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The Daily Brief: WHO Stops All Covid-19 Booster Shots As Coronavirus Cases Surge

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As the delta and lambda variants increase rapidly, the World Health Organization has halted booster shots in order to focus on vaccinating poorer countries. 

Summary: 

  • This Wednesday the World Health Organization (WHO) stopped all Covid-19 booster shots through September due to the struggle faced by poorer companies in vaccinating their populations. 
  • The move was called a “false choice” by United States Press Secretary Jen Pskai, but WHO general director Tedros Adhanom stated at the recent conference how vaccines shouldn’t be supplied to countries who have had access to the largest supply while “the world’s most vulnerable people remain unvaccinated.”
  • WHO will now be focusing on fixing these disparities by aiming to have 10% of each country vaccinated by the end of next month. 
  • The halt of booster shots comes as the delta virus rapidly spreads in over 100 countries, deemed to be the most transmissible of all the coronavirus types and focing many countries back into lockdowns.
  • A new variant called lambda has also been gaining traction, mainly in South America, and is believed by experts to soon become the most dominant strain in the upcoming months. 
  • Although it is unclear whether or not the vaccines debilitated under the Labda variant, the CDC stresses the best way to stay protected and continue to stay protected against alarming strains of the coronavirus is to get the vaccine. 
  • Vanguard Group has recently offered $1,000 to it’s employees if they’re able to show proof of their vaccination status in order to see an increase of vaccination status in their workforce. 
  • They join many other companies offering incentives to stop the spread of coronavirus, including Cigna, Kroger, and different financial companies.  

Sources

https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/longevity/566404-is-the-rapidly-spreading-lambda-variant-more-dangerous

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/08/04/coronavirus-covid-live-updates-us/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/08/03/delta-plus-coronavirus-variant-explained/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vanguard-offers-1000-to-vaccinated-employees/

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IDF Responds to three Rockets fired from Lebanon

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  • In response to the three rockets fired from Lebanon to Israel, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fired three artillery shells right back within three hours. 
  • Two rockets fired from Lebanon landed in open fields, while the last was just shy of the Kiryat Shmona border. No injuries or deaths were reported from the rockets, but Israeli forces stated worse was to come if Lebanon escalated tensions any further. 
  • The incident mirrors similar events that occured in the past month, and Israel accuses Palestinan groups operating in Lebanon to be the cause. 
  • The militant Hezbollah group in Lebanon have yet to comment on the rockets or investigations into the event. A United Nations representative in Lebanon who works on peacekeeping stated the importance for both sides to “exercise maximum restraint to avoid further escalation.”

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Hundreds March in Remembrance On The One Year Anniversary Of the Beirut Explosion

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  • On the one year anniversary of the Beirut Port explosions, hundreds of people march in remembrance of the hundreds of lives lost. 
  • Local law enforcement clashed with some protestors who were angry and demanding explanations for the event, causing the release of tear gas, water cannons, and some beatings. 
  • In a first address post intestinal surgery, Pope Francis stated his great desire to visit Lebanon, calling for more donors to assist in Lebanon’s efforts. 
  • President Joe Biden has pledged $100 million towards Lebanon to assist as humanitarian aid, urging world powers to “step up their support for the Lebanese people.”

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Turkey Rejects US Program to Resettle Afghans

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  • The US State Department announced a plan to resettle Afghan refugees in the US. The plan involves third countries, such as Turkey and Pakistan, housing the refugees for 12-14 months while their applications are being processed.
  • Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic stated that this would cause a migration crisis that Turkey will not be a part of. He also criticized the United States, stating, “if they want to take these people to their country, it is possible to transfer them directly to their country by planes”.
  • Turkey is currently hosting around four million refugees. Hundreds of Afghans have already traveled to Turkey amidst the recent violence.
  • The Taliban are currently making aggressive advances in Afghanistan, including air strikes, gunfire, and an atmosphere of danger for thousands of Afghans. The recent surge in violence began as the US started withdrawing troops from the region.

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Mexico Sues American Gun Manufacturers for “Unlawful Trafficking”

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  • Mexico has filed a civil lawsuit against eleven American gun manufacturers for business practices that create a flow of weapons from the US to criminals in Mexico. Smith & Wesson, Barrett Firearms, Colt and Glock are among the Defendants.
  • The complaint states that gunmakers are “actively facilitating the unlawful trafficking of their guns to drug cartels and other criminals in Mexico,” using “dangerous and illegal sales practices”.
  • The lawsuit reports that criminal activity in Mexico increased in 2004, which was the same time that production and distribution of military grade weapons increased in the United States. The Mexican government is seeking around $10 billion in compensation for the damages and financial toll caused by the alleged illegal actions.

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Robinhood Named Meme Stock as Shares Soar 82%

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  • Robinhood shares soared as high as 82% on Wednesday, closing at 50.4%. Its market value of $29 billion last week jumped to $65 billion. Trading was halted several times for volatility.
  • On Tuesday, Robinhood finished the day at 24%, rising above their initial public price. The same investors behind the GameStop surge, specifically WallStreetBets and other retail investors, are showing sudden interest in Robinhood.
  • Some are now calling Robinhood a meme stock due to its volatility. The stock began trading on the NASDAQ last week, falling 8% on its first day.

