Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The United Arab Emirates agreed to fulfill Sudan’s requirements of petroleum products through a contract with the UAE government-owned ADNOC company.
  • AMERICAS: More than a thousand gas stations in the US Southeast reported shortages, likely caused by panic-buying among drivers triggered by a gas pipeline hack.
  • ASIA: The Taliban captured a strategic district in Afghanistan’s central province of Maidan Wardak.
  • EUROPE: The region’s top human rights body expressed “deep concern” over repeated allegations against Greek authorities of illegally pushing back migrants trying to clandestinely enter from neighboring Turkey.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registered to run for the presidency again in the country’s upcoming election.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: An investigation by the Associated Press and Oxford University found that China’s government boosts its messaging on Twitter by using an army of fake accounts to amplify Chinese diplomats and state media.

 

Top Story

  • Middle East: Death toll rises in Gaza and Israel as hostilities continue.
    • Israel and Palestine continued to exchange fire since yesterday, marking the region’s most intense hostilities in years.
    • Israel conducted hundreds of airstrikes targeting Hamas offices and leaders in Gaza, while Palestinian militants launched multiple rocket barrages at Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities last 24 hours.
    • At least 35 Palestinians, including 10 children, have died in Gaza, while strikes on Tel Aviv, Ashkelon, and Lod left five people dead in Israel.
    • Away from the military conflict, Israel is witnessing a concurrent wave of civil unrest across Arab neighborhoods over the killings in Gaza and longstanding complaints of discrimination inside Israel. The city of Lod, near Tel Aviv, was placed under a state of emergency.
    • The UN said it was “gravely concerned” by the violence, adding that it feared the outbreak of a “full-scale war”.
    • Reporting: BBC, Reuters, DPA, AP, NYT

 

Africa

  • Region: The UN Security Council voted in favor of extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in the disputed Abyei region on the Sudan-South Sudan border until November. (AP)
  • DR Congo: The World Health Organization was reportedly aware of sex abuse allegations against WHO personnel in the country but took no action to deal with it. (AP
  • Sudan: The United Arab Emirates agreed to fulfill the country’s requirements of petroleum products through a contract with the UAE government-owned ADNOC company. (Reuters)
  • Zimbabwe: The government is set to introduce legislation punishing people who are deemed “unpatriotic” due to criticizing the country abroad. (BBC)

 

Americas

  • Brazil: Illegal miners fired upon an indigenous group in the country’s Amazon region, local leaders of the Yanomami group said. (BBC)
  • Colombia: The country’s human rights ombudsman said the death toll of the ongoing protests in the country now stood at roughly 42 people. (AFP)
  • Honduras: President Juan Orlando Hernandez said the country, a longtime diplomatic ally of Taiwan, could open a trade office in China in a bid to secure access to coronavirus vaccines. (Reuters)
  • United States: More than a thousand gas stations in the Southeast reported shortages, likely caused by panic-buying among drivers triggered by a gas pipeline hack. (AP)
  • Venezuela: Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognized by the United States and several other countries as the country’s legitimate leader, proposed negotiations with Nicolas Maduro to resolve the country’s political crisis. (AP)

 

Asia  

  • Region: Taiwan condemned China for using coronavirus vaccines for political gain with Taipei’s diplomatic ally Honduras after Honduras said it was considering opening an office in China to secure access to coronavirus vaccines. (Reuters)
  • Afghanistan: The Taliban have captured a strategic district in the province of Maidan Wardak. (DPA)
  • India: The country reported its deadliest day since the coronavirus pandemic started as the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the country crossed the quarter million mark. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: Security forces detained 39 people for alleged arson attacks and seeking training with an ethnic minority rebel group. (Reuters)
  • Nauru: The government congratulated itself over its successful coronavirus campaign under which all adults in the country have received at least one coronavirus jab. (AFP)

 

Europe

  • Austria: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is being investigated for allegedly giving false statements to a parliamentary committee on corruption. (AFP)
  • Bulgaria: Newly appointed caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Yanev said his administration will prioritize upholding laws in the country. (Reuters
  • France: Army Chief of Staff General François Lecointre urged soldiers who signed a letter to President Emmanuel Macron warning of a civil war triggered by religious extremism to resign. (BBC)
  • Germany: Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said the government is considering increasing its spending to meet climate change targets. (AP)
  • Greece: The region’s top human rights body expressed “deep concern” over repeated allegations against the country’s authorities of illegally pushing back migrants trying to clandestinely enter from neighboring Turkey. (AP)

 

Middle East

  • Region: A tanker carrying liquefied natural gas loads from Qatar is reportedly heading towards the United Arab Emirates in the first such shipment since 2017, marking a potential improvement in ties between the two countries. (Reuters
  • Iran: Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registered to run for the presidency again in the country’s upcoming election. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu made his first official visit to the country in years as Ankara attempts to repair its relationship with Riyadh. (AP)
  • Yemen: Martin Griffiths will reportedly quit his current role as the UN’s envoy to the country. (AFP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: An investigation by the Associated Press and Oxford University found that China’s government boosts its messaging on Twitter by using an army of fake accounts to amplify Chinese diplomats and state media. (AP)

 

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 12MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 159,732,343
      • Total recovered cases: 95,819,194
      • Deaths: 3,319,169
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 09MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (13MAY21)

  • Global: The United States, Japan, and France will hold joint military exercises in Japan. (to 17MAY)
  • Africa: US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will visit Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sudan. 
  • Asia: French trade officials will visit Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. 
  • Europe: Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez and Economy Minister Martin Guzman will embark on a European tour with planned stops in Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy, including a meeting with Pope Francis. 
  • Afghanistan: The Taliban’s 3-day Eid ceasefire could begin. 
  • Iran: Candidate registration for the upcoming presidential election will be held. (to 15MAY)
  • Nepal: The deadline for any political party to prove it has majority support after KP Sharma Oli lost a confidence vote and was relegated to a caretaker prime minister.
  • Slovakia: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba will visit and meet with his counterpart Ivan Korcok.
  • South Korea: Israeli Economy Minister Amir Peretz will visit and meet with their counterparts and sign a free trade agreement between their two countries.
  • South Sudan: US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth will visit. 
  • United States: Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne will visit and meet with her counterpart Antony Blinken.
  • United States: Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas will testify to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on actions to address unaccompanied minors at the country’s southern border.
  • United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on the coronavirus pandemic and coronavirus vaccines in Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

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