ONS: 11 January 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 12, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Angolan President Joao Lourenco removed the son of his predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos from the top job at the oil-rich country’s sovereign wealth fund, the presidency said.
  • AMERICAS: President Donald Trump has said the US could “conceivably” return to the 2015 Paris climate accord if an agreement treated America more fairly.
  • ASIA: In a first-of-its-kind move, Myanmar has admitted that its soldiers murdered 10 captured Rohingya who it claims were “terrorists” during insurgent attacks at the beginning of September.
  • EUROPE: Chancellor Angela Merkel embarks on last-ditch talks with Germany’s second biggest party to form a government, in what is also a battle to rescue her political career.
  • MIDDLE EAST:  Anti-Assad militants have launched a counteroffensive against government forces advancing toward a major rebel-held air base in the country’s northwest Idlib province, capturing several villages and taking prisoners.
  • TECHNOLOGY: South Korea is preparing to shut down cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, its justice minister warned, sending prices of bitcoin and other virtual units into a tailspin.

 

TOP STORY:

  • Colombia: Ceasefire talks with ELN militants fail to secure extension, attacks resume.
    • Negotiations had been underway in Quito in neighboring Ecuador, when the temporary ceasefire expired.
    • Elements of the ELN militants attacked frequently-targeted oil pipelines, as well as a Marine base in Arauca after the expiration.
    • President Santos recalled his lead negotiator for consultations and condemned the attacks, while still expressing a desire to renew the ceasefire.
    • The UN expressed concern at the attacks, while hailing Colombia’s success in similar negotiations with the FARC.
    • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced he will visit the country this coming weekend to meet with President Santos and others.
    • Coverage: AFP, Bloomberg, Reuters, Xinhua, Xinhua2

 

AFRICA

  • Angola: President Joao Lourenco removed the son of his predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos from the top job at the oil-rich country’s sovereign wealth fund, the presidency said. (AFP)
  • Ivory Coast: Soldiers in Bouake looted weapons from the base of a rival elite military unit before setting it on fire during an overnight clash sparked by accusations of spying. (Reuters)
  • Kenya: The European Union election observer mission said Kenya should reform the electoral system to make it more transparent and inclusive in order to reduce political tensions. (Xinhua)
  • Libya: The United Nations is committed to helping the country organize elections by the end of this year, encouraged by the rate at which citizens have been registering to vote, (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region:  A US judge postponed until September the trial of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in New York. (AFP)
  • Canada: The government has launched a wide ranging attack on U.S. trade practices with an international complaint over Washington’s use of punitive duties. (AP)
  • United States: President Donald Trump has said the US could “conceivably” return to the 2015 Paris climate accord if an agreement treated America more fairly. (BBC)
  • Venezuela:  A lawmaker for the ruling Constituent Assembly, identified as Tomas Lucena from the western state of Trujillo, was shot dead today by unidentified attackers, officials said. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Japan protested to China after a Chinese military vessel was detected in waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea, calling on China to avoid actions that could interfere with improving bilateral ties. (Reuters)
  • Region: Cambodia and China signed nearly 20 agreements worth several billion dollars to develop the impoverished Southeast Asian country’s infrastructure, agriculture and health care. (AP)
  • Myanmar: In a first-of-its-kind move, the military has admitted that its soldiers murdered 10 captured Rohingya who it claims were “terrorists” during insurgent attacks at the beginning of September. (Reuters)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to meet personally with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to repair their countries‘ strained relations, his top diplomat says. (DPA)
  • Britain: The Foreign Office has turned down a request from the Ecuadorian government to grant the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, diplomatic status as a means of breaking the stalemate over his continued presence in the UK. (Guardian)
  • Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel embarks on last-ditch talks with Germany’s second biggest party to form a government, in what is also a battle to rescue her political career. (AFP)
  • Spain: Two recently-elected lawmakers in the restive region of Catalonia and another separatist activist are making their case against their jailing for involvement in the region’s push for independence. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Israel: Authorities have approved more than 1,100 new settlement homes in the West Bank, the Peace Now NGO said. (AFP)
  • Qatar: The government is seeking international arbitration to end the blockade imposed by three of its Gulf neighbours and Egypt, Qatar News Agency reported (Xinhua)
  • Syria: Anti-government militants have launched a counteroffensive against government forces advancing toward a major rebel-held air base in the country’s northwest Idlib province, capturing several villages and taking prisoners. (AP)
  • Yemen: Saudi-led coalition air strikes on a marketplace and house in the rebel-held northern region have left at least 14 people dead. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: South Korea is preparing to shut down cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, its justice minister warned, sending prices of bitcoin and other virtual units into a tailspin. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Cyclone Irving
      • Location: 1030nm SE of La Reunion
      • Movement: S-SE at 38mph
      • Wind: 45mph
      • Source
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 22DEC: 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 22DEC: 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 22DEC: 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 08JAN: 2,122 (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 08JAN: 740 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (12JAN)

  • Czech Republic: Presidential election
  • India: National Youth Day – 1985
  • Tanzania: Zanzibar Revolution Day – 1964
  • Turkmenistan: Memorial Day – 1881

 

END

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