03MAY22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Mali’s ruling junta announced it was breaking off defense accords with France, claiming “flagrant violations” of its sovereignty by French troops.
  • AMERICAS: A draft of a US Supreme Court majority opinion which would strike down Roe v. Wade was published by Politico.
  • ASIA: Beijing’s top envoy to Pyongyang said China will play a “constructive” role in resolving tensions on the Korean peninsula.
  • EUROPE: German conservative opposition leader Friedrich Merz is expected to arrive in Kyiv for meetings with Ukrainian officials.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Russia’s foreign ministry accused Israel of supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine, further escalating a row which began when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Russia has rerouted internet traffic in the occupied Ukrainian region of Kherson through Russian communications infrastructure.

Top Story

  • Global: Pope says he wants to go to Moscow to meet Putin over Ukraine.
    • Pope Francis said in an interview that he asked for a meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to stop the war in Ukraine but had not received a reply.
    • The 85-year-old told Italy’s Corriere Della Sera newspaper that he had sent a message to Putin around 20 days into the conflict saying, “that I was willing to go to Moscow”.
    • Pope Francis has no plans to go to Kyiv but repeatedly expressed hope of a visit to Moscow, in an apparent bid to persuade Putin to halt military operations in Ukraine.
    • The pope has repeatedly called for peace in Ukraine and denounced a “cruel and senseless war” but without ever mentioning Putin or Moscow by name.
    • About three weeks into the conflict, Pope Francis asked the Vatican’s top diplomat to send a message to Russia’s leader that he was willing to go to Moscow but received no response from the Kremlin.
    • Reuters, AFP, WaPo, Canberra Times, AlJazeera

Africa

  • Central African Republic: Human Rights Watch said there was “compelling evidence” that Russian paramilitary troops were committing serious rights abuses and killing civilians in the country. (AFP)
  • Mali: The ruling junta announced it was breaking off defense accords with France, claiming “flagrant violations” of its sovereignty by French troops. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: The death toll from a building collapse in the country’s commercial capital Lagos has risen to 10, including a young boy. (AFP)
  • Somalia: Heavily armed Al-Shabaab jihadists stormed an African Union (AU) base in the country triggering a fierce firefight that left an unknown number of casualties. (AFP)
  • South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa promised to improve conditions for workers and the poor, saying he had heard the grievances of miners who drove him from a May Day celebration. (AFP)

Americas  

  • Region: A US appeals court declined to rule on whether or not Colombian businessman Alex Saab, an ally of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, can claim diplomatic immunity. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: Leftist front-runner Gustavo Petro canceled events in the country’s coffee region because of what his office said was a plot by a crime gang to attempt to take his life. (Reuters)
  • Costa Rica: The health ministry announced the rollout of an optional fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose, available to the immunocompromised and those over 50. (Reuters)
  • El Salvador: Human rights groups criticized mass arrests of suspected gang members. (AP)
  • United States: A draft of a Supreme Court majority opinion which would strike down Roe v. Wade was published by Politico. (AFP)

Asia

  • Region: Beijing’s top envoy to Pyongyang said China will play a “constructive” role in resolving tensions on the Korean peninsula. (AFP)
  • Cambodia: Prime minister Hun Sen urged Myanmar’s top general to allow a special Southeast Asian envoy access to ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. (Reuters)
  • China: The National Health Commission reported 6,074 new COVID-19 cases, a decrease of over 20% from the previous day. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: Presidential candidates will hold final election rallies this week in a two-way race between frontrunner Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his main rival Leni Robredo. (Reuters)
  • Taiwan: The island is cutting mandatory quarantine to seven days for all arrivals, its latest relaxation of the rules to try to live with COVID-19 and resume normal life even as the number of domestic infections spikes. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: The head of the European Council Charles Michel is joining the leaders of four Balkan countries on a tour of liquefied natural gas facilities being built in northern Greece to challenge Russia’s energy dominance in the region. (AP)
  • Armenia: Anti-government protests spread throughout Yerevan as opposition parties mounted pressure on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan over his “treacherous” handling of a territorial dispute with arch-foe Azerbaijan. (AFP)
  • Germany: Conservative opposition leader Friedrich Merz is expected to arrive in Kyiv for meetings with Ukrainian officials. (AP)
  • Russia: The defense ministry reported that over 11,000 people, including 1,800 children, were transported from Ukraine without the participation of Ukrainian authorities. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: The government announced £300 million in new military aid to Ukraine. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: Taliban officials in the country’s most progressive city Herat have told driving instructors to stop issuing licenses to women. (AFP)
  • Egypt: The US State Department said the death of economic researcher Ayman Hadhoud requires a “thorough, transparent and credible” investigation. (Reuters)
  • Iran: Oil minister Javad Owji paid an official visit to Venezuela to meet President Nicolas Maduro and discuss ways to “overcome” the effects of US sanctions against both nations. (Al-Monitor)
  • Israel: Russia’s foreign ministry accused the country of supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine, further escalating a row which began when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Germany’s top court rejected the appeal of a former member of the secret police who was convicted last year of facilitating the torture of prisoners in his home country. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Russia has rerouted internet traffic in the occupied Ukrainian region of Kherson through Russian communications infrastructure. (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 03MAY22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (04MAY22) 

  • Global: UN Anti-Bullying Day.
  • Global: International Firefighters’ Day.
  • Chile: Visit by US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya. (to 05MAY)
  • China: Youth Day.
  • France: Visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz holds separate meetings with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian Prime Minister Alexander Vucic.
  • Latvia: Restoration of Independence Day.
  • Namibia: Cassinga Day.
  • Romania: Visit by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
  • Russia: Final day of grace period to pay sovereign bonds in dollars, after which Russia. will be declared in sovereign default.

END

02MAY22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had to leave a May Day rally after workers stormed the stage where he was speaking.
  • AMERICAS: The former head of Cuba’s parliament and one of the country’s most prominent diplomats Ricardo Alarcón died in Havana at 84 years old.
  • ASIA: Japan is expected to announce a new defense agreement among several deals with Thailand during a visit by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
  • EUROPE: Humanitarian organizations worked to evacuate more civilians from the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, but hundreds of people remained trapped in the Azovstal steel works.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran summoned Sweden’s ambassador following a request by prosecutors in Stockholm for life imprisonment for a former Iranian official.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Google urged Europe’s second-highest court to dismiss a 1.49-billion-euro ($1.6 billion) fine imposed by EU antitrust regulators three years ago for hindering rivals in online search advertising.

