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Global Briefs: Ecuador’s deadly election

Voters go to the polls less than two weeks after a presidential candidate’s assassination


Dolores Ochoa/AP

Global Briefs: Ecuador’s deadly election
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Fact Box Source: The World Factbook-CIA

Ecuador

Voters cast their ballots for a new president Aug. 20, less than two weeks after a presidential candidate’s assassination. The special election will replace outgoing President Guillermo Lasso, who ­dissolved the country’s National Assembly in May to avoid impeachment. Candidate Fernando Villavicencio, an outspoken journalist who denounced corruption, was shot Aug. 9 by foreign nationals linked to organized crime. Authorities mobilized over 100,000 police and soldiers during the election. The election is headed to a runoff Oct. 15. —Elizabeth Russell


Lee Jae-Won/AFLO/Alamy

South Korea

The 25th World Scout Jamboree ended on Aug. 11 with a K-pop concert in Seoul after a series of problems derailed what was supposed to be a 12-day event. About 43,000 participants from 158 countries gathered in the coastal town of Buan on Aug. 1 in the midst of a heat wave. Temperatures up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit forced thousands of scouts to leave the treeless campground early. South Korea’s entire 85-member contingent withdrew, saying organizers did not do enough to protect women, after a man from the Thai delegation walked into the female shower facility (purportedly by accident). And on Aug. 8, an incoming typhoon prompted organizers to evacuate all remaining participants to Seoul and surrounding areas. —Joyce Wu


Arnulfo Franco/AP

Panama

A backlog of ships waiting to pass through the Panama Canal had reached over 200 vessels as of Aug. 18. The pileup was the result of water conservation efforts aimed at fighting an ongoing drought. A single transport requires about 50 million gallons of water, and the canal’s feeder lake is at a four-year low. Officials have cut the number of pre-booking slots and reduced daily traffic. Now, ships face an average three-week wait. Delays will have an outsize effect on the United States, which shuttles 40 percent of its yearly container traffic through the canal. Already, some oil and gas tankers are opting for alternate routes to avoid setbacks. —Grace Snell


Australia

F-35A jets Down Under will get a new coat of paint to maintain the stealth fighters’ near-­invisibility. The U.S.-developed, radar-absorbing paint, whose ­chemical makeup remains a closely guarded secret, will be applied from a new facility to be built north of Sydney. The U.S. will allow the Royal Australian Air Force to apply the paint to its 63 jets and to others in the Indo-Pacific region. Australia will also obtain nine more jets. On Aug. 13, Australia and Japan entered a new security deal that allows joint military training and eases weapons transport. Meanwhile, Australia, the United States, and Japan held joint navy drills Aug. 23 in the contested South China Sea after the Chinese coast guard blasted Philippine ­supply ships with water cannons. —Amy Lewis


Nigeria

Two brothers pleaded not guilty at the U.S. District Court in Marquette, Mich., on Aug. 17 to ­sexually extorting young men in Michigan and across the country. Samuel and Samson Ogoshi from Lagos state face charges involving sexual exploitation, distributing explicit images of children, and internet stalking. Samuel faces additional charges after 17-year-old Marquette resident Jordan DeMay committed suicide last year. Prosecutors say DeMay sent explicit photos to Samuel, who posed as a woman and later threatened to share the images with friends and family if DeMay didn’t pay. Both men allegedly bought hacked social media accounts, posed as women, and used them to target numerous teenagers and young adult men. —Onize Ohikere


Simon Byrne

Simon Byrne Liam McBurney/Press Association via AP

United Kingdom

Authorities in Northern Ireland charged a 50-year-old man with possessing documents and articles for use in terrorism after a data breach targeted the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The breach occurred when a document with the names and personal information of 10,000 police officers and civilian staffers was mistakenly shared online for about three hours. The PSNI chief constable, Simon Byrne, said he believed the information was now in the hands of dissident Irish republicans. Information from the leak was found posted on a wall near Sinn Féin’s Belfast office. Many PSNI officers have already expressed concern for their safety in Northern Ireland, whose current ­terror threat level is “severe.” —Jenny Lind Schmitt

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