- AFRICA: Republic of the Congo’s leading opposition presidential candidate Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas has died of COVID-19 on polling day.
- AMERICAS: US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas affirmed that the southern US border is “closed” as he defended President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.
- ASIA: Chinese authorities have tried former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig over spying allegations, Canadian officials said.
- EUROPE: AstraZeneca said trials of its vaccine in the US, Chile and Peru showed the vaccine was 79% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
- MIDDLE EAST: Iran is reportedly planning to target Fort McNair in Washington DC and the US Army Vice Chief of Staff General Joseph M. Martin.
- TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Internet addresses across China reportedly participated in a cyberattack on the Inter-American Development Bank in 2019.
- Turkey: Lira declines to near record low after Erdogan fires central bank governor.
- Turkey’s Lira currency tumbled by as much as 17% to an almost record low.
- The sharp decline takes place after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired central bank governor Naci Agbal unexpectedly, ostensibly due to his hiking of interest rates.
- Agbal, who was Turkey’s third central bank governor in two years and was only appointed last November, was credited as a key factor in pulling the lira back from historic lows.
- Agbal’s dismissal has shocked both local and foreign investors and affected shares on the Istanbul stock exchange.
- Reporting: Reuters, AP, BBC, AFP, WSJ
- Algeria: A court issued arrest warrants for exiled activists and backers of the country’s Hirak protest movement. (AFP)
- Republic of the Congo: Leading opposition presidential candidate Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas died of COVID-19 on polling day. (BBC)
- Mauritania: The country reestablished diplomatic ties with Qatar after breaking bilateral ties country almost four years ago. (AFP)
- Niger: The country’s constitutional court confirmed Mohamed Bazoum as the country’s next president. (AFP)
- Region: The Venezuelan military clashed with an unconfirmed armed group near the Venezuela-Colombia border, according to the mayor of the Colombian border town of Arauquita. (AFP)
- Region: Canadian Pacific Railway will acquire Kansas City Southern to create the first railway spanning the United States, Mexico, and Canada. (Reuters)
- Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro called state governors and mayors imposing coronavirus lockdowns “tyrants”. (BBC)
- Mexico: The government deployed several immigration agents to its border with Guatemala to enforce its new travel restrictions. (AP)
- United States: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas affirmed that the country’s southern border is “closed” as he defended President Joe Biden’s immigration policies. (WaPo)
- Region: The Philippines said it has observed more than 200 Chinese ships at a reef in the South China Sea and called the presence of the ships a violation of Manila’s maritime rights as it urged China to withdraw the vessels. (Reuters)
- Australia: Authorities plan to evacuate thousands of people from Sydney suburbs in the face of the worst flooding in 60 years. (Reuters)
- China: Authorities have tried former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig over spying allegations, Canadian officials said. (NYT)
- Myanmar: Protesters are employing new tactics, such as honking car horns and placing posters in an empty square, to avoid being arrested during protests. (Reuters)
- Taiwan: The country’s coronavirus vaccination campaign began, with AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine used for the inoculations. (DPA)
- Region: The foreign ministers of EU countries are reportedly expected to announce sanctions for human rights abusers in China, North Korea, Russia, Libya, Eritrea, and South Sudan. (DPA)
- Slovakia: Prime Minister Igor Matovic offered his resignation to defuse a ruling coalition crisis over his decision to acquire doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. (FT)
- United Kingdom: AstraZeneca said trials of its vaccine in the US, Chile and Peru showed the vaccine was 79% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19. (Reuters)
- Iran: Tehran is reportedly planning to target Fort McNair in Washington DC and the US Army Vice Chief of Staff General Joseph M. Martin. (AP)
- Lebanon: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged European countries to take action over the country’s economic and political crisis. (Reuters)
- United Arab Emirates: Chinese company Sinopharm said a “very small number” in the country will be administered a third dose of its coronavirus vaccine after antibody tests showed an insufficient response following two doses of the vaccine. (WaPo)
- Yemen: The Saudi-led coalition in the country said it launched dozens of attacks on what it called Houthi military targets in Sanaa and the port city of Salif. (Reuters)
Tech & Communications
- Cybersecurity: Internet addresses across China reportedly participated in a cyberattack on the Inter-American Development Bank in 2019. (AP)
- 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 22MAR21)
- Confirmed cases: 123,279,455
- Total recovered cases: 69,867,364
- Deaths: 2,716,604
- Countries with confirmed cases: 192
- Sourcing: John Hopkins University
- Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 14MAR21)
- Confirmed cases: 18
- Deaths: 9
- Sourcing: WHO
- Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 14MAR21)
- Confirmed cases: 11
- Deaths: 5
- Sourcing: WHO
- COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 22MAR21)
Tomorrow’s Outlook (23MAR21)
- Global: The foreign ministers of NATO members will meet for the first time in-person since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. (to 24MAR)
- Global: The 29th session of the joint Higher Jordanian-Egyptian Committee will be held in Jordan, with Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madboulli visiting.
- Global: British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Finance Minister Daniele Franco will discuss the priorities for their presidencies of the G7 and G20 groups.
- Asia: India and Pakistan are expected to hold discussions on the sharing of river waters.
- Asia: Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan will visit Malaysia for two days, after which he will visit Indonesia. (to 25MAR)
- Europe: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Brussels. (to 25MAR)
- Europe: The Romania-led Sea Shield 21 NATO multinational naval exercises will be held. (to 29MAR)
- Europe: Italian Ambassador to Russia Pasquale Terracciano will reportedly attend an online conference on the prospects of Russia’ Sputnik V in Italy, along with RDIF Director Vladimir Primak.
- Afghanistan: The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in the country.
- Bangladesh: Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari is expected to visit.
- China: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit.
- Denmark: The government is expected to announce its plans to end ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
- Germany: Greek Foreign Minister will visit Dusseldorf to meet with the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Armin Laschet.
- Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with representatives of the automotive industry.
- Israel: Knesset elections will be held.
- Pakistan: Pakistan Day/Resolution Day/Republic Day – 1940
- Serbia: Another batch of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine will arrive in the country.
- United Kingdom: The country will hold a National Day of Reflection for the victims of the coronavirus pandemic on the anniversary of the country’s first coronavirus lockdown.
- United States: President Joe Biden will visit the state of Ohio.
- United States: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will testify about the response to the coronavirus pandemic to the House Committee on Financial Services.
- United States: The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing to deliberate on Samantha Power’s nomination as the next USAID administrator.
- United States: The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing on international tax policy.
- United States: The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Congressional war powers.