Top Story

  • Global: Israel Summons Russian Ambassador Over Lavrov’s Nazism Remarks.
    • Israel denounced Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for suggesting that the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins, saying his comments were anti-Semitic and dangerous.
    • Israel summoned the Russian ambassador Anatoly Viktorov over comments made by the Russian foreign minister and signal a steep decline in relations between the two countries.
    • Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid condemned the comments as “an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error”.
    • Last month, Lapid accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine, and Israel agreed to supply helmets and vests to Ukrainian rescue services, signaling a shift in its position on providing such equipment.
    • Dani Dayan, director of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel, also criticized Lavrov’s comments as “unfounded, delusional and dangerous remarks which deserve to be condemned”.
    • Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Israel has sought to keep a delicate balance between the two sides, but remarks by Lavrov to an Italian channel sparked anger in Israel.
    • Reuters, AP, AFP, BBC, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz,

Africa

  • Region: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged debt relief for African countries and more investment to help their economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and weather the impacts of the Ukraine war. (Reuters)
  • Chad: The military government announced it is postponing the start of national talks with opposition forces and rebels, as preparatory negotiations between the two sides drag out in Qatar. (AFP)
  • Morocco: King Mohammed VI pardoned 29 people jailed for “terrorism or extremism” offences in a gesture marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: A three-story residential building collapsed in Lagos killing at least five people with many feared trapped. (AP)
  • South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa had to leave a May Day rally after workers stormed the stage where he was speaking. (BBC)

Americas  

  • Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro and his main rival, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, staged competing rallies that were expected to become previews of their campaigns for presidential elections in October. (Reuters)
  • Chile: Police said three people were wounded by gunfire and two arrested in clashes at May Day demonstrations in the country. (AFP)
  • Cuba: The former head of parliament and one of the country’s most prominent diplomats Ricardo Alarcón died in Havana at 84 years old. (AP)
  • Mexico: The foreign ministry said the pressure the US state of Texas exerted on neighboring states last month to tighten border security was tantamount to “extortion”. (Reuters)
  • United States: First Lady Jill Biden will visit Romania and Slovakia this week to meet with displaced Ukrainian parents and children, aid workers, service members, and embassy personnel. (AFP)

Asia

  • China: Two people have been rescued from the rubble of a building in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, more than 50 hours after it collapsed. (AP)
  • Indonesia: Millions of Muslims returned to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in full swing after two years of subdued festivities due to pandemic restrictions and travel curbs. (AP)
  • Japan: The country is expected to announce a new defense agreement among several deals with Thailand during a visit by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. (Reuters)
  • New Zealand: The country welcomed tourists from more than 50 other countries for the first time in more than two years after dropping most of its remaining pandemic border restrictions. (AP)
  • Philippines: Eight people, including six children, died when a fire ripped through a poor community in the capital of Manila and destroyed 80 houses. (AFP)

Europe

  • Region: The European Commission may spare Hungary and Slovakia from an embargo on buying Russian oil, wary of how dependent the two countries are on Russian crude. (Reuters)
  • Armenia: Police in Yerevan detained 125 anti-government demonstrators that were blocking streets to protest against the country’s prime minister. (AP)
  • Denmark: Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod announced the reopening of the country’s embassy in Kyiv during a surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital. (AFP)
  • Spain: Officials said the cellphones of the prime minister and the defense minister were infected last year with Pegasus spyware that is only available to government agencies, in an operation that was not authorized by the government. (AP)
  • Ukraine: Humanitarian organizations worked to evacuate more civilians from the port city of Mariupol, but hundreds of people remained trapped in the Azovstal steel works. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Iran: The country summoned Sweden’s ambassador following a request by prosecutors in Stockholm for life imprisonment for a former official. (AFP)
  • Israel: The country canceled independence day fireworks over concerns by some military veterans who say the cracking and banging dredges up the horrors of battle, especially for those with post-traumatic stress disorder. (AP)
  • Palestinian Territories: A proposal by the UN agency for refugees to delegate some services to other United Nations agencies has sparked outrage among citizens, who have warned of a plot to “dismantle” the body. (AFP)
  • Saudi Arabia: Riyadh feels “let down” by the United States in tackling security threats to the kingdom and wider region by Yemen’s Houthi movement. (Reuters)
  • United Arab Emirates: Deliveroo suspended plans that would cut rider earnings in the Gulf Arab state after a rare strike by foreign delivery workers over working conditions. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Google urged Europe’s second-highest court to dismiss a 1.49-billion-euro ($1.6 billion) fine imposed by EU antitrust regulators three years ago for hindering rivals in online search advertising. (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 02MAY22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (03MAY22) 

  • Event: Stimson Center discussion on Taiwan and China’s engagement with Eastern Europe.
  • Global: Labor Day.
  • Global: Eid Al Fitr.
  • Global: World Press Freedom Day.
  • Asia: ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, via videoconference.
  • Belarus: Commemoration Day.
  • Denmark: Visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Europe: Eurogroup Meeting of eurozone finance ministers.
  • Israel: Memorial Day.
  • Japan: Constitution Memorial Day.
  • Poland: Constitution Day.
  • United States: Primary elections in Ohio and Indiana.

END

28APR22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Kenyan authorities said that some Congolese armed groups participating in the peace talks have asked for more time before laying down their weapons, signaling the talks have not made a breakthrough.
  • AMERICAS: The US State Department said it was unlikely the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela would be invited to the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.
  • ASIA: Taiwan is facing its worst outbreak since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with over 11,000 new cases reported Thursday.
  • EUROPE: Russia raised the alarm over “acts of terrorism” in the breakaway region of Transnistria after separatist authorities reported several attacks there this week.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Sirens sounded across Israel in an annual ritual honoring the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Microsoft reported that hackers aligned with Russia have carried out hundreds of cyberattacks on Ukraine, often in coordination with military strikes.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: Russian President Vladimir Putin Threatens Nations that Intervene in the War on the Country’s Behalf.
    • Russia stepped up its assaults on eastern and southern Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin threatened “lightning-fast” retaliation against Western countries that intervene on Ukraine’s behalf.
    • Putin said, “We have all the instruments [to respond] that no one can boast of … we’re going to use them if we have to.”
    • The Kremlin said that western arms deliveries to Ukraine threaten European security.
    • Putin claims the west wanted to use Ukraine as a platform to attack Russia through the Crimean peninsula, which it annexed in 2014, and the separatist-held eastern Donbas border region.
    • The move comes as tensions remain high between Western allies and Russia after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said the threat of a nuclear war is significant and the risks should not be underestimated.
    • Reuters, CNBC, AFP, FT, Telegraph,

Africa

  • Algeria: The government warned that it would terminate gas supplies to Spain if Madrid sold any Algerian gas to other countries. (Reuters)
  • Kenya: Authorities said that some Congolese armed groups participating in the peace talks have asked for more time before laying down their weapons, signaling the talks have not made a breakthrough. (AP)
  • Mali: The High Authority for Communication of Mali announced the permanent suspension of Radio France International and France 24, two of the most listened to news outlets in the country. (AP)
  • Somalia: Lawmakers elected Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur as their new speaker in a long-delayed vote. (Reuters)
  • Sudan: Human Rights Watch called on the international community to pressure authorities to end arrests and abuse of activists opposing last year’s military coup. (AFP)

Americas  

  • Region: The US State Department said it was unlikely the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela would be invited to the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. (AP)
  • Colombia: Families of victims of extrajudicial executions committed by soldiers asked perpetrators to reveal who ordered the murders at the country’s transitional justice court. (Reuters)
  • Haiti: Criminal violence in the country has worsened this week as fighting among gangs in Port-au-Prince chased thousands from their homes and killed at least 20 people, including children. (AP)
  • United States: The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding bill urging President Biden to sell frozen assets of sanctioned Russians and use the proceeds to provide aid to Ukraine. (NYT)
  • Venezuela: Gladys Gutierrez, who is under sanction by the United States, was named president of the Supreme Justice Tribunal. (Reuters)

