AFRICA: King Abdullah II of Jordan arrived in Kenya for a state visit aimed at boosting trade and strengthening security cooperation.
AMERICAS: The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, lifted its midnight curfew, signaling movement toward normalcy after a state of emergency was imposed following the fatal police shooting of a black man.
ASIA: The US and South Korean navies put on a show of force in the Sea of Japan, the latest in a string of displays of military might aimed at North Korea.
EUROPE: The EU is launching a USD 391M aid project to help vulnerable refugees in Turkey as part of a landmark deal aimed at curbing the flow of migrants to Europe.
MIDDLE EAST: In Syria, warplanes again pounded rebel-held areas of Aleppo as residents warned of increasing shortages of food and medicine.
TECHNOLOGY: Swiss voters approved a new surveillance law, where phone or electronic surveillance of a suspect will only be triggered with approval by a federal court.
Colombia: The government and FARC rebels to sign historic peace deal.
A final peace agreement between Colombia’s government and a national guerrilla movement is to be signed today, bringing to an end the longest-running insurgency in the Western hemisphere.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says peace with the FARC rebel group will boost economic growth and enable the country to rebuild its social fabric.
The rebels voted unanimously to approve the deal that was finalized in August.
The peace deal still needs to be ratified by voters in a single-issue referendum on 02OCT, but is expected to pass.
Under the terms of the deal, rebels who lay down their weapons and confess rights abuses will be spared jail time and allowed to provide reparations to their victims by carrying out development work in areas hit hard by the conflict.
The half-century war killed a quarter of a million people, stymied the economy and made Colombia a byword for violence.
Kenya: King Abdullah II of Jordan arrived in Nairobi for a state visit aimed at boosting trade and strengthening security cooperation. (Xinhua)
Libya: Canada confirmed it has become aware of a citizen taken hostage in the country and is “diligently pursuing all appropriate channels to obtain more information.” (Reuters)
Libya: Prime Minister Fayez Seraj called for a national reconciliation initiative to repair the divisions in the fragmented country. (Reuters)
Colombia: The leftist National Liberation Army will hold its fire as Colombians hold a referendum on a peace deal with the larger FARC rebel group. (AFP)
Mexico: The bodies of five men and a woman were found in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, home turf of captured drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. (Reuters)
Mexico: A kidnapped priest has been found shot dead, the third in the past week. (BBC)
United States: The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, lifted its midnight curfew, signaling movement toward normalcy after a state of emergency was imposed following the fatal police shooting of a black man. (AP)
Region: Japan will “watch closely” the movements of China’s military after Chinese fighter jets flew over a strait separating islands in Okinawa Prefecture. (Kyodo)
Region: China is investigating a North Korean bank suspected of financing imports that might be used by the North’s nuclear weapons program. (AP)
Region: The Permanent Court of Arbitration agreed to take up the decade-long maritime dispute between Australia and Timor Leste. (AFP)
Korean Peninsula: The US and South Korean navies put on a show of force in the Sea of Japan, the latest in a string of displays of military might aimed at North Korea. (CNN)
Philippines: UN rights rapporteur Agnes Callamard intends to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on crime, but wants security guarantees for people she planned to speak with. (AFP)
Region: The EU is launching a USD 391M aid project to help vulnerable refugees in Turkey as part of a landmark deal aimed at curbing the flow of migrants to Europe. (AP)
Azerbaijan: Azerbaijanis are voting on whether to boost the powers of President Ilham Aliyev, who has ruled since 2003. (BBC)
France: President Francois Hollande renewed his pledge to close the Calais migrant camp, where thousands of people are waiting for an opportunity to get to Britain. (DPA)
Spain: Two Moroccans, one of whom allegedly attempted to join the Islamic State, were arrested in the country. (EFE)
Turkey: Kurdish rebels have detonated a roadside bomb in the southeast Mardin province, killing two security force members and wounding eight others. (AP)
Region: The Israeli military shut down three unauthorized weapons manufacturing plants in the West Bank and arrested 19 Palestinians. (Xinhua)
Iran: The country’s banks have begun issuing credit cards for the first time in decades, aimed at helping to boost the country’s sanctions-damaged economy. (AP)
Oman: A court upheld a government order to permanently close a national newspaper and jailed three of its journalists for undermining the state. (AFP)
Syria: Warplanes again pounded rebel-held areas of Aleppo as residents warned of increasing shortages of food and medicine. (AFP)
Syria: Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem says a US-Russia-brokered cease-fire agreement is still viable, with his administration prepared to take part in a unity government. (AP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Technology: Swiss voters approved a new surveillance law, where phone or electronic surveillance of a suspect will only be triggered with approval by a federal court. (AFP)
Suspected Cases as of 23SEP: 195,397 (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 23SEP: 107,364
Deaths as of 23SEP: 108
Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 74 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico)
Cases as of 16SEP: 1,806 (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 16SEP: 643 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 15SEP: 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 15SEP: 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 15SEP: Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and the United States of America.