Morning news brief: US-China conflict, Russia-Ukraine conflict and more, World News

If reports are to be believed, China may be looking for its first permanent military base on Africa’s Atlantic coast.The White House said it does not know if Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a decision to launch his military forces against Ukraine — and stopped short of threatening direct intervention of American military force should he do so. In a weekly communication, Ramaphosa stated that Omicron looked to be dominating new infections in most provinces and recommended more people to acquire COVID-19 vaccines.

As China eyes military base on Africa’s Atlantic coast, US looks to dump idea, say reports

Citing intelligence reports, US officials told ‘Wall Street Journal’ that Beijing may be looking for port city of Bata in Equatorial Guinea as the base.  

US to send more troops to Eastern Europe, if Putin invades Ukraine

In a warning to Moscow on the eve of talks between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, the US indicated it would impose tough new economic sanctions in reaction to a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Covid cases increase five-fold in South Africa; President says emergence of Omicron was inevitable

The President said the number of daily infections has increased five-fold in the past week, with nearly a quarter of all COVID-19 tests now returning positive. Two weeks ago, only two per cent of tests were positive.

Watch | A ‘secure’ video call between Biden and Putin amid Ukraine invasion fears

Watch | South Asia Diary | Kashmir’s glazed tiles make a return

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