AFRICA: Three members of the US Special Operations Forces were killed and two others wounded in Niger when a joint US-Nigerien patrol was attacked.
AMERICAS: Canada claimed Russia-backed non-profits tried to derail legislation that would further tighten sanctions on human rights abusers, including Russia.
ASIA: Americans buying seafood may inadvertently have subsidized North Korea and supported forced labor, as it builds its nuclear weapons program, an AP report found.
EUROPE: Turkish authorities arrested a US Consulate employee in Istanbul over alleged links to a movement led by US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
MIDDLE EAST: French President Emmanuel Macron offered to mediate between Iraq and Kurds seeking independence after a controversial referendum.
TECHNOLOGY: Russia is targeting NATO soldiers’ personal smartphones with the aim to gain operational information, gauge troop strength and intimidate soldiers.
Spain: Catalonia determined to declare independence.
Spain’s government has said it will not accept “blackmail” after Catalonia indicated that independence could be declared next week.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont reiterated an offer for mediated talks while attacking King Felipe VI’s condemnation of Catalonia’s illegal referendum.
Puigdemont said he was not afraid of being arrested for organizing the independence referendum.
Puigdemont’s government is to ask the regional parliament on 09OCT to declare independence, after preliminary referendum results showed 90 percent support in favor of breaking away.
Spain’s high court launched an investigation into possible sedition charges for a number of pro-secessionist Catalan police officials and politicians as they press ahead with their plans to break away.
Central African Republic: Rape and sexual slavery have been used as war weapons armed groups in the country for more than four years, Human Rights Watch said. (AP)
Niger: Three members of the US Special Operations Forces were killed and two others wounded in the country’s southwest when a joint US-Nigerien patrol was attacked. (CNN)
Sudan: The country expects the US to lift economic sanctions as Khartoum has met all the required conditions, days before Washington is due to announce a decision. (Reuters)
Canada: The country claimed Russia-backed non-profits tried to derail legislation that would further tighten sanctions on human rights abusers, including Russia. (NYT)
Ecuador: President Lenin Moreno found a temporary replacement for VP Jorge Glas, who was jailed on charges of bribery. (Xinhua)
Mexico: A gang of armed assailants shot to death two men and apparently kidnapped four state police officers in the southern state of Guerrero. (AP)
Australia: Australian police will create a national photo database using existing identification records to identify terror suspects, PM Malcolm Turnbull said. (Reuters)
North Korea: Americans buying seafood may inadvertently have subsidized the government and supported forced labor, as it builds its nuclear weapons program, an AP report found. (AP)
North Korea: It was confirmed Russian state-owned company TransTeleCom opened up a second internet connection for the country, which could strengthen Pyongyang’s cyber capabilities and undermine US efforts to isolate the regime. (AFP)
Thailand: Thousands lined Bangkok streets to enter the palace, the last day to see the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej before the royal cremation on 26OCT. (Reuters)
Vanuatu: The evacuation of more than 11,000 people from Ambae island threatened by a volcano was completed, as aid began arriving to help the displaced. (AFP)
Region: Doctors Without Borders accused the Bulgarian, Croatian and Hungarian police of resorting to violence against migrants, notably children, in their bid to stop them from slipping into Europe. (AFP)
Region: Ukraine expelled Russian state television journalist Vyacheslav Nemyshev, the second Russian journalist to be deported from Ukraine in just over a month. (AFP)
Russia: The Moscow homes of several employees of the civic Open Russia movement have been searched by Russian police. (RFE/RL)
Turkey: Turkish authorities arrested a US Consulate employee in Istanbul over alleged links to a movement led by US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. (AP)
Region: French President Emmanuel Macron offered to mediate between Iraq and Kurds seeking independence after a controversial referendum. (AP)
Iraq: Iraqi forces recaptured Hawija, one of the last enclaves of so-called Islamic State group. (BBC)
Syria: A Russian air strike killed 49 Nusra Front militants including seven of its field commanders in Idlib province. (Reuters)
Syria: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons found traces of “sarin or sarin-related chemicals” in Ltamenah after a 30MAR attack that injured 50 people. (AP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Technology: Russia is targeting NATO soldiers’ personal smartphones with the aim to gain operational information, gauge troop strength and intimidate soldiers. (WSJ)
Suspected Cases as of 29SEP: 60,039 (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, and Venezuela)
Suspected Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 349,936
Confirmed Cases as of 29SEP: 122,856 (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin (French part), and Venezuela)
Confirmed Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250
Deaths as of 29SEP: 101 (Brazil, Ecuador)
Deaths (01JAN16-31DEC16): 172
Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 91 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico)
Cases as of 21SEP: 2,081 (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 21SEP: 722 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)