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September 6, 2018

UN holds talks between Yemeni opposition / NFL season kicks off / US and India discuss differences

By Luke Christou

Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

UN holds talks between Yemeni opposition

The United Nations will mediate talks between two of the warring groups involved in the Yemeni Crisis today in Geneva, Switzerland.

Announced by Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths last month, the UN hopes that the talks will help to end the conflict, which has been ongoing since the Yemeni Revolution ended in 2012.

Since former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was overthrown, two groups have been fighting to govern the Middle Eastern country. A Houthi militant group, backed by Iran, has captured the capital of Sana’a.  However, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, Salah’s former vice president, continues to fight to regain control backed by a Saudi-led coalition.

According to the UN, 13,600 people have been killed in Yemen since conflict broke out. Some 5,200 of those were civilian casualties. A further 50,000 have reportedly died as a result of famine caused by the war.

NFL season kicks off

The new National Football League season gets underway today, with surprise Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles set to play the Atlanta Falcons.

However, the attention will be on the pre-game national anthem, as a number of players continue to peacefully protest against police brutality and social inequality ahead of NFL games.

Throughout the 2017 season, players took to their knees during while The Star-Spangled Banner played. This act of protest has divided the United States, with US President Donald Trump previously labelling it as “unpatriotic”.

The player who started the protests, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has recently been signed by Nike as the face of their latest commercials. The controversial deal has reignited the debate ahead of the season opener.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons will get underway at 20:20pm EST (1:20am London time).

United States and India discuss differences

United States Secretary of State Michael Pomeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis will travel to New Delhi to take part in the inaugural 2+2 meeting with their Indian counterparts, Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman.

The US hopes to strengthen ties with the BRIC, which is on track to overtake the United Kingdom as the world’s fifth largest economy.

However, the two nations are at odds over the Trump administration’s decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran after pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement earlier this year.

Trump’s sanctions against Iranian oil companies threaten India’s access to oil. Iran is currently India’s third-largest supplier of crude oil.


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