Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The Tanzanian government suspended a local newspaper for running a false story saying that President Samia Suluhu Hassan would not vie for office in 2025.
  • AMERICAS: Panama and Colombia agreed to impose a daily limit of migrants allowed to cross the two countries’ roadless and heavily forested border.
  • ASIA: The Indonesian foreign ministry apologized for the mishandling of a Nigerian diplomat and announced it had launched a formal investigation of the incident.
  • EUROPE: Belarus ordered the US embassy to reduce its staff and denied entry to the US ambassador in retaliation to new sanctions.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Human Rights Watch said deadly rocket fire on Israeli cities by militant Palestinian groups during the May conflict in and around Gaza constituted war crimes.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: A bill introduced in the US Senate seeks to loosen the grip Apple and Google have on their lucrative online shops for apps and other digital content.

Top Story

  • Zambia: Elections begin as democracy is being put to the test. 
    • Zambians are voting in an election that President Edgar Lungu and his main rival Hakainde Hichilema have called a test of the African country’s reputation as a stable democracy.
    • Incumbent President Edgar Lungu was the first voter at Andrew Mwenya Polling Station in Lusaka and called on Zambians to maintain peace as they exercise their right to vote.
    • According to the Electoral Commission of Zambia, more than 7 million people have registered to vote.
    • Police and troops have been deployed across Zambia to monitor polling stations and international observers will be watching the electoral process.
    • The elections come at a time amid a deteriorating economy with the youth demanding better prospects including more employment opportunities.
    • AP, Xinhua, Bloomberg, VOA, BBC

Africa

  • Algeria: Morocco offered assistance in combating wildfires, which have so far killed at least 69 people. (Xinhua)
  • Burkina Faso: Seventeen jihadists and five members of a civil defense militia have been killed in an attack in the country’s north. (AFP)
  • Libya: The Health Ministry opened the country’s largest COVID-19 vaccination center in the capital Tripoli. (Xinhua)
  • Tanzania: The government suspended a local newspaper for running a false story saying that President Samia Suluhu Hassan would not vie for office in 2025. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Region: Panama and Colombia agreed to impose a daily limit of migrants allowed to cross the two countries’ roadless and heavily forested border. (AP)
  • Region: The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) announced an initiative to buy and distribute tens of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses in Latin America and the Caribbean. (NYT)
  • Brazil: Gospel singer and pastor-turned-congresswoman Flordelis dos Santos was ejected from Congress after being charged with having her husband murdered. (AFP)
  • Haiti: Elections, previously scheduled for September 26, have been postponed to November 7, according to local media. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Afghanistan: Taliban militants have taken the south-eastern provincial capital of Ghazni, making rapid territorial gains as the US and its allies withdraw from the country. (DPA)
  • India: The country failed to put a satellite into orbit to provide real-time images of cyclones and other natural disasters. (AP)
  • Indonesia: The foreign ministry apologized for the mishandling of a Nigerian diplomat and announced it had launched a formal investigation of the incident. (AP)
  • New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that strict border controls would remain through 2021. (AFP)
  • North Korea: For the third day in a row, Pyongyang did not answer calls on the inter-Korea hotline. (Yonhap)

Europe

  • Belarus: The country ordered the US embassy to reduce its staff and denied entry to the US ambassador in retaliation to new sanctions. (AP)
  • Greece: Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the devastating wildfires that burned across the country for more than a week a great ecological catastrophe. (AP)
  • Italy: Firefighters said they had battled more than 500 blazes overnight as another death was reported, taking the toll to four over the past week. (AFP)
  • Poland: The lower house of parliament advanced a controversial bill restricting foreign ownership of media. (DW)
  • Russia: The country reported its highest daily COVID-19 death toll of 808 fatalities over the past 24 hours, the most since the beginning of the pandemic. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Region: Azerbaijan issued a diplomatic note to the Iranian ambassador over Iranian vehicles illegally crossing the border. (Anadolu)
  • Israel: The government issued new rules tightening restrictions on gatherings and expanding the “Green Pass” proof of immunity scheme to ages three and older. (Haaretz)
  • Lebanon: Caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati called a decision by the central bank to end subsidies to fuel products “illegal,” and announced an emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss the move. (AP)
  • Palestinian Territories: Human Rights Watch said deadly rocket fire on Israeli cities by militant groups during the May conflict in and around Gaza constituted war crimes. (AFP)
  • Qatar: A new electoral law from the Shura Council has resurfaced tribal sensitivities after some members of a main tribe found themselves ineligible to vote in the country’s first legislative polls in October. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Tech: A bill introduced in the US Senate seeks to loosen the grip Apple and Google have on their lucrative online shops for apps and other digital content. (WSJ)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: 
  • Tropical Depression Fred
    • Location: 20.2N 73.5W
    • Movement: WNW
    • Wind: 35 mph
    • Map
  • Tropical Depression Kevin
    • Location: 19.8N 116.4W
    • Movement: WNW
    • Wind: 35 mph
    • Map
  • Tropical Storm Linda
    • Location: 14.1N 107.1W
    • Movement: WNW
    • Wind: 70 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes:
  • Mount Merapi, Indonesia
    • Moderately large pyroclastic flow
    • Erupting
    • Source
  • Shiveluch, Russia
    • Explosive activity continues.
    • VA emissions continuing.
    • Source
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 12AUG21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (13AUG21)

  • Australia: Sky News executives appear before the Senate over COVID misinformation.
  • Germany: 60th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall.
  • Russia: Joint military exercises with India in Volgograd.
  • China: Joint counterterrorism exercises with Russia in Qingtongxia, Ningxia.
  • Central African Republic: Independence Day.
  • Tunisia: Women’s Day.
  • India (regional): Patriots Day.
  • Venezuela: Political talks between the government and the opposition expected to begin in Mexico.

END