27JAN22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Zambian president Hakainde Hichilema has come under attack from the opposition because of his frequent trips abroad.
  • AMERICAS: Xiomara Castro is scheduled to be sworn in as Honduras’ first female president amid uncertainty about whether an unfolding legislative crisis will allow her the support she needs.
  • ASIA: Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi told his American counterpart Antony Blinken that Russia’s “reasonable security concerns should be taken seriously and resolved.”
  • EUROPE: The European Union has opened a case against China at the World Trade Organization for hindering trade with Lithuania in retaliation for deepening ties with Taiwan.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Jordanian military said its troops killed 27 suspected smugglers attempting to enter the country from Syria.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: FAA Administrator Steve Dickson will testify on February 3 before a US House of Representatives hearing on 5G deployment and its impact on aviation safety.

Top Story

  • Global: Russia sees room for dialogue after US security response.
    • The Kremlin said the United States has not shown a willingness to address Moscow’s main security concerns over the standoff in Ukraine, but that both sides had an interest in continuing dialogue.
    • Washington delivered a reply in coordination with NATO allies, rejecting any ban on Ukraine, but offered what it called a new “diplomatic path” out of the crisis.
    • French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for dialogue with Russia as he prepares to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
    • Moscow said talks with Ukrainian, German, and French officials were not simple, but both sides agreed to back a 2014 cease-fire in eastern Ukraine even as troops ready for conflict on both sides of the border.
    • In a series of security demands that were rolled out last month, the Kremlin called for NATO to deny membership to Ukraine and roll back military deployments in Eastern and Central Europe.
    • Reuters, AFP, AP, DW, DPA

Africa

  • Region: The death toll from Tropical Storm Ana that struck Madagascar, Malawi, and Mozambique rose to 70 as emergency teams battled to repair damaged infrastructure and help tens of thousands of victims. (AFP)
  • Ethiopia: A report by the region’s health bureau said that nearly 1,500 people died of malnutrition in just part of the blockaded Tigray region over a four-month period last year. (AP)
  • Uganda: An author accused of insulting the president and his family has been released after being rearrested moments after a court freed him on bail. (BBC)
  • Zambia: President Hakainde Hichilema has come under attack from the opposition because of his frequent trips abroad. (BBC)
  • Zimbabwe: Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa is upbeat about victory in next year’s elections, despite a crackdown that he compares to being in “the jaws of a crocodile.” (AFP)

Americas  

  • Region: Singapore signed a free trade agreement with the Pacific Alliance, made up of Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. (Reuters)
  • Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the country’s military training mission to Ukraine would be enlarged and extended by three years. (AP)
  • Colombia: Six former members of the FARC rebel group have taken responsibility for a 2002 massacre in the country where 120 people were killed. (DPA)
  • Honduras: Xiomara Castro is scheduled to be sworn in as the country’s first female president amid uncertainty about whether an unfolding legislative crisis will allow her the support she needs. (AP)
  • Mexico: A journalist was attacked by gunmen in Oaxaca, one day after press groups held demonstrations protesting the killing of three journalists in the country since the start of the year. (AP)

Asia

  • China: Foreign minister Wang Yi told his American counterpart Antony Blinken that Russia’s “reasonable security concerns should be taken seriously and resolved.” (AFP)
  • India: Steelmakers urged the government to provide federal funding and other economic assistance to help them meet targets for cutting carbon emissions. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: The South Korean military reported the launch of two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, the sixth such test this month. (NYT)
  • Philippines: Former boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, who has vowed to root out graft in the government if elected president, said he would disclose full details of his wealth and challenged all officials to do the same. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: The country’s top infectious disease expert is defending the move to expand the use of rapid testing despite accuracy concerns as infections increase from the Omicron variant. (AP)

Europe  

  • Region: The European Union has opened a case against China at the World Trade Organization for hindering trade with Lithuania in retaliation for deepening ties with Taiwan. (WSJ)
  • Germany: Prosecutors said a Russian scientist working at a Bavarian university who was arrested last year for spying for Russia shared information about Europe’s Ariane space rocket programme. (AFP)
  • Poland: The country started building a wall on its eastern border intended to block migrants pushed by Belarus in what the European Union calls a “hybrid attack” from crossing illegally into EU territory. (AP)
  • Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog will visit the country next month as the countries move to mend ties. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: England lifted most pandemic restrictions, including mandatory face masks and COVID passes to enter large venues. (AP)

Middle East

  • Israel: The Health Ministry broadened eligibility for a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine to include all adults with underlying medical conditions or high risk of exposure. (Reuters)
  • Jordan: The military said its troops killed 27 suspected smugglers attempting to enter the country from Syria. (AP)
  • Qatar: Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani is expected to travel to Tehran to discuss regional issues with top Iranian officials. (AlJazeera)
  • Syria: After six days of fighting, the Syrian Democratic Forces have retaken a prison in the northeastern city of Hasaka from ISIS. (NYT)
  • United Arab Emirates: The country will lift an entry and transit ban on travelers who had recently visited South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and eight other African countries on Saturday. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Communications: FAA Administrator Steve Dickson will testify on February 3 before a US House of Representatives hearing on 5G deployment and its impact on aviation safety. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes:
    • Pangai, Tonga
      • Magnitude: 6.2
      • Depth: 4.2 km
      • Map
    • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report.
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 27JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (28JAN22) 

  • Armenia: Army Day.
  • Europe: French President Emmanuel Macron to speak by phone with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
  • Pakistan: IMF board to conduct sixth review of Pakistani bailout program.

END

26JAN22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ousted Burkina president Roch Marc Christian Kabore “is physically well” and is being held by the army in a villa.
  • AMERICAS: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged El Salvador to reverse its decision to make Bitcoin legal tender.
  • ASIA: The Australian navy’s largest ship docked at Tonga and was allowed by local authorities to unload humanitarian supplies despite crew members being infected with COVID-19.
  • EUROPE: Austria will end its lockdown for unvaccinated residents next Monday.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Yemeni forces of the internationally recognized government and their United Arab Emirates-backed partners swept through the strategic central province of Marib.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Google announced plans to hire 200 engineers in Brazil as part of a global expansion plan prioritizing markets outside the United States.

