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The early life and achievements of Prince Philip

Queen Elizabeth II in her exact words says the following regarding Prince Philip’s contributions to the country, “The Duke of Edinburgh has made an invaluable contribution to my life over these past 50 years, as he has to so many charities and organisations with which he has been involved.”

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Queen Elizabeth II in her exact words says the following regarding Prince Philip’s contributions to the country, “The Duke of Edinburgh has made an invaluable contribution to my life over these past 50 years, as he has to so many charities and organisations with which he has been involved.” Born on 10th June 1921 in Mon Repos, Corfu, Greece, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburg, passed away on the 9th of April 2021 at the age of 99. He was the only son and the fifth and final child of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg who met at the funeral of Queen Victoria in 1901.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburg was baptised in the Greek Orthodox rite at St. George’s Church in the Old Fortress in Corfu. Soon after Philip’s birth, his maternal grandfather died in London. After visiting London for his grandfather’s memorial service, both Philip and his mother returned to Greece, however Prince Andrew had to stay behind and command a Greek Army division involved in the Greco-Turkish War. The war went poorly for Greece, but the Turkish had a huge success from the war. Philip’s uncle was blamed for the defeat and was forced to step down on 27th September 1922. Furthermore in December, a revolutionary court banished Prince Andrew from Greece, for life. The British naval vessel evacuated Prince Andrew’s family, with Philip carried to safety in a crib made from a fruit box. Philip’s family went to France, where they settled in a house lent to them by his aunt, Princess George of Greece and Denmark. 

In 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth toured the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. During the visit, the Queen and Louis Mountbatten requested his nephew Philip to guide the King’s two daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Princess Elizabeth fell in love with Philip, and they started to exchange letters when she was 13. Eventually, in the summer of 1946, Philip asked the King for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The King granted his request, provided that any formal engagement to be postponed until Princess Elizabeth’s 21st birthday. By March 1947, Philip had discarded his Greek and Danish royal titles and became a naturalised British civilian. The engagement was announced to the public on the 10th of July 1947. The day before the wedding, King George VI presented the style of Royal Highness on Philip and, on the morning of the wedding which was on the 20th of November 1947, he was made the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London.

After leaving Gordonstoun in near the beginning of 1939, Philip finished a term as a cadet at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. After his completion in being a cadet, he got sent back to Greece, where he stayed with his mother in Athens for a month. At the order of the Greek King, George II, he returned to Britain in September to recommence training for the Royal Navy. He graduated from Dartmouth the next year as the best cadet in his course.  He continued to serve in the British forces during the Second World War. On 1st February 1941, Philip was made to order as a sub-lieutenant after a series of courses at Portsmouth, where he gained the top grades. He was also awarded the Greek War Cross. He was promoted to a lieutenant on 16th July 1942. Also in that same year, he became the first lieutenant of HMS Wallace, at 21 years old, which was one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy. Philip returned to the United Kingdom in January 1946, and was posted as an instructor at HMS Royal Arthur, the Petty Officers’ School in Corsham, Wiltshire.

Prince Philip has easily been Queen Elizabeth’s II strongest supporter. The Queen once characterised Prince Philip’s importance to her and the country, in her golden wedding anniversary speech in 1997, during a lunch at Banqueting House. She said, “He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments but he has, quite simply been my strength and stay all these years, and I and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.” He was the Queen’s consort and his role was to support Queen Elizabeth II. He now holds the record for the longest-serving consort in British history.

He was asked once what his life had been about; had it been about supporting the Queen? “Absolutely, absolutely,” he replied. He didn’t see himself as a leader, though he could lead very well. And his own achievements he consistently played down. Accepting the Freedom of the City of London in 1948, he spoke for himself and for what he called other “followers”, with trademark modesty. “Our only distinction,” he said, “was that we did what we were told to do, to the very best of our ability, and kept on doing it.” 

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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World

Melbourne to come out of lockdown after 262 days

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The city of Melbourne, Australia will come out of lockdown this Friday after reaching a vaccination rate of  70%. This Australian city has spent time under the Covid-19 lockdown more than any city in the world, totaling 262 days.  

The lockdown will end five days earlier than was anticipated due to the high vaccination rate. The state’s premier, Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Sunday, stating “as of 11.59 pm Thursday there will be no lockdown, no restrictions on leaving home and no curfew.” This is the city’s sixth lockdown which is ending after 73 days, due to the goal of 70% of people over 16 being double-dosed being reached.

