- Super Typhoon Rai hit the Philippines this Thursday, killing 375 and injuring 500 more.
- The majority of people were killed by collapsed buildings and trees, landslides, and flash floods.
- Local law enforcement also stated that over 50 people have been reported missing resulting in the officials dispersing rescue teams to search amongst the scene described as “complete carnage.”
- It “was like a huge monster that smashed itself everywhere,” Governor Arlene Bag-ao of the southeast islands said, “[grabbing] anything like trees and tin roofs and then hurled them everywhere”.
- The typhoon affected around 400,000 with winds getting as high as 120 miles per hour and taking out communication, water, and power access in over 220 cities.
- The International Federation of Red Cross and volunteers have continued relief efforts, seeking $20 million for long term damage control for civilians who have lost everything.
- Around 20 typhoons strike the Philippines every year, with Rai being the most powerful and deadly of 2021.
- Scientists warn of the increase of deadly typhoons during the ongoing climate crises, with typhoons being a prime example of what is in store for our future with the continual rise of global temperature.
Elon Musk to pay $11B In Taxes
- Elon Musk has reported that he will be paying over $11 billion in taxes.
- The Tesla and CEO founder with a networth of over $240 billion tweeted the news following Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren calling on him for “freeloading off everyone else”.
- Musk stated he would also “continue to pay income taxes in California proportionate to my time in state” despite moving Tesla to Texas, a state which does not impose individual income tax.
- This differs significantly from other billionaires such as Jefferey Bezos, who pay little to nothing in income taxes.
Report Finds Mass Killings Undergone by Myanmar Military
- A recent investigative report found that the Myanmar military conducted mass killings of at least 40 men in July.
- The report detailed four different occasions in which soldiers collected civilians, sometimes torturing before killing them and burying them in shallow graves.
- Human Rights Watch recently urged Japan to stop conducting military drills with the country where the soldiers recieve training.
- HRW released a statement claiming it was “mind boggling that Japan is providing military training to Myanmar cadets at the same time as its armed forces are committing crimes against humanity against Myanmar’s people.”
WHO: Omicron Variant Spreading “Significantly Faster”; Accounts for Over 70% Of Cases
- The World Health Organization reported the Omicron virus is spreading “significantly faster” than the Delta Variant.
- Already the variant has been impacting the global economy significantly, as global travel and other restrictions begin to take effect.
- It is the most dominant strain of Covid according to the Centers of Disease Control, accounting for over 70% of all cases.
Islamic Countries Meet to Discuss Afghanistan Crisis
- Representatives of 57 Muslim countries met in Pakistan to discuss averting a humanitarian crises in Afghanistan.
- The meeting detailed setting up trust fund and security programs in Afghanistan, banning together an Organization of Islamic Cooperation special envoy.
- The Taliban takeover earlier this year has resulted in the freezing of around $9.5 billion bank assets in the US.
- Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated the meeting was for the “people of Afghanistan,” and not any “particular group.”
Trump Sues NY General Attorney Over Investigations Into Trump Organization
- Former US President Donald Trump sued New York Attorney General Letitia James in an attempt to stop her from continuing to investigate into his company.
- A civil inquiry was opened in 2019 into alleged inflation of his assets in the bank when getting loans, claiming fraud against the Trump Organization.
- Trump claimed the attempts were a breach of his civil rights that were “bitter” and “unwarranted.”
- James said that the investigation “will continue undeterred.”
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.”
Pope Francis Apologizes for Indigenous Abuse in Canadian Residential Schools
- Pope Francis traveled to the grounds of a former residential school near Alberta, Canada and formally apologized for the Church’s role in the abuse of indigenous people and erasure of indigenous culture.
- The majority of the schools were run by members of the Roman Catholic Church in the late 1800s and 1900s. Around 150,000 indigenous children were sent to the schools and more than 3,000 are estimated to have died.
- In his speech, the Pope asked for forgiveness and highlighted the Church’s role in the schools system, stating, “I ask forgiveness, in particular, for the ways in which many members of the Church and of religious communities cooperated… in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of that time, which culminated in the system of residential schools.”
- Indigenous chiefs, survivors of the residential schools, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were some of the few in attendance for the Pope’s remarks.
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