Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Mali’s Interim president Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were freed by the military.
  • AMERICAS: An 18-year-old university student died during an anti-government protest in Colombia which also saw a courthouse being set alight.
  • ASIA: China put Australian writer Yang Hengjun on trial on espionage charges and denied Australian Ambassador Graham Fletcher entry to his hearing.
  • EUROPE: Azerbaijani forces captured six Armenian soldiers on the Armenian border.
  • MIDDLE EAST: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Israel’s attacks on Gaza may constitute war crimes, while she also blamed Hamas for violating international humanitarian law by firing rockets into Israel.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The UN General Assembly adopted a Russia-led resolution proposing the drafting of a treaty against cybercrime by 2023, but which Western countries fear could be used to restrict free expression.

Top Story

  • Global: Biden orders investigation into coronavirus origin.
    • President Joe Biden ordered intelligence officials to “redouble” efforts in investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, including any possibility the probe might lead to a laboratory in China’s Wuhan city.
    • In response to Biden’s order, China’s Foreign Ministry said “We would like to ask the U.S. side to do the same as China” and allow a WHO investigation in the US, and lashed out at US intelligence agencies, saying “The dark history of the US intelligence community has long been known to the world,”
    • President Biden has given intelligence agencies a 90-day deadline to conduct investigations, and ordered national laboratories to aid the investigation.
    • The Biden administration had until now dismissed the possibility of COVID-19 emerging from a lab in Wuhan as a fringe theory.
    • Biden also said intelligence agencies had “coalesced” around the Wuhan lab theory and a zoonotic origin of the virus as the most likely origins but added they “do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other.”
    • Reporting: AP, AFP, Reuters, BBC, AP2, NYT, WSJ

Africa

  • DR Congo: Authorities are evacuating thousands of people from the city of Goma due to fears of further eruptions from volcano Nyiragongo. (AFP)
  • Ethiopia: US President Joe Biden called for a halt to fighting in the country’s Tigray region and said human rights abuses in the region “must end”. (AFP)
  • Kenya: The Nairobi High Court ruled against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s attempt to amend the country’s constitution. (Guardian)
  • Mali: Interim president Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane have been freed by the military. (Reuters)
  • Rwanda: Visiting French President Emmanuel Macron said he recognized France’s responsibility in the country’s 1994 genocide. (AP)

Americas

  • Region: Arturo Murillo, the interior minister under former interim Bolivian President Jeanine Anez, was arrested in the United States for allegedly accepting $602,000 in kickbacks from US-based businessmen accused of selling tear gas at inflated prices. (AP)
  • Argentina: Port workers in the country ended their strike after they were given COVID-19 vaccination priority. (Reuters)
  • Chile: Authorities started rolling out a mobility pass for people who have been fully vaccinated against the new coronavirus in the country. (AFP)
  • Colombia: An 18-year-old university student died during an anti-government protest in Tulua which also saw a courthouse being set alight. (AFP)
  • United States: Trade Representative Katherine Tai had a “candid” first conversation over trade with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. (Bloomberg)

Asia  

  • Region: China put Australian writer Yang Hengjun on trial on espionage charges and denied Australian Ambassador Graham Fletcher entry to his hearing. (AP)
  • Australia: The state of Victoria will be placed under a weeklong lockdown amid a new COVID-19 outbreak. (Reuters)
  • China: Hong Kong’s legislature voted in favor of substantial electoral reforms in the biggest overhaul of the city’s political system in recent years as Beijing continues to assert its authority over the autonomous city. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia: A court issued a fine to hardline Islamist cleric Rizieq Shihab for appearing at an event that drew thousands of followers and breaking coronavirus quarantine rules in the process. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: Seoul became the 10th country to sign onto the US-led Artemis Accords for space exploration. (DPA)

Europe

  • Region: Azerbaijani forces captured six Armenian soldiers on the Armenian border. (BBC)
  • Belarus: The country’s flagship airline Belavia said it was forced to cancel flights until 30 October due to flight bans imposed on Minsk by neighboring countries. (Reuters)
  • Switzerland: The country ended years-long efforts to strike a treaty with the European Union aimed at replacing the more than 120 bilateral agreements that currently exist between the country and the EU. (BBC)
  • United Kingdom: Health Minister Matt Hancock will be questioned by members of Parliament over accusations of lying made by Dominic Cummings, a former senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Guardian)

Middle East

  • Region: Israel’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates attended a ceremony at the Arabian Peninsula’s first permanent exhibition to commemorate the Holocaust in Dubai. (AP)
  • Region: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Israel’s attacks on Gaza may constitute war crimes as she also blamed Hamas for violating international humanitarian law by firing rockets into Israel. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: The arrest of militia leader Qassim Mahmoud Musleh has stoked tensions between his supporters and the government in capital city Baghdad. (AP)
  • Syria: President Bashar al-Assad’s political adviser said Damascus is working on improving its relationship with Saudi Arabia and that the efforts could yield results soon. (Reuters)
  • United Arab Emirates: Dubai released US permanent resident Wang Jingyu, who was wanted by China for online remarks over clashes between China and India last year, after weeks in detention. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The UN General Assembly adopted a Russia-led resolution proposing the drafting of a treaty against cybercrime by 2023, but which Western countries fear could be used to restrict free expression. (AFP)

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 27MAY21)
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 23MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (28MAY21)

  • Global: G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors will hold a virtual meeting.
  • Global: The Trade Ministers of G7 countries will hold a virtual meeting.
  • 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 CIS Council of Prime Ministers will hold a meeting.
  • Africa: Egypt and Sudan’s militaries will hold the “Guardians of the Nile” joint exercises. (to 31MAY)
  • Asia: Australia will close its embassy in Afghanistan due to security concerns.
  • Europe: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is expected to discuss oil supplies with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Europe: The Defense Ministers of EU member states will hold an informal meeting.
  • Europe: The European Medicines Agency will make a decision on approving Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for people between the ages of 12 – 15.
  • Europe: The Russia to Turkey Blue Stream gas pipeline will resume functioning after maintenance.
  • Albania: German Minister for Europe Michael Roth is expected to visit and meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama and Foreign Minister Olta Xhaçka.
  • Azerbaijan: Republic Day – 1918
  • Central African Republic: The 51st meeting of the UN standing advisory committee on security issues in the country will reportedly end.
  • China: Pro-democracy Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai could be sentenced over charges of allegedly organizing illegal assembly during anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong.
  • China: Hong Kong will start vaccinating people from Mainland China.
  • Ethiopia: Derg Downfall Day – 1991
  • Iran: Campaigning will begin for next month’s presidential election.
  • Mozambique: Canada’s Minister for International Development Karina Gould will virtually “visit” the country.
  • Romania: An IMF delegation will virtually “visit” the country to evaluate its economy.
  • Russia: Slovenian Foreign Minister Anze Logar will visit and meet with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
  • Rwanda: France’s President Emmanuel Macron will visit.
  • South Africa: France’s President Emmanuel Macron will visit.
  • Spain: Honduran Foreign Minister Lisandro Rosales will visit and meet with his counterpart Arancha González Laya.
  • Syria: Results of the recent presidential election, which was widely condemned as unfree by the West, could be announced.
  • Syria: A delegation from Russia’s parliament will visit to purportedly serve as election monitors.
  • United Kingdom: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will visit and meet with his counterpart Boris Johnson.
  • United Kingdom: Arene Foster will resign as Northern Ireland’s first minister.
  • United States: The White House will release President Joe Biden’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year.
  • United States: President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden will visit Joint Base Langley-Eustis. (to 31MAY)
  • United States: India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will visit and meet with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. (to 29MAY)

END