Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Around 900 prisoners escaped from a jail in the DR Congo city of Beni after the jail was attacked by the Allied Democratic Forces, an Islamist militant group from Uganda.
  • AMERICAS: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US and Brazil must reduce their dependence on Chinese imports for security reasons.
  • ASIA: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to visit the Indian Ocean island-nations of the Maldives and Sri Lanka.
  • EUROPE: French authorities are set to shut down a Paris mosque as part of a crackdown that has resulted in over a dozen arrests after the recent beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The UAE sent its first ever official delegation to Israel following the recent diplomatic normalization deal between the two countries.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The Swedish telecoms regulator banned Chinese telecoms groups Huawei and ZTE from the country’s network for security reasons.

 

Top Story

  • Global: COVID cases expected to surge in the Americas, UK backs “human challenge” trials.
    • Argentina is now the fifth in the world to have recorded more than 1 million coronavirus cases.
    • Other countries in the Americas, such as Colombia, Mexico and Peru, are also expected to join Argentina in crossing 1 million coronavirus cases in the near future.
    • Elsewhere, the United Kingdom’s government said to aid the rapid development of a coronavirus vaccine, it would back “human challenge” trials in which young and healthy volunteers will deliberately be infected with COVID-19 to accelerate vaccine trials and development.
    • The plan will first need to be approved by an ethics committee, and if it is given the greenlight, it will start in January 2021, with the first results expected by May 2021. 
    • The UK government said it would invest $43.5 million into the “human challenge” trials.
    • Reporting: BBC, Reuters, DPA, AP, AFP, BBC2, AP2

 

Africa

  • Region: Around 900 prisoners escaped from a jail in the DR Congo city of Beni after the jail was attacked by the Allied Democratic Forces, an Islamist militant group from Uganda. (NYT)
  • Central African Republic: The UN Envoy for the country, Mankeur Ndiaye said that though the political situation remains tense, the country “is very definitely on its way to holding successful elections” in late December. (AP)
  • Sudan: US President Donald Trump said Washington would remove the country from its state sponsors of terrorism list as soon as Khartoum sets aside $335 million it agreed to pay to US victims and families of militant attacks. (Reuters)

 

Americas

  • Region: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US and Brazil must reduce their dependence on Chinese imports for security reasons. (Reuters
  • Canada: Political leaders criticized Chinese Ambassador Cong Peiwu’s warning to Ottawa against granting asylum to Hong Kongers. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: Thousands of indigenous people continued demonstrations in the capital city Bogota urging the government to end the spiraling violence in their home regions. (DPA)
  • Peru: President Martin Vizcarra denied new corruption allegations as prosecutors said they will open a preliminary investigation into the new corruption allegations. (Reuters

 

Asia  

  • Region: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to visit the Indian Ocean island-nations of the Maldives and Sri Lanka. (Reuters)
  • Region: China called upon India to adhere to its pledge to swiftly return a Chinese soldier that was found lost within India along the mountainous border between the two countries that is the site of a tense standoff. (AP)
  • Australia: Spy chief Michael Burgess told Parliament that espionage levels within the country are eclipsing those of the Cold War era. (AFP)
  • Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte said he had no issues in being held responsible for drugs-related executions in the country. (AP)

 

Europe

  • France: Authorities are set to shut down a Paris mosque as part of a crackdown that has resulted in over a dozen arrests after the recent beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. (AFP
  • Germany: Berlin issued arrest warrants for the founders of the Panama Papers-linked Mossack Fonseca law firm. (AFP)
  • Ireland: The government imposed the highest level of coronavirus measures and restrictions upon the country once again. (BBC
  • Russia: The Russian Embassy in the US rejected US allegations of Kremlin hackers committing cyberattacks against rival countries. (DPA)

 

Middle East

  • Region: US International Development Finance Corporation head Adam Boehler announced the creation of a new regional fund by the US, Israel, and the UAE to encourage private-sector investment and increase regional cooperation. (Reuters
  • Region: Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat remains in a stable but critical condition in an Israeli hospital according to his family. (AP)
  • Region: The UAE sent its first ever official delegation to Israel following the recent diplomatic normalization deal between the two countries. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris after which Macron’s office issued a statement on the importance of the fight against terrorism and welcoming French group Alstom’s plans to work on the Baghdad city metro project. (Reuters
  • Kuwait: In a speech to lawmakers the country’s new Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah urged for national unity to help the country deal with the challenges it faces. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The Swedish telecoms regulator banned Chinese telecoms groups Huawei and ZTE from the country’s network for security reasons. (AFP)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Tropical Storm Saudel
      • Location: 149 nautical miles E-NE of Manila, Philippines
      • Wind: 45 mph
      • Movement: W at 17 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes
    • Alaska
      • Location: 91 km SE of Sand Point, Alaska
      • Magnitude: 7.5
      • Depth: 40.1 km
      • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 20OCT20: 40,425,663 
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 20OCT20: 27,714,999
      • Deaths as of 20OCT20: 1,118,635
      • 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 (21OCT20)

  • Global: The Financial Action Task Force will hold a plenary session. (to 23OCT)
  • Global: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will visit Cyprus and meet with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades for the Egypt-Greece-Cyprus trilateral summit.
  • Global: The World Economic Forum will launch its Future of Jobs report.
  • Asia: New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will make his first official foreign visits to Vietnam, and then Indonesia.
  • Americas: The Organization of American States will hold its General Assembly.
  • Europe: The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in Kosovo.
  • Colombia: Anti-government protests are expected to be held. 
  • Greece: Coronavirus measures and restrictions for refugees and migrants in camps on the island of Chios will expire.
  • Spain: A no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government that was tabled by the far-right Vox Party will be debated. (to 22OCT)
  • Sudan: International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will visit and discuss about former dictator Omar al-Bashir who is wanted for war crimes.
  • Tunisia: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will visit. (to 22OCT)
  • United States: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will host the first US government conference on tackling online anti-semitism. (to 22OCT)
  • United States: Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia will speak at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference.

 

END