Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Eritrea has acknowledged its troops are still in the northern Tigray region but has vowed to withdraw them amid mounting international pressure.
  • AMERICAS: President Alejandro Giammattei announced that Guatemala will restrict entry to visitors who have recently been to Brazil, the United Kingdom, and South Africa in an attempt to control a surge in COVID-19 cases.
  • ASIA: Myanmar’s junta is planning to free more than 23,000 prisoners nationwide, despite the military continuing to detain and issue arrest warrants for anti-coup dissidents.
  • EUROPE: Russia asked 10 U.S. diplomats to leave the country in retaliation for Washington’s expulsion of the same number of their diplomats over malign activity and suggested the U.S. ambassador return home for consultations.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Israeli military announced it had conducted airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of a rocket attack from the Palestinian enclave.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: NASA has selected Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop the first commercial lander and take two astronauts to the moon.

Top Story

  • United States-Japan: U.S President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga meet in Washington D.C to discuss countering China. 
    • President Joe Biden expressed a united front with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to counter an increasingly assertive China as the U.S. leader held his first face-to-face White House summit since taking office.
    • “We agreed to oppose any attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion in the East and South China Seas, and intimidation of others in the region,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, speaking through his translator.
    • The two nations state that article V of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security applies to the Senkaku Islands, and they oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of the Senkaku Islands.
    • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the US and Japan would oppose coercion or force in the South and East China Seas in unusually explicit remarks about China after his summit with Joe Biden.
    • China attacked the American Japanese show of alliance during talks between President Joe Biden and Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, calling it an “ironic attempt of stoking division.”
    • Reporting: Reuters, DPA, YNA, FT, AP,

 Africa

  • Region: Eritrea has acknowledged its troops are still in the northern Tigray region but has vowed to withdraw them amid mounting international pressure. (AFP)
  • Ghana: The Ministry of Youth and Sports approved 25 percent of football fans to return to various stadiums to watch matches across the country. (Xinhua)
  • Morocco: The North African nation recorded 587 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 504,847, the health ministry said in a statement. (Xinhua)

Americas

  • Brazil: People under 40 now make up most COVID-19 patients in intensive care units in the nation, where an average of 3,000 people are dying per day as a second wave of the pandemic spreads across the country. (EFE)
  • Guatemala: President Alejandro Giammattei announced that the nation will restrict entry to visitors who have recently been to Brazil, the United Kingdom, and South Africa in an attempt to control a surge in COVID-19 cases. (Reuters)
  • Peru: Former president Martín Vizcarra was banned from holding public office for ten years because he was vaccinated against COVID-19 before he was allowed. (DPA)
  • United States: The former employee who murdered eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis was contacted by FBI agents last year after his mother called police to say that her son might commit “suicide by cop.” (The Guardian)

Asia  

  • Myanmar: The junta is planning to free more than 23,000 prisoners nationwide, despite the military continuing to detain and issue arrest warrants for anti-coup dissidents. (AFP)
  • New Zealand: The nation has suspended entry for all travelers from India for about two weeks after a surge in positive COVID-19 cases in the South Asian country. (The Guardian)
  • Philippines: Government troops killed a possible Egyptian would-be suicide bomber and two local Abu Sayyaf militants in what military officials state is a positive step towards making it harder for gunmen linked to the Islamic State to stage suicide attacks. (AP)
  • South Korea: Daily new COVID-19 cases remained in the 600s for the third consecutive day as health authorities increased their vigilance amid growing concerns over a looming fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. (YNA)

Europe

  • Russia: Three members of the International Space Station’s crew returned safely to Earth on a Soyuz craft. (Reuters)
  • Russia: The nation asked 10 U.S. diplomats to leave the country in retaliation for Washington’s expulsion of the same number of their diplomats over malign activity and suggested the U.S. ambassador return home for consultations. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: Prince Philip will be remembered at his funeral as a man of “courage, fortitude, and faith” at a funeral that salutes both his service in the Royal Navy and his support for Queen Elizabeth II over three-quarters of a century. (AP)

Middle East

  • Iran: Total COVID-19 cases reached 2,194,133, while the official death toll rose by 328 to 66,008. (Xinhua)
  • Iran: State television identified a man it said was responsible for a recent explosion at its Natanz nuclear plant. (Reuters)
  • Israel: The military announced it had conducted airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip after a rocket attack from the Palestinian enclave. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Space: NASA has selected Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop the first commercial lander and take two astronauts to the moon. (DPA)

World

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Storm Surigae
      • Location: 11.3 N 130.2 E
      • Movement: NW at 11 mph
      • Wind: 150mph
      • 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: 140,010,233
      • Total recovered cases: 79,772,916
      • Deaths: 3,001,068
      • 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 (18APR21)

  • Asia: Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference opens.
  • Cape Verde: Parliamentary elections.
  • Germany: COVID-19 lockdown due to end, unless extended.
  • Iran: Army Day.
  • Israel: Outdoor Mask Mandate Ends.
  • Zimbabwe: Independence Day.

END