Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The Norwegian Embassy in Mali says there is currently an active military mutiny taking place outside the country’s capital Bamako.
  • AMERICAS: The US and Colombia announced the launch of a new joint plan to combat drug trafficking, including investments in regions affected by violence.
  • ASIA: China is investigating whether Australia is dumping wine in a trade dispute that further strains relations between the countries and could shut the biggest export market for Australian wine.
  • EUROPE: Belarusian Ambassador to Slovakia Igor Leshchenya, who expressed support for Belarusian protesters rallying against his country’s authoritarian president, has handed in his resignation.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon began reading a verdict in the case of four Hezbollah members who were charged with conspiracy to carry out the 2005 bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and 21 others.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: China accused Washington of damaging global trade with sanctions that threaten to cripple tech giant Huawei and said Beijing will protect its companies but gave no indication of possible retaliation.

 

Top Story

  • Canada: Finance Minister Morneau quits amid charity scandal, reports of policy differences.
    • Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau has resigned amid reports of policy differences with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as a conflict of interest allegation against him.
    • The policy differences between Morneau, who held the post since 2015, and PM Trudeau are reportedly over government spending to deal with the fallout of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
    • Morneau, as well as PM Trudeau have faced criticism for not recusing themselves from the cabinet discussion to award a no-bid government contract to a charity that had connections to both of their families.
    • Morneau’s decision to resign takes place as Canada attempts to climb out of a pandemic-induced economic downturn that has led to high unemployment rates.
    • Reporting: BBC, NYT, AFP, WaPo, Guardian

 

Africa  

  • Mali: The Norwegian Embassy in the country says there is currently an active military mutiny taking place outside the capital Bamako. (Reuters)
  • Sudan: Protesters took to the streets in cities across the country on the anniversary of a power-sharing agreement between civilians and the military to demand faster implementation of long-delayed political reforms. (VOA)
  • Uganda: The White House has filed charges and imposed sanctions against an adoption scheme that led to more than two dozen of the country’s children being removed from their families and being placed in American homes. (UPI)

 

Americas  

  • Region: The US and Colombia announced the launch of a new joint plan to combat drug trafficking, including investments in regions affected by violence. (AFP)
  • United States: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy agreed to testify before Congress on cuts that lawmakers worry fear could hamper the Postal Service’s ability to handle a flood of mail-in ballots in November’s elections. (Reuters)
  • Venezuela: The country’s pro-government Constitutional Assembly will end operations in December when a new legislature will be elected, in a vote boycotted by the opposition. (AFP)

 

Asia  

  • Region: South Korea and the United States began annual military exercises following a coronavirus delay, with the drills likely to infuriate the North which has long considered them rehearsals for invasion. (AFP)
  • Region: China is investigating whether Australia is dumping wine in a trade dispute that further strains relations between the countries and could shut the biggest export market for Australian wine. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: Several mortar shells slammed into various parts of the capital Kabul wounding at least 10 civilians as Afghans marked their country’s Independence Day, with no militant group claiming responsibility for the attack. (AP)
  • China: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the city will take the matter of US sanctions imposed on the territory to the World Trade Organization (WTO). (Kyodo)
  • New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said US President Donald Trump’s remarks on the country experiencing a “big surge” in COVID-19 were “patently wrong”. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: Belarusian Ambassador to Slovakia Igor Leshchenya, who expressed support for Belarusian protesters rallying against his country’s authoritarian president, has handed in his resignation. (AP)
  • Bulgaria: Prime Minister Boyko Borisov presented a draft of a new constitution in response to the long-running anti-government corruption protests in the country. (DPA)
  • Finland: Prime Minister Sanna Marin is set to take a coronavirus test and work remotely after experiencing mild symptoms associated with the virus. (DPA)
  • Norway: A citizen who was recently arrested for spying was revealed to have allegedly been working for Russia and has been remanded in custody for four weeks. (AP)

 

Middle East

  • Lebanon: The UN-backed Special Tribunal for the country began reading a verdict in the case of four Hezbollah members who were charged with conspiracy to carry out the 2005 bombing that killed former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and 21 others. (Reuters)
  • Syria: A US military patrol returned fire at a checkpoint in the country’s northeast that was manned by pro-regime forces, reportedly resulting in the death of one Syrian soldier and leaving two others wounded. (VOA)
  • United Arab Emirates: German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass is expected to arrive in the country where he will hold talks with Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the conflict in Libya as well as the country’s ties with Israel. (DPA)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: China accused Washington of damaging global trade with sanctions that threaten to cripple tech giant Huawei and said Beijing will protect its companies but gave no indication of possible retaliation. (AP)

 

World  

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes
    • Tropical Storm Genevieve
      • Location: 275 miles S-SW of Acapulco, Mexico
      • Wind: 65 mph
      • Movement: W-NW at 16 mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 18AUG20: 21,903,341 
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 18AUG20: 13,903,145 
      • Deaths as of 18AUG20: 774,379 
      • 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 08AUG20: 75 
      • Probable Cases as of 08AUG20: 4 
      • Deaths as of 08AUG20: 33
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (19AUG20)

  • Nothing to report.

 

END