Top Story

  • Russia: Moscow said “destructive” sanctions against President Vladimir Putin would not hurt him personally
    • Russia warned that imposing sanctions on President Vladimir Putin personally would not hurt him but would be “politically destructive.”
    • The US has sent a clear message to Russia that its key personnel and economic sectors as well as its leader Vladimir Putin, could face the severest sanctions it has ever faced.
    • S. President Joe Biden said he would consider personal sanctions on Putin if Russia invades Ukraine, as Western leaders stepped up military preparations and made plans to shield Europe from a potential energy supply shock.
    • British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is also hinting at toughening the sanctions regime which will target people, banks, and businesses.
    • The Kremlin previously said any U.S. sanctions personally targeting Putin would be akin to crossing a red line, warning the move could result in a rupture of bilateral ties.
    • Western powers agreed to “unprecedented” sanctions against Russia if it were to invade during crisis talks earlier this week.
    • ReutersCNBC, Economic Times, AP, AFP, BBC

Africa

  • Region: The death toll from tropical storm Ana has risen to at least 12 in Mozambique and Malawi. (Reuters)
  • Burkina Faso: Ousted president Roch Marc Christian Kabore “is physically well” and is being held by the army in a villa. (AFP)
  • Guinea: A court handed life terms to 17 fugitives accused of taking part in ethnic clashes in December 2020 that claimed at least 11 lives. (AFP)
  • Senegal: The army said two of its soldiers have been killed and nine are missing after clashes in The Gambia. (BBC)
  • Uganda: President Yoweri Museveni said the East African country wants to curb its borrowing and boost exports in sectors such as meat and dairy. (Reuters)

Americas 

  • Canada: Computer systems at the Global Affairs Department remained down a week after a cyberattack speculated to be related to ongoing tensions with Russia. (AP)
  • Cuba: Officials said more than 700 people who took part in anti-government protests last year have been charged with crimes including sedition, vandalism, theft, and public disorder. (BBC)
  • El Salvador: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged the country to reverse its decision to make Bitcoin legal tender. (BBC)
  • Mexico: Journalists started nationwide protests to denounce the recent murders of three reporters, demanding an end to impunity. (Reuters)
  • United States: The State Department is reportedly considering allowing its diplomats to leave China over intrusive pandemic control measures. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Region: The United States is making arrangements to recover an F-35C warplane which fell into the South China Sea last week. (Reuters)
  • Australia: The navy’s largest ship docked at Tonga and was allowed by local authorities to unload humanitarian supplies despite crew members being infected with COVID-19. (AP)
  • Hong Kong: A court ruled that trans people will not be allowed to have their gender officially recognized on their identity documents unless they undergo sex reassignment surgery. (AFP)
  • North Korea: Researchers said the internet may have been hit by a second wave of outages in as many weeks, possibly caused by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: The country’s daily COVID-19 cases exceeded 13,000, over 50% more than yesterday’s record high of over 8,000. (Yonhap)

Europe

  • Region: The United States warned that Belarus would face a “decisive response” if it assists Russia in invading Ukraine. (RFE/RL)
  • Austria: The country will end its lockdown for unvaccinated residents next Monday. (AP)
  • Denmark: The government plans to lift its Covid restrictions on Feb 1, despite registering a record number of infections but with vaccine rates high. (AFP)
  • Germany: Parliament is set to hold its first debate on a possible wide-ranging coronavirus vaccine mandate. (AP)
  • Italy: Political parties will hold a third round of voting to elect a new head of state, but it is almost certain to be inconclusive. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Israeli President Isaac Herzog will travel to the UAE and will meet Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during the January 30-31 trip. (AlJazeera)
  • Afghanistan: Women rallied in Kabul at a Taliban sanctioned protest endorsing their regime and calling on the West to unfreeze the nation’s assets. (AFP)
  • Egypt: The US State Department approved $2.5 billion in sales of air defense radars and planes to the country. (Reuters)
  • Lebanon: Human Rights Watch said one of its senior staff members was targeted last year with spyware designed by the Israeli hacker-for hire company NSO Group. (AP)
  • Yemen: Forces of the internationally recognized government and their United Arab Emirates-backed partners swept through the strategic central province of Marib. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Google announced plans to hire 200 engineers in Brazil as part of a global expansion plan prioritizing markets outside the United States. (Reuters)

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 26JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (27JAN22) 

  • Global: International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
  • Asia: Meeting between defense ministers of India, Malaysia, and the Philippines on trilateral maritime cooperation.
  • Asia: Japan-US Aerospace Cooperation Seminar, virtual.
  • Asia: India-Central Asia Summit, virtual.
  • Honduras: Inauguration of President-elect Xiomara Castro.

END

25JAN22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: More than 1,000 people gathered in the main square in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou to celebrate Monday’s coup with some burning the French flag.
  • AMERICAS: The Canadian foreign ministry was hit by a cyberattack last week that is still preventing diplomats from accessing certain online services.
  • ASIA: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan suffered electrical power outages in major cities after a major power line in Kazakhstan was disconnected.
  • EUROPE: Russia said it is watching with great concern after the United States put 8,500 troops on alert to be ready to deploy to Europe in case of an escalation in the Ukraine crisis.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran regained its UN voting rights after paying off its debt to the organization from assets frozen in South Korea.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Three US states and the District of Columbia sued Google over alleged deceptive location-tracking practices.

Top Story

  • North Korea: Pyongyang launches cruise missiles amid tension over lifting nuclear moratorium. 
    • South Korean officials said North Korea fired two cruise missiles into the sea off its east coast amid rising tension over a recent series of weapons tests.
    • One official said South Korean and US intelligence officials were analyzing the launches but did not provide further details. Another military official said the tests were conducted from an inland area but did not specify where.
    • Pyongyang has embarked on a fresh flurry of sanctions-busting tests after Kim Jong-un re-avowed his commitment to military modernization at a key party speech.
    • The last time North Korea tested this many weapons in a month were in 2019, after high-profile negotiations collapsed between Kim and Trump.
    • The US called on North Korea to cease provocations, abide by international law and find ways to de-escalate tensions.
    • Reuters, AP, SCMP, AFP, WSJ

Africa

  • Region: Tropical storm Ana killed at least 34 people in Madagascar and two people in Mozambique while knocking out power in Malawi. (AFP)
  • Burkina Faso: More than 1,000 people gathered in the main square in Ouagadougou to celebrate Monday’s coup with some burning the French flag. (BBC)
  • Cameroon: At least eight people have been killed and 38 injured in a crush outside an Africa Cup of Nations football match. (BBC)
  • Kenya: Travelers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be allowed to enter the East African country after the government lifted a ban on all incoming flights. (BBC)
  • Mali: The government asked Denmark to immediately withdraw troops deployed to the country as part of a French-led counter-terrorism task force. (Reuters)

Americas 

  • Region: US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said Mexico’s government is open to addressing US concerns about proposed legislation to strengthen state control of the power market. (Reuters)
  • Canada: The foreign ministry was hit by a cyberattack last week that is still preventing diplomats from accessing certain online services. (AFP)
  • Honduras: One of the two lawmakers who were named as dueling presidents of the Congress proposed a new election to end the crisis that is overshadowing the election of the country’s first woman president. (AFP)
  • Nicaragua: Jailed opposition figures are suffering from serious health issues, including blackouts and loss of teeth, according to their families. (AFP)
  • United States: A Navy combat jet conducting exercises in the South China Sea crashed while trying to land on the deck of an aircraft carrier, injuring seven sailors. (AP)

