Senegal: parliament passed a law setting a higher bar for presidential candidates after protests that saw police fire tear gas on demonstrators, with dozens arrested. (AFP)
South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced to return home from a meeting of Commonwealth leaders in London to deal with mounting anti-corruption protests. (NYT)
Sudan: President Omar al-Bashir fired Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, after he said that Sudanese diplomats abroad had been unpaid for months. (AFP)
Swaziland: King Mswati III, Africa’s last absolute monarch, said he was officially renaming the country as the Kingdom of eSwatini. (Reuters)
Region: The United States and Colombia cited new evidence of fraud in Venezuela’s food import program for the needy, saying funds were directed to corrupt officials. (Reuters)
Region: A group of 50 Central American migrants who set out from southern Mexico in late March have reached the U.S. border. (Reuters)
Guatemala: Prosecutors and a United Nations’ anti-corruption commission again accused President Jimmy Morales of illegal campaign financing. (AP)
Nicaragua: Protests and clashes broke out over a planned social security reform, and the government ordered off the air five independent TV channels that have been covering the unrest. (AP)
Region: Australia’s prime minister said the Australian navy has a “perfect right” to traverse the South China Sea after a report that the Chinese navy had challenged three Australian warships in the hotly contested waterway. (AP)
Region: The United States would support a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, the State Department said, ahead of the upcoming inter-Korean summit. (Yonhap)
Nepal: Kathmandu airport was closed after a Malaysian jet with 139 people on board aborted its takeoff and skidded off the runway. (AFP)
Region: The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said some 25 percent of work remained to be done, specifically regarding the Irish border. (Reuters)
Germany: Some 10,000 people are being evacuated from central Berlin so that authorities can defuse an uncovered WWII bomb. (BBC)
Spain: The Basque separatist group ETA apologized for the “pain” and “harm” it caused during its decades-long campaign of violence, and appealed to its victims for forgiveness. (AFP)
Lebanon: Human Rights Watch criticized Lebanese municipalities for what it called the unjustifiable expulsion of hundreds of Syrians from their homes since 2016. (AFP)
Saudi Arabia: Saudi air defenses intercepted a “ballistic missile” fired by Yemeni rebels at the kingdom’s southern coastal city of Jizan, the coalition said. (AFP)
Syria: The Pentagon confirmed the capture in Syria of a Syrian-German jihadist Mohammad Haydar Zammar, who was linked to the 9/11 attacks. (Reuters)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Communication: Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp. said in a statement that it will not accept an “extremely unfair” ban by the United States on the company. (Xinhua)
Cyclones: Nothing to report.
Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
Global Disease Outbreaks:
Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
Suspected Casesas of 20JAN: 61,613 (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, and Venezuela)
Suspected Cases(01JAN16-31DEC16): 349,936
Confirmed Casesas of 20JAN: 123,087 (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin (French part), and Venezuela)
Confirmed Cases(01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250
Deathsas of 20JAN: 101 (Brazil, Ecuador)
Deaths(01JAN15-31DEC15): 91 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico)
Casesas of 20JAN: 2,123 (Saudi Arabia (KSA), Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Tunisia, Italy, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, Malaysia, Greece, Egypt, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Iran, Algeria, Austria, Turkey, The Philippines, Germany, China, South Korea, and the US)
Deathsas of 20JAN: 740 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)