Asia

  • China: The city of Guangzhou canceled hundreds of flights and began testing 5.6 million people over one suspected COVID-19 case. (AFP)
  • India: The central government urged states to increase coal imports over the next three years in order to build inventories and satisfy demand. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: A quake-damaged bridge collapsed under heavy vehicular traffic in a central town, killing at least four people who were trapped in a dozen vehicles that plummeted into the river. (AP)
  • South Korea: Health authorities reported 57,00 new COVID-19 cases as most virus restrictions have been lifted amid the slowdown of the omicron wave. (Yonhap)
  • Taiwan: The island is facing its worst outbreak since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with over 11,000 new cases reported Thursday. (AP)

Europe

  • France: A policeman has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after shooting a driver who sought to evade police and a passenger in Paris Sunday, hours after Emmanuel Macron celebrated re-election. (AFP)
  • Germany: The Bundestag lower house of parliament approved a petition on support for Ukraine backing the delivery of weapons including heavy arms to the country to help it fend off Russian attacks. (Reuters)
  • Italy: Prime Minister Mario Draghi will meet with US President Joe Biden in Washington next month to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (Reuters)
  • Russia: The Kremlin raised the alarm over “acts of terrorism” in the breakaway region of Transnistria after separatist authorities reported several attacks there this week. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called on Western allies to “double down” and send tanks, warplanes, and heavy weapons to Ukraine. (AP)

Middle East

  • Region: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Saudi Arabia on the latest leg of Ankara’s bridge-building efforts with regional rivals. (AP)
  • Egypt: French experts concluded that the 2016 EgyptAir disaster was caused by a leaking oxygen mask and a cigarette in the cockpit. (AFP)
  • Iran: Executions in the country rose by 25 percent in 2021 expressing alarm over a surge in the numbers executed for drug offenses and also the hanging of at least 17 women. (AFP)
  • Israel: Sirens sounded across the country in an annual ritual honoring the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust. (AP)
  • Syria: Opposition activists said suspected Islamic State gunmen attacked a Ramadan gathering hosted by a former official of a US-backed group in the east, killing seven and wounding four. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: Microsoft reported that hackers aligned with Russia have carried out hundreds of cyberattacks on Ukraine, often in coordination with military strikes. (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 28APR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (29APR22) 

  • Event: Wilson Center discussion on Russian sanctions.
  • Event: Atlantic Council event discussing the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, with Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin and Republican Sen. John Cornyn.
  • Global: Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare.
  • Global: Quds Day.
  • Global: Global Youth Service Day.
  • Americas: Virtual meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
  • Japan: Shōwa Day.
  • Russia: Bank of Russia Board of Directors meeting on monetary policy issues.
  • Saudi Arabia: Visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • Singapore: Second Malaysian drug convict due to be executed despite UN plea.
  • United States: House Foreign Affairs subcommittee members meet ‘leader of democratic Belarus’ Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

END

27APR22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The Malian army accused France of “spying” and “subversion” when it used a drone to film what France allege are mercenaries burying bodies near a military base.
  • AMERICAS: Nicaragua said the state would take possession of the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Managua.
  • ASIA: Myanmar’s military court sentenced deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to five years in jail after finding her guilty in the first of 11 corruption cases she faces.
  • EUROPE: The interior ministry of the Moldovan breakaway state of Transnistria said that shots were fired at a village housing a Russian arms depot after drones flew over from Ukraine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Palestinian Health Ministry said that Israeli forces have shot and killed an 18-year-old Palestinian man and wounded three others during clashes near Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Senator Bernie Sanders called on President Joe Biden to cut out Amazon from federal contracts over alleged anti-union activity.

Top Story

  • Europe: Russia Halts Gas Supplies to Poland and Bulgaria.
    • Russia halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland on Wednesday for rejecting its demand to pay in roubles, taking direct aim at European economies in its toughest retaliation so far against international sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
    • Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told Poland’s parliament that he thinks the suspension was revenge for new sanctions against Russia that Warsaw imposed over the war in Ukraine.
    • Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov called Gazprom’s suspension of gas deliveries to his country “a gross violation of their contract” and “blackmail.”
    • The move comes after Bulgaria and Poland refused Russia’s recent demand to pay for gas supplies in rubles.
    • Gazprom said in a statement it notified Bulgaria’s state-owned gas operator Bulgargaz and Poland’s PGNiG gas firm about the “suspension of gas supplies from April 27 until payment is made” in rubles.
    • It also coincides with a sharp rise in tensions between Western allies and Russia as the war in Ukraine continues into a third month.
    • Reuters, BBC, AP, AFP, Bloomberg, CNBC

Africa

  • Ivory Coast: President Alassane Ouattara has given no sign of wanting to hand over the reins following a closely-scrutinized cabinet reshuffle and the appointment of a deputy. (AFP)
  • Libya: Fathi Bashagha, the Prime Minister appointed by the eastern-based parliament, discussed holding elections with senior US officials. (Reuters)
  • Mali: The army accused France of “spying” and “subversion” when it used a drone to film what France allege are mercenaries burying bodies near a military base. (AFP)
  • Somalia: Major roads have been closed in Mogadishu ahead of elections for the speaker of the parliament’s lower house. (BBC)
  • Tunisia: The US criticized President Kais Said for giving himself the power to name the country’s next election chief. (AFP)

Americas  

  • Colombia: Authorities reported that 52 human rights activists and community leaders have been murdered this year, a significant increase from 2021. (BBC)
  • Guatemala: Members of the peasant farmers’ organization Codeca blocked roads around the country for the second consecutive day as part of a protest against corruption. (EFE)
  • Mexico: A military helicopter fighting forest fires around Mazatlán crashed, injuring five marines. (AP)
  • Nicaragua: The state said it would take possession of the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Managua. (Reuters)
  • United States: The CDC reported that sixty percent of Americans, including 75 percent of children, have been infected with COVID-19. (NYT)

Asia

  • Australia: Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews is suggesting that China deliberately announced its security pact with the Solomon Islands during an election campaign to undermine her government’s chances of reelection. (AP)
  • China: The People’s Liberation Army issued a statement condemning the United States sailing through the Taiwan Strait, saying it “deliberately undermines” peace and stability. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: A military court sentenced deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to five years in jail after finding her guilty in the first of 11 corruption cases she faces. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: Kim Jong-un pledged to speed development of his country’s nuclear arsenal while overseeing a military parade displaying intercontinental ballistic missiles. (Reuters)
  • Singapore: The country executed a Malaysian man convicted of drug smuggling after a court dismissed a last-minute challenge from his mother and international pleas to spare him on grounds he was mentally disabled. (AP)

