Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for Covid-19 and is being treated for mild symptoms.
  • AMERICAS: US Vice President Kamala Harris is announcing $1.2 billion in commitments from international businesses to support the economies and social infrastructure of Central American nations.
  • EUROPE: Swedish authorities said two freight ships have collided off the country’s south, west of a Danish Baltic Sea island, with at least two people reported missing.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli Prime minister Naftali Bennett met with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed as part of the first official visit to the United Arab Emirates by a leader since the establishment of official relations between the two countries last year.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Malaysian authorities said American chip manufacturer Intel Corporation will invest 30 billion ringgit ($7.10 billion) in a new, state-of-the-art facility.

Top Story

  • Top Story: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Arrives in Jakarta to outline American policy in the Indo-Pacific.
    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Indonesia, kicking off a visit to Southeast Asia aimed at strengthening ties with local allies and partners.
    • Secretary Blinken will meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and on Tuesday will deliver an address on the “US approach to the Indo-Pacific.”
    • A senior official in Indonesia’s foreign ministry said Blinken’s visit to Jakarta would “initiate an increasingly high-level interaction between Indonesia and the US in the context of the strategic partnership between the two countries.”
    • The South China Sea will be a top priority issue on the agenda for Secretary Blinken to address with his ASEAN counterparts.
    • Analysts also stressed the importance of Washington refreshing ties with other nations outside its inner circle of like-minded allies such as Cambodia and Laos.
    • Reuters, AFP, Foreign Policy, Jakarta Post, South China Morning Post

Africa

  • DR Congo: A parliamentary commission recommended the government scrap an unpopular “phone tax”, saying it has not been able to trace the funds raised so far. (Reuters)
  • Mali: ECOWAS is threatening further sanctions on the country if it fails to make “concrete progress” toward holding democratic elections in February. (AP)
  • South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for Covid-19 and is being treated for mild symptoms. (BBC)
  • Sudan: Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has replaced all acting state governors appointed by the country’s military leader after a coup in late October. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Region: US Vice President Kamala Harris is announcing $1.2 billion in commitments from international businesses to support the economies and social infrastructure of Central American nations. (AP)
  • Ecuador: At least 18 people were killed, and 25 others injured in a passenger bus accident in the Sucua canton of the Amazonian province of Morona Santiago in the country’s south. (Xinhua)
  • Haiti: The New York Times reported that President Jovenel Moise was compiling a list of officials and businesspeople linked to the drug trade before he was assassinated in July. (Reuters)
  • United States: The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection is set to recommend contempt charges against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. (AP)

Asia

  • Region: Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are holding a virtual summit on Wednesday to discuss bilateral relations and international issues. (AP)
  • China: The country marked the 84th anniversary of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, in which it says 300,000 civilians and disarmed soldiers were killed by Japanese in and around the former capital. (AP)
  • Myanmar: Human Rights Watch charged the military junta for blocking desperately needed humanitarian aid from reaching millions of displaced people and refugees at risk across the country. (DPA)
  • Philippines: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a 250-million-dollar loan to help the government purchase 40 million more doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. (DPA)
  • South Korea: President Moon Jae-In said that the country will not boycott February’s Beijing Winter Olympics. (DPA)

Europe 

  • Region: European Union foreign ministers are discussing how to deter a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine and what measures to take should Moscow decide to send its troops across the border. (AP)
  • Italy: Rescuers worked to free the body of a pregnant nurse from the rubble of collapsed buildings in Sicily, after a massive explosion killed seven people. (AFP)
  • North Macedonia: The Social Democrats elected Dimitar Kovachevski as the new party leader and is set to take over as prime minister if a coalition agreement remains intact. (WaPo)
  • Sweden: Authorities said two freight ships have collided off the country’s south, west of a Danish Baltic Sea island, with at least two people reported missing. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: The country launched a Covid booster shot program to combat what Prime Minister Boris Johnson says is a looming “tidal wave” of Omicron infections. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Israel: Prime minister Naftali Bennett met with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed as part of the first official visit to the United Arab Emirates by a leader since the establishment of official relations between the two countries last year. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: The kingdom is expected to post its first budget surplus in nearly a decade next year, as it plans to restrict public spending despite a surge in oil prices. (Reuters)
  • Syria: US forces carried out a “large airborne operation” near Deir al-Zor in the east at dawn. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: Officials say a senior military commander was killed in clashes between government forces and the Houthi rebels attacking a key central city. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Malaysian authorities said American chip manufacturer Intel Corporation will invest 30 billion ringgit ($7.10 billion) in a new, state-of-the-art facility. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Cyclone Ruby
      • Location: -18.1S, -199.0W
      • Movement: SE
      • Wind: 75 mph
      • Map
    • Hurricanes:
      • Tropical Depression Twenty-Eight
        • Location: 5.2N, 141.0E
        • Movement: WNW
        • Wind: 35 mph
        • Map
      • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
      • Volcanoes:
        • Mount Semeru, Indonesia
          • Explosive activity continues
          • Erupting
          • Source
        • La Palma, Spain
          • Explosive activity continues
          • Erupting
          • Source
        • Global Disease Outbreaks:
          • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 13DEC21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (14DEC21)

  • Africa: Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to start first international conference on public health in Africa.
  • Canada: Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presents an Economic and Fiscal Update.
  • United Kingdom: US space defense policy expert Justin T. Johnson appears before a UK parliamentary committee.
  • United Kingdom: IMF annual check-up of the UK economy press briefing.
  • United States: Secretary of State Blinken to visit the UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Hawaii. (to 17DEC)
  • United States: US Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee to start two-day meetings in Washington, D.C. (to 15DEC)
  • Yemen: N. Security Council meeting on Yemen.

END