According to Victoria’s reports, there were 1,838 new Covid-19 cases and seven deaths in the city on Sunday so people will not be able to visit regional Victoria even after the lockdown restrictions are lifted. This lifting of lockdown means “ten visitors, including dependents, will be able to visit a home each day. Outdoor gatherings will increase to 15 people. Up to 20 fully vaccinated people will be allowed inside at hospitality venues with 50 outside, subject to density limits.” Moreover, schools will open physically, at least on a part time basis as well as some traveling restrictions being lifted.

Melbourne will also ease even more restrictions when 80% of the population is vaccinated. As Andrew said “today is a day where every Victorian should be proud,” adding “it is absolutely amazing to be this closely aligned to New South Wales. To be only just a couple of weeks behind NSW, when we know and understand just how much extra vaccine went there, is a credit to every single Victorian.” In fact, he also said that “I don’t think it will stop at 90 percent. There is not a ceiling, I think it will creep beyond that and maybe get to 92 percent, 93 percent, 94 percent even. But every jab, every person, every percentage point that is fully vaccinated, that is literally tens of thousands of people less getting sick and finishing up needing hospitalization.”

It is great to see a country coping with Covid-19 in a proper way. It was a combined effort of public and health officials that helped Melbourne finally come out of lockdown. Hopefully, other countries will also see such success in vaccination rates so Covid-19 can successfully be controlled.

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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World

Peak Australian Islamic body cancels online discussion with Taliban guest speakers

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A now-cancelled online event organised by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) was advertising a ‘stellar panel of speakers’ of which two of the speakers are members of the Taliban. The event planned to discuss the future of Afghanistan following the Taliban’s swift takeover “whether we are in favour or against recent developments.” Less than 24 hours after the news broke, AFIC cancelled the event with President Dr Rateb Jneid claiming they were not seeking to “legitimise any group or to offend any group.” Its Chief Executive Keysar Trad also claimed they do not wish to “create any angst for anybody” but said the event was to “obtain assurances about the rights of minorities and women and to also dissuade and discourage any young people from going to that region.” 

Nonetheless, the scheduling of the event garnered condemnation from all levels and political stripes of the Australian government, with the New South Wales (NSW) premier Dominic Perrottet and Multiculturalism Minister Natalie Ward jointly stating that “we join Muslim community leaders in NSW, and especially Afghan community leaders, in condemning events of this kind” with the opposing Labor party’s police and counter-terrorism MP Walt Secord branding the event “a road map to radicalisation.” The conservative federal MP Phillip Thompson described the Taliban as “vile and barbaric” for the inhumane rule and their opposition to equal education for women and girls. Before parliament, Mr Thompson served in the military and was severely injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan and said the event would upset war veterans

Beyond the politicians, the event angered activists like refugee advocate Sitarah Mohammadi, who fled Taliban rule in the 1990s with her family due to them being a part of the Hazara minority, who are heavily persecuted by the Sunni Taliban. When the Taliban took over and regained control over Afghanistan this year, no other group felt in danger as much as the Hazaras did. To people like Sitara, giving the Taliban a platform is “completely inappropriate” especially with the memories of the Taliban’s torture from the 1990s still fresh in Hazara communities.

The two Taliban speakers for the event were Suhail Shaheen and Sayed Abdul Basir Sabiri. Doha-based Shaheen has not ruled out returning to harsh punishments such as stonings and public executions and was named as the Taliban’s representative to the United Nations while Sabiri is a senior Taliban member.

The Taliban’s struggle for global recognition and diplomatic relations with Western countries is still unsuccessful. Yet the fact that some Western Muslim leaders are open to hosting them on a panel discussion and using the Taliban’s official name the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ in their advertising shows that withdrawing military forces is not the end of the war. The new frontier in tackling such extremism is now in the disinformation space and cyberspace. Two places which, if left unregulated and unmonitored, could drag Western governments back into another ‘endless war’.

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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Economics

Economic catastrophe places Afghanistan in crisis

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Αντώνης Σαμαράς Πρωθυπουργός της Ελλάδας from Greece, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Due to severe poverty and disorganisation, Afghanistan has faced an economic collapse especially after the Taliban takeover on 15th August 2021. Moreover, the growing humanitarian crisis affects half the population as well.

