Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: French company Total and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation reached a final agreement to launch a Lake Albert resources development project in Uganda and Tanzania.
  • AMERICAS: Conservative Guillermo Lasso is ahead of leftist Andrés Arauz in Ecuador’s presidential election with more than 93% of the votes counted, but the country still awaits an official declaration from the Electoral Council.
  • ASIA: The director of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said there was a “complete misunderstanding” over his weekend comments on the effectiveness of his country’s vaccines.
  • EUROPE: Shops, pubs, gyms, and hairdressers reopened in parts of the country following a three-month coronavirus lockdown.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they launched 17 drones targeting locations in Saudi Arabia, including 10 launched towards Saudi Aramco refineries in Jubail and Jeddah.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The Biden administration will reportedly name John C. “Chris” Inglis as the first US national cyber director and nominate Jen Easterly to lead the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

 

Top Story

  • Middle East: Iran blames Israel for Natanz incident.
    • Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed Israel for a sabotage attack on its underground Natanz nuclear facility.
    • Zarif also said Tehran will “take revenge” for the attack that damaged centrifuges used to enrich uranium at Natanz and which other Iranian officials called “nuclear terrorism”.
    • These are among Iran’s first official accusations against Israel for being responsible for the weekend attack that left the Natanz facility without electricity. 
    • The incident took place after Iran and world powers held “constructive” talks last week aimed at resurrecting the 2015 JCPOA deal.
    • Israel has currently not commented on the accusation but Israeli media is reporting that the country’s Mossad spy service conducted the operation at Natanz, quoting unnamed sources. 
    • Reporting: BBC, Reuters, AP, NYT, WaPo, WSJ, France24

 

Africa

  • Region: French company Total and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation reached a final agreement to launch a Lake Albert resources development project in Uganda and Tanzania. (Reuters)
  • Benin: Polling stations closed for the first round of the country’s presidential election. (Xinhua)
  • Nigeria: Suspected Islamic extremists set ablaze the offices of several international aid groups in the country’s embattled northeast. (AP)
  • Sudan: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will provide the country with $400 million to help finance this year’s agricultural production. (Reuters)

 

Americas

  • Ecuador: Conservative Guillermo Lasso is ahead of leftist Andrés Arauz in the presidential election with more than 93% of the votes counted, but the country still awaits an official declaration from the Electoral Council. (AP)
  • Peru: Interim results show no clear winner of the country’s presidential election and a June run-off looking likely. (AFP)
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Experts warned that the island of Saint Vincent is likely to see further volcanic eruptions in the coming days. (BBC)
  • United States: Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized China’s failure to provide access to global health experts and said it was important to “get to the bottom” of the origin of the novel coronavirus. (Reuters)
  • Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro said the country secured the funds required for the full payment of coronavirus vaccines through the WHO’s COVAX system. (Reuters

 

Asia  

  • Australia: Two towns in the country’s west have suffered “widespread damage” due to Cyclone Seroja. (AFP)
  • China: The director of the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said there was a “complete misunderstanding” over his weekend comments on the effectiveness of his country’s vaccines. (DPA)
  • India: The country reported a world record 168,912 daily coronavirus cases amid worries of a continued spike of coronavirus cases as hundreds of thousands of devotees gathered for a ritual bath in the Ganges river. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: Ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was hit with fresh criminal charges by the new junta. (AFP)
  • Philippines: The country’s troops started the annual joint Balikatan exercises with US forces. (DPA)

 

Europe

  • Region: Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said Russia dismissed its attempt to start a dialogue over Russia’s deployment of troops to Ukraine’s border. (Reuters)
  • Germany: The race to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel intensified as both leaders of the two parties of the ruling conservative coalition put themselves forward as leadership candidates. (BBC)
  • Italy: Health Minister Roberto Speranza said new government rules will boost the country’s coronavirus vaccination campaign and enable the government to lift coronavirus restrictions in May. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: Shops, pubs, gyms, and hairdressers reopened in England following a three-month coronavirus lockdown. (Reuters)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they launched 17 drones targeting locations in Saudi Arabia, including 10 launched towards Saudi Aramco refineries in Jubail and Jeddah. (Reuters)
  • Israel: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to the country during his visit. (AP)
  • Jordan: Prince Hamza made his first public appearance since last week’s house arrest. (AP)
  • Lebanon: The country’s religious authorities said Ramadan will start on Tuesday in the country. (AFP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The Biden administration will reportedly name John C. “Chris” Inglis as the first US national cyber director and nominate Jen Easterly to lead the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. (WaPo)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Tropical Cyclone Seroja
      • Location: 360 nautical miles South of Learmonth, Australia
      • Wind: 80 mph
      • Movement: SE at 31 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 12APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 136,063,656
      • Total recovered cases: 77,446,468
      • Deaths: 2,937,096
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 04APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 04APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 11
      • Deaths: 6
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (13APR21)

  • Global: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit Israel, Germany, NATO headquarters in Belgium and the United Kingdom. (to 15APR)
  • Global: The foreign ministers of Australia, India, and France will hold a trilateral dialogue on boosting maritime security. 
  • Global: The UN’s Committee on Enforced Disappearances will hold a meeting.
  • Global: The CIS Council of Defense Ministers will meet and discuss air defense. (to 15APR) 
  • Americas: US Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council Juan Gonzalez will visit Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay. (to 15APR)
  • Americas: Trinidad and Tobago will send 50 soldiers to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to help with their post-volcano eruption recovery efforts.
  • Europe: Argentina’s Economy Minister Martin Guzman will visit Germany, as part of his European tour. (to 15APR)
  • Europe: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Danish Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen will meet and discuss coronavirus vaccinations.
  • Middle East: Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya will visit Iraq and Kuwait.
  • Middle East: The official start of Ramadan in Egypt and Lebanon.
  • Algeria: Students are expected to hold a Hirak movement march in capital city Algiers.
  • Germany: Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will conclude his visit to the country.
  • Germany: The cabinet will discuss the potential tightening of coronavirus restrictions.
  • Iran: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit and meet with counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
  • India: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will attend the Raisina Dialogue event jointly hosted by the government and think-tank Observer Research Foundation. (to 15APR)
  • Kosovo: The UN Security Council will hold a briefing on the country.
  • United States: Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio will conclude his visit to the country.

END