Morning Brief

A woman places a sign on the lectern as people prepare the CDU party conference studio for the party's digital conference and leadership contest in a hall at Berlin Messe fairgrounds.

Germany Prepares to Choose Merkel’s CDU Successor

The powerful Christian Democratic Union party selects a new leader and likely successor to Angela Merkel. Can they avoid a repeat of their last attempt?

A voter casts a ballot at a polling station in Kampala, Uganda, on January 14, 2021.

Uganda Goes to Polls in Tense Election

Political violence has marred the run-up to an election that opposition candidates say is already rigged.

A worker cleans the statue of former President Andrew Jackson in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on January 12, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

U.S. House Holds Vote To Impeach Trump—Again

The impeachment resolution is expected to pass easily, although it’s not yet known how a Senate trial will play out.

US President-elect Joe Biden receives the second course of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on January 11, 2021 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware, administered by Chief Nurse Executive Ric Cuming. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. Vaccine Rollout Making Slow Progress

Although vaccine distribution has not met expectations domestically, the U.S. program is still far ahead of most countries.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a briefing at the State Department on February 5, 2020 in Washington, DC.

U.S. Designates Houthis as Terrorists, Complicating Yemen Relief Efforts

The designation is part of a flurry of activity by the State Department in the Trump administration’s final days.

A cleaning crew vacuums the floor of a hallway at the U.S. Capitol January 7, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Trump Promises “Orderly” Transition As Calls For His Removal Grow

Without mentioning Biden by name, Trump acknowledged a “new administration” will take power on Jan. 20.

Congressional staffers hold up their hands while Capitol Police SWAT teams secure the floor in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021.

Mob Invades U.S. Capitol as World Looks On

The attack on Congress sets a new low for the United States as it begins 2021.

Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud arrives for the 177th Organization Of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Vienna, Austria, on December 5, 2019.

Saudi Arabia Shoulders Oil Output Cuts as Economic Outlook Dims

The cautious move comes as the World Bank warns of a “lost decade.”

The Qatari side of the Abu Samrah border crossing between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, on June 20, 2017.

Gulf States’ Qatar Blockade Ends With a Whimper

After all the bluster and demands made by Gulf states in 2017, it appears Qatar has successfully waited out its larger neighbors.

Protesters hold a sign to support WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in front of the EU British Embassy in Brussels on December 07, 2020.

U.K. Judge Blocks Assange Extradition on Mental Health Grounds

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that although Assange's crimes met the extradition requirements, his suicide risk was too high to allow a U.S. handover.

Pro-choice activists wait for the result of a Senate bill to legalize abortion outside the Congress in Buenos Aires on December 30, 2020.

Argentina Legalizes Abortion In Historic Senate Vote

The country will become only the third in Latin America to allow unmitigated access to the procedure.

The moon rises over the US Capitol Dome at sunset in Washington, DC, December 28, 2020.

Vote on COVID Relief Checks Could Delay Senate Override of Trump NDAA Veto

Sen. Bernie Sanders is threatening to delay Senate business until a vote is scheduled on sending $2,000 checks to Americans.

Police officers wait at the Port of Dover on December 23, 2020 in Dover, United Kingdom.

WHO Confronts Mutating COVID-19 Threat

With little known about whether the virus mutation will react differently to existing treatments, BioNTech’s CEO is optimistic.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference with U.S. presidential adviser Jared Kushner in Jerusalem on December 21, 2020.

Israeli Knesset Likely to Dissolve as Extension Vote Fails

Israel appears to be heading for its fourth election in two years as an automatic dissolution of the Knesset looms.

FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich appears for a news conference at the Department of Justice on Oct. 19, 2020, in Washington.

Russia’s Alleged Hack Could Be Worst in U.S. History

A sophisticated cyberattack has hit the heart of the U.S. government, affecting the Treasury, Defense, and Energy departments—among others.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the G-20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia via video conference on Nov. 21, 2020.

Putin Faces the Press at the End of a Mixed Year

As the Russian president faces his end-of-year press conference, the Biden administration’s new challenge is coming into view.

Nurse Roy Trahan holds up a vial of the Covid-19 vaccine to give to healthcare workers at John Sealy Hospital at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) in Galveston, Texas on December 15, 2020.

