Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Germany recognized for the first time that it had committed genocide during its colonial occupation of Namibia and pledged to provide financial support for projects in the southern African nation.
  • AMERICAS: Twelve companies, including Microsoft and Mastercard, said they will increase their investment in Central America after US Vice President Kamala Harris met with officials from these companies.
  • ASIA: Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was sentenced to 14 months in jail for participating in an anti-government protest in 2019.
  • EUROPE: Russia said the cancellation of several European flights to Moscow after the suspension of flights to Belarus was due to technical reasons.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The World Health Organization called for access to patients in the Gaza Strip.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The US demanded that Myanmar’s military junta immediately release American journalist Danny Fenster, whom they detained when Fenster was trying to leave Myanmar.

Top Story

  • Global: US says will not rejoin Open Skies Treaty with Russia.
    • The United States told Russia it will not rejoin the Open Skies Treaty that allows unarmed surveillance flights to be conducted in participating countries’ territories.
    • Russia responded by saying the decision will dampen the outlook for arms control discussions during a Biden-Putin summit planned for next month.
    • The State Department held Russia responsible for undermining the Open Skies Treaty through its violations of the treaty.
    • The State Department also added that “the United States therefore does not intend to seek to rejoin it, given Russia’s failure to take any actions to return to compliance.”
    • The State Department also said that “Russia’s behavior, including its recent actions with respect to Ukraine, is not that of a partner committed to confidence building”.
    • Reporting: Reuters, BBC, NYT, AP, WSJ, RFE-RL

Africa

  • Region: The World Health Organization said the continent urgently needed 20 million doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine to ensure those who have received one dose of the vaccine get their second jab within the recommended time frame. (DPA)
  • DR Congo: WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus admitted the UN health agency’s response to sexual abuse allegations against its employees during the country’s Ebola outbreak was “slow”. (AP)
  • Ethiopia: The UN condemned the detention of several people displaced by the fighting in the Tigray region. (AP)
  • Mozambique: European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said an EU military training mission to assist the country in tackling Islamist insurgents could be setup within several months. (Reuters)
  • Namibia: Germany recognized for the first time that it had committed genocide during its colonial occupation of the country and pledged to provide financial support for projects in the southern African nation. (AFP)

Americas

  • Region: Twelve companies, including Microsoft and Mastercard, said they will increase their investment in Central America after US Vice President Kamala Harris met with officials from these companies. (Reuters)
  • Region: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to visit Costa Rica next week and attend a Central American Integration System (SICA) meeting. (WaPo)
  • Canada: Ottawa formally apologized for placing more than 600 Italian-Canadians into internment camps and for declaring 31,000 members of the community “enemy aliens” during World War II. (AFP)
  • Mexico: The country’s health regulator gave Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization. (Reuters)
  • United States: Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are reportedly investigating if former and current Ukrainian officials attempted to interfere in the 2020 election. (NYT)

Asia  

  • China: Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was sentenced to 14 months in jail for participating in an anti-government protest in 2019. (AP)
  • Indonesia: The government reportedly plans to propose a “sunset policy” tax to encourage the declaration of unreported assets. (Reuters)
  • Malaysia: The country will escalate a trade dispute with the European Union over the latter’s restrictions on palm oil-based biofuels. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: A military tribunal handed 28 people 20-year prison terms with hard labor for setting ablaze two China-linked factories in Yangon in March. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: Russia said the cancellation of several European flights to Moscow after the suspension of flights to Belarus was due to technical reasons. (AFP)
  • Region: The 27 EU member states and the European Parliament were unable to resolve a dispute over the bloc’s $330 billion dollar agriculture budget at the end of their latest negotiations. (DPA)
  • Region: Azerbaijan said Armenian forces opened fire along the shared border and wounded one Azerbaijani soldier in the process. (AFP)
  • Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to inaugurate a landmark mosque in Istanbul’s Taksim Square to complete his ambition of constructing a Muslim house of worship in Istanbul’s main public space. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will visit the country and meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson today. (Guardian)

Middle East

  • Region: The World Health Organization called for access to patients in the Gaza Strip. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: The UN Security Council approved Baghdad’s request to deploy a UN monitoring team for October’s parliamentary elections. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: The Philippines suspended the deployment of workers to the country after it received reports of Saudi employers making workers pay for COVID-19 testing, quarantine, and insurance. (Reuters)
  • Syria: President Bashar al-Assad won 95% of the votes in the country’s recent presidential election which his opponents said was marked by fraud and the West said was not free and fair. (BBC)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: The US demanded that Myanmar’s military junta immediately release American journalist Danny Fenster, whom they detained when Fenster was trying to leave Myanmar. (FT)

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 28MAY21)
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 23MAY21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (29MAY21)

  • 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: International Day of UN Peacekeepers – 2004
  • Africa: Egypt and Sudan’s militaries will hold the “Guardians of the Nile” joint exercises. (to 31MAY)
  • Europe: Russian staff at the Russian embassy in Prague will leave the Czech Republic. (to 31MAY)
  • China: The foreign ministers of Ireland, Poland, Hungary, and Serbia will visit. (to 31MAY)
  • Egypt: The next court date in the legal tussle over reparations linked to the recent Suez Canal blockage.
  • Greece: Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal will visit Kavala and meet with his Greek counterpart.
  • 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.

END