- AFRICA: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched an investigation into accusations peacekeepers in South Sudan failed to respond properly to an attack on a Juba hotel by uniformed men who killed a journalist and raped several civilians.
- AMERICAS: Colombian authorities said they have dealt a major blow to leftist guerrilla army ELN’s finances with a “historic” military operation against illegal gold mines.
- ASIA: Seoul’s Unification Ministry said Thae Yong Ho, minister at the North Korean Embassy in London, recently defected to South Korea with his family.
- EUROPE: In France, President Francois Hollande is holding a special security meeting to discuss deployments of troops and police around the country and military operations abroad.
- MIDDLE EAST: Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian parliament stressed Russia does not have a permanent military base within the Islamic Republic.
- TECHNOLOGY: Some of the most powerful espionage tools created by the US National Security Agency were revealed online, which could pose severe consequences for the spy agency and the security of US government and corporate computers.
- Australia & Papua New Guinea: Agreement to close Manus Island detention center.
- Australia has agreed to close a controversial asylum seeker detention center in Papua New Guinea.
- The announcement came after a newspaper published leaked documents detailing more than 2,000 incidents of sexual abuse, assault and attempted self-harm, reported over two years at the Nauru detention center.
- There have been no details on when the Manus Island facility will close or on the fate of the 850 men being held there.
- Australia’s immigration minister Peter Dutton reiterated his country’s policy that “no one from Manus Island regional processing center will ever be settled in Australia.”
- Following serious concerns raised by the UN and human rights groups, Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled the detention of migrants on the island was illegal and violated the country’s constitution in April.
- Coverage: AP, BBC, Guardian, Independent, Reuters
- South Africa: The center-right Democratic Alliance said talks with the leftist Economic Freedom Front had failed to produce a coalition partnership to govern Pretoria. (AFP)
- South Sudan: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched an investigation into accusations peacekeepers in the country failed to respond properly to an attack on a Juba hotel by uniformed men who killed a journalist and raped several civilians. (Reuters)
- Zambia: President Edgar Lungu said his inauguration would be delayed until a court rules on a challenge from his main election rival who said the vote was rigged. (Reuters)
- Zimbabwe: Zimbabwean police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse crowds protesting against central bank plans to re-introduce local banknotes. (Reuters)
- Brazil: Suspended President Dilma Rousseff said her impeachment would be a coup and called for early elections to unite a country mired in recession. (Reuters)
- Colombia: Authorities said they have dealt a major blow to leftist guerrilla army ELN’s finances with a “historic” military operation against illegal gold mines. (AFP)
- Mexico: Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, son of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is among six people kidnapped at a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. (EFE)
- United States: More than 82,000 people fled wildfires in southern California as a state of emergency was declared. (AP)
- Region: A fuel tanker that disappeared from a Malaysian port was taken by its own crew in a dispute with their employer, Indonesian and Malaysian officials said. (AP)
- Region: Australia is ‘deeply disappointed’ at Vietnam’s less than 48 hours cancellation of a ceromony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Australians’ most costly battle of the Vietnam War. (AP)
- Korean Peninsula: Seoul’s Unification Ministry said Thae Yong Ho, minister at the North Korean Embassy in London, recently defected to South Korea with his family. (AP)
- North Korea: The country confirmed it has resumed plutonium production with no plans to stop nuclear tests as long as perceived threats from the US continue. (Kyodo)
- Belarus: The Belarusian military has put in service Protivnik, the Russian-made three-dimensional radar system for medium to high altitudes. (Xinhua)
- France: President Francois Hollande is holding a special security meeting to discuss deployments of troops and police around the country and military operations abroad. (AP)
- Italy: The country will not follow France by allowing burkini bans on public beaches but is planning tighter regulation of imams and mosques. (AFP)
- Turkey: The country will release some 38,000 prisoners as the arrests of tens of thousands of people suspected of links to last month’s attempted coup burden overstretched jails. (Reuters)
- Region: Israeli troops arrested Sheikh Hussein Abu Kweik, a Hamas election committee member. (AFP)
- Iran: Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian parliament stressed Russia does not have a permanent military base within the Islamic Republic. (AP)
- Syria: Russian FM Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed preparations for coordinating efforts to combat terrorist groups in the country and ensuring the cessation of hostilities. (Xinhua)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: Some of the most powerful espionage tools created by the US National Security Agency were revealed online, which could pose severe consequences for the spy agency and the security of US government and corporate computers. (WP)
- Cyclones: Tropical Storm Chanthu (09W)
- Location: 171 NM NNE of Yokosuka, Japan
- Winds: 40 mph
- Movement: NNW at 17 mph
- Hurricanes: Tropical Depression Six
- Location: 715 NM WSW of the Cabo Verde Islands
- Winds: 35 mph
- Movement: NW at 14 mph
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Santiaguito, Guatemala
- The volcano spouted a plume of ash that rose five kilometers and scattered ash into neighboring Mexico. (AP)
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 12AUG: 180,056 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (French), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten (Dutch), Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, UK Virgin Islands, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Uruguay, and Venezuela)
- Confirmed Cases as of 12AUG: 67,411
- Deaths as of 12AUG: 50
- Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 74 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
- Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
- Cases as of 25JUL: 1,791 (Saudi Arabia (KSA), Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Tunisia, Italy, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, Malaysia, Greece, Egypt, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Iran, Algeria, Austria, Turkey, The Philippines, Germany, China, South Korea, and the US)
- Deaths as of 25JUL: 640 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 04AUG: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bonaire (Netherlands), Brazil, Cabo Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Netherlands), Sint Maarten, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, United States, Vietnam, United States Virgin Islands, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).
- Outbreak Terminated as of 04AUG: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Gabon, Isla de Pascua (Chile), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
- Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 04AUG: Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and the United States of America.
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18AUG)
- Pakistan: Anniversary of President Musharraf resigning – 2008