Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The United States is imposing restrictions on economic and security assistance to Ethiopia over the reports of human rights abuses in the country’s embattled Tigray region.
  • AMERICAS: Hurricane Ana has weakened into a post-tropical cyclone.
  • ASIA: Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi made her first in-person appearance since February’s coup and her detention as she appeared in court to face a charge of “incitement to sedition”.
  • EUROPE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron rallied around efforts to strengthen the World Health Organization’s capacity to prepare and defend against pandemics.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency agreed to extend a surveillance deal concerning the country’s atomic sites for one month.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: India’s national air carrier Air India said the personal data of an unspecified number of travelers was compromised after one of its servers was hacked.

 

Top Story

  • Belarus: Anger over Belarus forcing plane landing to arrest journalist.
    • Western countries condemned Belarus’ decision to force a plane flying in its airspace to land to arrest pro-opposition journalist Roman Protasevich.
    • Belarus scrambled a fighter jet to force the plane to land in Belarus after Belarusian air traffic controllers told the flight’s crew they faced a bomb threat and ordered them to land in Minsk only to later allow the plane to depart after Roman Protasevich was led off the plane.
    • Protasevich, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, is a journalist who ran a popular messaging app that helped organize protests against Belarus’ authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko.
    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the plane’s diversion “shocking” while Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, whose country the plane was traveling to, called for “serious sanctions” against the Belarusian government, which will likely be discussed at a European Union summit today.
    • Meanwhile, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow was “shocked” that Western countries called the incident shocking, accusing them of “kidnappings, forced landings and illegal arrests.”
    • Reporting: Reuters, AP, DPA, BBC, NYT, WSJ, AFP, WaPo

 

Africa

  • Egypt: An appeals court in the country said it was not in its jurisdiction to look into the Suez Canal Authority’s request to uphold financial claims that led to the authority seizing the Ever Given ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March. (AP)
  • Ethiopia: The United States is imposing restrictions on economic and security assistance to the country over the reports of human rights abuses in the country’s embattled Tigray region. (Reuters)
  • Morocco: Rabat warned Spain that its relationship with the country could deteriorate further over Madrid accepting the entry of Brahim Ghali, head of the Polisario Front, to Spain for medical treatment. (AFP)
  • Sudan: International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda called Ali Kushayb, an alleged leader of a notorious militia blamed for atrocities in Darfur, a “willing and energetic” perpetrator of crimes at the opening of a hearing of evidence against him. (AP)

 

Americas

  • Region: Hurricane Ana has weakened into a post-tropical cyclone. (AP)
  • Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro led a motorbike rally in Rio de Janeiro. (AFP)
  • United States: National Guard troops are expected to leave and turn over security of Capitol Hill back to Capitol Police, almost five months after being deployed to quell the 6 January storming. (AP)

 

Asia  

  • Region: Taiwan criticized the World Health Organization for its “indifference” toward the health rights of Taiwanese people and for acquiescing to China after Taipei was not invited to the WHO’s World Health Assembly. (Reuters)
  • China: Three researchers at Wuhan’s Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019, according to a previously undisclosed US intelligence report. (WSJ)
  • Japan: The government mobilized military doctors and nurses to administer COVID-19 vaccine doses to elderly people in Tokyo and Osaka in a bid to accelerate its coronavirus vaccination campaign ahead of the upcoming Olympics. (AP)
  • Myanmar: Ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi made her first in-person appearance since February’s coup and her detention as she appeared in court to face a charge of “incitement to sedition”. (DPA)
  • Samoa: Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa was barred from entering parliament as Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi refused to give up power. (AP)

 

Europe

  • Region: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron rallied around efforts to strengthen the World Health Organization’s capacity to prepare and defend against pandemics. (AP)
  • Italy: At least 14 people died after a cable car crashed to the ground near Lake Maggiore. (Reuters)
  • Turkey: Officials arrested terror suspect Mustafa Abdulwahab Mahmud, who is wanted by the United States for being a member of the Islamic State group. (AFP)

 

Middle East

  • Bahrain: The government suspended the entry of visitors from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. (Reuters)
  • Iran: Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency agreed to extend a surveillance deal concerning the country’s atomic sites for one month. (AP)
  • Israel: The Health Ministry proposed the easing of coronavirus restrictions beginning from 1 June. (AFP)
  • Oman: There were rare, scattered protests across the country triggered by layoffs and poor economic conditions. (AP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: India’s national air carrier Air India said the personal data of an unspecified number of travelers was compromised after one of its servers was hacked. (AP)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Cyclone Yaas
      • Location: 360 nautical miles S-SE of Kolkata, India
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Movement: N at 6 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 24MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 167,219,723
      • Deaths: 3,464,799
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 16MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (25MAY21)

  • Global: The WHO will hold its annual World Health Assembly. (to 01JUN)
  • Global: US and Iran will reportedly hold a final round of discussions on the 2015 JCPOA deal in Vienna, Austria.
  • Global: Russian and Chinese officials will hold strategic security consultations in Moscow, Russia.
  • Global: US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman will visit Belgium, Turkey, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand. (to 04JUN)
  • Asia: United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Volkan Bozkir will visit Bangladesh and Pakistan. (to 27MAY)
  • Europe The European Court of Human Rights will hear a case against British and American intelligence gathering.
  • Europe: EU leaders will hold a special European Council meeting.
  • Europe: The EU foreign affairs council will hold a meeting.
  • Argentina: Revolution Day – 1810
  • Jordan: Independence Day – 1946
  • Russia: Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will visit and meet with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
  • Russia: The country will allow flights from Iceland, Malta, Mexico, Portugal, and Saudi Arabia.
  • Italy: A preliminary hearing will be held in the trial against the Egyptian citizens accused of the murder of academic Giulio Regeni.
  • Saudi Arabia: The country’s officials will hold virtual discussions with Russian government officials. 
  • Somalia: The UN Security Council will hold briefings and discussions on the country.
  • Syria: A delegation from Russia’s parliament will visit to purportedly serve as election monitors. (to 28MAY)
  • Turkey: The trial of imprisoned pro-Kurdish opposition politician Selahattin Demirtas will resume.
  • United States: Colombia’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucía Ramírez will visit. (to 27MAY)
  • United States: Rallies, marches, and other events will be held to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin.
  • United States: Secretary of State Antony Blinken will testify to the Senate Committee on Appropriations on the State Department’s budget request for the 2022 fiscal year.
  • United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on the impact of sanctions in Africa.

END