Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: A new UN inquiry has cast doubts on the legitimacy of Libya’s new Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah after it found that Dbeibah allegedly gained power after his supporters offered bribes to win votes.
  • AMERICAS: The US State Department said it expects Saudi Arabia to improve its human rights record, after Washington imposed sanctions on some Saudis for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • ASIA: Police used stun grenades against anti-coup protesters in Myanmar, as the foreign ministers of neighboring ASEAN countries prepared to hold talks with Myanmar’s new military junta.
  • EUROPE: Russian President Vladimir Putin lauded the Soviet Union’s last leader Mikhail Gorbachev as an outstanding statesman ahead of Gorbachev’s 90th birthday.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Reporters Without Borders filed a case in Germany against Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for “crimes against humanity” over his ordering of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Russia said a proposed chat between President Vladimir Putin and Tesla’s Elon Musk on social network Clubhouse did not materialize, after Moscow received no response from Musk when asking for further details.

 

Top Story

  • Global: Groups ask France to investigate 2013 Syria chemical weapons attack.
    • The lawyers representing a group of victims of a chemical weapons attack in Syria have filed a criminal complaint against Syrian officials with French prosecutors.
    • The complaint concerns a 2013 attack on Douma and the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta and requests a criminal investigation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, along with other Syrian government officials.
    • The victims of the chemical weapons attack are being assisted by three Syrian rights groups in the effort and are accusing the Syrian government of carrying out what amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
    • The case is similar to one opened last year in Germany and provides a rare opportunity for legal action against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.
    • Both France and Germany follow the principle of “universal jurisdiction” which allows their courts to prosecute crimes against humanity even if they were conducted by foreign nationals on foreign soil.
    • Reporting: Reuters, AP, NYT

 

Africa

  • Ethiopia: The military detained BBC reporter Girmay Gebru in the country’s embattled Tigray region, making him the fourth journalist to be detained by the military in recent days. (BBC)
  • Libya: A new UN inquiry has cast doubts on the legitimacy of new Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah after it found that Dbeibah allegedly gained power after his supporters offered bribes to win votes. (Guardian)
  • Morocco: Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said Rabat suspended contacts with the German embassy in the country in protest of Berlin’s stance on the Western Sahara region. (AFP)
  • Niger: Opposition politician Hama Amadou was charged with participating in an organization aiming to overthrow a democratic regime, among other charges, following protests in the aftermath of last month’s presidential election. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: Dozens of Islamic State West Africa Province members have reportedly driven off troops from a military base in the town of Dikwa and torched a United Nations humanitarian hub in the town, trapping 25 aid workers in the process. (AFP)

 

Americas

  • Colombia: The country received 117,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine through the WHO’s COVAX facility. (DPA)
  • Ecuador: President Lenin Moreno appointed surgeon Rodolfo Farfan as his new health minister after former health minister Juan Carlos Zevallos resigned over accusations of irregularities in a pilot program for coronavirus vaccinations. (Reuters)
  • United States: The State Department said it expects Saudi Arabia to improve its human rights record, after Washington imposed sanctions on some Saudis for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Reuters)
  • Venezuela: Rights group Foro Penal accused authorities of using pretrial detention as a punishment, saying almost three-quarters of people detained by the authorities for political reasons are still awaiting trials. (Reuters

 

