World News Brief, Tuesday August 5

US-Africa summit focuses on ebola outbreak; Japanese PM wraps up Latin America tour; Chinese earthquake kills 400; ISIS captures Kurdish territory; Russia to hold war games near Ukraine border; and more 

Top of the Agenda

Obama Hosts U.S.-Africa Summit

President Barack Obama kicks off the first U.S.-Africa Summit on Monday (Guardian), convening nearly fifty heads of state and government to Washington, DC for a three-day conference the White House has billed as an elevation of its engagement with the continent. The agenda is heavily focused on business and trade, although the Ebola outbreak has forced the presidents of Liberia and Sierra Leone to withdraw in order to address the crisis (AP). The summit comes after the International Monetary Fund warned that economic mismanagement risked "spoiling" rising growth and better governance on the continent (FT).


"China has moved ahead of the United States in treating Africa as a strategic continent, directing significant investments of time as well as resources. The summit is well timed for the United States in continuing to position us as a leader on the continent," says Jendayi Frazer in a CFR interview.

"Balancing idealism and commerce will be a theme at the summit. In Washington, support for Africa draws on a curious coalition, spanning conservative members of Congress, often linked to Christian groups active on the continent, leftist Democrats interested in development and pro-business moderates from both parties," writes The Economist.

"America should now embrace a science-led agenda in Africa by partnering American institutions of higher education, scientific research centers and technological entrepreneurs with African countries to help them bolster economic growth and reduce dependency on foreign aid," write Nkem Khumbah and Melvin P. Foote for The New York Times.



Abe Wraps Up Latin America Tour

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe concluded a five-country visit to Latin America (AFP) Saturday, hailing the region as an "indispensable partner" after sealing a series of deals. The tour comes just after Chinese president Xi Jinping finished his own visit to the region.

CHINA: A magnitude-6.1 earthquake struck China's southern Yunnan province, killing at least 398 people and injuring 1,900 on Sunday afternoon.


ISIS captures Kurdish territory

Russia to hold war games near Ukraine border

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