Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Zambian president Hakainde Hichilema announced appointments for top military and police positions as part of the reorganization process since taking office after winning the August 12 elections.
  • AMERICAS: Hurricane Ida pounded Louisiana, including the New Orleans metropolitan area with heavy surf and torrential rains as fierce winds toppled trees and power lines.
  • ASIA: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, exchanging views on the situation in Afghanistan and Beijing-Washington ties.
  • EUROPE: European Union diplomats recommend that its member states reinstate restrictions on tourists from the U.S. because of rising coronavirus infection levels in the country.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli Defense minister Benny Gantz held talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, the first high-level meeting between the two sides in years.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Appleinsider Ming-Chi Kuo says that the Qualcomm X60 baseband chip that Apple is predicted to be using in the “iPhone 13” will support low-earth orbit satellite communications.

Top Story

  • Afghanistan: Rockets target U.S. troops at Kabul airport as the withdrawal deadline nears.
    • U.S. anti-missile defenses intercepted as many as five rockets that were fired at Kabul’s airport as the United States rushed to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
    • Senior administration officials said that the United States has the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before President Biden’s August 31 deadline.
    • While no group claimed immediate responsibility for Monday’s rocket attack, the U.S. has repeatedly warned of imminent threats by the Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K) militant group.
    • White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement saying President Biden had been briefed on the rocket attack.
    • Gunfire rang out from an unknown source straight after the rockets landed in the Salim Karwan neighborhood near the airport.
    • The rocket attack took place a day after the U.S. launched a drone strike targeting a vehicle that presented an “imminent IS-K threat” to Kabul airport.
    • Reuters, WaPo, WSJ, CBS News, AP, Axios

Africa

  • Region: Sudan and Chad stressed the need to enhance cooperation on the common challenges of terrorism and the protection of a joint border. (Xinhua)
  • Nigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari has called for communities to unite to ease tensions after violence in the central city of Jos killed dozens of people. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: Authorities patrolled the capital Juba warning of a tough crackdown against anyone planning to join a planned protest against the government. (AFP)
  • Zambia: President Hakainde Hichilema announced appointments for top military and police positions as part of the reorganization process since taking office after winning the August 12 elections. (Xinhua)

Americas

  • Colombia: At least one soldier died, and three others were injured in an ambush perpetrated by dissidents from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Norte de Santander. (Xinhua)
  • Peru: Authorities said that at least 11 people died, and 6 others were injured after two boats collided on the Huallaga River in the district of Yurimaguas. (Xinhua)
  • United States: President Joe Biden attended a solemn ceremony on Sunday at a base in Delaware where the remains of 13 troops killed in Afghanistan last week were returned to the country. (Xinhua)
  • United States: Hurricane Ida pounded Louisiana, including the New Orleans metropolitan area with heavy surf and torrential rains as fierce winds toppled trees and power lines. (Reuters)

Asia

  • China: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, exchanging views on the situation in Afghanistan and Beijing-Washington ties. (Xinhua)
  • Malaysia: New prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob did not attend the swearing-in ceremony of his new government after coming into contact with someone infected with COVID-19, (AP)
  • New Zealand: The country reported one COVID-19 vaccine-related death following a woman’s Pfizer vaccination and the resulting symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis. (Xinhua)
  • North Korea: Pyongyang appears to have restarted its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, a “deeply troubling” sign that the country may be on track to expand its nuclear program. (WaPo)
  • Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte’s long-time aid rejected the endorsement of the ruling party to run as its candidate in the 2022 elections. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: European Union diplomats recommend that its member states reinstate restrictions on tourists from the U.S. because of rising coronavirus infection levels in the country. (WaPo)
  • Region: The World Health Organization (WHO) fears another 236,000 Covid-19 deaths in Europe by December 1, expressing concern about low uptake in poorer countries. (AFP)
  • Poland: Pro-democracy activists entered the country’s constitutional court in an act of civil disobedience on the day before an expected court ruling critical to the country’s future relationship with the European Union. (WaPo)
  • Russia: Around 500 troops are carrying out drills in Tajikistan against the backdrop of instability in neighboring Afghanistan. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House on Wednesday to show solidarity between the two countries. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih visited Oman to boost economic ties between the two countries. (Reuters)
  • Region: Israeli Defense minister Benny Gantz held talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, the first high-level meeting between the two sides in years. (WaPo)
  • Saudi Arabia: Students started their new academic year after receiving 17 months of online education. (Xinhua)
  • Syria: President Bashar al-Assad discussed economic cooperation with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian in Damascus. (Xinhua)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Appleinsider Ming-Chi Kuo says that the Qualcomm X60 baseband chip that Apple is predicted to be using in the “iPhone 13” will support low-earth orbit satellite communications. (Appleinsider)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes:
  • Tropical Storm Ida
    • Location: 31.0N 90.8W
    • Movement: N
    • Wind: 60 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 30AUG21)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (31AUG21)

  • Global: 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
  • Event: NPC press conference on repression of journalism in Latin America.
  • Event: Brookings Institution discussion with Dem Rep. Adam Smith on the NDAA and U.S. defense strategy.
  • Event: CSIS hosts conversation with Emirati advanced technology minister.
  • Americas/Africa: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to visit Nairobi, Abuja, and Dakar. (to Sept. 2)
  • Asia-Pacific/Americas: U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry to visit Japan and China. (to Sept. 3)
  • Brazil: 5th anniversary of Dilma Rousseff removed as Brazilian president.
  • Europe/South Asia: EU home affairs minister to hold a meeting on Afghanistan.
  • Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds separate meetings with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and European Council President Charles Michel.
  • Kyrgyzstan: Independence Day.
  • Malaysia: National Day.
  • Moldova: National Language Day.
  • Palestinian Territories: Legislative elections.
  • South Korea: South Korean nuclear envoy Noh Kyu-duk visiting Washington.
  • Trinidad & Tobago: Independence Day.
  • Ukraine: President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit Washington, meet with President Joe Biden.
  • United States: Deadline for full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

END