Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: DR Congo’s government imposed military rule in the conflict-afflicted North Kivu and Ituri provinces for one month.
  • AMERICAS: A Mexico City metro overpass collapsed and fell onto a busy boulevard, killing at least 23 people and injuring about 70 others in the process.
  • ASIA: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was up to North Korea if it wanted to engage diplomatically on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
  • EUROPE: The Danish government announced new steps in its post-coronavirus reopening of society, including the use of a “corona pass” certificate.
  • MIDDLE EAST: A senior staff member at the Swiss embassy in Iran’s capital Tehran died after falling from a high-rise building in an accident.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi became the first foreign journalist to be charged by Myanmar’s military junta, who accused him of spreading fake news.

 

Top Story

  • Global: G7 foreign ministers meet face-to-face after more than two years.
    • The foreign ministers of the Group of 7 countries are holding their first in-person meeting in more than two years in the United Kingdom, over the next two days.
    • The meeting agenda is expected to include discussions on how the group can tackle external threats to the international rules-based order, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and democracy across the world.
    • Iran and the current crisis in Myanmar, the violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, and the situation in Afghanistan are also expected to be discussed.
    • Ahead of the meeting, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab participated in a news conference during which they pressed Russia on its Ukraine “brinkmanship” and China’s potential threat to the international rules-based order.
    • Apart from the regular G7 countries, Australia, India, South Korea, and South Africa have also been invited as guests to the summit, which takes place a month before the G7 leaders’ summit in June.
    • Reporting: BBC, Reuters, AP, Deutsche Welle

 

Africa

  • Burkina Faso: 30 people were killed in an attack by suspected jihadists in what is one of the worst such attacks in the country’s history. (AFP)
  • DR Congo: The government imposed military rule in the conflict-afflicted North Kivu and Ituri provinces for one month. (Reuters)
  • Egypt: The government reached a deal with France to acquire 30 Rafale fighter jets. (Reuters)
  • South Africa: The government allocated an extra $276 million to an emergency coronavirus aid grant, as well as to the purchase of coronavirus vaccines. (Reuters)

 

Americas

  • Colombia: Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla handed-in his resignation amid violent protests over a now withdrawn tax reform bill that left at least 17 people dead. (AP)
  • El Salvador: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the government to respect the separation of powers after the country’s new parliament dismissed the attorney general and top judges deemed hostile to President Nayib Bukele. (AFP)
  • Mexico: A Mexico City metro overpass collapsed and fell onto a busy boulevard, killing at least 23 people and injuring about 70 others in the process. (AP)
  • Trinidad & Tobago: The government tightened its coronavirus measures and restrictions for three weeks as coronavirus cases reach record levels in the country. (Reuters)
  • United States: President Joe Biden reversed an earlier decision that set sharp limits on the number of refugees allowed into the country. (NYT)

 

Asia  

  • Region: Australia opened embassies in the Marshall Islands and French Polynesia in a bid to counter China’s influence in the Pacific. (Reuters)
  • Region: Japan started to provide the Philippine military with lifesaving equipment, marking the first time Tokyo offered equipment to a foreign military through its official military development assistance program. (Kyodo)
  • India: The country’s total coronavirus caseload crossed 20 million, making it the second in the world to pass the grim milestone. (DPA)
  • North Korea: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was up to Pyongyang if it wanted to engage diplomatically on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin issued an apology for his profane tweet demanding China remove its vessels from disputed territory in the South China Sea. (AP)

 

Europe

  • Region: The European Medicines Agency started a real time review of Chinese pharma firm Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine. (Reuters)
  • Denmark: The government announced new steps in its post-coronavirus reopening of society, including the use of a “corona pass” certificate. (AFP)
  • France: Parliament is expected to approve a new climate law which has been heavily criticized by environmental groups, who view it as too weak to tackle climate change. (AFP)
  • Germany: The police arrested a man on suspicion of sending threatening letters to politicians, lawyers and journalists signed with the acronym of a far-right extremist group. (AP

 

Middle East

  • Region: Lebanon and Israel resumed US-mediated indirect discussions over their disputed maritime border after nearly six months. (AP)
  • Iran: A senior staff member at the Swiss embassy in Tehran died after falling from a high-rise building in an accident. (BBC)
  • Israel: There were no signs of progress ahead of today’s deadline for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government. (AP)
  • Iraq: The Balad air base north of capital city Baghdad, where some US contractors are lodged, was struck by three rockets. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: State oil firm Aramco said its profits increased by 30% in the first quarter of the year, compared to last year due to higher crude oil prices. (AP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi became the first foreign journalist to be charged by Myanmar’s military junta, who accused him of spreading fake news. (BBC)

 

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 04MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 153,577,850
      • Total recovered cases: 90,311,169
      • Deaths: 3,214,522
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 25APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (05MAY21)

  • Global: The UN will launch its 2021 Global Report on Food Crises.
  • Global: The Foreign Ministers of G7 countries will meet in-person for the first time in more than two years. 
  • Global: The 8th annual Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development will be held. (to 07MAY)
  • 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: The World Health Organization will reportedly assess Chinese pharma firm Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine.
  • Africa: US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will visit Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sudan. (to 13MAY)
  • Asia: South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui Yong will reportedly hold talks with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi in London on the sidelines of the G7 meeting.
  • 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)
  • Armenia: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit. (to 06MAY)
  • Bulgaria: New elections could be announced due to the failure of any party to form the country’s new government.
  • Cambodia: The country’s coronavirus lockdown is set to expire.
  • Ireland: Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis will visit and meet with Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.
  • Netherlands: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit to attend an event marking the end of the German occupation in 1945.
  • Poland: President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid will visit. 
  • Ukraine: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit. (to 06MAY)
  • 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: President Joe Biden is expected to deliver remarks on his American Rescue Plan.
  • United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on the Good Friday Agreement.

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