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Soldiers who led Mali coup promise new elections; EU steps up pressure on Lukashenko; Autobahn crashes possible terrorist attack

The Malian soldiers who led a coup ousting President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on Tuesday have promised to hold new elections and a transition to civil political rule. And, the European Union stepped up pressure on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday by announcing support for the ongoing protests in the country. Also, prosecutors in Germany are investigating a series of crashes on the Berlin autobahn as a possible terrorist attack.

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Strikes grow, add to ongoing Belarus protests; UN-backed tribunal announces Hariri ruling; Captain of ship in Mauritius arrested

For a second day, factory workers in Belarus continued their strike protesting the controversial reelection of President Alexander Lukashenko to his sixth term. And, a UN-backed tribunal on Tuesday convicted one member of the Hezbollah militant group and acquitted three others of involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Also, Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, the captain of the ship that spilled hundreds of tons of oil off the coast of Mauritius, was arrested on Tuesday.

New Zealand delays election over coronavirus; Protests continue in Belarus; Controversial pastor tests positive for coronavirus in Seoul

New Zealand has delayed its upcoming election by one month after an outbreak of the coronavirus in the country’s most populous city, Auckland. And, Monday marked the ninth straight day of protests in Belarus following the controversial reelection of President Alexander Lukashenko. Also, Rev. Jun Kwang-hun, the outspoken and conservative South Korean pastor of a megachurch in Seoul, has tested positive for the coronavirus after participating in an anti-government protest.

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Israel and UAE cut diplomatic deal; Despite flooding North Korea refuses aid; Spain tightens coronavirus restrictions

Israel and the United Arab Emirates look set to establish full normalization of relations. And, despite weeks of heavy rains and flooding that destroyed thousands of homes and buildings and even threatened a nuclear reactor, North Korea has rejected aid from the international community. Also, Spain has decided to shut nightclubs and ban outdoor smoking in an attempt to tamp down a resurgence of cases of the coronavirus in Western Europe.

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Harris veep pick welcomed by diasporas; Scottish passenger train derails; New Zealand reimposes lockdown measures

Joe Biden’s selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate for the 2020 presidential contest is drawing attention from a wide range of groups. And, a passenger train derailed during storms on Wednesday in the Aberdeenshire area of Scotland. Also, in New Zealand, government officials are looking into the possibility that freight could be the source of the first COVID-19 infections in over three months.

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Belarus opposition leader flees country; Russia approves coronavirus vaccine; Trump proposes additional limits on US-Mexico border

The main challenger in Belarus' presidential vote, who has refused to concede defeat amid a massive police crackdown on protesters, has left the country and is now in neighboring Lithuania. And, Russia has became the first country in the world to clear a coronavirus vaccine. Also, the Trump administration is reportedly considering additional ways to limit entry at the US-Mexico border.

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TikTok, WeChat targeted by Trump executive order; Lebanese president details blast investigation; Russia's vaccine shortcut

Citing national security grounds, US President Donald Trump has ordered a sweeping but vague ban on dealings with the Chinese owners of the popular social media apps TikTok and WeChat, And, Lebanese President Michel Aoun announced that the blast investigation would encompass three levels of inquiry, including the possibility of foreign interference. Also, Moscow has taken a shortcut toward a coronavirus vaccine, with some medical workers and government employees in Russia’s capital being eligible to receive what is being deemed the world’s first vaccine.

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Mourning and anger amid devastation after Beirut explosion; One-third of Afghanistan may have had COVID-19; 75-years since Hiroshima bombing

Many Lebanese are turning toward anger and frustration over corrupt Lebanese officials for the presence of a warehouse full of ammonium nitrate at the center of a massive explosion. And, in Afghanistan, the country’s health minister said an antibody survey revealed almost one-third of the nation may have been infected with the coronavirus. Also, with Hiroshima marking the 75th anniversary of the 1945 nuclear blast on Thursday, the survivors were a diminished presence due to the threat of the coronavirus and their old age.

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