The UN secretary, General Antonio Guterres spoke to reporters in the UN headquarters where he said “the international community must find ways to inject cash directly into Afghanistan’s economy to avert its total collapse as a growing humanitarian crisis impacts half the population.” In addition to that, he also discussed how the Taliban had broken promises by saying “broken promises lead to broken dreams for the women and girls of Afghanistan,” on Monday.

The EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borell said in an interview on Monday with a Spanish newspaper, El Pais “we thought we would have an acute (migration) crisis because of Afghanistan, but it has not yet happened. And it will not happen if we prevent the economic collapse of the country. 75 percent of the Afghan budget comes from foreign transfers. And now they are all frozen”. He also added that “economic collapse can occur. We have to prevent it, without recognizing or supporting the government as such.” This discussion took place across countries when the UN urged the world leaders to put money into the Afghan economy to save the country. After this discussion, the German Chancellor, Angela Markel stated that the country should not “descend into chaos.” Whereas, US President Joe Biden stressed that the aid given to Afghanistan should be via independent international organizations.

So far the money provided to Afghanistan has been in millions which can only cover the emergency needs. However, Guterres told reporters that a massive UN humanitarian aid operation is underway in a race against time so aid can reach before the winter months. According to him any measure that includes channeling the cash through the Taliban should be avoided at all costs. This is because after the Taliban takeover, the banks were closed for several days and even when they opened accessing cash was still difficult. In addition to that, due to many business owners leaving the country to escape the Taliban, the employees are without salary whilst the prices of necessities continue to increase. Furthemore, women can no longer work to support their families. This is all mostly due to the Taliban takeover.

The UN and the global community are trying to reach and help the people of Afghanistan without recognising a Taliban government, which is quite difficult. Many people are stuck in tents while winter is approaching so if something is not done immediately the people will suffer. This is of course, very difficult because the money needs to reach the people and not the Taliban. It is hoped that the UN can help provide a solution which will help the people of Afghanistan soon. 

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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World

Workers in the United States quit jobs in record numbers

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AgnosticPreachersKid, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The number of Americans leaving their jobs voluntarily reached a record high. According to the data, there were 10.4 million job opportunities in the country at the end of August 2021, a tiny decrease from July’s record high of 11.1 million, but still a staggering number. The amount of people quitting their jobs has reached an all-time high, owing to a confluence of variables such as Americans seeing sufficient opportunity and greater income elsewhere. Workers who are less willing to put up with inconvenient hours and low pay are driving the phenomena, with many resigning at this point of the pandemic in search of better opportunities elsewhere. The number of people quitting their jobs, and the increase in job openings, has become a growing source of concern for the country’s economic recovery.

According to the recent figures released on Tuesday by the Department of Labor, 4.3 million people left their employment in August, accounting for about 2.9% of the workforce. That equates to approximately 3% of the labour force. According to the study, hiring also slowed in August, with the number of open jobs falling to 10.4 million from a record high of 11.1 million the previous month. There is a degree of confidence from workers who believe they would be able to find a job elsewhere, yet labour dynamics have changed since the Covid-19 crisis. Workers have left their employment because of virus fears, a lack of child care options, health concerns and other challenges that have arisen as a result of the pandemic’s circumstances. Moreover, Teachers across the country are resigning or retiring early as schools reopen for the new academic year, and Covid-19 cases among children have risen over the last week, despite some states prohibiting mask mandates. A high rate of individuals leaving jobs indicates how optimistic American workers are about their career prospects. However, a closer look at the data reveals that workers may be avoiding work because they are afraid of getting the Delta version of Covid-19.

This is an interesting movement. Workers demonstrate their confidence in the future by leaving their jobs. It also indicates that there are enough jobs available that if the transfer does not work out, they will be able to locate to another job reasonably easily. 

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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World

Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory to begin production by year’s end

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Following a record third quarter for Tesla, CEO Elon Musk announced the start of production at the new Berlin Gigafactory on Saturday 9th October. “We’re aiming to start production in a few months, basically, November or December, and hopefully deliver our first cars in December” said Musk at the Oktoberfest-style County Fair held on site in Gruenheide. 