Asia

  • Region: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan suffered electrical power outages in major cities after a major power line in Kazakhstan was disconnected. (Reuters)
  • Australia: Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said that Canberra’s relationship with China will remain difficult even if his center-left Labor Party wins power at elections for the first time in almost a decade. (AP)
  • Cambodia: Prime Minister Hun Sen confirmed he invited Myanmar’s junta chief to a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), on the condition he makes progress on a peace plan agreed to last year. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia: Police said at least 18 people were killed during clashes between two groups at a club in the town of Sorong in West Papua province with most dying after the night spot caught fire in the violence. (AFP)
  • South Korea: Health authorities reported 8,571 new cases of COVID-19, marking the first time the daily case count in the country has exceeded 8,000. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Belarus: A hacktivist group launched a limited cyberattack on the national railway aimed at impeding the movement of Russian troops in the country. (AP)
  • Italy: Political parties resumed talks to try to find a mutually acceptable head of state and avoid the threat of political instability after a first round of voting among lawmakers ended in stalemate. (Reuters)
  • Netherlands: The government will allow restaurants, bars, and theaters to re-open despite record numbers of coronavirus infections. (Reuters)
  • Russia: The Kremlin said it is watching with great concern after the United States put 8,500 troops on alert to be ready to deploy to Europe in case of an escalation in the Ukraine crisis. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: Police will investigate alleged lockdown breaches at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Downing Street residence after receiving evidence from an internal government probe into a series of gatherings. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Bahrain: The interior ministry said a man convicted of “terrorism-related offences” has been extradited from Serbia following an Interpol Red Notice issued at Manama’s request. (AFP)
  • Iran: The Islamic Republic regained its UN voting rights after paying off its debt to the organization from assets frozen in South Korea. (DPA)
  • Israel: A government panel of experts recommended expanding eligibility for an extra vaccine booster to everyone aged 18 and up. (DPA)
  • Syria: UN Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator Mark Cutts said that an additional $39 million in aid would be needed for refugees affected by heavy winter in the northwest. (AP)
  • Yemen: Internet services resumed in the country after a four-day power outage caused by Saudi-coalition air strikes. (AlJazeera)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Three US states and the District of Columbia sued Google over alleged deceptive location-tracking practices. (Reuters)

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 25JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (26JAN22) 

  • Australia: Australia Day.
  • Dominican Republic: Duarte Day.
  • India: Republic Day.
  • Middle East: Jordan and Lebanon to sign an electricity deal to ease Lebanese power cuts.
  • Uganda: Liberation Day.
  • United Kingdom: COVID-19 measures to be dropped unless extended.
  • United States: Visit by Taiwanese Vice President William Lai.

END

24JAN22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Senegalese President Macki Sall’s alliance acknowledged defeat in two local polls seen as a key test of support ahead of an eagerly-awaited general election.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuelan Opposition leader Juan Guaido called for citizens to take to the streets on Feb. 12 in peaceful marches against President Nicolas Maduro, as the country’s divided opposition looks ahead to presidential elections.
  • ASIA: China flew thirty-nine warplanes towards Taiwan amid tensions over the island’s future.
  • EUROPE: The European Union is ready to impose “never-seen-before” economic sanctions on Russia if it attacks Ukraine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Taliban and western diplomats began their first official talks in Oslo since they took over Afghanistan in August.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s WeChat account has disappeared, prompting accusations of Chinese “interference” from senior members of his government.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: NATO steps up readiness in Eastern Europe as western nations urge families and staff to evacuate the country.
    • NATO said it is putting forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets in response to Russia’s military build-up at Ukraine’s borders.
    • NATO allies are bolstering the alliance’s eastern flank in response to Russia’s military buildup around Ukraine, as the European Union set out plans for loans and grants for Kyiv worth more than $1.3 billion.
    • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the ‘deteriorating security situation’ has led NATO allies to ready frigates, fighter jets and troops for ‘collective defense.
    • Britain has started withdrawing staff from its embassy in Ukraine, amid growing fears of a Russian invasion.
    • Ukraine said it was “premature” of the United States to evacuate the families of its diplomatic staff in Kyiv due to fears of a looming Russian invasion.
    • Reuters, The Guardian, WSJ, BBC, AFP,

Africa

  • Burkina Faso: Two mutinous soldiers said that President Roch Marc Christian Kabore is being held by the rebellious soldiers. (AP)
  • Eswatini: The country will destroy 10,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines that have expired. (BBC)
  • Senegal: President Macki Sall’s alliance acknowledged defeat in two local polls seen as a key test of support ahead of an eagerly-awaited general election. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: At least 31 ethnic Dinka were killed in clashes with suspected Murle armed youth in Jonglei state. (AP)
  • Uganda: The economy fully reopened after nearly two years of closure for some businesses. (BBC)

Americas  

  • Canada: A convoy of truckers started their march from Vancouver to the capital city of Ottawa protesting the government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truckers. (Reuters)
  • Mexico: Journalist Lourdes Maldonado López was killed in the northern border city of Tijuana after being shot to death inside her car. (AP)
  • United States: The State Department issued a travel advisory warning citizens not to travel to Russia due to mounting tensions on the border with Ukraine. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: Opposition leader Juan Guaido called for citizens to take to the streets on Feb. 12 in peaceful marches against President Nicolas Maduro, as the country’s divided opposition looks ahead to presidential elections. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Region: Indonesia and Singapore are starting a quarantine-free travel between the two countries to spur the economy as Omicron cases become more dominant. (Bloomberg)
  • China: The longest coronavirus lockdown since the start of the pandemic ended as authorities announced the lifting of restrictions in the northern megacity of Xi’an. (AFP)
  • South Korea: The country will expand rapid testing and shorten quarantines as it reshapes its pandemic response to deal with a surge in coronavirus infections driven by the omicron variant. (AP)
  • Taiwan: China flew thirty-nine warplanes towards the island amid tensions over its future. (AP)
  • Thailand: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha will pay an official visit to Saudi Arabia this week, the first by a head of government in more than three decades. (AP)

Europe  

  • Region: The European Union is ready to impose “never-seen-before” economic sanctions on Russia if it attacks Ukraine. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Former pope Benedict XVI admitted providing incorrect information to an inquiry about his presence at a 1980 meeting discussing a pedophile priest, blaming an editing “oversight.” (AFP)
  • Ireland: Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said that plans by Russia to hold navy military exercises off the country’s coast are “not welcome”. (Belfast Telegraph)
  • Italy: The first round of voting for president opens without a clear slate of candidates following three-time ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s withdrawal. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people arriving in England from abroad will no longer have to take COVID-19 tests if they have been vaccinated. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: The Taliban and western diplomats began their first official talks in Oslo since they took over the country in August. (AP)
  • Iran: The country ruled out US preconditions for reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, including the release of American prisoners held by the Islamic Republic. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Kurdish forces locked down the northeastern city of Hasakah to trap ISIS fighters who attacked a prison there five days earlier, leaving more than 150 people dead. (AFP)
  • United Arab Emirates: The country intercepted two ballistic missiles targeting Abu Dhabi from Houthi rebels. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s WeChat account has disappeared, prompting accusations of Chinese “interference” from senior members of his government. (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 24JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (25JAN22) 

  • Aruba: Betico Croes Day.
  • Egypt: Demonstrations may take place in remembrance of the 11th anniversary of the Jan. 25, 2011, uprising against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, though security forces are likely to suppress protest activity.
  • Europe: Sixth meeting of EU-Serbia Stabilization and Association Council to be held.
  • Indonesia: Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ retreat in Bintan.
  • Nigeria: Court to hear Shell’s appeal to overturn a 2020 judgment that awarded community members a $2 billion award for an alleged oil leak that damaged land and waterways.

