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Afghanistan government halts prisoner release! - August 18, 2020
The Afghan government said Monday it would not release the last 320 Taliban prisoners it is holding until the insurgents free more captured soldiers, defying a traditional council held last week and further delaying intra-Afghan talks sought by the United States.  The talks, which were laid out in a peace deal signed between the United States and the Taliban in February, were expected to begin on Thursday but are now postponed indefinitely. Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s political spokesman, said the group had fulfilled its obligations and was not aware of any other security personnel in its custody who were to be released. “We have released 1,000 prisoners that we had promised to release,” Shaheen said. The Taliban have said they are ready to open talks with the government within one week of the release of the last Taliban prisoners.
Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue Process - August 14, 2020
The US special envoy to the stalled Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Richard Grenell, announced that a meeting between Kosovo and Serbia would take place in Washington on September 2. In June 2020, Grenell said the dialogue would have two phases. The first, facilitated by the US, would start in Washington on June 27 and focus on economic matters. The second phase, facilitated by the EU, would focus on the political aspects of the dialogue. However, the Washington meeting did not occur, following the announcement of war crime charges on June 24 by the Kosovo Special Prosecutor’s Office against Kosovo President Hashim Thaci.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates have signed the peace agreement- August 14, 2020
Israel and the UAE have agreed to normalize relations, Trump said on Thursday, in a move forestalling Israel’s controversial plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank. A joint statement from the US, UAE, and Israel said the “breakthrough” will promote “peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders,” referring to Trump, Crown Prince Mohammed, and Netanyahu. Under the deal, Israel will “suspend” plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank “and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world,” according to the statement.
The released process of 400 Taliban prisoners has started! - August 14, 2020
Prisoner releases on both sides are part of an agreement signed in February between the U.S. and the Taliban. It calls for the release of 5,000 Taliban held by the government and 1,000 government and military personnel held by the insurgent group as a goodwill gesture ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations. Afghanistan has released the first 80 of a final 400 Taliban prisoners, paving the way for negotiations between the warring sides in Afghanistan’s protracted conflict. U.S. troops have already begun leaving, and by November less than 5,000 troops are expected to still be in Afghanistan down from nearly 13,000 when the agreement was signed Feb. 29.  
No one knows where is people intercepted at sea returned to Libya! - August 5, 2020
The three Sudanese nationals aged between 15 and 18 were shot dead on 28 July, reportedly by members of a militia linked to the Coast Guard as they tried to avoid being detained. They are among more than 6,200 men, women, and children intercepted on the central Mediterranean and returned to Libya this year. Since 2017, that figure is around 40,000. It has long been difficult to track the whereabouts of migrants and asylum seekers after they are returned to Libya, and for years there have been reports of people going missing or disappearing into unofficial detention centres after disembarking. Instead of being taken to “official” detention centres, many are likely disappearing into shadowy “unofficial” facilities operated by militias affiliated with the Libyan interior ministry.
Belarus opposition rally attracts thousands despite crackdown - August 7, 2020
Thousands of people gathered in a park in the Belarusian capital on August 6 in support of opposition presidential candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya after she had to cancel her campaign event following the city authorities' abrupt decision to replace her rallies in Minsk with government-organized events. The demonstrators then marched across the city, clapping and chanting "Long live Belarus!" and "Go away!" -- an apparent message for incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, whose 26 years of authoritarian rule looks increasingly vulnerable ahead of the August 9 election. In a related development, the Central Election Commission said on August 6 that turnout during three days of early voting was 22.47 percent of the country's 6.8 million eligible voters. Opposition politicians, rights activists, and critics of Lukashenka have called on citizens to refrain from early voting, which started on August 4, charging that it gives Lukashenka loyalists more opportunities to rig the election results.
Teachers arrested in Jordan after anti-government protest- July 27, 2020
The authorities in Jordan have detained and interrogated 13 members of the Teachers’ Union and closed its offices for two years, official sources reported on Saturday. The move was made three days after a protest against the government decision to postpone a salary increase for teachers. The salary increase was agreed after a one-month strike last year. Due to the economic crisis caused by Coronavirus, the government decided on 16 April to postpone the rise until the start of next year. The union responded by organizing a protest south Amman.
