Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ethiopia’s Tigray region is facing a shortage of clean water, according to state media reports.
  • AMERICAS: Mexico’s Attorney General Alejandro Gertz is considering elevating to international courts the dispute between Mexico City and the US over Mexico dropping an investigation into former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos.
  • ASIA: India started supplying neighboring Bhutan and Maldives with the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, which New Delhi is manufacturing locally.
  • EUROPE: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called US President-elect Joe Biden’s upcoming inauguration a “new dawn” but added that US tech companies need to be regulated to end online hate speech.
  • MIDDLE EAST: US President Donald Trump pardoned retired Israeli Air Force officer Aviem Sella, who enlisted former US Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard to spy for Israel.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: France hailed Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen’s comments on a global digital tax as “a real change in position on the taxation of digital giants”.

 

Top Story

  • Global: US says China’s repression of Uighurs is genocide.
    • The State Department declared that the Chinese government is committing genocide with its repression of Uighurs and other minorities in China’s Xinjiang region.
    • Additionally, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to be Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, told the Senate that “forcing men, women, and children into concentration camps” constituted genocide.
    • In response to the US declaration, China called outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “doomsday clown” and said it would seek cooperation with the incoming administration of President-elect Biden.
    • China also called the declaration “outrageous lies”, “poison” and “outright sensational pseudo-propositions”.
    • Rights groups previously said they believe that China detained almost a million Uighurs over the past few years in what Beijing calls “re-education camps”.
    • Reporting: AP, AFP, NYT, BBC, Reuters, WSJ

 

Africa

  • Ethiopia: The Tigray region is facing a shortage of clean water, according to state media reports. (Reuters)
  • South Africa: The country’s health experts urged the government to share its coronavirus vaccination campaign plans. (Reuters)
  • Sudan: The death toll from recent clashes between Arab and non-Arab tribes in the country’s West Darfur province rose to 160 after local hospitals received at least 29 more bodies. (AP)

 

Americas

  • Region: US President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to be Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said the incoming US administration will continue to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president. (Reuters)
  • Region: Mexico’s Attorney General Alejandro Gertz is considering elevating to international courts the dispute between Mexico City and the US over Mexico dropping an investigation into former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos. (Reuters)
  • Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa made its case to US President-elect Joe Biden’s team for the long disputed Keystone XL pipeline that media reports say will be canceled by President-elect Biden. (AP)

 

Asia  

  • Region: India started supplying neighboring Bhutan and Maldives with the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, which New Delhi is manufacturing locally. (AP)
  • Region: UN agencies warned that more than 350 million people in the Asia-Pacific region are dealing with hunger due to higher food prices caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (AP)
  • China: British lawyer David Perry pulled out of a team prosecuting Hong Kong dissidents following criticism in the UK. (AFP)
  • Indonesia: Authorities are deporting US citizen Kristen Antoinette Gray, whose tweet describing the island as a low-cost, queer-friendly place for foreigners to live went viral, over allegations of breaching her visa by promoting the island, selling her e-book and offering consulting. (AP)

 

Europe

  • Region: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called US President-elect Joe Biden’s upcoming inauguration a “new dawn” but added that US tech companies need to be regulated to end online hate speech. (Reuters)
  • Region: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres plans to hold a meeting between rival Cypriot leaders and Greek, British, and Turkish officials to discuss resolving the divisions in Cyprus. (AP)
  • Italy: Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte won a confidence vote held by the Senate, days after former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi pulled his party out of the country’s ruling coalition government. (BBC)
  • Netherlands: The government is set to implement the country’s first curfew since World War II in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Reuters)
  • Russia: Moscow said it remained committed to extending the New START nuclear arms control treaty with the US and that it welcomed efforts promised by the incoming US administration of President-elect Joe Biden to reach an agreement. (Reuters)

 

Middle East

  • Iran: President Hassan Rouhani hailed the departure of the outgoing US President Donald Trump. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Cabinet ministers voted unanimously to delay the country’s general elections to October. (VOA)
  • Israel: US President Donald Trump pardoned retired Air Force officer Aviem Sella, who enlisted former US Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard to spy for the country. (AP)
  • Qatar: The country’s economy declined by 4.5% in the third quarter of 2020 from a year earlier, according to government data. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Tech Regulation: France hailed Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen’s comments on a global digital tax as “a real change in position on the taxation of digital giants”. (AFP)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Cyclone Eloise
      • Location: 200 nautical miles north of Antananarivo, Madagascar
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Movement: W at 15 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 20JAN21)
      • Confirmed cases: 96,255,312
      • Total recovered cases: 53,143,415
      • Deaths: 2,059,566
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 191
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (21JAN21)

  • Asia: The ASEAN Foreign Ministers Retreat will be held virtually. (to 22JAN)
  • Europe: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will visit Brussels. 
  • Europe: The European Central Bank will make an interest rate decision.
  • Europe: The leaders of EU member-states will hold a virtual meeting to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • Bulgaria: Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic will visit and meet with President Rumen Radev.
  • Colombia: The UN Security Council will hold a meeting to discuss the situation in the country.
  • Guinea-Bissau: Cape Verdean President Jorge Carlos Fonseca will visit. (to 22JAN)
  • Iran: The country’s Bidboland gas refinery, reportedly the largest in the Middle East, will be opened.
  • Japan: The Bank of Japan will make an interest rate decision.
  • Lebanon: Government officials will hold an emergency meeting to discuss extending the country’s coronavirus lockdown.
  • Mozambique: Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva will lead a European Union delegation to discuss cooperation in fighting militants in the country’s northern Cabo Delgado province.
  • United States: New President Joe Biden is expected to sign-off on a host of executive orders.
  • United States: The first anniversary of the country’s first confirmed case of the new coronavirus.
  • United States: The Senate will hold a hearing on the nomination of Pete Buttigieg to be the new Transportation Secretary.

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