Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the reopening of the country’s borders for all international travelers, even though coronavirus cases continue to rise in parts of the country.
  • AMERICAS: Brazilian health authorities allowed China’s Sinovac to resume its coronavirus vaccine trials in the country.
  • ASIA: Hong Kong’s opposition staged their final protest in the city’s legislature before their impending resignation over the disqualification of four of their colleagues by Beijing.
  • EUROPE: The UK’s economy grew by 15.5% in Q3 of this year but the growth still wasn’t enough to counter the record 19.8% decline in Q2 of this year.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabian ruler King Salman urged countries to adopt a “firm stance” against regional rival Iran.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, known to be a critic of the Zimbabwean government, was denied bail by a court following his arrest on charges of obstruction of justice.

Top Story

  • Global: President-elect Biden holds phone calls with world leaders.
    • US President-elect Joe Biden spoke to the leaders of Washington’s key allies South Korea, Japan, and Australia, for the first time since winning the US presidential election.
    • With these discussions over the phone, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in joined other global leaders in recognizing President-elect Biden’s election victory, though President Donald Trump is yet to concede still.
    • President-elect Biden already spoke to the leaders of Germany, the UK, Canada, and France prior to these phone calls.
    • President-elect Biden discussed cooperating on climate change, the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic and regional security issues in Asia with all three leaders.
    • All sides involved in the calls expressed their determination to strengthen bilateral ties, according to President-elect Biden’s office.
    • Reporting: Reuters, WaPo, BBC, AP

Africa

  • Angola: The police cracked down on the latest anti-government protest in the country with live bullets and tear gas. (AFP)
  • Burkina Faso: Seven soldiers died after their patrol was ambushed in the country’s northern Oudalan province that is the site of a five-year-long jihadist insurgency. (AFP)
  • Ethiopia: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the federal military defeated Tigray’s local forces, also accusing the Tigray region of committing atrocities. (Reuters)
  • South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the reopening of the country’s borders for all international travelers, even though coronavirus cases continue to rise in parts of the country. (NYT)
  • Sudan: A draft bilateral agreement the country recently made with Russia gives Moscow the permission to build a naval logistics base in the country. (RFE-RL)

Americas

  • Region: The Pan-American Health Organization said coronavirus cases continue to surge in the Americas, averaging 150,000 a day over the last week. (Reuters)
  • Argentina: President Alberto Fernandez and several members of his Cabinet are in preventive isolation after coming into contact with someone with a confirmed coronavirus case. (Reuters)
  • Bolivia: New President Luis Arce restored the country’s diplomatic ties with both Iran and Venezuela. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: Health authorities allowed China’s Sinovac to resume its coronavirus vaccine trials in the country. (BBC)
  • United States: Texas become the first state to have more than a million coronavirus cases. (AP)

Asia  

  • Region: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will appoint a special investigator to prosecute the allegations that some Australian special forces members committed war crimes in Afghanistan. (DPA)
  • Region: Singapore arrested 21 members of the secretive South Korean religious cult the Shincheonji Church of Jesus that was blamed for thousands of coronavirus infections in South Korea. (AP)
  • China: Hong Kong’s opposition staged their final protest in the city’s legislature before their impending resignation over the disqualification of four of their colleagues by Beijing. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: Typhoon Vamco triggered massive floods in the capital city Manila as authorities also warned of potential landslides. (AFP)

Europe

  • Region: Turkey’s Defense Minister Defense Minister Hulusi Akar again mentioned Ankara’s proposal to create a joint working group with the US to discuss concerns over the compatibility of US F-35 jets and Russian S-400 defenses. (Reuters)
  • Region: The European Union reached an agreement to procure up to 300 million doses of the new BioNTech-Pfizer coronavirus vaccine that demonstrated promising results in trials. (BBC)
  • The Netherlands: The Saudi Arabian embassy in The Hague was fired upon by unidentified suspects, but no injuries are currently reported. (DPA)
  • Ukraine: President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is hospitalized after having contracted the new coronavirus in order to “accurately isolate and not expose anyone”, according to the presidential office. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: The country’s economy grew by 15.5% in Q3 of this year but the growth still wasn’t enough to counter the record 19.8% decline in Q2 of this year. (AP)

Middle East

  • Region: Saudi Arabian ruler King Salman urged countries to adopt a “firm stance” against regional rival Iran. (AFP)
  • Iran: The country is reportedly continuing to increase its low-enrichment nuclear stockpile at a higher level than allowed under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. (AP)
  • United Arab Emirates: The London Bullion Market Association, one of the world’s most influential gold market authority, reportedly warned that it could prevent bullion from the country, among others, from entering mainstream markets if it does not meet regulatory standards. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, known to be a critic of the Zimbabwean government, was denied bail by a court following his arrest on charges of obstruction of justice. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones:
    • Typhoon Vamco
      • Location: 149 nautical miles N-NW of Manila, Philippines
      • Wind: 85 mph
      • Movement: W at 12 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes:
    • Tropical Storm Eta
      • Location: 5 miles E of Cedar Key, Florida
      • Wind: 50 mph
      • Movement: NE at 11 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Storm Theta
      • Location: 470 miles S-SW of The Azores, Portugal
      • Wind: 65 mph
      • Movement: E-NE at 10 mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
  • Confirmed Cases as of 12NOV20: 52,208,441
  • Total Recovered Cases as of 12NOV20: 33,976,496
  • Deaths as of 12NOV20: 1,285,709
  • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191
  • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (11th Ebola outbreak figures from Equateur Province)
  • Confirmed Cases as of 17OCT20: 119
  • Probable Cases as of 17OCT20: 9
  • Deaths as of 17OCT20: 53
  • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (13NOV20)

  • Global: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to visit France and meet with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, on the first leg of his Europe and Middle East tour which includes planned visits to Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. (to 23NOV)
  • Global: The Paris Peace Forum will be held virtually and will feature European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans and EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell, among others.
  • Global: The World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly will be conducted virtually. (to 14NOV)
  • Asia: The 37th ASEAN Summit and related high-level summits will be held. (to 15NOV)
  • Asia: The leaders of the Mekong River nations [Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand] will hold a group summit that will also be attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
  • Europe: A Russian delegation is expected to visit Turkey and discuss with the Turkish government the establishment of a joint center to monitor the recent truce deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
  • Europe: Political advisors to the Normandy Four group [Germany, France, Russia, and Ukraine] will hold a virtual meeting.
  • Europe: The Interior Ministers of EU member-states will hold a virtual meeting to discuss the fight against terrorism, as well as migration reform.
  • Europe: The EU is expected to release GDP figures for Q3 2020.
  • Europe: The European Parliament will hold a plenary session.
  • France: A commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Bataclan concert hall and other sites in Paris is expected to be held.
  • Lebanon: The US Ambassador to the country, Dorothy Shea, will speak about the country’s ongoing crisis at an event organized by the think tank CSIS.
  • Malaysia: The government is expected to release its GDP figures for Q3 2020.
  • South Africa: Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera will visit and meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

END