Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Liberians started voting over a constitutional referendum to shorten presidential terms which critics fear could be used by incumbent Liberian President George Weah to cling to power.
  • AMERICAS: US President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly set to nominate retired General Lloyd Austin to be his incoming administration’s Defense Secretary.
  • ASIA: China criticized the new US sanctions on 14 officials for their role in the disqualification of Hong Kong lawmakers last month, as it also vowed to retaliate against the sanctions.
  • EUROPE: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to meet in person with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss finalizing a post-Brexit agreement.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah reappointed Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah as Kuwait’s Prime Minister.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft returned to the country from its asteroid soil samples collection mission.

 

Top Story

  • United Kingdom: Mass coronavirus vaccination campaign begins.
    • British health authorities began their coronavirus vaccination program, making the UK the first Western country to start immunizing its general population against the coronavirus.
    • The UK will administer doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s new coronavirus vaccines under its vaccination drive. 
    • The first 800,000 doses are expected to be administered this week, with up to 4 million doses expected to be administered by the end of December.
    • Additionally, the first 800,000 doses will be administered to people above the age of 80 who are hospitalized, along with nursing home workers.
    • Health authorities in other countries are likely watching the UK’s rollout of its vaccination program as they prepare for the unprecedented task of vaccinating billions of people to end the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Reporting: WSJ, AP, DPA, Reuters, BBC, NYT, WaPo

 

Africa

  • DR Congo: President Felix Tshisekedi announced plans to form a new government which triggered violence in the country’s parliament as lawmakers destroyed desks and chairs within the legislature’s building. (AFP)
  • Liberia: The public started voting over a constitutional referendum to shorten presidential terms which critics fear could be used by incumbent President George Weah to cling to power. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo placed the country on a religious freedom blacklist for the first time. (AFP)
  • Sudan: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud arrived in the country in what is the first visit by a Saudi foreign minister since the ouster of former autocratic leader President Omar al-Bashir last year. (AP)

 

Americas

  • Region: More than a dozen Latin American countries, the US, and the European Union all said they do not recognize the results of the recent elections in Venezuela. (Reuters)
  • Region: Mexico confirmed its request to the US to extradite its former security chief Genaro García Luna, who is currently in the US facing a trial for allegedly protecting a drug gang. (AP)
  • Honduras: President Juan Orlando Hernandez said the country’s economy is likely to suffer a record contraction due to the coronavirus pandemic and the recent onslaught by two deadly hurricanes. (Reuters)
  • United States: President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly set to nominate retired General Lloyd Austin to be his incoming administration’s Defense Secretary. (AP)

 

Asia  

  • Region: China and Nepal jointly announced a new height for Mount Everest. (AP)
  • China: Beijing criticized the new US sanctions on 14 officials for their role in the disqualification of Hong Kong lawmakers last month, as it also vowed to retaliate against the sanctions. (Reuters)
  • India: A countrywide farmer’s strike against new government laws started, with new demonstrations in the outskirts of capital city New Delhi being reported. (AP
  • New Zealand: A report of the inquiry into the Christchurch mosque attacks said the country’s security agencies were “almost exclusively” focused on the threat of Islamist terrorism prior before a white supremacist gunman killed 51 people in Christchurch last year. (Reuters
  • South Korea: US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun arrived in the country for what is expected to be his last visit before incoming US President-elect Joe Biden takes office next month. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to meet in person with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss finalizing a post-Brexit agreement. (Reuters)
  • Region: The Foreign Ministers of EU member-states agreed to establish a sanctions regime enabling the 27-country bloc to impose sanctions on those responsible for committing human rights violations. (UPI)
  • Romania: Prime Minister Ludovic Orban resigned after his party fared poorly in the country’s recent parliamentary elections, even as his party still has enough allies to likely be able to form a coalition government despite coming in second. (BBC)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani vowed to continue supporting Syria and urged Damascus to confront Israel over the occupied Golan Heights region. (AP)
  • Israel: The government announced a new countrywide night-time curfew to halt the spread of the coronavirus. (AFP)
  • Kuwait: Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah reappointed Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah as the country’s Prime Minister. (Reuters)
  • Lebanon: Demonstrators blocked roads in the capital city Beirut after the country’s central bank said flour, fuel, and medicine government subsidies could not continue after the next two months. (BBC)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Space: Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft returned to the country from its asteroid soil samples collection mission. (AP)

 

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
    • Confirmed Cases as of 08DEC20: 67,671,098 
    • Total Recovered Cases as of 08DEC20: 43,595,542
    • Deaths as of 08DEC20: 1,546,422
    • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191 
    • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (09DEC20)

  • Global: The UN’s International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime – 2015
  • Global: The UN’s International Anti-Corruption Day – 2004
  • Global: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will hold a virtual press conference on the eve of Human Rights Day.
  • Global: The UN will launch its annual Emissions Gap report. 
  • Global: The UN and the United Arab Emirates will jointly hold the 2020 World Space Forum. (to 10DEC)
  • Africa: The UN Security Council will hold meetings on terrorist groups in the central African region.
  • Americas: The OAS Permanent Council will hold a special meeting to discuss the ongoing situation in Venezuela.
  • Asia: The Defense Ministers of ASEAN countries will meet for the 14th ASEAN Defense Minister meeting. 
  • Europe: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reportedly hold a face-to-face meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss the finalization of a post-Brexit agreement. (to 10DEC)
  • Europe: European Central Bank head Christian Lagarde is expected to introduce new monetary stimulus measures.
  • Angola: Former government minister Manuel Rabelais will go on trial for embezzlement at the Supreme Court.
  • Argentina: Finance Minister Martin Guzman will give a speech on the country’s economy at the US-based Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Azerbaijan: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit. (to 10DEC)
  • Czech Republic: Polish President Andrzej Duda will visit and meet with President Miloš Zeman to discuss EU-related issues and the Visegrad Group.
  • Denmark: The government’s new coronavirus lockdown measures will take effect.
  • France: The Cabinet will meet to discuss the draft law related to Islamist separatism in the country.
  • France: British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace will visit and meet with Defense Minister Florence Parly.
  • France: The country will hold a day of mourning in honor of former President Valery Giscard d’Estaing.
  • Germany: The government will release its latest export statistics.
  • India: The government will hold talks with protesting farmers. 
  • Iran: Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov will visit and meet with President Hassan Rouhani.
  • Israel: Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša will visit and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 
  • Israel: A nationwide night-time curfew will be imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
  • Lebanon: Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri is expected to meet with President Michel Aoun to discuss forming a new government in the country.
  • South Korea: US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun will visit. (to 11DEC)
  • Switzerland: Parliament will hold its annual vote to select a new President of the country from among the seven-member federal council.
  • United States: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to discuss China during a speech in the state of Georgia.
  • United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on global human rights.
  • United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on Syria related policy.
  • United States: The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation will hold a hearing on transatlantic data flows and the EU-US privacy shield.

 

END