ONS: 03 January 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 4, 2018

 

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group says it executed five men accused of spying for the Kenyan, Ethiopian and Somali governments.
  • AMERICAS: Ecuador’s VP Jorge Glas will lose his title because he has been absent for more than three months, serving a six-year prison sentence for corruption.
  • ASIA: Indonesia launched a new cybersecurity agency to tackle online religious extremism and a flood of fake news on social media.
  • EUROPE: Britain held informal talks about joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership to kick-start exports after Brexit.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iranian state media aired footage of pro-government demonstrations in cities across the country after a week of protests and unrest over the country’s poor economy.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The US pressed Tehran to unblock social media sites used by Iranian protesters, and even offered advice on circumventing state internet controls.

TOP STORY

  • Korean Peninsula: North reopens hotline to South, dialogue begins.
    • North Korea reopened a hotline to South Korea, almost two years after it was disabled on the orders of leader Kim Jong-un.
    • The South’s Unification Ministry said the two neighbors were communicating through the system at the border village of Panmunjom.
    • The fast-moving political developments have given new hope for a warming of ties between the two long-standing enemies.
    • Washington said any talks between North and South Korea would not be taken seriously if they did not contribute to denuclearizing North Korea.
    • Seoul said it wants talks to encompass Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons, despite previous failed attempts to broach the subject.
    • Talks, if they take place, would mark the first formal dialogue between the two sides since DEC2015, while the hotline has been dormant since FEB2016.
    • Coverage: BBC, NYT, Reuters, USA Today, WP, WSJ

AFRICA

  • Region: The Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group says it executed five men accused of spying for the Kenyan, Ethiopian and Somali governments. (AP)
  • Ethiopia: PM Hailemariam Desalegn announced plans to drop charges against political prisoners and close a notorious prison camp in what he called an effort to “widen the democratic space for all.” (AP)
  • Nigeria: Fourteen worshippers were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a mosque on the country’s border with Cameroon. (AFP)
  • Somalia: The US military airstrike killed two al-Shabab extremists and destroyed a vehicle carrying explosives, “preventing it from being used against the people in Mogadishu.” (AP)
  • Zambia: Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba resigned, as a struggle in the ruling Patriotic Front over President Edgar Lungu’s ambitions to run for another term in office intensifies. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: The country registered a record-high trade surplus of USD 67B in 2017. (Xinhua)
  • Ecuador: VP Jorge Glas will lose his title because he has been absent for more than three months, serving a six-year prison sentence for corruption. (AFP)
  • United States: New York City plans to install more than 1,500 protective barriers in high-profile locations to guard against vehicle attacks and other terror-related incidents. (Xinhua)

ASIA

  • Bangladesh: A helicopter carrying Kuwait’s military chief of staff Lt. Gen. Mohammed Al-Khadher crashed in the country, but all survived despite minor injuries. (AP)
  • China: The country is suspending the production of more than 500 car models, the latest move by Beijing to reduce emissions and take the lead in battling climate change. (NYT)
  • Indonesia: The country launched a new cybersecurity agency to tackle online religious extremism and a flood of fake news on social media. (AFP)
  • South Korea: Prosecutors will indict ousted President Park Geun-hye on additional bribery charges as early as this week. (Yonhap)

EUROPE

  • Turkey: Turkish authorities issued detention warrants for 68 shareholders of Bank Asya in an operation related to last year’s failed coup attempt. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: Britain held informal talks about joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership to kick-start exports after Brexit. (FT)
  • United Kingdom: Six people were arrested by counter-terrorism officers on suspicion of being members of the banned far-right group National Action. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Palestinian leaders expressed outrage at US President Donald Trump’s threat to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority, calling his tweets “blackmail.” (AP)
  • Region: Israel’s internal security agency busted an Iranian espionage ring operating in the West Bank and arrested its Palestinian leader. (AP)
  • Region: Norway suspended exports of weapons and ammunition to the United Arab Emirates over concerns they could be used in the war in Yemen. (Reuters)
  • Iran: Iranian state media aired footage of pro-government demonstrations in cities across the country after a week of protests and unrest over the country’s poor economy. (AP)
  • Qatar: Two state-owned firms running the country’s natural gas business merged in a move aimed at cutting costs and creating a global energy giant. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: The US pressed Tehran to unblock social media sites used by Iranian protesters, and even offered advice on circumventing state internet controls. (AP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Depression One
    • Location: 538 NM E of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    • Wind: 35 mph
    • Movement: WNW at 20 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Three
    • Location: 353 NM NNW of St. Denis
    • Wind: 45 mph
    • Movement: WNW at 8 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Klyuchevskoy, Kamchatka, Russia
    • Ash eruption 6km into the atmosphere. (Tass)
  • 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 (04JAN)

  • Global: World Braille Day – Unknown
  • Angola: Colonial Repression Martyrs’ Day – 1961
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: Day of the Martyrs of Independence – 1959
  • Mexico: Panama to hand over custody of former Mexican provincial governor to face corruption charges
  • Myanmar: Independence Day – 1948

END

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