Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for Africans to be on guard against rising threats to democracy as he began a visit to the continent in Kenya.
  • AMERICAS: Retired professor Bruce Bagley was sentenced to six months in prison by a US federal judge for money laundering on behalf of allies of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
  • ASIA: China’s major coal consuming industries, including power, steel, cement, and coal chemical production, could hit peak use of the dirty fossil fuel around 2024.
  • EUROPE: The Armenian defense ministry reported that 12 soldiers had been captured by Azerbaijan after a border clash.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has written an open letter to the US Congress, calling on Washington to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The US Senate voted to confirm Google critic Jonathan Kanter to head the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.

Top Story

  • Europe: Poland faces months of migration pressure from Belarus
    • Defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak said the crisis on Poland’s border with Belarus will last months in what the EU calls a deliberate extortion campaign by Minsk.
    • Police fired teargas and deployed water cannons against people trying to cross into Poland.
    • A Polish government official says migrants camped on the Belarusian side of Poland’s eastern border are being taken away by bus.
    • Polish authorities said they detected “161 attempts at illegal crossing” including “two forceful attempts to cross the border registered during the evening.”
    • Thousands of migrants, mainly from the Middle East, are staying on the border in what the West says is a crisis engineered by Belarus to try to divide the EU and hit back against sanctions.
    • Reuters, The Guardian, AP, AFP, Daily Sabah

Africa

  • Region: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for Africans to be on guard against rising threats to democracy as he began a visit to the continent in Kenya. (AFP)
  • Ethiopia: A report by the United Nations Human Rights Agency said at least a thousand people, mostly ethnic Tigrayans, have been arrested since the government declared a state of emergency on 2 November. (BBC)
  • Sudan: Protests against the military takeover are underway with activists calling for people to take to the streets to mark the day when a civilian was supposed to take over the leadership of the governing Sovereign Council. (BBC)
  • Uganda: Armed police patrolled the capital as security stepped up following twin suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State that killed three people in the heart of Kampala. (AFP)

Americas

  • Region: Retired professor Bruce Bagley was sentenced to six months in prison by a US federal judge for money laundering on behalf of allies of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. (AP)
  • Chile: The Senate rejected an opposition-initiated impeachment process to remove President Sebastián Piñera over alleged improprieties revealed by the Pandora Papers. (AP)
  • Ecuador: Police and soldiers took complete control of a prison in the city of Guayaquil where riots between rival gangs left 68 dead over the weekend. (AFP)
  • Mexico: The Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a bid by President Lopez Obrador’s party to extend the chief justice’s term of office. (Reuters)

Asia

  • China: The country’s major coal consuming industries, including power, steel, cement, and coal chemical production, could hit peak use of the dirty fossil fuel around 2024. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia: Counter-terrorism police arrested a member of a top Islamic council on charges of raising funds for the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah (JI). (Reuters)
  • New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that domestic borders around Auckland will reopen on December 15, after four months of lockdown. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: Health authorities reported over 3,000 new cases of COVID-19 as the government seeks to administer more booster doses of the vaccine. (AP)
  • Thailand: The legislature rejected a draft bill aimed at strengthening democracy, in which its backers sought to scrap key institutions they said had been hijacked by the military elite. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Armenia: The defense ministry reported that 12 soldiers had been captured by Azerbaijan after a border clash. (Reuters)
  • France: Two people linked to an ultra-right movement have been arrested by agents from the DGSI intelligence service as part of an anti-terrorism probe. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country’s COVID-19 situation is dramatic, calling for a push to distribute booster shots faster. (Reuters)
  • Greece: More than 5,000 police officers are being deployed in Athens ahead of a rally to mark the anniversary of a bloody anti-dictatorship uprising. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: Brexit minister David Frost said that his government’s preference is to strike a deal to improve post-Brexit trade arrangements for Northern Ireland and that the agreement can be reached by Christmas. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has written an open letter to the US Congress, calling on Washington to unfreeze the country’s assets. (Xinhua)
  • Iran: UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi will visit the country next week as Tehran and world powers prepare to resume talks on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal. (Reuters)
  • Jordan: King Abdullah II met with Britain’s Prince Charles, stressing the importance of coordinating on issues of mutual concern between the two countries. (Xinhua)
  • Syria: State media reported two Israeli missiles were launched targeting an empty building in southern Damascus; no casualties were reported. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: The US Senate voted to confirm Google critic Jonathan Kanter to head the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes:
    • La Palma, Spain
      • Explosive activity continues
      • Erupting
      • Source
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 17NOV21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (18NOV21)

  • Africa: US Secretary of State Blinken visiting Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal. (to 20NOV)
  • Haiti: Battle of Vertières Day.
  • Italy: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg continues his two-day working visit to Rome.
  • Latvia: Proclamation Day of the Republic.
  • Malaysia: Visit by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
  • Middle East: US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley visiting United Arab Emirates, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. (to 20NOV)
  • Morocco: Independence Day.
  • Oman: National Day.
  • Singapore: Bloomberg New Economy Forum. (to 19NOV)
  • Taiwan: President Tsai Ing-Wen leads the commissioning ceremony of the first F-16V (Viper) combat wing at the Air Force’s Chiayi Base.
  • Tonga: Parliamentary elections.
  • United States: North American Leaders Summit in Washington DC, attended by President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
  • United States: Visit by Ukrainian Minister of Defense Alexei Reznikov to the Pentagon.
  • United States: Visit by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeir to New York City.
  • United States: Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on vaccine diplomacy in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • United States: DHS Secretary Mayorkas speaks with European Commissioner Johansson on ransomware threat.

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