Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: American diplomat Stephanie Williams was named the UN secretary-general’s special advisor on Libya following the sudden resignation of current envoy Jan Kubis.
  • AMERICAS: Panamanian police reported that the Colombian Gulf Clan cartel controls a vast drug trafficking and money laundering network in the country and has begun infiltrating the business sector.
  • ASIA: The Chinese government angrily denounced the United States’ diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and claimed that American diplomats were not invited in the first place.
  • EUROPE: Incoming German chancellor Olaf Scholtz pledged that his new government will stand up for a strong European Union and nurture the trans-Atlantic alliance.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Oman and Saudi Arabia announced $30 billion worth of memoranda of understanding ahead of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s tour around the Gulf.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Rohingya refugees in the US and UK have sued Facebook for over $150 billion, alleging the platform promoted violence against them.

Top Story

  • Global: US President Joe Biden warns Russian President Vladimir Putin he will face the toughest sanctions yet if Russia invades Ukraine.
    • US President Joe Biden will have a high-stakes video conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to tell him that Russia will be hit with the toughest economic sanctions yet if it invades Ukraine.
    • The leader-to-leader conversation — Biden speaking from the Situation Room, Putin from his residence in Sochi — is expected to be one of the toughest of Biden’s presidency and comes at a perilous time.
    • Biden aims to make clear that his administration stands ready to take actions against the Kremlin that would exact “a very real cost” on the Russian economy.
    • Putin is expected to demand guarantees from Biden that the NATO military alliance will never expand to include Ukraine, which has long sought membership.
    • The Kremlin expects no breakthrough on virtual talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden over Ukraine.
    • Leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the US expressed “determination” during a phone call that Ukraine’s sovereignty should be respected amid new fears of a Russian invasion.
    • Reuters, AP, Miami Herald, WaPo, Reuters2, AFP

Africa

  • Burundi: Witnesses said a massive fire ripped through an overcrowded prison with fears of heavy casualties as many inmates were still sleeping at the time. (AFP)
  • Kenya: Officials said a police officer shot dead his wife and five other people with an AK-47 in the early hours of the morning. (BBC)
  • Libya: American diplomat Stephanie Williams was named the UN secretary-general’s special advisor on the country following the sudden resignation of current envoy Jan Kubis. (AFP)
  • Mozambique: Human Rights Watch said that islamist militants waging a brutal insurgency in the north abducted more than 600 women and children since 2018. (AFP)
  • South Africa: Official statistics showed the economy shrank for the first time in a year in the third quarter as the country was hit by riots and tighter Covid restrictions. (AFP)

Americas

  • Mexico: Officials have sped up the transfer of thousands of migrants from the south to other regions as northern border states prepare to receive asylum seekers sent back to the country from the United States. (Reuters)
  • Panama: Police reported that the Colombian Gulf Clan cartel controls a vast drug trafficking and money laundering network in the country and has begun infiltrating the business sector. (AP)
  • United States: The Missile Defense Agency completed construction of a new long-range radar in Alaska designed to give early warning of a North Korean ballistic missile attack. (Yonhap)
  • United States: Pearl Harbor attack survivors are expected to gather at the site of the bombing to remember those killed 80 years ago. (AP)

Asia

  • Cambodia: Prime Minister Hun Sen plans to pay an official visit early next month to Myanmar, seeking to patch up the generals’ battered relationship with Southeast Asia’s regional bloc of nations. (AP)
  • China: The government angrily denounced the United States’ diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and claimed that American diplomats were not invited in the first place. (The Guardian)
  • Indonesia: President Joko Widodo visited eruption-hit areas in Lumajang district in East Java province to reassure people that the government’s response is reaching those in need. (WaPo)
  • Japan: A group of lawmakers prayed at a Tokyo shrine viewed by China and the Koreas as a symbol of wartime aggression. (AP)
  • Philippines: Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte currently on bail for libel, was approved to travel to Oslo to accept the award. (AFP)

Europe 

  • Region: WHO Europe director Hans Kluge said compulsory vaccines should be “an absolute last resort and only applicable when all other viable options to improve vaccination uptake have been exhausted.” (AFP)
  • Austria: Chancellor Karl Nehammer confirmed that unvaccinated individuals will continue to stay in lockdown even after the country lifts its wider coronavirus measure for the general public on Sunday. (Reuters)
  • France: Rescue workers recovered a man’s body from the rubble of a residential building destroyed overnight in a suspected gas explosion and were scrambling to find two other people still missing after extracting a woman and a baby alive. (AFP)
  • Germany: Incoming chancellor Olaf Scholtz pledged that his new government will stand up for a strong European Union and nurture the trans-Atlantic alliance. (AP)
  • Poland: The government announced that it estimates some 7,000 migrants hoping to reach the EU remain in neighboring Belarus. (DPA)

Middle East

  • Region: Oman and Saudi Arabia announced $30 billion worth of memoranda of understanding ahead of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s tour around the Gulf. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: An explosion has rocked the southern city of Basra, killing at least four people and wounding four others. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: The Houthi movement fired several ballistic missiles and 25 armed drones into the country, targeting Aramco oil facilities in Jeddah and the defense ministry in Riyadh. (Reuters)
  • Syria: State media reported Israeli airstrikes targeting the Mediterranean port of Latakia. (AFP)
  • United Arab Emirates: The country is changing its official workweek to Monday to Friday starting next month. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Rohingya refugees in the US and UK have sued Facebook for over $150 billion, alleging the platform promoted violence against them. (BBC)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes:
    • Mount Semeru, Indonesia
      • Explosive activity continues
      • Erupting
      • Source
    • La Palma, Spain
      • Explosive activity continues
      • Erupting
      • Source
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 07DEC21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (08DEC21)

  • Global: Bodhi Day (Buddhism).
  • Global: UN Security Council meeting on Syria.
  • Event: CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues Winter Conference.
  • Africa: UNCTAD Economic Development in Africa Report launch.
  • Austria: World Space Forum in Vienna. (to 09DEC)
  • Germany: Parliament to appoint Olaf Scholz as chancellor.
  • Japan: Revised growth figures for third quarter of 2021 announced.
  • Romania: Constitution Day.
  • Russia: Visit by Greek Prime Minister Kryiakos Mitsotakis.
  • South Korea: 2021 Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial.
  • Switzerland: Presidential election.
  • United States: Visit by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on biosecurity.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on ‘Bolstering Democracy in the Age of Rising Authoritarianism.’
  • United States: Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the future of U.S. policy on Taiwan.
  • Uzbekistan: Constitution Day.
  • Vatican City: Pope prays at Spanish Steps for ‘start of Christmas season’.

END