Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Kenyan police arrested 91 Ethiopian nationals suspected to be in the country illegally.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuela’s opposition prevailed in the gubernatorial race in the state of Barinas, with the results giving hope to that faction while shocking the ruling party.
  • ASIA: India began a Covid-19 booster shot campaign for frontline workers and vulnerable people aged 60 and above as authorities grapple with a rapidly escalating outbreak driven by the Omicron variant.
  • EUROPE: Dutch King Willem-Alexander swore in a new ruling coalition, led for the fourth time by Mark Rutte.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian will visit China by the end of the week to discuss the 25-year cooperation agreement signed by the two countries.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Video game maker Take-Two Interactive Software Inc will acquire mobile game maker Zynga Inc in a cash-and-stock deal at an enterprise value of nearly $12.7 billion.

Top Story

  • Global: Expectations low as Russia and the US launch security talks
    • The United States and Russia began negotiations in Geneva that Washington hopes can deter the danger of a Russian invasion of Ukraine without conceding to the Kremlin’s security demands.
    • Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and his delegation arrived at the US diplomatic mission for face-to-face talks with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her team.
    • The talks start a week of diplomacy in which Russia will meet with NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) officials, with the US trying to reassure European allies that they will not be sidelined.
    • The focus of the meeting will be on Ukraine with the US and its allies threatening sanctions in the event of a Russian attack, while Russia is demanding guarantees that NATO will not expand further east.
    • Tensions remain higher than ever over Ukraine but both sides have already warned prospects for a resolution are low.
    • Reuters, AP, AFP, DPA, CNBC

Africa

  • Ethiopia: The UN said aid agencies suspended operations in the northern Tigray region where dozens of people were reportedly killed in an air strike. (BBC)
  • Kenya: Police arrested 91 Ethiopian nationals suspected to be in the country illegally. (BBC)
  • Mozambique: Five people have been killed and 15 others injured after heavy rains and strong winds left a trail of destruction in Gaza province. (BBC)
  • Somalia: The United Nations urged leaders to make good on their agreement for a new election timetable after repeated delays sparked a political crisis. (AFP)
  • Uganda: Schools reopened nationwide to students ending the longest school disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic anywhere in the world. (AP)

Americas  

  • Brazil: Rescuers said ten people died in the collapse of a canyon rock face on top of motorboats visiting a waterfall in the country’s southeast. (Reuters)
  • Honduras: Police in Honduras said local leader Pablo Isabel Hernández of the indigenous Lenca group was shot to death. (AP)
  • Nicaragua: Members of the new congress have taken office, one day before President Daniel Ortega is sworn in following highly questionable elections. (AP)
  • United States: Sixteen Democratic lawmakers are urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to back a review aimed at ending the International Monetary Fund’s policy of charging countries significant surcharges on loans that are not repaid rapidly. (Reuters)
  • Venezuela: The opposition prevailed in the gubernatorial race in the state of Barinas, with the results giving hope to that faction while shocking the ruling party. (AP)

Asia

  • China: The country reported more cases of the Omicron variant with authorities on high alert over flare-ups in major cities just weeks ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics. (AFP)
  • India: The country began a Covid-19 booster shot campaign for frontline workers and vulnerable people aged 60 and above as authorities grapple with a rapidly escalating outbreak driven by the Omicron variant. (AFP)
  • Kazakhstan: Authorities said 8,000 people were detained by police during protests that descended into violence last week and marked the worst unrest the former Soviet nation faced since gaining independence 30 years ago. (AP)
  • Myanmar: A junta court convicted Aung San Suu Kyi of three criminal charges, sentencing her to four years in prison in the latest round of a legal onslaught against the ousted civilian leader. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Officials said suspected Islamic State militants are on the run after escaping a police raid that killed six other members of the group. (AFP)

Europe 

  • France: President Emmanuel Macron is traveling to the French Mediterranean coast to talk about internal security. (AP)
  • Germany: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is scheduled to meet with her Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome with the ongoing stand-off between Russia and the West over Ukraine expected to top the agenda. (DPA)
  • Netherlands: King Willem-Alexander swore in a new ruling coalition, led for the fourth time by Mark Rutte. (AP)
  • Russia: President Vladimir Putin said that a Moscow-led military detachment deployed to counter unrest in Kazakhstan would remain in the Central Asian country for only a “limited” period. (AFP)
  • Spain: Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said it is time to consider whether to move away from the detailed tracking that the pandemic has required until now to a flu-like monitoring system. (AP)

Middle East

  • Region: Foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries are visiting Beijing for meetings with Chinese officials. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: The ambassador to China left a resignation note for his successor revealing staff had not been paid for months and that a lone receptionist had been left to answer phones. (AFP)
  • Iran: Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian will visit China by the end of the week to discuss the 25-year cooperation agreement signed by the two countries. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: The new parliament elected Sunni lawmaker Mohammed al-Halbousi as speaker marking an important step towards establishing a new government three months after a national election. (Reuters)
  • Israel: Central Bank governor Amir Yaron said The Omicron variant will cost the economy around two billion shekels ($641.81 million) every 20 days. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Video game maker Take-Two Interactive Software Inc will acquire mobile game maker Zynga Inc in a cash-and-stock deal at an enterprise value of nearly $12.7 billion. (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 10JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (11JAN22) 

  • Global: World Bank Global Economic Prospects report launched
  • Event: World Economic Forum Global Risk Report launched (virtual).
  • Event: East-West Center / Korea Foundation webinar on U.S.-South Korea-Philippines cooperation.
  • Event: Brookings discussion on EU-Gulf relations.
  • Cuba: 20th anniversary of first Afghan prisoners arriving at Guantanamo Bay detention center.
  • India: Home quarantine mandatory for all international arrivals.
  • Morocco: Proclamation of Independence Day.
  • Thailand: Expansion of “Sandbox” scheme to include three new destinations for tourists.
  • United Kingdom: NATO Response Force change of command ceremony.
  • United States: Secretaries Blinken and Austin testify to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on U.S. policy on Afghanistan.
  • United States: Deputy Secretary of State Sherman begins visit to Belgium. (to 13JAN)

END