END

20JAN22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Liberian officials said that at least 29 people, including 11 children and a pregnant woman, died in a stampede of worshippers at a Christian ceremony in Monrovia.
  • AMERICAS: The heads of state of Brazil, Guyana, and Suriname this week will take the first steps toward forging an infrastructure that would better share the neighboring South American countries’ energy and natural resources.
  • ASIA: Pakistani police said a bomb exploded at a crowded bazar in Lahore killing at least two people and wounding 26 others.
  • EUROPE: Russia accused the West of plotting “provocations” in Ukraine even as it blames Moscow for planning aggressive military action in the neighboring country.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed developments in Syria with Russia’s special envoy.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The International Committee of the Red Cross reported that hackers gained access to the personal and confidential data of some 500,000 people.

Top Story

  • Global: China said it warned away a US warship in the South China Sea, but Washington denies such claims.
    • Chinese forces followed and warned away a US warship which entered waters near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, but the US Navy denied the ship had been warned off.
    • The Southern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army said the US ship had “illegally” entered what Beijing regards as its waters.
    • The US navy said the USS Benfold “asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law”.
    • Last week, a 44-page study published by the State Department provided a rebuttal to China’s maritime claims and among those challenges was Beijing’s creation of straight baselines.
    • The South China Sea has become a major flashpoint in US-China relations, with Washington rejecting what it calls unlawful territorial claims by Beijing.
    • Reuters, AFP, CNN, Newsweek, The Guardian

Africa

  • Burkina Faso: Authorities disrupted access to Facebook due to security fears. (BBC)
  • Ethiopia: UN Secretary General António Guterres said there is “demonstrable effort to make peace” in the country after more than a year of civil war. (BBC)
  • Liberia: Officials said that at least 29 people, including 11 children and a pregnant woman, died in a stampede of worshippers at a Christian ceremony in Monrovia. (AP)
  • Madagascar: At least 10 people died following heavy rains in Antananarivo. (BBC)
  • South Africa: Amazon could pull out of a deal to create its Africa headquarters in Cape Town if a legal challenge by indigenous activists is allowed to proceed. (AFP)

Americas  

  • Region: The heads of state of Brazil, Guyana, and Suriname this week will take the first steps toward forging an infrastructure that would better share the neighboring South American countries’ energy and natural resources. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: Health authorities reported 204,854 new cases of COVID-19, breaking the country record for the second day in a row. (Reuters)
  • Haiti: A suspect in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise was extradited to the United States from the Dominican Republic. (AP)
  • United States: The Pentagon declassified and released video footage of a US drone strike in which killed 10 civilians in Kabul during the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. (AP)
  • United States: Senators dealt a death blow to President Joe Biden’s push to defend voting rights against what Democrats frame as an all-out assault by conservative states targeting racial minorities. (AFP)

Asia

  • Region: Foreign and defense ministers from Japan and France will discuss further security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: State media reported the government is considering resuming testing of nuclear warheads and ICBMs in response to hostile US policy. (Reuters)
  • Pakistan: Police said a bomb exploded at a crowded bazar in Lahore killing at least two people and wounding 26 others. (AP)
  • Thailand: Officials said the country will resume its quarantine-free travel scheme from February 1, after the program was suspended due to the fast-spreading Omicron Covid-19 variant. (AFP)
  • Tonga: Five days after a devastating volcano and tsunami, humanitarian aid flights are finally on their way to the island from Australia and New Zealand. (AFP)

Europe

  • Region: Russia accused the West of plotting “provocations” in Ukraine even as it blames Moscow for planning aggressive military action in the neighboring country. (AP)
  • Austria: Parliament is due to vote on introducing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for adults, the first of its kind in Europe. (AP)
  • Germany: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to meet his counterpart Annalena Baerbock in Berlin amid diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions with Russia over Ukraine. (DPA)
  • Germany: Health Minister Karl Lauterbach expects the number of coronavirus infections in the country to keep rising for several weeks. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: Talks are underway to remove US tariffs on steel and aluminum imposed during the Trump administration. (AP)

Middle East

  • Iran: The Armed Forces will hold joint naval drills with China and Russia on Friday. (Reuters)
  • Israel: The defense ministry said the country signed a three-billion-euro ($3.4 billion) deal to buy three innovative submarines from Germany. (AP)
  • Lebanon: The country’s healthcare system is crumbling amid an economic crisis that has led to an exodus of doctors and nurses, forcing private hospitals to close. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed developments in Syria with Russia’s special envoy. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: President Joe Biden said the United States is considering restoring its designation of the Houthis as a terror group. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The International Committee of the Red Cross reported that hackers gained access to the personal and confidential data of some 500,000 people. (AP)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report.
  • Volcanoes:
    • Hunga Tonga-Hunga volcano, Tonga
      • Minor activity
      • Eruption warning
      • Source
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 20JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (21JAN22) 

  • Global: Virtual meeting between US President Joe Biden and Japanese PM Kishida Fumio.
  • Barbados: Errol Barrow Day.
  • Dominican Republic: Día de la Altagracia.
  • France: EU environment and energy ministers’ informal meeting in Amiens. (to 22JAN)
  • Hong Kong: Ban on international flights from certain countries due to end unless extended.
  • Iran: Joint naval drills with China and Russia in the Indian Ocean.
  • Switzerland: Meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva.

END

19JAN22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The UN has grounded all non-emergency flights in Mali as the military government refuses to grant flight clearances.
  • AMERICAS: US President Joe Biden has chosen Los Angeles to host the 2022 Summit of the Americas, scheduled to be held the week of June 6.
  • ASIA: An Islamist militant convicted of masterminding the 2002 Bali bombings and other deadly attacks in Indonesia has been sentenced to 15 years in jail.
  • EUROPE: French President Emmanuel Macron called on EU countries to work together on a new stability and security deal that they could then discuss with Russia.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli police evicted Palestinian residents from a disputed property in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Several international airlines announced the cancellation of flights into the United States over fears of interference from new 5G cell phone service.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Arrives in Kyiv to diffuse tensions with Moscow over Ukraine.
    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv on a whistle-stop diplomatic push to defuse tensions with Moscow over Ukraine.
    • During his trip to Ukraine, Secretary Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as his counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.
    • Speaking to diplomats at the US embassy in Kyiv, Blinken echoed the concerns that a troop buildup would allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to launch an attack “on very short notice.”
    • The Secretary of State reiterated Washington’s commitment to “Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will continue to provide Ukraine the support it needs.”
    • Blinken warned Russia that it could take two paths: diplomacy and dialogue or conflict and aggression.
    • Reuters, DPA, NBC, AFP, CNN