Tweets

Hundreds Protest Rape of Nine Year Old Girl in India

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  • Hundred of protesters have swarmed India’s capital for the last four days after a nine year old girl from the Dalit community was allegedly gang-raped, murdered, and cremated. The girl was getting water from a Delhi crematorium when the crime was committed.
  • The Dalit community is one of the most oppressed groups in India’s caste-based social hierarchy. Protesters from different backgrounds chanted, “We want justice,” and “Justice for India’s daughter”.
  • Four men have been arrested, and an investigation has been created to investigate the allegations of caste violence, gang rape and forced cremation. 
  • Dalits are sometimes referred to as “untouchables,” and experience extreme discrimination and often assault. 

Tweets

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.

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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Daily Brief

Chlorine Gas Leak in Jordan Port City Kills Thirteen People

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Port Of Aqaba City
  • A gas leak in Aqaba, Jordan killed at least thirteen people and injured more than 250. A storage container carrying between 25 and 30 tonnes of chlorine gas fell as it was being exported to Djibouti, releasing the gas.
  • A video of the incident on state TV shows the container being dropped onto the deck of the ship and a yellow colored gas spreading through the air as people try to evacuate. The accident seems to be a result of the crane malfunctioning.
  • If chlorine is inhaled at high levels, it can cause life-threatening damage. A nearby beach in Aqaba was evacuated as a safety precaution, and residents who live in the nearest residential area, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) away, were advised to stay inside and close windows.
  • Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh traveled to Aqaba and visited some of the injured at the hospital. He also formed a team led by the interior minister to investigate the incident.

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 Missile Sets Ukraine Shopping Center on Fire

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  • A busy shopping center in Ukraine was set on fire by Russian missiles on Monday, killing at least thirteen people and injuring dozens. The total number of casualties is still unknown.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that “The number of victims is impossible to imagine” and that there could have been up to 1,000 people in the mall.
  • The attack came during the G7 summit, where world leaders condemned recent atrocities and promised to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” in a joint statement. President Zelensky spoke to the leaders at the summit and stated that he wants the war to end before winter.
  • NATO has decided to increase the number of troops in its rapid reaction force from 40,000 to 300,000, more than eightfold. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated this move is part of the “biggest overhaul of collective defense and deterrence since the Cold War.”
  • The United States has announced that it will provide Ukraine with advanced medium and long-range air defense capabilities.

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

World Watches as the United States Supreme Court Abolishes a Woman’s Right to an Abortion

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  • The United States’ top justices voted to eliminate the constitutional right to an abortion, a law that had been in place for over 50 years.
  • The closely watched decision was heralded by some and derided by others, depending on their position on the controversial concept of a woman’s right to choose for her own body.
  • With the abolition of the constitutional right, it is expected that many states in the U.S. will implement near total bans of abortion rights, while other states such as California, Oregon and Washington have reaffirmed their commitment to preserve the right to an abortion.
  • Planned Parenthood, the advocacy face for abortion rights, is mobilizing around the country to bolster and increase services in those states that will preserve the right, and engage voters in those states that plan to abolish the right.

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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

The EU Approves Ukraine for Candidacy

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  • The EU has finally approved the application of Ukraine to become a candidate country for admission to the 27- country organization. Ukraine will now join the official candidate list, which already includes Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. 
  • The US is expected to provide an additional $450m in security assistance to Ukraine. Which includes four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems. 
  • The EU and Norway have agreed to cooperate and provide the EU’s 27 countries with gas from Western Europe’s biggest provider. The EU imports roughly ⅕ of its gas from Norway compared to the 40% it was receiving from Russia. Currently, Russia has been cutting gas supplies to countries refusing to pay for it in roubles. 
  • Melbourne is considering utilizing its largely vacant $200m Center for National Resilience building to house hundreds of refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine and Afghanistan. The center will only be able to temporarily house about 500 refugees from Afghanistan and about 200 from Ukraine. 
  • Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov thanked US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after receiving and welcoming the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) from the United States. 
  • Nike joined other leading Western brands by formally making a full exit from Russia, three months after suspending its operations. Telecoms equipment maker Cisco is also planning to wind down business in Russia and Belarus as well.

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

US Supreme Court Expands Gun Carrying Rights Causing National Outrage 

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  • The US Supreme Court expanded gun carrying rights after a New York law denied the plaintiffs Robert Nash and Brandon Koch from carrying a concealed weapon in public, despite them having licenses for recreational gun ownership. 
  • The US court ruled that the New York law requiring residents to prove “proper cause” to carry a concealed weapon is unconstitutional. Justice Clarence Thomas, who represented the 6 justices who ruled in favor of the decision, stated that Americans have the right to carry “commonly used” firearms in public for personal defense. 
  • This decision comes amid an intense national debate over gun violence, and could possibly challenge the  outcome of similar regulations in other states, such as California and New Jersey, and affect a quarter of Americans by allowing more people to carry guns legally. 
  • Three liberal justices, Elena Kahan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer, were against the majority decision, and Justice Breyer noted that “since the start of this year alone (2022), there have already been 277 reported mass shootings – an average of more than one per day.”
  • While the National Rifle Association (NRA) celebrated the judgment, President Biden stated that he was “deeply disappointed” by the court’s decision and that the ruling “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should trouble us all.” 
  • New York Mayor Eric Adams also agreed with Biden and stated that he would review other ways to restrict gun access by restricting the application process for buying guns and looking into bans of firearms at specific locations. 

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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