Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The Omicron variant has become dominant in South Africa and is driving the increase in new infections.
  • AMERICAS: Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández congratulated Xiomara Castro on becoming the first woman to govern the country.
  • ASIA: The defense chiefs of the United States and South Korea said they would review and update ways to deter North Korea.
  • EUROPE: Former Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz said that he is leaving politics two months after stepping down as leader amid corruption allegations.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett came under fire after his family fled abroad after the leader urged citizens to avoid international travel because of the new coronavirus variant.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: A new report from the Anti-Defamation League found that while Facebook has removed major Holocaust denial posts on its platform, gaps in enforcing its ban remain one year after it went into effect.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to resolve the Ukraine Crisis diplomatically.
    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to warn him of the “serious consequences” Russia would suffer if it invaded Ukraine and to urge him to seek a diplomatic exit from the crisis.
    • Foreign Minister Lavrov accused NATO of bringing its military infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders and urged the West to consider relevant proposals Moscow would be presenting to prevent NATO’s expansion to the east.
    • Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that “the Ukrainian authorities’ aggressive and increasingly intensive provocative action on the line of contact” gives grounds for concerns about a possible flare-up of hostilities.
    • Blinken told summit attendees that the US holds “deep concerns about Russia’s plans for renewed aggression against Ukraine.”
    • Secretary of State Blinken also reiterated that NATO allies share an “unwavering commitment” to Ukraine’s sovereignty.
    • Reuters, AFP, AP, CNN, Reuters2

Africa

  • DR Congo: The UN mission in the country said it welcomes regional cooperation to tackle cross-border threats. (BBC)
  • Ethiopia: UN Aid Chief Martin Griffiths warned the country risks descending into sectarian violence if the year-long conflict spreads to the capital Addis Ababa. (AFP)
  • Madagascar: A new study concluded that the devastating drought and famine on the island is not the result of human-caused climate change. (AP)
  • Nigeria: Health officials said the government has stepped up efforts to fight Covid-19 but vaccine shortages and hesitancy has made it “very complicated.” (BBC)
  • South Africa: The Omicron variant has become dominant in the country and is driving the increase in new infections. (BBC)

Americas

  • Argentina: Former president Mauricio Macri was charged for allegedly ordering the surveillance of the relatives of 44 navy sailors who died in a 2017 submarine accident. (DW)
  • Brazil: The Senate approved the nomination to the Supreme Court of André Mendonça, widely seen as an appeal by President Bolsonaro to conservative evangelicals. (AP)
  • Honduras: President Juan Orlando Hernández congratulated Xiomara Castro on becoming the first woman to govern the country. (AFP)
  • Mexico: President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that his government had reached an agreement with business groups to raise the minimum wage by 22% in 2022. (Reuters)
  • United States: Sources say the Biden administration will extend masking requirements on airplanes, trains, and buses through mid-March. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Region: The defense chiefs of the United States and South Korea said they would review and update ways to deter North Korea. (Reuters)
  • Cambodia: Prime Minister Hun Sen declared support to have his eldest son, army commander Hun Manet, succeed him as the nation’s leader. (AP)
  • China: The ministry of foreign affairs summoned Tokyo’s envoy after the Japanese ambassador was scolded over comments made by former prime minister Shinzo Abe regarding Taiwan. (DW)
  • Myanmar: The junta slammed a UN decision to deny its chosen representative a seat at the world body and keep in place an envoy appointed by Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted government. (AFP)
  • North Korea: In remarks to the state politburo, Kim Jong-Un said the country must be prepared for a “very giant struggle” next year to continue to make progress in areas of national defense and the economy. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: The United States will reportedly delay its deal to remove tariffs on UK steel and aluminum due to concerns about post-Brexit trade rules affecting Northern Ireland. (Reuters)
  • Austria: Former chancellor Sebastian Kurz said that he is leaving politics two months after stepping down as leader amid corruption allegations. (AP)
  • France: The country reported its first case of the new Omicron coronavirus variant near Paris as the government’s top scientific adviser said it could become dominant in the country by the end of January. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor Olaf Scholz will meet regional leaders to finalize new measures to tackle surging Covid cases, with compulsory jabs among the options on the table. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: The government placed an order for 114 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: A blast was heard in the capital Kabul, but no casualties have been confirmed. (Xinhua)
  • Iran: The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that the country has resumed uranium production, even amid talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. (Reuters)
  • Israel: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett came under fire after his family fled abroad after the leader urged citizens to avoid international travel because of the new coronavirus variant. (AP)
  • Palestinian Territories: Authorities are struggling to pay salaries for public employees, as soaring inflation, dwindling donor aid and Israel’s withholding of vital tax revenues strangle a crippled budget. (Al Jazeera)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: A new report from the Anti-Defamation League found that while Facebook has removed major Holocaust denial posts on its platform, gaps in enforcing its ban remain one year after it went into effect. (WaPo)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes:
    • La Palma, Spain
      • Explosive activity continues
      • Erupting
      • Source
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 02DEC21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (03DEC21)

  • Global: International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Event: Brookings discussion on US-EU cooperation in the Pacific.
  • Event: Stimson Center discussion on the UN sanctions system.
  • Cyprus: Visit by Pope Francis. (to 04DEC)
  • DR Congo: UN Security Council meeting on Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
  • Europe: Meeting of EU telecommunications ministers.
  • Italy: Mediterranean Dialogues 2021 in Rome (to 04DEC)
  • Italy: Economic outlook released.
  • Sweden: OSCE Ministerial Conference in Stockholm

END