AFRICA: In Congo, security forces fired warning shots to try to disperse hundreds of protesters marching in capital Brazzaville against lifting presidential term limits.
AMERICAS: Canadian PM-elect Justin Trudeau said Canadian fighter jets would withdraw from fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
ASIA: In Australia, Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders was shouted down by protesters as he helped launch the anti-Islam Australian Liberty Alliance political party in Perth.
EUROPE: Ten EU leaders and Balkan countries will meet in Brussels on Sunday to hold talks on the “unfolding emergency” involving migrants in the western Balkans.
MIDDLE EAST: Iraq’s ruling alliance and powerful Shi’ite militias have urged PM Haider al-Abadi to request Russian air strikes on Islamic State militants.
TECHNOLOGY: Google has taken a stake in a Chinese artificial intelligence startup aiming to develop smart wearable technologies.
Syria: President al-Assad makes surprise visit to Moscow, confers with Putin.
President Bashar al-Assad of Syria flew to Moscow for an unannounced visit with President Vladimir Putin of Russia to discuss their joint military campaign and a future political transition in Syria.
This is the embattled Syrian leader’s first known trip abroad since 2011.
The talks centered on coordinating military action in Syria against terrorist extremist groups, and the continuation of supporting offensive actions of the Syrian armed forces.
Putin said Russia was ready to help find a political solution and hailed the Syrian people for standing up to the militants “almost on their own,” saying the Syrian army had notched up serious battlefield success in recent times.
The trip may also mark a new stage in Russia’s efforts to roll out a diplomatic plan alongside its military intervention in Syria; an illustration that Russia deals with Mr Assad, and that for now at least Mr Assad has to be part of any interim solution.
Suspected Cases as of 20OCT: 573,708 (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: 23,875
Deaths as of 20OCT: 63 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
Cases as of 20OCT: 1595 (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 20OCT: 571 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)