Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The WHO is set to certify the continent’s wild-polio free status, four years after the last cases appeared in northeastern Nigeria.
  • AMERICAS: The Republican party nominated US President Donald Trump as their candidate for the country’s upcoming elections.
  • ASIA: Thai police arrested human rights lawyer Anon Nampa for a third time this month, and said they plan to charge him for sedition over his role in a political rally where calls were made to reform Thailand’s powerful monarchy.
  • EUROPE: One patient in the Netherlands and another in Belgium were confirmed to have been re-infected with the new coronavirus, months after their first coronavirus infections.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran said it held “constructive” talks with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Mariano Grossi during his visit to the country.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: General Paul Nakasone, the Commander of US Cyber Command and the Director of the National Security Agency, is set to defend the US government’s shift toward a more aggressive strategy in cyberspace to keep pace with new threats.

Top Story

  • United States: US-China signal progress on trade deal discussions.
    • Senior US and Chinese and government officials held discussions over the phase-one trade agreement that the two countries struck in January.
    • US officials taking part in the video conference included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, while Chinese Vice Premier Liu He attended on behalf of Beijing.
    • Both sides agreed to “push forward” the phase one economic deal, with the US later releasing a statement saying both sides “see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement”, and China releasing a statement saying there had been “constructive dialogue” during the talks.
    • The discussions were held as part of a six-month appraisal on the trade agreement between the two countries.
    • Reporting: Reuters, AFP, WSJ, NYT, Bloomberg, CNN

Africa

  • Region: The WHO is set to certify the continent’s wild-polio free status, four years after the last cases appeared in northeastern Nigeria. (AFP)
  • Mali: Three days of talks between the country’s new junta and ECOWAS mediators failed to result in any decision on the make-up of a new transitional government for the country. (VOA)
  • Sudan: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in the country becoming the most senior US official to visit the country since the ouster of its previous leader and autocrat Omar al-Bashir last year. (AP)
  • Tunisia: Prime Minister-designate Hichem Mechichi introduced his cabinet which is made-up of independent technocrats without parties, as he seeks to distance his new government from political conflicts and focusing on economic issues. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro accused journalists of “malevolence” and “debauchery,” a day after threatening to punch a journalist who questioned him about corruption accusations involving the First Lady. (AFP)
  • Colombia: President Ivan Duque announced that the country will take part in trials of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine and enter a period of “selective” quarantine when its coronavirus lockdown ends this month. (Reuters)
  • Ecuador: China’s Ambassador to Quito, Chen Guoyou, told the country’s Congress that the Chinese fishing ships operating near the Galapagos Islands were complying with international fishing regulations on the high seas and none have been reported for illegal activities. (Reuters)
  • United States: The Republican party nominated President Donald Trump as their candidate for the country’s upcoming elections. (WSJ)

Asia  

  • Region: Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh held a “silent protest” to commemorate the third anniversary of clashes between Rohingya insurgents and Myanmar’s security forces that resulted in the huge movement of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh. (Reuters)
  • Australia: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government blocked Chinese company Mengniu Dairy from purchasing Kirin Holdings’ Australian subsidiary Lion Dairy and Drinks as it “would be contrary to the national interest.” (AP)
  • Philippines: The army said two Islamic militants were responsible for yesterday’s suicide bombings in Jolo town that killed at least 14 people and wounded 75 others, in the country’s worst extremist attack this year. (AP)
  • Thailand: Police arrested human rights lawyer Anon Nampa for a third time this month, and said they plan to charge him for sedition over his role in a political rally where calls were made to reform the country’s powerful monarchy. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: One patient in the Netherlands and another in Belgium were confirmed to have been re-infected with the new coronavirus, months after their first coronavirus infections. (Reuters)
  • Region: Turkey and Greece are set to hold rival naval exercises off the Greek island of Crete, amid rising tensions over oil and gas claims in the Eastern Mediterranean. (BBC)
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina: The hearing of former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic’s appeal against his conviction for genocide and crimes against humanity at The Hague started after several delays. (BBC)
  • Turkey: Police in Istanbul say they detained a suspected Islamic State group militant who they allege was planning a “sensational” attack on the city. (AP)

Middle East

  • Region: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington will ensure that Israel retains its military advantage in the region under any US arms deal with the UAE. (VOA)
  • Iran: Tehran said it held “constructive” talks with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Mariano Grossi during his visit to the country. (AFP)
  • Israel: The military said it bombed militant positions in the Gaza Strip in response to incendiary balloons once again being launched into the country, this time into its southern farmlands. (AP)
  • Syria: Russia’s Defense Ministry says a Russian armored vehicle was attacked during a joint Russian-Turkish patrol in the country’s Idlib province. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Cyberwarfare: General Paul Nakasone, the Commander of US Cyber Command and the Director of the National Security Agency, is set to defend the US government’s shift toward a more aggressive strategy in cyberspace to keep pace with new threats. (AP)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes:
    • Tropical Storm Laura
      • Location: 175 miles E-SE of Cayo Largo
      • Wind: 65 mph
      • Movement: W-NW at 18 mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 25AUG20: 23,676,599
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 25AUG20: 15,358,319
      • Deaths as of 25AUG20: 813,789
      • 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 (26AUG20)

  • Asia: ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting to be held in Vietnam. (to 29AUG20)
  • Europe: The Defense Ministers of EU member-states will hold informal talks.
  • Europe: A pan-European commission headed by ex-Italian leader Mario Monti will begin work on how countries have responded to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Bahrain: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will continue his travel to Israel, Sudan, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. (to 28AUG20)
  • Greece: Parliament is scheduled to vote on economic zones in the Mediterranean amid tensions with Turkey.
  • Singapore: The government will release its July manufacturing data.
  • United States: US Vice President Mike Pence to address the Republican National Convention.
  • United States: President Donald Trump will meet with medical professionals to discuss coronavirus pandemic.

END