- AFRICA: Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed signed a law extending his term in office and his government’s mandate, with the US and other countries threatening sanctions over the move.
- AMERICAS: Far-left unionist Pedro Castillo will face rightwing populist Keiko Fujimori in Peru’s June presidential runoff election.
- ASIA: China called its military exercises near Taiwan “combat drills,” as senior former US officials landed in Taiwan for a visit intended to signal US President Joe Biden’s commitment to Taiwan.
- EUROPE: US President Joe Biden urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate tensions caused by a Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s border and proposed a Biden-Putin summit to deal with a host of disputes between Washington and Moscow.
- MIDDLE EAST: Iran intends to start enriching uranium up to 60 percent purity following an explosion at the Natanz nuclear facility it blamed on Israel.
- TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Increasing racist abuse against soccer players on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter has led to British soccer officials demanding the social media platforms to take stronger action against racism.
- Afghanistan: US to withdraw all troops by September 11.
- President Joe Biden is expected to announce a complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America that were coordinated in Afghanistan.
- President Biden is also expected to announce the timeline of the withdrawal and his vision for the way forward in Afghanistan today.
- 2,500 US forces are expected to remain in Afghanistan beyond the 1 May withdrawal deadline that the Trump administration negotiated last year with the Taliban.
- Biden’s decision reportedly overrules warnings from military advisers of a resurgence of terrorist threats in Afghanistan.
- It is unclear how the decision will affect an upcoming 10-day Istanbul summit on Afghanistan that is set to include the United Nations.
- Additionally, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said she expected NATO to take a similar decision following a special session later today, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said NATO troops in Afghanistan will leave in coordination with the US plans.
- Reporting: AP, NYT, WaPo, WSJ, Reuters, Reuters2, Reuters3
- Benin: President Patrice Talon took home an easy win in the country’s presidential election that critics alleged of being stacked in his favor following a crackdown on his opponents. (AFP)
- DR Congo: Interior Minister Gilbert Kankonde said the government will launch its coronavirus vaccination campaign next week. (AFP)
- Egypt: The Suez Canal Authority will impound the Ever Given container ship that blocked the Suez Canal recently until its owners pay $900 million in compensation. (BBC)
- Libya: The country and Greece agreed to hold discussions on marking out their maritime zones in the Mediterranean Sea. (Reuters)
- Somalia: President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed signed a law extending his term in office and his government’s mandate, with the US and other countries threatening sanctions over the move. (AP)
- Ecuador: The country’s comptroller and former Energy Minister Jose Augusto Briones were detained as part of an investigation into corruption at three state institutions, including oil company Petroecuador. (Reuters)
- Guatemala: Congress refused to swear-in crusading anti-corruption judge Gloria Porras to another five-year term on the country’s constitutional court. (AP)
- Peru: Far-left unionist Pedro Castillo will face rightwing populist Keiko Fujimori in June’s presidential runoff election. (AFP)
- Suriname: The government said the country’s creditors agreed to defer interest payments on its 2023 and 2026 bonds. (Reuters)
- United States: The latest annual threat assessment warned of the threats posed by Russia and China, including China’s effort to expand its growing influence across the world. (NYT)
- Region: The Philippines filed another diplomatic protest against China after 240 Chinese vessels were sighted in the South China Sea. (DPA)
- Region: China called its military exercises near Taiwan “combat drills” as senior former US officials landed in Taiwan for a visit intended to signal US President Joe Biden’s commitment to Taiwan. (Reuters)
- China: A Beijing-drafted electoral reform bill was introduced in Hong Kong’s legislature. (AP)
- Myanmar: Clashes reportedly broke out between junta forces and rebels from the Kachin ethnic group in the country’s north. (EFE)
- Pakistan: The government deployed paramilitary forces in the Punjab province to deal with violent sit-ins by hardline Islamists to protest the arrest of Saad Rizvi. (Reuters)
- Region: The UK asked the EU for more time to respond to the 27-country bloc’s legal action over London’s unilateral decision to ease requirements of the Northern Ireland Protocol. (Reuters)
- Region: US President Joe Biden urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate tensions caused by a Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s border and proposed a Biden-Putin summit to deal with a host of disputes between Washington and Moscow. (Reuters)
