Africa and Middle East
Libya This week, for the first time, Turkish President Erdogan confirmed the existence of a Turkish force in Libya, as well as Turkish-backed Syrian factions. Turkey's government supports the internationally recognised government against Haftar's rebel faction which is attempting to seize Tripoli. It is alleged that Russian and Sudanese mercenaries have joined the fray, complicating any attempts at peace
Niger A combined force of Nigerian and French troops allegedly killed 120 terrorists in the Tillaberri region of southwest Niger. The operation follows a wave of jihadist attacks which killed over 174 soldiers from December to January.
Yemen Scores of civilians, including 19 children, were killed by Saudi bombing raids on al-Jawf province in northern Yemen. The UN strongly condemned the deplorable attacks which were of doubtful strategic value, and UNICEF implored both sides to work to resolve the conflict.
Iran President Rouhani delivered an address to the UN General Assembly denouncing America's 'inappropriate and illegal interference' in the Middle East and promoting Iran's initiative for regional peace, the Hormuz Peace Endeavour. He stated that the EU had a duty to uphold the JCPOA and to disregard Washington's sanctions on Iran.
Iran Voters went to the polls in Iran for elections in which the conservative parties are expected to do well. The official turnout was 42%, which Interior Minister Fazli described as 'quite acceptable', and responded to suggestions it was quite low by citing concerns about Coronavirus and riots in recent months.
Haiti In an extremely concerning escalation, police officers and the Haitian army exchanged gunfire outside the national palace following protests over police pay. Haiti's famous three-day Carnival was cancelled, official statement reported, to 'avoid a bloodbath'.
Venezuela Washington announced increased sanctions against those dealing engaged in any business with Venezuela's state oil firm. This comes a week after a Russian energy company was blacklisted to try to force Moscow to end its support for Maduro.
Australia Two people tragically died when a passenger train derailed near the town of Wallan en route between Sydney and Melbourne. Dozens more people were treated with serious injuries.
China The government ordered three reporters for the Wall Street Journal to leave Beijing due to a supposedly racist headline on a piece they had written, the first expulsion of journalists since 1998. The exact title described China as the 'sick man of Asia' which riled the CCP because it was coined by Western imperialists during China's 'century of humiliation'. Aside from expressing condemnation, some have pointed out that the WSJ's editors, and not its reporters, determine the titles of articles. Others have suggested it is far from a coincidence that the article in question criticised the response to the coronavirus epidemic.
Ukraine Russia detained four Ukrainian fisherman for 'illicit' fishing in the Sea of Azov. The men were tried in a Moscow-controlled court in Crimea, which sentenced them to 10 days in prison. The Ukrainian government denounced both the implied Russian claim to the Sea of Azov and the trial of Ukrainians by what it sees as an foreign kangaroo court on Ukrainian soil.
Ireland The CEO of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, was denounced as a racist after an interview with the Times in which he said that Muslim men should be profiled at airports. He is reported to have said that terrorists are 'generally Muslims'.
Africa and Middle East
Yemen The UN announced that negotiations in Jordan between Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government had produced an agreement to exchange prisoners. Sources say that as many as 1400 prisoners could be released as part of the deal. This is the first significant exchange of prisoners since the war began.
Israel Netanyahu announced that the planned (minimal) easing of the siege of the Gaza strip would not go ahead after rockets were launched at Israel from the territory. Airstrikes were carried out on Hamas sites in retaliation for the attacks. Meanwhile, 2 million people remain under siege.
Taiwan The global death toll from Coronavirus continued to rise, with one person dying in Taiwan, and another in France. It should be noted, however, that only five people outside of mainland China have so far died of the disease; though the death toll there is over 1,660.
Venezuela The civilian militia, which dwarfs the size of the country’s military, was designated as part of the latter body. Critics believe the move is to increase the size of the forces loyal to Maduro, without whom he would not be able to remain in power.
Azerbaijan Scores of opposition leaders and members were detained by police for protesting at an election widely regarded as rigged. The ruling party won over half the seats, while other minor parties loyal to the president, who has governed since 2003, held almost all of the rest. Opposition leaders were allegedly driven by the police to remote locations over 100 miles from Baku, and then left there.