Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi urged Sudanese parties to engage in talks and denied backing the military coup which overthrew the civilian government in October.
  • AMERICAS: Health officials indicated that the wave of omicron variant cases in and around New York City may be slowing.
  • ASIA: The United States released a new research study rejecting Chinese claims in the South China Sea.
  • EUROPE: Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia sees no reason to hold a new round of security talks with the West in the coming days following a lack of progress during ongoing negotiations.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The United Arab Emirates condemned the Houthis’ seizure of a civilian cargo ship in the Red Sea as an act of piracy during a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: More than 80 fact-checking organizations issued an open letter calling on YouTube to address what they say is rampant disinformation and misinformation on the site.

Top Story

  • Kazakhstan: CSTO bloc starts withdrawing troops from the country.
    • The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) began withdrawing its troops from Kazakhstan after a week-long deployment during the worst bout of unrest in the Central Asian nation’s post-Soviet history.
    • President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev blamed the unrest on foreign-backed “terrorists” and requested assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organization to send over 2,000 troops to Kazakhstan last week.
    • Kazakh Deputy Defense Minister Mukhamedzhan Talasov told CSTO troops at a departure ceremony in Almaty, “Thanks to your arrival, Kazakh military and security forces were able to carry out their immediate task of locating and detaining bandits.”
    • CSTO Secretary-General Stanislav Zas stressed that the situation in Almaty has been placed under the control of law-enforcement personnel and the withdrawal will last ten days.
    • CSTO troops arrived in Kazakhstan last week after President Qasym-Zhomart Tokayev declared a state of emergency on January 5 and asked the bloc for military assistance when the protests turned deadly.
    • Reuters, AP, AFP, TASS, RFE

Africa

  • Region: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi urged Sudanese parties to engage in talks and denied backing the military coup which overthrew the civilian government in October. (AP)
  • Kenya: Police are investigating major power outages in recent days that some people have blamed on vandalism. (BBC)
  • Mali: The military government condemned an alleged breach of the country’s airspace by a French military aircraft. (France24)
  • Nigeria: The government lifted its ban on Twitter seven months after clamping down on the social networking site. (BBC)
  • Tunisia: Ennahda party reiterated calls for demonstrations on Friday marking the anniversary of the country’s revolution, defying tightened coronavirus restrictions it says are politically motivated. (AFP)

Americas   

  • Brazil: Human Rights Watch said this year’s general election will be a test for the country’s democracy due to threats by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro who has questioned the validity of its voting system. (Reuters)
  • Canada: The Border Services Agency announced that truck drivers would remain exempt from COVID-19 vaccine requirements at the international border. (Reuters)
  • El Salvador: Investigators have found that at least 22 journalists at the independent news site El Faro were targets of the Pegasus phone spyware. (WaPo)
  • United States: Health officials indicated that the wave of omicron variant cases in and around New York City may be slowing. (WaPo)

Asia

  • Region: The United States released a new research study rejecting Chinese claims in the South China Sea. (AFP)
  • Japan: Tokyo recorded a four-month high in COVID-19 infections and experts forecast the spread of the Omicron variant will cause the daily count to triple by month’s end. (Reuters)
  • Malaysia: The National Heart Institute said Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been discharged from hospital following a successful medical procedure. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: The United States announced it would propose new UN sanctions against Pyongyang in response to recent ballistic missile launches. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: The country received its first supply of Pfizer’s antiviral COVID-19 pills to treat patients with mild or moderate symptoms. (AP)

Europe

  • Czech Republic: Lawmakers suspended a marathon session to vote on a confidence motion in the new government as opposition forces dragged the debate to 22 hours before seeking an interruption. (Reuters)
  • France: The country will let in travelers from Britain who are vaccinated against COVID-19 without having to self-isolate or offer a valid reason for the trip. (AP)
  • Italy: The country is marking the 10th anniversary of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster with a daylong commemoration that will end with a candlelit vigil marking the moment the ship capsized off Tuscany. (AP)
  • Russia: Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the country sees no reason to hold a new round of security talks with the West in the coming days following a lack of progress during ongoing negotiations. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: Senior government ministers have expressed support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and rejected demands he resign for attending a garden party during the country’s first coronavirus lockdown. (AP)

Middle East

  • Iran: The US Cyber Command claimed to have identified evidence connecting hacking group MuddyWater to Iranian intelligence. (UPI)
  • Iraq: Six people were killed as scaffolding collapsed at a Shiite mausoleum near the central town of Hilla. (AFP)
  • Palestinian Territories: The United States urged an investigation into the death of an 80-year-old Palestinian-American citizen who had been arrested by Israeli armed forces. (AFP)
  • United Arab Emirates: The country condemned the Houthis’ seizure of a civilian cargo ship in the Red Sea as an act of piracy during a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East. (WAM)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: More than 80 fact-checking organizations issued an open letter calling on YouTube to address what they say is rampant disinformation and misinformation on the site. (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 13JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (14JAN22) 

  • Global: Orthodox New Year.
  • Event: Atlantic Council conversation with Head of the Ukrainian President’s office Andriy Yermak.
  • Denmark: Golden Jubilee of Queen Margrethe.
  • France: EU foreign and defense ministers’ informal meeting in Brest.
  • Netherlands: COVID-19 lockdown scheduled to end unless extended.
  • Russia: Turkish and Armenian envoys to meet in Moscow.
  • South Korea: COVID-19 antiviral pills begin being prescribed.
  • Tunisia: Revolution Day.
  • United States: Senate breaks for Martin Luther King Day State Work Period.
  • Uzbekistan: Defender of the Motherland Day.

END