Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Amnesty International said Eritrean troops are still killing civilians in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region despite the Ethiopian government saying Eritrean soldiers would leave Ethiopia weeks ago.
  • AMERICAS: US President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of the country’s troops from Afghanistan starting 1 May.
  • ASIA: India reported another new record number of daily coronavirus cases as it registered more than 200,000 new cases over the last 24 hours.
  • EUROPE: The US canceled the planned deployment of two warships to the Black Sea, according to Turkish officials, amid high tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran will resume indirect talks with the US through other global powers over resurrecting the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal amid complications caused by its decision to ramp up uranium enrichment over what it called Israeli sabotage at the Natanz nuclear facility.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: A group of refugee Syrian journalists have opened Spain’s first refugee-led digital magazine called Baynana magazine.

Top Story

  • Global: US to sanction Russia over cyber attack, alleged election interference.
    • The US is reportedly poised to impose a wide range of new sanctions on Russia.
    • These new sanctions will be imposed over Russian cyber attacks and alleged electoral interference.
    • The sanctions will be the first US retaliation against Moscow for last year’s SolarWinds hack that breached the servers of crucial federal agencies.
    • More than 30 Russian entities and people, including diplomats, are expected to be targeted by the sanctions, with at least ten people expected to be expelled from the United States.
    • The White House is also expected to target Russia’s sovereign debt by imposing restrictions on the ability of US financial institutions to trade Moscow’s debt.
    • Reporting: NYT, WSJ, Reuters, AP, BBC

Africa

  • Region: Amnesty International said Eritrean troops are still killing civilians in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region despite the Ethiopian government saying Eritrean soldiers would leave Ethiopia weeks ago. (AP)
  • Burkina Faso: Eight civilian members of an auxiliary force were killed during an ambush in an operation in the country’s anti-jihadist campaign. (AFP)
  • Egypt: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced Ankara will send a delegation to the country next month in an effort to mend Cairo-Ankara ties. (AFP)
  • Ethiopia: The UN Security Council will reportedly hold a closed-door meeting today to discuss the embattled Tigray region. (AFP)
  • Somalia: The government accused some of its foreign allies of undermining the country’s sovereignty because of sanction threats over President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s decision to extend his and his government’s mandate. (AFP)

Americas

  • Region: US Vice President Kamala Harris plans to visit Mexico and Guatemala soon, as part of a diplomatic push to slow migration to the US-Mexico border. (Reuters)
  • Argentina: The Labor Ministry called for mandatory new discussions between oil sector workers and the country’s largest oil producing companies amid threats of a workers strike over a wage hike. (Reuters)
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: The UN said the humanitarian crisis triggered by the volcanic eruption on the island of Saint Vincent will last for months. (BBC)
  • United States: President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of the country’s troops from Afghanistan starting 1 May. (Reuters)

Asia  

  • Region: The Chinese foreign ministry said it shared South Korea’s stance opposing Japan’s decision to release contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. (Reuters)
  • India: The country reported another new record number of daily coronavirus cases as it registered more than 200,000 new cases over the last 24 hours. (AP)
  • Japan: Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will hold an in-person meeting with US President Joe Biden with China-related issues likely to dominate the meeting. (Reuters)
  • Pakistan: The French embassy in the country advised French citizens to leave the country due to this week’s violent anti-France protests across the country. (AFP)
  • Taiwan: President Tsai Ing-wen and a US delegation of former senior officials reaffirmed the ties between their countries. (AP)

Europe

  • Region: Foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia was openly threatening Ukraine with destruction. (AFP)
  • Region: The US canceled the planned deployment of two warships to the Black Sea, according to Turkish officials, amid high tensions between Russia and Ukraine. (AFP)
  • Netherlands: The European Court of Justice dismissed the country’s appeal against a European Union law banning electric pulse fishing, a practice widely used by Dutch fisherman. (AFP)
  • Poland: The country’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that Human Rights Ombudsman Adam Bodnar must leave his position within three months. (DPA)
  • United Kingdom: The country’s equality watchdog warned against COVID-19 vaccine ‘passports’, saying such status certificates risk discrimination against some groups by creating a “two-tier society whereby only certain groups are able to fully enjoy their rights.” (BBC)

Middle East

  • Region: The UAE’s ambassador to the US said President Biden’s administration should use leverage gained against Iran by the Trump administration to reach a better nuclear deal with Iran. (Reuters)
  • Region: Saudi Arabia’s Jizan University, located near the border with Yemen, caught on fire after Saudi air defenses intercepted a ballistic missile volley and bomb-laden drones. (AP)
  • Iran: The country will resume indirect talks with the US through other global powers over resurrecting the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal amid complications caused by its decision to ramp up uranium enrichment over what it called Israeli sabotage at the Natanz nuclear facility. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: A drone attacked the airport at the city of Erbil, in what is being viewed as an unprecedented escalation of the arms used to target US soldiers based in the country. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: A group of refugee Syrian journalists have opened Spain’s first refugee-led digital magazine called Baynana magazine. (AFP)

World

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Storm Surigae
      • Location: 106 nautical miles E-NE of Kayangel, Palau
      • Wind: 60 mph
      • Movement: W at 3 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 15APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 138,340,920
      • Total recovered cases: 78,792,258
      • Deaths: 2,974,830
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 11APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 11APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 11
      • Deaths: 6
      • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (16APR21)

  • Global: Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the virtual China-France-Germany leaders’ climate summit.
  • Global: The CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly will hold a plenary session.
  • Asia: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will visit China and South Korea. (to 17APR)
  • Europe: The finance ministers of EU member-states will hold a meeting.
  • Europe: Argentina’s Economy Minister Martin Guzman will visit France and meet with counterpart Bruno Le Maire, in the final stop of his European tour. 
  • China: The government will release its latest Q1 GDP data.
  • China: Hong Kong authorities are expected to hold another raft of trials of pro-democracy activists.
  • Cuba: The annual congress of the country’s ruling Communist party will be held.
  • France: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit and meet with President Emmanuel Macron.
  • India: Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid will visit.
  • Italy: Greece’s Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis will visit.
  • Russia: Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic will visit and meet with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov. (to 17APR)
  • Syria: Presidential elections will need to be held sometime between tomorrow and 16 May according to the country’s laws.
  • United States: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will visit and meet with President Joe Biden, marking the first in-person bilateral meeting with a world leader for President Biden since taking office.

END