Europe

  • Belarus: UNESCO awarded its annual press freedom prize to the Belarusian Association of Journalists amid a crackdown on independent media by President Alexander Lukashenko. (AFP)
  • Moldova: The interior ministry of Transnistria said that shots were fired at a village housing a Russian arms depot after drones flew over from Ukraine. (AFP)
  • Turkey: Ankara is still talking to Russia about procuring a second batch of one of its most advanced missile defense systems despite the war in Ukraine. (AFP)
  • Ukraine: Russian forces had pushed deeper into the east of the country and captured several villages as part of Moscow’s offensive to take control of Donbas. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the government will clamp down on “no-go” areas in jails carved out by extremist Islamist inmates who have been imposing Sharia law including floggings on other prisoners. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Region: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Saudi Arabia on Thursday, mending a rift between the Sunni powers caused by the murder of Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in 2018. (Al-Monitor)
  • Palestinian Territories: The Health Ministry said that Israeli forces have shot and killed an 18-year-old man and wounded three others during clashes near Jenin in the occupied West Bank. (AP)
  • Syria: State media reported Israeli missile attacks around Damascus. (Reuters)
  • Syria: UN special envoy Geir Pederson sent invitations to the government and the opposition for an eighth round of talks from May 28 to June 3 in Geneva, aimed at revising the constitution of the conflict-torn country. (AP)
  • United Arab Emirates: The minister of state for AI, Omar bin Sultan al-Olama said the country is not only looking for economic benefits as it seeks to become a leading nation in the sector. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Senator Bernie Sanders called on President Joe Biden to cut out Amazon from federal contracts over alleged anti-union activity. (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 27APR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (28APR22) 

  • Event: Brookings discussion on defense spending.
  • Global: Workers’ Memorial Day.
  • Afghanistan: Mujahideen Victory Day.
  • Austria: IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi to hold press conference in Vienna following Chernobyl visit.
  • Georgia: South Ossetia runoff presidential election.
  • Indonesia: Ban on palm oil exports to come into effect.
  • Japan: Visit by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
  • Poland: International March of the Living at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
  • Saudi Arabia: Visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (to 29APR)
  • Ukraine: President Volodymyr Zelensky receives UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
  • United States: Van on Russian vessels entering US ports goes into effect.
  • United States: Department of Commerce to release first-quarter GDP estimates.
  • United States: Secretary of State Blinken testifies to House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on budget.

END

26APR22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will address both houses of parliament over the floods in KwaZulu-Natal province.
  • AMERICAS: A Brazilian federal court upheld the suspension of an environmental license for the Volta Grande project, a massive open-pit gold mine in the Amazon.
  • ASIA: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a South Korean delegation that the countries “can’t afford to waste time” in improving relations.
  • EUROPE: The United States will host a gathering today of more than 40 countries for Ukraine-related defense talks at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israel’s Parliament has barred longtime critic of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Amichai Chikli from running for reelection with any political faction.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Elon Musk reached a deal with Twitter to buy the company for $44 billion.

Top Story

  • Global: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Visits Moscow to Push for Ukraine Ceasefire.
    • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is in Moscow to discuss conditions for a ceasefire in Ukraine as soon as possible.
    • Guterres said that the UN is “extremely interested in finding ways in order to create the conditions for effective dialogue, create the conditions for a cease-fire as soon as possible, create the conditions for a peaceful solution.”
    • Guterres was making his first visit to Moscow since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24 and was due to meet President Vladimir Putin after Lavrov.
    • The Secretary-General will have a working meeting and lunch with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov before being received by President Vladimir Putin.
    • Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, told reporters that he does not think a cease-fire is “a good option right now,” stating it would only give Ukraine an advantage in the war.
    • Guterres will travel from Moscow to Kyiv, where President Volodymyr Zelensky has criticized his decision to go to Russia before Ukraine as “simply wrong.”
    • Reuters, AP, AFP, UPI, China DailyAlJazeera,

Africa

  • Guinea: A court will rule on whether a former prime minister and three ex-cabinet members charged with economic crimes will be released on bail. (BBC)
  • Morocco: Activist Rabie Al Ablaq was sentenced to four years in jail for “offending the king online.” (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Authorities arrested a suspected drug trafficker, described as a billionaire drug baron, while on board a plane at Lagos’ main airport. (BBC)
  • South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa will address both houses of parliament over the floods in KwaZulu-Natal province. (BBC)
  • Sudan: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said three people have been killed inside a hospital in the Kreneik area of Darfur. (BBC)

Americas  

  • Brazil: A federal court upheld the suspension of an environmental license for the Volta Grande project, a massive open-pit gold mine in the Amazon. (AP)
  • Canada: A report by a government advisory board said the number of white supremacists and other violent extremists within the military is growing at an “alarming rate” and commanders are not doing enough to root it out. (AFP)
  • Ecuador: Police said a new prison riot that broke out in Quito left 15 inmates injured while a vehicle exploded outside another penitentiary in the port of Guayaquil. (AFP)
  • Mexico: Authorities have detained nearly 6,000 migrants in the past four days. (Reuters)
  • United States: A federal judge blocked the Biden administration from exempting migrants from expulsion under the Title 42 public health order until it officially expires next month. (NYT)

Asia

  • Australia: The Labor party promised to establish a Pacific defense school to train neighboring armies in response to China’s potential military presence on the Solomon Islands. (AP)
  • China: Authorities announced mass COVID-19 testing of most residents of Beijing amid fears of a lockdown similar to that taking place in Shanghai. (AP)
  • Japan: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a South Korean delegation that the countries “can’t afford to waste time” in improving relations. (AFP)
  • Myanmar: A military court postponed by a day delivering a verdict on the country’s former leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. (AP)
  • North Korea: Leader Kim Jong Un vowed to accelerate the development of nuclear weapons and threatened to use them if provoked in a speech he delivered at a military parade. (AP)

Europe

  • Region: The United States will host a gathering today of more than 40 countries for Ukraine-related defense talks at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said the country will authorize the delivery of tanks to Ukraine in what would be a clear switch in Berlin’s cautious policy on military backing for Kyiv. (AFP)
  • Moldova: Police in the separatist region of Trans-Dniester said two explosions in a radio facility close to the Ukrainian border knocked two powerful antennas out of service. (AP)
  • Turkey: The United States expressed disappointment at the conviction of activist Osman Kavala, calling it “unjust” and “inconsistent with respect to human rights.” (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: The UK defense ministry is investigating a reported hack by Russia of its computer systems targeting more than 100 army recruits. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Iran: Police arrested three suspects in the recent gun murder of two Sunni Muslim clerics in Golestan province. (AFP)
  • Iran: Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said that talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have not been suspended, despite reports that they’ve been halted. (Al-Monitor)
  • Israel: Parliament has barred longtime critic of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Amichai Chikli from running for reelection with any political faction. (AP)
  • Lebanon: Rescue teams searched the Mediterranean for survivors after an overloaded people-smuggling boat capsized while being pursued by naval forces. (Al-Monitor)
  • Palestinian Territories: A man was killed when Israeli forces stormed a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, in what the army called a “counter-terrorism” operation that sparked violent riots. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Elon Musk reached a deal with Twitter to buy the company for $44 billion. (NYT)

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 26APR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (27APR22) 

  • Israel: Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day.
  • Japan: Visit by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. (to 28APR)
  • Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi corruption trial verdict for ousted leader.
  • Netherlands:
  • Russia: Ban on foreign depositary receipts comes into effect.
  • Saudi Arabia: Visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
  • Sierra Leone: Independence Day.
  • Singapore: Malaysian drug convict due to be executed despite UN plea.
  • Slovenia: Day of Uprising Against Occupation.
  • Somalia: Parliamentary election.
  • South Africa: Freedom Day.
  • Togo: Independence Day.
  • United States: Funeral of Madeline Albright.
  • United States: Secretary of State Blinken testifies to Senate committee on FY’23 budget.
  • United States: Senate Foreign Relations Committee top secret briefing on recent developments in China’s nuclear capabilities.

