Key Storylines

  • AFRICA:  At least 11 people were injured after a tanker loaded with diesel exploded in Lagos, Nigeria local police reported
  • AMERICAS: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed the global rush to buy and distribute COVID-19 vaccines in comments posted online.
  • ASIA: Thailand voted nationwide in provincial elections that mark the first test of democracy since a general election last year that drew accusations of manipulation and helped spawn months of youth protests. 
  • EUROPE:  Lockdown rules in London and parts of south and eastern England have been tightened due to concerns about a new variant of the coronavirus, as Scotland and Wales took their own measures in response to the new strain.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israel will start its COVID-19 inoculation drive, aiming to vaccinate some 60,000 people a day in a bid to end the illness that is once again surging among its population.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Michael Pack, the head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, is looking to stop federal funding of the Open Technology Fund, which develops tools that allow people to get around controls on internet access.

 

Top Story

  • United States: Efforts continue to reduce the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
    • The U.S. Congress is expected to vote on Sunday on a $900 billion COVID-19 aid package after senators reached a late-night compromise to clear one of the final hurdles, a dispute over Federal Reserve pandemic lending authorities.
    • C.D.C. Panel expresses support for the use of the Moderna Vaccine among Americans
    • Congressional lawmakers are “very close” to voting on a second COVID stimulus deal, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said in the aftermath of late-night talks.
    • Moderna Inc reported that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend the use of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine on people 18 years of age and older. 
    • Reporting: ReutersNYTNewsweek, Reuters 

 

Africa

  • Malawi: The nation confirmed five new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the national total to 6,153, the health ministry reported. (Xinhua)  
  • Niger: The nation recorded 52 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the national total to 2,612, the country’s Ministry of Public Health reported. (Xinhua)  
  • Nigeria: At least 11 people were injured after a tanker loaded with diesel exploded in Lagos, local police reported. (Xinhua)  

 

Americas

  • Region: US President-elect Joe Biden told Mexico’s president he was committed to addressing the root causes of poor Latino migrants crossing the border into America. (AFP
  • Brazil: The COVID-19 death toll rose to 186,356 after 706 more patients died in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health reported. (Xinhua)
  • Brazil: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed the global rush to buy and distribute COVID-19 vaccines in comments posted online. (DPA)  

 

Asia  

  • Fiji: A powerful cyclone that tore through the nation late last week has caused havoc in some areas and left people without shelter and freshwater, Fiji Red Cross reported. (Reuters
  • South Korea: The nation’s new COVID-19 cases rose by more than 1,000 for the fifth straight day to hit a new record high, putting the country’s virus battle in the most trouble so far amid rising death tolls. (YNA)  
  • Thailand: The nation voted nationwide in provincial elections that mark the first test of democracy since a general election last year that drew accusations of manipulation and helped spawn months of youth protests. (Reuters
  • Thailand: The nation recorded more than 500 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily tally in a country that had largely brought the pandemic under control. (AP)  

 

Europe

  • Region: The Netherlands banned flights arriving from Britain after the discovery of a new COVID variant. (DPA
  • Austria: The nation has confirmed 2,296 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s total to 337,209, according to data published by the Austrian Interior Ministry recorded. (Xinhua)  
  • United Kingdom: Lockdown rules in London and parts of south and eastern England have been tightened due to concerns about a new variant of the coronavirus, as Scotland and Wales took their own measures in response to the new strain. (DPA

 

Middle East

  • Iran:  A magnitude-4.5 earthquake hit the northwest area near the Turkish border, the official news agency IRNA reported, saying there were no immediate reports of casualties. (Reuters
  • Israel: The nation will start its COVID-19 inoculation drive, aiming to vaccinate about 60,000 people a day in a bid to end the illness that is once again surging among its population. (AP)
  • Kuwait: The nation reported 244 new COVID-19 cases, taking its national count to 147,775, said the Health Ministry. (Kuwait)  

 

Tech & Communications

  • Telecommunications: Michael Pack, the head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, is looking to stop federal funding of the Open Technology Fund, which develops tools that allow people to get around controls on internet access. (NYT)  

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Cyclone Yasa
      • Location:23.3S 178.1W
      • Movement: SSW
      • Wind:60 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
  • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
    • Confirmed Cases as of 20DEC20: 76,368,369
    • Total Recovered Cases as of 20DEC20: 43,096,949
    • Deaths as of 20DEC20: 1,687,197
    • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191 
    • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (21DEC20)

  • Global: U.N. Security Council meeting on the Middle East
  • United States: Limited ‘Stay at Home Order’ due to expire in California

 

END