ONS: 11 February 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 12, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Sixteen militants were killed and four arrested in a major security operation launched by Egypt, the first casualties in a campaign aimed at crushing insurgents behind a string of attacks.
  • AMERICAS: The Pacific Alliance (AP), a Latin American trade bloc, is increasing its membership and promoting cooperation with China.
  • ASIA: As a political crisis plays out in the Maldives, a quiet tug of war is taking place around it, with heavyweights China and India vying for strategic dominance in the picturesque Indian Ocean nation.
  • EUROPE: French PM Philippe said at the opening of the 2018 World Government Summit that the idea to export democracy by force through past interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is a mistake.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israel’s Minister of Intelligence Israel Katz said that by striking key Iranian sites in Syria, Israel sent a clear message to Iran that it would not tolerate an Iranian military foothold on its doorstep and would act decisively to counter any further provocations.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organizers confirmed that the Games had fallen victim to a cyber-attack during Friday’s opening ceremony, but they refused to reveal the source.

TOP STORY

  • Israeli PM says Airstrikes sent Severe Blows to Iran in Syria
    • PM said his country delivered “severe blows” to Iranian and Syrian forces and vowed to take further action against its adversaries following the most serious Israeli engagement in Syria since the war there erupted almost seven years ago.
    • Israel launched raids against Iranian targets after saying it had intercepted an Iranian drone crossing the Syria-Israel border.
    • The US Department of Defense also said that Israel is entitled to protect itself against acts of aggression.
    • Iran disputed Israeli officials’ narrative, saying claims that the military drone is Iranian or that the nation had any involvement in downing the Israeli fighter were “ridiculous.”
    • Israel has been accused by Syria of repeatedly bombing inside its borders as it voices concerns about an increasing presence of Iranian fighters and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah in the country.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, BLO, VOA, WP

AFRICA

  • Egypt: Sixteen militants were killed and four arrested in a major security operation, the first casualties in a campaign aimed at crushing insurgents behind a string of attacks. (REU)
  • Kenya: Eleven western envoys, including those from the US and Britain, are urging opposition leader to recognize President Kenyatta as the country’s legitimately elected leader. (AP)
  • South Africa: The top decision-making body of South Africa’s ruling ANC will meet tomorrow following days of talks over President Jacob Zuma’s expected departure from office. (AFP)
  • Sudan: President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has replaced the intelligence chief. (REU)

AMERICAS

  • Region: The Pacific Alliance (AP), a Latin American trade bloc, is increasing its membership and promoting cooperation with China. (XIN)
  • Bolivia: A street vendor’s gas canister exploded near the route of one of Bolivia’s most popular Carnival parades, killing six people and injuring at least 28. (AP)
  • Mexico: Authorities have arrested the alleged leader of the Zetas drug cartel — long one of the country’s most powerful and notoriously brutal criminal groups. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Region: As a political crisis plays out in the Maldives, a quiet tug of war is taking place around it, with heavyweights China and India vying for strategic dominance in the picturesque Indian Ocean nation. (AP)
  • Region: Papua New Guinea is responsible for the human rights of refugees sent to a remote island by Australia, the UN human rights chief has said, as advocates warn the men are living in fear of violence from local residents. (AFP)
  • India: Five soldiers and a civilian have died in a rebel attack on an army camp in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state. (DPA)
  • Philippines: Duterte wants to completely ban Filipinos from working in Kuwait, he wants “to send a strong message” to the Gulf state. (XIN)

EUROPE

  • France: PM Philippe said at the opening of the 2018 World Government Summit that the idea to export democracy by force through past interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is a mistake. (XIN)
  • Germany: Despite a recent three-month push for the capture of three former Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorists, the trio wanted for a series of robberies in Germany remains at large. (DPA)
  • Turkey: Main pro-Kurdish party will elect two new leaders, one of whom will replace its charismatic jailed co-chief Selahattin Demirtas, ahead of elections in 2019. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Israel’s Minister of Intelligence Israel Katz said that by striking key Iranian sites in Syria, Israel sent a clear message to Iran that it would not tolerate an Iranian military foothold on its doorstep and would act decisively to counter any further provocations. (AP)
  • Israel:  Russian and Israeli leaders discussed the Israel-Syria border incident in a phone conversation. (XIN)
  • Syria: UN chief Antonio Guterres has called for an immediate de-escalation in Syria after Israel carried out air strikes inside the country that has been ravaged by civil war since 2011. (RFE/RL)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organizers confirmed that the Games had fallen victim to a cyber-attack during Friday’s opening ceremony, but they refused to reveal the source. (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 (12FEB)

  • Global: International Epilepsy Day – 2015
  • Kuwait: Conference on Iraq reconstruction to open (to 14FEB)
  • Myanmar: Union Day – 1947
  • Tajikistan: Memorial Day of the Dushanbe Riots – 1990
  • United States: President Lincoln’s Birthday – 1809
  • Venezuela: Youth Day – Unknown

END

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