ONS: 10 April 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on April 11, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The European Union said it is eager to mend relations with Zimbabwe, on condition of Harare’s ability to deliver free, fair and credible elections scheduled for mid-2018.
  • AMERICAS:  Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that his forces arrested a former peace negotiator for the FARC, and that he could be extradited to the United States to face drug charges.
  • ASIA:  Beijing has requested dispute consultations with the United States at the World Trade Organization over US tariffs slapped on imports of Chinese steel and aluminum products.
  • EUROPE: Tens of thousands of air passengers were stranded as Lufthansa and Air France were hit by strikes that crippled traffic at several major European airports
  • MIDDLE EAST: France said it will retaliate against the Assad regime if evidence emerges that it was behind a recent suspected chlorine gas attack in a rebel-held enclave.
  • COMMUNICATIONS: China’s Xinhua News Agency and Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency announced strengthened cooperation and joint reporting on the Belt and Road Initiative.

 

TOP STORY

  • North Korea: Kim Jong Un breaks silence on talks, confirms desire to meet Trump
    • During a ruling party meeting, Kim made the first official confirmation of his intention to hold a summit meeting.
    • The move is unusual, in the past South Korea has acted as a middleman for talks between the North and the US.
    • The announcement follows an earlier statement that the North is in fact open to discussing complete denuclearization, which in the past has been a stumbling block issue.
    • Kim is scheduled to meet South Korean President Moon Jae In on 27 APRIL, with US talks expected a month or two after
    • Kim’s official mention of such a meeting has seemingly increased the odds that such a meeting will actually take place.
    • Reporting: Reuters, AP, BBC, AFP, Reuters2

 

AFRICA

  • Algeria: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika made a rare public appearance for the inauguration of a mosque and the extension of the Algiers metro. (AFP)
  • Burkina Faso: Unidentified gunmen shot and killed the mayor of Koutougou, Hamidou Koundaba, in the northern province of Soum, local media reported. (Xinhua)
  • South Sudan: Former military chief Paul Malong said he had formed an organization to challenge President Salva Kiir, accusing him of looting the country’s resources and turning it into a failed state. (Reuters)
  • Zimbabwe: The European Union said it is eager to mend relations, on condition of Harare’s ability to deliver free, fair and credible elections scheduled for mid-2018. (Xinhua)

 

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: An association of criminal lawyers requested that a Supreme Court justice issue an injunction freeing former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos said that his forces arrested a former peace negotiator for the FARC, and that he could be extradited to the United States to face drug charges. (AFP)
  • Mexico:  The data protection body said it had opened an investigation into whether companies linked to Cambridge Analytica broke the country’s privacy laws. (Reuters)
  • Venezuela: Authorities reopened air and sea links to the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, three months after cutting them off in an attempt to curb smuggling. (Reuters)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Two Indian soldiers were killed in firing by Pakistani troops along the highly militarized frontier that divides disputed Kashmir. (AP)
  • China: Beijing has requested dispute consultations with the United States at the World Trade Organization over US tariffs slapped on imports of Chinese steel and aluminum products. (AFP)
  • Indonesia: Authorities seized an alleged “slave ship” following a dramatic high seas chase sparked by an Interpol alert after the vessel escaped capture in China and Mozambique. (AFP)
  • Vietnam: A court sentenced activist Nguyen Van Tuc to 13 years in prison after finding him guilty of attempting to overthrow the government. He is the seventh activist to be jailed in the past week. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Tens of thousands of air passengers were stranded as Lufthansa and Air France were hit by strikes that crippled traffic at several major European airports. (AFP)
  • Armenia: Newly elected President Armen Sarkissian, a former math professor at Cambridge University, was sworn in as the country’s fourth head of state. (Xinhua)
  • Spain: Police arrested a member of a Catalan separatist movement suspected of orchestrating a demonstration on charges of terrorism and rebellion. (EFE)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman had a surprise meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the conclusion of his diplomatic trip to Paris. (AFP)
  • Syria: France said it will retaliate against the regime if evidence emerges that it was behind a recent suspected chlorine gas attack in a rebel-held enclave. (AFP)
  • Turkey: The military will continue operations in Syria’s Afrin region against the Kurdish YPG, until all “terror risks there are eliminated”, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: China’s Xinhua News Agency and Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency announced strengthened cooperation and joint reporting on the Belt and Road Initiative. (Xinhua)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Cyclone Keni
      • Location: 87 nm W-SW of Suva, Fiji
      • Movement: E-SE at 20mph
      • Wind: 80mph
      • 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 (11APR)

  • Azerbaijan: Presidential election
  • Bangladesh: Myanmar’s social welfare, relief and resettlement minister to visit Rohingya refugee camps
  • Costa Rica: Juan Santamaria Day – 1856
  • North Korea: Supreme People’s Assembly to meet
  • United States: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before House Energy and Commerce committee regarding the company’s data collection practices

 

END

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