Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Senegalese security forces deployed armored cars to capital city Dakar ahead of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko’s latest appearance in court for when he called upon his supporters to hold fresh demonstrations.
  • AMERICAS: US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and other Biden administration officials visited the US-Mexico border amid a growth in the number of border crossings.
  • ASIA: Two people were reportedly killed after being shot in the head during anti-coup protests in Myanmar, while shops, factories and banks in the country’s main city of Yangon closed down in protest of the recent coup.
  • EUROPE: Italy arrested a 36-year-old Algerian citizen suspected of belonging to the Islamic State group and helping the perpetrators of the 2015 Paris attacks.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Lebanese demonstrators, angry over the country’s continued economic crisis and seven months of political paralysis, have blocked main roads in cities across Lebanon.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The EU’s banking regulator, the European Banking Authority, says it was affected by the Microsoft email system hack that Microsoft has blamed on a Chinese hacking group.

 

Top Story

  • Global: US reportedly pushing for UN-led peace conference in letter to Afghanistan’s Ghani.
    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly proposed a UN-led peace conference in Turkey to secure peace and form a new, transitional government in Afghanistan.  
    • The proposed UN-led peace conference would include foreign ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the United States.
    • Afghanistan’s new, transitional government would see both the Taliban and the current Afghan government sharing power and establishing a three-month reduction in violence leading to a ceasefire.
    • Secretary Blinken made the proposal in a letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and chairman of Afghanistan’s peace council Abdullah Abdullah, in an effort to kickstart the stalled peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. 
    • Secretary Blinken also reportedly warned President Ghani that the US military was considering leaving Afghanistan by 1 May, though one State Department official later said that Washington had “not made any decisions about our force posture in Afghanistan after May 1.”
    • Reporting: AP, NYT, WaPo, Reuters, BBC

 

Africa

  • Equatorial Guinea: At least twenty people died and 600 left injured after a series of explosions at a military barracks in the city of Bata. (AP)
  • Libya: Parliament will hold a vote on Prime Minister-designate Abdul Hamid Dbeibah’s proposed new interim government. (AFP)
  • Niger: Outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou was awarded Africa’s top prize leadership, the Mo Ibrahim Prize. (AFP)
  • Senegal: Security forces deployed armored cars to capital city Dakar ahead of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko’s latest appearance in court for when he called upon his supporters to hold fresh demonstrations. (AFP)

 

Americas

  • Region: US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and other Biden administration officials visited the US-Mexico border amid a growth in the number of border crossings. (Reuters)
  • Paraguay: President Mario Abdo Benitez reshuffled his cabinet amid continued protests by people angry with the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. (EFE)

 

Asia  

  • China: Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said the city “fully welcomes” Beijing’s planned changes to the city’s electoral system. (AP)
  • Myanmar: Two people were reportedly killed after being shot in the head during anti-coup protests, while shops, factories and banks in the country’s main city of Yangon closed down in protest of the recent coup. (Reuters
  • Philippines: Security forces said they killed nine suspected communist insurgents, but rights groups said those killed were unarmed activists. (AP)
  • South Korea: Seoul and Washington reached an agreement in principle over sharing the costs of stationing troops in the country. (AP)
  • Vietnam: The country’s coronavirus vaccination campaign has started with healthcare workers, the first in line to be inoculated. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: Italy arrested a 36-year-old Algerian citizen suspected of belonging to the Islamic State group and helping the perpetrators of the 2015 Paris attacks. (AFP)
  • Belarus: Exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said she will appeal to the United Nations to help increase the pressure on the country’s ruling Alexander Lukashenko regime. (AFP)
  • Switzerland: The public voted in favor of banning face coverings, including the burka, in public. (BBC)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Israel began vaccinating Palestinian people who work in the country or live in the West Bank settlements, two months after a coronavirus vaccination campaign for its own citizens. (AP)
  • Iran: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called upon Tehran to “permanently release” British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is set to face a new court case against her after her release from house arrest. (BBC
  • Iraq: President Barham Salih and the government held a farewell ceremony for Pope Francis as he concluded his historic visit to the country. (AP
  • Lebanon: Demonstrators, angry over the country’s continued economic crisis and seven months of political paralysis, have blocked main roads in cities across Lebanon.

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The EU’s banking regulator, the European Banking Authority, says it was affected by the Microsoft email system hack that Microsoft has blamed on a Chinese hacking group. (AFP)

 

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes
    • Italy
      • Mount Etna spewed a cloud of ash and lava stone near villages in Sicily.
      • Sourcing: AP
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 08MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 116,902,939
      • Total recovered cases: 66,180,869
      • Deaths: 2,594,676
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 28FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 17
      • Deaths: 7
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 28FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 8
      • Deaths: 4
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (09MAR21)

  • Global: The OECD will release its interim Economic Outlook Report for the overall world economy and G20 countries.
  • Europe: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will visit the UK, Belgium, and France. (to 10MAR)
  • Europe: The EU will release the latest economic figures for the 27-country bloc.
  • China: The country’s top legislature, the National People’s Congress, will hold its annual session. (to 11MAR)
  • China: The 13th National Committee of the CPPCC, the country’s top political advisory body, will hold a session. (to 10MAR)
  • Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to address the Tel Aviv International Salon.
  • Japan: The government will release its revised GDP figures for Q4 2020.
  • Norway: Prime Minister Erna Solberg is expected to address and brief parliament over the current status of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • South Sudan: The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in the country.
  • United Arab Emirates: Authorities are expected to hold a press conference on the country’s Barakah nuclear plant.
  • United States: German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the Brookings Institution’s virtual event on US-Germany and transatlantic relations. 
  • United States: Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington Asad Majeed Khan will discuss Islamabad-Washington relations in a virtual event hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank.

 

END