Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah announced a plan for legislative elections before the end of June in the wake of an attempted ouster by parliament.
  • AMERICAS: Lawyers for Honduran ex-president Juan Orlando Hernandez asked that he be granted house arrest while the extradition case against him proceeds.
  • ASIA: Hong Kong will test its entire population for COVID-19 in March as it grapples with its worst outbreak driven by the omicron variant.
  • EUROPE: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all COVID-19 restrictions in England will end on Thursday, February 24.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabia held celebrations to commemorate for the first time its foundation nearly 300 years ago.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: An Israeli Justice Ministry probe found “no indication” that police illegally used the Pegasus spyware to hack into mobile phones.

Top Story

  • Europe: Russia Faces Sanctions as War Fears Rise After Moscow Recognized the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
  • Russia has moved quickly to secure its hold on Ukraine’s rebel regions following the recognition of their independence with bills allowing the deployment of troops there in a challenge to the West.
  • The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting last night to address the Russian deployment of forces to Ukraine.
  • The Kremlin remained open to all diplomatic contact over Ukraine and that Kyiv cutting ties with Moscow would worsen an already tense situation.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that the certification process for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be halted after the Kremlin ordered troops into eastern Ukraine.
  • The Ukrainian foreign ministry recalled its top envoy to Moscow for consultations following Russia’s recognition of Kyiv’s two breakaway republics.
  • Russia has taken in thousands more refugees from the self-proclaimed “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine now recognized by Moscow.
  • AP, CNBC, AFP, Axios, DW, DPA

Africa

  • Libya: Interim Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah announced a plan for legislative elections before the end of June in the wake of an attempted ouster by parliament. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Four police officers have been killed in two separate attacks by suspected separatists in the southeast. (AFP)
  • South Africa: At least eight people are dead, and five police officers injured after a wild shoot-out with automatic weapons in Johannesburg. (AAP)
  • Sudan: The country condemned Ethiopia for launching power generation at a controversial dam on the Blue Nile without the agreement of downstream nations. (AFP)

Americas

  • Colombia: A constitutional court ruling legalized abortion before the 24th week of pregnancy. (AP)
  • Guatemala: The Public Ministry said that five members of the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office resigned this month after two of them publicly denounced what they called unjust prosecution. (Reuters)
  • Honduras: Lawyers for ex-president Juan Orlando Hernandez asked that he be granted house arrest while the extradition case against him proceeds. (AFP)
  • Mexico: A prison riot in Acapulco left 20 state police officers injured. (AP)
  • Nicaragua: Victor Hugo Tinoco, an opposition leader and former Sandinista official, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for “conspiracy to undermine national integrity.” (AP)

Asia

  • Hong Kong: The city will test its entire population for COVID-19 in March as it grapples with its worst outbreak driven by the omicron variant. (AP)
  • Japan: The government announced it would join the United States and other G7 states in instituting sanctions against Russia in the case of an invasion of Ukraine. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: An independent human rights expert working with the United Nations is criticizing China and Russia for supplying weapons used by the military against civilians since it seized power last year. (AP)
  • Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this week as a Russian invasion of Ukraine seems imminent. (WaPo)
  • South Korea: A new poll shows that more than 70% of the population is in favor of developing nuclear weapons in order to counter China and North Korea. (WaPo)

Europe

  • Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz pleaded for Russia and the west to keep talking after Russian president Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of Eastern Ukraine’s separatist regions. (AFP)
  • Italy: The coastguard said nearly 600 migrants packed into overcrowded fishing boats in bad weather were rescued overnight off the coast of Calabria adding that one body had been found. (AFP)
  • Russia: Lawmakers voted to ratify President Vladimir Putin’s agreements with east Ukraine’s separatist republics, a day after the president recognized their independence and ordered troops to be sent there. (AFP)
  • Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Russia’s recognition of Ukraine’s breakaway regions and urged compliance with international law. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all COVID-19 restrictions in England will end on Thursday, February 24. (BBC)

Middle East

  • Region: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in Qatar yesterday to hold high-level talks with Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and to participate in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). (AlJazeera)
  • Iran: President Ebrahim Raisi told gas exporters to avoid any “cruel” sanctions such as those imposed by the United States on Tehran, and his government said any revival of Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers must lift such curbs. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: The kingdom held celebrations to commemorate for the first time its foundation nearly 300 years ago. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said the government “supports” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize two separatist-held regions in eastern Ukraine as independent. (AlJazeera)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: An Israeli Justice Ministry probe found “no indication” that police illegally used the Pegasus spyware to hack into mobile phones. (AP)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes:
    • Jujuy, Argentina
    • Magnitude: 6.0
    • Depth: 242.3 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 22FEB22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (23FEB22) 

  • Event: Atlantic Council conversation on responding to Russian aggression.
  • Global: World Chechnya Day.
  • Asia: US-Thailand Cobra Gold military exercises. (to 05MAR)
  • Brunei: National Day.
  • Guyana: Mashramani / Republic Day.
  • India: Visit by Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen. (to 25FEB)
  • Japan: Birthday of Emperor Naruhito.
  • Kenya: Africa Tech Summit in Nairobi. (to 24FEB)
  • Thailand: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Senior Officials’ Meeting in Pattaya. (to 27FEB)
  • Russia: Visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. (to 24FEB)
  • Russia and Belarus: Defender of the Fatherland Day.
  • Ukraine: Visit by German opposition leader Friedrich Merz. (to 24FEB)
  • Ukraine: UN General Assembly meeting to discuss Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.

END