Africa

  • DR Congo: Police in North Kivu province arrested two men in connection with the murder of Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio in February 2021. (AP)
  • Kenya: Police said that incidents of decomposing bodies being recovered from the Yala river in the western part of the country have been going on for two years. (BBC)
  • Mali: The UN has grounded all non-emergency flights in the country as the military government refuses to grant flight clearances. (AP)
  • Sierra Leone: President Julius Maada Bio sacked attorney general and justice minister Anthony Yeiwoh Brewah who has been replaced by Mohamed Lamin Tarawalley. (BBC)
  • South Africa: A man accused of setting fire to the parliament building is being released from a psychiatric hospital and moved to a regular prison from where he can request bail. (BBC)

Americas   

  • Region: President Joe Biden has chosen Los Angeles to host the 2022 Summit of the Americas, scheduled to be held the week of June 6. (AP)
  • Brazil: Health authorities reported over 137,000 news COVID-19 cases, a daily record for the country. (AFP)
  • Haiti: A court official denied a request for more time to investigate the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. (AP)
  • Peru: Prosecutors opened an investigation into an oil spill at the Pamilla refinery blamed on the tsunami caused by the Tongan volcanic eruption. (Reuters)
  • United States: The Biden Administration will distribute 400 million N95 masks for free to Americans as part of its effort to rein in the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP)

Asia

  • China: Beijing condemned plans by Slovenia to improve relations with Taiwan, a move likely to spark diplomatic and economic retaliation against the tiny Central European country. (AP)
  • India: An explosion on a navy ship docked in Mumbai killed three sailors. (AP)
  • Indonesia: An Islamist militant convicted of masterminding the 2002 Bali bombings and other deadly attacks in the country has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. (BBC)
  • Japan: The government is set to approve new COVID-19 restrictions over most of the country, expected to last until at least February 13. (AFP)
  • New Zealand: The government has temporarily closed its international borders, including to citizens and visa holders, citing the risk of the Omicron variant. (The Guardian)

Europe 

  • Region: The prime ministers of Bulgaria and North Macedonia met and agreed to intensify efforts to improve relations, particularly Bulgaria’s policy of blocking North Macedonia’s accession to the EU. (RFE/RL)
  • France: President Emmanuel Macron called on EU countries to work together on a new stability and security deal that they could then discuss with Russia. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Former chancellor Angela Merkel rejected a job offer from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. (DPA)
  • Turkey: The country’s state oil operator resumed crude flows through the ruptured Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline linking Iraqi energy fields with international markets. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is fighting for his premiership amid a revolt by his own lawmakers who are angry over a series of lockdown parties in Downing Street. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: Provincial head of the Culture and Information Department Baz Mohammad Sarwari said authorities in western Badghis province have helped quake-affected families. (Xinhua)
  • Iran: President Ebrahim Raisi said his visit to Moscow could mark a “turning point” in bilateral relations between the two countries ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AlJazeera)
  • Israel: Police evicted Palestinian residents from a disputed property in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. (AP)
  • United Arab Emirates: Energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said that he was “not worried about the short term” when asked about predictions that oil prices will rise above $100. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Several international airlines announced the cancellation of flights into the United States over fears of interference from new 5G cell phone service. (CNN)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report.
  • Volcanoes:
    • Hunga Tonga-Hunga volcano, Tonga
      • Major activity
      • Eruption warning
      • Source
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 19JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (20JAN22) 

  • Event: Brookings Institution discussion on China’s 20th Party Congress and beyond.
  • Event: Atlantic Council discussion on the future of Ukraine.
  • Event: Carnegie Connects conversation with US Ambassador to the United Nations Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
  • Azerbaijan: Martyrs’ Day.
  • Cabo Verde: Heroes’ Day.
  • Egypt: Visit by South Korean President Moon Jae-In.
  • France: EU environment and energy ministers’ informal meeting in Amiens. (to 22JAN)
  • Germany: Visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
  • Germany: Visit by Swiss President Ignazio Cassis.
  • Hong Kong: COVID-19 social distancing rules to end unless extended.
  • Laos: Army Day.
  • Mali: Armed Forces Day.
  • Suriname: Visit by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
  • United States: Bulletin of Atomic Scientists “Doomsday Clock” decision.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs Committee roundtable on ‘Bolstering Democracy in the Age of Rising Authoritarianism’.

END

18JAN22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Former Guinean President Alpha Condé has flown to the UAE for medical treatment.
  • AMERICAS: Brazil’s foreign ministry said President Jair Bolsonaro will visit Suriname and Guyana on Thursday and Friday for talks on economic cooperation.
  • ASIA:  Former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev appeared for the first time since unrest rocked the former Soviet republic this month, saying in a video address there was no conflict among the country’s elite.
  • EUROPE: The European Parliament elected conservative Maltese lawyer Roberta Metsola as president after the death of office-holder David Sassoli.
  • MIDDLE EAST: South Korean president Moon Jae-In arrived in Riyadh where Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman greeted him.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The Biden administration is reviewing e-commerce giant Alibaba’s cloud business to determine whether it poses a risk to U.S. national security.

Top Story

  • Tonga: The nation’s islands suffered extensive damage from a volcanic eruption and tsunami, but more deaths are feared. 
    • A diplomat said Tonga’s small outer islands suffered extensive damage from a massive volcanic eruption and tsunami, with an entire village destroyed and many buildings missing.
    • The first clear images of the destruction emerged after a New Zealand military surveillance flight captured aerial photos of land and trees blanketed in ash on Nomuka island near the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano.
    • UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said humanitarian officials and Tonga’s government “reported significant infrastructural damage around Tongatapu.”
    • At least two deaths have been reported and aid organizations are concerned about contaminated air and access to clean water for people in the outlying islands.
    • New Zealand announced it would move ahead with sending aid via the ships, which will take three days to reach the archipelago.
    • Saturday’s eruption was heard as far away as Alaska, triggering a tsunami that flooded Pacific coastlines from Japan to the United States.
    • Reuters, WaPo, NPR, CNN, DPA, AFP

Africa

  • Guinea: Former President Alpha Condé has flown to the UAE for medical treatment. (BBC)
  • Kenya: At least 20 dead bodies have been retrieved from the Yala river in recent weeks. (BBC)
  • Madagascar: An interior minister official said at least 10 people have died in flash floods triggered by torrential rain that battered the capital Antananarivo overnight. (AFP)
  • Mozambique: Military forces said they captured a jihadist leader in Nangade district in the northern Cabo Delgado province. (BBC)
  • Tunisia: A military court ordered the release of two detained opposition politicians. (BBC)

