Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The UN said rival Libyan officials wrapped up weeklong talks without an agreement on disputed constitutional arrangements for elections.
  • AMERICAS: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said US President Biden has no current plans to travel to Ukraine.
  • ASIA: The US is sending two top officials to the Solomon Islands following a visit by an Australian senator over concerns that China could establish a military presence in the South Pacific island nation.
  • EUROPE: French Prime Minister Jean Castex said that his government would tender its resignation if Emmanuel Macron were re-elected president.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Explosions targeting educational institutions in the Afghan capital Kabul have killed at least six civilians and injured 11 others.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Vice President Kamala Harris announced the United States would no longer conduct destructive tests of satellites.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: Russia Launches Major Donbas Offensive in Eastern Ukraine.
    • Russian forces push through Ukrainian defenses along the entire front line in eastern Ukraine, launching what President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called the “Battle of the Donbas.”
    • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow will not consider using nuclear weapons in Ukraine and claimed that Russian troops are only targeting the country’s military infrastructure and not the civilian population.
    • The goal of the operation is to “fully liberate” the Russian-backed separatist regions of eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
    • The Ukraine military’s general staff said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces were increasing assaults in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions as well as in the city of Zaporizhzhia.
    • Ukrainian authorities urged people in Donbas to flee west to escape, even as officials called off evacuations for a third straight day from frontline cities due to ongoing fighting.
    • The offensive got underway after Russia bombarded the western city of Lviv and a multitude of other targets across Ukraine in an intensified bid to grind down the country’s defenses.
    • Reuters, DW, AP, TIME, WSJ, AFP

Africa

  • Algeria: President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, held a phone conversation exchanging views over bilateral cooperation and regional issues. (Xinhua)
  • Central African Republic: The country’s Special Criminal Court is due to hear its first trial seven years after it was formed. (BBC)
  • Ethiopia: Dozens of young men gathered at the Russian embassy in Addis Ababa following rumors of soldiers being recruited to fight in the war in Ukraine. (BBC)
  • Libya: The UN said rival officials wrapped up weeklong talks without an agreement on disputed constitutional arrangements for elections. (AP)
  • Mali: The Sahel nation received another batch of military equipment from Russia after the European Union suspended its military training program. (BBC)

Americas 

  • Region: US and Cuban officials will meet in Washington on Thursday to discuss migration, the highest-level talks the countries have held since President Joe Biden took office. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: Gustavo Petro signed an oath not to expropriate property if he becomes the country’s first-ever leftist president. (AFP)
  • Mexico: The lower house of Congress approved an amendment favored by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to nationalize the lithium industry. (Reuters)
  • United States: The White House said it will no longer enforce a mask mandate on public transport following a ruling by a federal judge that the CDC’s directive was unlawful. (Reuters)
  • United States: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden has no current plans to travel to Ukraine. (AFP)

Asia

  • Region: The US is sending two top officials to the Solomon Islands following a visit by an Australian senator over concerns that China could establish a military presence in the South Pacific island nation. (AP)
  • China: Seven new deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Shanghai despite aggressive lockdown policies. (AFP)
  • East Timor: Voters head to the polls in a presidential runoff election between Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta and incumbent Lu Olo Guterres, both veterans of the independence movement. (AP)
  • Pakistan: The Cabinet of newly-elected prime minister Shahbaz Sharif, was sworn in during a brief ceremony. (AP)
  • South Korea: Health authorities reported 118,000 new COVID-19 cases, half of the number reported a week ago. (Yonhap)

Europe

  • France: Prime Minister Jean Castex said that his government would tender its resignation if Emmanuel Macron were re-elected president. (AFP)
  • Germany: The head of the country’s Institute for Economic Research said an increase in wages and government investment is “absolutely necessary” to soften the blow of rising prices from inflation. (DW)
  • Poland: Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the health service has capacity to treat at least 10,000 injured Ukrainian soldiers as Russia launches a new offensive in eastern Ukraine. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: Russian forces have seized the city of Kreminna in the country’s east and troops have withdrawn from the city. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces lawmakers for the first time since he was fined by police for attending a birthday party in his office that broke coronavirus lockdown rules. (AP)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: Explosions targeting educational institutions in Kabul have killed at least six civilians and injured 11 others. (AP)
  • Israel: The air force struck the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the enclave amid tensions over violence in Jerusalem. (France24)
  • Jordan: The foreign ministry summoned the Israeli charge d’affaires of the Israeli embassy in Amman to protest against Israel’s operations in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. (Xinhua)
  • Palestinian Territories: President Mahmoud Abbas discussed the growing tension with Israel in East Jerusalem during two separate phone conversations with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Xinhua)
  • Syria: The foreign ministry said it is time to expose the crimes of the U.S.-led coalition in killing thousands of civilians in northern Raqqa province by airstrikes and shelling. (Xinhua)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Vice President Kamala Harris announced the United States would no longer conduct destructive tests of satellites. (WaPo)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 19APR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (20APR22) 

  • Event: Economic Club of Washington hosts conversation with Poland amb. to the US Marek Magierowski.
  • Global: Meeting of G7 and G20 finance ministers and central bank governors.
  • Global: UN Chinese Language Day.
  • Argentina: Visit by UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture.
  • Australia: First leaders’ debate between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his opposition rival Anthony Albanese.
  • China: Boao Forum for Asia annual conference. (to 22APR)
  • France: TV debate between presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.
  • India: Visit by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • United Kingdom: Westminster Magistrates Court to order Julian Assange be extradited to the US.
  • United States: International Monetary Fund-World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC. (to 24APR)
  • United States: Bretton Woods Committee annual meeting, virtual. (to 22APR)

END