END

25APR22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame held talks with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni in his first visit to the northern neighbor after tensions in 2019 led to border closures for three years.
  • AMERICAS: The Nicaraguan government is closing the offices of the Organization of the American States and expelling the staff.
  • ASIA: Japan is sending Vice Foreign Minister Kentaro Uusugi to the Solomon Islands amid worry over a security agreement it struck with China that could increase Beijing’s military influence.
  • EUROPE: French president Emmanuel Macron pledged to address deep divisions within the country as results showed a clear presidential election victory over Marine Le Pen.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iranian authorities foiled massive cyberattacks that sought to target public services, both government and privately owned.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Twitter Inc kicked off deal negotiations with Elon Musk after he wooed many of the social media company’s shareholders with financing details on his $43 billion acquisition offer.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: US Officials Blinken and Austin Meet President Zelensky in Kyiv. 
    • United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
    • Blinken and Austin told Zelenskyy and his advisers that the United States would provide more than $300 million in foreign military financing and had approved a $165 million sale of ammunition.
    • Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin said the US wants Russia “weakened” so it cannot invade again, and Ukraine can win the war if it has the right equipment.
    • The United States promised to reopen its embassy in Kyiv soon, as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ukraine’s capital and hailed its success so far against Russia’s invasion.
    • Reporters who accompanied Austin and Blinken to Poland were barred by Pentagon and State Department officials from reporting the Kyiv visit until the two men physically left Ukraine.
    • Austin and Blinken hailed Ukraine’s success in fending off Russia’s initial attack on Kyiv and maintaining its sovereignty.
    • USA Today, AP, AFP, Reuters, NY Post, WSJ

Africa

  • Region: African Union Commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron over “his brilliant re-election” and hoped to continue building mutually beneficial relations between Africa and France. (AFP)
  • Region: Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame held talks with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni in his first visit to the northern neighbor after tensions in 2019 led to border closures for three years. (BBC)
  • DR Congo: The World Health Organization said it has identified more than 100 people who came into contact with a new case of the Ebola virus in the country. (BBC)
  • Kenya: Mourners are gathering at parliament to view the body of the country’s third post-independence President Mwai Kibaki, who died last week at the age of 90. (BBC)
  • Mali: The military said it has restored control at three bases in the country’s central region after they were simultaneously attacked by jihadists. (BBC)

Americas  

  • Brazil: TIM SA expects its purchase of part of Oi SA’s mobile operations in the country to create up to 19 billion reais ($4 billion) of value for the enlarged company. (Reuters)
  • El Salvador: Lawmakers extended a state of emergency for another month at the request of President Nayib Bukele, after it was imposed in late March to stamp out a wave of deadly gang violence. (AFP)
  • Mexico: Hundreds of women marched through downtown Mexico City and its suburbs to protest the horrifying death of an 18-year-old in the northern city of Monterrey. (WaPo)
  • Nicaragua: The government is closing the offices of the Organization of the American States and expelling the staff. (AP)
  • United States: Former US senator Orrin Hatch, who retired in 2019 as one of the chamber’s longest-serving lawmakers, has died at 88. (AFP)

Asia

  • Region: Crowds of Australians and New Zealanders joined Anzac Day services to honor their armed forces as the countries’ leaders pointed to new global threats and the war in Ukraine. (AFP)
  • India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Himalayan Kashmir for his first public event since New Delhi stripped the disputed region’s semi-autonomy and took direct control in 2019. (AP)
  • Japan: The country is sending Vice Foreign Minister Kentaro Uusugi to the Solomon Islands amid worry over a security agreement it struck with China that could increase Beijing’s military influence. (AP)
  • Myanmar: A junta court postponed giving its first verdict in the corruption trial of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. (AFP)
  • South Korea: A delegation dispatched by president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol met Japan’s foreign minister in Tokyo hoping to lay the groundwork for warmer ties after years of tensions. (AFP)

Europe

  • France: President Emmanuel Macron pledged to address deep divisions within the country as results showed a clear presidential election victory over Marine Le Pen. (Reuters)
  • Russia: Seventeen people have died in a fire at a Russian military research institute last week in the western city of Tver. (AFP)
  • Slovenia: Political newcomer liberal Robert Golob defeated three-time Prime Minister Janez Jansa in elections in a country split by bitter political divisions over the rule of law. (AFP)
  • Spain: Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa has “beaten” Covid and will leave the Madrid clinic where he was being treated to complete his recovery at home. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: Police arrested a man on suspicion of murder after three women and a man were found dead at a property in south London. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Region: Regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia held a fifth round of “positive” talks in Baghdad last Thursday on normalizing bilateral relations. (Reuters)
  • Egypt: The country will cooperate with Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) on the production of green hydrogen. (Reuters)
  • Iran: Authorities foiled massive cyberattacks that sought to target public services, both government and privately owned. (AP)
  • Israel: The military struck southern Lebanon with artillery fire after a rocket was fired into the country. (AP)
  • Israel: US President Joe Biden will visit the country in the coming months following an invitation from Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Twitter Inc kicked off deal negotiations with Elon Musk after he wooed many of the social media company’s shareholders with financing details on his $43 billion acquisition offer. (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 25APR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (26APR22)

  • Event: AEI discussion with Lithuanian Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste.
  • Event: Stimson Center discussion on the UN in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.
  • China: Shanghai to reexamine COVID-19 lockdown measures after recent curbs on movement of medical staff and delivery drivers.
  • Kazakhstan: The ruling Amanat (formerly Nur Otan) party will hold an extraordinary congress.
  • Russia: President Vladimir Putin to meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Moscow.
  • Somalia: Speaker and deputies of Senate to be elected.
  • Tanzania: Union Day.
  • Ukraine: IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi to visit Chernobyl.
  • United States: Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in a case that could end the revival of the “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum-seekers.
  • United States: Secretary of State Blinken testifies to Senate Foreign Relations Committee on FY’23 budget.

END

21APR22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa held a phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday evening
  • AMERICAS: The International Court of Justice ordered the Colombian navy to “cease” interfering in Nicaraguan waters in a bitter row over sea borders between the two countries.
  • ASIA: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Japan as part of her first trip abroad in more than two years, as her government seeks to promote the country’s reopening for business and tourism following a pandemic-related border closure.
  • EUROPE: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen arrived in Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iranian intelligence officers arrested three people with ties to Israel’s Mossad agency who were charged with involvement in releasing classified information.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The member states of the “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing network warned that intelligence indicates Russia intends to launch powerful cyberattacks against countries supporting Ukraine.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: Putin Claims Victory in Mariupol, Leaving Ukrainian Defenders Held Up
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory in the biggest battle of the Ukraine war declaring the port of Mariupol “liberated” after nearly two months of siege, despite hundreds of defenders still holding out inside a giant steel works.
    • Putin added that rather than risk Russian soldiers’ lives by launching a final ground assault on the remaining Ukrainian stronghold in the city, they should instead blockade it “so that not even a fly comes through.”
    • Ukrainian fighters rejected Moscow’s previous deadlines to leave and said they did not believe Russia’s promises of safe passage.
    • Many Ukrainians described a “horrible situation” in the encircled complex, reporting that the trapped civilians — mostly women and children — are without drinking water, food, and fresh air.
    • Mariupol’s definitive fall would deprive Ukraine of a vital port, complete a land bridge between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula, and free up Russian troops to move elsewhere in the Donbas.
    • Reuters, NBC News, WaPo, AFP, AP

