Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: US Senators Ben Cardin and Jim Risch called for Washington to consider imposing sanctions on any Ethiopian political or military officials found to be responsible for human rights violations during the conflict in the Tigray region.
  • AMERICAS: The US Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel is set to assess Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine, before it is potentially greenlighted for public distribution, as the country reported its record number of daily coronavirus deaths.
  • ASIA: China will revoke visa exemption treatment for holders of US diplomatic passports visiting Macau and Hong Kong.
  • EUROPE: The EU is set to impose sanctions on Turkish citizens linked to an energy exploration dispute with Greece and Cyprus.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Human Rights Watch said healthcare workers on the frontlines of Lebanon’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic are neglected by the government.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: A group of gunmen, whose affiliation is currently unknown, shot and killed TV anchor Malala Maiwand in eastern Afghanistan.

Top Story

  • Europe: EU-UK set Sunday deadline for Brexit agreement.
    • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s in person meeting yielded little progress on a Brexit agreement between the EU and the UK.
    • EC President von der Leyen said the two sides were still “far apart”, while Prime Minister Johnson said “very large gaps remain” before any agreement could be struck.
    • Both sides told their negotiating teams to continue discussions, but set Sunday as the deadline for the talks. Both sides also said the chances of reaching an agreement by Sunday remained slim, with fisheries remaining the main sticking point.
    • British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the Sunday deadline to reach a decision was final, though he also added “you can never say never entirely.”.
    • Following the meeting between EC President von der Leyen and PM Johnson, the EU revealed four contingency measures to ensure smooth air and road traffic for the next six months.
    • Reporting: Reuters, WaPo, WSJ, BBC, AP

Africa

  • Region: Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director John Nkengasong warned that countries in the continent might not be able to access a coronavirus vaccine until after the second quarter of 2021. (AP)
  • Cameroon: President Paul Biya’s party claimed victory in the country’s first ever regional elections in a vote which was boycotted by the opposition. (AFP)
  • Ethiopia: US Senators Ben Cardin and Jim Risch called for Washington to consider imposing sanctions on any political or military officials found to be responsible for human rights violations during the conflict in the Tigray region. (Reuters)
  • Ghana: Incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo won a second term in office after a closely-fought election marred by violence in which five people died, though opponent former President John Mahama is yet to concede. (BBC)
  • Uganda: The Health Ministry ordered 9 million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine. (Xinhua)

Americas

  • Region: A few hundred people in Honduras formed a new caravan bound for the US after hurricanes battered Honduras recently. (Reuters)
  • Canada: The country’s health regulator approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. (BBC)
  • United States: The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel is set to assess Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine, before it is potentially greenlighted for public distribution, as the country reported its record number of daily coronavirus deaths. (WaPo)

Asia  

  • Region: US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said North Korea squandered a chance to reshape its relationship with the US during President Donald Trump’s presidency. (Reuters)
  • Region: Pakistan said neighboring India killed two of its soldiers overnight in the disputed Kashmir region. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: President Ashraf Ghani and his Iranian counterpart inaugurated the first ever railway link between the two countries, providing the landlocked country a new transportation route. (AP)
  • China: Beijing will revoke visa exemption treatment for holders of US diplomatic passports visiting Macau and Hong Kong. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: The EU is set to impose sanctions on Turkish citizens linked to an energy exploration dispute with Greece and Cyprus. (Reuters)
  • Azerbaijan: A military parade celebrating the country’s peace deal with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which saw the country reclaiming territory from the separatist region, was held in capital city Baku. (AP)
  • France: The government revealed draft legislation in its bid to combat radical Islamism in the country. (NYT)
  • Germany: The Agriculture Ministry is holding intensive talks with China over relaxing its import bans on the country’s pork exports after the discovery of African swine fever in the country earlier this year. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Lebanon: Human Rights Watch said healthcare workers on the frontlines of the country’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic are neglected by the government. (DPA)
  • Saudi Arabia: Germany extended its ban on exporting arms to the country for an additional year. (DPA)
  • United Arab Emirates: The US Senate defeated a last-minute bid to prevent the sale of munitions worth $23 billion to the country. (NYT)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: A group of gunmen, whose affiliation is currently unknown, shot and killed TV anchor Malala Maiwand in eastern Afghanistan. (AP)

World

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Cyclone Three
      • Location: 461 nautical miles N-NW of Learmonth, Australia
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Movement: SE at 12 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 10DEC20: 68,970,659
    • Total Recovered Cases as of 10DEC20: 44,500,924
    • Deaths as of 10DEC20: 1,571,890
    • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191
    • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (11DEC20)

  • Global: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will address the Nobel Peace Prize Forum.
  • Global: The International Court of Justice will announce a ruling in the diplomatic row between Equatorial Guinea and France over a corruption conviction.
  • Americas: The Pacific Alliance Presidential Summit will be held virtually, with the presidents of Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Colombia all expected to participate.
  • Europe: The leaders of EU member-states will meet for an EU Summit to discuss ongoing issues, including Brexit and possible sanctions on Turkey.
  • Burkina Faso: Republic Day – 1958
  • Cyprus: New coronavirus measures and restrictions will take effect.
  • Georgia: A newly-elected Parliament will hold its first session amid an opposition boycott.
  • Germany: The Bundestag will deliberate over a 2021 budget proposal.
  • Lebanon: The killer of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri will be sentenced in-absentia by a UN tribunal.
  • Slovakia: Foreign minister Ivan Korcok will speak at an event organized by the German Marshall Fund of the US.
  • South Korea: US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun will visit.
  • Syria: The UN Security Council will hold a meeting to discuss the situation in the country.
  • United Kingdom: An administrative hearing is expected to take place over the US extradition request for Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange.
  • United Kingdom: A coronavirus lockdown in Northern Ireland is expected to end.
  • United States: The deadline for a new funding deal to avoid a federal government shutdown.
  • Vietnam: Hanoi and the United Kingdom are expected to sign a trade agreement.

END