Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Lawmakers have voted to end Ethiopia’s three-month state of emergency early as mediation efforts continue to end the deadly war in the north.
  • AMERICAS: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau activated seldom-used emergency powers in an effort to end protests which have shut US border crossings and paralyzed the capital.
  • ASIA: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged China to denounce Russian threats against Ukraine.
  • EUROPE: Belgian authorities arrested dozens of people in a police operation coordinated by Europol in six European countries targeting international drug trafficking.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet arrived in Bahrain for a diplomatic visit, becoming the first Israeli leader to visit the country.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Intel Corp is nearing a deal to buy Israeli chipmaker Tower Semiconductor for close to $6 Billion.

Top Story

  • Europe: Russia Ready to Continue Talks Over Ukraine Crisis.
    • Russia’s Defense Ministry said that some troops near the Ukraine border are returning to their bases after completing drills, a move that could de-escalate friction between Moscow and the West.
    • It is not clear where the troops that the Russian Defense Ministry said were pulling back were deployed or how many were leaving, making it hard to understand the significance.
    • Talks kicked off in Moscow between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the latest meeting in weeks of diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions over Ukraine.
    • Chancellor Scholz will use his trip to Moscow to tell President Putin that any attack on Ukraine would have “serious political, economic and geostrategic consequences for Russia,” but refrained from saying that Germany would halt the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
    • Legislators are urging President Vladimir Putin to formally recognize the separatist-regions of Lugansk and Donetsk as independent states, a move that could justify Moscow’s incursion into an area it no longer considers to be Ukrainian territory.
    • Reuters, AP, AFP, WaPo, WSJ,

Africa

  • Region: The UN warned that drought in the Horn of Africa has killed more than 1.5 million livestock and drastically harmed cereal production, putting the region on the brink of “catastrophe.” (AP)
  • Ethiopia: Lawmakers voted to end the country’s three-month state of emergency early as mediation efforts continue to end the deadly war in the north. (AP)
  • Kenya: The trial of a lawyer accused of bribing prosecution witnesses of the International Criminal Court is due to begin in The Hague. (BBC)
  • Tunisia: President Kais Saied fired the interim head of national radio, Chokri Cheniti, in his latest move since dissolving the Supreme Judiciary Council last week. (Reuters)
  • Uganda: Police arrested seven people for belonging to two terror cells and having links to a raid in the central Lukaya and Butambala districts. (BBC)

Americas

  • Brazil: The foreign ministry publicly reaffirmed diplomatic ties with Ukraine as President Jair Bolsonaro left on an official visit to Russia. (AFP)
  • Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau activated seldom-used emergency powers in an effort to end protests which have shut US border crossings and paralyzed the capital. (Reuters)
  • Honduras: The United States asked the Central American country to arrest and extradite former President Juan Orlando Hernandez. (AFP)
  • Mexico: Prosecutors reported the first confirmed civilian death by an improvised landmine placed amid fighting between warring drug cartels. (AP)
  • United States: The Department of Agriculture said that imports of avocados from Mexico would remain suspended “as long as necessary” to ensure the safety of USDA inspectors who received threats. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Region: South Korea reaffirmed its commitment to comprehensive vaccine support for Asia’s developing countries. (Yonhap)
  • Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged China to denounce Russian threats against Ukraine. (AP)
  • Indonesia: A court sentenced a teacher to life in prison for raping thirteen students, a case that has drawn national attention to sexual abuse in some of the country’s religious boarding schools. (AFP)
  • Japan: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as Tokyo expressed “grave concern” about a Russian invasion. (AFP)
  • South Korea: Candidates for the upcoming presidential election began their 22-day campaigns in a race tainted by intense political strife over allegations involving the main candidates. (AP)

Europe

  • Belgium: Authorities arrested dozens of people in a police operation coordinated by Europol in six European countries targeting international drug trafficking. (AFP)
  • France: Former US president Donald Trump told far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour to “hang in there” in his campaign for the April election. (AFP)
  • Germany: Berlin urged Moscow to withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border and engage in diplomacy for a peaceful solution. (AFP)
  • Russia: A new trial against jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny began inside a penal colony outside Moscow, in a case that could see his jail time extended by more than a decade. (RFE)
  • Ukraine: The World Bank and IMF announced they had temporarily relocated staff from the country, but both said their operations in the country were continuing. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet arrived in Bahrain for a diplomatic visit, becoming the first Israeli leader to visit the country. (Reuters)
  • Region: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan touted investment advantages to businesspeople in the United Arab Emirates after a flurry of agreements between the two countries seeking to build economic bridges after years of animosity. (Reuters)
  • Iran: The country will form a joint working group with Pakistan to look after border management, including security, trade, and travel issues between the two countries. (AlJazeera)
  • Israel: President Isaac Herzog is preparing to visit Turkey in a rare trip following years of strained ties between the two countries. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Intel Corp is reportedly nearing a deal to buy Israeli chipmaker Tower Semiconductor for close to $6 Billion. (WSJ)

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 15FEB22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (16FEB22) 

  • Belgium: NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels (to 17FEB)
  • Cambodia: ASEAN Foreign Ministers retreat in Phnom Penh (to 17FEB)
  • China: Beijing Winter Olympic Games (to 20FEB)
  • Europe: Joint Russian-Belarusian military drills (to 20FEB)
  • France: ESA Space Summit in Toulouse
  • Lithuania: Restoration of Statehood Day
  • North Korea: Day of the Shining Star
  • Russia: Visit by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (to 17FEB)
  • Singapore: Drugs pair scheduled to be executed amid U.N. plea.
  • Thailand: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Senior Officials’ Meeting in Pattaya (to 27FEB)
  • United Arab Emirates: US Department of Agriculture trade mission (to 21FEB)
  • United States: Fourth anniversary of Mueller probe indicting 13 Russians for election interference.
  • United States: Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on US-Colombia relations.
  • United States: Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on the Western Balkans.

END