Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ethiopia is voting in the most significant electoral test yet for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as stability and corruption issues meant ballots couldn’t be cast in more than 100 constituencies of the 547 across the nation. 
  • AMERICAS: The U.S special representative to North Korea offered to talk with Pyongyang “anywhere, anytime, without preconditions,” with no public statements so far between the Biden administration and the nuclear-armed nation. 
  • ASIA: South Korea and Japan will hold working-level talks in Seoul to discuss prolonged tensions over wartime sexual slavery, forced labor, and other pending issues. 
  • EUROPE: Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya accused the country’s dictator Alexander Lukashenko of using political prisoners as “hostages” as the EU prepares to increase sanctions on his government. 
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran could quickly export millions of barrels of oil it is holding in storage if it achieves a deal with the United States on its nuclear program and has been preparing for an eventual restart in production. 
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper is in crisis talks to avert a shutdown after a crackdown by Beijing. 

 

Top Story

  • Armenia: The ruling party claims victory in recent elections despite disputes from the opposition.
    • Acting Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan and his party won snap elections called for after the war with Azerbaijan, the country’s electoral commission says.
    • Pashinyan’s party won the parliamentary elections with 53.92% of the vote, while the opposition bloc gained 21.04%. 
    • Former President Robert Kocharian’s opposition party said it would not recognize the results until alleged voting irregularities were looked into.
    • Russia sees the incumbent’s victory as a guarantee that the ceasefire agreement reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan under mediation from Moscow will stay in place.
    • BBCInterfax, RFE, DPA 

 

Africa

  • Ethiopia: The country is voting in the most significant electoral test yet for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as stability and corruption issues meant ballots couldn’t be cast in more than 100 constituencies of the 547 across the nation. (AP
  • Ethiopia: The nation recorded 158 additional COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 275,194. (Xinhua)  
  • South Africa: The country, the worst-hit in Africa, reported a doubling of new daily cases over the past two weeks, with no sign of the number of cases decelerating. (The Guardian)  

 

Americas

  • Mexico: Authorities reported at least 14 people died in the border city of Reynosa after a group of shooters went on a rampage. (AP)  
  • United States: The National Hurricane Center Tropical depression Claudette has strengthened a little and is expected to regain tropical storm status by early Monday near eastern North Carolina. (Reuters)  
  • United States: The special representative to North Korea offered to talk with Pyongyang “anywhere, anytime, without preconditions,” with no public statements so far between the Biden administration and the nuclear-armed nation. (AFP)  

 

Asia

  • Region: South Korea and Japan will hold working-level talks in Seoul to discuss prolonged tensions over wartime sexual slavery, forced labor, and other pending issues. (YNA
  • Australia: The nation chose a new deputy prime minister after Barnaby Joyce won a leadership contest in the government’s junior coalition partner, the National Party. (Reuters)  
  • India: The nation recorded 53,256 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours. (Reuters)  
  • Japan: Thousands of domestic companies began supplying COVID-19 vaccines to workers and their families in a campaign reaching more than 13 million people that aims to ramp up the nation’s slow vaccine rollout. (AP)  
  • Taiwan: The government welcomed 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from the United States as aid from a true friend, more than doubling the major semiconductor-producing island’s supply of shots. (Reuters)  

 

Europe

  • Belarus: Opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya accused the country’s dictator Alexander Lukashenko of using political prisoners as “hostages” as the EU prepares to increase sanctions on his government. (FT
  • Germany: Armin Laschet, the frontrunner to become the next chancellor, warned of the dangers of a new cold war against China, agreeing with Angela Merkel that Beijing was as much a partner as a systemic rival. (FT
  • Sweden: Prime Minister Stefan Lofven faces defeat in a no-confidence vote after opposition parties united to topple his government. (DPA
  • United Kingdom: Medical leaders are asking Boris Johnson to cut legal levels of air pollution in the nation to below World Health Organization guidelines due to the death of the schoolgirl Ella Kissi-Debrah from toxic air. (The Guardian

 

Middle East

  • Region: Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will travel to the United Arab Emirates in the first official ministerial visit since the two nations normalized ties. (AFP)  
  • Iran: The Bushehr nuclear power plant was temporarily shut down due to a “technical fault.” (AFP
  • Iran: The nation could quickly export millions of barrels of oil it is holding in storage if it achieves a deal with the United States on its nuclear program and has been preparing for an eventual restart in production. (Reuters
  • United Arab Emirates: The Dubai Airshow, this year’s biggest aerospace trade show and an opportunity for business deals worth billions of dollars, will be held under capacity restrictions in November due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Reuters)  

 

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper is in crisis talks to avert a shutdown after a crackdown by Beijing. (The Guardian)  

 

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes
    • Tropical Storm Claudette
      • Location:35.6N 77.6W
      • Movement: ENE
      • Wind:40 mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 21JUN21)
      • Confirmed cases: 178,513,818
      • Deaths: 3,866,737
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 18JUN21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (22JUN21)

  • Global: G20 Education Ministers Meeting
  • Europe: DHS Secretary Mayorkas continues Portugal / Spain trip
  • United States: Fed Chair Powell testifies at House Select Subcommittee on the COVID-19 crisis hearing

 

END