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The Daily Brief: World Takes Next Steps to Address Afghanistan Developments

Civilian deaths, UN aid pledges, and international communications continue to change the landscape of Afghanistan.

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Khost children in 2009

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Khost_children_in_2009.jpg

Summary:

  • Reports state that the Taliban have killed civilians in Panjshir, the last province in Afghanistan to elude Taliban control, despite promises of restraint.
  • Panjshir has seen widespread fighting between the Taliban and local armed resistance forces under the command of Ahmad Massoud in recent days.
  • At least 20 deaths have occured in Panjshir Valley with some bodies showing signs of torure.
  • In order to assist the residents of Afghanistan, 14 million of whom are “on the brink of starvation”, the UN has organized $1.2 billion in aid pledges.
  • The US has pledged $64 million; China and Pakistan are already sending aid.
  • Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) also landed a passenger flight in Kabul on Monday morning, marking the first flight from Pakistan to its neighboring country since US troop withdrawal.
  • The PIA flight also successfully departed from Kabul, making it the first commercial flight to leave Afghanistan since the Taliban assumed control of the country.
  • PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan stated that the flight was intended to create “goodwill” with the people of Afghanistan and “strengthen humanitarian efforts”, however the service was “not an aid flight.

Sources:

CNN

BBC

Reuters

Tweets:

Lebanon’s New Government Begins Road to Restoring World’s Worst Depression Since Mid-19th Century

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stavris_Lambrinidis_and_Najib_Makiti.jpg

  • After a year without any centralized government, Lebanon has finally formed a new political administration under Najib Mikati.
  • Mikati, a billionaire that has twice held the position of premier in Lebanon, will be serving as Prime Minister to the country.
  • Lebanon has been steeped in an economic crisis that began shortly after the Beirut Port explosion last year. Prime Minister Mikati has stated that there is no “magic wand” to instantly fix one of the history’s worst economic meltdowns, however he is determined to try and “stop the country’s collapse”.

Sources:

CNN

Reuters

Tweets:

More Than 200 Nigerian Prisoners on the Run Following Gunmen Raid

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https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nigerian_Prison_Service,_Badagry.jpg

  • A prison in Nigeria’s north-central Kogi State faced a blitz attack by numerous gunmen resulting in roughly 240 prisoners escaping.
  • A total of at least 294 inmates were in custody at the time of whom 224 were pre-trial detainees and 70 convicted inmates.
  • Secessionist groups in the southeast region of Nigeria are suspected of being responsible for a similar attack in the Imo State where 2,000 inmates broke free of prison in April.

Sources:

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/09/13/africa/prisoners-escape-kogi-nigeria-intl/index.html

https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN2BT1YX

Tweets:

North Korea Fires New Long-Range Cruise Missile

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https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_first_of_two_Terminal_High_Altitude_Area_Defense_(THAAD)_interceptors_is_launched_during_a_successful_intercept_test_-_US_Army.jpg

  • Despite receiving tough sanctions, North Korea continues to test missiles, many of which violate UN Security Council resolutions.
  • The East Asian country launched their new long-range cruise missile over the weekend, proving that the missile is able to hit targets 932 miles away after more than 2 hours in flight.
  • The testing of missiles after 6 months shows that the Korean arms race between North and South Korea is underway.

Sources:

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-56941911

Tweets:

Cryptocurrency Litecoin Surges 25% After Scammers Pose as Walmart 

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https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Litecoin_Logo.jpg

  • Fake news of Walmart accepting the cryptocurrency Litecoin for online purchases began circulating Monday allowing for a massive pump and dump scheme.
  • Litecoin saw a huge 25% surge following the news, however when the Walmart corporation addressed the false news the currency fell $220 to its initial $178.
  • Scammers behind the news have not yet been identified.

