Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: An Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber attacked a security checkpoint belonging to the eastern-based army in the southeast Libyan town of Zalla, with no casualties.
  • AMERICAS: U.S President Joe Biden said that extending troop deployments for the evacuation mission in Afghanistan beyond the Aug. 31 deadline is under consideration.
  • ASIA: U.S. President Joe Biden’s special envoy for North Korea Sung Kim said he’s ready to meet his North Korean counterparts “anywhere and at any time” as he held discussions with ROK officials over stalled nuclear talks with the North.
  • EUROPE: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying Russian gas to Europe and bypassing Ukraine “a dangerous geopolitical weapon.”
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran will hold joint military exercises with China and Russia in the Persian Gulf around late 2021 or early 2022.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has seen more than a dozen of its key leaders and engineers leave the company almost immediately after Bezos launched himself into space.

Top Story

  • Global: U.S Vice President Kamala Harris kicked off her visit to Asia in Singapore and will also stop in Vietnam.
    • Vice President Harris vowed for “enduring engagement” with Asia offering reassurances of Washington’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific following the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.
    • The Vice President also reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to work with partners and allies on a rules-based international order and freedom of navigation in the disputed South China Sea.
    • The White House announced a series of new agreements with Singapore aimed at combating cyberthreats, tackling climate change, addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and alleviating supply chain issues.
    • Harris will deliver a speech outlining the Biden administration’s vision for the region and meet with business leaders to discuss supply chain issues tomorrow.
    • The visit aims to broaden cooperation with allies like Singapore and Vietnam as a counterweight to China’s growing influence in the region.
    • AFP, Reuters, NBC News, AP, BBC

Africa

  • Cameroon: One person was killed after gunmen opened fire in a church in the country’s English-speaking northwest region. (Xinhua)
  • Ghana: An official confirmed at least 10 people died and dozens were injured in a road accident in the country’s south. (Xinhua)
  • Libya: An Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber attacked a security checkpoint belonging to the eastern-based army in the southeastern town of Zalla, with no casualties. (Xinhua)
  • Nigeria: Bandits have released 15 more students kidnapped last month from a Baptist school in the country’s northwest. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Brazil: The government sent a plane carrying humanitarian aid and 32 firefighters to Haiti after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the Caribbean country on Aug. 14. (Xinhua)
  • Haiti: The country’s Civil Protection Agency reported the number of people killed by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Aug. 14 has risen to 2,207, with 344 still missing. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: Eight people have died after Hurricane Grace ripped through the eastern part of the country, bringing heavy rain and high winds causing power outages and flooding. (BBC)
  • United States: President Joe Biden said that extending troop deployments for the evacuation mission in Afghanistan beyond the Aug. 31 deadline is under consideration. (Xinhua)

Asia

  • Region: U.S. President Joe Biden’s special envoy for North Korea Sung Kim said he’s ready to meet his North Korean counterparts “anywhere and at any time” as he held discussions with ROK officials over stalled nuclear talks with the North. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: The Taliban said their fighters had surrounded resistance forces in the Panjshir Valley but were looking to negotiate rather than fight. (AFP)
  • China: The country reported no new domestic COVID-19 cases, as Beijing cracks down on the pandemic’s most serious resurgence in months with mass testing and targeted lockdowns. (AFP)
  • Japan: Opposition-backed scientist Takeharu Yamanaka defeated a close ally of Prime Minister Suga, Hachiro Okonogi in a high-profile mayoral election in Yokohama. (AP)
  • New Zealand: The country extended a national Covid-19 lockdown with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying the Delta variant outbreak has yet to peak. (AFP)

Europe

  • Region: Russia and Turkey are close to signing a new agreement to supply Ankara with additional S-400 air defense units in the near future. (Reuters)
  • France: Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the economy is “doing well” thanks to a rise in consumer spending and even in spite of restrictions still in place to tackle COVID-19. (Reuters)
  • Greece: Firefighters battled a forest fire that broke out on the southern part of Greece’s Evia island, less than two weeks after an inferno decimated its northern part. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: The country said it will urge the United States to extend the August 31 deadline to complete evacuations of Western citizens and Afghan colleagues from Kabul at a virtual G7 summit. (AFP)
  • Ukraine: President Volodymyr Zelensky called the Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying Russian gas to Europe and bypassing Ukraine “a dangerous geopolitical weapon.” (AFP)

Middle East

  • Egypt: Officials said the country closed its border with the Gaza Strip amid tensions with militant Hamas rulers. (AP)
  • Iran: The country will hold joint military exercises with China and Russia in the Persian Gulf around late 2021 or early 2022. (Reuters)
  • Iran: Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saeed Khatibzadeh called for the formation of a comprehensive government in Afghanistan. (Xinhua)
  • Lebanon: Iran said it is ready to ship more fuel to the country if needed, a day after the leader of Hezbollah said more vessels carrying Iranian fuel would help ease the country’s fuel shortage. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: The war-torn country will receive about $665 million worth of reserves from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which will help ease the economic and humanitarian crisis. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Tech: Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has seen more than a dozen of its key leaders and engineers leave the company almost immediately after Bezos launched himself into space. (Hypebeast)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes:
  • Shiveluch, Russia
    • Explosive activity continues
    • Erupting
    • Source
  • Sabancaya, Peru
    • Explosive activity continues
    • Actively erupting
    • Source
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 23AUG21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (24AUG21)

  • Global: S. Vice President Kamala Harris visiting Vietnam and Singapore. (To AUG 26)
  • Global:N. Human Rights Council to hold a special session on Afghanistan.
  • Global:S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman to visit Djibouti, Ethiopia, and the UAE to discuss the Tigray conflict in Ethiopia.
  • Global: United Nations Security Council consultations on Syria and the Middle East.
  • Asia: Asian Development Bank ‘Key Indicators’ report published.
  • Colombia: President Ivan Duque to visit South Korea.
  • Japan: Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi visiting Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Palestine and Qatar.
  • Liberia: Flag Day.
  • Peru: Congress to vote on President Pedro Castillo’s cabinet picks.
  • Russia: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to visit Hungary, Austria, and Italy.
  • United States: S. special envoy for North Korea visiting South Korea to discuss denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
  • Ukraine: Crimea Platform summit to take place in Kyiv, Ukraine.
  • Ukraine: Independence Day.
  • Zambia: Zambian President-elect Hakainde Hichilema to be inaugurated.

END