Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The UN called for a full investigation after reports of civilians suffering from injuries consistent with the use of white phosphorus during the recent fighting in Ethiopia emerged.
  • AMERICAS: Former banker Guillermo Lasso was sworn-in as Ecuador’s new president.
  • ASIA: Australia abruptly announced it will close its embassy in Afghanistan due to the “increasingly uncertain security environment” over there.
  • EUROPE: The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the United Kingdom’s bulk interception of communications was a breach of fundamental human rights.
  • MIDDLE EAST: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised to “rally international support” for assistance to Gaza and that Washington will ensure Hamas does not benefit from any international aid.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: American journalist Danny Fenster, managing editor of Frontier Myanmar magazine, was detained by Myanmar’s military junta as he was trying to leave the country.

 

Top Story

  • Europe: EU isolates and imposes new sanctions on Belarus.
    • The European Union banned Belarusian airlines from operating in EU airspace following the forced landing and subsequent detention of journalist Roman Protasevich by Belarusian authorities over the weekend.
    • The EU also urged European airlines to avoid flying over Belarus and imposed new sanctions on Belarusian authorities linked to the forced landing of the passenger jet.
    • Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who currently lives in exile in Lithuania, urged the international community to discuss joint efforts “to bring the perpetrators to justice” and urged the United States to launch an investigation.
    • Meanwhile, Belarusian authorities sentenced another seven activists to four-to-seven years in prison, including senior opposition figure Pavel Severinets.
    • Reporting: AP, DPA, BBC, NYT, WSJ, AFP, WaPo, Reuters

 

Africa

  • Region: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi spoke with US President Joe Biden over the phone and discussed the recent Cairo-brokered Gaza ceasefire and the ongoing tussle between Egypt and Ethiopia over the GERD dam on the river Nile. (AFP)
  • DR Congo: The Nyiragongo volcano eruption caused the destruction of between 900 – 2,500 homes, according to humanitarian groups. (AFP)
  • Ethiopia: The UN called for a full investigation after reports of civilians suffering from injuries consistent with the use of white phosphorus during the recent fighting in the country emerged. (Telegraph
  • Mali: The UN called for the immediate release of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane following reports of their detention by the military. (BBC)

 

Americas

  • Region: The leaders of Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Jamaica, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Uruguay urged countries with access to COVID-19 vaccines to share with other countries. (AFP)
  • Region: Mexico’s state-owned Pemex oil firm will take over a Deer Park refinery near Houston in the US state of Texas. (DPA)
  • Colombia: President Ivan Duque appointed Juan Camilo Restrepo, a tax lawyer and former agriculture minister, as the country’s new high commissioner for peace. (AFP)
  • Ecuador: Former banker Guillermo Lasso was sworn-in as the country’s new president. (AP)
  • Peru: The military said a splinter group of the Shining Path rebel group killed at least 14 people near San Miguel de Ene. (Guardian)

 

Asia  

  • Region: Australia abruptly announced it will close its embassy in Afghanistan due to the “increasingly uncertain security environment” over there. (AFP)
  • China: Beijing denounced a planned people’s tribunal in the United Kingdom on the allegations of genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim people in Xinjiang. (AP)
  • India: Authorities are evacuating more than a million people to safety away from the country’s east coast where Cyclone Yaas is approaching, just days after another cyclone hit the country’s west coast. (Reuters)
  • Samoa: The United Nations urged the country’s political leaders to resolve the country’s ongoing political crisis through dialogue. (Reuters)
  • Taiwan: Health Minister Chen Shih-chung extended virus-related restrictions until the middle of June and said he expected two million doses of coronavirus vaccines to arrive in the country by the end of June. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the United Kingdom’s bulk interception of communications was a breach of fundamental human rights. (Reuters)
  • Region: Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis rejected Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s claim that the Czech Republic had agreed to withdraw its complaint to the Court of Justice of the European Union over lignite coal mining at the Turow mine in Poland. (Reuters)
  • Region: Poland reached a deal with Ankara to purchase Turkish-made combat drones, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (AP)
  • Germany: The country’s economy declined more than expected in the first quarter of the year, according to newly released government data. (AP)
  • Russia: Imprisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny said investigators informed him of three new criminal probes against him. (AFP)  

 

Middle East

  • Region: An air base is being constructed on the Mayun island that sits in the critical chokepoint region of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, but no country has claimed responsibility for the air base yet. (AP)
  • Region: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised to “rally international support” for assistance to Gaza and that Washington will ensure Hamas does not benefit from any international aid. (AP)
  • Iran: State television announced that only seven candidates have been approved for the country’s upcoming presidential election, with prominent candidates like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ali Larijani, and Eshaq Jahangiri being excluded from the approved candidate list. (AFP)
  • Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named longtime Mossad operative David Barnea as the new head of the spy agency. (AP)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Media: American journalist Danny Fenster, managing editor of Frontier Myanmar magazine, was detained by Myanmar’s military junta as he was trying to leave the country. (WaPo)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Cyclone Yaas
      • Location: 222 nautical miles South of Kolkata, India
      • Wind: 70 mph
      • Movement: N at 9 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 25MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 167,345,338
      • Deaths: 3,474,656
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 23MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (26MAY21)

  • Global: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel, the West Bank, Egypt, and Jordan. (to 27MAY)
  • Global: The WHO will hold its annual World Health Assembly. (to 01JUN)
  • Global: US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman will visit Belgium, Turkey, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand. (to 04JUN)
  • Global: A “supermoon” lunar eclipse is expected to take place.
  • Africa: Egypt and Sudan’s militarties will hold the “Guardians of the Nile” joint exercises. (to 31MAY)
  • Africa: Tanzanian and Kenyan government officials are expected to discuss ways to resolve trade issues between the two countries.
  • Asia: United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Volkan Bozkir will visit Bangladesh and Pakistan. (to 27MAY)
  • Europe: Legal proceedings in the dispute between the EU and AstraZeneca will begin.
  • China: Hong Kong’s legislature is expected to vote on proposed changes to the city’s electoral laws.
  • Georgia: Independence Day – 1918
  • Ivory Coast: Spain’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs will visit. (to 27MAY)
  • Libya: Italy’s new consul will take up his post in Benghazi.
  • Portugal: European Defense Agency Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý will visit the Sintra airbase.
  • South Africa: The corruption trial of former President Jacob Zuma will resume.
  • Syria: A delegation from Russia’s parliament will visit to purportedly serve as election monitors. (to 28MAY)
  • Syria: Presidential elections will be held in the country.
  • Syria: The UN Security Council will hold meetings on the country.
  • United Kingdom: Parliament will question Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s former adviser Dominic Cummings as part of an inquiry into the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • United States: Colombia’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucía Ramírez will visit. (to 27MAY)
  • United States: India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will visit and meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. (to 29MAY)
  • United States: Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas will testify to the Senate Committee on Appropriations on the DHS budget for the 2022 fiscal year.

END