Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ousted Burkina president Roch Marc Christian Kabore “is physically well” and is being held by the army in a villa.
  • AMERICAS: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged El Salvador to reverse its decision to make Bitcoin legal tender.
  • ASIA: The Australian navy’s largest ship docked at Tonga and was allowed by local authorities to unload humanitarian supplies despite crew members being infected with COVID-19.
  • EUROPE: Austria will end its lockdown for unvaccinated residents next Monday.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Yemeni forces of the internationally recognized government and their United Arab Emirates-backed partners swept through the strategic central province of Marib.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Google announced plans to hire 200 engineers in Brazil as part of a global expansion plan prioritizing markets outside the United States.

Top Story

  • Russia: Moscow said “destructive” sanctions against President Vladimir Putin would not hurt him personally
    • Russia warned that imposing sanctions on President Vladimir Putin personally would not hurt him but would be “politically destructive.”
    • The US has sent a clear message to Russia that its key personnel and economic sectors as well as its leader Vladimir Putin, could face the severest sanctions it has ever faced.
    • S. President Joe Biden said he would consider personal sanctions on Putin if Russia invades Ukraine, as Western leaders stepped up military preparations and made plans to shield Europe from a potential energy supply shock.
    • British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is also hinting at toughening the sanctions regime which will target people, banks, and businesses.
    • The Kremlin previously said any U.S. sanctions personally targeting Putin would be akin to crossing a red line, warning the move could result in a rupture of bilateral ties.
    • Western powers agreed to “unprecedented” sanctions against Russia if it were to invade during crisis talks earlier this week.
    • ReutersCNBC, Economic Times, AP, AFP, BBC

Africa

  • Region: The death toll from tropical storm Ana has risen to at least 12 in Mozambique and Malawi. (Reuters)
  • Burkina Faso: Ousted president Roch Marc Christian Kabore “is physically well” and is being held by the army in a villa. (AFP)
  • Guinea: A court handed life terms to 17 fugitives accused of taking part in ethnic clashes in December 2020 that claimed at least 11 lives. (AFP)
  • Senegal: The army said two of its soldiers have been killed and nine are missing after clashes in The Gambia. (BBC)
  • Uganda: President Yoweri Museveni said the East African country wants to curb its borrowing and boost exports in sectors such as meat and dairy. (Reuters)

Americas 

  • Canada: Computer systems at the Global Affairs Department remained down a week after a cyberattack speculated to be related to ongoing tensions with Russia. (AP)
  • Cuba: Officials said more than 700 people who took part in anti-government protests last year have been charged with crimes including sedition, vandalism, theft, and public disorder. (BBC)
  • El Salvador: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged the country to reverse its decision to make Bitcoin legal tender. (BBC)
  • Mexico: Journalists started nationwide protests to denounce the recent murders of three reporters, demanding an end to impunity. (Reuters)
  • United States: The State Department is reportedly considering allowing its diplomats to leave China over intrusive pandemic control measures. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Region: The United States is making arrangements to recover an F-35C warplane which fell into the South China Sea last week. (Reuters)
  • Australia: The navy’s largest ship docked at Tonga and was allowed by local authorities to unload humanitarian supplies despite crew members being infected with COVID-19. (AP)
  • Hong Kong: A court ruled that trans people will not be allowed to have their gender officially recognized on their identity documents unless they undergo sex reassignment surgery. (AFP)
  • North Korea: Researchers said the internet may have been hit by a second wave of outages in as many weeks, possibly caused by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: The country’s daily COVID-19 cases exceeded 13,000, over 50% more than yesterday’s record high of over 8,000. (Yonhap)

Europe

  • Region: The United States warned that Belarus would face a “decisive response” if it assists Russia in invading Ukraine. (RFE/RL)
  • Austria: The country will end its lockdown for unvaccinated residents next Monday. (AP)
  • Denmark: The government plans to lift its Covid restrictions on Feb 1, despite registering a record number of infections but with vaccine rates high. (AFP)
  • Germany: Parliament is set to hold its first debate on a possible wide-ranging coronavirus vaccine mandate. (AP)
  • Italy: Political parties will hold a third round of voting to elect a new head of state, but it is almost certain to be inconclusive. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Israeli President Isaac Herzog will travel to the UAE and will meet Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during the January 30-31 trip. (AlJazeera)
  • Afghanistan: Women rallied in Kabul at a Taliban sanctioned protest endorsing their regime and calling on the West to unfreeze the nation’s assets. (AFP)
  • Egypt: The US State Department approved $2.5 billion in sales of air defense radars and planes to the country. (Reuters)
  • Lebanon: Human Rights Watch said one of its senior staff members was targeted last year with spyware designed by the Israeli hacker-for hire company NSO Group. (AP)
  • Yemen: Forces of the internationally recognized government and their United Arab Emirates-backed partners swept through the strategic central province of Marib. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Google announced plans to hire 200 engineers in Brazil as part of a global expansion plan prioritizing markets outside the United States. (Reuters)

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 26JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (27JAN22) 

  • Global: International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
  • Asia: Meeting between defense ministers of India, Malaysia, and the Philippines on trilateral maritime cooperation.
  • Asia: Japan-US Aerospace Cooperation Seminar, virtual.
  • Asia: India-Central Asia Summit, virtual.
  • Honduras: Inauguration of President-elect Xiomara Castro.

END