ONS: 01 January 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 2, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: UN chief Antonio Guterres has urged Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila to abide by an agreement to leave power, after at least eight people died in protests against his rule.
  • AMERICAS: Five law enforcement officers were shot and one of them died after a barricaded suspect opened fire at an apartment complex in a Denver suburb.
  • ASIA: India and Pakistan exchanged a list of their nuclear installations under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations.
  • EUROPE: Bulgaria took over the rotating 6-month presidency of the European Union on Monday, marking the first time that the Balkan country, which became an EU member in 2007, is holding the post.
  • MIDDLE EAST:  The central committee of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party voted for a resolution urging Likud parliamentarians to push to annex the occupied West Bank.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Britain may impose new taxes on tech giants like Google and Facebook unless they do more to combat online extremism by taking down material aimed at radicalizing people.

 

TOP STORY: In an apparent extension of the olive branch, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un announced that he was willing to discuss the possibility of the North’s participation in the upcoming Olympics in the South.

  • Kim made the statement as part of his New Year’s address, pointing out that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the DPRK.
  • Seoul has welcomed the overture, with a presidential spokesperson marking it a significant step towards peace on the peninsula.
  • However, during the same speech, Kim repeated his nuclear threats against the United States, referencing a “nuclear button” and declaring intent to mass-produce nuclear weapons.
  • Some analysts have suggested that this gesture may have been intended to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States, by leveraging the former’s emphasis on improving relations against the latter’s security concerns.
  • Sources: BBC, WaPo, Bloomberg, Xinhua, Xinhua2

 

AFRICA

  • Cameroon:  A female suicide bomber blew herself up in a cafe in Cameroon’s far north region Sunday, killing at least one person and wounding 28 others. (AFP)
  • Congo: UN chief Antonio Guterres has urged Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila to abide by an agreement to leave power, after at least eight people died in protests against his rule. (AFP)
  • Libya:  An official of the eastern-based army said that landmines planted by extremists in the eastern city of Benghazi have killed 197 soldiers and civilians during 2017. (Xinhua)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Anti-drug Police arrested a Brazilian woman carrying 320 grams of cocaine hidden in her underclothing at the Cartagena international airport as she was intending to board a flight to Switzerland. (EFE)
  • United States: Five law enforcement officers were shot and one of them died after a barricaded suspect opened fire at an apartment complex in a Denver suburb. (CNN)
  • Venezuela: A former oil minister excoriated President Nicolas Maduro in a newspaper column, accusing the leftist leader of behaving like biblical King Herod and plunging the oil-rich nation into economic devastation. (Reuters)

 

ASIA

  • Region: India and Pakistan exchanged a list of their nuclear installations under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations. (Xinhua)
  • Australia: Malcolm Turnbull does not deny report that information from a diplomat sparked the FBI investigation, but Turnbull said he was not at all worried his relationship with Donald Trump had been damaged. (Guardian)
  • Cambodia: Detained opposition leader Kem Sokha called for free and fair elections in the country in a New Year’s message. (Reuters)
  • China: Angry protesters marched through Hong Kong against what they described as suppression by Beijing, days after authorities ruled that part of a city rail station would come under mainland law. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: The potassium cyanide that Bosnian Croat war criminal Slobodan Praljak used to commit suicide in court could not have been detected before he drank it, said the UN tribunal. (AFP)
  • Bulgaria: Bulgaria took over the rotating 6-month presidency of the European Union, marking the first time that the Balkan country, which became an EU member in 2007, is holding the post. (DPA)
  • France: President Emmanuel Macron urged citizens of his country to end “irreconcilable divisions” in the coming year and vowed to continue the “profound transformations” that he launched in 2017. (Xinhua)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: A senior Israeli minister has wished Iranian protesters “success” but insists his country is not involved in the mass demonstrations that erupted in recent days. (AP)
  • Egypt: The security forces have been intensifying presence around churches nationwide during in New Year celebrations. (Xinhua)
  • Israel:  The central committee of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party voted for a resolution urging parliamentarians to push to annex the occupied West Bank. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Britain may impose new taxes on tech giants like Google and Facebook unless they do more to combat online extremism by taking down material aimed at radicalizing people. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 22DEC: 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 Cases as of 22DEC: 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
      • Deaths as of 22DEC: 101 (Brazil, Ecuador)
        • Deaths (01JAN16-31DEC16): 172
        • Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 91 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico)
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 24DEC: 2,121 (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)
        • Deaths as of 24DEC: 740 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (02JAN)

  • Bhutan: Nyinlog – Unknown
  • Haiti: Ancestry Day – 1804
  • Niue: Takai Commission – Unknown
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis: Carnival Day – Unknown
  • Switzerland: Berchtold’s Day – Unknown

 

END

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