The news tsunami of the nail-biting American election is, unsurprisingly, drowning out coverage of other crises. But the rest of the world continues to have plenty to worry about.
As US election results started to flow in overnight, online media database GDELT – which crawls a huge range of news websites – recorded a peak of more than 4,000 articles mentioning “Trump” or “Biden” over a 15-minute period.
The surge – up from around 800-900 articles every 15 minutes in the previous 24 hours – dwarfed coverage of everything else, including news from humanitarian emergencies and crisis hotspots around the globe.
One example: News broke from Ethiopia overnight signalling the start of a possible civil war in the country of over 100 million. By 1430 GMT, the number of articles tracked by GDELT worldwide mentioning Ethiopia was peaking at 23 articles.
As news of the tight US race for the White House continues to dominate, here are some other situations we’ll continue to watch:
- Following months of rising tensions, the Ethiopian government has announced a military response and a state of emergency after an alleged attack on a federal military outpost in the northern province of Tigray. The move marks a major escalation and comes days after a massacre of dozens of civilians in the Oromia region, and outbreaks of violence – some along ethnic lines – elsewhere in the country.
- Fresh talks began in Geneva on 30 October to try to end more than a month of fighting that has claimed hundreds, probably thousands, of lives in Nagorno-Karabakh. Both sides have been blamed for dozens of civilian deaths. Azerbaijan this week accused Armenia of the deadliest civilian incident yet – a missile strike that killed more than 20 people. Among the recent fatalities was an Azerbaijani Red Crescent Society volunteer. Two others were wounded.
- Hurricane Eta has started to dump a predicted 60 centimetres of rain in parts of Nicaragua. Flooding and landslides are expected. At landfall on Tuesday, Eta was measured at Category 4 strength. It has diminished since, moving slowly across Nicaragua before reaching Honduras.
- One the other side of the planet, the Philippines was slammed with its biggest typhoon since 2013, and another may be on the way. Typhoon Goni, known as Rolly in the Philippines, hit Catanduanes island on 1 November. Damage is severe in parts of Catanduanes and Albay Province. The evacuation of at least 450,000 people limited the death toll as the typhoon moved westwards. However, the storm is set to dump more rain on parts of central Vietnam, already hit by a barrage of earlier storms.
- Côte d'Ivoire held presidential elections last week amid an opposition boycott and sporadic outbreaks of violence around the country. Thousands of people fled to neighbouring countries ahead of the vote, which saw Alassane Ouattara win a controversial third term in a landslide. Politicians who boycotted the polls vowed on Monday to set up a parallel administration, which the government called an “act of sedition”.
- National elections in Myanmar are set for Sunday, 8 November. But voting cancellations across parts of the country may instead fuel more tensions in conflict-hit areas home to minority communities – particularly Rakhine State. Conflict between the military and the Arakan Army has displaced 227,000 people in the last two years. And among the state’s Arakanese ethnic minority, there’s growing trust in the insurgent group – rather than in elections or the government – after years of frustrations.
- Several opposition candidates in Tanzania’s elections are under arrest. They had called for protests, claiming widespread fraud in the polls on 28 October in which president John Magufuli won a second term.
- Burkina Faso is set to hold presidential and parliamentary elections later this month, but the presence of extremist groups has disrupted voter registration in some parts of the country and could prevent people from casting ballots on the day.
- In Uganda, meanwhile, opposition MP Bobi Wine was arrested and allegedly beaten after he submitted papers to register as a candidate in next year’s presidential elections.
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