Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: A BBC investigation has revealed the scale of operations by the Wagner group, a mercenary organization with ties to the Russian military, in the Libyan Civil War.
  • AMERICAS: Hundreds of Central American migrants expelled from the United States to southern Mexico in recent days have been immediately forced by Mexican authorities across the border into Guatemala.
  • ASIA: The foreign ministry said China will transfer over $6 million to Myanmar’s government to fund 21 development projects.
  • EUROPE: Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 is around 83% effective against the Delta variant of coronavirus.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi presented his cabinet to parliament for a vote of confidence, appointing a hardline diplomat as foreign minister to oversee negotiations on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by Amazon seeking to block an investigation into the company’s ability to protect warehouse workers from COVID-19.

Top Story

  • United States: The Senate passes a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint package
    • A day after the Senate advanced a bipartisan bill to improve the nation’s infrastructure, they also passed a $3.5 trillion blueprint that could enable broad reforms to the nation’s health care, education, and tax laws.
    • The 50-49 vote came at 4 a.m and marks an initial victory for President Biden and congressional Democrats who are seeking to pass as much of their legislative agenda as possible this year before the 2022 midterm elections.
    • The blueprint will expand Medicaid, provide free preschool and community college, and fund climate change programs.
    • After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the blueprint “a generational transformation to how our economy works for average Americans.”
    • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the lower chamber will return from recess early in order to vote on the resolution.
    • WaPo, WSJ, NYT, CBS News, Politico

Africa

  • Algeria: At least 32 people, including 25 soldiers, were killed by wildfires in the Kabyle region. (AP)
  • Chad: Transitional president Mahamat Idriss Deby invited armed opposition groups to participate in a national dialogue, reversing previous statements that the government would not negotiate with rebels. (Reuters)
  • Libya: A BBC investigation has revealed the scale of operations by the Wagner group, a mercenary organization with ties to the Russian military, in the country’s Civil War. (BBC)
  • South Africa: Courts agreed to postpone the corruption and money-laundering trial of ex-president Jacob Zuma for medical reasons. (UPI)
  • Zimbabwe: President Emmerson Mnangagwa commended the Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) for its role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. (Xinhua)

Americas

  • Region: Venezuelan boxer Eldric Sella, who represented the Refugee Olympic Team at the Tokyo Games, said he would be resettled in Uruguay. (Reuters)
  • Region: Hundreds of Central American migrants expelled from the United States to southern Mexico in recent days have been immediately forced by Mexican authorities across the border into Guatemala. (Washington Post)
  • Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro was dealt a major blow in Congress when lawmakers did not adopt his proposal to require printed receipts from some electronic ballot boxes. (AP)
  • Cuba: Scientists will send a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden condemning the U.S. embargo against the country. (Xinhua)
  • United States: The State Department and CDC have lowered their COVID-19 travel advisories for Canada to Level 2. (Reuters)

Asia

  • China: The country’s fight against the latest COVID-19 outbreak is now in its fourth week and involves more than a dozen cities, with tight restrictions hitting the services and travel sectors in the world’s second-largest economy. (Reuters)
  • Kyrgyzstan: The country’s state security service has established enough evidence to press on with removing Canada’s Centerra Gold from the Kumtor gold mine. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: The foreign ministry said China will transfer over $6 million to the country’s government to fund 21 development projects. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: Pyongyang did not answer routine calls on inter-Korean hotlines on Tuesday amid escalating tensions over joint US-South Korean military drills. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: The country’s new cases of COVID-19 reached a daily record high of over 2,200. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Bulgaria: The country’s There Is Such a People (ITN) party abandoned efforts to form a government, after failing to get a simple majority. (Xinhua)
  • Germany: Federal prosecutors detained a British citizen accused of spying for Russia while working at the British Embassy in Berlin. (AP)
  • Poland: The ruling right-wing party lost its parliamentary majority after a coalition partner announced that it was leaving the government amid a split over legislation it views as an attack on media freedom. (AP)
  • Portugal: The country’s Health Directorate issued a recommendation that adolescents aged 12 to 15 be vaccinated against COVID-19. (Xinhua)
  • Russia: Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the country’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 is around 83% effective against the Delta variant of coronavirus. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: After an initial prediction that Kabul could withstand Taliban forces for six to twelve months, some in the US military now allegedly assess a collapse could occur in as soon as 90 days. (WaPo)
  • Iran: President Ebrahim Raisi presented his cabinet to parliament for a vote of confidence, appointing a hardline diplomat as foreign minister to oversee negotiations on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal. (Reuters)
  • Lebanon: Saudi Arabia issued a statement that assistance to any current or future government would be conditional on “serious reforms.” (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: The kingdom sentenced several officials to varying jail terms in a series of graft cases containing bribery, embezzlement of funds, and money laundering. (DPA)

Tech & Communications

  • Tech: A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by Amazon seeking to block an investigation into the company’s ability to protect warehouse workers from COVID-19. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: 
  • Tropical Storm Fred
    • Location: 18.0N 68.2W
    • Movement: WNW
    • Wind: 40 mph
    • Map
  • Tropical Storm Kevin
    • Location: 19.8N 116.4W
    • Movement: NW
    • Wind: 45 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: 
  • Mount Merapi, Indonesia
    • Moderately large pyroclastic flow
    • Erupting
    • Source
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 11AUG21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (12AUG21)

  • Global: International Youth Day.
  • Global: United Nations Security Council briefing and consultations on Somalia.
  • Event: Wilson Center discussion on Afghanistan conflict with Ambassador Mark Green and H.R. McMaster.
  • Zambia: Parliamentary and presidential elections.
  • Russia: Joint military exercises with India in Volgograd.
  • Russia: Russian Air Force Day.
  • China: Joint counterterrorism exercises with Russia in Qingtongxia, Ningxia.
  • Morocco: Visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
  • India: Launch of GISAT-1 Earth observation satellite.
  • Thailand: Mother’s Day.

END