Global Overnight Overwatch Report – 11 August 2020

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Niger’s government extended a state of emergency after eight people, including six French citizens, were killed by suspected terrorists in the volatile West African nation.
  • AMERICAS: US President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted out of a White House coronavirus briefing, before returning several minutes later saying there had been a “shooting” outside the White House but the situation was now “under control.”
  • ASIA: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said health authorities found four new cases of the coronavirus in one Auckland household from an unknown source, ending the country’s coronavirus-free status after 102 days.
  • EUROPE: Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanouskaya fled to Lithuania to join her children, following two nights of clashes after the disputed re-election of strongman President Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The US military is investigating the newly formed Ashab al-Kahf group Shiite militant group’s claim of bombing a border crossing at Iraq’s border with Kuwait, which both Iraq and Kuwait say never happened.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Hong Kongers are reportedly rushing to purchase copies of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily in a show of support for its owner, who was arrested a day earlier by China under its new national security law for the territory that raised concerns over press freedom.

 

Top Story

  • Russia: Putin says Russia first country to approve new coronavirus vaccine.
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia become the first country to approve a vaccine for the coronavirus.
    • Putin said Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute was responsible for the development of the vaccine and that one of his daughter’s took part in the testing phase of the vaccine and was now inoculated.
    • Putin also said that the vaccine is the first in the world that offers “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus, with Russian health officials saying they plan to start mass vaccination in Russia in October.
    • The vaccine won regulatory approval after just two months of human testing raising safety concerns, but Putin dismissed any concerns saying the vaccine had “passed all the needed checks,”.
    • The Russian announcement takes place as the total number of known coronavirus cases across the world crossed the 20 million mark.
    • Reporting: AP, DPA, WaPo, Reuters, WSJ, AFP, BBC, Deutsche Welle

 

Africa 

  • Egypt: Voting for the country’s two-day election to choose members of the newly created second chamber of parliament started. (AP)
  • Mauritius: Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said the country must prepare for the “worst-case scenario”, as a crippled Japanese ship continues to leak oil into the ocean off the country’s coast. (VOA)
  • Niger: The government extended a state of emergency after eight people, including six French citizens, were killed by suspected terrorists in the volatile West African nation. (DPA)

 

Americas 

  • Bolivia: The government ordered the police and military to protect key installations and the transport of medical oxygen following protests and roadblocks by opposition supporters who are unhappy over the country’s presidential election being delayed. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro appointed former President Michel Temer as leader of Brasilia’s aid mission to Lebanon. (DPA)
  • Cuba: Capital city Havana was placed under a new coronavirus lockdown, after more than 200 coronavirus cases were reported in the last two weeks. (Miami Herald)
  • Trinidad & Tobago: Prime Minister Keith Rowley claimed victory for his ruling party in the country’s general elections, after preliminary showed them winning 22 out of 41 seats in Parliament, but official results are only expected later today. (Reuters)
  • United States: President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted out of a White House coronavirus briefing, before returning several minutes later saying there had been a “shooting” outside the White House but the situation was now “under control.” (AP)

 

Asia 

  • Region: China’s Sinovac Biotech launched a late-stage human trial involving as many as 1,620 patients in Indonesia for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate that it is jointly developing with Indonesia’s state-owned Bio Farma company. (Reuters)
  • Australia: Officials from the country’s Northern Territory province said the province will keep its borders closed to coronavirus-affected states for at least another 18 months. (BBC)
  • New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said health authorities found four new cases of the coronavirus in one Auckland household from an unknown source, ending the country’s coronavirus-free status after 102 days. (AP)
  • Taiwan: Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that Taipei has been sending COVID-19 assistance to foreign countries surreptitiously to avoid protests from China. (AP)
  • Thailand: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha expressed concerns over a growing student protest movement after a student group issued an unusually blunt 10-point call demanding reforms to the country’s monarchy. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanouskaya fled to Lithuania to join her children, following two nights of clashes after the disputed re-election of strongman President Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus. (Reuters)
  • Region: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the Czech Republic for a five-day visit to central European countries with an agenda that includes China’s role in 5G network construction among other topics. (AFP)
  • Region: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is set to arrive in Russia where it is expected he will try to clarify a number of issues that have further strained relations between Moscow and Berlin. (DPA)
  • Slovakia: The government expelled three Russian citizens working at the Russian embassy in capital Bratislava citing visa issues, but local media reports suggest the move could also be related to the murder of a Georgian man in Germany last year. (BBC)
  • United Kingdom: Employment rates in the country declined by the largest amount in over a decade between April and June, as the number of people in work decreased by 220,000 in those three months. (BBC)

 

Middle East

  • Iraq: The US military is investigating the newly formed Ashab al-Kahf group Shiite militant group’s claim of bombing a border crossing at the country’s border with Kuwait, which both Baghdad and Kuwait say never happened. (AP)
  • Israel: The country closed its goods crossing with the Gaza Strip due to militants in the Gaza strip recently firing rockets and incendiary balloons towards the country. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced his government’s resignation as he blamed the recent huge explosion that devastated Beirut on endemic corruption. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Hong Kongers are reportedly rushing to purchase copies of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily in a show of support for its owner, who was arrested a day earlier by China under its new national security law for the territory that has raised concerns over press freedom. (AFP)

 

World 

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Storm Jangmi
      • Location: 48 nautical miles South of Chinhae, South Korea
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Movement: N-NE at 23 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Storm Mekkhala
      • Location: 332 nautical miles S-SW of Taipei, Taiwan
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Movement: N at 10 mph
      • Map
    • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
    • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
    • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
        • Confirmed Cases as of 11AUG20: 20,092,855
        • Total Recovered Cases as of 11AUG20: 12,350,879
        • Deaths as of 11AUG20: 736,254
        • 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 26JUL20: 63
        • Probable Cases as of 26JUL20: 4
        • Deaths as of 26JUL20: 31
        • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (12AUG20)

  • Global: The UN’s International Youth Day – 2000
  • Europe/Asia: Partial suspension of Cambodia’s EU trade privileges takes effect due to “serious and systematic” human rights violations.
  • Czech Republic: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit.
  • Egypt: Senate elections are expected to continue.
  • Russia: 50th anniversary of Treaty of Moscow, signed by German Chancellor Willy Brandt and Soviet President Alexei Kosygin.