Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari held phone discussions with Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz over stabilizing and rebalancing global oil markets.
  • AMERICAS: Former US Vice President Joe Biden was formally nominated as the Democratic party’s presidential candidate for November’s election.
  • ASIA: Chinese authorities evacuated more than 100,000 people due to floods on the upper reaches of the Yangtze river, which are also threatening the 1,200-year-old world heritage site of the Leshan Giant Buddha.
  • EUROPE: A man caused a series of motorway accidents in Germany, wounding six people in the process, in what prosecutors described as an Islamist act.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israel’s airforce bombed the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip overnight after rockets were launched into the country’s south from the territory.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Taiwan says hacking groups linked to China attacked a minimum of 10 Taiwanese government agencies and around 6,000 email accounts of government officials in an attempt to steal important data.

 

Top Story

  • Mali: Coup leaders promise fresh elections.
    • The military officers who staged a coup in the country and forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita out of power pledged to form a civilian transitional government to quickly organize new elections.
    • Speaking at the announcement, Colonel-Major Ismael Wague, who was the deputy chief of staff of Mali’s airforce prior to the coup, said those behind the coup formed the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (NCSP) to help facilitate the new elections.
    • Wague also announced the closure of Mali’s borders and instated a curfew between 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    • There have been several anti-President Keita protests in Mali in recent months, with the public angry over corruption, the mismanagement of the economy and a dispute over legislative elections.
    • Reporting: Reuters, Deutsche Welle, AP, BBC, DPA, WSJ

 

Africa  

  • Mauritius: Police arrested the captain and first officer of the Japanese vessel that spilt 1,000 metric tonnes of oil off the country’s coast and caused potentially irreparable damage to coral reefs. (VOA)
  • Nigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari held phone discussions with Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz over stabilizing and rebalancing global oil markets. (Reuters)
  • Sudan: The country’s officials made contradictory statements on whether they were planning to normalize relations with Israel. (AFP

 

Americas  

  • Region: The lawyer of former Colombian paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso filed an emergency petition in a US federal court to force Attorney General William Barr to deport the former warlord to Italy after he completed a long drug sentence. (AP)
  • Brazil: Health authorities approved Johnson & Johnson’s experimental vaccine against the new coronavirus for the final stage of clinical trials, becoming the fourth coronavirus vaccine to have received approval for testing in the country. (AFP)
  • Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Chrystia Freeland as the country’s new Finance Minister. (AFP)
  • Ecuador: The military said that vessels that are part of a predominantly Chinese fishing fleet operating near the Galapagos Islands turned off their tracking systems to prevent any monitoring of their activities. (Reuters)
  • United States: Former Vice President Joe Biden was formally nominated as the Democratic party’s presidential candidate for November’s election. (Reuters)

 

Asia  

  • Australia: The government agreed to a deal with drugmaker AstraZeneca to supply a potential COVID-19 vaccine to its entire population free of charge. (CNN)
  • China: Authorities evacuated more than 100,000 people due to floods on the upper reaches of the Yangtze river, which are also threatening the 1,200-year-old world heritage site of the Leshan Giant Buddha. (Reuters)
  • Japan: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dismissed concerns about his health following his recent hospital visit, saying he went to the hospital only for a checkup. (AP)
  • Nepal: The country’s capital Kathmandu is set to once again go on lockdown in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus. (DPA)
  • South Korea: The country recorded its highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases since March, as health authorities reported a total of 297 new cases. (DPA)

 

Europe

  • Belarus: Opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya urged EU leaders to not recognize what she called the country’s recent fraudulent election results, saying longtime leader Alexander Lukashenko has lost all legitimacy. (Reuters)
  • Finland: The government removed most EU countries from its coronavirus-related  “green travel list”, with only arrivals from Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, Estonia and Lithuania will now be allowed entry to the country under certain conditions. (AFP)
  • Germany: A man caused a series of motorway accidents in Berlin, wounding six people in the process, in what prosecutors described as an Islamist act. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: The government is set to introduce legally binding targets on air quality, waste reduction, biodiversity and cleaner water as it looks to combat climate change, improve the environment and rebuild the economy. (Reuters)

 

Middle East

  • Iran: The Health Ministry said the coronavirus death toll in the country surpassed 20,000 confirmed deaths. (AP)
  • Israel: The country’s airforce bombed the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip overnight after rockets were launched into the country’s south from the territory. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: The UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi is on a 4-day visit to the country to provide support to the survivors of the recent port explosion in capital Beirut. (VOA)
  • United Arab Emirates: Dubai loosened its regulations on alcohol sales and possession of liquor in a bid help ease its way out of an economic depression worsened by the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. (AP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cyberwarfare: Taiwan says hacking groups linked to China attacked a minimum of 10 Taiwanese government agencies and around 6,000 email accounts of government officials in an attempt to steal important data. (Reuters)

 

World  

  • Cyclones
    • Tropical Storm Higos
      • Location: 67 nautical miles W of Hong Kong
      • Wind: 45 mph
      • Movement: NW at 10 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes
    • Hurricane Genevieve
      • Location: 190 miles S of Baja California
      • Wind: 115 mph
      • Movement: N-NW at 9 mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes
    • Indonesia
      • Location: 126 km W-SW of Bengkulu, Indonesia
      • Magnitude: 6.9
      • Depth: 26 km
      • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 19AUG20: 22,161,889 
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 19AUG20: 14,131,798
      • Deaths as of 19AUG20: 781,466 
      • 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 15AUG20: 84 
      • Probable Cases as of 15AUG20: 4 
      • Deaths as of 15AUG20: 36
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (20AUG20)

  • Europe: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to visit French President Emmanuel Macron at his Mediterranean summer retreat to discuss a number of EU and foreign policy issues.
  • Europe: EU and British officials to hold Brexit discussions. (to 21AUG20)
  • Hungary: St. Stephen’s Day – 1083
  • Sri Lanka: The country’s Parliament will hold its first post-election session.
  • United States: Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to visit the White House and meet with President Donald Trump.

 

END