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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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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

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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 Diversion

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

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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.

Faiza Shah
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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

Hungary Announces State of Emergency Due to War in Ukraine

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  • Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has officially declared a new state of emergency for Hungary in a Facebook video that was posted on Tuesday. Orban stated that the war in Ukraine poses “a constant threat to Hungary” and that the state of emergency would allow the Hungarian government to respond more efficiently to difficulties that arise due to the war.
  • The state of emergency will allow the Hungarian government to pass laws without the involvement of the Parliament and will offer them the opportunity to temporarily digress from existing laws. This is the third state of emergency that Orban has passed while in office. Previously, Hungary dealt with a state of emergency due to the European refugee crisis as well as one declared due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Emese Pasztor of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union criticizes Orban and his government stating that another introduction of a special legal order “will become the new normal, which will threaten the fundamental rights of all us, and rule by decree will further diminish the importance of the Parliament.”
  • A few have criticized the introduction of another special legal order stating that it makes Orban’s government too powerful considering that his party, the Fidesz party, already holds a two-thirds majority in the Parliament. Orban has stated in the Facebook video that the first measures will be announced on Wednesday. 

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.

Samar Idlibi
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Samar is a UC San Diego graduate with a degree in Communication and a minor in Business. In addition to her passion for research and writing in relation to current events, she also utilizes her skills in areas such as digital marketing. Furthermore, she is deeply interested in positions that involve oral communication skills such as leadership roles and public speaking.

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Iraqi Citizen Arrested in Plot to Assassinate Former President George W. Bush

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  • An Iraqi citizen living in the U.S. has been arrested by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force on Tuesday after he told a confidential FBI source that he had plans to assassinate former President George W. Bush. 
  • Shihab Ahmed Shihab shared that he had plans to smuggle four former Baath party members into the U.S. where the men would obtain firearms for carrying out their assassination on the former president. The assassination plot was meant to be a retaliation against Bush for his connection to the 2003 invasion of Iraq which killed many Iraqis.
  • Shihab first entered the US in September of 2020 on a visitor visa that the FBI Affidavit stated was obtained through “a corrupt Iraqi American contractor at the U.S. embassy.” He worked various jobs in Indiana and Ohio and traveled to Dallas in February to survey the neighborhood and home of the former president. 
  • A spokesperson for Bush shared that the former president “has all the confidence in the world in the United States Secret Service and our law enforcement and intelligence communities.” Shihab is charged with aiding and abetting a plot to murder a former U.S. official and with attempting to bring an individual into the country illegally. He awaits his hearing on Friday.

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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.

Samar Idlibi
+ posts

Samar is a UC San Diego graduate with a degree in Communication and a minor in Business. In addition to her passion for research and writing in relation to current events, she also utilizes her skills in areas such as digital marketing. Furthermore, she is deeply interested in positions that involve oral communication skills such as leadership roles and public speaking.

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Daily Brief

18 Year Old Massacres 14 Elementary Students and a Teacher in Texas

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  • Salvador Ramos, an 18 year old, entered Robb elementary School in Uvalde, Texas with a handgun and shot dead 14 children and a teacher before being taken down by an officer. 
  • The incident occurred at 11:32 am on Tuesday May 24th, 2022. Two reporting officers have also been injured trying to capture the shooter. Ramos has been reported dead as well.  
  • Ramos had also killed his grandmother right before driving to the elementary school. 
  • Investigation is still taking place as the school is trying to make sure all the other students are accounted for and handed off to their parents safely. 
  • President Biden is to speak on the school shooting this evening. Just this year, 2022, alone, there have been 27 school shooting incidents in the United States thus far. 

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

Starbucks Leaves Russia After 15 Years

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  • Starbucks is leaving Russia and closing its 130 locations after fifteen years of operating there. McDonalds, Exxon Mobil and other companies made similar moves in recent weeks.
  • Starbucks will pay its estimated 2,000 employees for the next six months, while also helping them find new jobs. The company has not disclosed the financial impact of these actions.
  • The decision to leave Russia was made in March, with the CEO at the time, Kevin Johnson, stating that the company condems “the horrific attacks on Ukraine by Russia and our hearts go out to all those affected.”
  • The US placed many economic sanctions on Russia after they invaded Ukraine, some of which make it more difficult for western companies to operate there.

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

Biden Agrees to Militarily Defend Taiwan

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  • While visiting Japan, US President Joe Biden stated that the United States would militarily intervene if China were to attack Taiwan, while also drawing a parallel to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
  • Under the “One China” policy, the US acknowledges that Taiwan is a part of China, however, this is one of the most direct statements made by a US president regarding the repercussions if an invasion were to take place.
  • Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin expressed “strong dissatisfaction” to Biden’s comments, stating that “China will take firm action to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests.”
  • The US does not have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but provides weapons to the island, while also maintaining formal ties with China.

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

Over a Million Homes Without Power Due to Severe Storm in Canada

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  • A powerful thunderstorm in Southern Canada caused over 900,00 homes to lose power. Ontario’s power company Hydro One claims it would take several days to reconnect every home. 
  • The strong winds of the storm destroyed trees, disrupted traffic, damaged homes, and saw emergency services swarmed with calls for help. 
  • Among the casualties are four people who were killed by falling trees as well as a woman who died due to a boat capsizing in the Ottawa River.
  • Firefighters and utility workers removed tangled power lines and phone poles in media circulating in Canada. The town of Uxbridge, which lies just north of Toronto, declared a state of emergency as the storm left “significant damage in its wake.”

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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