Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: General Stephen Townsend, the top US general for Africa, warned that China has approached countries from Mauritania to Namibia over the construction of a large navy port capable of hosting submarines and aircraft carriers.
  • AMERICAS: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said the new coronavirus may have been “born in a laboratory or because a human ate some animal they shouldn’t have”, in comments that are likely to strain the country’s relationship with China.
  • ASIA: China condemned a G7 foreign ministers joint statement backing Taiwan, calling the statement gross interference in Beijing’s internal affairs.
  • EUROPE: The United Kingdom deployed two navy patrol boats to the island of Jersey after France hinted at stopping power supply to Jersey if French fishermen are not granted access to British fishing waters under post-Brexit terms.
  • MIDDLE EAST: 22 Palestinians were left wounded after clashes with the police as tensions soar in Israel’s annexed east Jerusalem due to a controversial land rights case.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Hong Kong journalist Bao Choy, who was prosecuted for covering an attack on democracy supporters by government loyalists, won a Human Rights Press Award for his work.

Top Story

  • Global: US backs patent waiver to boost coronavirus vaccine supplies.
    • The United States has backed a push at the World Trade Organization seeking the temporary suspension of patent protection for coronavirus vaccines.
    • US Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the news, saying “This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures”.
    • The announcement was received positively by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Doctors Without Borders, and several countries, but has angered pharmaceutical companies.
    • Following the news, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU too was ready to discuss waiving patent protection for coronavirus but otherwise remained noncommittal.
    • The initiative at the WTO was started by South Africa and India, who claimed waiving patent protection would boost coronavirus vaccine production globally.
    • Reporting: AP, BBC, AFP, Reuters, NYT, DPA, WaPo, WSJ

Africa

  • Region: General Stephen Townsend, the top US general for Africa, warned that China has approached countries from Mauritania to Namibia over the construction of a large navy port capable of hosting submarines and aircraft carriers. (AP)
  • Republic of Congo: The government handed-in its resignation three weeks after veteran leader President Denis Sassou Nguesso began his 37th year in power. (AFP)
  • Malawi: The government ordered thousands of refugees to return to the government’s only, and overcrowded refugee camp. (AFP)
  • Mozambique: EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the European Union will consider deploying a civilian training mission to the country to help it deal with a growing insurgency. (Reuters)
  • South Africa: Mourners marched through the streets of Johannesburg to honor Zulu Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu on the eve of her funeral. (BBC)

Americas

  • Region: The US Special Envoy for Northern Triangle countries Ricardo Zuñiga said the US plans to release a list of corrupt Central American officials who may be subject to sanctions before the end of June. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro said the new coronavirus may have been “born in a laboratory or because a human ate some animal they shouldn’t have”, in comments that are likely to strain the country’s relationship with China. (AFP)
  • El Salvador: Congress voted to remove a tax break for newspapers, many of which are harsh critics of President Nayib Bukele, just days after it decided to sack senior judges. (AFP)
  • Mexico: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador dismissed claims of a link between his austerity drive and the recent Mexico City metro line disaster. (AFP)

Asia  

  • Region: China criticized New Zealand for making “groundless” allegations about Beijing’s ill treatment of Uyghurs. (AFP)
  • Region: China condemned a G7 foreign ministers joint statement backing Taiwan, calling the statement gross interference in Beijing’s internal affairs. (Reuters)
  • Region: China “indefinitely” suspended the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue in the latest move of a growing rift between Beijing and Canberra. (BBC)
  • India: The country reported more than 400,000 new daily coronavirus cases for the second time in a month as the demand for medical oxygen increased by seven times. (AP)
  • Thailand: The government confirmed it will include 3 million foreigners living in the country in its coronavirus vaccination campaign. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: The United Kingdom deployed two navy patrol boats to the island of Jersey after France hinted at stopping power supply to Jersey if French fishermen are not granted access to British fishing waters under post-Brexit terms. (Reuters)
  • Region: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Western countries to be cautious about the exact nature of Chinese investment and think carefully about investments in strategic assets. (Reuters)
  • Region: The European Union gave the greenlight to the United States, Canada, and Norway to join its “military mobility” project aimed at boosting the deployment speed of troops and military equipment around Europe. (AP)
  • Italy: Two US citizens were convicted by a jury over the 2019 killing of a police officer. (AP)
  • Ukraine: In a show of support to Kyiv, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in the country for an official visit. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Israel conducted overnight airstrikes on the southern Syrian province of Quneitra. (AFP)
  • Israel: Twenty-two Palestinians were left wounded after clashes with the police as tensions soar in annexed east Jerusalem due to a controversial land rights case. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is visiting Beirut to participate in talks aimed at breaking the deadlock in forming the country’s next government. (DPA)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Hong Kong journalist Bao Choy, who was prosecuted for covering an attack on democracy supporters by government loyalists, won a Human Rights Press Award for his work. (AFP)

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 06MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 155,250,838
      • Total recovered cases: 91,686,131
      • Deaths: 3,243,744
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 02MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (07MAY21)

  • Global: The UN Security Council will hold a briefing on multilateralism.
  • Global: The 8th annual Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development will be held.
  • Global: The Fifth International Vatican Conference will be held. (to 08MAY)
  • Africa: US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will visit Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sudan. (to 13MAY)
  • Americas: US Vice President Kamala Harris and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will hold a meeting.
  • Europe: The foreign ministers of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg will visit Ukraine’s east.
  • Europe: The EU’s Porto Social Summit 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)
  • Paraguay: Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya will visit the country. (to 08MAY)
  • Saudi Arabia: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit. (to 09MAY)
  • Turkey: The first mosque in Istanbul’s Taksim Square will be opened.
  • United States: President Joe Biden is expected to deliver remarks on the economy.

END