Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Nigerois opposition leader Mahamane Ousmane claims he won Niger’s recent presidential election despite official results showing that he lost the vote by more than 11 percentage points.
  • AMERICAS: US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a virtual meeting and pledged to work together to counter China and address climate change.
  • ASIA: Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi canceled a trip to Myanmar following opposition to the planned visit due to the recent coup in Myanmar.
  • EUROPE: A German court sentenced a Syrian citizen to four and a half years in prison for his role in the Syrian government’s torture regime, marking the first verdict of its kind worldwide.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi said he discussed developing bilateral relations and continuing cooperation to fight Daesh in a phone call with US President Joe Biden.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Leading tech companies told Congress that the recent months-long breach of corporate and government networks was so sophisticated and labor-intensive that it was likely that a country was responsible for it, with all the evidence pointing to Russia.

Top Story

  • Global: First free COVAX vaccines arrive in Ghana.
    • Ghana became the first country in the world to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization’s COVAX initiative.
    • Ghana received a shipment of 600,000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India through the COVAX initiative.
    • In a joint statement, the WHO and UNICEF called the delivery of the vaccines a “momentous occasion.”
    • The COVAX initiative pools together money from wealthy countries and nonprofits to equitably distribute coronavirus vaccines across the world for free.
    • The initiative aims to deliver about two billion doses of coronavirus vaccines to several countries across the world by the end of 2021.
    • Reporting: AFP, Reuters, WaPo, AP, BBC, NYT, WSJ

Africa

  • DR Congo: Italy has asked the United Nations to investigate the killing of its ambassador to the country. (AFP)
  • Niger: Opposition leader Mahamane Ousmane claims he won the country’s recent presidential election despite official results showing that he lost the vote by more than 11 percentage points. (AFP)
  • Senegal: The country’s coronavirus vaccination campaign began with the administration of Chinese pharma company Sinopharm’s vaccine. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Region: The UN said that the number of people facing hunger in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua has nearly quadrupled in the last two years. (Reuters)
  • Region: US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a virtual meeting and pledged to work together to counter China and address climate change. (Reuters)
  • Ecuador: Authorities said escape attempts, fights between rival gangs and riots across prisons in three of the country’s cities resulted in the deaths of 62 inmates. (AP)
  • United States: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington will compete for a seat at the UN Human Rights Council. (AP)
  • Venezuela: Pro-Maduro lawmakers called for the expulsion of the EU Ambassador to Caracas following the EU’s decision to impose sanctions on 19 officials. (AFP)

Asia  

  • Region: Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi canceled a trip to Myanmar following opposition to the planned visit due to the recent coup in Myanmar. (Deutsche Welle)
  • Region: China called the Japan-US mutual security pact a product of the Cold War after the US criticized China’s deployment of coast guard vessels to Japanese-claimed territorial waters over the weekend. (AP)
  • Malaysia: Lawmakers and rights groups are demanding that the government explain its decision to violate a court order and deport over a thousand Myanmar migrants. (AP)
  • Nepal: Embattled Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s aide said he would not resign but face a floor test in parliament instead, a day after the Supreme Court rejected his decision to dissolve parliament and call for early elections. (Reuters)
  • Singapore: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the country is in discussions with foreign countries over the mutual recognition of vaccine certificates, calling it a necessary step to enable the resumption of international travel. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Germany: A court in the city of Koblenz sentenced a Syrian citizen to four and a half years in prison for his role in the Syrian government’s torture regime, marking the first verdict of its kind worldwide. (DPA)
  • Hungary: Prime Minister Viktor Orban said it was still too early to ease the government’s partial coronavirus lockdown due to low vaccination rates and a recent increase in coronavirus infections. (Reuters)
  • Russia: Amnesty International stripped opposition politician Alexei Navalny of his status as a “prisoner of conscience” after the organization received complaints highlighting xenophobic comments made by Navalny in the past. (BBC)
  • Spain: The last public statue in the country of former dictator Francisco Franco was removed in the city of Melilla. (Guardian)

Middle East

  • Iran: UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, accused the government of misleading denials and inadequate investigations following the military’s accidental downing of a Ukrainian passenger jet in January 2020. (RFE-RL)
  • Iraq: Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi said he discussed developing bilateral relations and continuing cooperation to fight Daesh in a phone call with US President Joe Biden. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: The value of the country’s imports from Turkey declined to their lowest level in at least a year due to an informal boycott of Turkish goods by the country’s businessmen and retailers. (Reuters)
  • United Arab Emirates: The government plans to set up new field hospitals in a bid to boost the capacity of the country’s healthcare sector. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: Health authorities in the country’s government-controlled regions urged hospitals to prepare for a possible second wave of coronavirus and take steps to prevent the virus’ spread. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: Leading tech companies told Congress that the recent months-long breach of corporate and government networks was so sophisticated and labor-intensive that it was likely that a country was responsible for it, with all the evidence pointing to Russia. (AP)

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 24FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 112,184,238
      • Total recovered cases: 63,345,471
      • Deaths: 2,487,155
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (25FEB21)

  • Global: The International Institute for Strategic Studies will launch its annual assessment of the military capabilities of 171 countries.
  • Global: The US could release an intelligence report that reportedly claims Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • Europe: The leaders of EU member-states will hold a virtual summit to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and other issues. (to 26FEB)
  • Europe: The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly will hold a virtual meeting.
  • Europe: Eurozone finance ministers will hold a meeting.
  • Europe: Spanish Finance Minister Nadia Calvino will speak at the European Parliament.
  • Middle East: US Special Envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking will travel to several countries in the Arabian peninsula. (to 03MAR)
  • China: Defense Minister Wei Fenghe will hold a press conference.
  • Hungary: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will visit and meet with his counterpart Peter Szijjarto and Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
  • Kuwait: National Day – 1950
  • Nigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari will meet with state governors to discuss fuel pricing.
  • Russia: Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Japarov will visit and meet with his counterpart Vladimir Putin.
  • Syria: The UN Security Council will hold meetings to discuss the situation in the country.
  • United States: The government will extend its National Emergency with respect to Libya.
  • United States: President Joe Biden will address a National Governors Association meeting.
  • United States: The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing on the nomination of Katherine Tai’s nomination to be the next US Trade Representative.
  • United States: The Bureau of Economic Analysis will publish GDP data for Q4 2020.
  • United States: Qatar-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera will launch an online studio interview program hosted by libertarian broadcaster Stephen Kent, ahead of a planned launch of its own center-right news platform in the country sometime later this year.

END