Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Leaders of the so-called G5 Sahel nations — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger — meet in the Chadian capital N’Djamena, with French President Emmanuel Macron attending remotely online to discuss French troop levels in the region.
  • AMERICAS:  The U.S. economy is expected to reach pre-COVID-19 levels within a year as President Joe Biden’s proposed fiscal package helps boost economic activity, but it is likely to take over a year for unemployment to fall to early 2020 levels.
  • ASIA: Opposition to Myanmar’s military regime intensified as spontaneous neighborhood watch groups mobilized to thwart arrests of anti-coup activists, and the UN demanded the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • EUROPE: Britain says it is on track to have offered an injection by Monday to everyone who is aged 70 and over, as well as those who are clinically vulnerable, frontline health and social care workers, and older adults in care homes.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the COVID-19 pandemic could take years to overcome despite the availability of vaccines.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: China’s ByteDance is said to be exploring the sale of the Indian operations of TikTok to rival Unicorn Glance, Bloomberg News reported.

Top Story

  • United States: Tension arises as former President Trump’s impeachment trial nears its conclusion. 
    • President Trump’s lawyer Michael van der Veen called impeachment proceedings against the former president a “politically motivated witch hunt” by the Democrats.
    • Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of the 10 GOP House members who voted to impeach former President Donald, asked people with knowledge of conversations Trump had during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to come forward.
    • At the trial, Trump’s lawyers refused to answer a question posed by Senator Bernie Sanders about whether Trump had lied when he said that the November 2020 presidential election was stolen.
    • The prosecution argued that Trump’s conduct directly inspired an insurrection against the nation he had sworn an oath to protect, and his actions were not protected political speech.
    • Reporting: BBC, APDPA, The Guardian,

Africa

  • Region: Leaders of the so-called G5 Sahel nations — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger — meet in the Chadian capital N’Djamena, with French President Emmanuel Macron attending remotely online to discuss French troop levels in the region. (AFP)
  • Ethiopia: The Federal Ministry of Health recorded 686 additional COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the national total to 145,548. (Xinhua)
  • Libya: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that more than 90 illegal migrants had been rescued off the coast. (Xinhua)
  • Somalia: At least three people were killed, and eight others wounded after a car bomb detonated near a security checkpoint along a key road in Mogadishu Saturday, security officials and witnesses said. (AFP)

Americas

  • Region: The Biden administration announced it will begin allowing tens of thousands of asylum seekers currently forced to wait in Mexico into the United States. (BBC)
  • United States: The country’s economy is expected to reach pre-COVID-19 levels within a year as President Joe Biden’s proposed fiscal package helps boost economic activity, but it is likely to take over a year for unemployment to fall to early 2020 levels, a Reuters poll announced. (Reuters)
  • United States: Two of Wall Street’s leading hedge fund managers are going to testify along with the chief executives of Reddit and Robinhood at next week’s US congressional hearing on market distributions surrounding trading in GameStop shares. (FT)

Asia  

  • Australia: The nation’s second-most populous state Victoria entered a five-day lockdown as authorities work to prevent a third wave of COVID-19 cases sparked by the high infections of the UK variant. (Reuters)
  • China: The United States should cooperate to ensure a better future in the spirit of the Ox, a zodiac animal that symbolizes stamina, energy, and dedication to culture, the country’s ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai stated in a statement on the Lunar new year. (Xinhua)
  • Myanmar: Opposition to the new military regime intensified as spontaneous neighborhood watch groups mobilized to thwart arrests of anti-coup activists, and the UN demanded the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. (AFP)
  • South Korea: The nation’s daily new COVID-19 cases fell below 400, apparently due to fewer tests during the Lunar New Year holiday, as the government decided to ease social distancing restrictions. (YNA)

Europe

  • Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded a step-by-step and controlled easing of COVID-19 restrictions to prevent a third wave of infections. (DPA)
  • Italy: Former European Central Bank (ECB) head Mario Draghi is due to be sworn into the office of the prime minister at noon (1100 GMT). (DPA)
  • United Kingdom: Britain says it is on track to have offered an injection by Monday to everyone who is aged 70 and over, as well as those who are clinically vulnerable, frontline health and social care workers, and older adults in care homes. (Telegraph)

Middle East

  • Bahrain: U.S. prosecutors have charged the son of a civilian Navy staffer in the nation over her stabbing death in the country. (AP)
  • Iran: President Hassan Rouhani said the COVID-19 pandemic could take years to overcome despite the availability of vaccines. (DPA)
  • Saudi Arabia: The coalition fighting in Yemen intercepted an explosive-laden drone launched by the Houthis towards Abha airport, state-owned Al Arabiya TV reported, citing the coalition’s spokesperson. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: China’s ByteDance is said to be exploring the sale of the Indian operations of TikTok to rival Unicorn Glance, Bloomberg News reported. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Cyclone Faraji
      • Location:19.4S 80.1E
      • Movement: WSW
      • Wind:50 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 12FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 108,248,517
      • Total recovered cases: 60,639,131
      • Deaths: 2,384,551
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (14FEB21)

  • Global: Valentine’s Day.
  • Bangladesh: local elections fourth phase.
  • Germany: COVID-19 restrictions scheduled to end, unless extended.
  • India: Punjab local elections.
  • Kosovo: The nation holds snap general elections after the country’s top court invalidated the vote held in June by the National Assembly that installed Avdullah Hoti as prime minister.
  • Russia: Opposition leader protests scheduled in Russia.
  • Spain: Catalonia holds parliamentary elections, seen as a test of strength for the pro-independence movement.

END