Africa

  • Botswana: A court summoned former President Ian Khama to appear before it on multiple criminal charges, including possession of firearms. (BBC)
  • Mali: A Russian soldier has been killed in Hombori in the central Mopti region. (BBC)
  • South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa held a phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday evening. (BBC)
  • Sudan: A racist insult broadcast live on television during a high-profile trial involving ex-President Omar al-Bashir triggered a public outcry. (BBC)
  • Tanzania: The founder of the Umoja Party said they have decided to use the portrait of the late President John Magufuli on their T-shirts because their policies resonate with those of the former leader. (BBC)

Americas 

  • Colombia: The International Court of Justice ordered the navy to “cease” interfering in Nicaraguan waters in a bitter row over sea borders between the two countries. (AFP)
  • Haiti: A small plane crashed onto a busy street in the capital of Port-au-Prince killing at least six people including the pilot. (Reuters)
  • Nicaragua: Parliament banned 25 NGOs critical of the government. (AFP)
  • Peru: The government will present a bill to allow for chemical castration as a penalty for raping a minor. (Reuters)
  • United States: The Justice Department appealed Monday’s federal court ruling ending mask mandates on public transport after the CDC said the measure was still necessary. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Australia: Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said his government would not challenge Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States from the UK. (AFP)
  • China: President Xi Jinping proposed a “global security initiative” that upholds the principle of “indivisible security”, a concept also endorsed by Russia, although he gave no details of how it would be implemented. (Reuters)
  • New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Japan as part of her first trip abroad in more than two years, as her government seeks to promote the country’s reopening for business and tourism following a pandemic-related border closure. (AP)
  • North Korea: The government held a cabinet meeting to assess economic performance and urged officials to achieve their goals “at all costs.” (Yonhap)
  • Taiwan: Health authorities approved a second COVID-19 booster vaccine dose for those 65 and older, and a third dose for the immunocompromised. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen arrived in Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. (AFP)
  • France: Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny accused presidential Marine Le Pen of having links to the Kremlin. (AP)
  • Germany: Finance Minister Christian Lindner said the country is moving “as fast as possible” to end reliance on Russian energy but ruled out an immediate end to imports. (BBC)
  • Italy: Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani said the country is obliged to stop buying Russian gas “soon” as the payments are funding the Ukraine war. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 96th birthday privately at the Sandringham estate in the country’s east, a refuge from the affairs of state. (AP)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: A hospital official said an explosion in a Shiite mosque in the country’s north killed at least 10 people and wounded 40. (AP)
  • Egypt: Human Rights Watch said the autopsy analysis and photos of Ayman Hadhood’s body should be made public and reviewed by independent forensic experts to determine whether he was tortured in custody. (AP)
  • Iran: Intelligence officers arrested three people with ties to Israel’s Mossad agency who were charged with involvement in releasing classified information. (AP)
  • Israel: The military reported the interception of at least four rockets fired by militants in Gaza. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: A Portuguese national wanted by Interpol in connection with the 2020 Beirut port explosion was arrested in Chile. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The member states of the “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing network warned that intelligence indicates Russia intends to launch powerful cyberattacks against countries supporting Ukraine. (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 21APR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (22APR22) 

  • Global: Earth Day.
  • China: Boao Forum for Asia annual conference.
  • Eastern Christianity: Good Friday.
  • Europe: US-EU consultations on the Indo-Pacific in Brussels.
  • Kenya: Deadline for political parties to present election candidates.
  • United States: International Monetary Fund-World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC. (to 24APR)
  • United States: Bretton Woods Committee annual meeting, virtual.

END

20APR22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The head of Kenya’s national police Inspector-General Hilary Mutyambai said almost 2,000 Kenyan police officers are mentally unfit to do their work.
  • AMERICAS: The United States and Panama signed an agreement detailing commitments to improve management of migration between the two countries.
  • ASIA: Former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta scored a landslide victory in East Timor’s presidential election.
  • EUROPE: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who clinched a fourth term in office earlier this month, will visit the Vatican on Thursday.
  • MIDDLE EAST: US President Joe Biden seems increasingly determined to keep the “terrorist” designation on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, which Tehran is demanding be removed before it returns to a deal on curbing its nuclear program.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Netflix reported its first subscriber loss in more than ten years, causing shares to drop 25%.

Top Story

  • France: Macron, Le Pen set to Face Off in Crucial Presidential Debate.
    • French President Emmanuel Macron and challenger Marine Le Pen will face off in a debate which could be decisive in the tight race to decide who will run the country for the next five years.
    • Macron emerged ahead from the April 10 first round and is leading in opinion polls with a margin varying between 3 and 13 percentage points.
    • Le Pen has significantly narrowed the gap compared to the last presidential election five years ago, when she lost with 34% of the vote to Macron’s 66%.
    • Some of Macron’s accomplishments include lowering the unemployment rate to a 13-year low and running an economy that has outperformed those of other European countries, but he will confront Le Pen over her past admiration for Vladimir Putin and her plan to ban wearing the hijab in public.
    • Le Pen will try to present herself as a credible leader and defender of the workers and portray Macron as belonging to an out-of-touch elite, with possible attack lines including Macron’s controversial plan to raise the retirement age.
    • Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are proposing two hugely different futures for France, at home and abroad.
    • Reuters, AP, AFP, The Guardian, Bloomberg, BBC

Africa

  • Botswana: Former president Ian Khama faces 13 criminal charges, including illegally possessing five firearms. (AFP)
  • Kenya: The head of the national police Inspector-General Hilary Mutyambai said almost 2,000 police officers are mentally unfit to do their work. (BBC)
  • Nigeria: Three were killed and 19 injured in an explosive attack on a bar in the northeastern Taraba state. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: The People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) said there were a number of “serious violations” in naming the commanders of various army, police, and security services units. (BBC)
  • Uganda: A RwandAir passenger airplane skid off the runway during landing at Entebbe airport this morning. (BBC)

Americas

  • Region: The United States and Panama signed an agreement detailing commitments to improve management of migration between the two countries. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: Employees of the central bank approved suspension of a strike that began earlier this month but will continue daily work stoppages. (Reuters)
  • Canada: The government has no plans to stop requiring masks on planes after a Florida judge struck down a US version of the law. (Reuters)
  • El Salvador: NGOs asked the judiciary to declare unconstitutional a new measure that journalists warn could criminalize certain forms of media reporting on gangs. (AFP)
  • United States: The White House said it would appeal Monday’s federal court ruling blocking mask requirements on public transport if the CDC advises the mandate is still necessary. (WaPo)

