Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni appointed former military intelligence chief Major General Abel Kandiho to the top command of the country’s police force.
  • AMERICAS: Defense minister Anita Anand said Canada is considering sending reinforcements to eastern Europe because of the security situation.
  • ASIA: South Korea is dropping its “trace, test and treat” program as a surge in Omicron cases threatens to overwhelm the healthcare system.
  • EUROPE: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz supported US President Joe Biden’s threat to halt the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Israeli military said it attacked missile batteries near the Syrian capital Damascus in retaliation to an anti-aircraft missile launched toward Israel.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy cybersecurity firm Mandiant Inc.

Top Story

  • Global: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Lands in Australia Ahead of Quad Meeting.
    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Melbourne ahead of a meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne as well as their Indian and Japanese counterparts who form the “Quad.”
    • Blinken’s trip is designed to reinforce Washington’s interests in Asia and its intent to push back against Chinese influence in the region.
    • Ahead of the trip, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink said that “The message that the secretary will take with him on this trip is that our partnerships deliver.”
    • Blinken said “The Quad is becoming a powerful mechanism for delivering, helping to vaccinate a big part of the world, getting a lot of vaccines out there,”
    • The Secretary will also visit Fiji and discuss pressing concerns about North Korea with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in Hawaii.
    • AlJazeera, AP, AFP, Strat Times, CNBC,

Africa

  • Region: UN Judge Joseph Chiondo Masanche ordered that eight Rwandans implicated in genocide be sent to Tanzania from Niger, which refused to keep hosting them. (AFP)
  • Madagascar: The disaster management agency (BNGRC) announced that the number of dead on the Indian Ocean island had risen from 21 to 30 from Cyclone Batsirai. (AFP)
  • Somalia: The United States barred several current and former government officials from being issued US visas, accusing them of “undermining the democratic process.” (Reuters)
  • Tunisia: Human Rights Watch said that authorities are using emergency laws to place people in “secret detention”, warning that the practice was becoming ever more common under President Kais Saied. (AFP)
  • Uganda: President Yoweri Museveni appointed former military intelligence chief Major General Abel Kandiho to the top command of the country’s police force. (AFP)

Americas

  • Region: The United States banned all Mexican fishing vessels from US ports, citing rampant illegal fishing in US waters. (WaPo)
  • Brazil: A new report warned that the number of children aged six and seven who cannot read or write has risen 66 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AFP)
  • Canada: Defense minister Anita Anand said the country is considering sending reinforcements to eastern Europe because of the security situation. (AFP)
  • Peru: President Pedro Castillo swore in his fourth Cabinet in less than seven months amid criticism for his poor previous choices for ministers and calls by rivals to step down. (AP)
  • United States: The Justice Department said it is committed to holding disruptive airline passengers legally accountable but did not endorse Delta Air Lines’ request for a national no-fly list. (Reuters)

Asia

  • China: Beijing did not purchase any of the extra $200 billion in US exports pledged under a bilateral trade deal in 2020, a new study found. (Kyodo)
  • Indonesia: The country began testing a homegrown Covid-19 vaccine on humans after getting the green light from the drug regulator. (AFP)
  • New Zealand: Anti-vaccine mandate protesters faced off with police outside parliament as demonstrators camped inside the Wellington legislature’s grounds vowed to stay “as long as it takes.” (AFP)
  • North Korea: State media reported that Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Im Chon-il held talks with Russian Ambassador Alexander Matsegora on Monday. (Yonhap)
  • South Korea: The country is dropping its “trace, test and treat” program as a surge in Omicron cases threatens to overwhelm the healthcare system. (AFP)

Europe 

  • Denmark: Queen Margrethe tested positive for coronavirus but is only showing mild symptoms. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz supported US President Joe Biden’s threat to halt the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine. (AFP)
  • Slovenia: Prime Minister Janez Jansa tested positive for Covid-19, just as the EU country of two million saw a decline in new infections. (AFP)
  • Sweden: The country ended wide-scale testing for COVID-19 even among people showing symptoms of a coronavirus infection. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: Members of Parliament warned that there could be further disruption to trade with the EU this year if more is not done to improve post-Brexit border arrangements. (BBC)

Middle East

  • Iran: The country unveiled a new missile called the Khaibar-buster with a reported range of 1,450 km that would allow it to reach US bases in the region as well as targets inside Israel. (AP)
  • Iraq: Two security officials said the next leader of the Islamic State is likely to be from a close circle of battle-hardened jihadists who emerged after the 2003 US invasion. (Reuters)
  • Syria: The Israeli military said it attacked missile batteries near Damascus in retaliation to an anti-aircraft missile launched toward Israel. (Reuters)
  • United Arab Emirates: A gas explosion in Abu Dhabi prompted a warning of a possible attack following a series of drone and missile assaults by Yemeni rebels. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy cybersecurity firm Mandiant Inc. (Bloomberg)

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 09FEB22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (10FEB22) 

  • Australia: Visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (to 13FEB)
  • China: Beijing Winter Olympic Games. (to 20FEB)
  • Eritrea: Fenkil Day.
  • Europe: Joint Russian-Belarusian military drills. (to 20FEB)
  • France: EU health ministers informal meeting in Grenoble.
  • Germany: Visit by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Estonian PM Kaja Kallas, and Latvian PM Arturs Karins.
  • India: First phase of state assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Philippines: Quarantine requirement to be dropped for fully vaccinated international tourists.
  • Poland: Visit by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • Russia: Visit by UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, postponed from last week.
  • South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa to deliver annual State of the Nation address.
  • Spain: Outdoor face mask requirement to be dropped.
  • Switzerland: UNCTAD Trade and Development Board Executive Session in Geneva, postponed from November 2021. (to 11FEB)
  • Thailand: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Senior Officials’ Meeting in Pattaya. (to 27FEB)
  • Ukraine: Visit by Polish Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman Zbignew Rau. (to 11FEB)
  • United States: 15th anniversary of Barack Obama announcing presidential bid.

END