Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The United Nations gained access to Mali’s ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, while the country’s rebel troops say they have released two other detained leaders.
  • AMERICAS: Former US Vice President Joe Biden accepted the Democratic presidential nomination for November’s election.
  • ASIA: The Philippines filed a diplomatic protest after China seized fishing equipment set up by Filipinos in a disputed South China Sea shoal.
  • EUROPE: Allies of stricken Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny accused the Russian authorities of thwarting his medical evacuation to Germany deliberately.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Palestinian militants launched 12 rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip overnight, nine of which were intercepted, resulting in Israel retaliating with three airstrikes on targets linked to the territory’s militant Hamas rulers, Israel’s military said.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The popular messaging app called Telegram has become an indispensable tool in coordinating the unprecedented anti-government mass protests that were recently sparked in Belarus.

Top Story

  • Iran: US officially triggers ‘snapback’ sanctions against Iran.
    • The US formally notified the United Nations of its demand to reimpose all UN sanctions on Tehran using the “snapback” mechanism that is part of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which President Trump already withdrew from two years ago.
    • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo filed an official complaint with the President of the Security Council, blaming Iran for violating the 2015 nuclear deal, triggering a 30-day countdown before the sanctions are re-imposed.
    • The complaint subsequently sparked an immediate confrontation with Russia, China and other Security Council members, including America’s European allies such as the UK, France and Germany, who branded the US move illegal.
    • The UK, France and Germany all said the US did not have the legal right to trigger the “snapback” sanctions as Washington had already withdrawn its participation in the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.
    • In response, Secretary Pompeo accused European allies of “siding with the ayatollahs”.
    • Reporting: Reuters, WaPo, BBC, AP

Africa  

  • Kenya: Doctors at most public hospitals in the capital Nairobi went on strike due to delayed salaries and and a lack of protective equipment when handling patients who may have the coronavirus. (Reuters)
  • Mali: The United Nations gained access to the country’s ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, while the country’s rebel troops say they have released two other detained leaders. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: The National Salvation Front claims to have killed six bodyguards assigned to Vice President James Wani Igga in an attack on the village of Lo’bonok, nearly 90 kilometers from the capital Juba. (VOA)

Americas  

  • Region: The US said Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro is blocking US citizens from leaving Venezuela, rebuffing efforts by Washington to arrange humanitarian evacuation flights. (Reuters)
  • Bolivia: The Bolivian Justice Ministry filed a criminal complaint against exiled former President Evo Morales for statutory rape and human trafficking. (BBC)
  • Brazil: The lower house of Congress voted in favor of upholding President Jair Bolosonaro’s veto blocking pay increases for civil servants. (Reuters)
  • Mexico: Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the country will receive at least 2,000 doses of Russia’s potential vaccine against the coronavirus for testing among the country’s population. (Reuters)
  • United States: Former Vice President Joe Biden accepted the Democratic Presidential nomination for November’s election. (AP)

Asia  

  • Region: The Philippines filed a diplomatic protest after China seized fishing equipment set up by Filipinos in a disputed South China Sea shoal. (AP)
  • Papua New Guinea: The government prevented the arrival of a group of Chinese workers after Chinese mining company Ramu NiCo Management claimed to have immunized its employees against the coronavirus in an apparent vaccination trial. (AP)
  • Singapore: Researchers in the country discovered a new variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus that only causes milder infections. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: Daily coronavirus infections increased by 324 new cases health authorities said, marking the country’s highest daily rise in new coronavirus cases since early March. (DPA)

Europe

  • Belarus: Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya called upon her supporters to step up their strikes despite “intimidation” from the authorities, as prosecutors start questioning her allies. (BBC)
  • Ireland: Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary resigned after facing criticism for attending a social event, which may have breached the country’s COVID-19 regulations. (Reuters)
  • Russia: Allies of stricken opposition leader Alexei Navalny accused the authorities of thwarting his medical evacuation to Germany deliberately. (Reuters)
  • Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered another ancient Orthodox church in Istanbul to be turned back into a mosque from its current usage as the Kariye Museum. (AFP).
  • United Kingdom: The country’s public debt rose above 2 trillion pounds for the first time due to a fall in tax revenues and an increase in government spending to help deal with the economic fallout of the global coronavirus pandemic. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen reportedly Intercepted a missile and drone  launched by Yemen’s Houthi group towards Saudi Arabia’s southern region close to the border in Yemen. (Reuters)
  • Israel: Palestinian militants launched 12 rockets at the country from the Gaza Strip overnight, nine of which were intercepted, resulting in the country retaliating with three airstrikes on targets linked to the territory’s militant Hamas rulers, the military said. (AP)
  • United Arab Emirates: Government officials warned they could reinstate a de-facto overnight curfew in some areas of the country if those areas have a high amount of coronavirus infections. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: The popular messaging app called Telegram has become an indispensable tool in coordinating the unprecedented anti-government mass protests that were recently sparked in Belarus. (AP)

World  

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes:
    • Tropical Storm Genevieve
      • Location: 130 miles W-SW of Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico
      • Wind: 50 mph
      • Movement: W-NW at 9 mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes:
    • Indonesia
      • Location: 220 km S-SE of Katabu, Indonesia
      • Magnitude: 6.9
      • Depth: 627.3 km
      • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 21AUG20: 22,697,162
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 21AUG20: 14,554,625
      • Deaths as of 21AUG20: 794,021
      • 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 (22AUG20)

  • Asia: 52nd ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting. (to 29AUG)
  • Denmark: Face masks will become mandatory on public transport.

END