Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Senegalese President Macki Sall’s alliance acknowledged defeat in two local polls seen as a key test of support ahead of an eagerly-awaited general election.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuelan Opposition leader Juan Guaido called for citizens to take to the streets on Feb. 12 in peaceful marches against President Nicolas Maduro, as the country’s divided opposition looks ahead to presidential elections.
  • ASIA: China flew thirty-nine warplanes towards Taiwan amid tensions over the island’s future.
  • EUROPE: The European Union is ready to impose “never-seen-before” economic sanctions on Russia if it attacks Ukraine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Taliban and western diplomats began their first official talks in Oslo since they took over Afghanistan in August.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s WeChat account has disappeared, prompting accusations of Chinese “interference” from senior members of his government.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: NATO steps up readiness in Eastern Europe as western nations urge families and staff to evacuate the country.
    • NATO said it is putting forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets in response to Russia’s military build-up at Ukraine’s borders.
    • NATO allies are bolstering the alliance’s eastern flank in response to Russia’s military buildup around Ukraine, as the European Union set out plans for loans and grants for Kyiv worth more than $1.3 billion.
    • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the ‘deteriorating security situation’ has led NATO allies to ready frigates, fighter jets and troops for ‘collective defense.
    • Britain has started withdrawing staff from its embassy in Ukraine, amid growing fears of a Russian invasion.
    • Ukraine said it was “premature” of the United States to evacuate the families of its diplomatic staff in Kyiv due to fears of a looming Russian invasion.
    • Reuters, The Guardian, WSJ, BBC, AFP,

Africa

  • Burkina Faso: Two mutinous soldiers said that President Roch Marc Christian Kabore is being held by the rebellious soldiers. (AP)
  • Eswatini: The country will destroy 10,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines that have expired. (BBC)
  • Senegal: President Macki Sall’s alliance acknowledged defeat in two local polls seen as a key test of support ahead of an eagerly-awaited general election. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: At least 31 ethnic Dinka were killed in clashes with suspected Murle armed youth in Jonglei state. (AP)
  • Uganda: The economy fully reopened after nearly two years of closure for some businesses. (BBC)

Americas  

  • Canada: A convoy of truckers started their march from Vancouver to the capital city of Ottawa protesting the government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truckers. (Reuters)
  • Mexico: Journalist Lourdes Maldonado López was killed in the northern border city of Tijuana after being shot to death inside her car. (AP)
  • United States: The State Department issued a travel advisory warning citizens not to travel to Russia due to mounting tensions on the border with Ukraine. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: Opposition leader Juan Guaido called for citizens to take to the streets on Feb. 12 in peaceful marches against President Nicolas Maduro, as the country’s divided opposition looks ahead to presidential elections. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Region: Indonesia and Singapore are starting a quarantine-free travel between the two countries to spur the economy as Omicron cases become more dominant. (Bloomberg)
  • China: The longest coronavirus lockdown since the start of the pandemic ended as authorities announced the lifting of restrictions in the northern megacity of Xi’an. (AFP)
  • South Korea: The country will expand rapid testing and shorten quarantines as it reshapes its pandemic response to deal with a surge in coronavirus infections driven by the omicron variant. (AP)
  • Taiwan: China flew thirty-nine warplanes towards the island amid tensions over its future. (AP)
  • Thailand: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha will pay an official visit to Saudi Arabia this week, the first by a head of government in more than three decades. (AP)

Europe  

  • Region: The European Union is ready to impose “never-seen-before” economic sanctions on Russia if it attacks Ukraine. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Former pope Benedict XVI admitted providing incorrect information to an inquiry about his presence at a 1980 meeting discussing a pedophile priest, blaming an editing “oversight.” (AFP)
  • Ireland: Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said that plans by Russia to hold navy military exercises off the country’s coast are “not welcome”. (Belfast Telegraph)
  • Italy: The first round of voting for president opens without a clear slate of candidates following three-time ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s withdrawal. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people arriving in England from abroad will no longer have to take COVID-19 tests if they have been vaccinated. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: The Taliban and western diplomats began their first official talks in Oslo since they took over the country in August. (AP)
  • Iran: The country ruled out US preconditions for reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, including the release of American prisoners held by the Islamic Republic. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Kurdish forces locked down the northeastern city of Hasakah to trap ISIS fighters who attacked a prison there five days earlier, leaving more than 150 people dead. (AFP)
  • United Arab Emirates: The country intercepted two ballistic missiles targeting Abu Dhabi from Houthi rebels. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s WeChat account has disappeared, prompting accusations of Chinese “interference” from senior members of his government. (AFP)

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 24JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (25JAN22) 

  • Aruba: Betico Croes Day.
  • Egypt: Demonstrations may take place in remembrance of the 11th anniversary of the Jan. 25, 2011, uprising against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, though security forces are likely to suppress protest activity.
  • Europe: Sixth meeting of EU-Serbia Stabilization and Association Council to be held.
  • Indonesia: Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ retreat in Bintan.
  • Nigeria: Court to hear Shell’s appeal to overturn a 2020 judgment that awarded community members a $2 billion award for an alleged oil leak that damaged land and waterways.

END