Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Chad’s military named a new government, but leading opposition figures rejected the appointment.
  • AMERICAS: Colombia’s President Ivan Duque withdrew controversial proposed tax reforms following four days of massive protests across the country.
  • ASIA: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the differences between Wellington and its top trading partner China are becoming harder to reconcile, after some recent criticism aimed at Wellington over its reluctance to use the Five Eyes intelligence and security alliance to criticise Beijing.
  • EUROPE: The European Commission recommended that non-EU nationals vaccinated against COVID-19 or from countries with a good epidemiological situation be allowed to travel the EU without any restrictions.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The US denied media reports from Iran that claimed Washington and Tehran were considering a deal to release American and British prisoners in exchange for payments to Tehran.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The Dutch government, which can reject takeovers of telecom companies on national security grounds, said it was aware of reports of rejected private equity bids to buy KPN.

 

Top Story

  • Global: Blinken says China acting ‘more aggressively abroad’.
    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called China America’s biggest current foreign policy challenge.
    • Secretary Blinken said China has in recent years been “acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad.”
    • The Secretary of State added that Washington’s “purpose is not to contain China” but to “uphold this rules-based order that China is posing a challenge to”. 
    • The remarks came ahead of the first in-person meeting in the UK in more than two years of the foreign ministers of G7 countries.
    • President Joe Biden has also in the past identified China as the Biden administration’s biggest foreign policy challenge, with the President vowing to maintain a US military presence in the Indo-Pacific region during last week’s address to Congress. 
    • Reporting: CBS, BBC, Reuters, AFP

 

Africa

  • Chad: The military named a new government, but leading opposition figures rejected the appointment. (Reuters
  • DR Congo: Officials declared an end to the country’s most recent ebola virus outbreak. (Reuters)
  • Niger: The army killed 24 suspected terrorists in the country’s western region. (AFP)

 

Americas

  • Region: The US said four families that were separated at the US-Mexico border will be reunited this week in what US Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called “just the beginning”. (AP)
  • Region: The US, as well as multinational groups, condemned the removal by El Salvador’s congress of Supreme Court magistrates from the constitutional chamber as well as the attorney general. (AP)
  • Colombia: President Ivan Duque withdrew controversial proposed tax reforms following four days of massive protests across the country. (BBC)
  • Cuba: The government ended dissident Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara’s week-long hunger strike against the government’s censorship and harassment of independent creators and activists. (Reuters)

 

Asia  

  • Region: Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin demanded China to withdraw its vessels from disputed waters in an expletive-laden tweet. (Reuters
  • Australia: The government is reviewing Chinese company Landbridge’s 99-year lease on the port of Darwin city in the country’s north. (AFP
  • India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered defeats in state elections as the country struggles to contain an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases. (AP)
  • Myanmar: The Kachin Independence Army says it shot down a military helicopter. (AFP)
  • New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the differences between Wellington and its top trading partner China are becoming harder to reconcile, after some recent criticism aimed at Wellington over its reluctance to use the Five Eyes intelligence and security alliance to criticise Beijing. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: The leaders of Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are meeting in Poland to mark the 230th anniversary of Poland’s constitution. (AP)
  • Region: The European Commission recommended that non-EU nationals vaccinated against COVID-19 or from countries with a good epidemiological situation be allowed to travel the EU without any restrictions. (Reuters)
  • Belarus: The opposition called for fresh protests against President Alexander Lukashenko. (DPA)
  • United Kingdom: The city of Liverpool hosted a pilot concert without any coronavirus restrictions, including social distancing or face masks, to test whether such events spread the new coronavirus. (Reuters)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Israeli settlers started brush fires and hurled stones at a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank in what appeared to be a revenge attack for an earlier drive-by shooting. (AP)
  • Iran: The US denied media reports from the country that claimed Washington and Tehran were considering a deal to release American and British prisoners in exchange for payments to Tehran. (AP)
  • Iraq: There was no report of any casualties after rockets targeted an airbase at capital city Baghdad’s airport housing US-led coalition troops. (AFP
  • Saudi Arabia: King Salman appointed Faisal al-Ibrahim as the country’s new economy minister and named his eldest living son as a special advisor. (AP)
  • Syria: The country’s Supreme Constitutional Court accepted the candidacy application of President Bashar Assad and two others to compete in the upcoming presidential election. (AP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Tech Regulation: The Dutch government, which can reject takeovers of telecom companies on national security grounds, said it was aware of reports of rejected private equity bids to buy KPN. (Reuters)

 

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 03MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 152,900,958
      • Total recovered cases: 89,665,317
      • Deaths: 3,203,430
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 18APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 18APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 11
      • Deaths: 6
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (04MAY21)

  • Global: The Foreign Ministers of G7 countries will meet in-person for the first time in more than two years. (to 05MAY)
  • Global: The 8th annual Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development will be held. (to 07MAY)
  • Global: The Tourism Ministers of G20 countries will meet. 
  • Global: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak will attend the virtually held Wall Street Journal CEO Council Summit.
  • Global: The Global Boardroom conference will be held virtually with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera scheduled to speak. (to 06MAY)
  • Global: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • Americas: The 51st Annual Washington Conference on the Americas will be held.
  • Europe: Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi will embark on a European tour, which will include visits to the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Poland, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. (to 08MAY)
  • Middle East: US-mediated talks between Lebanon and Israel on maritime boundaries will resume.
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina: The first coronavirus vaccines given to the country by the European Union are scheduled to arrive in the country.
  • France: A verdict is expected in the case of populist leader and likely future presidential candidate Marine Le Pen over the posting of pictures of Islamic State victims on Twitter.
  • France: Parliament is expected to vote on a new sweeping climate protection law.
  • Germany: The final day of operations at Berlin’s Tegel airport.
  • Greece: The country’s main trade union reportedly plans to hold a strike.
  • Israel: The deadline for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government.
  • Nigeria: Government officials and representatives of striking doctors are scheduled to meet to avoid a future strike.
  • Poland: President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid will visit. (to 05MAY)
  • Russia: Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki will visit and meet with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
  • Singapore: Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will visit and meet with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
  • United Kingdom: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit and meet with his counterpart Dominic Raab. (to 06MAY)
  • United Kingdom: Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will visit. (to 06MAY)
  • United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a meeting on Myanmar.

END