Thursday 10th September 2020

Updated: Sep 10, 2020


In Afghanistan, at least 10 people have been killed in a roadside bomb attack that targeted first Vice-president Amrullah Saleh yesterday. Mr Saleh, a former head of Afghan intelligence services, escaped with slight burns on his face and hands. The bombing came as Afghan officials and the Taliban prepared to begin their formal talks. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the militant group was not responsible for the blast.

In Sri Lanka, a fire on a large oil tanker was extinguished yesterday after burning for two days. The fire is now under control, but officials have warned of enormous environmental damage to Sri Lanka's coast if the ship, which was carrying nearly two million barrels of crude oil, leaks or explodes. The Rear Admiral of the Sri Lankan Navy said that just because the ship has cracked, it doesn’t mean a spill will take place.

"So when you have intense heat in one place for quite a long time, naturally the steel blades get deformed, the wading line gets cracked, and you will start to see these cracks. It's going to happen, it's very natural. But it doesn't mean the ship is breaking apart, it doesn't mean that the spill is going to take place."


In Greece, fires have destroyed its largest migrant camp on the island of Lesbos. The cause of the fire is still unclear, but it has left nearly 13,000 people without shelter. Police have blocked roads from the camp to prevent migrants entering nearby towns, causing many to sleep in fields after the fire. The EU home affairs commissioner has said she has agreed to finance the transfer of 400 unaccompanied teenagers and children to accommodation on the mainland.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged MPs to support a bill which adjusts the Brexit deal he signed in January. Critics say that the Internal Markets Bill will damage the UK's international standing after a minister admitted the plans break international laws. However, the Prime Minister Johnson said the bill will help the UK’s internal market.

"Well on the contrary Mr speaker, this UK Internal Market Bill is about protecting jobs, protecting growth, ensuring the fluidity and safety of our UK internal market and prosperity throughout United Kingdom. And it should be welcomed I believe in Scotland, in Northern Ireland, in Wales, and throughout the whole country"

In Norway, a lawmaker has said he has nominated US President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in the Middle East. Israel and the UAE agreed last month to a historic deal working on their relations and are scheduled to sign it at a White House ceremony on September 15. The lawmaker said that regardless of how Trump acts in America, the president meets the requirements of a Nobel peace prize award.


Yesterday in Northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region, polls officially closed in a local election that the federal government has deemed illegal. The regional government objected to the postponement of the national and regional elections, originally scheduled for August. This was because of the coronavirus pandemic and the extension of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's time in office.The voting was to challenge to the administration of Prime Minister Ahmed. 

In Somalia, three people were killed and seven were injured in a suicide attack inside a restaurant. Information ministry spokesman Ismail Mukhtar Omar said the attacker walked into the Blue Sky restaurant yesterday before blowing himself up. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack as of yet.

Zimbabwe has banned mining in all its national parks, reversing a decision to let Chinese firms explore for coal at its famous Hwange game park. China is a major investor in Zimbabwe and a close ally of the government. However after campaigners took the government to court to prevent ecological harm in the parks, the Information Minister announced the ban on mining with immediate effect. Hwange park is home to more than 40,000 elephants and numerous other species, including the endangered black rhino.

The Americas

In the United states, the military has announced yesterday that it will reduce the number of troops in Iraq from around 5,000 to 3,000 this month. These plans were originally made in June, between both the countries. These 5,000 troops were in Iraq to fight the armed group ISIS. However, US officials say that Iraqi forces are now mostly able to handle ISIS on their own. 

In Brazil, the governor of Sao Paulo said that clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine has shown promising results. The vaccine is being developed by China's Sinovac Biotech, and the governor says it may be available to Brazilians as early as December.

The Oscars has published a detailed inclusion and diversity guideline that filmmakers have to meet in order to be able to win a Best Picture prize, starting in 2024. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has been criticised often for a heavily white and male list of nominees. On Tuesday they said that the standards represent a new phase of a five-year effort to promote diversity on and off-screen.

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