Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: French President Emmanuel Macron will host an Africa-France summit aimed at helping Sudan and addressing the coronavirus pandemic in the continent.
  • AMERICAS: Leftist and independent candidates were leading with just over half the ballots counted of Chile’s constitutional convention vote.
  • ASIA: India’s west coast is bracing for the impact of Cyclone Tauktae amid an ongoing deadly coronavirus surge.
  • EUROPE: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called upon Pope Francis to advocate for sanctions on Israel for its “massacre” of Palestinian people.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Clashes between Israel and Palestine entered a second week as Israel bombed what it said were underground tunnels used by Hamas and Palestinian militants.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The Irish government said its Health Ministry was the target of an attempted cyberattack.

 

Top Story

  • United Kingdom: Coronavirus restrictions set to be eased.
    • The United Kingdom will take a big step towards resuming normal life today, as the government eases more coronavirus restrictions.
    • The restrictions that will be eased include the allowance of gatherings of up to 30 people outdoors, the reopening of cafes, bars, pubs, and restaurants for indoor service and face masks no longer being mandatory at schools.
    • The government will also remove its ban on overseas travel, with British citizens now being allowed to travel to countries with low infection rates.
    • The UK as well as the United States, are in a position to start moving away from harsh coronavirus restrictions due to their rapid coronavirus vaccination campaigns, but concern still remains over the more contagious virus variant first found in India hampering any plans to ease restrictions.
    • Reporting: BBC, Reuters, AP, AFP, DPA

 

Africa

  • Region: French President Emmanuel Macron will host an Africa-France summit aimed at helping Sudan and addressing the coronavirus pandemic in the continent. (AFP)
  • Algeria: The government announced it will reopen the country’s borders, which it had closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, at the beginning of next month. (AFP)
  • South Africa: The government will launch the second phase of its coronavirus vaccination campaign with the goal of inoculating five million citizens aged over 60 by the end of next month. (Reuters)

 

Americas

  • Canada: Pro-Israel and pro-Palestine supporters clashed in the city of Montreal. (AFP)
  • Brazil: The city of Botucatu in the state of Sao Paulo conducted a mass immunization project for all residents between the ages of 18 to 60 years as part of a research project. (AP)
  • Chile: Leftist and independent candidates were leading with just over half the ballots counted of a constitutional convention vote. (AFP)
  • Colombia: National police force director General Jorge Luis Vargas said members of the police force found responsible for abuses or acts of violence during the country’s ongoing protests will be punished to the full extent of the law. (Reuters)
  • United States: The country issued a joint statement with the European Union saying they were willing to partner to “hold countries like China that support trade-distorting policies to account”. (Reuters)

 

Asia  

  • China: The government announced new curbs on foreign curriculum and foreign ownership of some private schools. (Reuters)
  • India: The country’s west coast is bracing for the impact of Cyclone Tauktae amid an ongoing deadly coronavirus surge. (AP)
  • Samoa: The Supreme Court backed the opposition’s bid to form the country’s next government, paving the path for Fiame Naomi Mata’afa to be the first woman to serve as the country’s prime minister. (AFP)
  • South Korea: The US military offered the country’s military some of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccines. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called upon Pope Francis to advocate for sanctions on Israel for its “massacre” of Palestinian people. (AFP)
  • Region: The aid ship Sea-Eye 4 rescued more than 300 migrants from the Mediterranean sea. (DPA)
  • Region: Czech President Milos Zeman called Russia’s decision to put Prague on its list of “unfriendly” countries silly. (Reuters)
  • Russia: A court will today hear a case against opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s political network to determine whether it is an “extremist” network. (RFE-RL)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Clashes between Israel and Palestine entered a second week as Israel bombed what it said were underground tunnels used by Hamas and Palestinian militants. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: The government announced that foreign air travelers from most countries who have been vaccinated against the new coronavirus will not be required to quarantine. (Reuters)
  • United Arab Emirates: Dubai will now allow hotels to operate at full capacity and permit attendees at concerts and sporting events as long as they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The Irish government said its Health Ministry was the target of an attempted cyberattack. (AFP)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Cyclone Tauktae
      • Location: 88 nautical miles W of Mumbai, India
      • Movement: N-NW at 9 mph
      • Wind: 130 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 17MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 163,111,264
      • Deaths: 3,380,353
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 09MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (18MAY21)

  • Global: Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo will visit France, Belgium, and South Africa. (to 24MAY)
  • Global: EU foreign ministers are expected to hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the violence between Israel and Palestine.
  • Global: The Berlin Security Conference will be held virtually. (to 19MAY)
  • Global: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Colombian President Ivan Duque will speak at the US Chamber of Commerce’s annual Global Forum.
  • Global: French President Emmanuel Macron will host an Africa-France summit, with around two dozen leaders of African countries expected to attend, including Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi.
  • Africa: The UN Security Council will hold a meeting on West Africa.
  • Americas: The trade representatives of the United States, Canada, and Mexico will hold a virtual meeting on the US-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) deal. 
  • Americas: Dutch Interior Minister Raymond Knops will visit St. Eustatius, Saba, and St. Maarten. (to 20MAY)
  • Europe: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Iceland to attend the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting. (to 20MAY)
  • Europe: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will visit Italy, the UK, and Germany. (to 19MAY)
  • Europe: EU authorities will release latest growth figures.
  • France: Tunisia’s President Kais Saied will visit.
  • Germany: A soldier allegedly involved in a far-right plot will go on trial.
  • Japan: Authorities will release the latest growth figures.
  • Morocco: Detained journalist Omar Radi’s trial is expected to be held.
  • Russia: Parliament will debate a bill banning members of “extremist” organizations from being elected as lawmakers, in a move viewed as targeting opposition politician Alexei Navalny. 
  • South Africa: Countrywide electricity cuts are expected to end.
  • Turkey: The trial of 108 people over the 2014 Kobane protests will resume.
  • United States: President Joe Biden will visit the state of Michigan.

END