torture, and commit horrific acts of violence to those who oppose them all while using the oil and gas sectors profits. 
  • Total Energy is expected to complete the removal process within 6 months while Chevron has not yet confirmed a timeline on their complete removal. 

Netflix Stock Plunges as Subscriber Growth Worries Deepen and Erase Pandemic Gains

File:Netflix iPhone.jpg
stockcatalog, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Netflix stocks plunged by 20% after the company revealed they only gained 8.3 million worldwide subscribers, a number that is 200,000 below what was forecasted. 
  • With a surge in viewership during the start of the pandemic in 2020, Netflix currently has a total of 222 million subscribers, more than any other video streaming company. With companies such as Walt Disney Co. and Apple starting their streaming services and with competition increasing, Netflix has decided to expand into video games as of last year.
  • Netflix further raised its price by 10% in the North American region; causing subscribers to cancel their subscriptions, due to the company’s history with price hikes. 
  • Many investors are concerned that the company may be reaching its peak of popularity and have caused subscription prices to plummet by 40%. CEOs of the company Ted Sarandos and Reed Hastings both expressed concerns of frustration and that due to COVID it has been bumpy and that the company will continue to figure it out.  

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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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Born and raised in the Bay Area, California, Faiza is a mother of two with a degree in Psychology and Paralegal Studies. She is passionate about lending her voice to those who are disadvantaged.

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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