- Serbia: Authorities halted work at the country’s only copper mine and ordered China’s Zijin Mining Group to first complete a wastewater treatment plant after the company failed to comply with environmental standards. (Reuters)
- Turkey: Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hailed “a new era” of bilateral relations between his country and Egypt, as Ankara pushes ahead with normalizing relations with Cairo. (AFP)
- Ukraine: The military rehearsed a counterattack against a potential Russian tank and infantry invasion near the border with Crimea. (Reuters)
- Region: A commercial vessel owned by an Israeli company was attacked near the coast of the United Arab Emirates. (Reuters)
- Region: Iran intends to start enriching uranium up to 60 percent purity following an explosion at the Natanz nuclear facility it blamed on Israel. (AFP)
- United Arab Emirates: The country continued its space exploration push, as it finalized an agreement with exploration company ispace to transport one of its rovers to the moon in 2022. (Reuters)
Tech & Communications
- Social Media: Increasing racist abuse against soccer players on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter has led to British soccer officials demanding the social media platforms to take stronger action against racism. (DPA)
- 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 14APR21)
- Confirmed cases: 137,515,918
- Total recovered cases: 78,345,919
- Deaths: 2,961,469
- Countries with confirmed cases: 192
- Sourcing: John Hopkins University
- Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 04APR21)
- Confirmed cases: 16
- Deaths: 12
- Sourcing: WHO
- Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 04APR21)
- Confirmed cases: 11
- Deaths: 6
- Sourcing: WHO
- COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 14APR21)
Tomorrow’s Outlook (15APR21)
- Global: The US and Iran are expected to resume indirect talks over the 2015 JCPOA deal with representatives from other JCPOA countries expected to act as intermediaries.
- Global: The winner of the World Press Photo competition will be announced.
- Global: The US and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, will virtually host an Investment Opportunity for the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment event.
- Global: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit Israel, Germany, NATO headquarters in Belgium and the United Kingdom.
- Global: The CIS Council of Defense Ministers will meet and discuss air defense.
- Global: NATO will hold the Cyber Defence Pledge Conference 2021 virtually.
- Americas: US Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council Juan Gonzalez will visit Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay.
- Asia: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will visit China and South Korea. (to 17APR)
- Europe: Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan will visit Germany, France, and Belgium and meet with his counterparts to discuss coronavirus vaccine supplies.
- Europe: The European Court of Justice will issue opinions on judicial independence in Hungary and Poland.
- Europe: Two US warships are expected to sail through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and into the Black Sea.
- Europe: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Brussels.
- Europe: Argentina’s Economy Minister Martin Guzman will visit Spain, as part of his European tour.
- Europe: British officials will meet with EU Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic to discuss the Northern Ireland Protocol and the Irish sea border.
- Bulgaria: The country’s newly-elected parliament will hold its first session.
- Lebanon: US Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale will visit.
- Russia: Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) will send a delegation to assess the Sputnik V vaccine.
- South Africa: The deadline for regional heads of ruling African National Congress (ANC) to submit names to the party leadership of party members implicated in corruption.
- Taiwan: An unofficial delegation sent by US President Joe Biden will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen.
- Tunisia: Parliament will elect members of the Constitutional Court.
- Turkey: Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’ rescheduled visit to Turkey for talks with his counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will take place.
- Turkey: The central bank will hold a monetary policy meeting under its newly-appointed governor.
- Ukraine: Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis will visit.
- United Kingdom: Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney will visit.
- United Kingdom: The government’s deadline to vaccinate all adults aged over 50 in the country.
- United States: The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hybrid business and nominations hearing.
- United States: The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the national security challenges in the USEUCOM region.
- United States: The House of Representatives will hold a hearing on the storming of Capitol Hill.
- United States: Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra will testify on the health budget to the House.
- United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on Syria.
- Yemen: The UN Security Council will hold a meeting on the country.