28MAR21 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the continent has now reached 4,167,350. 
  • AMERICAS: The United States and Canada criticized China for retaliatory actions imposed by Beijing in an ongoing dispute over human rights.
  • ASIA: The Philippine military is sending light fighter aircraft to fly over hundreds of Chinese vessels in disputed waters in the South China Sea, the defense minister announced, as he repeated his demand for the flotilla to leave. 
  • EUROPE: Police in Belarus arrested more than 200 people in Minsk to prevent new protests on March 27, as the opposition vowed to revitalize the pro-democracy movement after braving months of repression.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi forces have destroyed two explosive-laden boats that the Iran-aligned faction planned to use in an “imminent” attack launched from the Red Sea port of Hodeidah. 
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Australian broadcaster Nine Entertainment was unable to air its news bulletin from its Sydney headquarters because of “technical difficulties,” which a source with knowledge of the matter blamed on a possible cyber-attack. 

 

Top Story

  • Myanmar: There is continued fallout from the bloodiest day of the post-coup protests. 
    • Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused the junta of “a reign of terror” that was “sacrificing the lives of the people to serve the few.”
    • The number of deaths due to military and police brutality against civilians in Myanmar since the Feb. 1 coup now stands at 423, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) reported.
    • The military leaders of a dozen countries, including the United States, Britain, Japan, and South Korea, joined together on Saturday to condemn Myanmar’s use of lethal force against unarmed civilians.
    • Protesters in Myanmar continue to press their demands for a return to democracy, despite security forces killing more than 100 people on the bloodiest day since last month’s military coup.
    • Reporting: BBC, EFE, ReutersAP

 

Africa

  • Region: Somalia claims Kenya is politicizing refugee camps, which have housed hundreds of thousands of Somali nationals for three decades, by moving to have them shut down. (Bloomberg
  • Region: The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the continent has now reached 4,167,350. (Xinhua
  • Ethiopia: The Federal Attorney General Office (FAGO) announced that a legal directive had been decreed to impose up to a three-year prison sentence on those who fail to abide by COVID-19 health precautions. (Xinhua)  

 

Americas

  • Region: The United States and Canada criticized China for retaliatory actions imposed by Beijing in an ongoing dispute over human rights. (DPA
  • Canada: A man went on a stabbing spree inside and outside a library, killing one woman and injuring six others in North Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP)  
  • El Salvador: President Nayib Bukele announced that 1 million Sinovac vaccines would arrive in the Central American nation, the latest assistance against the pandemic to reach Latin America from China. (Reuters
  • Mexico: A small plane traveling to Arizona crashed in the northern border state of Sonora, killing six people, and injuring another. (.AP)  

 

Asia  

  • Region: The Philippine military is sending light fighter aircraft to fly over hundreds of Chinese vessels in disputed waters in the South China Sea, the defense minister announced, as he repeated his demand for the flotilla to leave. (Reuters)  
  • Bangladesh: Five more Islamist activists have died clashing with security forces during the second day of protests against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Bangladesh. (DPA
  • China: The nation reported eight additional COVID-19 cases, compared with 12 new infections the previous day, the country’s national health authority reported. (Reuters
  • Indonesia: 2 suicide bombers detonated themselves outside a Catholic cathedral on Sulawesi island, wounding several people. (AP)  

 

Europe

  • Belarus: Police arrested more than 200 people in Minsk to prevent new protests on March 27, as the opposition vowed to revitalize the pro-democracy movement after braving months of repression. (RFE
  • Germany: The COVID-19 pandemic has led citizens to hoard their money in bank accounts, weakening hopes for booming consumer spending in the near future. (DPA
  • United Kingdom: Boris Johnson, in bold defiance to Beijing and of support for its critics, held a meeting of a cross-party group of MPs and peers sanctioned by China for their stance on human rights abuses in Xinjiang. (The Guardian)  

 

Middle East

  • Region: The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi forces has destroyed two explosive-laden boats that the Iran-aligned faction planned to use in an “imminent” attack launched from the Red Sea port of Hodeidah. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: Daily COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia have risen above 500 for the first time since October, and the health ministry blamed the increase on gatherings and lack of social distancing. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Authorities said they have started rationing fuel as the blockage of the Suez Canal heads into a sixth day, delaying vital shipments and worsening the country’s oil shortages. (The Guardian)  

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: Australian broadcaster Nine Entertainment was unable to air its news bulletin from its Sydney headquarters because of “technical difficulties,” which a source with knowledge of the matter blamed on a possible cyber-attack. (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 28MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 126,784,465
      • Total recovered cases: 71,831,081
      • Deaths: 2,778,539
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 21MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 18
      • Deaths: 9
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 21MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 12
      • Deaths: 6
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (29MAR21)

  • Global: G24 Committee of the Whole meeting (virtual).
  • Barbuda: local elections.
  • Libya: France reopens its embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
  • Myanmar: Burma Armed Forces Day observed.
  • United States: U.S. Supreme Court hearing on Medicaid work requirements.
  • United States: Trial begins for former police officer charged in death of George Floyd.
  • United States: National Vietnam Veterans Day.

