Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Burkina Faso’s government and the United Nations said that child soldiers were responsible for a massacre of more than 130 people in the country.
  • AMERICAS: Another 600 unmarked graves were found at the site of a former residential school for Indigenous children in Canada.
  • ASIA: Hong Kong security secretary John Lee was promoted to chief secretary, in a move critics said will further tighten China’s security squeeze on the city.
  • EUROPE: Russia accused the United Kingdom and the United States of attempting to incite a conflict in the Black Sea.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The World Health Organization said failure to renew a cross-border humanitarian aid operation could cause a new “humanitarian catastrophe” in Syria.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Belarus moved journalist Raman Pratasevich and his girlfriend from jail to house arrest.

Top Story

  • Global: Delta COVID-19 cases on the rise.
    • There is concern over a new wave of COVID-19 infections driven primarily by the new and highly infectious Delta variant, as countries that coped relatively better such as Australia and Israel reintroduced restrictions, and at least 12 countries in Africa reported an alarming surge in infections.
    • In Australia, the city of Sydney was partially placed under a coronavirus lockdown for at least a week, though the Australian Medical Association said the move was not enough to reduce the spread of the new Delta variant.
    • In Israel, one of the countries with the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates, the Health Ministry reinstated mandatory face mask rules in public spaces just 10 days after dropping the rule due to a new spike in infections.
    • Meanwhile, the United Kingdom also reported a spike in COVID-19 infections over the last week.
    • Health authorities in the UK said the Delta variant now comprised 96% of the recent cases in the country but said COVID-19 vaccines were still effective at providing protection against risk of hospitalization.
    • Reporting: Reuters, BBC, NYT, AFP, DPA, Reuters2, AFP2

Africa

  • Region: Recent Islamic State propaganda released by its leaders in the Middle East is increasingly stressing sub-Saharan Africa as a new front which could compensate for the group’s losses in other regions. (Guardian)
  • Burkina Faso: The government and the United Nations said that child soldiers were responsible for a massacre of more than 130 people. (UPI)
  • South Africa: Health officials said the government plans to more than double the rate of daily COVID-19 vaccinations next month due to the continued delivery of Pfizer/BioNTech and J&J COVID-19 vaccines. (Reuters)
  • Tunisia: Authorities rescued 267 migrants who were trying to sail from neighbouring Libya to Europe across the Mediterranean. (AFP)

Americas

  • Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro said his administration neither paid for nor received any doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by Indian company Bharat Biotech, amid reports of the vaccine deal being investigated for irregularities. (Reuters)
  • Canada: Another 600 unmarked graves were found at the site of a former residential school for Indigenous children. (AP)
  • Colombia: National Liberation Army (ELN) leader Nicolas “Gabino” Rodriguez Bautista announced his retirement due to ill health. (AFP)
  • Haiti: The leader of the so-called G9 federation of nine gangs warned of launching a revolution against the country’s business and political elites. (Reuters)
  • Peru: One of the members on the jury reviewing contested presidential election ballots quit accusing the jury of bias, saying “decisions were already made”. (Reuters)

Asia  

  • Region: Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu announced that Tokyo will give another one million COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan. (DPA)
  • Afghanistan: President Ashraf Ghani and his former political foe Abdullah Abdullah met with US President Joe Biden. (Reuters)
  • Australia: A top union leader urged the government to introduce legislation banning businesses from “profiting by importing goods made by slavery”, including those made in Xinjiang. (Guardian)
  • China: Hong Kong security secretary John Lee was promoted to chief secretary, in a move critics said will further tighten Beijing’s security squeeze on the city. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia: Separatist rebels took four civilians hostage in the Papua region after they killed several construction workers in an ambush. (AFP)

Europe

  • Region: Russia accused the United Kingdom and the United States of attempting to incite a conflict in the Black Sea. (Reuters)
  • Region: European Union leaders approved plans to pay Turkey $3.6 billion over the next several years to host Syrian refugees on its territory and improve border controls. (AP)
  • Belarus: State-owned Belarus Potash Company (BPC) vowed to meet its commitments to customers, which include China and India, following the imposition of EU sanctions on the company. (Reuters)
  • Czech Republic: A rare tornado killed at least three people in the country’s southern region. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Iran: A Canadian government report on the 2020 downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane found no evidence of the downing being “premeditated” but held Tehran “fully responsible” for the incident. (BBC)
  • Lebanon: Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab granted his approval to a policy change that could effectively cut critical fuel subsidies amid worsening gasoline shortages. (AP)
  • Syria: The World Health Organization said failure to renew a cross-border humanitarian aid operation could cause a new “humanitarian catastrophe” in the country. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Belarus moved journalist Raman Pratasevich and his girlfriend from jail to house arrest. (AP)

World

  • Cyclones:
    • Typhoon Champi
      • Location: 199 nautical miles SW of Iwo Jima, Japan
      • Wind: 75 mph
      • Movement: N at 9 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes:
    • Tropical Storm Enrique
      • Location: 325 miles S-SE of Manzanillo, Mexico
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Movement: W-NW at 8 mph
      • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes:
    • Indonesia
      • Mount Merapi erupted sending clouds of hot ash shot 1,000 meters into the sky and lava streams up to 3 kilometers away on the ground.
      • Sourcing: AP
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 25JUN21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (26JUN21)

  • Global: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Germany, France, the Holy See, and Italy. (to 29JUN)
  • Global: Russia will host an international forum to mark the beginning of its chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
  • India: Trade unions and farmers associations will hold a countrywide protest being billed as “Save Agriculture-Save Democracy Day”, to demand a repeal of recent agriculture laws, removal of controversial labour regulations, and the introduction of an income transfer scheme for the poor.
  • United States: The government will extend its National Emergency with respect to North Korea.
  • United States: Former President Donald Trump is expected to hold his first post-presidential rally in Ohio.

END