Global Overnight Overwatch Report – 09 August 2020

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: At least eight gunmen have been killed in a combat operation by police in the northwestern Nigerian state of Katsina, a police spokesman reported.
  • AMERICAS: President Donald Trump signed executive orders partially restoring enhanced unemployment payments to the tens of millions of Americans who lost jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ASIA: Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the new Sri Lankan prime minister after a landslide victory for the ruling party in Wednesday’s parliamentary elections.
  • EUROPE: Russia reported 5,189 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its nationwide tally 887,536 cases, the fourth largest caseload in the world.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Riot control police needed to enact special formations to push protesters out of the center of Lebanon’s capital Beirut and regain control of the area.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Realme, a low-cost Chinese smartphone maker, has secured a leading position in Asia’s emerging markets, with the company’s sales growing 157 percent year on year.

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Top Story

  • Belarus: With elections approaching, the government increases the crackdowns of the opposition.
    • Voting has started in Belarus, where five-term President Alexander Lukashenko is facing his toughest challenge in years from opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
    • Law enforcement detained the campaign chief of presidential candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and two other campaign staff members were summoned to the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption for questioning and have gone missing.
    • Lukashenko says the opposition protesters are working with foreign backers, including a group of 33 suspected Russian mercenaries detained in July and accused of plotting “acts of terrorism.”
    • EU member states France, Germany, and Poland, issued a joint statement before the election, stating “great concern.” About more than a thousand people have been reportedly detained in protests throughout Belarus in recent weeks.
    • Reporting: BBC, RFE, Reuters, DPA,

 

Africa

  • Libya: The chairman of the National Oil Corp (NOC) warned against the risk of a disaster at the country’s oil ports due to a growing military presence with storage tanks held at capacity for months due to a blockade. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: At least eight gunmen have been killed in a combat operation by police in the northwestern state of Katsina, a police spokesman reported. (Xinhua)
  • South Africa: The nation’s central bank governor has defended its response to the COVID-19 economic downturn in Africa’s most industrialized country in the face of more calls from politicians and trade unionists to increase its rate cuts and buy up more government bonds. (FT)

 

Americas 

  • Brazil: The nation surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 deaths and three million cases of infection, crossing the grim milestone after President Jair Bolsonaro said he had a “clear conscience” on his response to the outbreak. (AFP)
  • United States: Protesters returned to the streets of Portland, Oregon, as violent demonstrations have continued in the city that had hoped for a decrease in violence after federal agents and city police tried to diminish the unrest. (AP)
  • United States: Seven months after the United States and China signed a preliminary agreement to reduce trade tension, Beijing’s purchases of US agricultural goods have yet to achieve the deal’s target. (AFP)
  • United States: President Donald Trump signed executive orders partially restoring enhanced unemployment payments to the tens of millions of Americans who lost jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic. (Reuters)

 

Asia

  • Australia: The nation’s second-most populous state, Victoria, recorded its deadliest day of the COVID-19 outbreak on Sunday, with 17 people dying, although new infections showed signs of easing. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: The nation’s economic sluggishness has eased on diminishing negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a state-run think tank reported. (YNA)
  • South Korea: The nation’s death toll from heavy rain, which continued over the past seven days, rose to 30, with 12 missing and eight wounded as of 10:30 a.m. local time Sunday, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters. (Xinhua)
  • Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn as the new prime minister after a landslide victory for the ruling party in Wednesday’s parliamentary elections. (DPA)

 

Europe

  • Armenia: Former National Police Chief Vladimir Gasparian threatened two RFE/RL (Azatutyun.am) journalists and obstructed their work on a report about government plans to dismantle private houses illegally constructed near Lake Sevan by attempting to run over them in a car. (RFE)
  • Czech Republic: Three children were among 11 people killed in a fire at an apartment block that police believe was arson. (Telegraph)
  • Germany: A resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the country entered its third day as authorities confirmed another 24 hours with more than 1,000 cases. (DPA)
  • Russia: The nation reported 5,189 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its nationwide tally to 887,536 cases, the fourth largest caseload in the world. (Reuters)

 

Middle East

  • Egypt: The nation confirmed 167 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total infections in the country to 95,314, the Health Ministry reported. (Xinhua)
  • Lebanon: Riot control police needed to enact special formations to push protesters out of the center of Beirut and regain control of the area. (TASS)
  • Saudi Arabia: The state oil group Aramco reported a 73.4% fall in second-quarter net profit, a steeper drop than analysts had expected, hit by lower crude oil prices and declining refining and chemical margins, as the pandemic hit demand. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Telecommunications: Realme, a low-cost Chinese smartphone maker, has secured a leading position in Asia’s emerging markets, with the company’s sales growing 157 percent year on year. (FT)

 

World 

  • Cyclones:
    • TROPICAL STORM ELIDA
      • Location:15.8N 104.1W
      • Movement: WNW
      • Wind:40 mph
    • TROPICAL STORM JANGMI
      • Location:25.4N 126.3E
      • Movement: N
      • Wind:40 mph
    • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
    • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
    • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
        • Confirmed Cases as of 09AUG20: 19,660,500
        • Total Recovered Cases as of 09AUG20: 11,948,058
        • Deaths as of 09AUG20: 727,258
        • 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 (10AUG20)

  • Trinidad and Tobago: General elections
  • China: The National People’s Congress Standing Committee to meet in Beijing.
  • Asia-Pacific/Europe: South Korean Foreign Minister Kyung-wha Kang to visit Germany, meet with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
  • Eurasia/MENA: COVID-19 related flight ban from Russia to Turkey to end.
  • MENA: COVID-19 law granting Israeli government expanded powers to enforce lockdown measures to go into effect.
  • Morocco: Morocco’s state of emergency to begin and will continue through September 10.
  • Nigeria: Government to offer savings bonds after COVID-19 related suspension
  • Pakistan: The government to lift remaining COVID-19 related restrictions.