Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: White farmers and rival Black protesters engaged in a tense standoff in the South African town of Senekal ahead of a court hearing related to the murder case of a white farm manager.
  • AMERICAS: Canadian authorities have ordered a national security review of Chinese mining company Shandong Gold Mining’s bid to acquire a gold mine in the country’s Arctic region.
  • ASIA: Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha rejected protesters calls for him to resign, as his government stepped up efforts to prevent student protesters from staging rallies in the capital city Bangkok in defiance of a strict state of emergency.
  • EUROPE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel reported “some movement” in talks between EU leaders about an agreement with the United Kingdom on their post-Brexit relations.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The US has sentenced Seyed Sajjad Shahidian, founder and CEO of an Iranian financial-services firm, to almost two years in prison for helping people in Iran evade US sanctions.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Twitter has softened its policies against the sharing of hacked material after facing a backlash over its decision to block a New York Post story about Joe Biden’s son.

Top Story

  • Americas: Former Mexican Defense Minister arrested in the US.
    • Former Mexican Defense Secretary General Salvador Cienfuegos has been arrested in the US on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
    • Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard made the announcement on Twitter, saying US Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau had informed him about the retired general’s detention.
    • General Cienfuegos was reportedly arrested at the request of the US Drug Enforcement Administration as part of a corruption investigation involving drug traffickers.
    • Cienfuegos had served as Mexico’s Defense Minister under former President Enrique Peña Nieto between 2012 and 2018.
    • If the charges are confirmed, he will be the first high-ranking Mexican military official to be taken into US custody in connection with drug-related corruption.
    • Reporting: Reuters, WaPo, AP, NYT, BBC, AFP, WSJ

Africa

  • Nigeria: Hundreds of protesters marched to the country’s Parliament building after the army said it was ready to step in and restore order as anti-police brutality protests continue in the country. (Reuters)
  • Rwanda: The foreign lawyers of “Hotel Rwanda hero” Paul Rusesabagina say they have been denied access to their client who is currently detained in the country. (Reuters)
  • South Africa: White farmers and rival Black protesters engaged in a tense standoff in the town of Senekal ahead of a court hearing related to the murder case of a white farm manager. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Argentina: The government said it wants energy companies to make an investment of around $5 billion to boost hydrocarbon production and generate jobs in the country’s Vaca Muerta shale formation. (Reuters)
  • Canada: Authorities have ordered a national security review of Chinese mining company Shandong Gold Mining’s bid to acquire a gold mine in the country’s Arctic region. (Reuters)
  • Nicaragua: The National Assembly has voted in favor of a controversial law that gives President Daniel Ortega increased powers to monitor people, businesses, and organizations that receive foreign funding. (AP)
  • United States: Thousands of people in the Northern California remain without power after a utility cutoff service to prevent the sparking of wildfires amid a fall heat wave. (AP)

Asia  

  • Japan: The country is reportedly set to release treated radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear reactor into the sea. (BBC)
  • Kyrgyzstan: Prime Minister Sadyr Zhaparov has become the country’s acting President in the wake of President Sooronbai Jeenbekov’s resignation after a disputed parliamentary election. (AP)
  • South Korea: The US has told Seoul that it will put nearly 9,000 South Korean workers on unpaid leave from April if a cost-sharing agreement related to the US troops stationed in the country is not finalized. (Reuters)
  • Thailand: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha rejected protesters calls for him to resign, as his government stepped up efforts to prevent student protesters from staging rallies in the capital city Bangkok in defiance of a strict state of emergency. (AP)

Europe

  • Region: Germany, France, the UK, Italy, and Spain issued a joint statement condemning Israel’s approval of new settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, calling it a “counterproductive” move that undermines regional peace efforts. (AFP)
  • Region: Australia joined the Netherlands in condemning Russia over its withdrawal from consultations over the case of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine in 2014. (Deutsche Welle)
  • Region: German Chancellor Angela Merkel reported “some movement” in talks between EU leaders about an agreement with the United Kingdom on their post-Brexit relations. (Reuters)
  • Belarus: The Russian Interior Ministry said that the country had placed opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on its wanted list for allegedly making calls to overthrow the constitutional order in the country. (Reuters)
  • Slovenia: The government is enforcing a partial lockdown in an effort to curb an explosion in the number of new coronavirus cases in the country. (DPA)

Middle East

  • Iran: The US has sentenced Seyed Sajjad Shahidian, founder and CEO of one of the country’s financial-services firms, to almost two years in prison for helping people in the country evade US sanctions. (RFE-RL)
  • Israel: Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said he will not pursue a criminal investigation into an opaque company share deal conducted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that provided PM Netanyahu a steep return on investments. (AP)
  • Yemen: Prisoners involved in the recently agreed prisoner exchange between the government and Houthi rebel forces are traveling back to their homes, as the prisoner exchange continued into its second day. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Twitter has softened its policies against the sharing of hacked material after facing a backlash over its decision to block a New York Post story about Joe Biden’s son. (Guardian)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 16OCT20: 38,971,792
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 16OCT20: 26,918,980
      • Deaths as of 16OCT20: 1,098,937
      • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 188
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (11th Ebola outbreak figures from Equateur Province)
      • Confirmed Cases as of 10OCT20: 119
      • Probable Cases as of 10OCT20: 9
      • Deaths as of 10OCT20: 53
      • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (17OCT20)

  • Global: The UN’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – 1993
  • Global: The IMF and World Bank will hold their joint annual meetings virtually. (to 18OCT)
  • France: A night-time curfew will be imposed in capital city Paris and other major cities in a bid to halt the spread of the new coronavirus.
  • The Holy See: Pope Francis will host the Global Compact on Education. (to 18OCT)
  • New Zealand: Parliamentary elections will be held.
  • Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit a drilling vessel in the Black Sea and announce the total size of gas reserves found in the country’s largest-ever gas reserves discovery.
  • United Kingdom: British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will speak at the World Bank’s ‘End Poverty Day 2020: Surmounting Setbacks’ online event.
  • United States: Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, who had been blacklisted by the US in the past over alleged human rights violations, will visit and meet with Defense Secretary Mark Esper. (to 19OCT)
  • United States: The State Department and Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology will jointly hold the 11th U.S.-Vietnam Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology.

END