Coming Up This Week
- Burkina Faso is holding a presidential election today, but several polling stations in the Center North, Sahel, and East regions either did not open or closed early due to threats from Al Qaeda- and Islamic State-linked groups.
- President-elect Biden reportedly plans to announce the first of his cabinet picks tomorrow.
- Thanksgiving is Thursday, although U.S. health officials are warning Americans against traveling or gathering in large groups due to record new COVID cases and hospitalizations.
- Iron Mike Tyson is fighting Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition match next Saturday (“exhibition” here means that knockouts are not allowed—knockouts be dangerous, given that the two fighters have a combined age of 105). Tyson is favored to win, even though he hasn’t fought in 15 years.
LME Commodity Spot Prices
- Aluminum: $1,984/ton
- Copper: $7,179/ton
- Cobalt: $32,000/ton
- Gold: $1,874/toz
- Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) named a new emir, Algerian Abu Ubaidah Yusef al Annabi. AQIM’s first emir, Abdelmalek Droukdel, was killed in Mali in June during a French operation.
- SecState Pompeo joined intra-Afghan talks in Doha, and there are reports of a breakthrough after months of stagnant discourse. However, negotiators are vague about what the breakthrough actually is—for months, the two sides couldn’t even agree on a process for talks.
- Islamic State claimed yesterday’s mortar attacks in Kabul, which killed at least eight. The Interior Ministry said around 23 shells were fired from two cars. Given that at least one rocket landed in the Iranian embassy compound, Islamic State’s claim could be credible: Iran-backed militants probably wouldn’t have targeted the Iranian embassy.
- The UK agreed to an interim trade deal with Canada, though it still lacks a more critical deal to govern trade with the EU after the Brexit transition period ends Dec. 31st.
- Ethiopia’s military warned civilians in the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle to “free themselves” from the region’s rebel leaders ahead of an assault on the city. At least 36,000 people have already fled into Sudan.
- Guatemala’s Congress passed a controversial budget that cut education and health spending. Hundreds of outraged protesters broke into the congressional building and lit part of it on fire.