Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi announced that Tokyo plans to send a team of environment ministry officials and specialists to Mauritius to assess the damage from the oil spill.
  • AMERICAS: COVID-19 cases in Latin America, the region of the world worst-affected by the pandemic, exceeded 6 million and continued to accelerate, according to a Reuters tally, as most of its nations began to relax lockdown measures. 
  • ASIA: Indian Prime Minister Modi said his nation has done well in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and announced $1.46 trillion in infrastructure projects to boost the slowing economy.
  • EUROPE: The United States is to sign a deal with Poland to boost the US military presence in the eastern EU member by another 1,000 troops and make Poland the headquarters of the leadership of the US Army V Corps
  • MIDDLE EAST: The United Arab Emirates has made a “huge mistake” in reaching a deal toward normalizing ties with Israel, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani stated in a recent televised speech.  
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: President Donald Trump ordered the Chinese company ByteDance 90 days to divest itself of any assets it owns in the popular TikTok app in the United States

 

Top Story

  • United States: There is growing tension over accusations that the Trump administration is sabotaging the postal service to aid in his reelection. 
    • The US Postal Service (USPS) announced that millions of mail-in votes might not arrive in time to be counted on the presidential election day, November 3rd.
    • United Parcel Service (UPS.N) and FedEx (FDX.N) rejected social media calls that they step in to help deliver mail-in ballots from the U.S. Postal Service, which is warning states of potentially “significant” delays.
    • The removal of dozens of mailboxes in a handful of states set off a social media panic and anger by democratic officials, but the U.S. Postal Service stated the boxes are just being moved to higher-volume areas.
    • The internal watchdog at the United States Postal Service is looking over  controversial policy changes recently undertaken by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, and is also examining DeJoy’s compliance with federal ethics rules, a spokeswoman for the USPS inspector general and an aide to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who requested the review reported
    • Reporting: BBC, Reuters, AP, CNN,

 

Africa  

  • Mauritius: Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi announced that Tokyo planned to send a team of environment ministry officials and specialists to the island nation to assess the damage from the oil spill. (Reuters
  • Rwanda: The country reported 93 new COVID-19 cases and 46 recoveries in the past day, after a two-week downward trend in active COVID-19 cases. (Xinhua
  • South Africa: The nation is preparing for a possible resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the infection rate slowing in recent days, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said. (Xinhua

 

Americas  

  • Region: COVID-19 cases in Latin America, the region of the world worst-affected by the pandemic, exceeded 6 million and continued to accelerate, according to a Reuters tally, as most of its nations began to relax lockdown measures. (Reuters
  • Colombia: The Ministry of Health and Social Protection reported that the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country rose to 445,111, with 14,492 deaths. (Xinhua
  • United States: An Arizona school district that initially voted to begin in-person learning on Aug. 17 was forced to cancel classes after school staff said it was unsafe to return and called in sick. (Reuters

 

Asia  

  • Region: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged greetings to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan, Pyongyang’s state media announced. (YNA
  • India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a new warning to China over deadly border tensions, using his most important speech of the year to promise to build a stronger military (AFP
  • India: Prime Minister Modi said his nation has done well in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and announced $1.46 trillion in infrastructure projects to boost the slowing economy. (AP
  • Thailand: A prominent student protest leader in the nation, Parit Chiwarak, has been arrested on charges of sedition as pro-democracy rallies persist across the country. (The Guardian

 

Europe

  • Region:  New flareups of COVID-19 are disrupting the peak summer vacation season across much of Europe, with authorities some countries reimposing restrictions on travelers, closing nightclubs again, banning fireworks displays, and expanding mask orders. (AP
  • Belarus: President Alyaksandr Lukashenka deals with increasing pressure as the country braces for massive weekend protests calling for an end to his 26-year presidency following rigged elections and a brutal crackdown. (RFE
  • Poland: The United States is to sign a deal with the country to boost the US military presence in the eastern EU member by another 1,000 troops and make Poland the headquarters of the leadership of the US Army V Corps. (DPA
  • Ukraine: The nation reported 1,847 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, officials said on Saturday, a new daily record for infections in the country – which is seeing cases increase sharply following the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions. (Reuters

 

Middle East

  • Region: The United Arab Emirates has made a “huge mistake” in reaching a deal toward normalizing ties with Israel, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, stated in a recent televised speech. (Reuters
  • Iran: The United Nations Security Council resoundingly rejected a US bid to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on the Islamic republic, a decision US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called “inexcusable.” (DPA
  • Yemen: The total number of COVID-19 cases in government-controlled provinces increased to 1,858 on Friday, as 11 new cases were officially confirmed. (Xinhua

 

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: President Donald Trump ordered the Chinese company ByteDance 90 days to divest itself of any assets it owns in the popular TikTok app in the United States. (AP

 

World  

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes
    • Tropical Storm Josephine
      • Location: 18.9 N 58.4 W
      • Movement: WNW at 13 mph
      • Wind: 45mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Storm Kyle
      • Location: 38.7 N 68 W
      • Movement: ENE at 18 mph
      • Wind: 45mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 15AUG20: 21,176,811
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 15AUG20:13,289,753
      • Deaths as of 15AUG20: 765,099
      • 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 (16AUG20)

  • China: The seasonal fishing ban around the Senkaku islands to end.
  • Belarus: Mass protests against the disputed August 9th election scheduled to take place in all major Belarusian cities.
  • Israel: The nation will resume some international flights.