Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Former Guinean President Alpha Condé has flown to the UAE for medical treatment.
  • AMERICAS: Brazil’s foreign ministry said President Jair Bolsonaro will visit Suriname and Guyana on Thursday and Friday for talks on economic cooperation.
  • ASIA:  Former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev appeared for the first time since unrest rocked the former Soviet republic this month, saying in a video address there was no conflict among the country’s elite.
  • EUROPE: The European Parliament elected conservative Maltese lawyer Roberta Metsola as president after the death of office-holder David Sassoli.
  • MIDDLE EAST: South Korean president Moon Jae-In arrived in Riyadh where Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman greeted him.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The Biden administration is reviewing e-commerce giant Alibaba’s cloud business to determine whether it poses a risk to U.S. national security.

Top Story

  • Tonga: The nation’s islands suffered extensive damage from a volcanic eruption and tsunami, but more deaths are feared. 
    • A diplomat said Tonga’s small outer islands suffered extensive damage from a massive volcanic eruption and tsunami, with an entire village destroyed and many buildings missing.
    • The first clear images of the destruction emerged after a New Zealand military surveillance flight captured aerial photos of land and trees blanketed in ash on Nomuka island near the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano.
    • UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said humanitarian officials and Tonga’s government “reported significant infrastructural damage around Tongatapu.”
    • At least two deaths have been reported and aid organizations are concerned about contaminated air and access to clean water for people in the outlying islands.
    • New Zealand announced it would move ahead with sending aid via the ships, which will take three days to reach the archipelago.
    • Saturday’s eruption was heard as far away as Alaska, triggering a tsunami that flooded Pacific coastlines from Japan to the United States.
    • Reuters, WaPo, NPR, CNN, DPA, AFP

Africa

  • Guinea: Former President Alpha Condé has flown to the UAE for medical treatment. (BBC)
  • Kenya: At least 20 dead bodies have been retrieved from the Yala river in recent weeks. (BBC)
  • Madagascar: An interior minister official said at least 10 people have died in flash floods triggered by torrential rain that battered the capital Antananarivo overnight. (AFP)
  • Mozambique: Military forces said they captured a jihadist leader in Nangade district in the northern Cabo Delgado province. (BBC)
  • Tunisia: A military court ordered the release of two detained opposition politicians. (BBC)

Americas   

  • Brazil: The foreign ministry said President Jair Bolsonaro will visit Suriname and Guyana on Thursday and Friday for talks on economic cooperation. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: The country reported the deaths of at least 145 community leaders and rights defenders last year, as fighting by armed gangs fueled further violence. (BBC)
  • Guatemala: The country hired for $900,000 a major supporter of former President Donald Trump to seek influence with US officials in an unusual lobbying contract paid by Taiwan. (AP)
  • Mexico: Officials said a photojournalist died after being shot in the head outside his home in the northern border city of Tijuana. (Reuters)
  • Peru: Community leaders rejected a government proposal to prevent future blockades affecting the Las Bambas copper mine. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Australia: The country suffered its deadliest day of the pandemic as the Omicron variant continued to increase hospitalization rates to record levels, even as infections eased slightly. (Reuters)
  • China: The organizing committee said tickets for the Winter Olympics set to begin on Feb. 4 will be distributed to “targeted” groups of people and will not be sold to the general public. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia: The planning minister said the parliament approved a bill to relocate the nation’s capital from Jakarta to a jungled area of Kalimantan in Borneo island. (Reuters)
  • Kazakhstan: Former President Nursultan Nazarbayev appeared for the first time since unrest rocked the former Soviet republic this month, saying in a video address there was no conflict among the country’s elite. (Reuters)
  • Pakistan: The Taliban claimed responsibility for an overnight gun attack on police in Islamabad that killed an officer and both of the assailants. (AP)

Europe  

  • Region: The European Parliament elected conservative Maltese lawyer Roberta Metsola as president after the death of office-holder David Sassoli. (DW)
  • Belarus: Russian troops arrived in the country for snap military drills, as Moscow hosted Germany’s foreign minister for the latest talks over fears of an invasion of Ukraine. (AFP)
  • Germany: Foreign Minister Anna Baerbock said Berlin sees no alternative to stable relations with Moscow, and the new government is ready to maintain them. (TASS)
  • Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Russia against invading Ukraine, calling the former Soviet republic a “powerful” country with international friends. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: The conservative government suffered a setback in Parliament in its attempt to give authorities stronger powers to curb peaceful but disruptive protests. (AP)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: Rescue workers searched for survivors after an earthquake in the remote western region killed at least 26 people and damaged hundreds of homes. (AFP)
  • Israel: Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is negotiating a plea deal which could end his corruption trial. (BBC)
  • Saudi Arabia: South Korean president Moon Jae-In arrived in Riyadh where the kingdom’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman greeted him. (AP)
  • United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi is requiring people entering the capital city to show proof of booster shots. (AP)
  • Yemen: Eleven people were killed in coalition air strikes on the capital Sanaa after the insurgents launched a rare and deadly attack on the United Arab Emirates. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: The Biden administration is reviewing e-commerce giant Alibaba’s cloud business to determine whether it poses a risk to U.S. national security. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report.
  • Volcanoes:
    • Hunga Tonga-Hunga volcano, Tonga
      • Minor activity
      • Eruption warning
      • Source
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 18JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (19JAN22) 

  • Global: Only two potential flights from the United States to China available for two weeks, assuming those routes do not produce new COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • Global: Orthodox Epiphany.
  • Global: Russian cosmonauts perform spacewalk from International Space Station.
  • Global: WHO Programme, Budget, and Administration Committee meeting.
  • Event: Atlantic Council conversation with former World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
  • Event: Atlantic Council discussion on women in Afghanistan.
  • Barbados: Parliamentary Elections.
  • Bosnia: USAID Administrator Power visits Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store.
  • Haiti: Haiti Unity Summit, which provides a platform for political factions to negotiate a transitional government, to end.
  • Kazakhstan: Last Collective Security Treaty Organization forces scheduled to leave the country.
  • Ukraine: Cabinet meeting to discuss COVID-19 and tensions with Russia.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on ‘transatlantic cooperation on supply chain security’.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on ‘the importance of a U.S.-Indo-Pacific digital trade agreement’.

END