Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: UN experts have accused senior army and intelligence officials of deliberately obstructing a shaky 2015 peace accord, originally designed to reduce violence in the war-torn West African country.
  • AMERICAS: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington will bar private charter flights to Cuba in a move designed to put more economic pressure on the Cuban government.
  • ASIA: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has lifted a coronavirus lockdown on a major city near the border with South Korea where thousands had been quarantined for weeks over coronavirus worries, state media reported.
  • EUROPE: The British government said travelers from the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, Aruba and France will now face a mandatory 14-day quarantine, causing France to warn it would take “reciprocal measures”.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran and Turkey lashed out against the United Arab Emirates and its decision to normalize relations with Israel, accusing it of betraying the Palestinian cause.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Google said it will no longer provide data in response to requests from Hong Kong authorities following the enactment of a new national security law imposed by China.

 

Top Story

  • Belarus: Opposition leader calls for protests and vote recount, released protesters accuse police of abuse.
    • Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called for a recount of last week’s presidential election in the country, and also asked her supporters to take to the streets for a new wave of protests over the weekend.
    • Tsikhanouskaya added “The situation is critical. We need to stop the violence on the streets of Belarus’s cities. I call on the authorities to stop this and start a dialogue.”
    • Tsikhanouskaya’s calls for the recount and protests take place after President Alexander Lukashenko’s government started releasing detained protesters and said it would release all 6,700 of them.
    • Many of the released protesters have talked about brutal beatings and other abuse at the hands of police, with some even showing bruises for their time in police custody, which Amnesty International said indicated “widespread torture”.
    • The Foreign Ministers of EU member-states are set to meet and discuss potential EU sanctions on Belarus today, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen already expressing her support for potential sanctions.
    • Reporting: AP, AFP, DPA, BBC, Reuters

 

Africa 

  • Region: Sudan’s National Security and Defense Council reiterated the importance of reaching a comprehensive and binding deal regarding the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). (Xinhua)
  • DR Congo: The World Health Organization said the country is facing a growing Ebola outbreak in its northwest Equateur province. (VOA)
  • Ivory Coast: At least three people have died during protests against President Alassane Ouattara’s decision to run for a third term in office. (Reuters)
  • Mali: UN experts have accused senior army and intelligence officials of deliberately obstructing a shaky 2015 peace accord, originally designed to reduce violence in the war-torn West African country. (AFP)

 

Americas 

  • Region: Swedish-British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which is developing a promising coronavirus vaccine with the UK’s University of Oxford, said their agreement with Mexico and Argentina to produce the vaccines for Latin America initially foresees the production of 150 million doses for the region. (DPA)
  • Region: The US plans to unveil a major economic investment program with the Colombian government next week according to Mauricio Claver-Carone, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser on Latin America. (Reuters)
  • Region: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington will bar private charter flights to Cuba in a move designed to put more economic pressure on the Cuban government. (VOA)
  • United States: President Donald Trump said he was blocking funding for the Postal Service in a new coronavirus relief bill saying “If we don’t make the deal, that means they can’t have the money, that means they can’t have universal mail-in voting.” (Reuters)
  • Venezuela: The National Assembly has demanded information on an oil spill which has caused a large oil slick to be washed up on the shores of Falcón state. (BBC)

 

Asia 

  • Afghanistan: The government released the first 80 of a final 400 Taliban prisoners, paving the way for negotiations between the government and the Taliban. (AFP)
  • Malaysia: The country’s Human Resources Ministry lifted its limit on the hiring of foreign workers meant to protect jobs for locals in most sectors. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: The country’s leader Kim Jong Un has lifted a coronavirus lockdown on a major city near the border with South Korea where thousands had been quarantined for weeks over coronavirus worries, state media reported. (AP)
  • Philippines: Abu Sayyaf commander Anduljihad Susukan, who has been linked to beheadings of hostages including two Canadians and a Malaysian, surrendered after negotiations with police in southern Davao city. (AP)
  • Vietnam: The Health Ministry has registered to purchase Russia’s new coronavirus vaccine according to state-media reports. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: The Foreign Ministers of EU member-states are set to meet and discuss potential EU sanctions on Belarus and Turkey. (Deutsche Welle)
  • Poland: The country is facing its first recession since the end of the communist era more than three decades ago, according to data from the government’s statistics office, as it deals with the economic fallout of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: The government said travelers from the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, Aruba and France will now face a mandatory 14-day quarantine, causing France to warn it would take “reciprocal measures”. (BBC)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Iran and Turkey lashed out against their regional rival the United Arab Emirates over its decision to normalize relations with Israel, accusing it of betraying the Palestinian cause, even as much of the international community welcomed the move. (AP)
  • Region: Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a deal to normalize relations, with Israel agreeing to temporarily suspend its controversial plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. (BBC)
  • Iran: Local media is reporting that government officials deny the reports of four of the country’s ships and gasoline cargoes being seized by the US. (Reuters)
  • Lebanon: The UN says the death toll from last week’s massive port explosion in the capital Beirut has risen to 178, with an estimated 6,000 people injured and at least 30 still missing. (AP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: Google said it will no longer provide data in response to requests from Hong Kong authorities following the enactment of a new national security law imposed by China. (Reuters)

 

World 

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes:
    • Tropical Storm Josephine
      • Location: 680 miles E-SE of the Northern Leeward Islands
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Movement: W-NW at 15 mph
      • Map
    • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
    • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
        • Confirmed Cases as of 14AUG20: 20,939,967
        • Total Recovered Cases as of 14AUG20: 13,009,485
        • Deaths as of 14AUG20: 759,928
        • 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 08AUG20: 75
        • Probable Cases as of 08AUG20: 4
        • Deaths as of 08AUG20: 33
        • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (15AUG20)

  • Belarus: Protests against the government and the country’s disputed presidential election are expected to continue. (to 16AUG)
  • Congo: Independence Day – 1960
  • Japan: The country marks the 75th anniversary of its surrender in World War II.
  • Liechtenstein: National Day – 1940
  • Poland: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit.
  • South Africa: The government’s coronavirus “state of disaster” expires.
  • South Korea: Liberation Day – 1945
  • United Kingdom: The country will hold rescheduled celebrations to commemorate end of the Second World War in Europe 75 years ago.
  • United States: Officials from Washington and Beijing are expected to meet to discuss their trade agreement.
  • Uzbekistan: The government’s coronavirus restrictions are set to expire but could be extended again.