ONS: 04 March 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 5, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In Burkina Faso, the jihadist Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) has claimed responsibility for the twin attacks against the military HQ and French embassy yesterday.
  • AMERICAS: A nor’easter pounded the US Atlantic coast and left 1.6 million people without power from North Carolina to Maine, and at least five people were killed by falling trees or branches.
  • ASIA: South Korea will dispatch a delegation led by senior security officials for a two-day visit to North Korea starting Monday, the presidential Blue House announced.
  • EUROPE: Italian polls have opened in the highly unpredictable parliamentary elections, with ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi seeking to make a coalition comeback.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Assad regime forces control “10 percent” of rebel enclave Eastern Ghouta near Damascus following days of ground battles against insurgents, a monitor said.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The European Union announced plans to tax large global tech companies’ revenue at a rate in the 2-to-6-percent range, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

 

TOP STORY

  •  Germany: The Social Democrats party (SPD) voted in favor of joining a new “Grand Coalition” government alongside Chancellor Angela Merkel.
    • Elections last September failed to produce a governing majority, and initial coalition talks failed.
    • Despite previously ruling out a return to the Grand Coalition, the SPD leadership reconsidered in the face of a protracted leadership crisis.
    • The SPD afforded its membership a final vote on whether the coalition deal was acceptable. The results were ⅔ in favor.
    • Angela Merkel has thus secured her fourth term as Chancellor, albeit with a significantly reduced mandate.
    • Though unpopular, the Grand Coalition is seen as the best means to stave off the growing influence of the far-right AFD party.
    • Reporting: AP, AFP, DPA, BBC, Guardian

 

AFRICA

  • Burkina Faso: The jihadist Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) has claimed responsibility for the twin attacks against the military HQ and French embassy yesterday. (AFP)
  • Chad: Trade unions and opposition parties announced a public sector strike would continue until the government yielded and called a total day of closure for March 12. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: The UN peacekeeping mission in the country has rejected a request by the government to carry out joint investigations into the alleged sexual exploitation by a unit of Ghanaian troops. (Xinhua)
  • Sudan: The rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector announced a halt to internal fighting, proposing a reconciliation to end the division within the movement. (Xinhua)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: The Brazilian Supreme Court rejected a plea from former Peruvian President Ollanta Humala to gain access to international confessions made by former executives of Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. (Xinhua)
  • Colombia: Two police officers were killed when unidentified attackers bombed their car, then hurled grenades and strafed it with gunfire, local authorities said. (AFP)
  • United States:  A nor’easter pounded the Atlantic coast and left 1.6 million people without power from North Carolina to Maine, and at least five people were killed by falling trees or branches. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Up to 13 militants were killed as government forces aircraft struck a hideout of Islamic State militants in Darzab district of northern Jawzjan province. (Xinhua)
  • China: The CCP does not want a trade war with the United States but will defend its interests, a senior diplomat said. (Reuters)
  • China: US President Donald Trump praised his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping after the Communist party announced it was eliminating the two-term limit for the presidency. (DPA)
  • South Korea: The government will dispatch a delegation led by senior security officials for a two-day visit to North Korea starting Monday, the presidential Blue House announced. (Reuters)

 

EUROPE

  • Bosnia: Police and hundreds of veterans of the 1990s war were locked in a standoff on the country’s main highway as the protesters demanded fairer distribution of government benefits. (Reuters)
  • Germany: The hackers who attacked government servers stole a single-digit number of documents from the country‘s Foreign Ministry. (DPA)
  • Italy: Polls have opened in the highly unpredictable parliamentary elections, with ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi seeking to make a coalition comeback. (AFP)
  • Poland: A campaign group is suing an Argentine newspaper it says breached a new law that makes it a criminal offence to suggest Poland was complicit in the Holocaust. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Bahrain: Security forces have arrested 116 terror suspects that were allegedly part of a terrorist cell supported by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. (Gulf Business)
  • Egypt: The military said four soldiers and 10 jihadists were killed in a military operation in Sinai against Islamic State group jihadists. (AFP)
  • Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he opposes early elections, as corruption probes linked to him intensify speculation over his future. (AFP)
  • Syria: Assad regime forces control “10 percent” of rebel enclave Eastern Ghouta near Damascus following days of ground battles against insurgents, a monitor said. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: The European Union announced plans to tax large global tech companies’ revenue at a rate in the 2-to-6-percent range, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Cyclone Dumazile
      • Location: 315 nm NW of St Denis, La Reunion
      • Movement: SW at 8mph
      • Wind: 75 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • 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)
    • 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)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (05MAR)

  • China: 13th National People’s Congress to hold its first annual session to discuss constitution revision
  • Iran: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to visit
  • Italy: Key figures from Eni and Shell petroleum companies to stand trial
  • Nepal: The first session of the new federal parliament to take place in Kathmandu
  • United Kingdom: Suspected Parsons Green bomber to go on trial
  • United States: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with President Trump at the White House
  • United States: Deadline for Congress to pass immigration legislation to address President Trump’s cessation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program

 

END

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