Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Prosecutors in Madagascar said they had arrested several people after foiling an attempt to assassinate President Andry Rajoelina.
  • AMERICAS: Thousands of residents in Canada fled fires which continue to blaze across western North America.
  • ASIA: Tajikistan’s military was testing its combat readiness in the biggest exercise in the country’s history as the Taliban made sweeping gains in bordering Afghanistan.
  • EUROPE: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expressed displeasure over the US-Germany agreement on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced that his country had opened its first oil terminal in the Gulf of Oman, which could allow Tehran to be dependent on the strategically vulnerable Strait of Hormuz.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The Israeli government established a commission to investigate the recent allegations of the misuse of the NSO Group’s controversial Pegasus software.

Top Story

  • China: Beijing rejects WHO plans for second phase of virus origin probe.
    • Chinese officials expressed shock at a World Health Organization proposal seeking further investigations into whether the new coronavirus emerged from a Wuhan lab.
    • WHO Director Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called upon China to be more cooperative, including on audits of its laboratories, to help a study into the origins of the new coronavirus.
    • Senior Chinese health official Zeng Yixin said Beijing could not accept the WHO’s planned second phase of the study as the plan had been politicized.
    • Zeng also dismissed the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis as a rumor that ran counter to common sense and science.
    • Reporting: BBC, NYT, Reuters, AP

Africa

  • Region: The African Union said countries on the continent will begin receiving their first batches of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine next week. (Reuters)
  • Guinea: Sports Minister Sanoussy Bantama Sow announced the country’s withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (AFP)
  • Madagascar: Prosecutors said they had arrested several people after foiling an attempt to assassinate President Andry Rajoelina. (AFP)
  • South Africa: Former President Jacob Zuma was granted compassionate leave for one day to attend the funeral of his younger brother. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Region: The United States extended land border closures with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel through 21 August. (Reuters)
  • Region: Thousands of residents in Canada fled fires which continue to blaze across western North America. (AFP)
  • Argentina: The country will now allow people seeking a national identity document in the country to mark their gender with an “X”. (AFP)
  • Haiti: Protests near assassinated President Jovenel Moïse’s hometown in the country’s north grew violent, causing hundreds of workers to flee businesses. (AP)
  • United States: President Joe Biden said it was “gigantically important” for Americans to get COVID-19 vaccines amid a new coronavirus surge. (AP)

Asia  

  • Region: Tajikistan’s military was testing its combat readiness in the biggest exercise in the country’s history as the Taliban made sweeping gains in bordering Afghanistan. (AFP)
  • Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued an apology for his government’s slow COVID-19 vaccination campaign. (Guardian)
  • China: The death toll from the recent heavy rains and flooding in Henan province rose to 33. (WaPo)
  • India: Farmers will stage a protest near the parliament building in New Delhi to pressure the government into repealing three new farm laws they say threaten their livelihoods. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: The United States and Germany agreed to a deal allowing the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. (RFE-RL)
  • Region: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expressed displeasure over the US-Germany agreement on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. (Reuters)
  • Norway: Events were held across the country to mark the tenth anniversary of the 2011 attack by Anders Breivik, which was the country’s worst ever peacetime slaughter. (AP)

Middle East

  • Region: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced that his country had opened its first oil terminal in the Gulf of Oman, which could allow Tehran to be dependent on the strategically vulnerable Strait of Hormuz. (Reuters)
  • Region: Syria accused Israel of conducting a second airstrike on the country for a second consecutive day. (AP)
  • Region: Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani ordered the allocation of $100 million for food security operations in Yemen. (Reuters)
  • Syria: The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces bombed the rebel bastion of Idlib, killing three children in the process. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The Israeli government established a commission to investigate the recent allegations of the misuse of the NSO Group’s controversial Pegasus software. (AFP)

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 22JUL21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (23JUL21)

  • Global: The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics will be held.
  • Global: The Environment Ministers of G20 countries will meet.
  • Global: A G20 Climate and Energy Joint Ministerial Session will be held.
  • Europe: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Ambassador John Kerry will visit the United Kingdom and Italy. (to 26JUL)
  • China: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will visit.
  • Egypt: Revolution Day – 1952
  • Haiti: The funeral of assassinated President Jovenal Moise will be held.
  • India: Abdulla Shahid, the Maldives Foreign Minister and President-Elect of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, will visit and meet with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar.
  • Japan: French President Emmanuel Macron will visit.
  • Japan: US First Lady Dr Jill Biden will visit. (to 24JUL)
  • United States: President Joe Biden will visit Arlington, Virginia.
  • United States: Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein will visit and meet with his counterpart Secretary Antony Blinken.

END