Chirp Chirp – 21 July 2020

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21 July 2020.  The Hot Peace in Libya may expand today as Egypt votes to deploy troops there, resulting in UAE, Egypt and Russia arrayed against Qatar, Turkey and Italy.

It is quite possible that the next engagement along the China-India border is between drones from either side. Something to watch (every pun intended).

Credit to the Government of Pakistan for beginning to shift its health care resourcing and initiatives to resuming its much needed polio campaign as COVID19 cases begin to decline.

Watch Libya, as Hafter’s parliament has requested Egypt to intervene militarily to counter Turkish influence in support of the GNA, perhaps as Libya becomes a proxy war between UAE and Qatar. As the Cold War transition to a Hot Peace.

Global Overnight Overwatch Report – 10 August 2020

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Germany, France and Italy reportedly plan to push ahead with a bid to use EU sanctions to stem the continuing supply of arms to the war-torn country.
  • AMERICAS: US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they were open to restarting coronavirus aid talks, after weeks of failed negotiations prompted President Donald Trump to take executive actions that Democrats argued would do little to ease Americans’ financial distress.
  • ASIA: China has sanctioned 11 Americans in retaliation for similar measures imposed by Washington, including on Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Pat Toomey, but did not sanction any members of President Donald Trump’s administration.
  • EUROPE: Opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanouskaya refused to concede Belarus’ presidential election after results handed incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko a landslide victory, saying the election had been rigged and that protests which turned bloody on Sunday would continue.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Protests demanding the resignation of Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun are planned for today as well, with three more ministers announcing their resignations from the country’s embattled government, including the Justice Minister.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni, who covered the country’s “Hirak” protests throughout last year, was sentenced to a three-year prison term for “inciting an unarmed gathering” and “endangering national unity”.

 

Top Story

  • China: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested.
    • Hong Kong police have arrested seven people, including media tycoon and high-profile critic of the Chinese Communist Party, Jimmy Lai, on charges of violating Beijing’s new national security law related to the territory.
    • The offices of Lai’s outspoken pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper have also been raided by the police, who accuse it of colluding with foreign forces.
    • The others arrested include his sons Timothy Lai and Ian Lai and several senior executives at the company which publishes the newspaper, in what is being seen as the most high-profile arrest so far under China’s new national security law for the territory.
    • The arrests also mark the first time the new law has been used against the media, which has stoked fears that Chinese authorities will increasing suppressing press freedoms.
    • Reporting: Reuters, AP, WSJ, DPA, BBC, NYT

 

Africa 

  • Libya: Germany, France and Italy reportedly plan to push ahead with a bid to use EU sanctions to stem the continuing supply of arms to the war-torn country. (DPA)
  • Mauritania: President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani appointed a new government after the names of several former government ministers appeared in a report on the financial dealings of ex-leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. (AFP)
  • Niger: A group of gunmen of unknown affiliation attacked and killed a group of aid workers, resulting in the deaths of two of the country’s citizens and six French aid workers. (BBC)

 

Americas 

  • Ecuador: The navy is surveilling a massive Chinese fishing fleet operating near the protected waters of the Galapagos Islands, where the presence of the Chinese fleet has raised concerns over its environmental impact. (Reuters)
  • Peru: A group of indigenous people angry over the government’s response to the pandemic assaulted a settlement for oil workers deep in the Amazon, triggering a clash with police that left three natives dead. (AFP)
  • United States: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they were open to restarting coronavirus aid talks, after weeks of failed negotiations prompted President Donald Trump to take executive actions that Democrats argued would do little to ease Americans’ financial distress. (Reuters)

 

Asia 

  • Region: Taiwan’s government said Chinese air force jets briefly crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait and were tracked by Taiwanese missiles, as US health chief Alex Azar visited the island. (Reuters)
  • Afghanistan: Peace talks between the Taliban and the government are expected to begin within days after the Loya Jirga approved the release of hundreds of Taliban prisoners accused of brutal attacks including on foreigners. (AFP)
  • China: Beijing has sanctioned 11 Americans in retaliation for similar measures imposed by Washington, including on Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Pat Toomey, but did not sanction any members of President Donald Trump’s administration. (Bloomberg)

 

Europe

  • Belarus: Opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanouskaya refused to concede the country’s presidential election after results handed incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko a landslide victory, saying the election had been rigged and that protests which turned bloody on Sunday would continue. (Reuters)
  • Germany: The centre-left Social Democrats party has chosen Finance Minister Olaf Scholz as its candidate for next year’s election which is expected to be when longtime Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democrats party retires. (DPA)
  • Spain: Protesters called for an end to the country’s monarchy after the sudden departure of former king Juan Carlos from the country this week amid a corruption scandal. (Reuters)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Iran has rejected as “unrealistic” a call by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for the United Nations to extend an international arms embargo on Tehran that ends in October. (Reuters)
  • Lebanon: Protests demanding the resignation of President Michel Aoun are planned for today as well, with three more ministers announcing their resignations from the country’s embattled government, including the Justice Minister. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: The country’s Houthi rebels said floods in the territories they hold have left over 130 people dead and caused significant damage to more than 260 homes. (Deutsche Welle)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni, who covered the country’s “Hirak” protests throughout last year, was sentenced to a three-year prison term for “inciting an unarmed gathering” and “endangering national unity”. (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:
      • Sinabung, Indonesia
        • Second eruption in two days, ash spewed as high as 5,000 meters into the air
        • Source
      • Global Disease Outbreaks:
        • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
          • Confirmed Cases as of 10AUG20: 19,876,302
          • Total Recovered Cases as of 10AUG20: 12,127,599
          • Deaths as of 10AUG20: 731,570
          • 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 (11AUG20)

  • Europe: The 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Sevres between Turkey and Allied Forces after WWI.
  • Chad: Independence Day – 1960
  • China: The Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature, will end its 21st session.
  • China: The government to publish inflation figures for July.
  • Czech Republic: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit. (to 12AUG)
  • Egypt: Senate elections are expected to begin.
  • India: The country’s main opposition Congress party holds a meeting which could potentially lead to new leadership of the embattled party.
  • Malawi: Rwandan President Paul Kagame to visit and meet with President Lazarus Chakwera.
  • Russia: German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass to visit and meet with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
  • Trinidad & Tobago: Parliamentary elections will be held.