Americas   

  • Brazil: The foreign ministry said President Jair Bolsonaro will visit Suriname and Guyana on Thursday and Friday for talks on economic cooperation. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: The country reported the deaths of at least 145 community leaders and rights defenders last year, as fighting by armed gangs fueled further violence. (BBC)
  • Guatemala: The country hired for $900,000 a major supporter of former President Donald Trump to seek influence with US officials in an unusual lobbying contract paid by Taiwan. (AP)
  • Mexico: Officials said a photojournalist died after being shot in the head outside his home in the northern border city of Tijuana. (Reuters)
  • Peru: Community leaders rejected a government proposal to prevent future blockades affecting the Las Bambas copper mine. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Australia: The country suffered its deadliest day of the pandemic as the Omicron variant continued to increase hospitalization rates to record levels, even as infections eased slightly. (Reuters)
  • China: The organizing committee said tickets for the Winter Olympics set to begin on Feb. 4 will be distributed to “targeted” groups of people and will not be sold to the general public. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia: The planning minister said the parliament approved a bill to relocate the nation’s capital from Jakarta to a jungled area of Kalimantan in Borneo island. (Reuters)
  • Kazakhstan: Former President Nursultan Nazarbayev appeared for the first time since unrest rocked the former Soviet republic this month, saying in a video address there was no conflict among the country’s elite. (Reuters)
  • Pakistan: The Taliban claimed responsibility for an overnight gun attack on police in Islamabad that killed an officer and both of the assailants. (AP)

Europe  

  • Region: The European Parliament elected conservative Maltese lawyer Roberta Metsola as president after the death of office-holder David Sassoli. (DW)
  • Belarus: Russian troops arrived in the country for snap military drills, as Moscow hosted Germany’s foreign minister for the latest talks over fears of an invasion of Ukraine. (AFP)
  • Germany: Foreign Minister Anna Baerbock said Berlin sees no alternative to stable relations with Moscow, and the new government is ready to maintain them. (TASS)
  • Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Russia against invading Ukraine, calling the former Soviet republic a “powerful” country with international friends. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: The conservative government suffered a setback in Parliament in its attempt to give authorities stronger powers to curb peaceful but disruptive protests. (AP)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: Rescue workers searched for survivors after an earthquake in the remote western region killed at least 26 people and damaged hundreds of homes. (AFP)
  • Israel: Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is negotiating a plea deal which could end his corruption trial. (BBC)
  • Saudi Arabia: South Korean president Moon Jae-In arrived in Riyadh where the kingdom’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman greeted him. (AP)
  • United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi is requiring people entering the capital city to show proof of booster shots. (AP)
  • Yemen: Eleven people were killed in coalition air strikes on the capital Sanaa after the insurgents launched a rare and deadly attack on the United Arab Emirates. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: The Biden administration is reviewing e-commerce giant Alibaba’s cloud business to determine whether it poses a risk to U.S. national security. (Reuters)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report.
  • Volcanoes:
    • Hunga Tonga-Hunga volcano, Tonga
      • Minor activity
      • Eruption warning
      • Source
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 18JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (19JAN22) 

  • Global: Only two potential flights from the United States to China available for two weeks, assuming those routes do not produce new COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • Global: Orthodox Epiphany.
  • Global: Russian cosmonauts perform spacewalk from International Space Station.
  • Global: WHO Programme, Budget, and Administration Committee meeting.
  • Event: Atlantic Council conversation with former World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
  • Event: Atlantic Council discussion on women in Afghanistan.
  • Barbados: Parliamentary Elections.
  • Bosnia: USAID Administrator Power visits Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store.
  • Haiti: Haiti Unity Summit, which provides a platform for political factions to negotiate a transitional government, to end.
  • Kazakhstan: Last Collective Security Treaty Organization forces scheduled to leave the country.
  • Ukraine: Cabinet meeting to discuss COVID-19 and tensions with Russia.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on ‘transatlantic cooperation on supply chain security’.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on ‘the importance of a U.S.-Indo-Pacific digital trade agreement’.

END

13JAN22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi urged Sudanese parties to engage in talks and denied backing the military coup which overthrew the civilian government in October.
  • AMERICAS: Health officials indicated that the wave of omicron variant cases in and around New York City may be slowing.
  • ASIA: The United States released a new research study rejecting Chinese claims in the South China Sea.
  • EUROPE: Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia sees no reason to hold a new round of security talks with the West in the coming days following a lack of progress during ongoing negotiations.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The United Arab Emirates condemned the Houthis’ seizure of a civilian cargo ship in the Red Sea as an act of piracy during a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: More than 80 fact-checking organizations issued an open letter calling on YouTube to address what they say is rampant disinformation and misinformation on the site.

Top Story

  • Kazakhstan: CSTO bloc starts withdrawing troops from the country.
    • The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) began withdrawing its troops from Kazakhstan after a week-long deployment during the worst bout of unrest in the Central Asian nation’s post-Soviet history.
    • President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev blamed the unrest on foreign-backed “terrorists” and requested assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organization to send over 2,000 troops to Kazakhstan last week.
    • Kazakh Deputy Defense Minister Mukhamedzhan Talasov told CSTO troops at a departure ceremony in Almaty, “Thanks to your arrival, Kazakh military and security forces were able to carry out their immediate task of locating and detaining bandits.”
    • CSTO Secretary-General Stanislav Zas stressed that the situation in Almaty has been placed under the control of law-enforcement personnel and the withdrawal will last ten days.
    • CSTO troops arrived in Kazakhstan last week after President Qasym-Zhomart Tokayev declared a state of emergency on January 5 and asked the bloc for military assistance when the protests turned deadly.
    • Reuters, AP, AFP, TASS, RFE

Africa

  • Region: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi urged Sudanese parties to engage in talks and denied backing the military coup which overthrew the civilian government in October. (AP)
  • Kenya: Police are investigating major power outages in recent days that some people have blamed on vandalism. (BBC)
  • Mali: The military government condemned an alleged breach of the country’s airspace by a French military aircraft. (France24)
  • Nigeria: The government lifted its ban on Twitter seven months after clamping down on the social networking site. (BBC)
  • Tunisia: Ennahda party reiterated calls for demonstrations on Friday marking the anniversary of the country’s revolution, defying tightened coronavirus restrictions it says are politically motivated. (AFP)

Americas   

  • Brazil: Human Rights Watch said this year’s general election will be a test for the country’s democracy due to threats by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro who has questioned the validity of its voting system. (Reuters)
  • Canada: The Border Services Agency announced that truck drivers would remain exempt from COVID-19 vaccine requirements at the international border. (Reuters)
  • El Salvador: Investigators have found that at least 22 journalists at the independent news site El Faro were targets of the Pegasus phone spyware. (WaPo)
  • United States: Health officials indicated that the wave of omicron variant cases in and around New York City may be slowing. (WaPo)

Asia

  • Region: The United States released a new research study rejecting Chinese claims in the South China Sea. (AFP)
  • Japan: Tokyo recorded a four-month high in COVID-19 infections and experts forecast the spread of the Omicron variant will cause the daily count to triple by month’s end. (Reuters)
  • Malaysia: The National Heart Institute said Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been discharged from hospital following a successful medical procedure. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: The United States announced it would propose new UN sanctions against Pyongyang in response to recent ballistic missile launches. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: The country received its first supply of Pfizer’s antiviral COVID-19 pills to treat patients with mild or moderate symptoms. (AP)