The factory will begin making Model Y cars in addition to millions of battery cells. Tesla has submitted plans to invest 5 billion euros in a battery plant with 50GWh capacity. Musk added that he’s hoping the plant will be producing between 5,000 and 10,000 vehicles per week by the end of 2022. 

Berlin Gigafactory still needs a final approval to start production and faces opposition from the locals due to environmental concerns regarding the factory’s water use and disruption to wildlife. Construction was started two years ago after getting the go-ahead from the authorities under an exception. The company does however enjoy good support among the German political parties as Tesla will be adding significant jobs to the European economy and Brandenburg’s Economy Minister has put the chances of the factory gaining operational approval at 95%. The latest consultation on public concerns towards the site closes today (14th October), after which the Environment Ministry will make a decision. If the approval is granted, it will allow Tesla to grow significantly in Europe and increase production of its cars.

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Figure 1: Tesla’s new Structural 4680 battery. Credit: Tesla & Battery Associateshttps://energycentral.com/c/cp/tesla-battery-day-one-slide

Tesla also unveiled its new structural battery pack with 4680 cells during the tour of the Gigafactory. 4680 refers to the dimension of the cell with each cell being 46mm in diameter and 80mm tall and was first announced during the company’s Battery Day event last year. Tesla has previously used 21650 cells in its battery packs which are mass produced and are also found in laptop battery packs. These cells are combined to form modules which are then put together in a battery case to form a battery pack. By moving to a bigger 4680 cell, no module assembly is required and the entire battery pack can provide the structural platform for the car. This battery pack design is simple and results in a more efficient and cheaper battery pack that is easy to assemble, has less parts, less mass and improves the manufacturing process. 

During the Battery Day event last year, Elon Musk compared the structural battery to fuel tanks in an aircraft. “All modern airplanes, the fuel tank, your wing is just a fuel tank and wing shaped,” he said. “This is absolutely the way to do it. And then the fuel tank serves as dual structure, and it’s no longer cargo. It’s fundamental to the structure of the aircraft — this was a major breakthrough. We’re doing the same for cars.” Seats can be directly mounted to the structural battery pack which reduces mass and simplifies the assembly process of Tesla’s cars. 

Getting a first glimpse of these packs was definitely the highlight of the event and shows how close Tesla is to pushing the limits of batteries in electric vehicles even further. Elon Musk also defended the factory against the critics of its environmental impact, saying that it used “relatively little” water and that battery cell production is “sustainable”.

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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World

Abdul Qadeer Khan: ‘Pakistan’s nuclear hero’ dies at the age of 85

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Abdul Qadeer Khan was known as the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb and nuclear weapons program. He died at the age of 85 due to complications related to Covid-19. 

Dr. Khan was known as a national hero as he turned Pakistan into the first Islamic country with nuclear power. He was known for setting up the first nuclear enrichment plant at Kahuta, a place near Islamabad. Due to his contributions by the year 1998, Pakistan had conducted its first nuclear tests. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan tweeted that “he was loved by our nation (because) of his critical contribution in making us a nuclear weapon state.” Moreover, Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Choudhry stated that Dr. Khan’s “services for the nation and his contributions for strengthening Pakistan’s defense will always be remembered.” Due to his contributions, Pakistan was the world’s seventh nuclear power country which made it up to par with India, a rival country. However, his fame only lasted in his country. 

In the west, Dr. Khan was thought to be a dangerous renegade for sharing his found technology with other rogue countries including Iran, North Korea, and Libya. After this accusation, he was pardoned by then-president Pervez Musharaf. However, due to the pressure from the US, the Pakistani authorities placed him under house arrest in 2004, which lasted till 2009. Although he was supposedly free, his movements in and out of the country were still heavily monitored closely by the security agencies. According to the US state department “(Dr. Khan has) irrevocably changed the proliferation landscape and have had lasting implications for international security” because he ran an “extensive international network for the proliferation of nuclear equipment and know-how that provided ‘one-stop shopping’ for countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons.” 

He was buried as he requested at Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque on Sunday 10th October 2021 with “full honors” according to the interior minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. The funeral was attended by thousands of mourners in the pouring rain including General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff. 

The death of an individual who dedicated his life to shape Pakistan is devastating but his memory continues to live on through his key achievements and will always be remembered as a national hero. 

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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