Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ghana’s army intervened to defuse a clash between opposing parties in Parliament ahead of the legislature’s swearing-in.
  • AMERICAS: Peru’s government acquired its first batch of coronavirus vaccines as it purchased 38 million doses from China’s Sinopharm, and 14 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • ASIA: Japan is set to declare a coronavirus state of emergency in the greater Tokyo area amid a surge in coronavirus infections there.
  • EUROPE: Germany’s CureVac has linked-up with pharmaceutical giant Bayer to help develop and distribute its coronavirus vaccine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The UAE said the Arab countries boycotting Qatar could resume travel and trade links with Doha within a week under a U.S-backed deal, but the restoration of diplomatic ties would require more time as parties work to rebuild trust.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Huawei has appealed a Swedish court’s decision to allow Stockholm’s telecoms regulator to hold 5G auctions while planning to exclude Huawei from Sweden’s 5G networks.

 Top Story

  • United States: Congress certifies Biden win hours after Capitol stormed.
    • President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol and forced a halt to Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in last year’s presidential election.
    • Four people died during the storming of the Capitol, with one person being shot dead by the police and three from medical emergencies.
    • The police ultimately managed to regain control of the Capitol, after which Congress reconvened and certified President-elect Biden’s election win.
    • Following the certification, President Donald Trump released a statement saying, “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”
    • US allies expressed their shock at the events with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling the events a “disgrace”, German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying the events made her “angry and sad” and criticizing President Trump for not conceding in November, and Japan hoping for a “peaceful and democratic transfer of power.”
    • In contrast, Russia and China took the opportunity to gloat and mock, as China drew a comparison to last year’s pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, while Russia’s deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said, “Quite Maidan-style pictures are coming from DC”, referring to Ukraine’s 2014 protests that ousted Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovich.
    • Reporting: AP, ABC, NYT, BBC, WaPo, WSJ, Reuters, Reuters2, DPA

Africa

  • Region: President Mahamadou Issoufou told the UN Security Council to help countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad region build stronger institutions and strengthen their security and defense capabilities. (AP)
  • Ethiopia: The head of the army’s northern division, Major General Belay Seyoum, has reportedly admitted that Eritrean troops entered the northern Tigray region amid the conflict there. (AFP)
  • Ghana: The army intervened to defuse a clash between opposing parties in Parliament ahead of the legislature’s swearing-in. (AFP)
  • Libya: The UN welcomed the second exchange of prisoners between the country’s two warring factions and urged faster progress on other parts of an October truce. (AFP)
  • South Africa: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize outlined the government’s plans to use coronavirus vaccinations to achieve herd immunity, amid a record surge in coronavirus cases. (Reuters

Americas

  • Region: Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva, whose country currently holds the European Union’s six-month rotating presidency, said Lisbon would try to conclude the proposed free-trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur. (Reuters)
  • Region: Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has spoken about immigration policy with US President-elect Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan. (AP)
  • Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro suspended a government initiative to obtain syringes just as it prepares to launch its coronavirus vaccination campaign. (AP
  • Peru: The government acquired its first batch of coronavirus vaccines as it purchased 38 million doses from China’s Sinopharm, and 14 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. (Reuters)

Asia  

  • China: The country is experiencing its largest coronavirus outbreak in months after 90 new cases were recorded in Hebei province. (DPA)
  • Indonesia: Mount Merapi spewed avalanches of hot clouds, prompting the evacuation of at least 500 people. (AP)
  • Japan: The country is set to declare a coronavirus state of emergency in the greater Tokyo area amid a surge in coronavirus infections there. (AFP)
  • Thailand: A group of pro-democracy activists answered a police summons as they face a potential 15 years for insulting the country’s monarch as authorities increasingly use “lese majeste” laws against the country’s pro-democracy protest leaders. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: The European Union is set to impose tariffs on Turkish hot-rolled iron and steel products based on an ongoing investigation into dumping. (Reuters)
  • Region: WHO Europe called for intensified measures against the new coronavirus strain first discovered in the UK. (AFP
  • Germany: CureVac has linked-up with pharmaceutical giant Bayer to help develop and distribute its coronavirus vaccine. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: Authorities have started rolling-out the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to hundreds of vaccination sites across the country. (BBC)

Middle East

  • Region: Overnight Israeli airstrikes in Syria have left three fighters from Iran-backed groups dead, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (AFP)
  • Region: The UAE said the Arab countries boycotting Qatar could resume travel and trade links with Doha within a week under a U.S-backed deal, but the restoration of diplomatic ties would require more time as parties work to rebuild trust. (Reuters)
  • Region: Jordan Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi called for the representation of Arab states in future dialogues on Iran’s nuclear program. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: The government has imposed a new 25-day countrywide coronavirus lockdown. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Tech Regulation: Huawei has appealed a Swedish court’s decision to allow Stockholm’s telecoms regulator to hold 5G auctions while planning to exclude Huawei from Sweden’s 5G networks. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones
    • Cyclone Danilo
      • Location: 906 nautical miles E-NE of Port Louis, Mauritius
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Movement: W at 9 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes
    • Indonesia
      • Location: 59 km S-SW of Gorontalo, Indonesia
      • Magnitude: 6.1
      • Depth: 157.4 km
      • Map
  • Volcanoes
    • Mount Merapi, Indonesia
      • 500 people have been evacuated after the volcano started spewing hot clouds.
      • Source
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
  • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
    • Confirmed Cases as of 07JAN21: 87,263,253 
    • Total Recovered Cases as of 07JAN21: 48,832,771
    • Deaths as of 07JAN21: 1,884,885
    • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191 
    • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (08JAN21)

  • Europe: New EU tariffs on Turkish hot-rolled iron and steel products will take effect.
  • China: The IMF will hold a press conference on its assessment of the country’s economy.
  • Indonesia: Radical Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, linked to the 2002 Bali bombings, will be released from prison.
  • Sweden: Parliament is scheduled to vote on a proposed law that will give the government more powers to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

END