Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Human Rights Watch said Ethiopia’s federal forces killed at least 83 civilians and displacing thousands after shelling heavily populated areas in the first weeks of the conflict in the Tigray region.
  • AMERICAS: Outgoing Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno called on the National Electoral Council (CNE) to deliver accurate election results quickly due to the continued lack of clarity over who will join Andres Arauz in an April presidential run-off.
  • ASIA: India and China have started withdrawing troops from their disputed borders in the Himalayas where they have been in a standoff for months.
  • EUROPE: Embattled Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko invited 2,700 people to a “People’s Assembly” to discuss political reforms, as the opposition dismissed the event as a sham exercise to help Lukashenko cling to power.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Russia urged Iran to show restraint after it started producing uranium metal in a new breach of limits laid out in the 2015 nuclear deal.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Facebook is reportedly creating its own audio social networking to compete with the invitation-only startup Clubhouse.

Top Story

  • Global: Biden, China’s Xi hold talks over human rights, trade.
    • President Joe Biden held his first phone call with China’s President Xi Jinping since taking office.
    • President Biden spoke to Jinping about trade, Taiwan, climate change, Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and other human rights issues.
    • Biden also spoke about a free and open Indo-Pacific being a priority, while Xi warned that confrontations would be a “disaster” for both countries.
    • The two leaders held the phone call just hours after Biden asked the Pentagon to review US national security strategy in China.
    • Reporting: Reuters, WSJ, AP, BBC, NYT, AFP, DPA, Xinhua

Africa

  • DR Congo: The WHO and the health ministry said two people have contracted Ebola and died this week in the country. (Reuters)
  • Ethiopia: Human Rights Watch said the country’s federal forces killed at least 83 civilians and displacing thousands after shelling heavily populated areas in the first weeks of the conflict in the Tigray region. (AFP)
  • Mali: Twenty UN peacekeepers were injured after their base was attacked near the town of Douentza. (Reuters)
  • Zimbabwe: Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the government has purchased 600,000 COVID-19 vaccines from China. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Brazil: Lawmakers voted in favor of granting autonomy to the central bank in a decision aimed at helping the country attract more international investors. (FT)
  • Ecuador: Outgoing President Lenin Moreno called on the National Electoral Council (CNE) to deliver accurate election results quickly due to the continued lack of clarity over who will join Andres Arauz in an April presidential run-off. (AFP)
  • Haiti: The Civilian Tribunal of Croix-des-Bouquets ordered the release of Supreme Court Justice Yvickel Dabresil, who was among the 23 people arrested for allegedly attempting a coup recently. (VOA)
  • Mexico: Authorities have approved the emergency use of the Chinese Sinovac and CanSino coronavirus vaccines in the country. (Reuters)
  • United States: Dozens of former Republican party officials are reportedly holding discussions to form a new anti-Donald Trump, center-right breakaway party. (Reuters)

Asia  

  • Region: India and China have started withdrawing troops from their disputed borders in the Himalayas where they have been in a standoff for months. (AP)
  • Malaysia: The country’s economy was driven to its worst showing in 2020 since the Asian financial crisis of 1998. (Bloomberg)
  • Pakistan: The military said it has successfully test-fired a short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile. (AP)
  • Philippines: Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the government wants to keep a Visiting Forces Agreement with the US. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Bernier blamed tensions between the EU and the UK over Northern Ireland on the UK leaving the European Union and not the agreed to Northern Ireland protocol. (Reuters)
  • Region: Lithuania rejected a Russian court’s order calling for the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s exiled ally Leonid Volkov. (VOA)
  • Belarus: Embattled President Alexander Lukashenko invited 2,700 people to a “People’s Assembly” to discuss political reforms, as the opposition dismissed the event as a sham exercise to help Lukashenko cling to power. (Reuters)
  • Turkey: Ankara dismissed a US call to release imprisoned rights activist Osman Kavala and accused Washington of interference. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Region: The country’s Revolutionary Guard is conducting ground forces drills near the Iraqi border, according to state media reports. (AP)
  • Iran: Russia urged the country to show restraint after it started producing uranium metal in a new breach of limits laid out in the 2015 nuclear deal. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Turkey said its army had killed three Kurdish militants in the country’s northern region in a new Turkish military operation. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: Authorities released prominent women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul from prison. (BBC)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Facebook is reportedly creating its own audio social networking to compete with the invitation-only startup Clubhouse. (AFP)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes:
    • New Caledonia
      • Location: Loyalty Islands
      • Magnitude: 7.7
      • Depth: 10 km
      • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 11FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 107,407,890
      • Total recovered cases: 60,096,890
      • Deaths: 2,356,684
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (12FEB21)

  • Global: Finance Ministers and central bank governors of G7 countries will hold a meeting.
  • Africa: Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong will speak about preparing for pandemics during an online event hosted by the Brookings Institution.
  • Latvia: Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis will visit.
  • Senegal: Swiss Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis will visit and meet with President Macky Sall and Foreign Minister Aissata Tall Sall. (to 13FEB)
  • Myanmar: The UN Human Rights Council will hold a rare special session to discuss the ongoing political crisis in the country.
  • Myanmar: Union Day – 1947.
  • United Kingdom: Authorities will release Q4 GDP data.
  • United States: The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is expected to continue.
  • Venezuela: University students will reportedly hold demonstrations against Nicolas Maduro.

END