- AFRICA: Rival South Sudanese forces are blocking aid to war zone areas on the brink of famine where thousands are already starving to death, the United States and European Union warned.
- AMERICAS: Colombian Congressional leaders met with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as part of ongoing process to bring peace to the country after more than 50 years of conflict.
- ASIA: The European Union and Japan have circulated a draft UN resolution that condemns “gross” human rights violations in North Korea and encourages the UN Security Council to refer the reclusive Asian nation to the International Criminal Court.
- EUROPE: Germany said that asylum seekers would only be able to enter the country at five points along its border with Austria to better control a mass influx.
- MIDDLE EAST: The commander of Iraq’s Shiite Muslim al-Mukhtar Army militia claimed responsibility for a deadly rocket attack on a camp holding members of an exiled Iranian opposition group near Baghdad.
- TECHNOLOGY: Germany announced new measures to curb the activities of its foreign intelligence agency after a damning official report revealed improper collusion with the US National Security Agency.
- Syria: The United States will deploy a small number of Special Operations forces to the country.
- The troops will be based out of Kurdish-controlled territory in the north to help local forces fight the Islamic State, the White House announced.
- The planned deployment, along with the US decision this week to include Iran in diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, represents the biggest change in the United States’ Syria policy since it began a bombing campaign against Islamic State targets there in September 2014.
- A senior Obama administration official said the US role in Syria would, nonetheless, remain “narrow,” adding: “We don’t have any intention to pursue long-term, large-scale ground combat operations like those we’ve seen in the past in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
- “They are not being deployed with a combat mission,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. “The mission of our men and women on the ground has not changed.”
- “The President does expect that they can have an impact in intensifying our strategy for building the capacity of local forces inside of Syria for taking the fight on the ground to ISIL in their own country,” Earnest said. “That has been the core element of the military component of our strategy from the beginning: building the capacity of local forces on the ground.”
- NYT, WSJ, Reuters, CNN
- Burundi: President Barack Obama moved to eject the country from a pact that gives African countries much-desired preferential access to the US market, after the president grabbed a third term in office. (AFP)
- Mali: The Danish government announced it was ready to send 30 specially-trained soldiers and a transport aircraft to Mali as part of a battle-ready supply unit for the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission there. (Xinhua)
- South Sudan: Rival forces are blocking aid to war zone areas on the brink of famine where thousands are already starving to death, the United States and European Union warned. (AFP)
- Region: The presidents of Colombia and Peru met during the two countries’ second binational cabinet meeting to promote cooperation and overall ties between the two countries. (Xinhua)
- Argentina: Authorities are investigating a terrorist threat against shopping malls and has strengthened security measures at those most likely to be targeted for attacks, although “there are no elements to alert us,” Security Secretary Sergio Berni said. (EFE)
- Colombia: Congressional leaders met with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as part of ongoing process to bring peace to the country after more than 50 years of conflict. (Xinhua)
- Korea, North: The European Union and Japan have circulated a draft UN resolution that condemns “gross” human rights violations in the country and encourages the UN Security Council to refer the reclusive Asian nation to the International Criminal Court. (AP)
- Korea, South: President Park Geun Hye plans to express during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Seoul’s desire to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a US-led free trade initiative involving Japan and 11 other Pacific Rim economies, a source familiar with Japan-South Korea relations said. (Kyodo)
- Kyrgyzstan: US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the country to kick off a tour of five of the “‘Stans,” the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. (AFP)
- Germany: The country said that asylum seekers would only be able to enter the country at five points along its border with Austria to better control a mass influx. (AFP)
- Turkey: Political parties are making their closing appeals ahead of Sunday’s crucial parliamentary vote. (AP)
- Ukraine: A soldier died during in fighting with insurgents near the shelled-out remains of the airport in Donetsk, a stronghold of the pro-Russian separatists, the army announced. (AFP)
- Bahrain: Shiite protesters and security forces clashed in several parts of the capital, Manama, following protests over sentencing Saudi Shiite cleric called Nimr Baqir al-Nimr to death this week in Saudi Arabia. (EFE)
- Iraq: The commander of the Shiite Muslim al-Mukhtar Army militia claimed responsibility for a deadly rocket attack on a camp holding members of an exiled Iranian opposition group near Baghdad. (Reuters)
- Syria: Major powers narrowed their differences over the war but remained divided over the key issue of the future of President Bashar al-Assad, France’s foreign minister said. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Surveillance: Germany announced new measures to curb the activities of its foreign intelligence agency after a damning official report revealed improper collusion with the US National Security Agency. (AFP)
- Tropical Storm: Chapala
- 282 miles ENE of Socotra Island
- Winds: 132 mph
- Movement: W at 10mph
- Earthquakes: Nothing to report
- Volcanoes: Nothing to report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Cases: 28,575 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
- Deaths: 11,313 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 30OCT: 575,281 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
- Confirmed Cases: 24,388
- Deaths as of 30OCT: 63 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
- Cholera – Tanzania
- Cases as of 30OCT: 971
- Deaths as of 30OCT: 13
- Sourcing: WHO
- Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
- Cases as of 30OCT: 1599 (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 30OCT: 574 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (01NOV)
- Algeria: Algerian Revolution Day
- Turkey: National Assembly snap elections
- Christianity: All Saint’s Day