Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The UN said it signed a deal with Ethiopia’s government to allow “unimpeded” humanitarian access to the Tigray region.
  • AMERICAS: US President-elect Joe Biden will reportedly not immediately cancel the exiting Phase 1 trade agreement between Washington and China, nor remove tariffs on Chinese exports.
  • ASIA: Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was sentenced to more than a year in prison over last year’s protests in the city.
  • EUROPE: Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said the government will impose tighter coronavirus measures and restrictions over the Christmas and New Year holiday season to prevent a third wave of coronavirus infections.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani rejected the Parliament-approved bill that would require Tehran to boost uranium enrichment and suspend UN inspections, calling the bill “harmful” to Tehran’s diplomatic efforts to restore the 2015 nuclear deal and ease US sanctions.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The Chinese Chang’e 5 spacecraft collected samples of the moon’s surface as part of the missing to bring back to earth samples of the moon’s surface for the first time since the 1970s.

Top Story

  • United Kingdom: Authorities grant Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine emergency approval.
    • The UK become the first country in the world to grant the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech emergency approval.
    • The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is the fastest to have gone from concept to approval in history, going through the development and approval phases in just 10 months.
    • British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said distribution will begin next week when the first 800,000 doses of the vaccine will be made available for free via the country’s National Healthcare Service.
    • Hancock added that the vaccine will be administered as quickly as Pfizer can produce and fulfill the UK government’s order for 40 million doses of the vaccine.
    • The initial doses are to be administered selectively, with high risk groups such as the elderly, and high priority groups such as healthcare workers, expected to be the earliest recipients of the vaccine.
    • Reporting: AP, AFP, DPA, Reuters, NYT, BBC, WaPo, WSJ

Africa

  • Egypt: Amnesty International denounced the government’s “horrifying execution spree”, saying dozens of people were executed in the past two months, with some people only being given “grossly unfair mass trials”. (AFP)
  • Ethiopia: The UN said it signed a deal with the government to allow “unimpeded” humanitarian access to the country’s Tigray region. (AP)
  • Somalia: The Ministry of Information said a fight between al-Shabab militants and soldiers backed by civilians left dozens of people dead. (UPI)
  • South Sudan: United Nations experts said the country’s peace efforts stalled due to the existing coalition government failing to meet important deadlines and President Salva Kiir freezing out opposition leader and First Vice President Riek Machar from “the government’s decision-making process.” (AP)

Americas

  • Region: The US imposed sanctions on a network of Colombian nationals and businesses for aiding the Clan del Golfo drug cartel. (UPI)
  • Region: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa’s ban on nonessential travel with the United States will remain in place until the coronavirus is significantly more under control around the world. (AP)
  • Region: Chile’s Foreign Minister Andres Allamand said Juan Guaido will continue to be Venezuela’s legitimate head of state regardless of next week as Santiago assigned “no legitimacy to the elections next Sunday”. (Reuters)
  • Mexico: The WHO said the country is in “bad shape” over its current coronavirus situation. (Reuters)
  • United States: President-elect Joe Biden will reportedly not immediately cancel the exiting Phase 1 trade agreement between Washington and China, nor remove tariffs on Chinese exports. (Reuters)

Asia  

  • Region: Russia deployed S-300V4 air-defense missile systems to the Kuril islands that are claimed by Japan. (RFE-RL)
  • Australia: The country’s economy grew by 3.3% in Q3, but annual growth declined by 3.8% through the year to Q3. (DPA)
  • China: Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was sentenced to more than a year in prison over last year’s protests in the city. (NYT)
  • New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared a climate change emergency and committed to making the country carbon-neutral by 2025. (Guardian)
  • Thailand: Embattled Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha was found not guilty of conflict of interest by living in an army residence after leaving the military. (AFP)

Europe

  • Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said efforts to resolve the country’s ethnic and political divisions should focus on achieving a two-state deal because decades of negotiations for a federation-based agreement have not yielded any results. (AP)
  • Italy: Health Minister Roberto Speranza said the government will impose tighter coronavirus measures and restrictions over the Christmas and New Year holiday season to prevent a third wave of coronavirus infections. (DPA)
  • Portugal: The government’s health chief Graca Freitas tested positive for the coronavirus. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Israel handed over a backlog of tax money worth a billion dollars to the Palestinian Authority. (Reuters)
  • Iran: President Hassan Rouhani rejected the Parliament-approved bill that would require Tehran to boost uranium enrichment and suspend UN inspections, calling the bill “harmful” to Tehran’s diplomatic efforts to restore the 2015 nuclear deal and ease US sanctions. (AP)
  • Lebanon: France and the United Nations are set to host an international donors conference for the country. (AP)
  • Syria: The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group claims that more than 900 pro-Turkish Syrian fighters returned to the country now that the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region stopped. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Space: The Chinese Chang’e 5 spacecraft collected samples of the moon’s surface as part of the missing to bring back to earth samples of the moon’s surface for the first time since the 1970s. (AP)

World

  • Cyclones:
    • Cyclone Burevi
      • Location: 367 nautical miles East of Cochin, India
      • Wind: 45 mph
      • Movement: W-NW at 12 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes:
    • Alaska
      • Location: 41 km E-SE of Nikolski, Alaska
      • Magnitude: 6.4
      • Depth: 23 km
      • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 02DEC20: 63,957,998
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 02DEC20: 41,122,943
      • Deaths as of 02DEC20: 1,482,451
      • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (03DEC20)

  • Global: The UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 1993
  • Global: A special session of the UN General Assembly will be held to discuss the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
  • Global: The 12th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting will be held.
  • Europe: The Foreign Ministers of OSCE member countries will meet for the 2020 OSCE Ministerial Council. (to 04DEC)
  • Europe: The European Defense Agency will hold its annual conference virtually. (to 04DEC)
  • Europe: The European Central Bank’s General Council will meet.
  • Europe: The Justice Ministers of EU member-states will hold a virtual meeting.
  • Europe: The Climate Ministers of Denmark, Portugal, will speak at the Sustainable Future Summit.
  • Europe: The European Union will reportedly launch contingency measures if it does not reach a Brexit deal with the United Kingdom by this date.
  • Brazil: The government will release GDP data from Q3 of this year.
  • Czech Republic: The government will allow shops, restaurants, museums, and galleries to reopen again amid a decline in coronavirus cases.
  • Denmark: A regional shutdown imposed due to the discovery of the mink coronavirus will end.
  • Greece: Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will speak at the Greek Economic Summit event.
  • India: Government officials and farmers representatives will hold discussions over the government’s controversial new agriculture law.
  • Iran: Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif will speak at the Rome Mediterranean Dialogues Forum in Italy.
  • Israel: Bahraini Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Zayed R Alzayani will visit.
  • Italy: The government is expected to announce new coronavirus measures and restrictions, ahead of the expiry of its current coronavirus measures and restrictions.
  • Italy: The government will release its economic outlook for 2020-21.
  • Latvia: New coronavirus measures and restrictions will take effect.
  • Liberia: Former commander Alieu Kosiah, active during the country’s conflict between 1989-2003, will go on trial in Switzerland over rape, pillage, assassinations, and cannibalism allegations.
  • South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa faces a vote on a motion of no-confidence that is not expected to succeed.
  • United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on the situation in Ethiopia.
  • United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission.

END