Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine said soldiers have raided his home and arrested two of his guards in the run-up to the country’s presidential election.
  • AMERICAS: The FBI warned of armed protests at all 50 US state capitals and in Washington DC in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
  • ASIA: India’s Supreme Court suspended the implementation of new agricultural laws that sparked huge farmer protests in the country.
  • EUROPE: Astrazeneca/Oxford have sent the European Medicines Agency an application to approve their coronavirus vaccine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: One of Israel’s leading human rights group, B’Tselem, has described the country and its control of the Palestinian territories as a single “apartheid” regime.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Twitter has suspended more than 70,000 accounts linked to the sharing of QAnon content.

 

Top Story

  • Americas: President Trump returns Cuba to US state sponsors of terrorism list.
    • The US redesignated Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism just days ahead of President Donald Trump’s departure from the White House.
    • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “With this action, we will once again hold Cuba’s government accountable and send a clear message: the Castro regime must end its support for international terrorism and subversion of US justice.”
    • The reasons cited for the redesignation include Cuba harboring US fugitives, refusing to extradite Colombian guerrilla commanders, and its support of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.
    • The redesignation marks the latest in a series of decisions by the outgoing Trump administration in recent days to try to lock in policies ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
    • President Barack Obama had previously removed Cuba from the state sponsor of terrorism list in 2015 prior to his restoration of diplomatic ties with Havana that same year.
    • Reporting: NYT, Reuters, AP, WaPo, BBC, WSJ

 

Africa

  • Central African Republic: The UN’s mission in the country said it and the country’s army had repelled two weekend attacks by rebels. (AFP)
  • Egypt: Authorities have dismissed reports of oxygen shortages in hospitals amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (Guardian)
  • Uganda: Opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine said soldiers have raided his home and arrested two of his guards in the run-up to the country’s presidential election. (Reuters)

 

Americas

  • Mexico: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador defended the idea of eliminating independent regulatory, watchdog and transparency agencies. (AP)
  • United States: The FBI warned of armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington DC in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. (AP)
  • Uruguay: The country registered a new record number of daily new coronavirus infections. (BBC)

 

Asia  

  • Region: Australia blocked the China State Construction Engineering Corp from buying-out Australian construction company Probuild, which is involved in several high-profile projects, citing national security concerns. (Reuters)
  • China: Beijing is reportedly planning additional crackdowns in Hong Kong after the recent arrest of more than 50 pro-democracy activists. (Reuters)
  • India: The Supreme Court suspended the implementation of new agricultural laws that sparked huge farmer protests in the country. (NYT)
  • Indonesia: Navy divers have retrieved one of the black boxes of the passenger jet that crashed over the weekend with 62 people on board. (DPA)

 

Europe

  • Region: Astrazeneca/Oxford have sent the European Medicines Agency an application to approve their coronavirus vaccine. (AFP)
  • Germany: The first doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines are set to be distributed roughly two weeks after inoculations with the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine began. (DPA)
  • The Holy See: Pope Francis has changed church laws to allow for more roles for women within the Catholic Church. (VOA)
  • Portugal: The country’s 72-year-old President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has tested positive for the new coronavirus. (AP)

 

Middle East

  • Region: The Palestinian Authority has signed contracts with Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/Astrazeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Russia’s Sputnik V developers for its coronavirus vaccination plans. (AFP)
  • Iran: The European Union said Tehran will have to reverse its decision to enrich uranium at higher levels to save the 2015 nuclear deal. (Reuters)
  • Israel: One of the country’s leading human rights group, B’Tselem, has described the country and its control of the Palestinian territories as a single “apartheid” regime. (AP)
  • Oman: Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said announced new constitutional reforms, including a mechanism to appoint a crown prince for the first time. (Xinhua)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Twitter has suspended more than 70,000 accounts linked to the sharing of QAnon content. (Guardian)

 

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes
    • Mongolia
      • Location: 33 km S-SW of Turt, Mongolia
      • Magnitude: 6.7
      • Depth: 10 km
      • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 12JAN21: 90,976,653 
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 12JAN21: 50,382,125
      • Deaths as of 12JAN21: 1,947,243
      • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (13JAN21)

  • Asia: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Myanmar, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines. (to 16JAN)
  • Europe: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Belgium and meet with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmès. (to 14JAN)
  • Europe: The Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament will be held.
  • Germany: President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is expected to deliver a speech on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the German empire.
  • Indonesia: The country’s coronavirus vaccination program is expected to begin.
  • Jordan: The country’s coronavirus vaccination program will begin.
  • Kenya: Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu will visit and meet with President Uhuru Kenyatta. 
  • Malaysia: The government will impose new coronavirus restrictions.
  • Mali: The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in the country.
  • Pakistan: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will visit and meet with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Prime Minister Imran Khan. (to 14JAN)
  • Pakistan: The Pakistani, Turkish, and Azerbaijani foreign ministers will hold a meeting in Islamabad.
  • Poland: The trial of three LGBT+ activists, who stuck a rainbow to a painting of the Virgin Mary, will be held.
  • Russia: President Vladimir Putin will deliver an annual address to the country’s Federal Assembly.
  • Taiwan: US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft will visit. (to 15JAN)
  • United States: The House of Representatives is expected to hold a vote on impeaching President Donald Trump.

 

END