Asia

  • China: Shanghai reported seven new deaths from COVID-19, the same number reported the previous day. (Reuters)
  • East Timor: Former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta scored a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election. (AFP)
  • Japan: The health ministry approved Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, and people could start getting the shots by late May. (AP)
  • Solomon Islands: Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare defended his government’s controversial security pact with China, saying it was signed “with our eyes open.” (AFP)
  • Taiwan: A television station apologized for “causing public panic” after erroneously running a series of alerts saying that China had launched attacks on the island. (AFP)

Europe

  • Hungary: Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who clinched a fourth term in office earlier this month, will visit the Vatican on Thursday. (AFP)
  • Poland: Authorities said methane explosions at the pniowek mine in Pawlowice killed four miners, injured 19 and left seven others missing. (AP)
  • Spain: The country is taking another step towards normality by partially ending the near two-year-long obligatory use of masks indoors. (AP)
  • Ukraine: The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that direct communications had been restored between Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the state atomic power regulator. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: A court issued a formal order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face trial over the publication of secret files relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Region: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett viewed with utmost severity comments by Jordan’s prime minister Bisher al-Khasawneh blaming Israel for violence on the Temple Mount compound. (Al-Monitor)
  • Egypt: The Suez Canal Economic Zone signed an agreement worth $3 billion to produce up to 350,000 tons of green energy for fueling ships in Ain Sokhna with a consortium that includes EDF Renewables and the sovereign wealth fund. (Reuters)
  • Iran: US President Joe Biden seems increasingly determined to keep the “terrorist” designation on the country’s Revolutionary Guards, which Tehran is demanding be removed before it returns to a deal on curbing its nuclear program. (AFP)
  • Israel: Five European members of the UN Security Council called for an end to clashes and violence in Jerusalem. (AFP)
  • Yemen: The head of the presidential council, Rashad al-Alimi, has been sworn in along with other members of the eight-member council in a ceremony in the southern port city of Aden. (AlJazeera)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: Netflix reported its first subscriber loss in more than ten years, causing shares to drop 25%. (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 20APR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (21APR22) 

  • Event: Wilson Center discussion with Icelandic Foreign Minister Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir.
  • Americas: ICJ to rule on territorial and maritime dispute between Nicaragua and Colombia.
  • Brazil: Tiradentes Day.
  • China: Boao Forum for Asia annual conference. (to 22APR)
  • Hong Kong: The city begins to ease COVID-19 rules.
  • India: Visit by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • Ukraine: 3rd anniversary of Volodymyr Zelenskyy winning the presidential election.
  • United Kingdom: Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • United States: International Monetary Fund-World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC. (to 24APR)
  • United States: Bretton Woods Committee annual meeting, virtual. (to 22APR)
  • United States: Treasury Secretary Yellen meets World Bank Development Committee counterparts to discuss Fragility, Conflict, and Violence.
  • Vatican City: Visit by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

END

19APR22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The UN said rival Libyan officials wrapped up weeklong talks without an agreement on disputed constitutional arrangements for elections.
  • AMERICAS: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said US President Biden has no current plans to travel to Ukraine.
  • ASIA: The US is sending two top officials to the Solomon Islands following a visit by an Australian senator over concerns that China could establish a military presence in the South Pacific island nation.
  • EUROPE: French Prime Minister Jean Castex said that his government would tender its resignation if Emmanuel Macron were re-elected president.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Explosions targeting educational institutions in the Afghan capital Kabul have killed at least six civilians and injured 11 others.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Vice President Kamala Harris announced the United States would no longer conduct destructive tests of satellites.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: Russia Launches Major Donbas Offensive in Eastern Ukraine.
    • Russian forces push through Ukrainian defenses along the entire front line in eastern Ukraine, launching what President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called the “Battle of the Donbas.”
    • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow will not consider using nuclear weapons in Ukraine and claimed that Russian troops are only targeting the country’s military infrastructure and not the civilian population.
    • The goal of the operation is to “fully liberate” the Russian-backed separatist regions of eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
    • The Ukraine military’s general staff said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces were increasing assaults in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions as well as in the city of Zaporizhzhia.
    • Ukrainian authorities urged people in Donbas to flee west to escape, even as officials called off evacuations for a third straight day from frontline cities due to ongoing fighting.
    • The offensive got underway after Russia bombarded the western city of Lviv and a multitude of other targets across Ukraine in an intensified bid to grind down the country’s defenses.
    • Reuters, DW, AP, TIME, WSJ, AFP

Africa

  • Algeria: President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, held a phone conversation exchanging views over bilateral cooperation and regional issues. (Xinhua)
  • Central African Republic: The country’s Special Criminal Court is due to hear its first trial seven years after it was formed. (BBC)
  • Ethiopia: Dozens of young men gathered at the Russian embassy in Addis Ababa following rumors of soldiers being recruited to fight in the war in Ukraine. (BBC)
  • Libya: The UN said rival officials wrapped up weeklong talks without an agreement on disputed constitutional arrangements for elections. (AP)
  • Mali: The Sahel nation received another batch of military equipment from Russia after the European Union suspended its military training program. (BBC)

Americas 

  • Region: US and Cuban officials will meet in Washington on Thursday to discuss migration, the highest-level talks the countries have held since President Joe Biden took office. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: Gustavo Petro signed an oath not to expropriate property if he becomes the country’s first-ever leftist president. (AFP)
  • Mexico: The lower house of Congress approved an amendment favored by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to nationalize the lithium industry. (Reuters)
  • United States: The White House said it will no longer enforce a mask mandate on public transport following a ruling by a federal judge that the CDC’s directive was unlawful. (Reuters)
  • United States: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden has no current plans to travel to Ukraine. (AFP)

Asia

  • Region: The US is sending two top officials to the Solomon Islands following a visit by an Australian senator over concerns that China could establish a military presence in the South Pacific island nation. (AP)
  • China: Seven new deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Shanghai despite aggressive lockdown policies. (AFP)
  • East Timor: Voters head to the polls in a presidential runoff election between Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta and incumbent Lu Olo Guterres, both veterans of the independence movement. (AP)
  • Pakistan: The Cabinet of newly-elected prime minister Shahbaz Sharif, was sworn in during a brief ceremony. (AP)
  • South Korea: Health authorities reported 118,000 new COVID-19 cases, half of the number reported a week ago. (Yonhap)

Europe

  • France: Prime Minister Jean Castex said that his government would tender its resignation if Emmanuel Macron were re-elected president. (AFP)
  • Germany: The head of the country’s Institute for Economic Research said an increase in wages and government investment is “absolutely necessary” to soften the blow of rising prices from inflation. (DW)
  • Poland: Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the health service has capacity to treat at least 10,000 injured Ukrainian soldiers as Russia launches a new offensive in eastern Ukraine. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: Russian forces have seized the city of Kreminna in the country’s east and troops have withdrawn from the city. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces lawmakers for the first time since he was fined by police for attending a birthday party in his office that broke coronavirus lockdown rules. (AP)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: Explosions targeting educational institutions in Kabul have killed at least six civilians and injured 11 others. (AP)
  • Israel: The air force struck the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the enclave amid tensions over violence in Jerusalem. (France24)
  • Jordan: The foreign ministry summoned the Israeli charge d’affaires of the Israeli embassy in Amman to protest against Israel’s operations in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. (Xinhua)
  • Palestinian Territories: President Mahmoud Abbas discussed the growing tension with Israel in East Jerusalem during two separate phone conversations with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Xinhua)
  • Syria: The foreign ministry said it is time to expose the crimes of the U.S.-led coalition in killing thousands of civilians in northern Raqqa province by airstrikes and shelling. (Xinhua)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Vice President Kamala Harris announced the United States would no longer conduct destructive tests of satellites. (WaPo)