Hezbollah attacked Israeli targets- July 17, 2020
Hezbollah carried out an attack on Monday against Israeli targets on Lebanon's southern border. Earlier, Israel had announced that a security incident had taken place on the border, without further details. "A little while ago, there were reports of a security incident in the area of Jabal Ros," Avichai Adraee, a spokesman for the Israeli army, said in a statement. In a speech to lawmakers, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "We are constantly following what is happening on our northern borders. Our policy is clear: We will not allow Iran to gain a military position on our borders with Syria." In the past few days, the Israeli army announced it would deploy military reinforcements to its border with Lebanon.
Somalian PM Hassan Ali Khaire Removed By Vote of No-Confidence - July 27, 2020
Somalia's acting Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire has been removed from his post by an unanimous vote of no-confidence. The decision backed by 170 out of 178 MPs. Until a new appointment Deputy PM Mahdi Mohamed Guled has been caretaker of the post.
U.S. accused Russia of trying to weaponize space - July 24, 2020
The United States has accused Russia of conducting a test of an anti-satellite weapon in space that Washington fears could be used to threaten critical U.S. and allied satellites. The Russian Defense Ministry said that a small space vehicle on July 15 inspected one of its satellites up close “using special equipment.” However, the U.S. said on July 23 that the craft had a different mission. President Donald Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in the day, but it is unclear if they discussed the July 15 event.
Heavy monsoon damaged the south asian countries! - 20 July 2020
Heavy monsoon rainfall has triggered severe flooding affecting millions across parts of South Asia.  At least 71 people have died in floods that have submerged Assam, in India’s northeast, since June. Authorities are also reporting flooding in states like Bihar and Chhattisgarh in the east, and Kerala and Karnataka in the south. Waters are rising in parts of Bangladesh, where the coronavirus has reduced aid access and relief, and dozens have been killed in a series of landslides in Nepal. The department of Nepal has said the monsoonal trough will move slowly across the country and will last till at least Friday 24. July. Climate change is making extreme weather more frequent and intense, and the pandemic adds more volatility to monsoon risks this year.
Rising Risk of Acute Malnutrition in Nigeria - July 18, 2020
Two UN organization Unicef and Wfp have warned risk of increase in child acute malnutrition in West and Central Africa in 2020. According to a statement issued by Unicef, 15.4 million cases of acute malnutrition in children are expected in this year. The organizations believe that combination of food insecurity and Corona pandemic has been increasing acute malnutrition in 19 countries of the region. The other obstacles including conflict and armed violence causing displacement have been causing child malnutrition to jumo into enprecedented levels.
Egypt Thread Libya's Territorial Unity - July 16, 2020
Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met on Thursday with the heads of Libyan tribes in his country's capital Cairo, warning that Egypt would "not stand aside" in the face increasing military mobilization near the city of Sirte in the north of Libya. In June, Al-Sisi had said the capture of the city of Sirte and the al-Jufra airbase by the internationally recognized government would be Cairo's "red line." He called on Egypt's army to "be prepared to carry out any domestic or cross-border missions.
Azerbaijan-Armenia Border Clash - July 14, 2020
Armenian militaries tried to attack Azerbaijani positions by shelling the villages of the Tovuz District with large-caliber weapons and mortars, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence has stated. The situation on the border of Azerbaijan's Tovuz District with Armenia's Tavush Region escalated on July 12. 40 people were killed and wounded on both sides. On July 15, the Armenian Ministry of Defence announced a decline in the escalation. According to the Armenian side, the situation on the border worsened after Azerbaijan's attempt to break through the border. Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence claims that the conflict escalated after the attempt of Armenian militaries to launch an attack.
Ethiopia starts filling Grand Renaissance dam- July 15, 2020
Ethiopia has started filling the Grand Renaissance Dam, a giant hydroelectric project it is building on the Blue Nile, its Water Minister said on Wednesday. “The construction of the dam and the filling of the water go hand in hand,” Seleshi Bekele said in televised comments. “The filling of the dam doesn’t need to wait until the completion of the dam.” The water level had increased from 525 to 560 meters, he said. The $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will have an installed capacity of 6,450 megawatts – more than doubling its existing capacity – and is the centerpiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter.
