Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ethiopia’s government is reportedly holding thousands of ethnic Tigrayans in detention camps across the country on allegations of being traitors, often detaining them for months and without any charges.
  • AMERICAS: Dozens of people were injured as thousands of people took to the streets across several Colombian cities in protest of proposed tax reforms.
  • ASIA: China’s National Bureau of Statistics said the country’s population grew last year following recent media reports of an unexpected population decline, but gave no details or figures to back its announcement.
  • EUROPE: Russian authorities are pressuring the offices of opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his anti-corruption foundation’s offices into closure as they seek to have them outlawed as extremist groups.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Islamic militant group Hamas rejected the potential postponement of elections in Palestine ahead of a Palestinian leadership meeting during which a push to delay the elections is expected to be announced.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: China launched the key Tianhe module for its planned permanent space station.

Top Story

  • United States: President Biden urges unity, warns of China, in speech to Congress.
    • President Joe Biden delivered his first nationally televised address to Congress and used the opportunity to call for an expansion of federal programs.
    • Speaking on the eve of his 100th day in office, President Biden pitched around $4 trillion in spending, making his proposed overhaul of federal welfare programs the largest since the 1960s when Lyndon B. Johnson pushed his Great Society plans.
    • Biden also took the address as an opportunity to make the case for democracy itself, adding that America has “to prove that democracy still works” and prove autocratic countries wrong.
    • The president said the spending plans were needed to counter a rising China and also vowed to maintain a US military presence in the Indo-Pacific region “not to start conflict – but to prevent one”.
    • And on Russia, Biden said he had told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Washington does not seek escalation, “their [Russian] actions have consequences”.
    • Reporting: AP, Reuters, RFE-RL, NYT, BBC, WaPo, WSJ, Reuters2

Africa

  • Region: A planned Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting to discuss the Islamic State-linked fighting in Mozambique has been postponed due to the unavailability of the Botswana and South African presidents. (Reuters)
  • Algeria: Leading opposition activist Karim Tabbou, who helped organize anti-government demonstrations in 2019, has been detained and is set to appear before prosecutors ahead of upcoming elections that the opposition has promised to boycott. (AFP)
  • Cape Verde: Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva’s ruling Movement for Democracy (MpD) party’s absolute majority was certified by the electoral commission’s full election results. (AFP)
  • Ethiopia: The government is reportedly holding thousands of ethnic Tigrayans in detention camps across the country on allegations of being traitors, often detaining them for months and without any charges. (AP)
  • Nigeria: Two police officers were killed by gunmen in the southern Akwa Ibom state in the most recent of a series of attacks on security forces in the country’s south. (AFP)

Americas

  • Brazil: The country’s health regulatory body said batches of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine contained a live version of a common cold-causing virus. (AFP)
  • Colombia: Dozens of people were injured as thousands of people took to the streets across several of the country’s cities in protest of proposed tax reforms. (DPA)
  • Ecuador: The country’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape. (AP)
  • Venezuela: Eight soldiers died during clashes with armed groups near the country’s border with Colombia. (AFP)

Asia  

  • Region: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not withdraw Manila’s navy vessels from the disputed South China Sea, saying his country’s sovereignty over the waters is not negotiable. (AFP)
  • Cambodia: The country reported a record daily 698 new coronavirus cases. (Reuters)
  • China: The National Bureau of Statistics said the country’s population grew last year following recent media reports of an unexpected population decline, but gave no details or figures to back its announcement. (AP)
  • India: The country set another new global record in daily coronavirus infections with more than 379,000 cases recorded in the last 24 hours. (DPA)
  • Indonesia: The government officially designated Papuan separatists as “terrorists”. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Cyprus: The UN said there was a lack of common ground to resume negotiations on resolving the country’s ethnic divide, following a three-day summit aimed at trying to end a four-year impasse in peace negotiations. (Reuters)
  • Germany: The government will be forced to rethink its emissions targets after the Constitutional Court ruled that its climate change laws were not extensive enough. (DPA)
  • Moldova: The Constitutional Court canceled a parliament-declared state of coronavirus emergency, allowing President Maia Sandu to dissolve parliament and call for early elections on July 11. (AP)
  • Russia: Authorities are pressuring the offices of opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his anti-corruption foundation’s offices into closure as they seek to have them outlawed as extremist groups. (AP)
  • Ukraine: The government appointed Herman Halushchenko as its new energy minister. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Israel has reopened a fishing zone off the Gazan coast a week after closing it over rocket attacks on the country. (AFP)
  • Region: Islamic militant group Hamas rejected the potential postponement of elections in Palestine ahead of a Palestinian leadership meeting during which a push to delay the elections is expected to be announced. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: The government will close eight Turkish schools operating in the country at the end of the current academic year. (AFP)
  • Syria: The US and European countries preemptively rejected the results of the country’s upcoming “sham” presidential election. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Space: China launched the key Tianhe module for its planned permanent space station. (BBC)

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 29APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 149,674,319
      • Total recovered cases: 86,923,092
      • Deaths: 3,152,458
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 18APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 16
      • Deaths: 12
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 18APR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 11
      • Deaths: 6
      • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (30APR21)

  • Global: The UN will hold a virtual high-level dialogue on antimicrobial resistance.
  • Global: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin will attend a session of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) intergovernmental council.
  • Europe: The EU will release GDP estimates for Q1 of 2021.
  • Europe: Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi will embark on a European tour, which will include visits to the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Poland, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. (to 08MAY)
  • Europe: The deadline for EU member states to submit their national EU coronavirus aid plans.
  • Afghanistan: Representatives of the US, Russia, China, and Pakistan will reportedly hold a meeting to discuss the country’s peace talks.
  • France: President Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce his plans to ease the country’s coronavirus lockdown and other measures and restrictions.
  • Spain: Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard will visit and meet with his counterpart Arancha González Laya.
  • Turkey: The Central Bank’s new regulations banning the use of crypto currencies to pay for goods and services will take effect.
  • Turkey: The trial of 18 students and a professor who participated in a Gay Pride march will resume.
  • United States: President Joe Biden will visit Philadelphia.

END