Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa extended the term of the country’s chief justice by five years, even though the constitutional amendment allowing the extension is currently being challenged in court.
  • AMERICAS: The United States urged countries to swiftly finalize the details and date of an Organization of American States mission to Haiti.
  • ASIA: Thailand reported its largest increase in coronavirus infections which was driven by a COVID-19 outbreak from two Bangkok prisons where prominent pro-democracy activists have been detained.
  • EUROPE: Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay called upon Muslim countries to take a united and clear stance over the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli forces are reportedly massing at the Gazan border as hostilities between Palestinian militants and Israel, as well as civil unrest in Israel, showed no signs of wavering.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at securing US cybersecurity defenses.

Top Story

  • United States: Colonial initiates pipeline restart amid panic buying.
    • Colonial Pipeline said it had “initiated the restart” of the country’s biggest gasoline pipeline after a five-day closure due to a ransomware attack.
    • Colonial also warned that it will take several days for the pipeline to resume full functionality.
    • The company said it had taken additional security measures before initiating the restart to avoid another closure due to a cyberattack.
    • Colonial’s warning comes amid fuel shortages in parts of some states driven by panic buying after the pipeline temporarily closed operations.
    • The 5,500-mile pipeline carries 2.5 million barrels a day between Texas and New York.
    • Reporting: Reuters, NYT, BBC, WaPo

Africa

  • Region: Uganda and DR Congo will conduct a joint offensive against Islamist rebels in DR Congo. (Reuters)
  • Ivory Coast: Prime Minister Patrick Achi was reportedly admitted to hospital in France due to severe fatigue. (Reuters)
  • Libya: More than 70 detainees who fought for strongman Khalifa Haftar were reportedly released. (AFP)
  • Zimbabwe: President Emmerson Mnangagwa extended the term of the country’s chief justice by five years, even though the constitutional amendment allowing the extension is currently being challenged in court. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Region: US special envoy for the Northern Triangle Ricardo Zuniga met with El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele. (Reuters)
  • Region: The United States urged countries to swiftly finalize the details and date of an Organization of American States mission to Haiti. (Miami Herald)
  • Brazil: Sao Paulo state authorities said they are trying to persuade China to allow the export of raw materials needed for the bottling of coronavirus vaccines. (AP)
  • Cuba: The government started administering two coronavirus vaccine candidates to the public that have yet to complete clinical trials amid a coronavirus surge. (AFP)

Asia  

  • Afghanistan: The Taliban’s three-day long countrywide ceasefire began. (DPA)
  • Cambodia: Rights groups said thousands of people are facing starvation due to the government’s strict coronavirus lockdown. (Guardian)
  • China: Muslim leaders from the Xinjiang region dismissed allegations that Beijing is suppressing religious freedom, during a Ramadan reception for foreign diplomats and media. (AP)
  • Taiwan: The country is dealing with electricity outages after issues at a coal-and gas-fired power plant. (Reuters)
  • Thailand: The country reported its largest increase in coronavirus infections which was driven by a COVID-19 outbreak from two Bangkok prisons where prominent pro-democracy activists have been detained. (AFP)

Europe

  • Region: Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who is convicted of genocide during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, will be transferred to the United Kingdom to serve out his life sentence. (BBC)
  • Turkey: Vice President Fuat Oktay called upon Muslim countries to take a united and clear stance over the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: Prosecutors are pushing for the detention on treason of prominent pro-Russian lawmaker Viktor Medvedchuk or to set a $10.85 million bail agreement for him. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Israeli forces are reportedly massing at the Gazan border as hostilities between Palestinian militants and Israel, as well as civil unrest in Israel, showed no signs of wavering. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: Rights groups claimed that the Biden administration’s failure to impose sanctions on crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has resulted in an increase in severe sentences for political prisoners in the country. (Guardian)
  • Syria: Russia plans to construct a floating dock to improve ship repair facilities at the country’s Tartus port. (VOA)

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at securing US cybersecurity defenses. (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 13MAY21)
      • 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 (14MAY21)

  • Global: The United States, Japan, and France will hold joint military exercises in Japan. (to 17MAY)
  • Global: Iceland’s foreign ministry, in conjunction with the Wilson Center, will launch the Pan-Arctic Report on Gender Equality.
  • Americas: The son of Sinaloa cartel leader Damaso Lopez Nunez will face sentencing in the United States.
  • Europe: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will visit Italy, the UK, and Germany. (to 19MAY)
  • Europe: The NATO Parliamentary Assembly will hold its spring session. (to 17MAY)
  • Middle East: The UN Security Council could hold an emergency meeting to discuss the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine.
  • Iran: Candidate registration for the upcoming presidential election will be held. (to 15MAY)
  • Italy: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva will visit.

END