Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko called for more protests against President Macky Sall following his indictment and release on bail over a rape charge.
  • AMERICAS: A Supreme Court justice annulled all convictions against former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, paving the path for him to run for president again in the future.
  • ASIA: The representatives of 30 countries with access to the Indian Ocean will meet to discuss ways to reverse the Indian Ocean’s fast-depleting tuna population.
  • EUROPE: The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine questioned the neutrality of the European Medicines Agency after an official from the agency urged EU member-states against approving the Sputnik V vaccine currently.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The United Arab Emirates’ nuclear authority issued an operating license for a second unit of the country’s Barakah nuclear power plant.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Myanmar’s military junta withdrew the licenses of five independent media organizations.

 

Top Story

  • United States: New guidelines say fully vaccinated people can meet indoors without masks, should still avoid travel.
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines that say people who have received the required coronavirus vaccinations can visit other people in certain circumstances.
    • Specifically, fully vaccinated people can safely meet with other vaccinated people indoors without the need for a mask or social distancing.
    • The guidelines also say fully vaccinated people can meet with unvaccinated people belonging to low risk groups in the same household.
    • However, the CDC is still urging both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to continue using facemasks in public and continues to warn against any non-essential travel.
    • Reporting: NYT, Reuters, BBC, AP

 

Africa

  • Equatorial Guinea: The death toll from the recent series of explosions at a military barracks rose to 98. (Reuters)
  • Senegal: Opposition leader Ousmane Sonko called for more protests against President Macky Sall following his indictment and release on bail over a rape charge. (Reuters)
  • South Africa: The country reported its biggest annual economic contraction in 70 years in 2020 but grew by 6.3% in the latest quarter of FY2020. (Reuters)

 

Americas

  • Region: The US declared Venezuelan migrants in the United States eligible for temporary protected status. (WaPo)
  • Brazil: A Supreme Court justice annulled all convictions against former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, paving the path for him to run for president again in the future. (AP)
  • Colombia: Environment Minister Carlos Eduardo Correa said President Duque’s administration is targeting a 30% reduction in deforestation. (Reuters)
  • Mexico: Police and protesters clashed in capital Mexico City during a march marking International Women’s Day. (BBC)
  • United States: Special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry is heading to Europe to discuss cooperation with European officials on blunting the effects of climate change. (AP)

 

Asia  

  • Region: Pro-democracy activist and former Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui said he will move to Australia to continue his pro-democracy activism. (Reuters)
  • Region: The representatives of 30 countries with access to the Indian Ocean will meet to discuss ways to reverse the Indian Ocean’s fast-depleting tuna population. (Reuters)
  • India: The federal government denied that the state of Rajasthan was facing any shortage of coronavirus vaccine doses despite the state’s request for supplies to replenish its stocks. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: Thousands of people have started to emerge in public for another round of protests against the recent coup in the country. (AP
  • New Zealand: The government formed an independent advisory group to review and “sharpen” its response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (Guardian)

 

Europe

  • Region: The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine questioned the neutrality of the European Medicines Agency after an official from the agency urged EU member-states against approving the Sputnik V vaccine currently. (Reuters)
  • Region: Norway’s government intervened in engine maker Rolls-Royce’s planned asset sale to a company controlled by Russia’s TMH Group. (Reuters)
  • France: The student whose complaints triggered an online campaign against teacher Samuel Paty that ultimately led to his killing has admitted to spreading false claims about Paty. (BBC
  • Spain: European Parliament lawmakers lifted the parliamentary immunity of Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont and two of his colleagues. (DPA)

 

Middle East

  • Region: The UAE’s Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed said that US sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government are complicating the return of Syria to the Arab League. (Reuters)
  • Region: Lebanon’s military fired at an Israeli drone that was flying over an army post in Meiss Ej Jabal near the Israel-Lebanon border. (Reuters)
  • Iran: The International Atomic Energy Agency said Tehran has started enriching uranium at the underground Natanz plant using another set of advanced IR-2m centrifuges. (Reuters)
  • Lebanon: Protesters angry over political inaction against the country’s deepening poverty setup roadblocks across the country again, but security forces managed to reopen some routes. (AFP
  • United Arab Emirates: The country’s nuclear authority issued an operating license for a second unit of the country’s Barakah nuclear power plant. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Myanmar’s military junta withdrew the licenses of five independent media organizations. (UPI)

 

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes
    • Philippines
      • Scientists have raised the alert level over the country’s Taal volcano.
      • Sourcing: DPA
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 09MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 117,206,915
      • Total recovered cases: 66,409,966
      • Deaths: 2,601,409
      • 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 (10MAR21)

  • Global: The WTO will hold a meeting to discuss India and South Africa’s request to waive patent rights on vaccines, drugs and diagnostics for the new coronavirus. (to 11MAR)
  • Global: The 137th session of the International Olympic Committee will be held. (to 12MAR)
  • Asia: Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising against China’s invasion – 1959
  • Europe: Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to join Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the virtual concrete-pouring ceremony for Unit 3 of Akkuyu NPP, Turkey’s first nuclear power plant nuclear power plant.
  • Europe: UN special envoy on Cyprus Jane Holl Lute will visit Greece and meet with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
  • Europe: The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will brief the UN Security Council.
  • Europe: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will visit the UK, Belgium, and France.
  • Middle East: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. (to 12MAR)
  • 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. 
  • Egypt: The trial of political activists Ramy Shaath and Ziad Eleimy, who are accused of terrorism, is expected to be held.
  • Germany: Jordanian Foreign Minister Aymen Safadi and German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass will hold a meeting.
  • Israel: Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis will visit to hold discussions on coronavirus vaccines.
  • Uganda: The country’s coronavirus vaccination campaign is expected to begin.
  • United States: Secretary of State Antony Blinken will testify to the House of Representatives on President Joe Biden’s foreign policy.
  • United States: President Joe Biden will meet with the leaders of Johnson & Johnson and Merck to discuss a coronavirus vaccine partnership.
  • United States: The Commission on International Religious Freedom will hold a virtual hearing on the complicity of US companies in Uyghur forced labor.
  • United States: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the state of democracy across the world.

END