Why it matters: The U.S. has responded to standoffs with North Korea, Russia, Iran and Venezuela in unorthodox and unpredictable ways. Alliances are rupturing, authoritarians are rising, and China is steadily becoming the most powerful rival America has ever faced.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced the Belarus election in a statement on Monday as "not free and fair" and urged the country's authoritarian government to "refrain from use of force" against protesters who have taken to the streets.
Why it matters: President Aleksander Lukashenko, known as "Europe's last dictator," claimed to have won in a landslide against the pro-democracy opposition in a Sunday election widely viewed as rigged.
The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned on Monday that the continent is seeing a "true resurgence" in coronavirus cases and recommended that affected countries consider reimposing certain restrictions.
Why it matters: Many European countries, including former global hotspots Italy and Spain, were able to successfully curb the spread of COVID-19 over the summer through stringent lockdown restrictions and a phased reopening. The ECDC warned that the "recent increase" in infections is a result of countries relaxing their social distancing and other mitigation measures.
Lebanon's prime minister and cabinet have resigned amid massive protests in the aftermath of a deadly explosion in Beirut that killed more than 160 people, injured 6,000 and left roughly 250,000 homeless.
Why it matters: Protesters blame the incompetence of the ruling elite — widely viewed as corrupt — for the disaster. The unstable and deeply distrusted government will remain in place in a caretaker capacity until a new prime minister is selected.
Riot police clashed with protesters in Belarus overnight after a government exit poll predicted Sunday President Aleksander Lukashenko, an authoritarian who has ruled the Eastern European country since 1994, had overwhelmingly defeated a pro-democracy opposition candidate.
The latest: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the election as "not free and fair" on Monday and urged the Belarusian government to "refrain from use of force" against protesters who have taken to the streets. At least one person has died in the protests, while hundreds have been injured and thousands arrested.
Twitter is the latest to join the cast of the ongoing spectacle that is TikTok’s battle to stay open for business in the U.S., per a new report from the Wall Street Journal.
Why it matters: The saga to keep TikTok available to U.S. users is getting more complicated, with the company already in a President Trump-imposed time crunch and juggling a number of options.
China's Foreign Ministry announced Monday that it's imposing sanctions on Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with nine other Americans, per Bloomberg.
Why it matters: It's a direct response to similar actions by the U.S. that included the Trump administration placing sanctions on officials Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam last Friday over Beijing's encroachment of the Asian financial hub's s autonomy.
Why it matters: In her resignation letter, Information Minister Manal Abdel-Samad called change "elusive" and apologized for not delivering more to the country, which had been devastated by a financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic even before the blast destroyed much of the capital city.
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested for "collusion with foreign powers" and the offices of his newspaper raided, said Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital on Monday.
Why it matters: Lai is the most prominent person arrested under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony. The U.S. has sanctioned Chinese officials, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, over the move, which strips key aspects of the territory's autonomy.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar praised Taiwan during a visit Monday for being a "vital partner, a democratic success story, and a force for good in the world."
Why it matters: The highest-level visit by a U.S. cabinet official to Taiwan since 1979 shows the increasing importance of the island state, which China considers to be part of its territory. It comes at a time of heightened tension between the Trump administration and the Chinese government.
AUCKLAND, New Zealand — New Zealand has now gone 100 days with no detected community spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed in an emailed statement Sunday.
Why It Matters: New Zealanders are going to the polls on Sept. 19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her leadership that saw NZ lock down hard for several weeks before all domestic restrictions were lifted in June. She sees her government's response to and recovery from the coronavirus outbreak as key to her Labour Party being re-elected.