Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The Chadian army stated it had “completely destroyed” a unit of rebels that attacked the country on the day of last week’s presidential election. 
  • AMERICAS: Cuba recorded 1,026 cases and 12 deaths from COVID-19, the highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic.
  • ASIA: India recorded a record daily increase of COVID-19 infections over the last 24 hours, helping foster shortages of oxygen supplies and hospital beds in some of the worst-hit cities of the country. 
  • EUROPE: Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka claimed he was the target of a U.S.-backed assassination plot, and Russian intelligence said that two Belarusians detained in Moscow this week were allegedly linked to the plot.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Senior Saudi and Iranian officials have been conducting direct talks to restore relations between the two regional rivals five years after they cut off diplomatic ties. 
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS:  A Chinese industry official has noted that a shortage of semiconductors will continue to hurt German and other international car manufacturers for a while longer. 

 

Top Story

  • United States-China: The two nations agree to work together to address climate change. 
    • The United States and China are “committed to cooperating” on the vital issue of climate change, the two sides announced in a joint statement, issuing the pledge days ahead of a critical summit hosted by President Joe Biden.
    • The Joint statement said, “The United States and China will continue to discuss, both on the road to COP 26 and beyond, concrete actions in the 2020s to reduce emissions aimed at keeping the Paris Agreement-aligned temperature limit within reach”.
    • Li Shuo, the senior climate adviser for environmental group Greenpeace, said the statement was “positive.”
    • Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng suggested that China is unlikely to make any new pledges at next week’s summit, saying, “For a big country with 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easily delivered,” 
    • Reporting: AFP, CNN, BBC, AP,         

 

Africa

  • Chad: The army stated it had “completely destroyed” a unit of rebels that attacked the country on the day of last week’s presidential election. (AFP)  
  • Morocco: The nation’s COVID-19 tally increased to 505,447 as 600 new cases were recorded during the past 24 hours. (Xinhua)  
  • Tunisia: The Health Ministry recorded 2,199 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 283,976. (Xinhua

 

Americas

  • Colombia: Approximately 14 rebels and one soldier have been killed in clashes between guerrillas and the military. (Reuters)  
  • Cuba: Cuba recorded 1,026 cases and 12 deaths from COVID-19, the highest daily death toll since the pandemic. (Xinhua
  • United States: Several anti-police violence protesters were arrested after fighting with police in the Chinatown section of downtown Washington. (WaPo)   

 

Asia  

  • Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the country is in “no hurry” to reopen international borders, but vaccinated citizens may be able to travel for “essential” purposes in the second half of the year, with the possibility of quarantining at home on return. (The Guardian)  
  • India: The nation recorded a record daily increase of COVID-19 infections over the last 24 hours, helping foster shortages of oxygen supplies and hospital beds in some of the worst-hit cities of the country. (Reuters)  
  • Japan: Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga asked the U.S. drug maker Pfizer Inc. for more of the COVID-19 vaccine to speed up the nation’s vaccination drive. (AP
  • Japan: The United States Special Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry, said that the country’s continued partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was crucial for ensuring the safe release of radiated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant. (EFE)  

 

Europe

  • Belarus: Strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka claimed he was the target of a U.S.-backed assassination plot, and Russian intelligence said that two men detained in Moscow this week were allegedly linked to the plot. (RFE
  • Germany: President Frank-Walter Steinmeier held a commemorative tribute event in Berlin for all those who have died since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. (DPA)  
  • Spain: With virus cases increasing and its vaccination drive delayed, Madrid will start an election campaign ahead of a vote likely to cement the right-wing’s hold on the nation’s wealthiest region. (AFP)  

 

Middle East

  • Region: Senior Saudi and Iranian officials have been conducting direct talks to restore relations between the two regional rivals five years after they cut off diplomatic ties. (FT
  • Israel: The nation ended the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors and fully reopened schools in the latest sign of a return to normalcy. (Reuters)  
  • Israel: The country signed their biggest-ever defense procurement deal with Greece, which they said would strengthen political and economic ties between the countries. (Reuters)  

 

Tech & Communications

  • Transportation: A Chinese industry official noted that a shortage of semiconductors will continue to hurt German and other international car manufacturers for a while longer. (DPA)  

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Tropical Storm Surigae
      • Location: 13.5 N 127.2 E
      • Movement: WNW at 6 mph
      • Wind: 155mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 18APR21)
      • Confirmed cases:140,748,848
      • Total recovered cases: 80,218,094 
      • Deaths: 3,011,043
      • 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 (19APR21)

  • Global: U.N. Security Council open debate (virtual).
  • Global: State of the Global Climate 2020 report released.
  • Asia-Pacific: New Zealand and Australia start quarantine-free travel.
  • Europe: Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Session.
  • Canada: Annual federal budget presentation.
  • China: Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference continues.
  • Cuba: Raul Castro hands over reins of Communist Party during the national congress.
  • Greece: Flight restrictions end.

 

END