Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Malawi began its coronavirus vaccination campaign with the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccines it received through the WHO’s COVAX scheme.
  • AMERICAS: US President Joe Biden will hold his first cabinet meeting since taking office, in an effort to promote his new infrastructure plan.
  • ASIA: UN Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener warned that Myanmar faces the possibility of civil war “at an unprecedented scale”.
  • EUROPE: The WHO called Europe’s coronavirus vaccination campaign “unacceptably slow”, saying the slow pace of the campaign would prolong the coronavirus pandemic in the continent.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim to have struck four targets with drones in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: A new Russian law making it mandatory for smart devices purchased in the country to come pre-installed with Russian software has taken effect.

Top Story

  • China: Hong Kong convicts democracy activists over 2019 protests.
    • Seven prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activists have been convicted of unlawful assembly over the 2019 protests in Hong Kong.
    • The convicted include Margaret Ng, media tycoon Jimmy Lai, and Martin Lee, who is credited with helping found Hong Kong’s democracy movement.
    • Opposition politician Leung Kwok-hung, detained on national security charges, was also convicted.
    • All seven of the convicted pro-democracy activists pled not guilty to the charges but now face the prospect of time in prison.
    • Reporting: BBC, NYT, WaPo, WSJ, AP, Reuters, AFP, DPA

Africa

  • Malawi: The country began its coronavirus vaccination campaign with the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccines it received through the WHO’s COVAX scheme. (AP)
  • Mozambique: The UN said more than 8,000 survivors of a jihadist attack on the town of Palma have reached safety. (AFP)
  • Niger: The government confirmed that security forces thwarted an attempted military coup yesterday. (AP)
  • Nigeria: Doctors working at government hospitals are striking over inadequate pay and facilities. (AFP)

Americas

  • Brazil: The Defense Ministry announced new commanders for the three branches of its armed forces a day after the surprise dismissal of the previous three chiefs. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: The government gave provisional approval to ExxonMobil Corp’s fracking project in the country’s Valle Medio del Magdalena basin. (Reuters)
  • Mexico: The country’s electoral tribunal ruled that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador cannot promote his administration’s achievements in the run-up to midterm elections. (AP)
  • United States: President Joe Biden will hold his first cabinet meeting since taking office, in an effort to promote his new infrastructure plan. (AP)

Asia  

  • Region: Taiwan has opened a travel bubble, its first of the coronavirus pandemic, with the island nation of Palau. (Reuters)
  • India: The government began vaccinating people over the age of 45 against the new coronavirus amid an alarming increase in coronavirus cases. (DPA)
  • Myanmar: UN Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener warned that the country faces the possibility of civil war “at an unprecedented scale”. (AP)
  • Vietnam: The country received doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine through the WHO’s COVAX facility for the first time. (DPA)

Europe

  • Region: The WHO called Europe’s coronavirus vaccination campaign “unacceptably slow”, saying the slow pace of the campaign would prolong the coronavirus pandemic in the continent. (AFP)
  • Russia: The country’s prison service dismissed opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s complaints of being subjected to sleep deprivation and of not receiving medical care. (Reuters)
  • Slovakia: The country’s new coalition government led by new Prime Minister Eduard Heger was sworn-in. (AP)
  • Ukraine: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba over the phone and affirmed Washington’s support for Kyiv “in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression”. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim to have struck four targets with drones in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh. (Reuters)
  • Region: Popular Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, who is imprisoned by Israel, submitted his own parliamentary list for May’s elections. (AP)
  • Israel: Health officials said they plan to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to children aged 12-15 in May. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Tech Regulation: A new Russian law making it mandatory for smart devices purchased in the country to come pre-installed with Russian software has taken effect. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes:
    • New Zealand
      • Location: Kermadec Islands, New Zealand
      • Magnitude: 6.3
      • Depth: 10 km
      • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 01APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 128,991,488
      • Total recovered cases: 73,177,393
      • Deaths: 2,817,908
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 21MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 18
      • Deaths: 9
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 21MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 12
      • Deaths: 6
      • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (02APR21)

  • Global: The UN’s World Autism Day – 2008
  • Global: Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will visit the United Arab Emirates, India, and Bangladesh. (to 09APR)
  • Global: A G20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies meeting will be held virtually.
  • Global: A meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will be held in Russia.
  • Global: Maintenance work will be carried out on the Russia to China Power of Siberia gas pipeline. (to 07APR)
  • Asia: US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will meet with his counterparts from Japan and South Korea – National Security Secretariat Secretary General Shigeru Kitamura and National Security Advisor Suh Hoon.
  • Europe: Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will meet his counterparts from Armenia and Azerbaijan.
  • China: South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong will visit and meet with his counterpart Wang Yi. (to 03APR)
  • China: Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi will visit and meet with her counterpart Wang Yi.
  • China: The Philippines’ Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin will visit and meet with his counterpart Wang Yi.
  • China: Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein will visit and meet with counterpart Wang Yi.
  • China: Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan will visit and meet with counterpart Wang Yi.
  • Niger: New President Mohamed Bazoum will begin his term in office.
  • Russia: Turkmenistan’s Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov will visit.
  • Vietnam: The country’s next president is expected to take the oath of office.

END