Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: All public and private schools will reopen after about a 9-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo reported.
  • AMERICAS: Democrat Nancy Pelosi was re-elected as House Speaker, giving her the leadership of the United States House of Representatives before the start of the Biden administration on 20 January.
  • ASIA: South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young stated he hopes to receive a positive message from North Korea on inter-Korean relations as Pyongyang is expected to hold a rare party congress this week.
  • EUROPE: The French national infection rate is still too high for the government to decrease social and economic restrictions, epidemiologist and government scientific adviser Arnaud Fontanet told France Info radio.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The U.S. aircraft carrier USS Nimitz will remain in the Persian Gulf due to “recent threats” by Iran, the Pentagon said. 
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: An Australian activist, who renounced her Islamic faith and now campaigns for women’s rights, was arrested and charged in Tanzania over a social media post.

 

Top Story

  • United States: Figures across the political spectrum condemn the attempted overturn of the election by a minority in Congress and President Trump. 
    • Moderate Republican Adam Kinzinger tweeted: “This is absolutely appalling. To every member of Congress considering objecting to the election results, you cannot – in light of this – do so with a clean conscience.”
    • Vice President-elect Kamala Harris slammed President Donald Trump and his call pushing Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn the election results, a “bald-faced, bold abuse of power,” in Savannah, Georgia.
    • “The 2020 election is over,” said a statement from a bipartisan group of 10 senators, including Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Mitt Romney of Utah.
    • Bob Bauer, a senior adviser to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, said the conversation provides “irrefutable proof of a president pressuring and threatening an official of his own party to get him to rescind a state’s lawful, certified vote count and fabricate another in its place.”
    • Reporting: BBC, CNN, AP, WaPo

 

Africa

  • Botswana: The country announced an extension of nighttime curfew up to 31 January following the emergence of a new and more transmissible strain of COVID-19. (Xinhua
  • Ghana: All public and private schools will reopen after about a 9-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo reported. (Xinhua)  
  • Libya: The National Center for Disease Control recorded 670 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the national count to 101,414. (Xinhua

 

Americas

  • United States: Democrat Nancy Pelosi was re-elected as House Speaker, giving her the leadership of the House of Representatives before the start of the Biden administration on 20 January. (EFE)  
  • United States: President-elect Biden’s inaugural committee released new information about his trip to the White House after his swearing-in at the Capitol that further underscores the downsized and largely virtual nature of his Inauguration Day plans. (NYT)
  • Venezuela: Pressured by strict U.S. sanctions, the nation’s oil exports decreased by 376,500 barrels per day (bpd) in 2020, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and internal documents from state-run PDVSA, financially pressuring socialist President Nicolas Maduro. (Reuters)  

 

Asia 

  • Region: South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young stated he hopes to receive a positive message from North Korea on inter-Korean relations as Pyongyang is expected to hold a rare party congress this week. (YNA)
  • China: Thousands of people are gathering in Beijing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as the government races to inoculate millions before the Chinese New Year mass travel season. (AFP)
  • Singapore: The city-state’s gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 5.8 percent during 2020, its worst contraction since independence from Malaysia in 1965, caused by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. (EFE
  • Thailand: The nation recorded 745 new coronavirus cases, with a new death reported in Bangkok, where a semi-lockdown went into effect. (AP)  

 

Europe

  • Greece: Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to reshuffle his cabinet. (Reuters
  • France: The national infection rate is still too high for the government to decrease social and economic restrictions, epidemiologist and government scientific adviser Arnaud Fontanet told France Info radio. (Reuters)  
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said 2021 is a “hugely important year for global Britain”, as he attempts to move on from completing the Brexit deal to an expansive new agenda as host of both the G7 and UN COP26 climate change summit. (FT)  
  • United Kingdom: A dialysis patient is the first person in the world to receive the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine outside a clinical trial. (DPA)  

 

Middle East

  • Region: The U.S. aircraft carrier USS Nimitz will remain in the Persian Gulf due to “recent threats” by Iran, the Pentagon said. (RFE
  • Israel: Defense Minister Benny Gantz reported that he wants the country to buy a third squadron of stealth F-35 warplanes from the United States and that he hoped a deal could be clinched before President Donald Trump leaves office on 20 January. (Reuters)  
  • Syria: At least nine people, including seven government soldiers, were killed in an attack on a bus, a Britain-based war monitor reported. (AFP)  

 

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: An Australian activist, who renounced her Islamic faith and now campaigns for women’s rights, was arrested and charged in Tanzania over a social media post. (EFE)  

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Tropical Storm Danilo 
      • Location:14.1S 76E
      • Movement: SSE
      • Wind:70 mph
      • MAP 
    • Tropical Storm Imogen
      • Location:17.4S 140.9E
      • Movement: ESE
      • Wind:50 mph
      • MAP 
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 04JAN21: 85,180,344
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 04JAN21: 47,917,002
      • Deaths as of 04JAN21: 1,844,518
      • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (05JAN21)

  • Middle East: Gulf Cooperation Council annual summit
  • United States: U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia
  • United States: World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report launched

 

END