- AFRICA: The Democratic Republic of the Congo announced pardons for 24 political prisoners.
- AMERICAS: A California woman was sentenced to 50 months in prison for conspiring to illegally export military equipment and technology to China.
- ASIA: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared a ceasefire with rebels ahead of peace talks in Oslo, Norway next week.
- EUROPE: The Turkish parliament approved a deal to normalize ties with Israel after a six-year rift.
- MIDDLE EAST: US officials report that they have withdrawn the military personnel who were coordinating with Saudi Arabia in the air campaign in Yemen.
- TECHNOLOGY: Edward Snowden released documents that confirm a criminal group’s claims to have breached the NSA’s cyber defenses.
- Afghanistan: The Taliban captured a strategic district in northern Kunduz province
- The armed militants overran the bazaar and seized government buildings in the district of Khanabad, which connects Kunduz to Takhar and other northern provinces.
- Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that the fighters captured the entire district along with weapons and military vehicles. He also claimed the fighters overran several security posts in the neighboring Ali Abad district.
- Officials in Kabul say a lack of ammunition and few reinforcements are the main reasons for the district’s fall to the Taliban.
- The Kunduz provincial council said hundreds of civilians have fled the fighting.
- The fall of Khanabad comes only five days after the Taliban captured a district in neighboring Baghlan province.
- Sourcing: BBC, AP, Reuters, Xinhua
- Angola: The ruling party, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), confirmed the reelection of President Dos Santos for another term as party leader. (Reuters)
- DR Congo: The Ministry of Justice announced pardons for 24 people whom opposition parties have considered to be political prisoners. (AP)
- Zambia: The country’s main opposition leader filed a court petition challenging President Edgar Lungu’s re-election, saying the vote was rigged. (Reuters)
- Colombia: Opposition lawmakers proposed a bill that aims to cut the use of mercury and other toxic chemicals in illegal gold mining. (Reuters)
- Puerto Rico: The country reported its first death from Guillain-Barre, a paralysis condition that developed from a Zika infection. (AP)
- United States: A California woman was sentenced to 50 months in prison for conspiring to illegally export fighter jet engines, a military drone and technical data on the weapons to China. (Reuters)
- North Korea: The country accused South Korea of luring its Britain-based senior diplomat to defect to the Seoul government, and labeled him a “criminal.” (Yonhap)
- Pakistan: The army destroyed six militant hideouts in the northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, killing nine “terrorists.” (AP)
- Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte declared a ceasefire to pave the way for the peace talks with communist rebels in Oslo, Norway next week. (Xinhua)
- France: A man injured in the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice has died, bringing the total number of victims to 86. (AP)
- Turkey: The Obama administration announced that the Justice Department will dispatch a team to the country in the coming days to investigate allegations of criminal activity by Fethullah Gulen. (Reuters)
- Turkey: Parliament approved a deal to normalize ties with Israel after a six-year rift. (AFP)
- Iraq: The army called on residents of Qayyara, a town held by Islamic State, to leave ahead of a military operation aimed at recapturing the strategic town from the extremist militia. (DPA)
- Syria: Government warplanes flew over the mainly Kurdish-held city of Hasakeh despite a US warning against any new strikes. (AFP)
- Yemen: US officials report that they have withdrawn from Saudi Arabia the American military personnel who were coordinating with the air campaign in Yemen. (Reuters)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: Edward Snowden released previously unpublished documents that confirm a criminal group’s claims to have breached the NSA’s cyber defenses. (Intercept)
- Cyclones: Tropical Storm 12W (Lionrock)
- Location: 302 NM SE of Iwakuni, Japan
- Winds: 40 mph
- Movement: WSW at 15 mph
- Cyclones: Tropical Storm 10W (Mindulle)
- Location: 152 NM S of Iwo To, Japan
- Winds: 63 mph
- Movement: N at 22 mph
- Cyclones: Tropical Storm 13W (Kompasu)
- Location: 288 NM E Yokosuka, Japan
- Winds: 40 mph
- Movement: NW at 30 mph
- Hurricanes: Tropical Storm Fiona
- Location: 1000 NM E of the Leeward Islands
- Winds: 40 mph
- Movement: WNW at 13 mph
- Hurricanes: Tropical Storm Kay
- Location: 140 NM WNW of Socorro island
- Winds: 50 mph
- Movement: NW at 6 mph
- Earthquakes: 167 km ENE of Miyako, Japan
- Magnitude: 6.0
- Depth: 10 km
- Volcanoes: Santiaguito, Guatemala
- On 18AUG an eruption spewed a column of volcanic ash and steam 13,000 feet into the air. (ABC)
- 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 11AUG: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bonaire (Netherlands), Brazil, Cayman Islands, 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, 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 11AUG: 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 11AUG: 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 (21AUG)
- Turkmenistan: Parliamentary Elections