Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Brahim Ghali, who leads the Polisario Front and the self-declared Sahrawi Democratic Arab Republic and is at the center of a diplomatic spat between Morocco and Madrid, will appear before a judge in Spain on 1 June.
  • AMERICAS: US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to hold an in-person summit in Switzerland on 16 June.
  • ASIA: World Health Organization members voted to exclude Myanmar from this year’s World Health Assembly.
  • EUROPE: Belarus’ authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko defended his decision to force a passenger jet to land and accused the West of conducting a “hybrid war” against the country.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Voting started in government-controlled areas for Syria’s presidential election which has been dismissed as a sham by the opposition and Western countries.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The messaging app WhatsApp sued the Indian government over its new rules requiring messages be made “traceable” to external parties.

 

Top Story

  • Middle East: Blinken visiting Egypt to bolster Israel-Gaza ceasefire.
    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting Cairo as he continues with efforts to bolster the ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.
    • Egypt has long standing relations with both sides and played a key role in brokering the ceasefire agreement in coordination with the US. 
    • Secretary Blinken is scheduled to meet with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry and the country’s spy chief Abbas Kamel
    • Blinken concluded talks with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders before his Cairo visit and is scheduled to Jordan to meet with King Abdullah II and other Jordanian officials after his visit to Cairo.
    • Reporting: AP, AFP, Reuters, BBC

 

Africa

  • DR Congo: The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia, which is believed to have links with the Islamic State group, killed 13 people in the country’s east. (AFP)
  • Mali: The UN Security Council is expected to hold a closed-door emergency meeting on the situation in the country amid growing diplomatic pressure on the leaders of the recent coup. (France24)
  • Morocco: Brahim Ghali, who leads the Polisario Front and the self-declared Sahrawi Democratic Arab Republic and is at the center of a diplomatic spat between Rabat and Madrid, will appear before a judge in Spain on 1 June. (AP)
  • South Africa: Former President Jacob Zuma pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering related to a $2 billion arms deal. (Reuters)
  • South Sudan: President Salva Kiir presided over a ceremony marking the start of the drafting of a final constitution for the country to cement a fragile post-independence peace deal. (AFP)

 

Americas

  • Region: Mexico said it will soon start exporting AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccines to other countries in the region, under a joint production agreement with Argentina. (AFP)
  • Canada: Belarus closed its embassy in the country after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned Minsk’s forced landing of a passenger jet to detain a journalist. (AFP)
  • United States: President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to hold an in-person summit in Switzerland on 16 June. (AP)
  • Venezuela: Officials in the country reportedly asked Spain to extradite prominent opposition activist Leopoldo López. (AP)

 

Asia  

  • Region: Several travelers from Tajikistan were barred from entering Kyrgyzstan at its main international airport, just weeks after border clashes between the two countries. (AFP)
  • Region: A container ship fire continued into its sixth day off the coast of Sri Lanka, as India deployed vessels to help fight the fire. (AP)
  • China: The city of Macau banned a vigil marking the deadly Tiananmen crackdown for the second year in a row. (AFP)
  • India: Cyclone Yaas made landfall in the state of Orissa, with more than a million people evacuated to safety from the storm. (BBC)
  • Myanmar: World Health Organization members voted to exclude the country from this year’s World Health Assembly. (AFP)

 

Europe

  • Region: Azerbaijan accused Armenian troops of firing at its soldiers across the two countries’ border. (Reuters)
  • Region: Lawyers representing the European Union accused AstraZeneca of not even attempting to respect its contract to supply the EU with COVID-19 vaccines and of failing to timely warn of large cuts to deliveries. (Reuters)
  • Region: Three non-governmental organizations sued the European Union’s border protection agency Frontex, accusing them of violating the human rights of two asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos. (AFP)
  • Belarus: Authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko defended his decision to force a passenger jet to land and accused the West of conducting a “hybrid war” against the country. (AP
  • United Kingdom: China overtook Germany as the country’s biggest single import market since the beginning of records. (BBC)

 

Middle East

  • Iran: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi described the country’s uranium enrichment program as “very concerning” during a media interview. (Reuters
  • Jordan: The foreign ministry summoned Israel’s ambassador to protest Israel’s arrest of two of its citizens after they allegedly crossed into the country with knives. (AFP)
  • Oman: Police fired tear gas on protesters unhappy with the country’s floundering economy and mass layoffs in the city of Sohar. (AP)
  • Syria: Voting started in government-controlled areas for the country’s presidential election, which has been dismissed as a sham by the opposition and Western countries. (DPA)
  • United Arab Emirates: The government said inoculation with a COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for anyone attending “live events” in the country. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: The messaging app WhatsApp sued the Indian government over its new rules requiring messages be made “traceable” to external parties. (AP)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Cyclone Yaas
      • Location: 98 nautical miles SW of Kolkata, India
      • Wind: 65 mph
      • Movement: NW at 6 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes
    • United States
      • The Great Sitkin volcano in Alaska is currently erupting, with a “significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere likely”,
      • Sourcing: Reuters
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 25MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 167,878,150
      • Deaths: 3,487,241
      • 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 (27MAY21)
  • Global: A virtual EU-Japan summit will be held.
  • Global: The Trade Ministers of G7 countries will hold a virtual meeting. (to 28MAY)
  • Global: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel, the West Bank, Egypt, and Jordan. 
  • 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: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the French government will virtually host the International Economic Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Global: EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans will hold a virtual meeting with Brazilian Environment Minister Ricardo Salles.
  • Africa: Egypt and Sudan’s militaries will hold the “Guardians of the Nile” joint exercises. (to 31MAY)
  • Asia: United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Volkan Bozkir will visit Bangladesh and Pakistan. 
  • Europe: The foreign ministers of EU member states will hold an informal Gymnich format meeting.
  • Europe: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will attend the opening of the NordLink powerline, the first to connect both countries’ power grids.
  • Europe: Polish President Andrzej Duda will meet with Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili. 
  • Middle East: The UN Human Rights Council will hold a special session on the rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
  • Middle East: The UN Security Council will hold discussions on the region.
  • China: A court in Beijing is expected to hold a closed-door trial of Australian writer Yang Hengjun.
  • Iran: The country’s Guardian Council is expected to publish the list of approved candidates for the upcoming presidential election.
  • Israel: The foreign ministers of Germany, Czech Republic, and Slovakia are expected to visit.
  • Ivory Coast: Spain’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs will visit. 
  • Norway: The government will ease some of its coronavirus restrictions.
  • Portugal: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will visit and meet with Prime Minister Antonio Costa.
  • Romania: An IMF delegation will virtually “visit” the country to evaluate its economy. (to 28MAY)
  • Russia: Gabonese Foreign Minister Pacome Moubelet-Boubeya will visit and meet with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
  • Russia: Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum will visit and meet with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
  • Rwanda: France’s President Emmanuel Macron will visit. (to 28MAY)
  • Somalia: Authorities are expected to release a communique detailing an agreement between the country’s federal government and states that will lead to national elections.
  • Syria: A delegation from Russia’s parliament will visit to purportedly serve as election monitors. (to 28MAY)
  • United States: President Joe Biden will visit Cleveland, Ohio.
  • United States: The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing on Ethiopia.
  • United States: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will testify to the House Committee on Appropriations on the Department of Defense’s Budget for the 2022 fiscal year.
  • United States: Colombia’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucía Ramírez will visit. 
  • 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: The Bureau of Economic Analysis will release revised GDP data for Q1 of this year.
  • United States: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on Russia.

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