Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The UN’s refugee agency said nearly 60,000 people have fled the Central African Republic due to the recent fighting between the government and rebel groups.
  • AMERICAS: Mexican prosecutors exonerated their country’s former Defense Minister retired general Salvador Cienfuegos, who was previously arrested in the United States on drug trafficking charges before being returned to Mexico.
  • ASIA: North Korea displayed its ballistic missiles in a military parade that was held to celebrate the end of the ruling Workers’ Party Congress.
  • EUROPE: Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency has given the green light for the construction of the controversial Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in German waters.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces held a military exercise involving ballistic missiles and drones in the country’s central desert.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The US blacklisted Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi over its alleged ties with the Chinese military.

Top Story

  • Uganda: Incumbent Museveni takes lead in presidential election; opponent Wine alleges fraud and claims victory.
    • President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power in Uganda for 35 years, is leading his main opponent, Bobi Wine, according to early results of the country’s unexpectedly competitive presidential election.
    • According to the country’s electoral commission, President Museveni has won 63% of the vote, with opponent Wine winning only 28% of the vote, with results from 29% of polling stations.
    • However, Bobi Wine has dismissed the results, claimed victory, and said there was “widespread fraud and violence” during voting, though he gave no evidence or details backing the accusation.
    • The government has tried to stifle the opposition in the run-up to the election, with authorities beating and repeatedly arresting Wine during campaigning, cutting off the internet during voting, and the military reportedly surrounding his house today.
    • The final results are expected to be announced tomorrow.
    • Reporting: Reuters, BBC, AP, AFP, NYT

Africa

  • Central African Republic: The UN’s refugee agency said nearly 60,000 people have fled the country due to the recent fighting between the government and rebel groups. (Reuters)
  • Ethiopia: UN refugee agency chief Filippo Grandi said he remains “deeply troubled” by the humanitarian situation in the country’s Tigray region. (VOA)
  • South Africa: Authorities have delayed the start of the country’s school year by two weeks in a bid to halt the spread of the new coronavirus. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Region: Caribbean tourism officials are rushing to increase COVID-19 testing capacity after the US became the latest country to require travelers to present a negative coronavirus test. (Reuters)
  • Region: Mexico is set to pursue joint action by G20 nations against censorship by social networks following the suspension of US President Donald Trump’s social media accounts. (AFP)
  • Brazil: Hospitals in the city of Manaus are reportedly facing oxygen shortages, amid a surge of coronavirus infections and deaths in the city. (BBC)
  • Mexico: Prosecutors exonerated former Defense Minister retired general Salvador Cienfuegos, who was previously arrested in the United States on drug trafficking charges before being returned to the country. (AFP)
  • United States: President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a coronavirus plan worth up to $1.9 trillion aimed at providing funds to people and boosting the speed of coronavirus vaccinations in the country. (AP)

Asia  

  • Cambodia: The trial of a labor leader charged with inciting social unrest has started as the government launches a large-scale legal offensive against its critics and opponents. (AP)
  • China: Authorities are constructing a new 3,000-unit quarantine facility in the city of Shijiazhuang in anticipation of a surge of coronavirus cases ahead of the Lunar New Year. (AP)
  • Indonesia: A powerful 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Sulawesi, killing at least 35 people and injuring hundreds. (Reuters)
  • Laos: The country’s ruling Communist Party named Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith as its new secretary general. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: Pyongyang displayed its ballistic missiles in a military parade that was held to celebrate the end of the ruling Workers’ Party Congress. (DPA)

Europe

  • Region: Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency has given the green light for the construction of the controversial Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in German waters. (DPA)
  • Region: The Russian-led Nord Stream 2 consortium has postponed construction work on gas pipelines in Denmark to an indefinite date. (Reuters)
  • France: Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a new evening curfew in a bid to halt the spread of the new coronavirus. (BBC)
  • Netherlands: Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s cabinet is set to hold a meeting amid speculation of the government resigning as a result of the fallout of a child benefit investigations scandal that wrongly labeled thousands of parents as fraudsters. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: The country’s economy contracted in November for the first time since its first coronavirus lockdown back in March 2020. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen claims to have intercepted and destroyed three explosive-laden drones launched by the Houthis towards Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
  • Iran: The Revolutionary Guard forces held a military exercise involving ballistic missiles and drones in the country’s central desert. (AP)
  • Yemen: The World Food Programme joined the list of groups urging the US to reverse its decision to blacklist the country’s Houthi rebels, saying millions of people risk sliding into famine in the war-torn country as their blacklisting will shrink the country’s food imports. (VOA)

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The US blacklisted Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi over its alleged ties with the Chinese military. (DPA)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes:
    • Indonesia
      • Location: 36 km south of Mamuju
      • Magnitude: 6.2
      • Depth: 18.4 km
      • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 15JAN21)
      • Confirmed cases: 93,201,362
      • Total recovered cases: 51,454,024
      • Deaths: 1,996,505
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 191
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (16JAN21)

  • Asia: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Myanmar, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines.
  • Colombia: The country is scheduled to reopen its land and river borders.
  • Ecuador: Candidates running in the country’s upcoming presidential election will hold a debate. (to 17JAN)
  • France: The government will impose a new 6:00 PM curfew in a bid to halt the spread of the new coronavirus.
  • Germany: The country’s ruling Christian Democratic Union party will hold a special congress to choose Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor.
  • India: Brazil will send a plane to the country to expedite the delivery of coronavirus vaccines.
  • India: The country’s coronavirus vaccination campaign will begin.
  • India: Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali will visit.
  • Tunisia: A four-day coronavirus lockdown will be implemented. (to 17JAN)
  • Uganda: Results of the ongoing presidential election are expected to be announced.

END