Key Storylines

  • AFRICA:  The leader of the Tigray region in Ethiopia told Reuters that his forces fired rockets at the airport in Eritrea’s capital Asmara, confirming earlier intel from diplomats of a major escalation in a 12-day old conflict in Ethiopia.
  • AMERICAS: Iota has strengthened into the 13th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and is expected to become a major hurricane as it approaches Central America, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.
  • ASIA: South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said that the government is “seriously” considering toughening social distancing regulations in the greater Seoul area and the eastern province of Gangwon as new COVID-19 cases have risen sharply.  
  • EUROPEArmenia is due to begin ceding territory to Azerbaijan on November 15 as part of a peace deal that ended a six-week war over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. 
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Egyptian unemployment rate dropped to 7.3% in July-September, down 0.5% from the same period in 2019, state statistics agency CAPMAS reported. (
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Social media platform Parler, which styles itself as a “free speech-driven” space, gets funding from hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter and conservative activist Rebekah, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

 

Top Story

  • Asia: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has been signed by fifteen Asian nations: forming the world’s largest trading bloc
    • After eight years of negotiations, Asia-Pacific nations finally signed the world’s biggest free-trade agreement at a virtual summit hosted in Hanoi, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc reported. 
    • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) includes 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, as parties to the treaty.
    • The United States is not a party to both RCEP and the successor to the Obama-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), leaving the world’s biggest economy on the outside deal that spans the fastest-growing region on earth.
    • China will no longer seek to achieve trade surpluses and solely work to expand exports but will pivot to moderately expanding imports for a balance between inbound and outbound shipments, a senior official from a state-affiliated think tank stated.
    • Reporting: DPA, YNA, Reuters, Reuters           

 

Africa

  • Region: The leader of the Tigray region in Ethiopia told Reuters that his forces fired rockets at the airport in Eritrea’s capital Asmara, confirming earlier intel from diplomats of a major escalation in a 12-day old conflict in Ethiopia. (Reuters)  
  • Region: The number of confirmed cases in the African continent has reached 1,948,833, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) reported. (Xinhua)  
  • Ethiopia: The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) disclosed it has arrested 14 suspected members of the extremist groups Islamic State (IS) and al-Shabab. (Xinhua

 

Americas

  • Region: Iota has strengthened into the 13th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and is expected to become a major hurricane as it approaches Central America, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported. (Reuters)  
  • Mexico: The nation reported 5,860 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the national count to 1,003,253, the health ministry stated. (Xinhua
  • Peru: Thousands of people took to the streets in several cities again to protest against the impeachment of President Martín Vizcarra. (DPA
  • United States: The Navajo Nation will reinstate a stay-at-home order for the entire reservation while closing tribal offices and requiring new closures and safety measures for businesses due to increasing COVID-19 cases. (AP)  

 

Asia  

  • Australia: The nation’s success in reining in COVID-19 while infections surge in many parts of the world is making the country a “victim of our own success,” as citizens overseas want to come home, a cabinet minister announced. (Reuters
  • India: The nation’s number of COVID-19 cases reached 8,814,579 as 41,100 new cases were registered across the country in the past 24 hours, said the latest data released by the federal health ministry. (Xinhua)  
  • South Korea: Three ruling party lawmakers, including the chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, left for Washington for meetings with U.S. congressional leaders and experts in the aftermath of Joe Biden’s election as U.S. president. (YNA)  
  • South Korea: Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said that the government is “seriously” considering toughening social distancing regulations in the greater Seoul area and the eastern province of Gangwon as new COVID-19 cases have risen sharply. (YNA

 

Europe

  • Region: Armenia is due to begin handing over territory to Azerbaijan on November 15 as part of a peace deal that ended a six-week war over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. (RFE
  • Moldova: Citizens are voting in the second round of a crucial presidential election pitting a pro-Western, former World Bank economist against the pro-Russian incumbent. (RFE
  • Russia:  The nation reported a daily increase of 22,572 new COVID-19 cases, taking the national tally to 1,925,825. (Reuters)  

 

Middle East

  • Egypt: The unemployment rate dropped to 7.3% in July-September, down 0.5% from the same period in 2019, state statistics agency CAPMAS reported. (Reuters)  
  • Israel: The army said it struck Hamas positions in Gaza in response to a rocket attack that came from the Gaza Strip earlier. (Xinhua)  
  • Saudi Arabia: The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has criticized Germany’s arms export ban targeting the Gulf kingdom as “wrong” and “illogical,” but underscored in an interview with DPA that his country also doesn’t need German military equipment. (DPA

 

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Social media platform Parler, which styles itself as a “free speech-driven” space, gets funding from hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter and conservative activist Rebekah, the Wall Street Journal reported. (Reuters)  

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Typhoon Vamco
      • Location: 17.7 N 106.5 E
      • Movement: WNW at 15 mph
      • Wind: 80mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes
    • Tropical Storm Iota
      • Location:13.1N 77.3W
      • Movement: W
      • Wind:80 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Storm Theta
      • Location:31.8N 18.3W
      • Movement: E
      • Wind:35 mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 15NOV20: 53,976,457
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 15NOV20: 34,758,175
      • Deaths as of 15NOV20: 1,311,942
      • 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 (16NOV20)

  • Global: WHO Executive Board Meeting
  • Global: Meeting of the States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention
  • Global: Latest meeting around now as part of U.S.-EU dialogue on China
  • Global: International Education week
  • Africa: U.N. Security Council meeting on the West Africa mission

 

END