Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Sudan’s government dismissed the country’s top judge and announced the resignation of the country’s chief prosecutor without giving any reason for the decisions.
  • AMERICAS: President Joe Biden announced that the US will share an additional 20 million doses of coronavirus vaccines with the world.
  • ASIA: Hong Kong suspended operations at its representative office in Taiwan.
  • EUROPE: Spanish officials said they returned around 1,600 migrants who entered the country’s Ceuta enclave next to Morocco.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun said Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe’s critical remarks about Gulf countries were not an indication of official policy, in a bid to avoid further straining ties with allied and donor countries.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Reporters Without Borders launched its Journalism Trust Initiative to tackle disinformation by promoting “trustworthy” media sources.

 

Top Story

  • Middle East: President Biden signals support for Israel-Gaza ceasefire.
    • US President Joe Biden expressed support for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas militants.
    • President Biden’s statement came amid continued violence between Israel and Hamas, though some signs were starting to emerge of the violence abating slightly as no overnight fatalities were reported from Gaza for the first time since these latest clashes began.
    • The UN also welcomed Israel’s decision to open the Kerem Shalom crossing to permit the entry of aid to Gaza.
    • Meanwhile, Palestinians across Israel and occupied territories are striking in protest of Israel’s policies.
    • Israel said it will continue to conduct an offensive aimed at destroying the capabilities of armed Hamas factions as Islamic Jihad rocket attacks on Israel also continued. 
    • Reporting: Reuters, AP, DPA, BBC, NYT, WaPo, WSJ, AFP, AP2

 

Africa

  • Ethiopia: World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the country’s embattled Tigray region is facing hunger and “rampant” rape issues. (AFP)
  • Libya: The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor called upon the interim government to detain Muammar Gaddafi’s son and warned foreign fighters in the country they could face prosecution at the court. (AP)
  • Sudan: The government dismissed the country’s top judge and announced the resignation of the country’s chief prosecutor without giving any reason for the decisions. (AP)

 

Americas

  • Regional: Political allies of El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele were reportedly deemed corrupt in a US State Department report. (AP)
  • Brazil: Heavy rains triggered flooding in the Amazonas state. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: President Ivan Duque said security forces will coordinate with mayors and provincial governors to lift road blockades linked to the recent anti-government protests. (Reuters)
  • Mexico: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued an apology for a 1911 massacre in which over 300 Chinese people were killed. (AP)
  • United States: President Joe Biden announced that the country will share an additional 20 million doses of coronavirus vaccines with the world. (AP)

 

Asia  

  • Region: Hong Kong suspended operations at its representative office in Taiwan. (Reuters)
  • Bangladesh: Journalist Rozina Islam, who wrote stories critical of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, was arrested, sparking protests by journalists. (AFP)
  • India: The country is reportedly unlikely to resume coronavirus vaccine exports until at least October which is expected to worsen COVID-19 vaccine shortages for the WHO’s global COVAX initiative. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia: Pro-Palestine supporters marched to the US Embassy in Jakarta demanding the end of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. (AP)
  • Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte will no longer allow his Cabinet from publicly remarking on the country’s South China Sea dispute with China. (AFP)

 

Europe

  • Belarus: The country’s largest independent news outlet was taken offline shortly after government officials raided its editorial offices and searched the homes of its journalists. (AFP)
  • Poland: Operations at the country’s main Belchatow power plant were affected by a network failure. (AP)
  • Russia: The country’s spy chief Sergei Naryshkin said he was “flattered” by US and British accusations of being responsible for the SolarWinds cyber attack but denied that Moscow’s intelligence agencies were behind the attack. (Reuters)
  • Spain: Officials said they returned around 1,600 migrants who entered the country’s Ceuta enclave next to Morocco. (DPA
  • United Kingdom: The country’s unemployment rate continued to decline as it fell to 4.8% between January and March. (Reuters)

 

Middle East

  • Iran: The country’s veteran Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh announced plans to retire in August. (AFP)
  • Jordan: Parliament approved a motion calling upon the government to expel Israel’s ambassador to Amman. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: President Michel Aoun said Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe’s critical remarks about Gulf countries were not an indication of official policy, in a bid to avoid further straining ties with allied and donor countries. (Reuters)
  • United Arab Emirates: The government awarded local firm Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) a contract to manufacture four new patrol vessels for its navy. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Reporters Without Borders launched its Journalism Trust Initiative to tackle disinformation by promoting “trustworthy” media sources. (AFP)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Cyclone Tauktae
      • Location: 140 nautical miles NW of Mumbai, India
      • Movement: N at 8 mph
      • Wind: 125 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: 163,666,489
      • Deaths: 3,391,032
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 16MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (19MAY21)

  • Global: The Defense Ministers of Greece, Egypt, and Cyprus will hold a meeting in Cyprus.
  • Global: The Dublin Climate Dialogues will be held with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe participating. (to 21MAY)
  • Global: Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo will visit France, Belgium, and South Africa. (to 24MAY)
  • Global: The Berlin Security Conference will be held virtually. 
  • Global: The Foreign Ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization will hold a meeting.
  • Africa: Court hearings in Sierra Leone by a Finnish court in the trial of Gibril Massaquoi, an ex-rebel commander accused of committing war crimes in Liberia with a Sierra Leonean group, will reportedly end.
  • Africa: The UN Security Council will hold an open debate on the region.
  • 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.
  • Colombia: The National Strike Committee group has called for fresh anti-government protests.
  • France: The government will ease some of its coronavirus restrictions.
  • Ghana: The government will start administering second doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Nigeria: All the governors of the country’s 36 states will hold a summit to discuss ongoing issues in the country.
  • Taiwan: The country will bar the entry of foreigners for a month.
  • United States: The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold nomination hearings.

END