Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The head of Kenya’s national police Inspector-General Hilary Mutyambai said almost 2,000 Kenyan police officers are mentally unfit to do their work.
  • AMERICAS: The United States and Panama signed an agreement detailing commitments to improve management of migration between the two countries.
  • ASIA: Former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta scored a landslide victory in East Timor’s presidential election.
  • EUROPE: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who clinched a fourth term in office earlier this month, will visit the Vatican on Thursday.
  • MIDDLE EAST: US President Joe Biden seems increasingly determined to keep the “terrorist” designation on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, which Tehran is demanding be removed before it returns to a deal on curbing its nuclear program.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Netflix reported its first subscriber loss in more than ten years, causing shares to drop 25%.

Top Story

  • France: Macron, Le Pen set to Face Off in Crucial Presidential Debate.
    • French President Emmanuel Macron and challenger Marine Le Pen will face off in a debate which could be decisive in the tight race to decide who will run the country for the next five years.
    • Macron emerged ahead from the April 10 first round and is leading in opinion polls with a margin varying between 3 and 13 percentage points.
    • Le Pen has significantly narrowed the gap compared to the last presidential election five years ago, when she lost with 34% of the vote to Macron’s 66%.
    • Some of Macron’s accomplishments include lowering the unemployment rate to a 13-year low and running an economy that has outperformed those of other European countries, but he will confront Le Pen over her past admiration for Vladimir Putin and her plan to ban wearing the hijab in public.
    • Le Pen will try to present herself as a credible leader and defender of the workers and portray Macron as belonging to an out-of-touch elite, with possible attack lines including Macron’s controversial plan to raise the retirement age.
    • Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are proposing two hugely different futures for France, at home and abroad.
    • Reuters, AP, AFP, The Guardian, Bloomberg, BBC

Africa

  • Botswana: Former president Ian Khama faces 13 criminal charges, including illegally possessing five firearms. (AFP)
  • Kenya: The head of the national police Inspector-General Hilary Mutyambai said almost 2,000 police officers are mentally unfit to do their work. (BBC)
  • Nigeria: Three were killed and 19 injured in an explosive attack on a bar in the northeastern Taraba state. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: The People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) said there were a number of “serious violations” in naming the commanders of various army, police, and security services units. (BBC)
  • Uganda: A RwandAir passenger airplane skid off the runway during landing at Entebbe airport this morning. (BBC)

Americas

  • Region: The United States and Panama signed an agreement detailing commitments to improve management of migration between the two countries. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: Employees of the central bank approved suspension of a strike that began earlier this month but will continue daily work stoppages. (Reuters)
  • Canada: The government has no plans to stop requiring masks on planes after a Florida judge struck down a US version of the law. (Reuters)
  • El Salvador: NGOs asked the judiciary to declare unconstitutional a new measure that journalists warn could criminalize certain forms of media reporting on gangs. (AFP)
  • United States: The White House said it would appeal Monday’s federal court ruling blocking mask requirements on public transport if the CDC advises the mandate is still necessary. (WaPo)

Asia

  • China: Shanghai reported seven new deaths from COVID-19, the same number reported the previous day. (Reuters)
  • East Timor: Former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta scored a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election. (AFP)
  • Japan: The health ministry approved Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, and people could start getting the shots by late May. (AP)
  • Solomon Islands: Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare defended his government’s controversial security pact with China, saying it was signed “with our eyes open.” (AFP)
  • Taiwan: A television station apologized for “causing public panic” after erroneously running a series of alerts saying that China had launched attacks on the island. (AFP)

Europe

  • Hungary: Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who clinched a fourth term in office earlier this month, will visit the Vatican on Thursday. (AFP)
  • Poland: Authorities said methane explosions at the pniowek mine in Pawlowice killed four miners, injured 19 and left seven others missing. (AP)
  • Spain: The country is taking another step towards normality by partially ending the near two-year-long obligatory use of masks indoors. (AP)
  • Ukraine: The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that direct communications had been restored between Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the state atomic power regulator. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: A court issued a formal order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face trial over the publication of secret files relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Region: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett viewed with utmost severity comments by Jordan’s prime minister Bisher al-Khasawneh blaming Israel for violence on the Temple Mount compound. (Al-Monitor)
  • Egypt: The Suez Canal Economic Zone signed an agreement worth $3 billion to produce up to 350,000 tons of green energy for fueling ships in Ain Sokhna with a consortium that includes EDF Renewables and the sovereign wealth fund. (Reuters)
  • Iran: US President Joe Biden seems increasingly determined to keep the “terrorist” designation on the country’s Revolutionary Guards, which Tehran is demanding be removed before it returns to a deal on curbing its nuclear program. (AFP)
  • Israel: Five European members of the UN Security Council called for an end to clashes and violence in Jerusalem. (AFP)
  • Yemen: The head of the presidential council, Rashad al-Alimi, has been sworn in along with other members of the eight-member council in a ceremony in the southern port city of Aden. (AlJazeera)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Netflix reported its first subscriber loss in more than ten years, causing shares to drop 25%. (AP)

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 20APR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (21APR22) 

  • Event: Wilson Center discussion with Icelandic Foreign Minister Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir.
  • Americas: ICJ to rule on territorial and maritime dispute between Nicaragua and Colombia.
  • Brazil: Tiradentes Day.
  • China: Boao Forum for Asia annual conference. (to 22APR)
  • Hong Kong: The city begins to ease COVID-19 rules.
  • India: Visit by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • Ukraine: 3rd anniversary of Volodymyr Zelenskyy winning the presidential election.
  • United Kingdom: Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • United States: International Monetary Fund-World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC. (to 24APR)
  • United States: Bretton Woods Committee annual meeting, virtual. (to 22APR)
  • United States: Treasury Secretary Yellen meets World Bank Development Committee counterparts to discuss Fragility, Conflict, and Violence.
  • Vatican City: Visit by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

END