Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Morocco is preparing to bury “little Rayan”, a boy aged five who died after being trapped in a well for four days.
  • AMERICAS: Former Costa Rican President José María Figueres took an early lead in a national election with a wide-open field of 25 candidates.
  • ASIA: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country will reopen its borders to tourists from February 21, ending some of the world’s strictest and longest-running pandemic travel restrictions.
  • EUROPE: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and United States President Joe Biden are set to meet for the first time, with questions looming over the country’s commitment to NATO in the face of a standoff with Russia.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Indirect talks in Vienna between Iran and the United States on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal will resume on Tuesday.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The head of music streaming giant Spotify Daniel Ek has condemned podcaster Joe Rogan’s use of a racial slur but insisted that silencing him was not the answer.

Top Story

  • Europe: French President Visits Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to Ease Tensions Over Ukraine.
    • French President Emmanuel Macron is set to hold talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin to defuse the standoff in Ukraine as part of dialogue and de-escalation.
    • The Kremlin expects no decisive breakthrough from talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron but expects that Macron will propose ways to ease tensions in Europe.
    • President Macron is expected to push forward a stalled peace plan for the festering conflict with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine and could make offers to Russia for consultations on arms control and NATO expansion.
    • The French president made it clear that “The intensity of the dialogue we have had with Russia and this visit to Moscow are likely to prevent [a military operation] from happening. Then we will discuss the terms of de-escalation.”
    • After his Moscow visit, President Macron will then head to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Tuesday for talks with the country’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.
    • AP, Reuters, AFP, AlJazeera, Reuters2

Africa

  • Kenya: A team of firefighters has been deployed to help battle a huge blaze that destroyed large areas of the Aberdares forest. (BBC)
  • Malawi: President Lazarus Chakwera responded to criticism over his daughter, Violet, being appointed to a position at the country’s High Commission in London. (BBC)
  • Morocco: The country is preparing to bury “little Rayan”, a boy aged five who died after being trapped in a well for four days. (BBC)
  • South Africa: The deadly riots that rocked the country after ex-president Jacob Zuma was jailed last year exposed significant intelligence lapses by the police. (AFP)
  • Sudan: Security forces fired tear gas at thousands of demonstrators calling for civilian rule and justice for protesters killed since last year’s coup. (AFP)

Americas

  • Canada: The mayor of Ottawa Jim Watson, declared a state of emergency in response to more than a week of truckers’ protests against Covid restrictions. (BBC)
  • Costa Rica: Former President José María Figueres took an early lead in a national election with a wide-open field of 25 candidates. (AP)
  • Ecuador: Heavy flooding claimed 28 lives in the capital Quito this week and left 52 people injured. (AFP)
  • Mexico: Authorities cleared a camp in the north of the country where hundreds of migrants heading towards the US border had been holding out for more than a year in what rights organizations criticized as deplorable conditions. (Reuters)
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Authorities said a baby died in her mother’s arms after the coast guard fired on a boat carrying migrants from Venezuela. (AFP)

Asia

  • Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country will reopen its borders to tourists from February 21, ending some of the world’s strictest and longest-running pandemic travel restrictions. (AFP)
  • China: The border city of Baise in Guangxi province is on lockdown after more than 70 coronavirus cases were discovered there over the past three days. (AFP)
  • Japan: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged to double the number of COVID-19 booster shots being delivered on a daily basis across the country. (AP)
  • Myanmar: The junta denied freeing detained Australian academic Sean Turnell for almost a year after Cambodia’s leader took credit for arranging the release. (AFP)
  • Philippines: Police said nine people including a baby were killed in the country’s north after a speeding van lost control on a corner and smashed into a row of houses on the edge of a highway. (AFP)

Europe 

  • Region: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is set to visit Ukraine for the second time in three weeks amid fears of a Russian incursion. (DPA)
  • France: A major fire broke out in Paris near the residence of the German ambassador and the Musee d’Orsay. (DPA)
  • Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz and United States President Joe Biden are set to meet for the first time, with questions looming over the country’s commitment to NATO in the face of a standoff with Russia. (AlJazeera)
  • Portugal: The country will ease restrictions on travelers with an EU health certificate from Monday. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: The country rejected a statement from China that affirmed Beijing’s support for Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands, as relations between London and Asia’s leading power remain strained. (AP)

Middle East

  • Region: Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed at the Beijing Winter Olympics in the first interaction between the two Gulf leaders since the Gulf dispute ended last year. (AlJazeera)
  • Afghanistan: At least 15 were people killed when an avalanche hit the country’s mountainous east. (DPA)
  • Iran: Indirect talks in Vienna between Tehran and Washington on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal will resume on Tuesday. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: Parliament indefinitely postponed the scheduled election of the national president, after 58 of the 329 lawmakers showed up. (AFP)
  • Israel: Calcalist published a series of reports accusing police of allegedly using spyware on the phones of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son and members of his inner circle. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: The head of music streaming giant Spotify Daniel Ek has condemned podcaster Joe Rogan’s use of a racial slur but insisted that silencing him was not the answer. (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 07FEB22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (08FEB22) 

  • Asia: Thailand to host and chair first round of 2022 meetings for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum through Feb. 27.
  • Austria: Indirect talks between the United States and Iran mediated by the European Union on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal to resume in Vienna.
  • Europe: European Commission to unveil proposal for Chips Act.
  • Libya: House of Representatives to vote on new prime minister.
  • North Korea: Army Day.
  • Qatar: National Sports Day.
  • Slovenia: Prešeren Day.
  • Turkey: Doctors to strike over poor pay and working conditions during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ukraine: President Volodymyr Zelensky meets French President Emmanuel Macron in Kyiv.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on public education in Africa.
  • United States: House Intelligence subcommittee closed hearing on DoD August 2021 strike in Kabul.

END