Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Fighting has broken out once again in the Mozambican town of Palma three weeks after a jihadist attack.
  • AMERICAS: The US expelled 10 Russian diplomats and imposed sanctions on a host of Russian entities after finding Moscow responsible for interference in last year’s presidential election and the hacking of federal agencies.
  • ASIA: Opponents of Myanmar’s junta government have announced a National Unity Government consisting of ousted lawmakers, anti-coup activists and ethnic minorities.
  • EUROPE:  In a show of support for Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran has started 60% uranium enrichment at its Natanz nuclear facility.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Pakistan’s government briefly blocked social media access after days of violent anti-France protests by radical Islamists.

Top Story

  • China: Q1 GDP grows at record rate in quickening economic recovery.
    • China’s economy grew by a record 18.3% in Q1 2021 compared to the same quarter last year, according to Chinese government data.
    • The country’s economy also grew by 6.5% from the fourth quarter of last year.
    • The explosive economic rebound was driven by increased exports as Chinese factories raced to fill overseas orders.
    • However, the Chinese economy’s explosive rebound from the coronavirus pandemic is expected to slow abruptly as manufacturing and consumer spending return to normal.
    • Additionally, the record 18.3% growth is somewhat skewed and less indicative of strong growth because of being compared to the huge economic contraction in Q1 of 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic was in its early stages.
    • Reporting: WSJ, Reuters, AP, BBC, NYT, WaPo

Africa

  • Benin: The Constitutional Court approved the presidential election’s provisional results, handing President Patrice Talon a landslide victory in the process. (AFP)
  • Mozambique: Fighting has broken out once again in the town of Palma three weeks after a jihadist attack. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: The UN said around 65,000 people have fled their homes after an attack by armed groups on the border town of Damasak. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Region: Lawmakers from Canada urged both the US and Canada to resolve a dispute between the US state of Michigan and Enbridge Inc over a cross-border pipeline. (Reuters)
  • Bolivia: Rural Development Minister Edwin Characayo was arrested for allegedly accepting a $20,000 bribe. (BBC)
  • Brazil: The Supreme Court upheld the ruling which annulled former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s corruption convictions. (AFP)
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: The UN released $1 million from its emergency fund to help the Caribbean country deal with the recent volcanic eruption on St. Vincent island. (AFP)
  • United States: The country expelled 10 Russian diplomats and imposed sanctions on a host of Russian entities after finding Moscow responsible for interference in last year’s presidential election and the hacking of federal agencies. (AP)

Asia  

  • Region: China expressed “serious concerns” over what it called US-Japan collusion and negative moves against Beijing. (AP)
  • India: The country has again reported a record number of daily new coronavirus cases. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: Opponents of the country’s junta government have announced a National Unity Government consisting of ousted lawmakers, anti-coup activists and ethnic minorities. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: President Moon Jae-in replaced the prime minister and six cabinet members in an effort to counter his party’s recent devastating local election defeats. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: Finland has offered to serve as the host for a potential Biden-Putin summit. (AFP)
  • Region: In a show of support for Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. (AFP)
  • Region: Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu clashed on a raft of issues during a heated press conference. (AFP)
  • France: A controversial plan to use public funds for a mosque construction project in the city of Strasbourg was halted after the project’s Turkish backers dropped their request for a subsidy. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Iran: The country has started 60% uranium enrichment at its Natanz nuclear facility. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: A group of Egyptian architects won an UN-backed competition to reconstruct Mosul’s Great Mosque of al-Nuri which was destroyed by IS militants four years ago. (BBC)
  • Israel: The military conducted airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip after a rocket launched from the enclave hit the country’s southern region. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Pakistan’s government briefly blocked social media access after days of violent anti-France protests by radical Islamists. (AP)

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 16APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 139,165,841
      • Total recovered cases: 79,254,012
      • Deaths: 2,988,238
      • 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 (17APR21)

  • Global: The foreign ministers of Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates will hold a meeting at Paphos, Cyprus.
  • Asia: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will visit China and South Korea.
  • Fiji: The government plans to administer all currently available COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
  • Italy: A preliminary hearing over a potential trial against Italy’s former interior minister Matteo Salvini over migration policy and the Open Arms case will be held.
  • Russia: Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selaković will visit and meet with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
  • Syria: Independence Day/Evacuation Day – 1946
  • United Kingdom: Prince Phillip’s funeral will be held.

END