Europe

  • Czech Republic: Lawmakers suspended a marathon session to vote on a confidence motion in the new government as opposition forces dragged the debate to 22 hours before seeking an interruption. (Reuters)
  • France: The country will let in travelers from Britain who are vaccinated against COVID-19 without having to self-isolate or offer a valid reason for the trip. (AP)
  • Italy: The country is marking the 10th anniversary of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster with a daylong commemoration that will end with a candlelit vigil marking the moment the ship capsized off Tuscany. (AP)
  • Russia: Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the country sees no reason to hold a new round of security talks with the West in the coming days following a lack of progress during ongoing negotiations. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: Senior government ministers have expressed support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and rejected demands he resign for attending a garden party during the country’s first coronavirus lockdown. (AP)

Middle East

  • Iran: The US Cyber Command claimed to have identified evidence connecting hacking group MuddyWater to Iranian intelligence. (UPI)
  • Iraq: Six people were killed as scaffolding collapsed at a Shiite mausoleum near the central town of Hilla. (AFP)
  • Palestinian Territories: The United States urged an investigation into the death of an 80-year-old Palestinian-American citizen who had been arrested by Israeli armed forces. (AFP)
  • United Arab Emirates: The country condemned the Houthis’ seizure of a civilian cargo ship in the Red Sea as an act of piracy during a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East. (WAM)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: More than 80 fact-checking organizations issued an open letter calling on YouTube to address what they say is rampant disinformation and misinformation on the site. (AP)

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 13JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (14JAN22) 

  • Global: Orthodox New Year.
  • Event: Atlantic Council conversation with Head of the Ukrainian President’s office Andriy Yermak.
  • Denmark: Golden Jubilee of Queen Margrethe.
  • France: EU foreign and defense ministers’ informal meeting in Brest.
  • Netherlands: COVID-19 lockdown scheduled to end unless extended.
  • Russia: Turkish and Armenian envoys to meet in Moscow.
  • South Korea: COVID-19 antiviral pills begin being prescribed.
  • Tunisia: Revolution Day.
  • United States: Senate breaks for Martin Luther King Day State Work Period.
  • Uzbekistan: Defender of the Motherland Day.

END

12JAN22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Russia and China blocked a UN Security Council resolution to support new ECOWAS sanctions against Mali after next month’s elections were delayed to 2026.
  • AMERICAS: Colombian Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez said that her country’s consul in Haiti received threats after trying to provide humanitarian assistance to 18 former soldiers accused of assassinating President Jovenel Moise.
  • ASIA: China accelerated settlement-building along its disputed border with Bhutan, with more than 200 structures under construction in six locations.
  • EUROPE: Russia began to lay out its demands for security guarantees in Europe to NATO, following talks with the United States in Geneva that showed the two sides have major differences.
  • MIDDLE EAST: A judicial official said Iran arrested an alleged “counter-revolutionary agent” on suspicion of conducting an arson attack on a memorial to a revered general killed in a US drone strike.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: A judge ruled that the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook can proceed.

Top Story

  • Somalia: A large car bomb exploded outside Mogadishu Airport killing eight people.
    • A car bomb exploded on a road leading to Mogadishu airport killing at least eight people.
    • The founder of the Aamin ambulance service, Abdulkadir Adan, tweeted that he was “deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries” in Mogadishu.
    • The attack was claimed by Al-Shabaab which said in a brief statement that it was targeting “foreign officers”.
    • Witnesses said a multi-vehicle private security convoy escorting foreigners was passing by the area when the explosion hit.
    • Somalia is also in the midst of a political crisis due to a power struggle between the president and prime minister ahead of elections.
    • Reuters, AP, AFP, AlJazeera, BBC

Africa

  • Cameroon: An opposition lawmaker from the Social Democratic Front (SDF) has been gunned in Bamenda city in the north-west. (BBC)
  • Mali: Russia and China blocked a UN Security Council resolution to support new ECOWAS sanctions against the country after next month’s elections were delayed to 2026. (AP)
  • Nigeria: At least three people, including two children, have been killed after a church collapsed in the Okpanam suburb of Asaba, the capital of Delta state. (AlJazeera)
  • Tunisia: The UN is calling on authorities to either release or properly charge the country’s former justice minister Nourredine Bhiri. (BBC)
  • Zimbabwe: The trial of journalist Jeffery Moyo, who is charged with smuggling two of his colleagues into the country in May, is expected to begin in Bulawayo city. (BBC)

Americas 

  • Region: Colombian Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez said that her country’s consul in Haiti received threats after trying to provide humanitarian assistance to 18 former soldiers accused of assassinating President Jovenel Moise. (AP)
  • Colombia: President Ivan Duque announced that the waiting time to receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine would be reduced from six months to four. (Reuters)
  • Honduras: A passenger broke into the cockpit of an American Airlines jet at an airport and damaged the plane as it was boarding for a flight to Miami before being taken into custody. (Reuters)
  • Mexico: President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he is doing well despite catching Covid-19 for a second time, reassuring the country that Omicron was a less severe variant. (AFP)
  • United States: Five more detainees were cleared for transfer from Guantanamo Bay prison, bringing the total to 18 out of the 39 remaining prisoners. (WaPo)

Asia

  • China: Beijing accelerated settlement-building along its disputed border with Bhutan, with more than 200 structures under construction in six locations. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia: The country opened its coronavirus booster campaign to the public as it records rising infections driven by the Omicron variant. (AFP)
  • North Korea: Pyongyang confirmed yesterday’s ballistic missile launch, claiming it was a successful “final” test of a hypersonic missile. (Yonhap)
  • Philippines: The Transportation Department said Individuals who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 are not allowed to take public transport in Manila. (DPA)
  • Taiwan: The island’s National Rescue Command Center said the debris of a missing Air Force F-16V fighter jet was found off the western coast, but its pilot remained unaccounted for. (DPA)

Europe  

  • Armenia: The Defense Ministry said that the number of its soldiers killed in border clashes with Azerbaijan rose to three in the most serious outbreak of fighting between the ex-Soviet adversaries in months. (AFP)
  • Germany: The Health Ministry announced the acquisition of an additional 5 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. (DPA)
  • France: EDF announced new delays and cost overruns for its troubled new-generation nuclear plant in the north as the Covid pandemic made the work more difficult. (AFP)
  • Russia: Moscow began to lay out its demands for security guarantees in Europe to NATO, following talks with the United States in Geneva that showed the two sides have major differences. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a high-stakes showdown in Parliament that could help defuse a crisis over claims that he and his staff broke coronavirus lockdown rules. (AP)

Middle East

  • Iran: A judicial official said the country arrested an alleged “counter-revolutionary agent” on suspicion of conducting an arson attack on a memorial to a revered general killed in a US drone strike. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: Prime Minister Najib Mikati said the government did not interfere with the judiciary’s work, after reports that he had put pressure on a judge seeking data from banks in an investigation into the conduct of the central bank governor. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud said the transition away from fossil fuels towards clean energy is complicated and the world needs to be flexible to avoid sacrificing energy security. (Reuters)
  • Syria: A German court will deliver a judgement on former colonel Anwar Raslan, the highest ranking official to be tried for atrocities committed in the country. (AlJazeera)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: A judge ruled that the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook can proceed. (NPR)

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 12JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (13JAN22) 

  • Global: UN World Economic Situation and Prospects report.
  • Global: Orthodox Christianity New Year’s Eve.
  • Event: Paul Simon Public Policy Institute conversation with Swedish Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter.
  • Event: Brookings discussion on US-Jordan relations.
  • Austria: OSCE Permanent Council Meeting, inauguration of Poland as OSCE chair.
  • France: EU foreign and defense ministers’ informal meeting in Brest. (to 14JAN)
  • France: President Emmanuel Macron video conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
  • Belgium: Visit by Deputy US Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
  • Cabo Verde: Democracy Day.
  • Mongolia: Constitution Day.
  • Togo: Liberation Day.
  • United Kingdom: Meeting between Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic in London.

