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Reuters: The Reuters Daily Briefing

Myanmar Military seizes power.

Views expressed in this geopolitical news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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Accessed on 01 February 2021, 1404 UTC, Post 949.

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Russ Roberts

https://www.hawaiigeopoliticalnews.com

Reuters
The Reuters Daily Briefing

Monday, February 1, 2021

by Linda Noakes and Farouq Suleiman

Good morning, .

Here’s what you need to know.

'The army broke our wings'

Myanmar's military has seized power in a coup against the government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with other leaders of her party in response to what the army called "election fraud".

Beloved as “the Lady”, Suu Kyi fulfilled the dreams of millions when her party won a landslide election in 2015 that established the Southeast Asian nation’s first civilian government in half a century.

But she appalled the world two years later by denying the extent of a sweeping military-led crackdown against the Rohingya Muslim minority which forced hundreds of thousands to flee the country.(Read our Pulitzer-prize-winning coverage of the plight of the Rohingya).

All eyes are now on Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of the notoriously reclusive military, who has transformed himself in recent years from taciturn soldier into a public figure.

Supporters of the army celebrated on Monday, parading in pickup trucks and waving national flags but democracy activists were horrified. "Our country was a bird that was just learning to fly. Now the army broke our wings," student activist Si Thu Tun said.

Today’s biggest stories

The pandemic

About 1,500 of the initial volunteers in a late-stage clinical trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine were given the wrong dose, but not informed that a mistake had been made after the blunder was discovered, documents obtained by Reuters show.

As the number of Americans ready for their second vaccine shot grows, some are falling through the cracks of an increasingly complex web of providers and appointment systems. While many people are getting the required second doses, the process is taking a toll on some of the most vulnerable.

Japan is expected to extend a state of emergency to fight the spread of COVID-19 for Tokyo and other areas, according to sources. The government will decide on the extension after a meeting of its experts panel, with the emergency period in prefectures including the Tokyo area expected to run for another month.

About 2 million Australians began their first full day of a strict lockdown following the discovery of one case in the community in Perth, capital of Western Australia state, but no new cases have since been found.

U.S.

Environmentalists and labor unions that threw their support behind President Joe Biden now find themselves on the opposite sides of a battle over the construction of big pipeline projects between Canada and the United States.

There are numerous large U.S. and Canadian oil 
and natural gas pipelines in progress, but many have been delayed in recent years due to legal and regulatory battles, while others have been scuttled as costs rose. Here are the primary projects still in play, and a couple of recently canceled projects.

Dozens of Republicans
 in former President George W. Bush’s administration are leaving the party, dismayed by a failure of many elected Republicans to disown Donald Trump after his false claims of election fraud sparked a deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol last month.

Trump’s unprecedented second impeachment trial takes shape this week, as Democrats outline their case and Trump scrambles to prepare a defense amid disarray on his legal team.

Business

Royal Dutch Shell is betting on its expertise in power trading and rapid growth in hydrogen and biofuels markets as it shifts away from oil, rather than joining rivals in a scramble for renewable power assets, company sources said.

Microsoft is confident its search product Bing can fill the gap in Australia if Google pulls its search over required payments to media outlets, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Silver broke above $30 an ounce for the first time since 2013 as an army of retail traders stormed into the metal after betting billions of dollars on stocks last week, triggering risks of a multi-asset melt-up in global markets.

Arguably the last thing Janet Yellen wants to take up during her first days as Treasury Secretary is a financial market imbroglio involving one of her last private sector business relationships. But as hedge fund Citadel emerges as one of the key actors in the trading frenzy last week involving GameStop - and questions arise over whether the activity exposes deeper risks for the financial system - Yellen could find herself pulled into the fray.

From Breakingviews - Corona Capital: Swedish banks, Ryanair, Fintech

COVID-19’s impact on aviation has all the ingredients of a nature documentary, and a National Australia Bank takeover gives fintech investors some relief. Read concise views on the pandemic's financial fallout from Breakingviews columnists across the globe.

Quote of the day

"The game has changed. This is a hard Brexit, this is as hard as you can get without no deal."

Jon Swallow

British logistics expert

Wrapped in Brexit red tape, a UK freight firm struggles to trade

Video of the day

Russia detains over 5,000 in Alexei Navalny protests

Riot police broke up protests across Russia on Sunday in support of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, detaining more than 5,000 people who had braved the bitter cold and the threat of prosecution to demand he be set free.

And finally…

'Pray for Tom': UK's record fundraiser Captain Moore in hospital with COVID

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among a host of well-wishers from across Britain and beyond willing record-breaking fundraiser Captain Tom Moore to pull through after the centenarian was admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

More from Reuters

COVID-19: Global tracker The Great Reboot Breakingviews

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