 

END

08MAR21 Global Overnight Overwatch Report

Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Senegalese security forces deployed armored cars to capital city Dakar ahead of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko’s latest appearance in court for when he called upon his supporters to hold fresh demonstrations.
  • AMERICAS: US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and other Biden administration officials visited the US-Mexico border amid a growth in the number of border crossings.
  • ASIA: Two people were reportedly killed after being shot in the head during anti-coup protests in Myanmar, while shops, factories and banks in the country’s main city of Yangon closed down in protest of the recent coup.
  • EUROPE: Italy arrested a 36-year-old Algerian citizen suspected of belonging to the Islamic State group and helping the perpetrators of the 2015 Paris attacks.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Lebanese demonstrators, angry over the country’s continued economic crisis and seven months of political paralysis, have blocked main roads in cities across Lebanon.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The EU’s banking regulator, the European Banking Authority, says it was affected by the Microsoft email system hack that Microsoft has blamed on a Chinese hacking group.

 

Top Story

  • Global: US reportedly pushing for UN-led peace conference in letter to Afghanistan’s Ghani.
    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly proposed a UN-led peace conference in Turkey to secure peace and form a new, transitional government in Afghanistan.  
    • The proposed UN-led peace conference would include foreign ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the United States.
    • Afghanistan’s new, transitional government would see both the Taliban and the current Afghan government sharing power and establishing a three-month reduction in violence leading to a ceasefire.
    • Secretary Blinken made the proposal in a letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and chairman of Afghanistan’s peace council Abdullah Abdullah, in an effort to kickstart the stalled peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. 
    • Secretary Blinken also reportedly warned President Ghani that the US military was considering leaving Afghanistan by 1 May, though one State Department official later said that Washington had “not made any decisions about our force posture in Afghanistan after May 1.”
    • Reporting: AP, NYT, WaPo, Reuters, BBC

 

Africa

  • Equatorial Guinea: At least twenty people died and 600 left injured after a series of explosions at a military barracks in the city of Bata. (AP)
  • Libya: Parliament will hold a vote on Prime Minister-designate Abdul Hamid Dbeibah’s proposed new interim government. (AFP)
  • Niger: Outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou was awarded Africa’s top prize leadership, the Mo Ibrahim Prize. (AFP)
  • Senegal: Security forces deployed armored cars to capital city Dakar ahead of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko’s latest appearance in court for when he called upon his supporters to hold fresh demonstrations. (AFP)

 

Americas

  • Region: US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and other Biden administration officials visited the US-Mexico border amid a growth in the number of border crossings. (Reuters)
  • Paraguay: President Mario Abdo Benitez reshuffled his cabinet amid continued protests by people angry with the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. (EFE)

 

Asia  

  • China: Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said the city “fully welcomes” Beijing’s planned changes to the city’s electoral system. (AP)
  • Myanmar: Two people were reportedly killed after being shot in the head during anti-coup protests, while shops, factories and banks in the country’s main city of Yangon closed down in protest of the recent coup. (Reuters
  • Philippines: Security forces said they killed nine suspected communist insurgents, but rights groups said those killed were unarmed activists. (AP)
  • South Korea: Seoul and Washington reached an agreement in principle over sharing the costs of stationing troops in the country. (AP)
  • Vietnam: The country’s coronavirus vaccination campaign has started with healthcare workers, the first in line to be inoculated. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: Italy arrested a 36-year-old Algerian citizen suspected of belonging to the Islamic State group and helping the perpetrators of the 2015 Paris attacks. (AFP)
  • Belarus: Exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said she will appeal to the United Nations to help increase the pressure on the country’s ruling Alexander Lukashenko regime. (AFP)
  • Switzerland: The public voted in favor of banning face coverings, including the burka, in public. (BBC)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Israel began vaccinating Palestinian people who work in the country or live in the West Bank settlements, two months after a coronavirus vaccination campaign for its own citizens. (AP)
  • Iran: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called upon Tehran to “permanently release” British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is set to face a new court case against her after her release from house arrest. (BBC
  • Iraq: President Barham Salih and the government held a farewell ceremony for Pope Francis as he concluded his historic visit to the country. (AP
  • Lebanon: Demonstrators, angry over the country’s continued economic crisis and seven months of political paralysis, have blocked main roads in cities across Lebanon.

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The EU’s banking regulator, the European Banking Authority, says it was affected by the Microsoft email system hack that Microsoft has blamed on a Chinese hacking group. (AFP)

 

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes
    • Italy
      • Mount Etna spewed a cloud of ash and lava stone near villages in Sicily.
      • Sourcing: AP
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 08MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 116,902,939
      • Total recovered cases: 66,180,869
      • Deaths: 2,594,676
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 28FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 17
      • Deaths: 7
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 28FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 8
      • Deaths: 4
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (09MAR21)

  • Global: The OECD will release its interim Economic Outlook Report for the overall world economy and G20 countries.
  • Europe: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will visit the UK, Belgium, and France. (to 10MAR)
  • Europe: The EU will release the latest economic figures for the 27-country bloc.
  • China: The country’s top legislature, the National People’s Congress, will hold its annual session. (to 11MAR)
  • China: The 13th National Committee of the CPPCC, the country’s top political advisory body, will hold a session. (to 10MAR)
  • Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to address the Tel Aviv International Salon.
  • Japan: The government will release its revised GDP figures for Q4 2020.
  • Norway: Prime Minister Erna Solberg is expected to address and brief parliament over the current status of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • South Sudan: The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in the country.
  • United Arab Emirates: Authorities are expected to hold a press conference on the country’s Barakah nuclear plant.
  • United States: German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the Brookings Institution’s virtual event on US-Germany and transatlantic relations. 
  • United States: Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington Asad Majeed Khan will discuss Islamabad-Washington relations in a virtual event hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank.

 

END