WTO Meeting Pits Rich Against Poor In Fight For Vaccines

Poorer countries say intellectual property laws are exacerbating the pandemic, but wealthy countries won't budge.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte adresses the nation  about new measures against COVID-19, in The Hague, on December 14, 2020.

Europe Embraces Tighter Measures as Coronavirus Cases Surge

Despite talk earlier in the month of easing restrictions over the holiday period, most European countries are now embracing a stricter approach.

Pedestrians walk away from the Palace of Westminster in central London on December 13, 2020.

Brexit Deadline Is Ditched as Both Sides Agree to Go “Extra Mile”

A Sunday deadline has been pushed past even as the EU and U.K. seem no closer to a deal.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks on as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks past  during a Peace summit on Libya at the Chancellery in Berlin, on January 19, 2020.

Turkey’s Luck Runs Out Over Russian S-400 Purchase

Sanctions have been threatened for months but may amount to only a slap on the wrist for Turkey’s president.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference at WHO headquarters in Geneva on July 3, 2020.

As Ethiopian War Drags On, WHO Chief Gets Pulled In

U.S. attempts at mediation have so far been rebuffed by both sides.

A woman argues with law enforcement officers during an opposition rally in Minsk, on October 25, 2020.

Will Belarus Go On Strike?

Opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has called for a national strike today after President Lukashenko ignored her “People’s Ultimatum.”

U.S. arms control envoy Marshall Billingslea leaves after speaking at a press conference on June 23, 2020 in Vienna, Austria.

U.S. and Russia Close to Agreement on Nuclear Weapons Treaty

Although a deal is reported to be close, details on verification have yet to be ironed out.

Luis Arce, the presidential candidate for MAS (Movement Towards Socialism), on Oct. 18, 2020 in La Paz, Bolivia.

Bolivia Has a Socialist President—Again.

Exit polls show that Evo Morales’s successor, Luis Arce, is on track for a convincing first-round victory.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrive for a roundtable meeting on the second day of a European Union (EU) summit on October 2, 2020.

EU Leaders Meet as Coronavirus Cases Surge Across the Bloc

An EU-U.K. trade deal isn't likely before Boris Johnson’s Oct. 15 deadline. What comes next?

The Israeli settlement of Ariel.

Israel to Approve New Settlement Units in the West Bank

Despite shelving annexation, Netanyahu is full-steam ahead on settlement expansion.

An Indian army convoy drives along a highway in Gagangir, India, near the border with China, on June 19.

No Resolution After Top-Level Talks Between Indian and Chinese Military Commanders

With significant gaps remaining between their positions, a prolonged standoff along the disputed Line of Actual Control is likely to continue.

U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a peace summit on Libya.

U.K. and EU Seek Trade Deal as Critical Deadline Nears

From fish to Northern Ireland, major disagreements remain as Brexit negotiations enter their final week.

A car with U.S. President Donald Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Oct. 4.

Trump Returns to White House Amid Outbreak

Urging his supporters not to fear the virus, Trump’s ordeal has invited a new wave of criticism.

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on the South Lawn of the White House after a trip to Baltimore, Maryland on May 25.

Trump Has COVID-19. How Will It Affect the Campaign?

Donald and Melania Trump have both tested positive for the coronavirus, adding a jolt to the final month of the U.S. election campaign.

European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrive for a news conference after a virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

EU Leaders Plan Response to Belarus Crisis and Greece-Turkey Tensions

The bloc could decide to impose sanctions on Belarus, but much hinges on the stance it chooses to take on Turkey.

A picture taken on Sep. 29 in Kuwait City, Kuwait, shows a portrait of the country's late Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

The Death of Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Could Diminish the Country’s International Standing

The Middle East’s shifting balance of power could upend Kuwait’s traditional status as a regional mediator.

Mobile artillery units of the self-defence army of Nagorno-Karabakh hold a position outside the settlement of Hadrut, on April 5, 2016.

Azerbaijan and Armenia on the Brink of War After Deadly Clashes

Dozens are reportedly injured in the worst round of violence between the two countries in years.

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump pay their respects to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Trump Readies His Pick to Replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg

With Senate Republicans firmly behind him, the president said a decision will come Saturday.

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