Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Tunisian President Kais Saied approved a new government selected by Prime Minister Najla Bouden.
  • AMERICAS: Two strong earthquakes struck off the coast of the Big Island in Hawaii.
  • ASIA: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged officials to focus on improving citizens’ lives in the face of a “grim” economic situation.
  • EUROPE: Austria’s top diplomat Alexander Schallenberg takes over as chancellor after a corruption scandal jeopardized the job of one of Europe’s youngest leaders.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iraq’s electoral committee said preliminary results show turnout from Sunday’s election was 41 percent.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Former Pentagon software chief Nicolas Chaillan said that China has won the artificial intelligence battle with the United States and is heading towards global dominance because of its technological advances.

Top Story

  • Afghanistan: The Taliban and the United States hold their first face-to-face meeting in Doha since the US withdrew from the country in August.
    • Washington said the first face-to-face meeting between senior U.S. and Taliban officials was “candid and professional” and that the U.S. side reiterated that the Taliban would be judged on their actions, not just their words.
    • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the caretaker government in Kabul said that talks with the United States will continue if necessary.
    • Afghanistan’s Ambassador-designate to the UN Suhail Shaheen said the discussions went well and that the implementation of the Doha agreement is the best way forward for the country.
    • The US side focused on security, women’s rights, and evacuations while the Taliban called for international recognition and an end to sanctions.
    • The US also promised to provide humanitarian support to the Afghan people, but it does not formally recognize the Taliban’s rule.
    • Reuters, Xinhua, CNN, Al Jazeera, DW

Africa

  • Algeria: President Abelmadjid Tebboune said the return of the North African country’s ambassador to Paris was conditional on France showing it fully respects Algiers. (Reuters)
  • Burkina Faso: A military court launched the trial of 14 people including former President Blaise Compaore for the killing of Thomas Sankara, who was ousted as president by Compaore in a 1987 coup. (AP)
  • Somalia: The African Union says it will expand its military operations against Al-Qaeda-linked Islamists in the country to include other member states. (AFP)
  • Tunisia: President Kais Saied approved a new government selected by Prime Minister Najla Bouden. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Canada: Health care industries are bracing for staff shortages and layoffs, as deadlines for vaccine mandates loom across the country. (Reuters)
  • Ecuador: The legislature voted to open an investigation into whether President Guillermo Lasso broke the law by keeping assets in tax havens, after the Pandora Papers leaks. (AFP)
  • United States: Two strong earthquakes struck off the coast of the Big Island in Hawaii. (AP)
  • Venezuela: Caracas received more than 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX program in another step towards the goal of vaccinating 70 percent of its population. (Xinhua)

Asia

  • Region: China and India blamed each other for the failure of high-level talks to ease tensions along their disputed Himalayan border. (AFP)
  • Japan: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida defended his pro-nuclear policies, saying that re-starting unused nuclear power plants since the 2011 Fukushima disaster was vital. (Reuters)
  • New Zealand: COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the country will require mandatory vaccinations for teachers and health workers. (Xinhua)
  • North Korea: Kim Jong Un urged officials to focus on improving citizens’ lives in the face of a “grim” economic situation. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: A top aide to President Rodrigo Duterte said the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to journalist Maria Ressa was proof that “press freedom is alive” in the country. (AFP)

Europe

  • Austria: Top diplomat Alexander Schallenberg takes over as chancellor after a corruption scandal jeopardized the job of one of Europe’s youngest leaders. (AFP)
  • Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel implored Israel not to “lose sight” of the need to establish a Palestinian state, as she wrapped up a two-day farewell visit. (WaPo)
  • Ireland: Dublin accused Britain of “shifting the playing field” in talks to resolve post-Brexit trading issues in Northern Ireland. (Reuters)
  • Poland: More than 100,000 protesters demonstrated in support of European Union membership after a court ruling that parts of EU law are incompatible with the constitution raised concerns the country could eventually leave the bloc. (Reuters)
  • Russia: Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said that a prison commission had designated him an extremist and a terrorist. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Iran: Tehran called on European countries to guarantee an existing nuclear deal that the parties are set to revisit during a planned resumption of talks in Vienna. (AFP)
  • Iraq: The electoral committee said preliminary results show turnout from Sunday’s election was 41 percent. (AP)
  • Iraq: Baghdad says it has detained a top leader of the Islamic State and a longtime al-Qaida operative in a cross-border operation. (AP)
  • Israel: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the country will keep the Golan Heights even if international views on Damascus change. (Reuters)
  • Lebanon: Firefighters have extinguished a huge blaze that broke out in a storage tank at one of the main oil facilities in the country’s south. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Former Pentagon software chief Nicolas Chaillan said that China has won the artificial intelligence battle with the United States and is heading towards global dominance because of its technological advances. (FT)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes:
    • Tropical Storm Pamela
      • Location: 16.2N 107.6W
      • Movement: WNW
      • Wind: 50 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Storm Kompasu
      • Location: 18.9N 123.1E
      • Movement: W
      • Wind: 60 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Storm Namtheun
      • Location: 18.6N 155.9E
      • Movement: WNW
      • Wind: 65 mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes:
      • Chignik, Alaska, US
        • Magnitude: 6.9
        • Depth: 69.1 km
        • Map
      • Hawaii, US
        • Magnitude: 6.2
        • Depth: 35.1 km
        • Map 
      • Volcanoes:
        • La Palma, Spain
          • Explosive activity continues
          • Erupting
          • Source
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 11OCT21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (12OCT21)

  • Global: G20 Summit on Afghanistan.
  • Global: Commonwealth Finance Ministers Annual Meeting.
  • Global: IMF Global Financial Stability Report published.
  • Global: IMF World Economic Outlook published.
  • Event: Atlantic Council conversation with Mexican Finance Minister Rogelio Ramírez de la O.
  • Africa: International Court of Justice to rule on maritime border dispute between Somalia and Kenya.
  • Equatorial Guinea: Independence Day.
  • Europe: Hearing in appeal by former Ukrainian president against European sanctions.
  • Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
  • Ireland: Budget Day.
  • Mexico: Day of the Pluricultural Nation.
  • Spain: National Day.
  • Ukraine: EU-Ukraine Summit.
  • United States: S. trade representative to reopen the application period for businesses to apply for exclusions to Chinese Section 301 tariffs.
  • Venezuela: Indigenous Resistance Day.

END