Demonstrations against Netanyahu government held in Tel Aviv - July 13, 2020
Six Israelis were injured on Monday when Israeli police evacuated protesters in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's house in West Jerusalem, according to Israeli media. The protest was part of the "Black Flags" movement, which in recent months has organized numerous protests to demand Netanyahu to resign. In a statement, protest organizers said “a group of about 30 policemen, police officers and city inspectors attacked the encampment at Balfour [Street] and the demonstrators, who are permitted to be there”. Netanyahu, 70, is the first Israeli prime minister to face trial while in office, and he denies accusations of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. In Israel, where there is also a second wave of coronavirus, the Netanyahu government's crisis management has been criticized by demonstrators.
690 million people suffered from hunger in 2019! - July 13, 2020
United Nations report released on 13 July Monday said that almost 690 million people – 1 in 9 of the world's population – suffered from hunger last year, a major downward revision of previous estimates. An additional 93 million to 132 million people could go hungry in 2020 as a result of the economic recession triggered by COVID-19. The pandemic has disrupted food supply distribution and the flow of remittances so mostly poorer and vulnerable people faced more difficult conditions to have reach access to healthy diets.
Two Killed in Azerbaijan-Armenia Border Clashes - July 12, 2020
Armenia and Azerbaijan on 12 July traded accusations of launching a military offensive using artillery fire along their shared border, with Baku reporting two troops killed. Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said Armenia’s “offensive” from its northern Tovuz region was met with a “counterstrike” and retreated. “Two Azerbaijani servicemen were killed and five more wounded,” it added. Yerevan, on its part, accused Baku of “using artillery in an attack aimed at capturing (Armenian) positions.” The two former Soviet republics have for decades been locked in a simmering conflict over Nagorno Karabakh, a breakaway territory which was at the heart of a bloody war in the 1990s.
Daughter of Mandela Dies in Johannesburg - July 13, 2020
Various sources from South Africa has confirmed that Nelson Mandela's daughter and South Africa's ambassador to Denmark Zindzi Mandela (59) has died in Johannesburg. The city is nowadays the epicenter of Covid-19 epidemic in South Africa. It is unknown yet Zindzi's death whether related to Covid-19 or not.
In Georgia, protesters demand to open border with Turkey - July 10, 2020
On July 8, a protest was held in front of the Supreme Council of Adjara (Autonomous Republic of Adjara is a region of Georgia). Protestors demanded the government to open the state border with Turkey or pay compensation for the loss of earnings from work in the neighbouring country. The protesters claimed that because of the border closure since March, they had no earnings, and self-employed persons have not received compensation of 300 laris. In any case, such compensation is not enough, the protestors claim.
Protests in Serbia - July 9, 2020
Thousands of citizens gathered in front of the National Assembly in Belgrade on Tuesday (7 July) night following the announcement of President Aleksandar Vučić that the new weekend-long curfew will be imposed this week due to the rising COVID-19 cases.  After a smaller group of protesters tried to enter the country’s parliament, clashes with the police ensued, resulting in a series of tear gas bombs and arrests, during which both the protesters and the policemen were reportedly hurt.
Thaci to be interviewed in the Hague on July 13 - July 9,2020
Two weeks after the indictment against the Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and former Parliament Speaker Kadri Veseli, President Thaci announced that he would testify in court on July 13, Monday.
Croatia Election Results - July 8, 2020
Croatia's ruling center-right party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), came with the highest number of votes, according to the first announced results of the country's general elections on July 5th. The HDZ, which managed to gain 66 of the 151-seat Croatian national assembly, is expected to form a coalition with other right-wing parties, as it alone failed to reach the sufficient number to form a government. The "Restart" alliance, established under the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), achieved votes below expectations with 41 representatives in the parliament.
Uzbek and Tajik Migrant Workers Stranded In Kazakhstan - July 8, 2020
Almost 2,000 Tajik and Uzbek citizens are stranded in Kazakhstan’s southern region of Turkistan because they are unable to travel back home due to restrictions imposed to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The majority of those stranded at the Zhibek Zholy (Silk Road) checkpoint are male labor migrants who lost their jobs in Kazakhstan after many businesses shut down following lockdown measures. They complained that they have to stay outdoors and that the weather is very hot during the daytime and cold at night. On June 19, the International Organization for Migration (IOM)  had organized transportation by bus to repatriate 635 Tajik citizens stranded at the Zhibek Zholy checkpoint.