Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The UN has grounded all non-emergency flights in Mali as the military government refuses to grant flight clearances.
  • AMERICAS: US President Joe Biden has chosen Los Angeles to host the 2022 Summit of the Americas, scheduled to be held the week of June 6.
  • ASIA: An Islamist militant convicted of masterminding the 2002 Bali bombings and other deadly attacks in Indonesia has been sentenced to 15 years in jail.
  • EUROPE: French President Emmanuel Macron called on EU countries to work together on a new stability and security deal that they could then discuss with Russia.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli police evicted Palestinian residents from a disputed property in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Several international airlines announced the cancellation of flights into the United States over fears of interference from new 5G cell phone service.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Arrives in Kyiv to diffuse tensions with Moscow over Ukraine.
    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv on a whistle-stop diplomatic push to defuse tensions with Moscow over Ukraine.
    • During his trip to Ukraine, Secretary Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as his counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.
    • Speaking to diplomats at the US embassy in Kyiv, Blinken echoed the concerns that a troop buildup would allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to launch an attack “on very short notice.”
    • The Secretary of State reiterated Washington’s commitment to “Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will continue to provide Ukraine the support it needs.”
    • Blinken warned Russia that it could take two paths: diplomacy and dialogue or conflict and aggression.
    • Reuters, DPA, NBC, AFP, CNN

Africa

  • DR Congo: Police in North Kivu province arrested two men in connection with the murder of Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio in February 2021. (AP)
  • Kenya: Police said that incidents of decomposing bodies being recovered from the Yala river in the western part of the country have been going on for two years. (BBC)
  • Mali: The UN has grounded all non-emergency flights in the country as the military government refuses to grant flight clearances. (AP)
  • Sierra Leone: President Julius Maada Bio sacked attorney general and justice minister Anthony Yeiwoh Brewah who has been replaced by Mohamed Lamin Tarawalley. (BBC)
  • South Africa: A man accused of setting fire to the parliament building is being released from a psychiatric hospital and moved to a regular prison from where he can request bail. (BBC)

Americas   

  • Region: President Joe Biden has chosen Los Angeles to host the 2022 Summit of the Americas, scheduled to be held the week of June 6. (AP)
  • Brazil: Health authorities reported over 137,000 news COVID-19 cases, a daily record for the country. (AFP)
  • Haiti: A court official denied a request for more time to investigate the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. (AP)
  • Peru: Prosecutors opened an investigation into an oil spill at the Pamilla refinery blamed on the tsunami caused by the Tongan volcanic eruption. (Reuters)
  • United States: The Biden Administration will distribute 400 million N95 masks for free to Americans as part of its effort to rein in the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP)

Asia

  • China: Beijing condemned plans by Slovenia to improve relations with Taiwan, a move likely to spark diplomatic and economic retaliation against the tiny Central European country. (AP)
  • India: An explosion on a navy ship docked in Mumbai killed three sailors. (AP)
  • Indonesia: An Islamist militant convicted of masterminding the 2002 Bali bombings and other deadly attacks in the country has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. (BBC)
  • Japan: The government is set to approve new COVID-19 restrictions over most of the country, expected to last until at least February 13. (AFP)
  • New Zealand: The government has temporarily closed its international borders, including to citizens and visa holders, citing the risk of the Omicron variant. (The Guardian)

Europe 

  • Region: The prime ministers of Bulgaria and North Macedonia met and agreed to intensify efforts to improve relations, particularly Bulgaria’s policy of blocking North Macedonia’s accession to the EU. (RFE/RL)
  • France: President Emmanuel Macron called on EU countries to work together on a new stability and security deal that they could then discuss with Russia. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Former chancellor Angela Merkel rejected a job offer from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. (DPA)
  • Turkey: The country’s state oil operator resumed crude flows through the ruptured Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline linking Iraqi energy fields with international markets. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is fighting for his premiership amid a revolt by his own lawmakers who are angry over a series of lockdown parties in Downing Street. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: Provincial head of the Culture and Information Department Baz Mohammad Sarwari said authorities in western Badghis province have helped quake-affected families. (Xinhua)
  • Iran: President Ebrahim Raisi said his visit to Moscow could mark a “turning point” in bilateral relations between the two countries ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AlJazeera)
  • Israel: Police evicted Palestinian residents from a disputed property in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. (AP)
  • United Arab Emirates: Energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said that he was “not worried about the short term” when asked about predictions that oil prices will rise above $100. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Several international airlines announced the cancellation of flights into the United States over fears of interference from new 5G cell phone service. (CNN)

World

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

Tomorrow’s Outlook (20JAN22) 

  • Event: Brookings Institution discussion on China’s 20th Party Congress and beyond.
  • Event: Atlantic Council discussion on the future of Ukraine.
  • Event: Carnegie Connects conversation with US Ambassador to the United Nations Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
  • Azerbaijan: Martyrs’ Day.
  • Cabo Verde: Heroes’ Day.
  • Egypt: Visit by South Korean President Moon Jae-In.
  • France: EU environment and energy ministers’ informal meeting in Amiens. (to 22JAN)
  • Germany: Visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
  • Germany: Visit by Swiss President Ignazio Cassis.
  • Hong Kong: COVID-19 social distancing rules to end unless extended.
  • Laos: Army Day.
  • Mali: Armed Forces Day.
  • Suriname: Visit by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
  • United States: Bulletin of Atomic Scientists “Doomsday Clock” decision.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs Committee roundtable on ‘Bolstering Democracy in the Age of Rising Authoritarianism’.

END