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The Daily Brief:Taliban Allowing Evacuations, but Torturing Journalists

The Taliban have allowed the first commercial flight after the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country, but two journalists have been tortured for writing about protests

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Qatar Airways Boeing 777

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  • Kabul Airport’s first commercial flight after the United States’ withdrawal of troops has landed in Doha, carrying international passengers, including 13 UK citizens.
  • The US had urged Qatar to help with the evacuations in Afghanistan, and the UK and US thanked Qatar for coordinating this flight to Doha.
  • Qatar’s Foreign Minister thanked the Taliban for their cooperation and for allowing the flight. The US is calling this flight a “positive first step”.
  • Photos have been widely circulated of two journalists, Taqi Daryabi and Nematullah Naqdi, arrested and beaten up by the Taliban for covering protests in Afghanistan. Very visible bruising and welts were present on various parts of their bodies.
  • The men stated they were beaten with whips, sticks, and cables when taken to a police station. The journalists went unconscious due to the pain and struggled to walk afterwards.
  • This week, dozens of women protested against the Taliban even with a new decree banning protests without special permission from the Ministry of Justice.
  • China’s Foreign Ministry announced that they will be sending $31 million in foreign aid to Afghanistan, including food, vaccines, medicine, and more.

Sources:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58497904

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/9/qatari-official-says-kabul-airport-nearly-fully-operational

https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/09/asia/china-vaccines-aid-afghanistan-intl-hnk/index.html

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Lebanon Announces Cash Program for Poor Families

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  • Lebanon has announced that it will be giving monthly cash payments in US dollars to poor families for every family member up to six people total. 
  • The program will last one year and citizens above the age of 64 will receive an extra $15.
  • It is estimated that around 500,000 families will receive $20 US dollars or the equivalent in Lebanese pounds. Subsidies on fuel, medicine, and other products are going to end soon, and prices are expected to increase.
  • Lebanon’s economy is in a devastating crisis, with more than half of the country living in poverty and the country’s currency at only 10% of its value in 2019.

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Cricket Australia Proposes Cancelling Afghanistan Test Match

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  • Cricket Australia released a statement stating that it would cancel the Test match against Afghanistan in light of Taliban barring women from playing the sport.
  • The Test match was scheduled to take place in November at the Bellerive Oval stadium, located in Hobart, Tasmania.
  • Similarly, the Australian Cricket Association referred to the Taliban position on women playing cricket as a human rights issue and supported Cricket Australia’s proposal. 

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Morocco’s National Rally of Independents Defeats Justice and Development Party in Parliamentary Elections

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  • The Justice and Development Party (PJD) secured only 12 seats in this week’s parliamentary elections. The PJD previously enjoyed the status of the ruling party in Morocco.
  • The liberal National Rally of Independents (NRI) won 97 seats, defeating the PJD.  
  • Other opponents of the PJD include the liberal Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) and the center-right Istiqlal Party (PI).  PAM won 82 seats and PI won 78 seats.
  • New voting rules were implemented in the constitutional monarchy, with the intent of changing seat allocation in Parliament. 

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North Korea Military Parade Showcases Hazmat Suits

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  • North Korea commemorated its 73rd anniversary with a military parade.
  • Marchers from one section of the parade donned gas masks and red hazmat suits.
  • The communist state has reported food shortages and a plummeting economy due to Covid-19.  
  • The country even sealed its borders in January 2020 as a protective measure against Covid-19.  This led to reduced trade with China, its greatest ally and supplier of food and fuel.
  • This is the third such parade held in Pyongyang in 12 months.

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ECOWAS Top Officials to Meet Coup Leaders in Guinea

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  • A delegation from ECOWAS, the Western African economic bloc, will meet in Conakry, Guinea’s capital, to urge the junta to return the country to its pre-coup state. 
  • A coup d’etat led by Col. Mamady Doumbouya on September 5, 2021 deposed President Alpha Conde.  This resulted in the ECOWAS suspending Guinea from the bloc.
  • ECOWAS pushed the coup leaders for the safety of Conde and other prisoners.
  • Conde is still in the junta’s custody.
  • Prior to the military coup, Conde could have remained president until 2030, based on a referendum backed by voters last year. 

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France Will Offer Contraception Free of Cost for Women Up to 25

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  • Olivier Verán, France’s top health official, announced plans for free contraception for women up to age 25.
  • Health officials are concerned that many women are not using contraception due to high cost. 
  • Abortion is free in France and free contraception was already available to girls up to 18 years of age. 
  • Funding will cover different types of birth control options, such as pills and IUDs, as well as medical consultations about birth control. 
  • Many women, while voicing support for the plan, hope to see coverage for all women. 

China Lowers Prices By Selling Oil Reserves 

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  • High energy costs have caused decreased production of oil, natural gas, coal, and electricity shortages. 
  • Crude oil will be placed on open auctions to stabilize the market supply and demand. 
  • China is the world’s largest oil importer; China is also selling aluminum, copper, and grains from its strategic reserves.

Ford Stopping Production In India

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  • Lower demand of vehicles and operating losses have caused Ford to stop manufacturing in India. 
  • Ford lost $2 billion over ten years.  
  • 4,000 employees have been laid off and Ford immediately stopped production. 
  • Ford had struck a deal for a joint venture with Mahindra in 2019 but the deal fell apart. 
  • The pandemic has added to changes in business and economic conditions that have led to Ford’s decision.

Mexico’s Supreme Court Rules Against Law That Penalizes Abortion

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  • The state of Coahuila had a law that stated women who had abortions could face up to three years in prison and a fine. 
  • The law also targeted anyone is involved in causing the abortion “with her consent”. 
  • The court unanimously ruled that this law was unconstitutional. 
  • This law is in contrast to some US states that are moving to restrict access to abortion. 

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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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