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The Daily Brief:Alcohol: A glass too many.

Alcohol: A glass too many.

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Sean, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary

Study finds: no limit is “safe” of alcohol consumption. 

  • The University of Oxford conducted a study on alcohol consumption which resulted in the thesis that even a minute amount of alcohol affects the gray matter of the brain, the “important bits where information is processed”- Anya Topiwala. 
  • Alcohol consumption reduces the volume of the brain. Aging and other illnesses such as dementia also are causes of the brain volume to go down but those factors are uncontrollable by the individuals. 
  • The type of alcohol consumed does not matter. All have the same effect on the brain’s gray matter.
  • A study published in The Lancent stated that alcohol was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths in the year of 2018. 

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Deteriorating Conditions In Tigray Prompt US Intervention

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The US Senate has passed a resolution calling for immediate withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

  • The Tigray region of Ethiopia has witnessed extreme violence and conflict since November when Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military operation against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
  • Troops from Ethiopia’s neighboring country of Eritrea are involved in the conflict as allies of Ethiopia.
  • Crimes against civilians including massacres, extrajudicial killings, and sexual violence have been perpetuated by troops in the region.
  • Recent reports even reveal Eritrean troops obstructing vital aid to civilians in Tigray by occupying checkpoints on humanitarian relief routes.
  • In response to these war crimes the US Senate has passed a resolution demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Eritrean troops in the Tigray region.
  • The resolution was reached by unanimous decision and also urges US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to ensure a “full, independent, international investigation into all reports of human rights violations, abuses, and atrocities” in Tigray.
  • Ethiopia is split over the conflict with some groups condemning the military operation in Tigray and some considering it to be an important step to reducing the TPLF’s power. 
  • US intervention in the Tigray conflict has also been met with a mixed response as some people applaud the US for speaking up against the violence while others consider the US to be meddling in Ethiopia’s domestic affairs and undermining the sovereignty of the country.
  • Tensions in Ethiopia are especially high due to upcoming elections which have been delayed twice due to various reasons including conflict in Tigray. 
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Israel Agrees to Ceasefire, US Maintains Support of Israel

RafahKid Kid from Rafah, Palestine, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • Israel and Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire after Egypt, the United Nations, and the United States voiced support for de-escalation. More than 200 Palestinians and around ten Israelis have been killed this month.
  • Egypt’s representatives in the United Nations said they will help Gaza rebuild itself, as its already struggling infrastructure has been severely damaged.
  • US President Joe Biden spoke about the conflict publicly, saying that the US “fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself” against Hamas and other groups. Some Democrats in the House of Representatives spoke against an arms deal with Israel, saying it should be reconsidered, and legislation has been introduced.
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Syria Elections Incites Fighting Between Lebanese and Syrian Voters

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Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • Syrian refugees and expatriates traveled to the embassy in Lebanon to vote in Syria’s elections. They faced violence and opposition from Lebanese citizens angry by what they believe are people coming to vote for President Bashar al-Assad.
  • The Lebanese attackers threw rocks and bricks at cars and buses, some calling for Syrians to go back to their country. Lebanon is home to over one million Syrians, while Syria itself still contains foreign troop presence and danger.
  • The election is expected to be finalized next week, with an almost sure win for President al-Assad’s fourth seven year term. The US and other countries have said they will not accept the result of the election.
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E.U. Votes to Freeze Investment Deal With China Amidst Sanctions

European People’s Party, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • The European Union has voted to freeze the ratification process for the investment deal with China until Beijing agrees to lift sanctions against E.U. lawmakers.
  • In a resolution passed on Thursday, the European Parliament also strongly criticized China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims, deeming its actions as crimes against humanity.
  • China imposed sanctions on ten European individuals, including five members of Parliament, as a counter-attack to the first sanctions imposed by the EU on China in more than 30 years in March.
  • The E.U. claims that its sanctions are justifiably based on China’s human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims including reports of torture, disappearance, sterilization, and sexual violence, whereas China has no such justifiable right to impose sanctions.
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Iceberg Breaks Off Antarctica Becoming World’s Largest

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Georges Nijs, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • Iceberg A76, named according to the conventional naming system by the National Ice Center, has become the world’s largest as it naturally calved from the edge of Antarctica over the past few days.
  • The iceberg measures about 1,668 square miles – experts believe the breaking off was due to its natural life span and not necessarily because of climate change.
  • The new iceberg will most likely not contribute to rising sea levels once it melts, as it was already in the form of floating ice that will not change the volume of water.
  • The breaking of A76 does however bring renewed attention to scientists’ concerns that a loss of ice due to climate change could prove devastating for the planet.
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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.

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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  • 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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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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