Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: South Africa’s government suspended its AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccination campaign over worries that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine could be ineffective against new coronavirus variants.
  • AMERICAS: Haitian President Jovenel Moise announced the arrests of 23 people, including a former presidential candidate and a judge on the country’s highest court, who Moise accused of attempting a coup and an assassination attempt against him.
  • ASIA: Police in Myanmar warned protesters to disperse or face force, as state television hinted at impending action to suppress mass demonstrations against the recent military coup in Myanmar.
  • EUROPE: British government officials dismissed growing concerns over the efficacy of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine against new variants of the virus.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen reportedly resumed an offensive to capture the government’s last northern stronghold of Marib.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Authorities in Hong Kong used an obscure colonial era law to charge an internet radio host with sedition.

 

Top Story

  • Asia: China arrests Australian journalist on spying charges.
    • Australian journalist Cheng Lei was formally arrested by Chinese authorities on charges of providing state secrets overseas, both China and Australia said.
    • Cheng, who worked for Chinese state broadcaster CGTN, was formally arrested without explanation after her initial detention last August, launching an official criminal investigation.
    • Australia has repeatedly raised Cheng’s detention with China, and when speaking about her arrest, Chinese ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Beijing hoped Australia would “not interfere with China’s handling of this case”.
    • China and Australia have been locked in multiple rows in recent times, including over the coronavirus pandemic, foreign investments, and trade issues, with Cheng’s arrest likely to result in the further deterioration of Beijing-Canberra ties.
    • Reporting: BBC, NYT, Reuters, WSJ, AFP, AP, WaPo

 

Africa

  • DR Congo: Authorities confirmed the death of one person due to Ebola, three months after the country declared an end to a previous Ebola outbreak. (VOA)
  • Somalia: A coalition of opposition parties declared that they no longer recognized President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed as the country’s leader. (AFP)
  • South Africa: The government suspended its AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccination campaign over worries that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine could be ineffective against new coronavirus variants. (AFP)

 

Americas

  • Canada: Health authorities said one person has been diagnosed with the Brazilian variant of Covid-19, marking the country’s first known case of the new variant. (AFP)
  • Ecuador: Andrés Arauz proceeded to the presidential election runoff, but it remained unclear if he will face Guillermo Lasso or surprise candidate Yaku Pérez in April’s runoff. (AP)
  • Haiti: President Jovenel Moise announced the arrests of 23 people, including a former presidential candidate and a judge on the country’s highest court, who Moise accused of attempting a coup and an assassination attempt against him. (Miami Herald)
  • United States: The Biden administration is set to reengage with the UN Human Rights Council three years after former President Trump withdrew the country from the Council. (AP)

 

Asia  

  • Region: Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne demanded that Myanmar release an Australian economic adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, who was detained during the recent military coup in Myanmar. (AP)
  • Region: Japan lodged a complaint with China after two Chinese incursions into Japanese territorial waters took place, following Beijing’s enactment of new legislation toughening its own response to violations of Chinese maritime territory. (AFP)
  • India: At least 18 people have died and more than 200 are missing after a glacier broke and triggered a surge of water, rock, and dust into a mountain valley in the country’s Himalayan region. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia: Two Christian individuals were publicly flogged for gambling and drinking alcohol in the country’s ultraconservative Aceh province. (AFP)
  • Myanmar: Police warned protesters to disperse or face force, as state television hinted at impending action to suppress mass demonstrations against the recent military coup in the country. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: Envoys from the US, UK, Canada, and Ukraine will join EU officials in a video call to allies of imprisoned Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, after Russia expelled its diplomats from EU countries last week. (Reuters)
  • France: Amnesty International accused the country’s police of carrying out arbitrary detentions during a December protest against a proposed security bill. (AFP)
  • The Holy See: Pope Francis called upon governments to use the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to create a “kind of new Copernican revolution” for the economy and society. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: Government officials dismissed growing concerns over the efficacy of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine against new variants of the virus. (BBC)

 

Middle East

  • Iran: US President Biden said he will not lift US sanctions on the country until Tehran complies with the terms agreed under the 2015 nuclear deal. (BBC)
  • Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pleaded not guilty to corruption charges ahead of the country’s upcoming general election. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the country reportedly resumed an offensive to capture the government’s last northern stronghold of Marib. (AFP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Authorities in Hong Kong used an obscure colonial era law to charge an internet radio host with sedition. (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 08FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 106,206,994
      • Total recovered cases: 59,226,041
      • Deaths: 2,318,388
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (09FEB21)

  • Global: The OECD’s Global Parliamentary Network will hold a virtual meeting. (to 10FEB)
  • Global: A Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries summit will be held virtually.
  • Global: Turkish Foreign Minister will pay official visits to Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar. (to 11FEB)
  • Europe: Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels. 
  • Bangladesh: Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid will visit and meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
  • Central African Republic: Militia leaders Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona will go on trial at the International Criminal Court over alleged war crimes.
  • Germany: The Federal Statistical Office will publish trade data for 2020.
  • Hungary: The lawyers of Klubradio, the last independent radio station in the country, will appear in court ahead of a scheduled suspension of the radio station next week.
  • Italy: Prime Minister-designate Mario Draghi’s exploratory talks regarding the formation of a new government will potentially end.
  • Mali: Swiss Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis will visit and meet with President Bah N’Daw and Foreign Minister Zeyni Moulaye. (to 11FEB)
  • Russia: Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf will visit and meet with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as well as officials from the Eurasian Union.
  • Syria: The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in the country.
  • United Arab Emirates: The country’s Hope space probe is expected to enter Mars orbit to study the planet’s atmosphere.
  • United States: The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will begin.

 

END