Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari sent a congratulatory message to Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema on his victory in the presidential election.
  • AMERICAS: The Biden administration is planning to announce that all Americans who have received the coronavirus vaccine will need booster shots in the coming weeks.
  • ASIA: The People’s Liberation Army conducted assault drills near Taiwan saying the exercise was necessary to safeguard China’s sovereignty.
  • EUROPE: Turkey welcomed the “positive messages” to the international community given by Taliban fighters following their consolidation of power in Afghanistan.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The United States voiced alarm over Iran’s production of uranium, as reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Chinese state media called for increased government oversight of “irrational and undesirable” celebrity fan culture online.

Top Story

  • Afghanistan: The Taliban declare a general amnesty for the country as U.S President Joe Biden defends his troop withdrawal
    • President Biden spoke in defense of the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, blaming the swift collapse on Afghan defense forces’ lack of will.
    • Two days after taking power, the Taliban declared a general amnesty for all government workers to return to work.
    • The Taliban did say that women would be allowed to play a role in government, but only if it corresponds with sharia law.
    • Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Islamic Emirate’s cultural commission, said that the emirate does not want women to be victims but encouraged “a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join.”
    • Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who oversaw the withdrawal of forces in 1989, called NATO’s own deployment to Afghanistan “doomed from the start”.
    • NYT, AFP, France24, NBC News, Reuters

Africa

  • Region: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that over 1,700 illegal migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya last week. (Xinhua)
  • Burkina Faso: The army killed at least 13 jihadists and destroyed a camp in two operations in the north and east of the country. (AFP)
  • Niger: Local sources said thirty-seven civilians were killed in the country’s west that has been hit hard by jihadist incursions from neighboring Mali. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari sent a congratulatory message to Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema on his victory in the presidential election. (Xinhua)

Americas

  • Colombia: Former president Alvaro Uribe denied responsibility for the murder of thousands of civilians by the military during his government’s crackdown on guerrillas from 2002 to 2008. (AFP)
  • Haiti: The death toll of Saturday’s earthquake rose to 1,419 and an unknown number are still missing. (Xinhua)
  • Nicaragua: Juan Lorenzo Homann, head of the La Prensa newspaper, was jailed for 90 days for alleged tax fraud and money laundering after being arrested on Saturday. (DPA)
  • United States: The Biden administration is planning to announce that all Americans who have received the coronavirus vaccine will need booster shots in the coming weeks. (WaPo)

Asia

  • Region: A new report by the Wilson Center argues that North Korea is economically dependent on China but views their relationship as fundamentally based on distrust. (Yonhap)
  • Australia: Authorities said there is an “enormous concern” over a COVID-19 outbreak in vulnerable Indigenous communities. (AFP)
  • China: The People’s Liberation Army conducted assault drills near Taiwan saying the exercise was necessary to safeguard the country’s sovereignty. (AP)
  • Malaysia: The king is calling for an end to political fighting as he begins the process of selecting a new prime minister following the resignation of Muhyiddin Yassin. (AP)
  • Uzbekistan: the country said that it was in close contact with the Taliban and warned it would “strictly suppress” any attempts to violate its borders after the militant group seized power. (AFP)

Europe

  • France: The interior ministry dispatched hundreds of firefighters to battle a wildfire that broke out in the Var department on the French Riviera. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Development Minister Gerd Mueller said the country is ending development aid to Afghanistan in light of the Taliban’s takeover. (DPA)
  • Lithuania: The European Union is ready to provide additional border officers and funding to tackle a migrant surge on the country’s border blamed on Belarus. (Reuters)
  • Poland: The country has responded to the European Commission regarding its disciplinary chamber for judges. (Reuters)
  • Turkey: The country welcomed the “positive messages” to the international community given by Taliban fighters following their consolidation of power in Afghanistan. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Region: Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said his country is continuing to cooperate with Qatar to support the Palestinians and reach a political settlement. (Xinhua)
  • Iran: The United States voiced alarm over Tehran’s production of uranium, as reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency. (AFP)
  • Israel: For a third consecutive day, firefighters worked to contain a wildfire that has threatened several communities west of Jerusalem. (AP)
  • Lebanon: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called for the protection of the country’s children amid the escalating fuel crisis. (Xinhua)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Chinese state media called for increased government oversight of “irrational and undesirable” celebrity fan culture online. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: 
  • Tropical Depression Fred
    • Location: 32.3N 85.0W
    • Movement: NNE
    • Wind: 35 mph
    • Map
  • Tropical Storm Grace
    • Location: 18.2N 75.4W
    • Movement: W
    • Wind: 40 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricane Linda
    • Location: 17.6N 126.4W
    • Movement: W
    • Wind: 90 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report.
  • Volcanoes:
  • Mount Merapi, Indonesia
    • Moderately large pyroclastic flow
    • Erupting
    • Source
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 17AUG21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (18AUG21)

  • Global: UN Security Council special session on terrorism and peacekeeping. (to 19AUG)
  • Global: PAHO briefing on COVID-19 in the Americas. (virtual)
  • Event: CSIS discussion on developments in Afghanistan.
  • Event: USCIRF discusses a new report on ‘religious freedom violations in North Korea’.
  • Event: CSIS discussion on Chile’s new constitution.
  • Japan: Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi visiting Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, and Qatar. (to 24AUG)
  • United States: Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman visiting Djibouti, Ethiopia, and the UAE to discuss the Tigray conflict in Ethiopia. (to 24AUG)
  • Turkey: International Defense Industry Fair 2021. (to 20AUG)
  • Europe: EU interior ministers to hold a meeting on illegal border crossings from Belarus.
  • Pakistan: Azad Jammu and Kashmir territorial presidential election.
  • North Macedonia: Armed Forces Day.
  • Indonesia: Constitution Day.
  • Australia: 55th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.
  • Russia: 30th anniversary of 1991 Soviet coup d’etat attempt.
  • New Zealand: Three-day national COVID-19 lockdown begins. (to 20AUG)
  • United States: S. Chamber of Commerce hosts a coordination call on the Haiti earthquake and disasters in the U.S.

END