Asia  

  • Region: Sri Lanka says it will offer India and Japan the opportunity to jointly develop a strategically important port in capital city Colombo. (AFP)
  • Australia: The government will for the first time list a far-right group as a terror outfit, as the Department of Home Affairs signalled that the UK-based Sonnenkrieg Division will be placed on its list of proscribed organizations. (AFP)
  • Cambodia: Exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy and eight members of the country’s banned leading opposition party were convicted and sentenced in absentia to more than 20 years in prison. (AP)
  • China: The UN’s patent agency said Beijing made the most applications for international patents in 2020 for the second consecutive year while also extending its lead over the US. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: Police used stun grenades against anti-coup protesters as the foreign ministers of neighboring ASEAN countries prepared to hold talks with the country’s new military junta. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • France: The government will now allow the administering of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine to people between the ages of 65 and 75. (DPA)
  • Poland: Three activists accused of desecration and offending religious feelings for adding the LGBT rainbow to images of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus have been acquitted. (AP)
  • Russia: President Vladimir Putin lauded the Soviet Union’s last leader Mikhail Gorbachev as an outstanding statesman ahead of Gorbachev’s 90th birthday. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: The US announced a new $125 million aid package for Kyiv that includes giving the country two armed Mark VI patrol boats to help it “patrol and defend its territorial waters”. (VOA)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Weapons fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels injured five civilians in the Saudi Arabian border province of Jizan. (AFP)
  • Iraq: China donated 50,000 Sinopharm coronavirus vaccines to Baghdad, which the health ministry said will enable the government to begin inoculating people against the new coronavirus. (AFP)
  • Saudi Arabia: Reporters Without Borders filed a case in Germany against the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for “crimes against humanity” over his ordering of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (AFP)
  • Syria: The UN said thousands of civilians remain missing after being arbitrarily detained during the course of the country’s decade-long civil war. (BBC)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Russia said a proposed chat between President Vladimir Putin and Tesla’s Elon Musk on social network Clubhouse did not materialize, after Moscow received no response from Musk when asking for further details. (Reuters)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Cyclone Niran
      • Location: 179 nautical miles NE of Cairns, Australia
      • Wind: 60 mph
      • Movement: NE at 4 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes
    • Mount Sinabung, Indonesia
      • The volcano erupted again and spewed volcanic materials as high as 5,000 meters into the air and deposited ash in nearby villages.
      • Sourcing: AP
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 02MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 114,499,553
      • Total recovered cases: 64,690,916
      • Deaths: 2,540,340
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 21FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 6
      • Deaths: 4
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 21FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 8
      • Deaths: 5
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (03MAR21)

    • Global: The Council of the Arab League will hold a ministerial level meeting.
    • Global: The foreign ministers of Arab League countries are expected to hold a meeting.
    • Global: Freedom House will release its latest annual “Freedom in the World” report.
    • Global: OPEC’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee will hold a meeting. (to 04MAR)
    • Global: The European Court of Justice will hold sessions to discuss EU-Morocco accords and the export of goods from the Western Sahara region. 
    • Global: The UN’s World Wildlife Day – 2014
    • Africa: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva will speak at the African Fiscal Forum. 
    • Asia: The ASEAN+3 Finance and Central Bank Task Force will hold a virtual meeting. (to 04MAR)
    • Asia: The finance ministers of ASEAN member-states will hold a virtual meeting. 
    • Europe: The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine will hold a virtual meeting. (to 04MAR)
    • Europe: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will attend the virtually held Inter-Parliamentary Conference on European security.
    • Europe: The defense ministers of EU member-states will hold an informal meeting. 
    • Europe: Trade ministers of EU member-states will hold a meeting. 
    • Middle East: US Special Envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking will travel to several countries in the Arabian Peninsula.
    • Australia: Authorities will release GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2020.
    • Brazil: Authorities will release GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2020.
    • Bulgaria: Liberation Day – 1878
    • Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with state premiers to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
    • Kazakhstan: Eurasian Economic Commission Chairman Mikhail Myasnikovich will visit. 
    • Morocco: Dual Australian-Saudi Arabian citizen businessman Dr Osama Al-Hasani, who is accused of organizing opposition to Saudi Arabia’s state-sponsored form of Islam known as Wahhabism, is expected to appear in court and could be extradited to Saudi Arabia.
    • Pakistan: Senate elections will be held.
    • Russia: The foreign minister of the Georgian separatist region of Abkhazia, Daur Kove, will visit and meet with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
    • Ukraine: European Commission Vice President Charles Michel will visit. 
    • United Kingdom: Chancellor Rishi Sunak will deliver his annual budget address to Parliament.
    • United States: The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing to consider the nomination of Wendy Sherman to be Deputy Secretary of State.
    • United States: The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing to consider the nomination of Katherina Tai to be the next US Trade Representative.

END