Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: South Africa’s government has scrapped plans to use the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and will instead start administering Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine to healthcare workers next week as a trial.
  • AMERICAS: Opposition lawmakers in El Salvador proposed the start of a process to trigger the removal of President Nayib Bukele from power just two weeks ahead of the country’s legislative elections.
  • ASIA: Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who himself rose to power in a coup, said he received a letter from Myanmar’s new junta leader asking for help to support democracy in Myanmar.
  • EUROPE: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen admitted that the European Union’s much-criticized vaccine rollout could be partly blamed on the EU being over-optimistic, over-confident and “late”.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi met with the Acting Charge d’Affaires of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Doha, as the neighboring countries continue to restore ties that were cut abruptly in 2017.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Twitter says it will not take down some accounts as requested by the Indian government as it does not believe that the government’s orders are consistent with Indian law.

Top Story

  • United States: Senate votes to proceed with Trump impeachment trial.
    • The Senate voted to proceed with the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, finding that the impeachment trial is constitutional.
    • The vote was largely split along party lines, though six Republican senators joined Democrats in the 56-44 vote approving the first-ever trial of a former president.
    • The 56-44 vote also makes it unlikely that former President Trump will be convicted by the Senate when the trial is held, as a conviction would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate.
    • The Senate is now expected to hear opening arguments in the trial starting today.
    • Reporting: NYT, Reuters, WSJ, AP, WaPo, BBC

Africa

  • Ghana: The country’s parliament will suspend operations for at least three weeks due to a surge in COVID-19 cases among parliament staffers and lawmakers. (AP)
  • Kenya: The government launched a new $34 million project aimed at countering the effects of drought caused by climate change in the country’s arid regions. (Reuters)
  • Senegal: The army seized control of three rebel bases in the country’s southern Casamance region with help from neighboring Guinea-Bissau, after fighting flared up recently in the long-dormant Casamance independence conflict. (AFP)
  • South Africa: The government scrapped plans to use the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and will instead start administering Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine to healthcare workers next week as a trial. (AP)
  • Tunisia: Three lawyers protesting against the police were reportedly attacked by police officers on their way home from the mass demonstrations. (Guardian)

Americas

  • Bolivia: Healthcare workers in the Santa Cruz region are on strike demanding a lockdown amid a surge of coronavirus cases. (AFP)
  • Brazil: The government unveiled an “adopt a park” campaign for individuals and companies to help protect conservation areas in the Amazon rainforest. (DPA)
  • Colombia: Human Rights Watch accused the government of failing to protect rights activists in the country’s remote communities. (AP)
  • El Salvador: Opposition lawmakers proposed the start of a process to trigger the removal of President Nayib Bukele from power just two weeks ahead of the country’s legislative elections. (AP)

Asia  

  • Region: Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who himself rose to power in a coup, said he received a letter from Myanmar’s new junta leader asking for help to support democracy in Myanmar. (Reuters)
  • Cambodia: The government’s coronavirus vaccination campaign has started using vaccines donated by China. (AP)
  • China: The WHO investigative team tracing the origins of the new coronavirus concluded its field work in the country, and Beijing called on Washington to now invite the WHO team to the US. (Reuters)
  • Thailand: An opposition political party proposed an amendment to the country’s strict royal insult law. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: The European Parliament approved the Resilience and Recovery plan for the EU, paving the way for member states to access $850 billion to counter the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. (DPA)
  • Region: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen admitted that the European Union’s much-criticized vaccine rollout could be partly blamed on the EU being over-optimistic, over-confident and “late”. (AP)
  • Region: Ireland is holding talks with the European Commission over ways to avoid more controversy involving Northern Ireland, following the Commission’s attempt last month to prevent coronavirus vaccines made in the EU from arriving in Northern Ireland. (BBC)
  • Italy: The 5-Star Movement said it will hold an online ballot of its members over whether the party should back a Mario Draghi government only after the designated Prime Minister outlines his agenda. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi met with the Acting Charge d’Affaires of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Doha, as the neighboring countries continue to restore ties that were cut abruptly in 2017. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr approved holding early elections overseen by the UN. (AFP)
  • Saudi Arabia: The country’s economy contracted by 3.8% in Q4 from the same period a year earlier, according to preliminary government data. (Reuters)
  • Syria: The UN’s special envoy to the country called to jump-start the war-torn country’s deadlocked peace process, as the UN Security Council failed to reach an agreement on a joint declaration on the country. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Twitter says it will not take down some accounts as requested by the Indian government as it does not believe that the government’s orders are consistent with Indian law. (Reuters)

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 10FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 106,965,011
      • Total recovered cases: 59,819,821
      • Deaths: 2,342,808
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (11FEB21)

  • Global: International Day of Women and Girls in Science – 2016
  • Global: Turkish Foreign Minister will pay official visits to Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar.
  • Europe: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will meet with Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder.
  • Europe: European Council President Charles Michel will hold a virtual meeting with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.
  • Europe: The European Commission will publish its Winter Interim Economic Forecast.
  • Europe: Portuguese Ambassador to Germany Francisco Ribeiro de Menezes will speak at an online event held by the German Marshall Fund.
  • Belarus: The All-Belarusian People’s Assembly will be held but it is expected to be met with anti-Lukashenko protests.
  • France: Far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin will participate in a debate.
  • Greece: Additional coronavirus measures and restrictions will take effect.
  • Iran: Revolution Day – 1979
  • Mali: An Algiers Accord Monitoring Committee meeting will be held in the town of Kidal, ahead of this weekend’s G5 Sahel Summit.
  • Mali: Swiss Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis will visit and meet with President Bah N’Daw and Foreign Minister Zeyni Moulaye.
  • Myanmar: The UN Human Rights Council will hold an organizational meeting ahead of a rare special session to discuss the ongoing political crisis in the country. (to 12FEB)
  • Saudi Arabia: Women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul is expected to be released from prison.
  • South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver a State of the Nation address.
  • Ukraine: The UN Security Council will hold a meeting and discuss the country’s situation.
  • United States: President Joe Biden will visit the National Institutes of Health.
  • United States: The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is expected to continue. (to 12FEB)

END