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 19APR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (20APR22) 

  • Event: Economic Club of Washington hosts conversation with Poland amb. to the US Marek Magierowski.
  • Global: Meeting of G7 and G20 finance ministers and central bank governors.
  • Global: UN Chinese Language Day.
  • Argentina: Visit by UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture.
  • Australia: First leaders’ debate between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his opposition rival Anthony Albanese.
  • China: Boao Forum for Asia annual conference. (to 22APR)
  • France: TV debate between presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.
  • India: Visit by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • United Kingdom: Westminster Magistrates Court to order Julian Assange be extradited to the US.
  • United States: International Monetary Fund-World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC. (to 24APR)
  • United States: Bretton Woods Committee annual meeting, virtual. (to 22APR)

END

18APR22 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The South African army deployed 10,000 troops to help the nation’s east coast recover from storms that have claimed 443 lives and ravaged infrastructure.
  • AMERICAS: Brazil will “in the coming days” lift public health emergency measures in place for over two years, citing a drop in the number of deaths and infections.
  • ASIA: White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell and the State Department’s top official for Asia will travel this week to the Solomon Islands.
  • EUROPE: A series of “powerful” Russian strikes on military infrastructure in Lviv left six dead and eight injured igniting blazes in Ukraine’s western city that spared fierce fighting.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned that Israel will be targeted by his country’s armed forces if it makes “the tiniest move.”
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Elon Musk tweeted “Love Me Tender”, an Elvis Presley song, a day after Twitter Inc adopted a “poison pill” to protect itself from the billionaire’s $43 billion cash offer to buy the social media company.

Top Story

  • Global: US Envoy in Seoul for Talks Over North Korea Missile Program.
    • S. Special Representative Sung Kim and his deputy, Jung Pak, met South Korean officials, including nuclear envoy Noh Kyu-duk, after arriving in Seoul for a five-day visit.
    • The US Envoy to North Korea said the United States and South Korea will maintain the “strongest possible joint deterrent” over North Korea’s “escalatory actions,” amid concerns that Pyongyang is preparing to resume nuclear testing.
    • Mr Kim reiterated that the United States has offered to meet North Korea “anywhere without any preconditions”, saying that Washington has not “closed the door on diplomacy”.
    • Pyongyang’s test of ‘great significance’ came a day before an annual US-South Korea military drill, and ahead of a visit to Seoul by the US envoy for North Korea.
    • Analysts believe this weekend’s missile launch could indicate the North is planning a nuclear test, which could include miniaturized nuclear warheads
    • Weapons tested include nuclear-capable missiles targeting both the U.S. mainland and its allies such as South Korea and Japan.
    • Reuters, Japan Times, AFP, SCMP, AP, Yonhap

Africa

  • Region: A joint military force from Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon killed more than 100 Islamist insurgents, including 10 commanders in the past few weeks. (Reuters)
  • Algeria: The Health Ministry said that no new COVID-19 cases were reported over the past 24 hours for the first time since the outbreak of the disease two years ago. (Xinhua)
  • South Africa: The army deployed 10,000 troops to help the nation’s east coast recover from storms that have claimed 443 lives and ravaged infrastructure. (AFP)
  • Sudan: The country reaffirmed its ownership of the disputed Fashaga district on the border with Ethiopia’s war-weary Tigray region. (Xinhua)
  • Tunisia: President Kais Saied directed the navy to control the environmental impact from a sunken fuel ship to prevent possible disasters. (Xinhua)

Americas 

  • Brazil: The government will “in the coming days” lift public health emergency measures in place for over two years, citing a drop in the number of deaths and infections. (AFP)
  • Ecuador: Police discovered nearly 2.5 tons of cocaine hidden in a Europe-bound container. (DPA)
  • Mexico: President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s plan to increase state control of power generation was defeated in parliament. (Reuters)
  • Peru: Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was rushed to the hospital for the second time in a month. (AlJazeera)
  • United States: Border authorities arrested 210,000 migrants attempting to cross the Mexican border in March, the highest monthly total in two decades. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison denied that his government would make cuts to the country’s universal healthcare scheme if he were re-elected next month. (Reuters)
  • China: Officials said three people died from COVID-19 in Shanghai, the first reported deaths in the country’s most populous and wealthiest city. (AP)
  • India: The country criticized a World Health Organization study which claims coronavirus killed four million people nationally. (AFP)
  • Solomon Islands: White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell and the State Department’s top official for Asia will travel this week to the Pacific Island country. (Reuters)
  • Sri Lanka: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed a new Cabinet in a move seen as an attempt to pacify ongoing protests that have called for his resignation. (DPA)

Europe

  • Montenegro: The former long-serving head of the Balkan country’s top court has been arrested for allegedly helping cover up her son’s drug-smuggling operation. (AP)
  • Russia: Moscow launched mass strikes overnight on the Ukrainian military and associated military targets, using its air force, missile forces, artillery, and air defense systems to hit hundreds of targets across its southern neighbor. (Reuters)
  • Spain: Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the country will reopen its embassy in Kyiv “shortly.” (AFP)
  • Sweden: Police arrested 26 people after weekend clashes between police and protesters rallying against plans by a far-right group to burn copies of the Koran. (AFP)
  • Ukraine: A series of “powerful” Russian strikes on military infrastructure in Lviv left six dead and eight injured igniting blazes in the western city that spared fierce fighting. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Egypt: A court sentenced acting Muslim Brotherhood leader Mahmoud Ezzat to life in prison over national security charges. (Xinhua)
  • Iran: President Ebrahim Raisi warned that Israel will be targeted by his country’s armed forces if it makes “the tiniest move.” (AP)
  • Palestinian Territories: The Health Ministry said two men were critically injured by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank. (WaPo)
  • Saudi Arabia: The kingdom pushed Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to step down earlier this month, and authorities have confined him to his home in Riyadh and restricted communications with him in the days since. (WSJ)
  • Yemen: The country’s new leader Abdullah al-Alimi said the new leadership is “ready for war” should the latest push for peace with Houthi rebels fail. (Al-Monitor)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: Elon Musk tweeted “Love Me Tender”, an Elvis Presley song, a day after Twitter Inc adopted a “poison pill” to protect itself from the billionaire’s $43 billion cash offer to buy the social media company. (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 18APR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (19APR22) 

  • Event: Peterson Institute discussion on the impacts of Russian sanctions on trade.
  • Event: Economic Club of Washington hosts conversation with Poland amb. to the U.S. Marek Magierowski.
  • Global: G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
  • Global: IMF Global Policy Agenda published.
  • Africa: African Union to hold an expert session on migration, refugees, and internally displaced people.
  • China: Boao Forum Asia Annual Conference. (to. 22APR)
  • East Timor: Public holiday.
  • Eswatini: King’s Birthday.
  • Russia: Working Visit by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
  • United Kingdom: Court issues order for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be extradited to US.
  • Venezuela: Independence Declaration Day.

END