Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ruling party candidate Mohamed Bazoum holds a small early lead in the second round of Niger’s presidential election, according to electoral commission data.
  • AMERICAS: Conservative Guillermo Lasso will face leftist economist Andres Arauz in the second round of Ecuador’s presidential election that has been marred by fraud allegations.
  • ASIA: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the US to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and what he called an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector.
  • EUROPE: The foreign ministers of EU member-states are set to finalize sanctions against those responsible for the crackdown on Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his supporters, as well as those responsible for the recent coup in Myanmar.
  • MIDDLE EAST: International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi said Iran’s government will end the agency’s right to make snap inspections of the country’s nuclear sites but has otherwise agreed to extend UN inspectors’ access to its nuclear sites for three months.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Australia’s Health Ministry will no longer advertise on Facebook in the latest escalation of the spat between the government and the social media platform.

 

Top Story

  • Myanmar: Thousands of protesters gather despite military warning.
    • Thousands of people have taken to the streets of major cities across Myanmar to participate in a general strike against the recent military coup in the country.
    • The thousands of protesters are taking part in the general strike in defiance of a thinly veiled threat to use force by the country’s new ruling military junta, which followed the death of at least two protesters on Sunday.
    • Business owners are also participating in the general strike, along with workers and members of the general public.
    • Meanwhile, Indonesia reportedly seeks to call upon ASEAN to facilitate dialogue between Myanmar’s ruling junta and protesters and is reportedly pushing Myanmar’s southeast Asian neighbors to diplomatically push the junta on its pledge to organize new elections.
    • Reporting: Reuters, BBC, AP, AFP, Guardian, Reuters2

 

Africa

  • Niger: Ruling party candidate Mohamed Bazoum holds a small early lead in the second round of the country’s presidential election, according to electoral commission data. (Reuters)
  • Somalia: The regional governments of Jubaland and Puntland said President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, whose four-year term expired this month, should not be involved in any discussions aimed at ending a dispute that caused a delay in choosing the country’s next head of state. (Reuters)
  • Tanzania: President John Magufuli seemed to finally acknowledge the existence of the coronavirus in the country after months of claiming that the virus was not an issue, as he urged citizens to take precautionary measures, including wearing locally produced face masks. (AP)

 

Americas

  • Argentina: The country’s drug regulator authorized the emergency use of Chinese pharma company Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: The country’s securities industry watchdog will reportedly begin an investigation into the newly-announced change of CEO at state-controlled oil company Petrobras. (Reuters)
  • Ecuador: Conservative Guillermo Lasso will face leftist economist Andres Arauz in the second round of the country’s presidential election that has been marred by fraud allegations. (AFP

 

Asia  

  • Afghanistan: The Taliban rejected any potential of US troops withdrawal from the country. (DPA)
  • China: Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the US to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and what he called an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector. (Reuters)
  • India: Authorities imposed lockdowns and other coronavirus restrictions in certain regions of the country after a new surge in virus cases follows months of steady decline. (AP)
  • Indonesia: The government issued new regulations on investment, including the removal of some restrictions on foreign investment, in an effort to boost the country’s pandemic-hit economy. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: The foreign ministers of EU member-states will finalize sanctions against those responsible for the crackdown on Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his supporters, as well as those responsible for the recent coup in Myanmar. (AFP)
  • Ukraine: Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said the government reached an updated agreement with US firm Novavax for 15 million coronavirus vaccines. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a four-part plan to lift the country’s coronavirus lockdown. (BBC)

 

Middle East

  • Iran: International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi said the government will end the agency’s right to make snap inspections of the country’s nuclear sites but has otherwise agreed to extend UN inspectors’ access to its nuclear sites for three months. (BBC)
  • Israel: Authorities closed all of the country’s Mediterranean beaches due to an offshore oil spill. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: State-owned arms firm Saudi Arabian Military Industries said it aimed to generate an annual revenue of $5 billion by 2030, as part of a drive to increase domestic weapons production. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Australia’s Health Ministry will no longer advertise on Facebook in the latest escalation of the spat between the government and the social media platform. (AFP)

 

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 22FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 111,391,447
      • Total recovered cases: 62,856,601
      • Deaths: 2,466,873
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (23FEB21)

  • Global: Iran’s deadline for the US to lift sanctions on Tehran, failing which Tehran will ban short-notice inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency in a breach of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal.
  • Global: The fifth session of the UN’s Environment Assembly will be held.
  • Global: The UN Security Council will hold an open debate on climate and security issues.
  • Global: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to address the UN Human Rights Council.
  • Americas: The heads of government of CARICOM member states will meet for a CARICOM summit. (to 24FEB)
  • Americas: US President Joe Biden is expected to hold his first bilateral meeting since taking office, holding a virtual meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • Asia: Malaysia is expected to deport 1,200 Myanmar nationals back to their country, amid the ongoing unrest in Myanmar over a recent military coup.
  • Europe: The Ministers for European Affairs of EU member-states will hold a meeting.
  • Brunei: National Day – 1984
  • Guyana: Republic Day – 1984
  • Japan: Birthday of Emperor Naruhito – 1960
  • Mauritius: Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will visit.
  • Sri Lanka: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit and meet with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. (to 24FEB)
  • Sudan: The date to which the corruption trial of the country’s autocratic former leader Omar al-Bashir was adjourned. 
  • United States: The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of Merrick Garland to be the country’s next Attorney General.
  • United States: The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will hold a hearing to consider the nomination of Xavier Becerra to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.
  • United States: The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will consider the nomination of Deb Haaland to be the country’s next Secretary of the Interior.
  • United States: The Senate’s Homeland Security and Rules and Administration committees will hold a joint hearing over the recent storming of Capitol Hill.
  • United States: Coronavirus vaccine manufacturers are expected to testify to the House Commerce subcommittee.

 

END