Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ethiopia’s government dismissed calls to launch an independent investigation into the deadly conflict in the country’s Tigray region.
  • AMERICAS: The US Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge seeking to throw out up to 2.5 million mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.
  • ASIA: Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the country will build two ships equipped with Aegis missile interceptors.
  • EUROPE: Denmark charged a Russian citizen with espionage for providing information about energy technology in Denmark to Russia.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran is reportedly moving key facilities at the Natanz nuclear site underground.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Google and Facebook could face multimillion-dollar fines if they do not comply with proposed legislation introduced into the Australian Parliament that will make the tech companies pay for news content.

 

Top Story

  • United Arab Emirates: Health Ministry says China’s Sinopharm vaccine has 86% efficacy against the coronavirus.
    • The UAE approved the use of Chinese company Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine.
    • This marks the first time one of China’s coronavirus vaccines is approved for general use by a country.
    • The UAE’s Health Ministry also said that the Sinopharm’s vaccine had an efficacy of 86%, according to an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials, which is a lower efficacy rate than Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, but above the 50% threshold that is viewed as the lowest acceptable rate.
    • The UAE’s Health Ministry offered very few other details about the vaccine and its performance in trials.
    • China already approved the widespread emergency use of Sinopharm’s vaccine and a number of other countries, including Morocco, are also pinning their hopes on the Sinopharm vaccine.
    • Reporting: AP, Reuters, NYT, WaPo, WSJ

 

Africa

  • DR Congo: Lawmakers trashed the parliament building for a second consecutive day as members of Parliament supporting President Felix Tshisekedi moved to oust the majority party loyal to former President Joseph Kabila. (AFP)
  • Ethiopia: The government dismissed calls to launch an independent investigation into the deadly conflict in the country’s Tigray region. (AP)
  • Sudan: The UN Security Council’s members reaffirmed their commitment to withdrawing the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping troops in the Darfur region, but remained divided on the timing of the withdrawal. (AP)

 

Americas

  • Guatemala: Epidemiologist Edwin Asturias, head of the Presidential Commission for the COVID-19 Emergency, is leaving his role to return to his job at the University of Colorado Denver. (AP)
  • Mexico: The government said it will start vaccinating people against the coronavirus at the end of the third week of December. (AP
  • United States: The Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge seeking to throw out up to 2.5 million mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania. (Reuters)

 

Asia  

  • China: Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow was denied bail after her 10-month jail sentence on charges of unauthorized assembly during anti-government protests last year. (Reuters)
  • Japan: Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the country will build two ships equipped with Aegis missile interceptors. (AFP)
  • Singapore: A “cruise to nowhere” that launched from the country was halted after a passenger tested positive for the coronavirus. (AFP)
  • South Korea: US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said the alliance between the country and the US will remain firm regardless of the upcoming change in administration in the US, according to a statement by Seoul’s Foreign Ministry. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: Denmark charged a Russian citizen with espionage for providing information about energy technology in Denmark to Russia. (Reuters)
  • Germany: The country’s intelligence agencies reportedly placed a group protesting against the government’s coronavirus restrictions under observation, after warnings of far-right extremists increasing their presence within the group. (Reuters)
  • Italy: The flood defense systems of the city of Venice are being activated as storms continue to lash large parts of the country. (DPA)
  • United Kingdom: The country will impose retaliatory tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from the US after Brexit, but will not impose any tariffs over a long-running trade dispute over aircraft subsidies between the US and the EU. (NYT)

 

Middle East

  • Region: The UAE’s envoy to the US, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, said there were “seeds of progress” in resolving a rift between Qatar and its neighboring countries. (Reuters)
  • Iran: Tehran is reportedly moving key facilities at the Natanz nuclear site underground. (NYT)
  • Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the end of the coronavirus pandemic was “in sight” as the country received its first shipment of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine. (AFP)
  • Saudi Arabia: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman dismissed allegations of deploying a hit squad to Canada to kill an exiled former intelligence officer. (BBC)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Google and Facebook could face multimillion-dollar fines if they do not comply with proposed legislation introduced into the Australian Parliament that will make the tech companies pay for news content. (AP)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Tropical Cyclone Three
      • Location: 686 nautical miles N-NW of Learmonth, Australia
      • Wind: 50 mph
      • Movement: E-SE at 10 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
  • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
    • Confirmed Cases as of 09DEC20: 68,347,376 
    • Total Recovered Cases as of 09DEC20: 44,051,723
    • Deaths as of 09DEC20: 1,559,092
    • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191 
    • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (10DEC20)

  • Global: Human Rights Day – 1951
  • Global: The Nobel Peace Prize will be presented to the United Nations World Food Program.
  • Global: TIME magazine will reveal its person of the year for 2020.
  • Global: The UN and the United Arab Emirates will jointly hold the 2020 World Space Forum. 
  • Global: The UN Security Council will meet and discuss Sudan, and the Islamic State.
  • Global: NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana and Finnish Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo will speak at an event organized by the American Enterprise Institute.
  • Europe: The leaders of EU member-states will meet for an EU Summit to discuss ongoing issues, including Brexit and possible sanctions on Turkey. (to 11DEC)
  • 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. 
  • Azerbaijan: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit.
  • Azerbaijan: A military parade will be held in capital city Baku following the country’s success in the Nagorno-Karabakh clashes with Armenia.
  • DR Congo: Petitions demanding the resignation of National Assembly Speaker Jeanine Mabunda, a supporter of former President Joseph Kabila, will be considered by the National Assembly.
  • France: Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s corruption trial is expected to end.
  • Israel: The country will receive its first shipment of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine.
  • Jordan: The country’s recently newly elected parliament will hold its first session.
  • Kenya: Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will visit and meet with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
  • Lebanon: Eight retired military officers will go on trial over corruption charges.
  • Nigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to address the country’s National Assembly and discuss security issues in the country.
  • South Korea: US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun will visit. (to 11DEC)
  • Turkey: 19 people will go on trial for participating in a Pride march on the campus of Ankara’s Middle East Technical University in 2019.
  • United States: Vice President Mike Pence will take part in a coronavirus response roundtable in South Carolina.
  • United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on Taiwan.
  • United States: A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee will meet to discuss the authorization of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine.

 

END