ONS: 10 February 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 11, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: South Africa’s political impasse deepened with no resolution to extended talks over Zuma’s expected departure from office after his own party called for him to resign.
  • AMERICAS:  After five decades of civil war, the former guerrillas of Colombia never thought it would be easy to reinvent themselves into a political party.
  • ASIA: President Moon has been invited to travel to North Korea, following a formal invitation from Kim Jong Un, potentially setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders since 2007.
  • EUROPE: Putin and Macron discussed cooperating more closely to resolve the Syrian crisis, as France tries to smooth ties with Russia and move beyond years of tensions over Syria and Ukraine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: PM Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit the occupied West Bank for talks with President Abbas as part of a Middle East tour.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Pyeongchang Olympics organizers were looking into a disruption of non-critical systems on the day of the opening ceremony but could not yet confirm if it was a cyberattack

TOP STORY

  • Israel Attacks Military Targets in Syria
    • The Israeli military said that one of its F-16 fighter jets crashed early in northern Israel after coming under heavy Syrian anti-aircraft fire and that it had seized an Iranian drone that penetrated its airspace from Syria.
    • The Israel Defense Forces “sees the Iranian attack and the Syrian response as a severe and irregular violation of Israeli sovereignty.” “The IDF is monitoring events and is fully prepared for further action.”
    • For years Israel has been striking at weapons stores and other facilities in Syria with a single goal – to disrupt and as far as possible to prevent advanced Iranian missiles being delivered to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
    • Iran’s expanding clout during Syria’s nearly seven-year-long war, including deployments of Iran-backed forces near the Golan frontier, has raised alarm in Israel, which has said it would act against any threat from its regional arch-enemy Tehran.
    • IDF spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manelis said: “Iran is dragging the region into a situation in which it doesn’t know how it will end. We are prepared for a variety of incidents … whoever is responsible for this incident is the one who will pay the price.”
    • Coverage: BBC, BLO, NYT, REU, VOA

AFRICA

  • Libya: A car bomb explosion hit a military checkpoint of the eastern-based army, some 90 km east of Sirte, destroying military vehicles and injuring a soldier. (XIN)
  • South Africa: Political impasse deepened with no resolution to extended talks over Zuma’s expected departure from office after his own party called for him to resign. (AFP)
  • Tanzania: President Magufuli has announced his country will pull out of the UN’s “comprehensive refugee response framework”, which provides lasting solutions for refugees, including integration into host communities. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Secretary Tillerson’s five-country trip to Latin America and the Caribbean didn’t start well. (NYT)
  • Colombia: After five decades of civil war, the former guerrillas never thought it would be easy to reinvent themselves into a political party. (LAT)
  • United States:  Republican leaders, top Democrats and Trump are all claiming big wins in the $400 billion budget agreement signed into law. But the push to pass the massive legislation underscored enduring divisions within both parties, and those rifts are likely to make the next fight over immigration even more challenging. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: Moon has dismissed a call from Abe to quickly resume South Korea’s joint military drills with the US, calling it a violation of his country’s sovereignty. (YON)
  • Region: President Moon has been invited to travel to North Korea, following a formal invitation from Kim Jong Un, potentially setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders since 2007. (CNN)
  • Philippines: The country’s human rights chief said that his agency was ready to work with the International Criminal Court as it investigates the thousands of killings carried out in President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug war. (AFP)
  • South Korea: They stood not 10 feet apart in a V.I.P. box: the 58-year-old US VP and the 30-year-old sister of North Korea’s reclusive dictator, representatives of two countries locked in a stubborn, ever more perilous nuclear standoff. (NYT)

EUROPE

  • France: Putin and Macron discussed cooperating more closely to resolve the Syrian crisis, as France tries to smooth ties with Russia and move beyond years of tensions over Syria and Ukraine. (LAT)
  • Greece: A report from Greek prosecutors has found that 10 high-profile politicians, including two former prime ministers and a top European Union official, may be linked to bribery accusations involving a Swiss drug manufacturer. (NYT)
  • United Kingdom: In a 2016 referendum, Stephanie Holtom voted to leave the European Union, worried about immigration and convinced that other countries were telling the British government what to do. (NYT)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: IMF chief Christine Lagarde urged Arab countries to slash public wages and subsidies in order to rein in spending, achieve sustainable growth and create jobs. (AFP)
  • Qatar: With a mix of lobbying, potential investment and pledged support for the United States military, Qatar’s charm offensive with the Trump administration appears to have paid off. (NYT)
  • West Bank: PM Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit the occupied West Bank for talks with President Abbas as part of a Middle East tour. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Pyeongchang Olympics organizers were looking into a disruption of non-critical systems on the day of the opening ceremony but could not yet confirm if it was a cyberattack. (REU)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • 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)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
    • 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)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (11FEB)

  • Global: International Day of Women and Girls in Science – 2015
  • Cameroon: Youth Day – 1962
  • Egypt: Anniversary of former President Mubarak stepping down, in response to popular uprisings – 2011
  • Iran: Revolution Day – 1979
  • Japan: Foundation Day – 1872
  • Liberia: Armed Forces Day – 1956

END

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