AFRICA: Burundi’s cabinet backed a constitutional change that would allow its president to stay in office until 2034.
AMERICAS: Brazil carried out a large-scale operation in four favelas in Rio de Janeiro, in order to seize weapons and drugs.
ASIA: The First Committee of the UN General Assembly has adopted three resolutions that denounce North Korea’s nuclear test.
EUROPE: Spain’s PM Rajoy fired the government of Catalonia region, dissolved the regional parliament and ordered new elections after Catalan declared an independent nation.
MIDDLE EAST: Canada has temporarily suspended military assistance to Iraqi troops due to tensions between Iraq’s military and Kurdish fighters.
TECHNOLOGY: Under pressure in advance of hearings on Russian election interference, Facebook is moving to increase transparency for everyone who sees and buys political advertising on its site.
Spain Dismisses Catalonia Government After Region Declares Independence
PM Rajoy fired the regional president, Carles Puigdemont, dissolved the parliament and ordered regional elections to be held on 21 December.
The showdown escalated the biggest political crisis in decades, which is just emerging from a prolonged economic malaise, Catalonia is a critical part of the economy in Spain, the fifth largest in Europe.
The Catalan parliament’s motion called for the start of an independence process that would include the drafting of new regional laws and envisioned the start of negotiations “on equal footing” with Spanish authorities.
The Catalan government said that of the 43% of potential voters who took part, 90% were in favor of independence.
Puigdemont and the 12 members of the Catalan Cabinet now will no longer be paid and could be charged with usurping others’ functions if they refuse to obey.
Burundi: The cabinet backed a constitutional change that would allow its president to stay in office until 2034, widening a political rift that has driven the country progressively deeper into crisis. (REU)
Kenya: Voters who boycotted a repeat presidential election voiced relief after authorities indefinitely delayed further attempts to hold the vote in some opposition areas due to the risk of violence. (REU)
Libya: The bodies of 37 unidentified people have been found near the eastern Benghazi. (REU)
Brazil Armed forces and police carried out a large-scale operation in four favelas in the center of Rio de Janeiro, in order to seize weapons and drugs. (XIN)
Colombia: Farmers keep growing coca despite government crackdown and U.S. pressure. (MIA)
Guatemala: A judge has ruled that former President Molina will stand trial for his alleged role in a huge corruption scheme involving the country’s customs service. (BBC)
Afghanistan: At least nine police officers were killed in separate attacks by Taliban insurgents on police checkpoints in eastern Ghazni province. (NYT)
Australia: PM Turnbull appointed his foreign minister as acting prime minister as he tried to stem the fallout of a citizenship crisis that has cost his government its parliamentary majority. (REU)
Nepal: At least 19 people were killed when an overcrowded bus swerved off the road and plunged into a river. (GUA)
North Korea: The First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly has adopted three resolutions that denounce the country’s nuclear test. (YON)
Region: Hungary cannot support Ukraine’s EU integration goals and has vetoed the NATO-Ukraine Committee session of December. (XIN)
Region: Cyprus does not recognize the unilaterally declared independence of Spain’s Catalonia. (XIN)
Iceland: Voters are heading to the polls for the second time in two years after the ruling three-party coalition comprising conservative and centrist-liberal parties collapsed last month over a sex-crime scandal linked to the prime minister. (DPA)
Iraq: Canadian Special Forces have temporarily suspended military assistance to Iraqi troops due to tensions between the country’s military and Kurdish fighters. (AFP)
Jordan: The country has condemned the terrorist attack on a Bahraini police bus that left one policeman dead and eight others injured. (XIN)
Syria: Britain urged the UNSC to impose sanctions on Syria after a UN-led investigation found that government forces were responsible for the sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhun. (TEL)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Technology: Under pressure in advance of hearings on Russian election interference, Facebook is moving to increase transparency for everyone who sees and buys political advertising on its site. (AP)
Suspected Cases as of 20OCT: 60,308 (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 20OCT: 122,951 (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin (French part), and Venezuela)
Confirmed Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250
Deaths as of 20OCT: 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 10OCT: 2,090 (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 10OCT: 730 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)