Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The death toll from Uganda’s ongoing protests over the arrest of presidential hopeful and musician Bobi Wine has risen to seven.
  • AMERICAS: The total number of coronavirus deaths in the United States have now passed the grim landmark of 250,000 deaths, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.
  • ASIA: China’s President Xi Jinping dismissed suggestions that Beijing will decouple itself from the US and other trading partners due to the rising tensions between Beijing, Washington, and other countries.
  • EUROPE: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff reiterated that Budapest will not accept the proposed EU budget and coronavirus recovery fund as it amounts to “blackmail”.
  • MIDDLE EAST: As part of his tour of Europe and the Middle East, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Israel where he became the first US diplomat to visit an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank and also declared that Washington will consider a Palestinian-led boycott movement as “anti-Semitic”.
  • GLOBAL ISSUES: Pfizer said its coronavirus vaccine candidate is 95% effective, safe, and also protects older people, according to new test results, as it alongside its German partner BioNTech prepares to formally ask regulators across the world for approval.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Canada has for the first time named China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea as major cybersecurity threats, and said foreign actors could try and disrupt the country’s electricity supply.

Top Story

  • Asia: Inquiry finds elite Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghans.
    • A four-year-long inquiry by the Inspector-General of Australia’s Defense Forces found “credible information” that substantiated allegations of Australia’s Special Forces unlawfully killing 39 civilians and prisoners in Afghanistan.
    • Additionally, the inquiry report claimed that senior commandos reportedly forced junior soldiers to kill defenseless captives in order to “blood” them for combat.
    • While announcing the findings of the inquiry, Australian Defense Force Chief Gen. Angus Campbell said none of the incidents could be “described as being in the heat of battle”.
    • Australia will refer 19 current and former soldiers for potential criminal prosecution over the allegations.
    • Reporting: BBC, AP, WaPo, Reuters, NYT, DPA

Africa

  • Region: The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the continent has surpassed 2 million confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. (AP)
  • Ethiopia: Army chief Berhanu Jula accused WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is the most high-profile international Tigrayan, of lobbying for and seeking to arm local leaders in the Tigray region. (AFP)
  • South Africa: Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo rejected an application by former President Jacob Zuma for the judge to recuse himself from an inquiry into state corruption. (Reuters)
  • Sudan: The country’s rebel leaders who returned to the capital Khartoum earlier this week said they are fully committed to implementing a new peace agreement with the government in good faith. (VOA)
  • Uganda: The death toll from the ongoing protests over the arrest of presidential hopeful and musician Bobi Wine has risen to seven. (AP)

Americas

  • Region: The U.S. has named its first Ambassador to Venezuela in a decade, though Washington currently has no diplomats stationed at its embassy in the Venezuelan capital city of Caracas. (AP)
  • Chile: Hundreds of people protested in the capital city of Santiago to demand the resignation of President Sebastián Piñera over police repression of the country’s social protests. (AFP)
  • Peru: Speaker Mirtha Vásquez said the country’s Congress will create a commission to investigate violence that claimed two lives and led to dozens of people being injured during last week’s protests. (DPA)
  • United States: The total number of coronavirus deaths in the country have now passed the grim landmark of 250,000 deaths, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University. (BBC)

Asia  

  • Afghanistan: British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Britain will likely follow the U.S. in reducing troop levels in the country but added that London will continue to work with the U.S. and the government to tackle security threats. (Reuters)
  • China: President Xi Jinping dismissed suggestions that Beijing will decouple itself from the US and other trading partners due to the rising tensions between Beijing, Washington, and other countries. (AP)
  • Japan: New coronavirus infections have reached a record high in the country, but Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has refrained from calling for restrictions on travel or business so far. (AP)
  • Thailand: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said authorities will use all laws possible against anti-government protesters who break them. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff reiterated that Budapest will not accept the proposed EU budget and coronavirus recovery fund as it amounts to “blackmail”. (Reuters)
  • Denmark: The Health Ministry says the new, mutated strain of the novel coronavirus that started in the country’s mink farms is “most likely” extinct. (Reuters)
  • Germany: The Bundestag is investigating how a group of anti-lockdown protesters were able to enter the Bundestag building and harass lawmakers on the eve of a controversial vote on coronavirus measures and restrictions. (AP)
  • Greece: The head of the country’s Orthodox Church Archbishop Ieronymos was hospitalized with COVID-19. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: The country is reportedly close to signing a new trade agreement with Canada to replace its existing deal with Ottawa through previous European Union membership. (Bloomberg)

Middle East

  • Region: As part of his tour of Europe and the Middle East, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Israel where he became the first US diplomat to visit an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank and also declared that Washington will consider a Palestinian-led boycott movement as “anti-Semitic”. (AP)
  • Iran: The country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said it launched a heavy warship that is capable of carrying helicopters, drones and missile launchers amid ongoing tensions with the U.S. (AP)
  • Iraq: The Yazidi community in the country has chosen a new spiritual leader two months after the death of their previous top cleric. (BBC)

Global Issues

  • Coronavirus: Pfizer said its coronavirus vaccine candidate is 95% effective, safe, and also protects older people, according to new test results, as it alongside its German partner BioNTech prepares to formally ask regulators across the world for approval. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: Canada has for the first time named China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea as major cybersecurity threats, and said foreign actors could try and disrupt the country’s electricity supply. (Reuters)

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 19NOV20: 56,358,603
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 19NOV20: 36,252,206
      • Deaths as of 19NOV20: 1,351,381
      • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (20NOV20)

  • Global: The Finance Ministers of G20 countries will hold a virtual meeting.
  • Global: The 2020 Halifax International Security Forum will be held virtually, featuring NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, and multiple other senior ministers from across the world. (to 22NOV)
  • Global: The Economic Ministers of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member countries will hold a virtual meeting, with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin also expected to attend.
  • Global: CEOs from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member countries will hold a virtual meeting.
  • Global: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with his Europe and Middle East tour which includes planned visits to France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. (to 23NOV)
  • Global: The UN’s World Children’s Day – 1956
  • Africa: The UN’s Africa Industrialization Day – 1990
  • Europe: The setting-up of a Russian ceasefire monitoring center in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region is expected to be completed.
  • Europe: Armenia will have to withdraw from the Aghdam region and hand it over to Azerbaijan.
  • Europe: The Defense Ministers of EU member-states will hold a virtual meeting.
  • Europe: The Space Ministers of EU member-states will hold a virtual meeting.
  • Czech Rep: The country’s coronavirus state of emergency will expire, unless extended.
  • Germany: The 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Nuremberg Trials, with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expected to speak at an event marking the anniversary.
  • Japan: Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will meet with advisers to deliberate on potential new coronavirus measures and restrictions.
  • Morocco: Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska will visit to discuss migrant and refugee policies.
  • Portugal: Parliament is expected to approve the extension of the country’s coronavirus state of emergency.
  • South Africa: Former President Jacob Zuma will testify in front of an anti-corruption panel.
  • Tajikistan: Kyrgyzstan Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbayev will visit and discuss bilateral cooperation.

END