World Newsletter

30 Sept 2020



The first presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden featured

a chaotic series of bitter exchanges and name-calling, with the president

repeatedly speaking over his Democratic rival and the moderator struggling

to maintain control of the 90-minute affair.

"Will you shut up, man?" an exasperated Biden said in a comment that was

emblematic of the tumultuous nature of the debate, which was held in

Cleveland, Ohio. "It's hard to get any word in with this clown."

Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News struggled to maintain control as he

peppered the candidates with questions about the Supreme Court, the economy,

the coronavirus pandemic and more. He repeatedly admonished the president

for speaking over Biden and disregarding the rules both sides had agreed to.

The president leveled barrages of unfounded accusations against his

Democratic rival and his family, invoking his son Hunter Biden's work in

Ukraine and bringing up the younger Biden's history of drug abuse. Mr. Trump

declined to condemn white supremacist groups and defended his response to

the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 200,000 American lives,

trying to portray Biden as a socialist who isn't equipped to occupy the Oval


"Did you use the word smart?" the president asked Biden at one point. "You

graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don't ever

use the word smart with me, Joe."

Biden, though, not only gave as good as he got -- he launched the kind of

attack on Trump that the billionaire president has rarely had to endure to

his face. "Liar," "racist" and "clown" were just some of the missiles

launched from Biden, who also branded Trump the "puppy" of Russian President

Vladimir Putin.

Biden, for his part, tried to direct his answers to the audience watching at

home. He called Mr. Trump "the worst president America has ever had,"

blaming him for bungling the response to the pandemic and fueling racial

divisions amid recent protests against police brutality.

"This is a president who has used everything as a dog whistle to try to

generate racist hatred, racist division," Biden said.

The two candidates are scheduled to meet next in two weeks, on October 15,

for the second debate in Salt Lake City, Utah.





Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other on Tuesday of firing straight into

one another's territory and rejected strain to carry peace talks as their

battle over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh threatened to spill over into

all-out battle.

Each reported firing from the opposite facet throughout their shared border,

nicely to the west of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh area over which fierce

combating broke out between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces on Sunday.

The incidents signalled an extra escalation of the battle regardless of

pressing appeals from Russia, the US and others to halt it.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, talking to Russian state TV, flatly

dominated out any risk of talks.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan informed the identical channel that

talks couldn't happen whereas combating continued.

Additional fuelling tensions between the 2 former Soviet republics, Armenia

stated an F-16 fighter jet belonging to Azerbaijan's shut ally Turkey had

shot down considered one of its warplanes over Armenian airspace, killing

the pilot.

It offered no proof of the incident. Turkey and Azerbaijan known as the

declare "completely unfaithful".

Dozens of individuals have been reported killed and a whole bunch wounded

since clashes between Azerbaijan and its ethnic Armenian mountain enclave of

Nagorno-Karabakh broke out on Sunday.





The chief of Afghanistan's peace negotiating team said on Tuesday on a visit

to Pakistan that the time has come for the two neighbouring countries to

shun the suspicion, stale rhetoric and tired conspiracy theories that have

dogged past relations.

Abdullah Abdullah is in Pakistan on a bridge-building mission meant to mend

deep-rooted mistrust between the two countries. It was his first visit in 12


Mr. Abdullah told the Institute of Strategic Studies in the federal capital

of Islamabad that the two neighbours are on the threshold of a new

relationship characterised by mutual respect, sincere cooperation and shared


I am a firm believer that after many troubling years, we now need to go

beyond the usual stale rhetoric and shadowy conspiracy theories that have

held us back, Mr. Abdullah said. We cannot afford to pursue business as

usual. We need fresh approaches and our people demand it. It is more urgent

than ever to look to our region as one region.

His statements come ahead of meetings later Tuesday with Pakistan's powerful

army chief and prime minister. His visit also comes at a crucial time in

Afghanistan's troubled history as a government-appointed negotiation team is

in the Gulf state of Qatar brokering an end to war with its Taliban foes.





Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the architect of the nation's

modern foreign policy and one of the region's most influential voices, has

died at the age of 91.

The monarch died on Tuesday at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, Minnesota,

where he had been recovering after surgery in July. His body was being flown

to Kuwait for burial.

His half-brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, will be sworn

in as his successor late on Wednesday.

Sabah had ruled the since 2006 and steered its foreign policy for more than

50 years.

"With the utmost sadness and grief for the Kuwaiti people, the Islamic and

Arab world and people of friendly nations, the Amiri Diwan [the royal

palace] mourns the death of Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, the

emir of Kuwait," his office said.





Computer systems across a major hospital chain operating in the U.S. and

Britain were down Monday due to what the company termed an unspecified

technology "security issue."

Universal Health Services Inc., which operates more than 400 hospitals and

other clinical care facilities, said in a short statement posted to its

website Monday that its network was offline and doctors and nurses were

resorting to "back-up processes" including paper records.

The Fortune 500 company, with 90,000 employees said "patient care continues

to be delivered safely and effectively" and no patient or employee data

appeared to have been "accessed, copied or misused."

UHS provided no details, but people posting to an online Reddit forum who

identified themselves as employees said the chain's network was hit by

ransomware overnight Sunday. The posts echoed the alarm of a clinician at a

UHS facility in Washington, D.C., who described to a mad scramble, including

anxiety over determining which patients might be infected with the virus

that causes COVID-19.

John Riggi, senior cybersecurity adviser to the American Hospital

Association, called it a "suspected ransomware attack," adding that

criminals have been increasingly targeting the networks of health care

institutions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ransomware is a growing scourge in which hackers infect networks with

malicious code that scrambles data and then demand payment to restore


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