Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Burundi is at least the second African country to say it does not need any coronavirus vaccines, with Health Minister Thaddee Ndikumana saying, “since more than 95% of patients are recovering, we estimate that the vaccines are not yet necessary”.
  • AMERICAS: Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador tested negative for COVID-19 nearly two weeks after he was first diagnosed with the virus.
  • ASIA: Police in Myanmar arrested Aung San Suu Kyi’s key aide, Win Htein, as well as at least 30 people who were staging a pot-banging protest against the recent military coup in the country.
  • EUROPE: The High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said both Brussels and Moscow want to continue working together despite their differences.
  • MIDDLE EAST:  The United Nations said the leader of al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen has been under arrest  for several months.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: China said it “firmly opposes” the UK’s decision to revoke Chinese state-run television channel CGTN’s license to broadcast in the UK, accusing the British government of “blatant double standards and political oppression”.

Top Story

  • United States: Biden announces foreign policy changes in first diplomatic address as president.
    • Speaking at the State Department, President Joe Biden declared “America is back” on the global stage and promised a new era of foreign policy in his first diplomatic address as president.
    • President Biden announced that his administration will end the support for offensive operations by US allies in Yemen.
    • Yemen has been in a state of conflict for six years and more than 110,000 people are believed to have died since the country’s civil war first began.
    • President Biden also issued warnings over recent developments in Russia and Myanmar and announced an increase in the number of refugee admissions to the country, and a freeze on US troop withdrawals from Germany.
    • Russia reacted by criticizing the speech, calling it “very aggressive rhetoric”, while Saudi Arabia reacted by saying President Biden’s speech reiterated US commitment to work with “friends and allies”.
    • Reporting: AP, BBC, NYT, Reuters, WSJ, AFP, Reuters

Africa

  • Burundi: The country is at least the second African country to say it does not need any coronavirus vaccines, with Health Minister Thaddee Ndikumana saying, “since more than 95% of patients are recovering, we estimate that the vaccines are not yet necessary”. (AP)
  • Ethiopia: The UN said life for civilians in the country’s embattled Tigray region has become “extremely alarming” amid continued fighting and rising hunger. (AP)
  • Libya: The UN-backed process for the formation of a new interim government has started. (Reuters)
  • Zambia: The government has officially requested to restructure its debt under a new common framework supported by the G20 countries. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Brazil: Mining company Vale will pay the communities affected by the 2019 Brumadinho dam disaster $7 billion in compensation. (BBC)
  • Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa and Washington can collaborate more closely on manufacturing electric vehicles and on supplying the minerals needed to make green batteries. (Reuters)
  • Guyana: Taiwan said it would not open a trade office in the country just one day after saying it would, blaming China exerting pressure on the country’s government for the change in plans. (AP)
  • Mexico: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador tested negative for COVID-19 nearly two weeks after he was first diagnosed with the virus. (AFP)
  • Paraguay: Health Minister Julio Mazzoleni said the government signed a contract with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to purchase Moscow’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. (Reuters)

Asia  

  • Region: A US warship sailed near the Chinese-controlled Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. (Reuters)
  • Region: Palau walked out of the Pacific Islands Forum over the recent fractious vote for a new secretary general of the regional political body. (Guardian)
  • India: Thousands of farmers rallied against the government’s new agricultural laws in the state of Uttar Pradesh for the first time, signaling growing support for a months-long campaign to have the government reforms scrapped. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: Police arrested Aung San Suu Kyi’s key aide, Win Htein, as well as at least 30 people who were staging a pot-banging protest against the recent military coup in the country. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee is dropping her bid to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, making it likely for former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become the next WTO chief. (AP)

Europe

  • Region: The High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said both Brussels and Moscow want to continue working together despite their differences. (AFP)
  • Denmark: The government approved plans to construct an artificial island in the North Sea that will provide enough energy for three million households to the country, and potentially neighboring countries, through the use of 200 offshore wind turbines. (BBC)
  • Italy: Prime Minister-designate Mario Draghi reportedly plans to hold discussions with trade unions before he ends consultations over potentially forming a new government. (Reuters)
  • Russia: Opposition politician Alexei Navalany dismissed the latest court action against him as another trumped-up case by President Vladimir Putin. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: Authorities expelled three Chinese spies who were working in the country while posing as journalists. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Region: Israel’s military said it shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian man in a West Bank settlement after he tried to break into a home and fought with a guard. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: Authorities provisionally released Salah al-Haider, the son of a leading women’s rights activist, and Bader al-Ibrahim, a writer and doctor, after nearly two years in detention. (AFP)
  • Yemen: The United Nations said the leader of al-Qaeda’s affiliate in the country has been under arrest for several months. (CNN)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: China said it “firmly opposes” the UK’s decision to revoke Chinese state-run television channel CGTN’s license to broadcast in the UK, accusing the British government of “blatant double standards and political oppression”. (Bloomberg)

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 05FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 104,935,668
      • Total recovered cases: 58,378,140
      • Deaths: 2,286,170
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (06FEB21)

  • Global: The UN’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation – 2013.
  • Africa: The African Union will hold a Heads of State and Government summit. (to 07FEB)
  • Chad: The opposition is expected to hold protests against President Idriss Deby. (to 07FEB)
  • Cyprus: Slovenian Foreign Minister Anze Logar will visit and meet with counterpart Nikos Christodoulides.
  • India: Farmers are expected to hold another protest against the government’s new agriculture laws.
  • New Zealand: Waitangi Day – 1840.
  • Russia: European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will visit and meet with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
  • Sri Lanka: Ethnic Tamils are holding a protest march demanding justice for civilians killed and forcibly disappeared during the country’s civil war.
  • United Kingdom: Anniversary of the 1952 proclamation of Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne.

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