ONS: 11 April 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on April 12, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the release of all political prisoners held in the country, state news agency SUNA said.
  • AMERICAS: Former Colombian FARC guerrillas said the country’s historic peace deal is at risk of “truly failing” if the government extradites one of its members to the US.
  • ASIA: Japan’s foreign minister was in South Korea, with a list of issues Tokyo wants to push onto the agenda of a looming summit between North and South Korea.
  • EUROPE: Units of the Russian Airborne Troops and Belarusian special forces started a joint exercise at the Brestsky training ground, near the Belarusian-Polish border.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The UN Security Council failed to adopt three consecutive resolutions on chemical weapons use in Syria.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg offered apologies to US lawmakers as he made a long-awaited appearance in a congressional hearing on the hijacking of personal data on millions of users.

 

TOP STORY

  • Americas: President Trump cancelled his upcoming Latin American tour, citing the ongoing crisis in Syria.
    • Vice President Mike Pence will instead go to attend the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru.
    • President Trump made the decision in light of escalating tensions with regards to chemical weapons use in Syria.
    • The announcement gained mixed reactions from Latin American leaders, some of whom were glad to avoid a possibly confrontational meeting, while others regretted missing an opportunity to discuss bilateral and regional issues.
    • Some analysts have interpreted Trump’s move as further signaling a lack of interest in Latin America, while others pointed to the likelihood of increased military action being imminent in Syria, along with Coalition allies.
    • Reporting: Reuters, BBC, NYT, NBC, ABC, AFP

 

AFRICA

  • Libya: Eastern-based army commander General Khalifa Haftar said that his forces will take over the eastern city of Darna, “as demanded” by the local people. (Xinhua)
  • Sudan: President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the release of all political prisoners held in the country, state news agency SUNA said. (Reuters)
  • Zimbabwe: A committee of lawmakers is to summon former president Robert Mugabe to testify at a probe into lost revenue from diamond mining. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Panama will ban several Venezuelan airlines from working in the country for at least 90 days, in a dispute that began when Venezuelan officials were put on a “high risk” money laundering list.(Reuters)
  • Brazil:  The Supreme Court delayed a debate on changing a law that could lead to the imminent release of recently jailed ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. (AFP)
  • Brazil:  At least 20 people died in an attempted breakout from a prison in northern Brazil aided by an armed group on the outside trying to blow up a wall. (AFP)
  • Colombia: Former FARC guerrillas said the country’s historic peace deal is at risk of “truly failing” if the government extradites one of its members to the US. (Miami Herald)

 

ASIA

  • Region:  Japan’s foreign minister was in South Korea, with a list of issues Tokyo wants to push onto the agenda of a looming summit between North and South Korea. (AFP)
  • Myanmar: Social Welfare Minister Win Myat Aye, who is leading rehabilitation efforts in Rakhine State, met about 50 newly arrived refugees in the Kutupalong refugee camp in southeast Bangladesh. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: A court refused to dismiss a case against two Reuters journalists after the reporters’ lawyers insisted last week that the evidence doesn’t support the charges. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Units of the Russian Airborne Troops and Belarusian special forces started a joint exercise at the Brestsky training ground, near the Belarusian-Polish border. (TASS)
  • Azerbaijan: Voting began in a snap presidential election boycotted by the main opposition parties and set to extend the autocratic rule of President Ilham Aliyev. (AFP)
  • Poland: President Andrzej Duda demanded that Russia hand over the wreckage of a 2010 presidential plane crash. (AFP)
  • Spain: Ten members of a jihadist cell linked to the Islamic State group who planned attacks in Barcelona and to film a decapitation were sentenced to 8-12 years in jail. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Israel: The military says it has struck several Hamas targets in Gaza after a bomb planted on the border exploded near Israeli troops. (AP)
  • Qatar: U.S. President Donald Trump said that ties with Qatar were working “extremely well” as he welcomed Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to the White House. (Reuters)
  • Syria: The UN Security Council failed to adopt three consecutive resolutions on chemical weapons use in Syria. (UN)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology:  Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg offered apologies to US lawmakers as he made a long-awaited appearance in a congressional hearing on the hijacking of personal data on millions of users. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Cyclone Keni
      • Location: 461 nm S-SW of Niue
      • Movement: S-SE at 31mph
      • Wind: 85mph
      • 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 (12APR)

  • Global: International Day of Human Space Flight – 2011
  • Georgia: 5th International Caspian Energy Forum to take place
  • Israel: Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) – 1953
  • Italy: President Sergio Mattarella to hold a second round of talks about the formation of a government (to 13APR)
  • Japan: Swiss President Alain Berset to visit for talks with PM Shinzo Abe (to 15APR)
  • Liberia: National Redemption Day – Unknown
  • Russia: Session of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS to take place in St. Petersburg
  • United States: Senate Foreign Relations Committee to hold a hearing to consider Mike Pompeo’s nomination for Secretary of State

 

END

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