Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ugandan voters started casting their ballots in the country’s intensely contested presidential election, as 38-year-old singer Bobi Wine challenges the country’s longtime President Yoweri Museveni amid an internet shutdown.
  • AMERICAS: Guatemala’s government estimates that the country suffered from damages worth $770 million due to Hurricanes Eta and Iota last year.
  • ASIA: China reported its first COVID-19 death in eight months, as a WHO mission landed in the country to investigate the origins of the coronavirus.
  • EUROPE: Germany’s economy contracted by 5% in 2020 as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but avoided a record economic decline due to an unprecedented government rescue package and stimulus measures.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Lebanon’s authorities started enforcing an eleven-day coronavirus lockdown and curfew in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Polish government officials denounced the deactivation of President Donald Trump’s social media accounts and announced a draft law that will bar social media companies from taking similar actions in Poland.

Top Story

  • United States: House impeaches Trump for a second time.
    • President Donald Trump became the first president to be impeached for an unprecedented second time.
    • The House of Representatives impeached President Trump after charging him with the “incitement of insurrection” of last week’s storming of the Capitol.
    • Unlike President Trump’s first impeachment, which had almost zero backing from his party, this impeachment effort was backed by ten Republicans for a final vote of 232 to 197.
    • Though unconfirmed currently, in what will be another unprecedented scenario, the Senate appears likely to conduct a trial after President Trump’s term in office ends, with a conviction potentially leading to a vote on banning President Trump from running for office again.
    • Following the impeachment, President-elect Joe Biden said it was important that a Senate impeachment trial not impede his legislative priorities, including Cabinet confirmations.
    • Reporting: AP, NYT, Reuters, WaPo, BBC, WSJ

Africa

  • Egypt: The government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with German company Siemens for the construction of a $23 billion high-speed electric rail line connecting the country’s northern and eastern coasts. (Reuters)
  • Ethiopia: The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said at least 80 people were killed in the western region of Benishangul-Gumuz by unidentified gunmen, in what is being considered an ethnically driven massacre. (NYT)
  • Mozambique: President Filipe Nyusi said the country applied to access coronavirus vaccines through the WHO’s COVAX facility. (Reuters)
  • Tunisia: The country is marking the 10th anniversary of the street revolution that ousted autocratic ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power, and sparked the wider Arab Spring revolts, under a coronavirus lockdown. (AFP)
  • Uganda: Voters started casting their ballots in the country’s intensely contested presidential election, as 38-year-old singer Bobi Wine challenges the country’s longtime President Yoweri Museveni amid an internet shutdown. (BBC)

Americas

  • Brazil: Human Rights Watch accused President Jair Bolsonaro of trying to sabotage anti-coronavirus efforts in the country and of pursuing policies that undermine the rights of the country’s citizens. (Reuters)
  • Cuba: The government is set to close schools, bars and restaurants and halt all public transport at night due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. (AFP)
  • Guatemala: The government estimates that the country suffered from damages worth $770 million due to Hurricanes Eta and Iota last year. (Reuters)
  • Peru: UN investigators accused the country’s police of using excessive force against anti-government protesters last November. (VOA)
  • United States: Washington’s Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft said she spoke with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen to assure her of Washington’s support for the country following the cancelation of Craft’s trip to Taiwan. (Reuters)

Asia  

  • Region: Hong Kong police arrested 11 people over suspicions of assisting a group of 12 pro-democracy activists who attempted to flee to Taiwan. (Reuters)
  • China: Beijing reported its first COVID-19 death in eight months, as a WHO mission landed in the country to investigate the origins of the coronavirus. (AFP)
  • Malaysia: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is set to submit an appeal to King Al-Sultan Abdullah to end the country’s coronavirus state of emergency, claiming that the emergency was instituted by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in a bid to cling to power. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: The Supreme Court upheld former President Park Geun Hye’s 20-year prison sentence. (DPA)

Europe

  • Region: Amnesty International urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to investigate the use of “inaccurate and indiscriminate weapons” against civilians in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region, saying the use of such weapons violated international law. (RFE-RL)
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina: Hundreds of migrants are forced to sleep in the open or in abandoned buildings in freezing temperatures due to local authorities refusing to reopen an EU-funded housing facility for migrants. (NYT)
  • Germany: The country’s economy contracted by 5% in 2020 as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but avoided a record economic decline due to an unprecedented government rescue package and stimulus measures. (Reuters)
  • Hungary: Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Chief of Staff said the government struck a deal to purchase doses of Chinese company Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine. (Reuters)
  • Italy: Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi withdrew his party’s support for the ruling coalition government. (WaPo)

Middle East

  • Iran: The US sanctioned two organizations it claims are being controlled by the country’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (UPI)
  • Lebanon: Authorities started enforcing an eleven-day coronavirus lockdown and curfew in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus. (AP)
  • United Arab Emirates: The Abu Dhabi Investment Office is pursuing new offices in Tel Aviv, New York, San Francisco, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Beijing and Seoul, in a bid to attract investors to the country. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: The UN urged the United States to remove Houthi rebels from its terrorism blacklist to avoid a potential large-scale famine from developing in the country. (VOA)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Polish government officials denounced the deactivation of President Donald Trump’s social media accounts and announced a draft law that will bar social media companies from taking similar actions in Poland. (Guardian)

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
    • Confirmed Cases as of 14JAN21: 92,431,105
    • Total Recovered Cases as of 14JAN21: 51,090,723
    • Deaths as of 14JAN21: 1,980,391
    • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191
    • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (15JAN21)

  • Asia: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Myanmar, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines. (to 16JAN)
  • Europe: Construction work on Nordstream2 pipelines in Danish waters is scheduled to begin.
  • Austria: Travelers to the country will have to register their personal information with authorities starting from this date as an anti-coronavirus measure.
  • Germany: The country’s ruling Christian Democratic Union party will hold a special congress to choose Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor. (to 16JAN)
  • India: Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali will visit. (to 16JAN)
  • Portugal: A new coronavirus lockdown will take effect.
  • Tunisia: A four-day coronavirus lockdown will be implemented. (to 17JAN)
  • United Kingdom: The government is expected to release its latest GDP estimates.

END