Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Amnesty International said thousands of intercepted and returned migrants to Libya this year were forcefully disappeared from detention centers run by militias backing the country’s UN-backed government.
  • AMERICAS: German car manufacturer Volkswagen signed a deal with prosecutors to compensate former workers at the company’s unit in Brazil, for collaborating with the former military dictatorship, to identify suspected opponents who were then detained and tortured.
  • ASIA: Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong has reportedly been rearrested by the city’s police.
  • EUROPE: The European Union said Alexander Lukashenko is not Belarus’ legitimate President and that his abrupt swearing-in went directly against the will of the people.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has further tightened Israel’s second coronavirus lockdown due to a continuing surge in the number of coronavirus cases.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Facebook’s long-delayed independent Oversight Board plans to launch in mid-late October, just one month before the November US presidential election, but it remains unclear if it will hear cases related to the election.

Top Story

  • The Koreas: North Korea kills, burns South Korean official.
    • South Korea’s Defense Ministry said a South Korean fisheries official who went missing from a patrol boat earlier this week was picked-up by North Korean troops who subsequently executed the official.
    • According to Seoul, North Korea also set the South Korean official’s body on fire, in what may have been an attempt to prevent the potential spread of the new coronavirus.
    • The South Korean Defense Ministry also said they had intelligence suggesting that the executed South Korean official was attempting to defect to North Korea.
    • The Defense Ministry condemned North Korea’s execution of the official, calling it a “brutal act”, while President Moon Jae-in called the killing a “shocking” incident
    • Meanwhile, North Korea has currently issued no statements about the incident.
    • Reporting: NYT, BBC, Reuters, AP, WaPo

Africa

  • Region: Africa Centres for Disease Control head John Nkengasong praised African countries for managing to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, as the continent continues to report fewer coronavirus cases and deaths compared to Europe, Asia. and the Americas. (BBC)
  • Ivory Coast: The government plans to release associates of opposition leader Guillaume Soro from detention, in a bid to calm tensions ahead of the country’s upcoming presidential election. (Reuters)
  • Libya: Amnesty International said thousands of intercepted and returned migrants to the country this year were forcefully disappeared from detention centers run by militias backing the country’s UN-backed government. (AP)

Americas

  • Region: Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro blasted US sanctions and accused the US of “criminal, inhuman aggression” in his pre-recorded speech to the UN’s General Assembly, while refusing to mention of a UN report accusing his regime of crimes against humanity. (AP)
  • Brazil: German car manufacturer Volkswagen signed a deal with prosecutors to compensate former workers at the company’s unit in the country for collaborating with the former military dictatorship, to identify suspected opponents who were then detained and tortured. (AFP)
  • Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed plans to spend billions on childcare, housing and healthcare, which will partly be funded by putting taxes on “extreme wealth inequality”. (Guardian)
  • United States: Two Louisville police officers were shot during protests that broke out after a grand jury’s decision to not charge any officer in the killing of Breonna Taylor. (NYT)

Asia  

  • Region: China has banned Australian academic Clive Hamilton and researcher Alex Joske from entering the country, neither of whom say they had any plans to travel to China, with state-media branding the duo “anti-China scholars”. (Guardian)
  • Region: New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga held his first phone call with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and discussed the need for the two neighboring countries to resolve their strained relations. (AP)
  • Australia: Rescuers managed to save 88 pilot whales that were left stranded near the Tasmanian coast, as the focus now shifts to final rescue efforts and removing 380 whale carcasses from the waters. (AP)
  • China: Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong has reportedly been rearrested by the city’s police. (DPA)

Europe

  • Belarus: The European Union said Alexander Lukashenko is not the country’s legitimate President and that his abrupt swearing-in went directly against the will of the people. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Greenpeace said its activists have scaled the State Chancellery in Dusseldorf to protest against a controversial lignite mine in the country’s west. (DPA)
  • Italy: Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that while another general lockdown remained unlikely, the government may opt to implement targeted lockdowns where necessary to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. (Reuters)
  • Russia: New coronavirus cases have reached the highest level since June in the capital city of Moscow, raising fears of a new wave of cases in the world’s fourth most affected country. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to urge other world leaders to “build back better” after the coronavirus crisis and commit to net zero emission targets, when speaking at a UN meeting. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz took aim at Iran during his speech to the UN General Assembly, calling for a comprehensive solution to prevent Tehran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. (RFE-RL)
  • Region: The US has reportedly granted Iraq a 60-day extension to a sanctions waiver allowing it to import Iranian gas for its crippled power grids. (AFP)
  • Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has further tightened the country’s second coronavirus lockdown due to a continuing surge in the number of coronavirus cases. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Facebook’s long-delayed independent Oversight Board plans to launch in mid-late October, just before the November US presidential election, but it remains unclear if it will hear cases related to the election. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes:
    • Tropical Storm Beta
      • Location: 55 miles W-SW of Jackson, Mississippi
      • Wind: 30 mph
      • Movement: NE at 10 mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 24SEP20: 31,896,433
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 24SEP20: 21,995,874
      • Deaths as of 24SEP20: 976,974
      • 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 19SEP20: 118
      • Probable Cases as of 19SEP20: 6
      • Deaths as of 19SEP20: 48
      • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (25SEP20)

  • Global: The Finance Ministers of G7 countries will hold a virtual meeting.
  • Global: The UN Security Council is scheduled to discuss the situations in Colombia, Sudan, and Haiti.
  • Global: The UN General Assembly’s high-level debate will be held. (to 29SEP)
  • Global: The Finance Ministers of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member-states will hold a virtual meeting.
  • Global: The Oslo Freedom Forum will be held virtually featuring speakers including Uyghur journalist Gulchehra Hoja, Thai opposition leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, and exiled Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law.
  • 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.
  • Australia: Youth activists to reportedly hold school strikes in support of action against climate change.
  • Cuba: Monetary reforms to potentially be announced.
  • India: A farmer’s strike will reportedly be held. (to 26SEP)
  • Spain: Capital city Madrid will extends it coronavirus restrictions to more areas within the city.

END