Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Nigeria’s military is investigating reports that Boko Haram’s leader may have been killed following clashes with rival jihadists.
  • AMERICAS: Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández said the country will enter a nine-day total coronavirus lockdown amid one of the worst phases of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
  • ASIA: Japan’s government extended a coronavirus state of emergency after approving the use of Moderna and AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccines.
  • EUROPE: The retrial of philanthropist Osman Kavala and 15 others for their involvement in the 2013 Gezi Park protests has started in Turkey.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Lebanon’s Parliament will convene today to discuss a letter written by President Michel Aoun claiming that Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri was incapable of forming a government that could help the country resolve its crisis.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: British Justice Minister Robert Buckland said doing nothing about how the BBC operated was “not an option” following revelations around how the BBC secured a 1995 interview with Princess Diana.

Top Story

  • Middle East: Israel-Hamas ceasefire begins after 11 days of fighting.
    • An Egypt-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Palestine’s militant Hamas group has taken effect.
    • Additionally, the United Nations urged Israel and Palestine to resume peace discussions.
    • Following the ceasefire announcement, spontaneous celebrations broke out in the Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem and across the occupied West Bank.
    • The truce ended 11 days of fighting during which more than 240 people were killed, with most of the deaths taking place in Gaza.
    • There have currently been no reported violations of the ceasefire.
    • Reporting: WaPo, Reuters, AP, DPA, BBC, NYT, WSJ

Africa

  • Region: COVID-19 patients in countries across the continent are more likely to die compared to patients in other continents, according to a new study by the Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town. (AFP)
  • Chad: The African Union urged the country’s civilian and military leaders to share power until new elections following the death of President Idriss Déby are organized. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: The military is investigating reports that Boko Haram’s leader may have been killed following clashes with rival jihadists. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Argentina: President Alberto Fernández said the country will enter a nine-day coronavirus lockdown amid one of the worst phases of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. (AFP)
  • Brazil: The country reported its first six cases of the coronavirus variant found in India among crew members who arrived aboard a Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship. (AFP)
  • Nicaragua: Authorities launched a money laundering probe against presidential hopeful Cristiana Chamorro, who plans to challenge the country’s longtime President Daniel Ortega in this year’s elections. (Reuters)
  • United States: South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet with President Joe Biden today. (AP)

Asia  

  • Region: Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Tokyo will have to rethink its provision of development aid to Myanmar if the situation in the Southeast Asian country does not improve. (Reuters)
  • Australia: Students across the country are holding a strike to push the government to address climate change and halt plans to expand the gas industry. (DPA)
  • Japan: The government extended a coronavirus state of emergency after approving the use of Moderna and AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccines. (AP)
  • Myanmar: The country’s junta-appointed election commission plans to dissolve Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party (NLD). (Reuters)
  • Sri Lanka: Parliament approved a law installing the powerful Colombo Port City Economic Commission to administer a Chinese luxury oceanside development next to the port of Colombo. (AP)

Europe

  • Region: Serbia and Russia began joint military exercises in Serbia as US-led forces led exercises of their own in neighboring Balkan states. (AP)
  • Germany: The country’s public health agency chief said the currently existing coronavirus vaccines could be less effective against the COVID-19 variant found in India. (Reuters)
  • Hungary: Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the government will lift most of its coronavirus restrictions. (AFP)
  • Turkey: The retrial of philanthropist Osman Kavala and 15 others for their involvement in the 2013 Gezi Park protests has started. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Iran: A Canadian court ruled that the country owes damages to suing families after the Revolutionary Guards shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane in January 2020. (Reuters)
  • Lebanon: Parliament will convene today to discuss a letter written by President Michel Aoun claiming that Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri was incapable of forming a government that could help the country resolve its crisis. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: The United States imposed sanctions on two Houthi military officials. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: British Justice Minister Robert Buckland said doing nothing about how the BBC operated was “not an option” following revelations around how the BBC secured a 1995 interview with Princess Diana. (Reuters)

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 21MAY21)
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 16MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (22MAY21)

  • Global: Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo will visit France, Belgium, and South Africa. (to 24MAY)
  • Europe: The finance ministers of EU countries will hold an informal meeting.
  • Argentina: The country will enter a total coronavirus lockdown.
  • United States: The government will extend its National Emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq.
  • Yemen: Unification Day – 1990

END