END

10JAN22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Kenyan police arrested 91 Ethiopian nationals suspected to be in the country illegally.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuela’s opposition prevailed in the gubernatorial race in the state of Barinas, with the results giving hope to that faction while shocking the ruling party.
  • ASIA: India began a Covid-19 booster shot campaign for frontline workers and vulnerable people aged 60 and above as authorities grapple with a rapidly escalating outbreak driven by the Omicron variant.
  • EUROPE: Dutch King Willem-Alexander swore in a new ruling coalition, led for the fourth time by Mark Rutte.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian will visit China by the end of the week to discuss the 25-year cooperation agreement signed by the two countries.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Video game maker Take-Two Interactive Software Inc will acquire mobile game maker Zynga Inc in a cash-and-stock deal at an enterprise value of nearly $12.7 billion.

Top Story

  • Global: Expectations low as Russia and the US launch security talks
    • The United States and Russia began negotiations in Geneva that Washington hopes can deter the danger of a Russian invasion of Ukraine without conceding to the Kremlin’s security demands.
    • Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and his delegation arrived at the US diplomatic mission for face-to-face talks with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her team.
    • The talks start a week of diplomacy in which Russia will meet with NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) officials, with the US trying to reassure European allies that they will not be sidelined.
    • The focus of the meeting will be on Ukraine with the US and its allies threatening sanctions in the event of a Russian attack, while Russia is demanding guarantees that NATO will not expand further east.
    • Tensions remain higher than ever over Ukraine but both sides have already warned prospects for a resolution are low.
    • Reuters, AP, AFP, DPA, CNBC

Africa

  • Ethiopia: The UN said aid agencies suspended operations in the northern Tigray region where dozens of people were reportedly killed in an air strike. (BBC)
  • Kenya: Police arrested 91 Ethiopian nationals suspected to be in the country illegally. (BBC)
  • Mozambique: Five people have been killed and 15 others injured after heavy rains and strong winds left a trail of destruction in Gaza province. (BBC)
  • Somalia: The United Nations urged leaders to make good on their agreement for a new election timetable after repeated delays sparked a political crisis. (AFP)
  • Uganda: Schools reopened nationwide to students ending the longest school disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic anywhere in the world. (AP)

Americas  

  • Brazil: Rescuers said ten people died in the collapse of a canyon rock face on top of motorboats visiting a waterfall in the country’s southeast. (Reuters)
  • Honduras: Police in Honduras said local leader Pablo Isabel Hernández of the indigenous Lenca group was shot to death. (AP)
  • Nicaragua: Members of the new congress have taken office, one day before President Daniel Ortega is sworn in following highly questionable elections. (AP)
  • United States: Sixteen Democratic lawmakers are urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to back a review aimed at ending the International Monetary Fund’s policy of charging countries significant surcharges on loans that are not repaid rapidly. (Reuters)
  • Venezuela: The opposition prevailed in the gubernatorial race in the state of Barinas, with the results giving hope to that faction while shocking the ruling party. (AP)

Asia

  • China: The country reported more cases of the Omicron variant with authorities on high alert over flare-ups in major cities just weeks ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics. (AFP)
  • India: The country began a Covid-19 booster shot campaign for frontline workers and vulnerable people aged 60 and above as authorities grapple with a rapidly escalating outbreak driven by the Omicron variant. (AFP)
  • Kazakhstan: Authorities said 8,000 people were detained by police during protests that descended into violence last week and marked the worst unrest the former Soviet nation faced since gaining independence 30 years ago. (AP)
  • Myanmar: A junta court convicted Aung San Suu Kyi of three criminal charges, sentencing her to four years in prison in the latest round of a legal onslaught against the ousted civilian leader. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Officials said suspected Islamic State militants are on the run after escaping a police raid that killed six other members of the group. (AFP)

Europe 

  • France: President Emmanuel Macron is traveling to the French Mediterranean coast to talk about internal security. (AP)
  • Germany: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is scheduled to meet with her Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome with the ongoing stand-off between Russia and the West over Ukraine expected to top the agenda. (DPA)
  • Netherlands: King Willem-Alexander swore in a new ruling coalition, led for the fourth time by Mark Rutte. (AP)
  • Russia: President Vladimir Putin said that a Moscow-led military detachment deployed to counter unrest in Kazakhstan would remain in the Central Asian country for only a “limited” period. (AFP)
  • Spain: Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said it is time to consider whether to move away from the detailed tracking that the pandemic has required until now to a flu-like monitoring system. (AP)

Middle East

  • Region: Foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries are visiting Beijing for meetings with Chinese officials. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: The ambassador to China left a resignation note for his successor revealing staff had not been paid for months and that a lone receptionist had been left to answer phones. (AFP)
  • Iran: Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian will visit China by the end of the week to discuss the 25-year cooperation agreement signed by the two countries. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: The new parliament elected Sunni lawmaker Mohammed al-Halbousi as speaker marking an important step towards establishing a new government three months after a national election. (Reuters)
  • Israel: Central Bank governor Amir Yaron said The Omicron variant will cost the economy around two billion shekels ($641.81 million) every 20 days. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Video game maker Take-Two Interactive Software Inc will acquire mobile game maker Zynga Inc in a cash-and-stock deal at an enterprise value of nearly $12.7 billion. (Reuters)

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 10JAN22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (11JAN22) 

  • Global: World Bank Global Economic Prospects report launched
  • Event: World Economic Forum Global Risk Report launched (virtual).
  • Event: East-West Center / Korea Foundation webinar on U.S.-South Korea-Philippines cooperation.
  • Event: Brookings discussion on EU-Gulf relations.
  • Cuba: 20th anniversary of first Afghan prisoners arriving at Guantanamo Bay detention center.
  • India: Home quarantine mandatory for all international arrivals.
  • Morocco: Proclamation of Independence Day.
  • Thailand: Expansion of “Sandbox” scheme to include three new destinations for tourists.
  • United Kingdom: NATO Response Force change of command ceremony.
  • United States: Secretaries Blinken and Austin testify to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on U.S. policy on Afghanistan.
  • United States: Deputy Secretary of State Sherman begins visit to Belgium. (to 13JAN)

END