Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Tanzania’s Health Ministry said it has no plans to accept any coronavirus vaccines, just days after President John Magufuli expressed doubt about the vaccines without offering evidence.
  • AMERICAS: More people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine than are known to have tested positive for the coronavirus for the first time in the US.
  • ASIA: A wildfire outside Perth, Australia destroyed at least 30 homes and forced residents to evacuate.
  • EUROPE: Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny is facing a court hearing that could result in his imprisonment for several years.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif asked the European Union to coordinate a concurrent return of both Tehran and Washington to the 2015 nuclear deal.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered to remove Ahmad Saeed Omar Sheikh, who was acquitted of the 2002 beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl by the Supreme Court, from death row and moved to a government “safe house”.

 

Top Story

  • Myanmar: Suu Kyi’s party demands her release as military tightens hold on power.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party issued a statement demanding the immediate release of party leader Suu Kyi, who has not been seen since yesterday’s military coup.
    • The party also urged the military to accept the results of the country’s November general elections, in which the NLD won more than 80% of the votes.
    • Both Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint are under house arrest, although it was not immediately clear where they were being held, according to some media reports.
    • Meanwhile, the military announced also named the new cabinet members of the military’s commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing, who assumed power following the coup.
    • US President Biden has threatened to reimpose sanctions on Myanmar, which were lifted only recently after the country started to emerge from a decades-long military dictatorship.
    • Reporting: AP, Reuters, BBC, DPA, AFP

 

Africa

  • Niger: The Constitutional Court validated the preliminary results of the country’s presidential election and confirmed that ruling party candidate Mohamed Bazoum will face former President Mahamane Ousmane in an election runoff. (Reuters)
  • South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government will first test the integrity of the country’s first batch of AstraZeneca vaccine before inoculating healthcare workers. (VOA)
  • Tanzania: The Health Ministry said it has no plans to accept any coronavirus vaccines, just days after President John Magufuli expressed doubt about the vaccines without offering evidence. (AP)
  • Zimbabwe: Guo Shaochun, the Chinese Ambassador to the country, said Harare will have access to Chinese coronavirus vaccines “very soon”. (Reuters)

 

Americas

  • Brazil: Two of President Jair Bolsonaro’s allies were elected as the Speaker of the House and Senate President. (AP)
  • Canada: Ottawa said it regretted the “misunderstanding” after China lodged a formal complaint over one of the country’s diplomats ordering a t-shirt displaying the word “Wuhan” over the emblem of hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan. (Reuters)
  • Haiti: Opposition leaders agreed to a plan for President Jovenel Moise to resign and be replaced on Sunday. (VOA)
  • United States: More people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine than are known to have tested positive for the coronavirus for the first time. (Bloomberg)

 

Asia  

  • Australia: A wildfire outside Perth destroyed at least 30 homes and forced residents to evacuate. (BBC)
  • China: Senior diplomat Yang Jiechi said the US should “stop interfering in Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang and other issues regarding China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty”. (Reuters
  • Japan: Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga extended the coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and other regions to early March. (DPA)
  • North Korea: The UN human rights office said torture and forced labor, amounting to possible crimes against humanity, are still rife in the country’s prisons. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte accused the European Union of leaving countries without access to coronavirus vaccines, saying “the European Union has held hostage AstraZeneca”. (DPA)

 

Europe

  • Region: Initial European Union estimates showed that the euro zone economy shrunk less than expected in Q4 of 2020. (Reuters)
  • Region: Senior Northern Irish unionist Edwin Poots called for calm after a Northern Irish local council withdrew port staff over safety concerns and said that the European Union behaved “crassly” by trying to prevent vaccine exports through the Irish border. (Reuters)
  • Region: Turkey and Azerbaijan are conducting large-scale joint military drills near the borders of Armenia. (RFE-RL)
  • Russia: Opposition politician Alexei Navalny is facing a court hearing that could result in his imprisonment for several years. (AP)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said it would take Iran around six months to produce enough fissile material for a single nuclear weapon, which is a longer timeline than projected by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (Reuters)
  • Iran: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif asked the European Union to coordinate a concurrent return of both Tehran and Washington to the 2015 nuclear deal. (AFP)
  • Israel: Kosovo established diplomatic relations with the country for the first time under a US-brokered deal, in which Kosovo also pledged to open an embassy in Jerusalem. (Reuters
  • Syria: Human Rights Watch warned the government against an unequal distribution of coronavirus vaccines and urged support for aid groups to ensure a fair distribution of vaccines in the country. (AFP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered to remove Ahmad Saeed Omar Sheikh, who was acquitted of the 2002 beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl by the Supreme Court, from death row and moved to a government “safe house”. (AP)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Cyclone Lucas
      • Location: 132 nautical miles W-SW of Port Vila, Vanuatu
      • Wind: 50 mph
      • Movement: SE at 17 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Cyclone Eighteen
      • Location: 96 nautical miles E-SE of Learmonth, Australia
      • Wind: 35 mph
      • Movement: SW at 9 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes
    • Indonesia
      • Mount Semeru, the highest volcano on the island of Java, spewed hot ash and other materials
      • Source
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 02FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 103,486,647
      • Total recovered cases: 57,424,587
      • Deaths: 2,240,276
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (03FEB21)

  • Global: The Economist Intelligence Unit will release its annual Democracy Index.
  • Global: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will hold a live virtual conversation with the Washington Post.
  • Global: OPEC’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee will hold a meeting.
  • Global: UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board will hold an executive session. (to 05FEB)
  • Americas: Paraguay’s Chamber of Deputies will vote on a motion of no confidence against presidential adviser Juan Ernesto Villamayor for holding a meeting with Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó.
  • Asia: Senior Chinese and Japanese government officials will hold high-level consultations on maritime affairs.  
  • Europe: The European Central Bank’s governing council will hold a non-monetary policy meeting.
  • Brazil: The Butantan biomedical center expects the arrival of a coronavirus vaccine shipment developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech.
  • Chile: The country’s coronavirus vaccination campaign will begin.
  • France: Moldovan President Maia Sandu will visit. (to 04FEB)
  • Libya: Delegates from the country’s opposing sides will hold a meeting to choose an interim prime minister and a three-person presidency council. (to 05FEB)
  • Pakistan: Uzbekistan will send a trade delegation to the country to discuss a potential Pakistan-Uzbekistan Preferential Trade Agreement. (to 04FEB)
  • Poland: France will send a trade delegation to the country.
  • Russia: Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi will hold a meeting with counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
  • United States: The Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a business meeting.

 

END