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BLACKWATER USA | DAILY BRIEF


Libya

  • The ceasefire the GNA announced last week wasn’t as clear-cut as it was made out to be: a spokesman for Khalifa Haftar said Haftar’s LNA is not, in fact, ready to agree to a ceasefire, and called the GNA’s ceasefire announcement a unilateral stunt for “media marketing.”

Mali

  • Mali’s coup leaders continued their meetings with ECOWAS negotiators today. ECOWAS says the discussions are “going very well.”

China

  • A senior Chinese health official said that China has been using an experimental coronavirus vaccine since July 22 on people in “high risk” professions like medical work or border patrols.

Iran

  • Iran said its black box analysis from the Ukrainian airliner that was downed in January showed two missile strikes 25 second apart, and found that the pilots and some passengers were still alive after the first strike. After the second one, everyone on the plane had died.

Afghanistan

  • The Taliban announced that it has finalized its negotiating team for intra-Afghan talks. The team of 20 includes 13 members of the Taliban’s leadership council, which is about half the full council.

North Korea

  • New reports say Kim Jong Un has been in a coma for months, and his recent appearances were faked. That would explain why his sister has been allocated more power recently. However, these new reports seem speculative.

Belarus

  • Pres. Lukashenko is still holding onto power, despite mass protests against him yesterday—Reuters thinks as many as 200,000 people turned out to demand his resignation. Lukashenko pushed back on the protests in true dictator style, by flying over the demonstrations in a helicopter with an assault rifle in his hand.

Russia

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the press that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny—who is being treated in a German hospital—was “fairly likely” poisoned, and therefore merited special protection while recovering.

  • However, the Russian doctors who initially treated Navalny in Omsk before he was airlifted to Berlin say they detected no poisons in his system—just a non-fatal amount of alcohol and tobacco—and claimed he was merely ailing from low blood sugar. That doesn’t seem likely.

DRC

  • Glencore announced its support for the Fair Cobalt Alliance—an initiative to support artisanal cobalt mining in DRC. That suggests a change in Glencore’s strategy from relying on large-scale company-run sites like Mutanda to improving conditions at smaller mines and sourcing from them instead.

Other News

  • A pair of suicide attacks in the Philippine island of Jolo—an Abu Sayyaf stronghold—killed at least 14 people. The second bomber was a female.

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