Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ugandan police arrested a US citizen for allegedly being involved in “subversive activities” against Uganda’s government.
  • AMERICAS: US health officials said the recently announced results from AstraZeneca’s trial of its coronavirus vaccine in the country may have used “outdated information”.
  • ASIA: Australia’s government deployed troops to the state of New South Wales to assist with flooding search and rescue operations.
  • EUROPE: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed to share with NATO allies Washington’s thoughts on the looming withdrawal from Afghanistan, as the foreign ministers of NATO countries gathered for their first in-person meeting since the coronavirus pandemic first started.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Arab League offered to help end Lebanon’s crisis and called upon Lebanon’s politicians to end their country’s political deadlock.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Faked negative COVID-19 tests, vaccine passports and coronavirus vaccines are all reportedly being sold on the darknet.

 

Top Story

  • Global: Russia, China officials seek UN summit, lash out at West.
    • Russia and China have called for a summit of the permanent members of the UN Security Council at what they called “a time of increasing global political turbulence”.
    • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is currently visiting China and the call for the summit was released following a meeting between Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
    • Russia and China issued the call after the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Canada imposed coordinated sanctions on Chinese officials for abusing the rights of China’s Uyghur minority group.
    • China is detaining Uyghur people in “reeducation camps” in the Xinjiang region where allegations of torture, forced labour and sexual abuse have emerged.
    • Australia and New Zealand raised “grave concerns” about rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region and welcomed the new coordinated sanctions but did not announce any similar measures of their own.
    • Beijing responded to the sanctions with punitive measures of its own, including sanctions on European lawmakers, diplomats, institutes, families and barring their businesses from trading with China.
    • Reporting: AP, Reuters, BBC, WSJ, NYT, DPA, Guardian, Reuters2

 

Africa

  • Ethiopia: The UN called upon warring parties in the country to halt indiscriminate and targeted attacks against civilians in the country’s embattled Tigray region and in particular the “horrific forms of sexual violence” being reported. (Reuters)
  • Niger: The government confirmed the deaths of 137 people in a series of attacks on villages near the country’s border with Mali by a group of armed men. (AP)
  • Uganda: The police arrested a US citizen for allegedly being involved in “subversive activities” against the government. (AP)

 

Americas

  • Region: US border and immigration officials are set to meet with Mexican counterparts to discuss migration and development in Central America. (AP)
  • Brazil: Workers at a refinery owned by the state-run Petrobras oil firm are on strike demanding more protection against a coronavirus surge. (AFP)
  • Mexico: The National Human Rights Commission has asked the Supreme Court to overturn President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s expansion of mandatory pre-trial detention for various charges. (AP)
  • United States: Federal health officials said the recently announced results from AstraZeneca’s trial of its coronavirus vaccine in the country may have used “outdated information”. (AP)
  • Uruguay: Authorities confirmed the presence of two coronavirus variants from Brazil within the country. (Reuters)

 

Asia  

  • Region: North Korea’s Kim Jong Un called for increased “unity and cooperation” between Pyongyang and Beijing. (AP)
  • Region: India and Pakistan are set to hold their first talks in three years aimed at resolving disputes over hydroelectric projects on the Indus River. (Reuters)
  • Australia: The government deployed troops to the state of New South Wales to assist with flooding search and rescue operations. (EFE)
  • Myanmar: The country’s military junta said it is cooperating with five neighbouring countries, though it only mentioned China in a statement that did not specify the other countries. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed to share with NATO allies Washington’s thoughts on the looming withdrawal from Afghanistan, as the foreign ministers of NATO countries gathered for their first in-person meeting since the coronavirus pandemic first started. (AFP)
  • Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel extended the country’s coronavirus lockdown to 18 April. (Deutsche Welle)
  • Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reportedly set to reshuffle his cabinet of ministers. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: The country’s unemployment rate declined unexpectedly in the three months to January, albeit partly due to people removing themselves from the labor force. (Reuters)

 

Middle East

  • Region: The Arab League offered to help end Lebanon’s crisis and called upon Lebanon’s politicians to end their country’s political deadlock. (Reuters)
  • Region: Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan announced a new peace offer to Houthi rebels in Yemen that includes a proposed UN-supervised ceasefire and the reopening of Sana’a airport in Yemen. (DPA)
  • Israel: The public is voting in the country’s fourth general election in just two years. (Guardian)
  • Yemen: Relief agency Save the Children said a quarter of the civilian casualties of the country’s conflict in the last three years were children. (AP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: Faked negative COVID-19 tests, vaccine passports and coronavirus vaccines are all reportedly being sold on the darknet. (BBC)

 

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 23MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 123,719,955
      • Total recovered cases: 70,182,080
      • Deaths: 2,724,465
      • 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

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (24MAR21)

  • Global: The UN’s International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims – 2011
  • Global: South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook is visiting the United Arab Emirates until tomorrow, after which he will visit India. (to 27MAR)
  • Global: European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva will speak at the Investing in Climate Action conference.
  • Global: The World Bank will release its annual World Development Report
  • Global: The foreign ministers of NATO members will meet for the first time in-person since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Americas: Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro will testify to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about democracy in the region.
  • Asia: Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan will visit Malaysia for two days, after which he will visit Indonesia. (to 25MAR)
  • Europe: The European Central Bank’s governing council will hold a non-monetary policy meeting.
  • Europe: A plenary session of the European Parliament will be held. (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)
  • Greece: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin will visit. (to 25MAR)
  • Libya: The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in the country.
  • India: Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar will visit and meet with his counterpart S Jaishankar.
  • Myanmar: The country’s new junta will reportedly hold a court hearing for deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • Nigeria: The trial of two protesters arrested for demonstrating outside the National Assembly in November could be held.
  • South Korea: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit. (to 25MAR)
  • Spain: Former prime ministers Mariano Rajoy and Jose Maria Aznar will testify as witnesses in the trial of alleged illegal funding surrounding the rightwing Popular Party (PP).
  • Spain: The government will resume using AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine in its coronavirus vaccination campaign.
  • Turkey: The country’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) will hold a party conference.

END