Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Voting in Burkina Faso’s general election ended, with only a few polling stations in eastern areas affected by a jihadist conflict forcing them to close early due to security reasons.
  • AMERICAS: US President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly set to name Antony Blinken as Secretary of State, and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as Washington’s ambassador to the UN.
  • ASIA: Leading Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong and two fellow activists pleaded guilty to unlawful assembly during last year’s mass protests in the city.
  • EUROPE: The EU’s medicines regulator clarified that it could approve the first coronavirus vaccines anytime between late this year or early next year, following European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen comments that the regulator could approve Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines in December.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly held a meeting in secret with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also reportedly in attendance of the meeting.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The Australian government will provide $500,000 to the Australian National University to setup a “Quad tech network” between the four “Quad” democratic countries of Australia, the US, India, and Japan.

 

Top Story

  • Global: Astrazeneca/Oxford University coronavirus vaccine joins Pfizer, Moderna vaccines in showing high effectiveness.
    • The coronavirus vaccine being developed by Astrazeneca/Oxford University joined the coronavirus vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna in showing high rates of protection against the coronavirus.
    • Though a success, the Astrazeneca/Oxford University vaccine showed an up to 90% protection rate in a large trial if administered at half dose and then a full dose a month later, as compared to the rival Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines that both showed a 95% protection rate. 
    • The Astrazeneca/Oxford University is likely to be cheaper compared to Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines however, in part due to it not being required to be stored at subzero temperatures.
    • The Astrazeneca/Oxford University vaccine can also be distributed more easily as it can be transported under “normal refrigerated conditions”. 
    • Reporting: BBC, WSJ, Reuters, AP, AFP, WaPo, DPA

 

Africa

  • Burkina Faso: Voting in the country’s general election ended, with only a few polling stations in eastern areas affected by a jihadist conflict having to close early due to security reasons. (BBC)
  • Ethiopia: State-affiliated media said the Ethiopia’s Tigray People’s Liberation Front destroyed an airport in the ancient city of Axum following a 72-hour surrender deadline issued by federal forces. (Reuters)
  • Senegal: Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya visited and met with Prime Minister Macky Sall to discuss a sudden increase in migrants arriving in Spain from the country. (AP)
  • South Africa: The anti-corruption commission investigating corruption under former President Jacob Zuma’s term in office will ask the police to investigate ex-President Zuma after he walked out from proceedings last week. (AFP)

 

Americas

  • Colombia: Massacres in the Antioquia department in the northwest and Cauca department in the southwest resulted in the deaths of at least 13 people. (AFP)
  • Guatemala: Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in capital Guatemala City for a second consecutive day to demand the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei over his administration’s recent budget. (AFP)
  • United States: President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly set to name Antony Blinken as Secretary of State, and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as Washington’s ambassador to the UN. (Reuters)

 

Asia  

  • Afghanistan: The UN’s Refugee Chief Filippo Grandi urged the international community to continue assisting Kabul or face the risk of “disastrous consequences”. (AFP
  • China: Leading Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong and two fellow activists pleaded guilty to unlawful assembly during last year’s mass protests in the city. (BBC)
  • Japan: A UN human rights panel called Tokyo’s detention of former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn “arbitrary” and urged the government to compensate Ghosn. (AP)
  • Philippines: The US renewed a pledge to defend the country should it be attacked in the disputed South China Sea and provided Manila with precision-guided missiles and other weapons to defeat the Islamic State group’s presence within the country. (AP)

 

Europe

  • Region: The EU’s medicines regulator clarified that it could approve the first coronavirus vaccines anytime between late this year or early next year, following European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen comments that the regulator could approve Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines in December. (AFP)
  • France: Former President Nicolas Sarkozy is set to go on trial over corruption allegations as part of a phone-tapping scandal. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: The Supreme Court is set to hear the case of Shamima Begum, a woman stripped of her citizenship due to joining the Islamic State in Syria, who wants to return to the country to appeal against the earlier ruling. (AFP)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly held a meeting in secret with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also reportedly in attendance of the meeting. (AFP)
  • Region: Yemen’s Houthi Rebels said they hit an oil facility in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah with a cruise missile, just hours after Riyadh ended the G20 leaders’ summit. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: G20 country leaders pledged to ensure affordable access to coronavirus vaccines for people across the world at the G20 Summit hosted by Riyadh. (AP)
  • Syria: President Bashar al-Assad appointed veteran diplomat Faisal Mekdad as the country’s new Foreign Minister. (Reuters)
  • United Arab Emirates: The country announced the discovery of two billion barrels of conventional oil reserves and 22 billion barrels of unconventional oil reserves. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The Australian government will provide $500,000 to the Australian National University to setup a “Quad tech network” between the four “Quad” democratic countries of Australia, the US, India, and Japan. (Guardian)

 

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 23NOV20: 58,751,191 
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 23NOV20: 37,559,450
      • Deaths as of 23NOV20: 1,389,770
      • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (24NOV20)

  • Africa: The African Union Commission and the International Energy Agency will hold the AUC-IEA Ministerial Forum featuring South Africa’s Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.
  • Asia: Transparency International is expected to release its Global Corruption Barometer – Asia. 
  • Europe: European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde will speak at a UN roundtable on sustainable development.
  • Europe: The European Court of Justice will rule on the rejection of visa applications due to concerns of another member state.
  • Afghanistan: The 2020 Afghanistan Conference will be held jointly by Finland and the country’s government, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also expected to attend.
  • China: The expected launch date of Beijing’s Chang’e 5 lunar sample return mission, the first of its kind in decades.
  • Colombia: The 4th anniversary of the signing of the peace deal with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels.
  • Germany: The government will release detailed statistics on the country’s Q3 gross domestic production.
  • Iraq: The UN Security Council will hold a meeting on the country.
  • Japan: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit and meet with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. (to 25NOV)
  • Turkey: The in-absentia trial of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s adviser and a former Saudi Arabian deputy intelligence chief will resume.
  • Spain: Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is expected to meet his Cabinet and potentially approve and announce the government’s coronavirus vaccination plan.
  • Sweden: The government’s new coronavirus measures and restrictions will take effect.
  • United Kingdom: The posthumous appeal of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Scotland, will be heard.
  • United States: President-elect Joe Biden is expected to announce his first Cabinet appointments.
  • United States: Kuwait’s Foreign Minister will visit to attend the US-Kuwait Strategic Dialogue and meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
  • United States: The annual National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation in the White House Rose Garden will be held.

 

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