ONS: 02 April 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on April 3, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: ECOWAS declared itself “satisfied” with Sierra Leone’s run-off presidential vote, but noted intimidating levels of security at some polling stations.
  • AMERICAS: Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the candidate for the center-left ruling party, is to become Costa Rica’s next president after an election run-off.
  • ASIA: Afghan election authorities confirmed Oct. 20 as the date of the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections.
  • EUROPE: Hundreds of Catalan independence supporters marched in Berlin to demand the release of ex-regional president Carles Puigdemont.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Syrian media say the largest rebel group in Damascus’ eastern Ghouta, the Army of Islam, has begun to evacuate from the area’s last holdout town of Douma.
  • TECHNOLOGY: China’s Tiangong-1 space station has crashed in the Pacific Ocean, after mostly burning up during re-entry.

TOP STORY

  • China announces retaliatory tariffs on 128 US products, primarily fruits and pork.
    • The tariff rates are set at up to 25%, primarily on food products and wine, with a total estimated value around $3 billion.
    • The move comes as a response to US tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, also around $3 billion.
    • Although significant, the relatively narrow scope of the tariffs has led some analysts to see room for negotiation and a willingness by China to de-escalate trade tensions.
    • China’s largest imports from the US, aircraft and soybeans, will be unaffected.
    • US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is reportedly in talks with Chinese counterparts about a possible visit to try and resolve differences.
    • Reporting: AP, AFP, Reuters, BBC, Guardian

AFRICA

  • Region: ECOWAS declared itself “satisfied” with Sierra Leone’s run-off presidential vote, but noted intimidating levels of security at some polling stations. (AFP)
  • Algeria: The government issued a decree to establish an exclusive economic zone off the coast out to 200 nautical miles, as a prelude to offshore drilling efforts. (Xinhua)
  • Morocco: Police have arrested two Syrian nationals and two Moroccans over their involvement in financing Islamic State militants. (Xinhua)

AMERICAS

  • Costa Rica: Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the candidate for the center-left ruling party, is to become the country’s next president after an election run-off. (AFP)
  • Guatemala: Former military dictator Efrain Rios Montt died at the age of 91, in the midst of ongoing genocide charges. (Reuters)
  • Mexico: Seven police officers died while trying to quell a riot in the La Toma prison in the mountain town of Amatlan de los Reyes. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he was “deeply moved” by a rare performance by South Korean pop stars in Pyongyang. (AFP)
  • Afghanistan: Election authorities confirmed Oct. 20 as the date of the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia: The military said that one soldier has been killed in an ongoing clash between security forces and Papuan independence fighters near the U.S.-owned Grasberg copper mine. (AP)
  • Pakistan: Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai left the country, ending a surprise visit, her first since being shot in 2012 by Taliban militants. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Region: Prosecutors in Turin opened an investigation over an alleged intrusion by French customs officers that has caused diplomatic tensions between Rome and Paris. (AFP)
  • Germany: Hundreds of Catalan independence supporters marched in Berlin to demand the release of ex-regional president Carles Puigdemont. (AFP)
  • Russia: Authorities arrested billionaire Ziyavudin Magomedov on charges of embezzling more than $35 million, in one of the highest-profile prosecutions of a tycoon in years. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Benjamin Netanyahu of being “a terrorist” after the Israeli prime minister rejected Ankara’s “moral lessons” over deadly clashes in Gaza. (AFP)
  • Bahrain: The Natural Resources Committee announced it has discovered the largest oil and gas field in the history of the country in the Khaleej al-Bahrain. (AFP)
  • Israel: Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman repeated his rejection for an international probe into the deaths of Gazan protesters. (AFP)
  • Syria: State media say the largest rebel group in Damascus’ eastern Ghouta, the Army of Islam, has begun to evacuate from the area’s last holdout town of Douma. (AP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: China’s Tiangong-1 space station has crashed in the Pacific Ocean, after mostly burning up during re-entry. (Guardian)

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Cyclone Iris
      • Location: 167 nm E of Cairns, Australia
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Movement: W-NW at 9 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Cyclone Josie
      • Location: 162 mi S of Suva, Fiji
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Movement: SSE at 13 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes:
    • Magnitude: 6.1
    • Location: 273 mi S-SW of Nuku’Alofa, Tonga
    • Depth: 83 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 20JAN: 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 20JAN: 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 20JAN: 101 (Brazil, Ecuador)
        • Deaths (01JAN16-31DEC16): 172
        • Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 91 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 20JAN: 2,123 (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 20JAN: 740 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (03MAR)

  • Azerbaijan: Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement to be held in Baku (to 06APR)
  • Guinea: Second Republic Day – 1984
  • Senegal: Independence Day – 1959
  • United States: President Trump to meet with presidents from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to discuss security and economic ties

END

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