Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: South Africa’s president has said COVID-19 infections appear to have peaked in the country, announcing a relaxation of lockdown measures.
  • AMERICAS: Robert Trump, the younger brother of President Donald Trump and a businessman, has died a day after the president visited him in a New York hospital. 
  • ASIA: South Korean health authorities recorded 279 new COVID-19 cases, marking the first time since March that daily cases have increased by more than 200.
  • EUROPE: Turkey’s COVID-19 count increased to its highest daily level since June, with total deaths nearing 6,000, government sources reported, despite rolling out new inspection and enforcement measures earlier this month.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israel closed the Gaza Strip’s offshore fishing zone after a night of cross-border fighting with Palestinian insurgents, the most intense escalation of hostilities in recent months. 
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: An investigation by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a UK-based counter-extremist organization, found that Facebook’s algorithm “actively promotes” Holocaust denial content.

 

Top Story

  • Belarus: Protests continue in the nation as rumors of possible Russian intervention continue. 
    • Belarusian Dictator Alexander Lukashenko says that Russia has agreed to offer security aid in the face of foreign military threats.
    • Belarus’s ambassador to Slovakia declared solidarity with protesters in Belarus, in an undated video posted by Nasha Niva media, in the aftermath of a contested election in his homeland.
    • The partner of a man who died in the protests says she does not believe the government’s account that Alexander Taraikovsky was killed when an explosive device that he intended to throw at police exploded prematurely.
    • Protesters are planning to go to the streets of Minsk and other cities in Belarus in what organizers are hoping will be the most significant attempt so far to pressure authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko to step down after 26 years in power.
    • Reporting: BBC, Reuters, AP, RFE

 

Africa  

  • Algeria: The Minister of Religious Affairs, Youcef Belmahdi, announced that respect for preventive health measures against COVID-19 would accelerate the further reopening of mosques, the official APS news agency reported. (Xinhua
  • Mauritania: The Arab League member state, said it trusts the “wisdom and good judgement” of the United Arab Emirates for signing an accord with Israel to agree to normalize relations, UAE state news agency WAM reported. (Reuters
  • South Africa: The president has said COVID-19 infections appear to have peaked in the country, announcing a relaxation of lockdown measures. (BBC

 

Americas  

  • Argentina: The government formalized its amended bond restructuring offer on Saturday night, confirming in a presidential decree that it would submit the new deal to the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. (Reuters
  • Peru: Citizens are expressing their support for the measures announced by President Martin Vizcarra to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, including a return to Sunday curfews and an adoption of social restrictions. (Xinhua
  • United States: Universal mail voting would make the US “a laughing stock” President Donald Trump has said, as he continues his vocal opposition to postal voting. (BBC)
  • United States: Robert Trump, the younger brother of U.S. President Donald Trump and a businessman, has died a day after the president visited him in a New York hospital. (Reuters

 

Asia  

  • Afghanistan: Fawzia Koofi, a former parliamentarian involved in peace talks with the Taliban, was attacked near the capital city of Kabul while returning from a trip to the northern province of Parwan. (The Guardian
  • India: The nation’s COVID-19 cases reached 2,589,682 and, 49,980 deaths have taken place so far across the country, the health ministry’s most recent data reported. (Xinhua
  • South Korea: National health authorities recorded 279 new COVID-19 cases, marking the first time since March that daily cases have increased by more than 200. (DPA
  • South Korea: The national government has asked residents of Seoul to avoid traveling outside the capital for two weeks as health officials seek to suppress the country’s worst coronavirus outbreak in five months. (FT)

 

Europe

  • Germany: Peter Beuth, interior minister of the state of Hesse, has promised additional help to the relatives of victims of a racially motivated attack in Hanau in February. (DPA
  • Russia: The third (post-registration) stage of the research on the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the N. F. Gamaleya Federal Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry, may begin in 7-10 days, its Director Alexander Gintsburg told TASS. (TASS
  • Turkey: The nation’s COVID-19 count increased to its highest daily level since June, with total deaths nearing 6,000, government sources reported, despite rolling out new inspection and enforcement measures earlier this month. (Reuters

 

Middle East

  • Israel: The nation closed the Gaza Strip’s offshore fishing zone in the aftermath of a night of cross-border fighting with Palestinian insurgents, the most intense escalation of hostilities in recent months. (AP
  • Lebanon: President Michel Aoun said on Saturday that international aid pledged following a massive explosion in Beirut last week that killed 178 people and made 300,000 homeless should go where it is needed. (Reuters
  • Saudi Arabia: Students in the kingdom’s public schools will be educated via distance learning as a precaution against COVID-19 for the first seven weeks of the new term, which begins on Aug. 30, the minister of education reported. (Reuters

 

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: An investigation by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a UK-based counter-extremist organization, found that Facebook’s algorithm “actively promotes” Holocaust denial content. (The Guardian

 

World  

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes
    • Tropical Storm Josephine
      • Location: 20.3 N 64 W
      • Movement: WNW at 13 mph
      • Wind: 40mph
      • Map

 

  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 16AUG20: 21,463,178
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 16AUG20: 13,453,267
      • Deaths as of 16AUG20: 771,183
      • 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 (17AUG20)

  • United States: U.S. Democratic National Convention starts
  • Japan: Japan to release GDP data for the second quarter of 2020.
  • Romania: Romanian opposition parties to file a no-confidence motion against the government
  • Europe: Passengers arriving in Greece from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Spain, or Sweden must present a certificate proving they tested negative for COVID-19.