Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: A South African court accepted former President Jacob Zuma’s request to delay his arms deal corruption trial.
  • AMERICAS: Canada announced it will open its borders to fully vaccinated US citizens for nonessential travel without quarantining from next month.
  • ASIA: China rejected US and allies’ allegations of being responsible for a hack of the Microsoft Exchange email system.
  • EUROPE: Russia’s military said it successfully tested its new S-500 air defense missiles saying it hit a high-speed ballistic target during a test.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israel said it fired retaliatory artillery strikes at Lebanon after rockets targeting Israel were launched from that country.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: French prosecutors opened investigations into reports of the Israel-based NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware being used to spy on a French investigative news website.

Top Story

  • Peru: Left-wing Castillo confirmed as president-elect after lengthy battle.
    • Rural teacher Pedro Castillo was declared the winner of Peru’s presidential election.
    • Leftist Castillo, whose base of support are Peru’s poor and rural citizens, defeated conservative opponent Keiko Fujimori by just 44,000 votes after the country’s longest electoral count in 40 years.
    • Peru’s election authority made the declaration after reviewing Fujimori’s claim of electoral fraud taking place during the election.
    • Peru has the highest global per capita death rate as the country struggles to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and Castillo campaigned on using revenues from Peru’s mining sector to improve public services.
    • Castillo, who is also a former union leader, will be sworn-in as Peru’s president on 28 July.
    • Reporting: NYT, Reuters, AP, BBC, WSJ, DPA, Guardian

Africa

  • Region: Ethiopia said it completed the filling of the GERD’s reservoir and that the dam may start generating power in the near future. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: Bandits in the country’s north shot down a fighter plane. (BBC)
  • South Africa: A court accepted former President Jacob Zuma’s request to delay his arms deal corruption trial. (Reuters)
  • Zimbabwe: Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said the government will defer the payment of the first tranche of compensation to white farmers who lost their land by one year due to issues in finding a financial advisor and the COVID-19 pandemic. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Region: Canada announced it will open its borders to fully vaccinated US citizens for nonessential travel without quarantining from next month. (WaPo)
  • Region: The US is reportedly set to announce the initial steps of a review of Cuba policy and in response to the Cuban government’s crackdown on the island nation’s recent anti-government protests. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: Defense Minister Diego Molano said thousands of police and soldiers will be deployed today in anticipation of planned demonstrations. (AFP)
  • Haiti: Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph will hand over power to a new interim government led by Ariel Henry today. (AFP)
  • Nicaragua: Gustavo Porras, an ally of the country’s long-term leader Daniel Ortega, said Ortega will seek a fourth consecutive presidential term. (AFP)

Asia  

  • Region: Russia announced new military exercises in Uzbekistan and moved its tanks near the Afghan-Tajik border. (Reuters)
  • Region: China issued a warning to Lithuania after Taiwan said it will open a representative office in Lithuania. (Reuters)
  • Region: The United Kingdom said it will permanently deploy two warships to the region. (Reuters)
  • China: Beijing rejected US and allies’ allegations of being responsible for a hack of the Microsoft Exchange email system. (AP)
  • Japan: Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the world needed to see that Tokyo could stage a safe Olympics. (AP)

Europe

  • Region: Russia has reportedly called for a UN Security Council vote on scrapping the post of international high representative for Bosnia. (AFP)
  • Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit the flood-hit areas in North Rhine Westphalia today. (DPA)
  • Russia: The military said it successfully tested its new S-500 air defense missiles saying it hit a high-speed ballistic target during a test. (AFP)
  • Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the United States to meet the financial, logistical and diplomatic “conditions” so that Ankara can guard the Kabul airport in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of foreign troops from that country. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: A new daily record number of migrants crossed the Channel and into the country. (Guardian)

Middle East

  • Region: Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Unilever his government will “act aggressively” against Ben & Jerry’s following the company’s decision to stop selling its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and contested east Jerusalem. (AP)
  • Region: Israel said it fired retaliatory artillery strikes at Lebanon after rockets targeting Israel were launched from that country. (UPI)
  • Iraq: At least 25 people died after a bomb exploded in a busy market in the capital city Baghdad. (BBC)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: French prosecutors opened investigations into reports of the Israel-based NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware being used to spy on a French investigative news website. (RFE-RL)

World

  • Cyclones:
    • Typhoon In Fa
      • Location: 149 nautical miles SE of Kadena Air Base, Japan
      • Wind: 75 mph
      • Movement: W-NW at 10 mph
      • Map
    • Typhoon Cempaka
      • Location: 119 nautical miles W-SW of Hong Kong
      • Wind: 80 mph
      • Movement: NW at 1 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 20JUL21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (21JUL21)

  • Global: The Russian ROSCOSMOS Proton-M carrier rocket will be launched in Kazakhstan.
  • Americas: The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) will meet virtually to discuss the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Europe: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Ambassador John Kerry will visit the United Kingdom and Italy. (to 26JUL)
  • Europe: The Contact Group on Ukraine will hold a meeting.
  • Belgium: National Day – 1831
  • Portugal: Prime Minister Antonio Costa and lawmakers will hold the State of the Nation’s debate in Parliament.
  • Russia: The country’s aircraft makers are expected to present a prospective new fighter jet at the MAKS 2021 air show.
  • United States: President Joe Biden will participate in a televised town hall.
  • United States: The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing on Turkey.
  • United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on grassroots peacebuilding efforts in the Middle East.

END