Council on Foreign Relations – Daily News Brief July 25, 2022

Image Daily News BriefJuly 25, 2022
Top of the Agenda

EU Approves Vaccine for Monkeypox in Wake of WHO Emergency DeclarationThe European Union (EU) followed Canada and the United States in approving Bavarian Nordic’s smallpox vaccine for use against monkeypox (Reuters), the Danish drugmaker said. The step comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern and urged countries to step up their disease surveillance and response efforts.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus overruled an inconclusive WHO panel of advisors to make the declaration, saying “too little” is understood (NYT) about the current outbreak. More than sixteen thousand monkeypox cases have been reported in seventy-five countries since early May. Vaccines have been made available in some countries, though their global supply is relatively small (Vox).

“Monkeypox has been spreading for years in Africa without the world joining in solidarity to support African scientists to learn more and stop it. In all likelihood, this was a preventable outbreak. Now, the world must respond. We must do better,” CFR’s Tom Frieden tweets. 
“The Covid-19 outbreak forced governments around the world to revamp their pandemic response programs, invest in drugs and vaccines and establish viral surveillance systems. Now monkeypox is putting those upgrades to the test—and they’re falling short,” Bloomberg’s Riley Griffin, Madison Muller, and Deirdre Hipwell write. This timeline from Think Global Health tracks the current monkeypox outbreak.
Pacific Rim

Thai Prime Minister Survives Fourth No-Confidence VoteThe vote came amid allegations that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and his cabinet members mismanaged Thailand’s economy (AP) and failed to prevent corruption. 

China: The country’s population growth rate is expected to turn negative (Reuters) before 2025, a national health official said.
South and Central Asia

Myanmar’s Junta Executes Four Pro-democracy ActivistsMyanmar’s first executions in decades defied international appeals (WaPo) for restraint. Two of the men killed were convicted of terrorism and the other two were convicted of killing an alleged military informant. 

Singapore/Sri Lanka: The rights group International Truth and Justice Project filed a complaint (AP) asking Singapore to arrest former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for human rights violations he allegedly committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war. 
Middle East and North Africa

Tunisia Votes on Sweeping Constitutional ReformMany Tunisians are expected to boycott the vote (Al Jazeera) over concerns that the new constitution would concentrate power in the hands of President Kais Saied. 

Iran: Iran will keep UN nuclear-monitoring cameras turned off (Reuters) until the 2015 nuclear deal is restored, the head of Iran’s nuclear agency said.  This Backgrounder unpacks the Iran nuclear deal.
Sub-Saharan Africa

France’s Macron Kicks Off West Africa TourFrench President Emmanuel Macron begins a four-day trip (AFP) to Benin, Cameroon, and Guinea-Bissau today. He will discuss food supply strains and security as France prepares to pull troops out of Mali. 

Mali: Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Mali claimed an attack (Reuters) on the country’s main military base that killed at least one soldier and wounded six people. The military said seven assailants were killed and eight were arrested.

U.S. Works on ‘Plan B’ for Ukrainian Grain Transit After Russia Bombs OdesaRussian forces bombed the Ukrainian port city (France 24) of Odesa over the weekend. Moscow said it targeted military depots and that the attack would not affect grain exports. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power said Washington is weighing a plan (CNN) for grain exports to leave Ukraine via rail and river transit. On The President’s Inbox podcast, Michael Kofman and CFR’s James M. Lindsay discuss the future of the war in Ukraine

United Kingdom: Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will participate in (BBC) their first televised debate today as they vie for leadership of the Conservative Party. The victor of the party’s upcoming election will become prime minister in early September.

Pope Expected to Apologize for Catholic Schools’ Treatment of Indigenous Canadians Pope Francis is on a six-day “penitential” trip (CBC) to Canada, where he is expected to apologize for harms Indigenous people suffered in the country’s Catholic residential schools. The Why It Matters podcast examines the power of the pope

U.S./Haiti: At least seventeen Haitians died when a boat bound for Florida capsized (NYT) near the Bahamas.
United States

California Declares State of Emergency Over WildfireCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency (LA Times) for an area near Yosemite National Park. More than six thousand people have been evacuated.
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