Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Niger declared three days of national mourning following the massacre of 100 people in two villages in the western region of the nation where Islamist militants carried out a series of attacks.
  • AMERICAS: More than 128,000 people across the United States are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, according to the numbers tracked by The Washington Post, with an increase of 2,800 patients in a single day.
  • ASIA: Chinese jets made a record 380 incursions into Taiwan’s defense zone in 2020, a defense official reported, as a military-linked think-tank cautioned that tensions were now at their highest since the mid-1990s.
  • EUROPE: German Chancellor Angel Merkel will hold a videoconference with the country’s 16 state premiers to discuss extending the current near-total lockdown, while vaccinations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are underway. 
  • MIDDLE EAST: Gulf Arab leaders meet in Saudi Arabia for a summit that is expected to see formal agreement towards ending the current dispute with Qatar that shattered Gulf unity at a time of increased regional tensions with Iran.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The New York Stock Exchange said it does not intend to delist three Chinese telecom giants that were targeted by U.S. President Trump’s outgoing administration, in a surprise reversal of an announcement made only last week. 

 

Top Story

  • Worldwide: Countries react to Iran increasing its enrichment of Uranium: 
    • Iran started producing 20% enriched uranium, the country’s nuclear organization announced, confirming an announcement by the UN atomic watchdog that it was now exceeding the threshold given by the 2015 nuclear deal.
    • China urged calm and restraint after Iran said it resumed 20% uranium enrichment at an underground nuclear facility, breaching the 2015 nuclear pact with major powers, including China.
    • Japan’s top government spokesman said the country was very concerned about Iran’s latest announcement of a resumption of 20% uranium enrichment.
    • The US State Department condemned Iran’s return to uranium enrichment, with a spokesperson noting that “Iran’s enrichment program was originally developed in secret, including at Fordow, and Iran retained a vast archive of records from its past nuclear weapons program, along with many of the key personnel who led that program.”
    • Reporting: AFP, ReutersReuters, CNN

 

Africa

  • Ethiopia: The national government said that humanitarian aid is being provided as planned in the conflict-hit northern Tigray regional state. (Xinhua)
  • Libya: A UN representative held a virtual meeting with the newly established Advisory Committee of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) to discuss the latter’s tasks and other agendas, the UN Support Mission in Libyan (UNSMIL) said in a statement. (Xinhua)  
  • Niger: The nation declared three days of national mourning following the massacre of 100 people in two villages in the western region of the nation where Islamist militants carried out a series of attacks. (Reuters)  

 

Americas 

  • United States: More than 128,000 people across the nation are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, according to the numbers tracked by The Washington Post, with an increase of 2,800 patients in a single day. (WaPo
  • United States: An undeterred President Trump asked voters in Georgia to back Republicans in Tuesday’s Senate runoffs and promised revenge against Republican state officials who refuse to overturn his own defeat. (The Guardian)  
  • Venezuela:  The ruling socialist party will install a congress controlled by allies of President Nicolas Maduro, a change in control that many Western nations declared as the product of a fraudulent election. (Reuters)  

 

Asia 

  • Region: Chinese jets made a record 380 incursions into Taiwan’s defense zone in 2020, a defense official reported, as a military-linked think-tank cautioned that tensions were now at their highest since the mid-1990s. (AFP)  
  • Indonesia: The nation will start its nationwide COVID-19 mass vaccination program on 13 January, the country’s health minister announced. (Reuters)  
  • North Korea: A U.N. Security Council panel approved sanctions exemptions on a total of 30 cases in 2020 to aid agencies providing humanitarian assistance to the nation, a recent report showed. (YNA
  • Singapore: The nation announced its police will be able to use information obtained by its COVID-19 contact-tracing technology for criminal investigations, a decision likely to increase privacy concerns among the population. (The Guardian)  

 

Europe

  • Belgium: Judges will choose whether to send a dozen suspected jihadist extremists to trial for their alleged roles in the March 2016 Brussels bombings.
  • Germany: Chancellor Angel Merkel will hold a videoconference with the country’s 16 state premiers to discuss extending the current near-total lockdown, while vaccinations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are underway. (DPA
  • Germany: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the nation increased by 11,897 to 1,787,410, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases reported. (Reuters)  
  • United Kingdom: Morrisons, the fourth-biggest supermarket group in the nation, has not experienced any issues with supplies from continental Europe since a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union was finalized on 01 January, its CEO announced. (Reuters)  

 

Middle East

  • Region: Gulf Arab leaders meet in Saudi Arabia for a summit that is expected to see formal agreement towards ending the current dispute with Qatar that shattered Gulf unity at a time of increased regional tensions with Iran. (Reuters)
  • Iran: The abrupt seizure of a South Korean-flagged oil tanker this week was motivated by an attempt to pressure Seoul to unlock the country’s financial assets frozen under U.S. sanctions amid its worsening economic woes and the COVID-19 scourge, analysts reported. (YNA)
  • Saudi Arabia: The country’s non-oil private sector improved for the fourth straight month in December as economic activity in the kingdom rebounds from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic survey showed. (Reuters)  

 

Tech & Communications

  • Telecommunications: The New York Stock Exchange said it does not intend to delist three Chinese telecom giants that were targeted by U.S. President Trump’s outgoing administration, in a surprise reversal of an announcement made only last week. (Reuters

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Tropical Storm Danilo 
      • Location:16.1S 76.4E
      • Movement:SSE
      • Wind:75 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: 85,760,827
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 04JAN21: 48,230,616
      • Deaths as of 04JAN21: 85,760,827
      • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (06JAN21)

  • United States: Joint session of Congress convenes to certify the presidential election result

 

END