Sources:

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/09/13/investing/litecoin-walmart-scam/index.html

https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/press-release-walmarts-litecoin-partnership-is-fake-cnbc-2021-09-13/

Tweets:

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Travels to Egypt to Meet President el-Sisi

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https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Damaged_housing_gaza_strip_april_2009.jpg

  • Israeli PM Bennett and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi are expected to discuss issues in Palestine and bilateral ties in their first official meeting in a decade.
  • The two diplomats spoke about creating and maintaining peace in the Middle East along with giving support to rebuilding the region.
  • This meeting is happening while Israel, with Egypt’s help, maintains a strict blockade on the Palestinian Gaza Strip which is under constant attack

Sources:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/13/israeli-pm-bennett-visits-egypt-on-invitation-of-sisi

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israeli-prime-minister-visits-egypt-first-official-trip-decade-2021-09-13/

Tweets:

Severe Weather Forces Chinese Ports To Suspend Operations

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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/be/Port_of_Shanghai%2C_2004.jpg/640px-Port_of_Shanghai%2C_2004.jpg

  • In anticipation of severe weather caused by Typhoon Chanthu, China suspended operations at the Port of Shanghai and Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, both ranked the first and third busiest ports in the world. 
  • Typhoon Chanthu, one of the strongest storms reported this year, weakened significantly over the weekend after slamming into the Philippines and Taiwan. 
  • Though the storm has weakened, severe weather from Chanthu has already forced school closures as well as flight and train cancellations in the Shanghai region.
  • The closures come as port operations around the world are experiencing significant shipping and receiving delays since the COVID outbreak. 

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/13/business/typhoon-chanthu-china-ports-intl-hnk/index.html

Tweets:

UN Unable To Investigate The Alleged Axum Massacre In The Tigray Region Of Ethiopia 

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ethiopian_soldiers_(01).JPEG

  • The UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, informed the UN Human Rights Council that the UN was unable to complete the highly anticipated probe into the alleged massacre in the Ethiopian holy city of Axum. 
  • The report, which was set to be due this month, was to investigate the multiple accusations of violent abuse caused by the regional Tigrayan forces however due to a change in security and a change in the conflict’s dynamic, the UN was unable to advance for an investigation. 
  • The Northern area of Ethiopia has been marred with conflict since November 2020 when the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, sent troops into the Tigray region to remove the regional government from power.  
  • With the conflict continuing between the national Ethiopian forces and the regional Tigrayan forces, the UN fears that if the violence in Ethiopia does not end, the stability and security of the ‘horn of Africa’ is at risk. 
  • Source: 

Sources:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/13/un-probe-in-ethiopias-tigray-didnt-reach-axum-massacre

Tweets:

200 Million People May Be Forced To Move By 2050 Due To Climate Change

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=drought&title=Special:MediaSearch&go=Go&type=image

  • In the second half of the Groundswell Report published this week, researchers found that the world may see mass migrations of over 200 million people by the year 2050 due to slow on-set climate change, such as water scarcity, increased sea levels, and decreased crop productivity.
  • In the worst-case scenario, with emissions at the highest, the report found that 216 million people will be forced to move within their countries. 
  • In the best-case scenario, where emissions are low, 44 million people would still be forced to leave their homes. 
  • Though many scientists believe the world is no longer on track for the high emissions scenario, even in moderate conditions, many climate impacts continue to occur at an alarming rate. 

Sources:

https://apnews.com/article/africa-climate-environment-and-nature-immigration-europe-69cada32a7c13f80914a2a7b48fb5b

Tweets:

UK Approves COVID Vaccinations For Children 12 And Older

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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/Pfizer-BioNTech_COVID-19_vaccine_%282020%29_E.jpg/640px-Pfizer-BioNTech_COVID-19_vaccine_%282020%29_E.jpg

  • In an effort to avoid winter lockdowns, UK officials have approved vaccinations for children between the age of 12 to 15. 
  • Children 12 to 15 will only receive one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine through their schools; officials have not yet decided if a 2nd dose will be given to the age group. 
  • With the highly contagious Delta variant, officials hope that with widespread vaccinations, the country will avoid going back in lockdown especially with the cold and flu season around the corner.  
  • The UK is currently experiencing over 100 deaths a day with over 8,000 people currently hospitalized due to COVID. 

Sources:

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/uks-johnson-hopes-avoid-lockdown-winter-virus-roadmap-79986818

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

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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