ONS: 05 February 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 6, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: India has sought the help of the Nigerian and Benin navies to find an oil tanker that has gone missing with 22 Indian crew members off Benin’s coast.
  • AMERICAS: Ecuadorians approved a referendum that all but blocks Rafael Correa, a former president and leftist firebrand, from returning to power.
  • ASIA: China initiated an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation of US exports of sorghum, in retaliation to recent US tariffs on Chinese solar panel exports.
  • EUROPE: Salah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect in the 2015 Islamic State attacks on Paris, refused to speak as his trial began in Belgium.
  • MIDDLE EAST: American troops started to drawdown from Iraq following the defeat of the Islamic State group.
  • TECHNOLOGY: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Internet is “not ground outside law”, referring to country’s new law requiring social media to address user reports of hate speech and fake news and remove them.

 

TOP STORY

  • New START Treaty: US and Russia pledge to honor commitments, deadline today.
    • The US believes Russia will honor its commitments under the bilateral Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) by the 05FEB deadline.
    • Russia said it was committed to the treaty and would provide Washington with data on its strategic nuclear arsenals in “the near future.”
    • But, a new nuclear policy issued by the Trump administration, which vows to counter a rush by the Russians to modernize their forces even while staying within the treaty limits, is touching off a new kind of nuclear arms race.
    • The US is concerned about its nuclear arsenal becoming obsolete and no longer an effective deterrent, naming China, Russia, North Korea and Iran as potential threats.
    • The New START Treaty was signed in Prague on 08APR2010 and came into force on 05FEB2011.
    • It calls for the gradual reduction over 10 years of the number of nuclear warheads held by both sides, limits on the number of delivery systems, a strict verification regime and data exchanges.
    • Coverage: AFP, BBC, NYT, VOA

 

AFRICA

  • Region: India has sought the help of the Nigerian and Benin navies to find an oil tanker that has gone missing with 22 Indian crew members off Benin’s coast. (AP)
  • Region: Renegade Congolese colonel John Tshibangu, who threatened to depose President Joseph Kabila, was extradited from Tanzania and will be prosecuted for rebellion. (Reuters)
  • DR Congo: At least 23 members of the Hema ethnic group have been killed since 02FEB in renewed violence in Ituri province. (AFP)
  • Kenya: An American investigator into the illegal ivory and rhino horn trade was found stabbed to death in his house in Nairobi. (AP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: The US and Argentina will work together more closely to cut off Lebanese Hezbollah’s funding networks in Latin America. (AFP)
  • Costa Rica: Fabricio Alvarado, an evangelical candidate against same-sex marriage, led in preliminary returns from the presidential election, which appears poised for a runoff. (WSJ)
  • Ecuador: Ecuadorians approved a referendum that all but blocks Rafael Correa, a former president and leftist firebrand, from returning to power. (WSJ)

 

ASIA

  • China: The country initiated an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation of US exports of sorghum, in retaliation to recent US tariffs on Chinese solar panel exports. (WSJ)
  • Korean Peninsula: A 140-member arts North Korean troupe plans to travel to South Korea this week by ferry, forcing the South to temporarily lift its ban on all North Korean ships entering its waters. (NYT)
  • Maldives: The government will not enforce a Supreme Court order to release and retry political prisoners, including an ex-president. (AP)
  • Myanmar: UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein warned the country’s persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority has the potential to spark regional conflict. (AP)
  • South Korea: Lee Jae-yong, scion of the Samsung dynasty, was released from prison after an appeals court on decided to suspend his five-year sentence for bribery. (WP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Salah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect in the 2015 Islamic State attacks on Paris, refused to speak as his trial began in Belgium. (Reuters)
  • Region: UK PM Theresa May said Britain will not remain in a customs union with the EU after the UK breaks with the 28-nation bloc. (AP)
  • Azerbaijan: President Ilham Aliyev moved the date of a planned presidential election to APR11 via presidential decree. (RFE/RL)
  • France: US online shopping giant Amazon announced it settled a major tax claim in the country and agreed to report all its French income locally in the future. (AFP)
  • Turkey: The country has so far detained 573 people for social media posts and protests criticizing its military offensive in Syria. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: Guards at the presidential complex in Tehran wounded a man carrying a sword and trying to enter the compound. (AP)
  • Iraq: American troops started to drawdown from the country following the defeat of the Islamic State group. (AP)
  • Iraq: Iraqi security forces killed six Islamic State militants in an operation at the town of Hawijah in the province of Kirkuk. (Xinhua)
  • Lebanon: The Lebanese army raided a suspected Islamist militant hideout in the city of Tripoli, killing one soldier and a suspected militant. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Two hospitals were hit amid a wave of airstrikes on opposition-held areas in the northwest province of Idlib. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Internet is “not ground outside law”, referring to country’s new law requiring social media to address user reports of hate speech and fake news and remove them. (Xinhua)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Cebile
    • Location: 1047 nm SSE of Diego Garcia
    • Movement: SE at 11 mph
    • Wind: 65 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 05FEB: 2,143 (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 05FEB: 750 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (06FEB)

  • Global: International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation – 2012
  • Austria: 121st session of the International Narcotics Control Board to convene in Vienna (to 09FEB)
  • Japan: US Vice President Mike Pence and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to visit
  • New Zealand: Waitangi Day – 1840

 

END

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