Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The UN’s World Food Program warned of food insecurity in Mozambique due to growing violence in the country’s north by militants linked to the Islamic State.
  • AMERICAS: Canadian police searched an apartment linked to the person detained for sending a ricin-filled envelope to the White House and five other addresses in the US.
  • ASIA: The Chinese government is reportedly pushing a growing number of rural workers in Tibet into military-style training centers to turn them into factory workers, in a program mirroring its program in the western Xinjiang region that rights groups branded as “coercive labor”.
  • EUROPE: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly set to announce new anti-coronavirus measures and restrictions just falling short of another national lockdown.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Jordan signed a charter creating a new international forum, which will be based in Egypt, to promote natural gas exports from the eastern Mediterranean.
  • GLOBAL ISSUES: The UN’s first virtually-held general debate is set to begin, with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin among the world leaders who are expected to speak.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Chinese tech company Tencent’s messaging app WeChat reportedly saw a surge in US downloads, after the US confirmed it would proceed with a planned ban of the app.

 

Top Story

  • China: Tycoon who denounced government’s coronavirus response sentenced to 18 years in jail.
    • Outspoken property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang was sentenced to 18 years in prison for corruption by the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court, in a punishment that seems to be aimed at deterring dissent.
    • Ren, who is a former Chinese Communist Party member and a well-connected member of China’s main political and business circles, is known for his blunt criticism of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
    • Earlier in the year, Ren wrote an essay criticizing the Chinese government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, following which both he and his son disappeared for a period of time.
    • Although Ren did not mention Xi directly in the essay, he wrote about a power-hungry “clown” in the essay.
    • Following his essay, Ren was placed under investigation by the Chinese Communist Party in April and expelled from the party altogether in July, after being accused of “colluding with his children to accumulate wealth without restraint.”
    • Reporting: BBC, WaPo, DPA, WSJ, NYT

 

Africa

  • Libya: Turkey said the EU’s decision to sanction Turkish shipping firm Avrasya Shipping, which is accused of breaking a UN arms embargo to Tripoli, showed the EU’s double standard and biased stance. (Reuters)
  • Mali: Former Defense Minister and retired Colonel Major Bah N’Daw was named President by the country’s military junta. (VOA)
  • Mozambique: The UN’s World Food Program warned of food insecurity in the country due to growing violence in the country’s north by militants linked to the Islamic State. (Reuters)

 

Americas

  • Region: Canadian police searched an apartment linked to the person detained for sending a ricin-filled envelope to the White House and five other addresses in the US. (Reuters)
  • Region: The US announced it will offer a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Wilver Villegas Palomino, a leader of the ELN rebel group in Colombia. (BBC)
  • Colombia: The country saw some of the worst violence this weekend since a 2016 peace deal, leaving at least 10 people dead, with authorities indicating the likelihood of FARC dissidents being responsible. (AFP)
  • United States: President Donald Trump met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is now considered to be the top contender to be President Trump’s Supreme Court pick. (AP)

 

Asia  

  • Australia: Rescuers managed to free 25 of the 270 whales that are stranded near the island of Tasmania, as authorities confirmed that at least 90 of the remaining whales died. (Guardian)
  • China: The government is reportedly pushing a growing number of rural workers in Tibet into military-style training centers to turn them into factory workers, in a program mirroring its program in the western Xinjiang region that rights groups branded as “coercive labor”. (Reuters
  • Indonesia: President Joko Widodo ordered an acceleration of the construction of a deep sea port in the town of Subang on the island of Java, setting a goal of completing the first phase of the project by November. (Reuters)
  • Taiwan: President Tsai Ing-wen visited a military base on the Penghu islands and said she would not allow other countries to “show off” in her country’s airspace, in a clear reference to Chinese jets that recently entered the island’s territory. (DPA)
  • Vietnam: Twenty people were imprisoned for the bombing of a police station in Ho Chi Minh City in June 2018, according to state media reports. (AFP)

 

Europe

  • Italy: Exit polls of a referendum on the size of Parliament show voters backing the reduction of Parliament by more than a third. (BBC)
  • Poland: Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said the government is making efforts to secure the supply of flu vaccines from international producers after a national shortage of the vaccines emerged due to increased demand for them amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (AP)
  • Turkey: Former Kurdish lawmaker Sebahat Tuncel, who is currently in jail on terrorism charges, was given an additional prison sentence for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly set to announce new anti-coronavirus measures and restrictions just falling short of another national lockdown. (Reuters)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Jordan signed a charter creating a new international forum, which will be based in Egypt, to promote natural gas exports from the eastern Mediterranean. (Reuters)
  • Region: Over half a dozen supporters of exiled Palestinian politician Mohammed Dahlan were arrested by Palestinian security forces. (Reuters)
  • Iran: The US imposed new sanctions and export control measures on 27 entities and individuals linked to Tehran’s nuclear weapons program. (VOA)
  • Israel: The Cabinet approved a new $3 billion aid package for businesses and self-employed workers due to the country’s second coronavirus lockdown. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: The Red Cross opened a new field hospital in the city of Aden, which will be used specifically to treat coronavirus patients. (AP)

 

Global Issues

  • UN: The UN’s first virtually-held general debate is set to begin, with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin among the world leaders who are expected to speak. (AP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Chinese tech company Tencent’s messaging app WeChat reportedly saw a surge in US downloads, after the US confirmed it would proceed with a planned ban of the app. (Reuters

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Tropical Storm Dolphin
      • Location: 493 nautical miles S-SW of Yokosuka, Japan
      • Wind: 70 mph
      • Movement: N at 8 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes
    • Hurricane Teddy
      • Location: 435 miles S of Halifax, Canada
      • Wind: 100 mph
      • Movement: N-NW at 24 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Storm Beta
      • Location: 35 miles N-NW of Fort Connor, Texas
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Movement: NW at 3 mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 22SEP20: 31,337,352 
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 22SEP20: 21,516,481
      • Deaths as of 22SEP20: 965,250
      • 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 11SEP20: 115 
      • Probable Cases as of 11SEP20: 6 
      • Deaths as of 11SEP20: 48
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (23SEP20)

  • Global: The UN General Assembly’s high-level debate will be held. (to 29SEP)
  • Global: The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Business Forum will be held virtually.
  • Global: The UN’s International Day of Sign Languages – 2018
  • Europe: Russian armed forces, as well as the militaries of Belarus, China, Armenia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Iran, to conduct military exercises in Russia’s Caucasus region. (to 26SEP)
  • Europe: Polish President Andrzej Duda will visit Italy, marking his first foreign visit since his recent reelection, and meet with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. President Duda will also visit the Vatican City and meet with Pope Francis before ending his trip. (to 25SEP)
  • Europe: The European Central Bank’s governing council will hold a non-monetary policy meeting.
  • Europe: The European Commission is expected to unveil migration and asylum policy reform proposals.
  • China: The government will end its suspension on issuing tourist visas.
  • Germany: Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is expected to present a draft 2021 budget to Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet ministers.
  • Saudi Arabia: Saudi National Day – 1932
  • Thailand: Public sector representatives, led by human rights NGO iLaw, are expected to deliver a petition signed by 70,000 people proposing constitutional amendments to Parliament. The legislature is then expected to discuss the petition for two days. (to 24SEP)
  • United States: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will deliberate over the nomination of Chad Wolf to be Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • United States: The traditional First Nail Ceremony will be held, marking the start of construction of the 2021 Presidential Inaugural platform.
  • United States: The White House will extend the national emergency with respect to terrorism pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, for another year.
  • United States: The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the role of allies and partners in US military strategy and operations.
  • United States: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to deliver remarks at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

 

END