Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Burundi’s government reversed its stance on COVID-19 jabs and said it would now accept the delivery of the vaccines, becoming one of the last countries in the world to accept them.
  • AMERICAS: Mexico is seeking an overhaul of the US-Mexico Merida Initiative security cooperation project.
  • ASIA: Cambodia sealed its border with Thailand after the latter country reported new record numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths.
  • EUROPE: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan proposed the creation of Russian military outposts along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border amid growing tensions between Yerevan and Baku.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Two rockets have reportedly been fired at Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses the US embassy in Iraq, without causing any damage or casualties.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Russia fined Google for violating the country’s legislation on personal data.

Top Story

  • Global: China sends new ambassador to the United States.
    • China’s new ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, arrived in Washington.
    • In remarks following his arrival, Qin wished the United States victory against COVID-19 but also outlined the challenges the US-China relationship faced.
    • “China and the United States are entering a new round of mutual exploration, understanding and adaptation, trying to find a way to get along with each other in the new era”, the remarks said.
    • Qin is considered to be a close confidante of Chinese President Xi Jinping and is viewed as one of the most prominent of Beijing’s “Wolf Warrior” diplomats.
    • Before this role, Qin was one of China’s nine vice foreign ministers and had also gained prominence while working as a government spokesperson for his barbed responses to reporters’ questions.
    • Reporting: Reuters, WSJ, NYT, AP, AFP

Africa

  • Region: Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said Algiers would offer its “absolute support” to Libya, as he hosted Libya’s presidential council head Mohammad Younes Menfi. (AFP)
  • Burundi: The government reversed its stance on COVID-19 jabs and said it would now accept the delivery of the vaccines, becoming one of the last countries in the world to accept them. (AP)
  • Tunisia: President Kais Saied said he will root-out corruption and address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic following his decision to seize control of the government in a move his opponents criticized as a coup. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Region: Mexico is seeking an overhaul of the US-Mexico Merida Initiative security cooperation project. (WaPo)
  • Cuba: State media reported that Iran will begin producing one of the country’s homegrown COVID-19 vaccines next week. (Reuters)
  • Nicaragua: Lawmakers closed down 24 NGOs, most of them in the medical field, in a move they said amounted to reprisal for criticizing the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. (AFP)
  • Peru: New President Pedro Castillo pledged to end corruption and provide a new constitution at his inauguration. (AFP)
  • United States: A powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake hit Alaska’s southern coast. (NYT)

Asia  

  • Region: Cambodia sealed its border with Thailand after the latter country reported new record numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths. (AP)
  • Bangladesh: Heavy rainfall has damaged Rohingya refugee camps in the country’s south. (AP)
  • Japan: Tokyo registered another new record number of COVID-19 cases for the third consecutive day amid the ongoing Olympic Games. (AP)
  • Malaysia: In a rare public rebuke, the country’s monarch Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah criticized Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government. (AFP)
  • Vietnam: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with his counterpart in Hanoi and discussed deepening security cooperation. (AP)

Europe

  • Region: France called the United Kingdom’s decision to exempt Paris from its new rule allowing fully-vaccinated European Union citizens to enter England “discriminatory towards French people”. (AFP)
  • Region: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan proposed the creation of Russian military outposts along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border amid growing tensions between Yerevan and Baku. (Reuters)
  • Denmark: Activists and lawyers are set to take the country’s decision to return hundreds of Syrian refugees to Damascus, which it now considers a safe city, to the European court of human rights. (Guardian)
  • Germany: The country’s unemployment rate declined to 5.6% in July, in a possible sign of the economy recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. (AP)
  • Turkey: A forest fire in the country’s south claimed one life and left ten people trapped. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Israel’s military is investigating allegations of army fire resulting in the death of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy in the West Bank. (AP)
  • Iraq: Two rockets have reportedly been fired at Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses the US embassy, without causing any damage or casualties. (AFP)
  • Israel: The government reimposed COVID-19 vaccine certification requirements amid a rising tide of COVID-19 infections. (DPA)
  • Kuwait: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the country and met with high-ranking officials. (AP)
  • Qatar: Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani approved an electoral law for the country’s first legislative election. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Internet: Russia fined Google for violating the country’s legislation on personal data. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes:
    • United States
      • Location: 104 km SE of Perryville, Alaska
      • Magnitude: 8.2
      • Depth: 32.2 km
      • Map
  • Volcanoes:
    • Indonesia
      • Mt. Sinabung spewed ash more than 4,500 meters into the air.
      • Sourcing: AP
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 29JUL21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (30JUL21)

  • Global: Russia and Uzbekistan will hold joint military drills near the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan border. (to 10AUG)
  • Global: The Culture Ministers of G20 countries will meet in Rome, Italy.
  • Europe: European Union agencies will release their latest economic growth figures.
  • Philippines: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will visit.
  • United Kingdom: Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will visit. (to 01AUG)

END