ONS: 12 March 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 13, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cut short his first trip to Africa to return to Washington one day ahead of schedule to deal with urgent work there.
  • AMERICAS: Right-wing candidate Ivan Duque and leftist Gustavo Petro will lead their respective coalitions in Colombia’s MAY2018 presidential election after winning primaries.
  • ASIA: In India, tens of thousands of farmers marched to Mumbai to demand loan waivers, fair prices for their produce and other help as the agriculture sector continues to struggle.
  • EUROPE: The EU extended sanctions against senior Russian officials, lawmakers and military officers for a further six months over alleged meddling in Ukraine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: BBC journalists will appeal for to the UN over “persecution and harassment” of those affiliated with its Persian service by the country.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Elon Musk stated test flights of his Mars spaceship will begin in 2019.

TOP STORY

  • Japan: PM Abe apologizes as cronyism scandal heats up.
    • PM Shinzo Abe and his close ally, Finance Minister Taro Aso, face growing pressure over a suspected cover-up of a cronyism scandal that has dogged the premier for more than a year.
    • Documents showed that references to Abe, his wife and Aso were removed from finance ministry records of a sale of state-owned land to a school operator with ties to Abe’s wife, Akie.
    • In the immediate aftermath, Abe apologized, adding that he felt responsibility and insisted Aso clarify the facts of the alterations.
    • The findings caused uproar in the country, where critics called Aso to resign.
    • Abe has previously denied that he or his wife did any wrongdoing and has said he would resign if evidence was found that they had.
    • Questions over the sale of state-owned land at a huge discount to a school operator with ties to Abe’s wife have dogged Abe since the matter became public last year.
    • Coverage: Guardian, NYT, Reuters, Reuters-2, Reuters-3

AFRICA

  • Region: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cut short his first trip to Africa to return to Washington one day ahead of schedule to deal with urgent work there. (Reuters)
  • Congo: The country’s top opposition and other leaders opposed to President Joseph Kabila are meeting in South Africa to build a coalition ahead of long-delayed elections. (AP)
  • Ethiopia: Ethiopian soldiers killed nine civilians and injured 12 after mistaking them for rebels near a town along the country’s border with Kenya. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Right-wing candidate Ivan Duque and leftist Gustavo Petro will lead their respective coalitions in the MAY2018 presidential election after winning primaries. (Reuters)
  • Peru: A majority of Peruvians want President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to resign or be forced from office by Congress, according to a poll by Ipsos. (Reuters)
  • United States: The White House pledged to help states pay for firearms training for teachers and reiterated its call to improve the background check system as part of a new plan to prevent school shootings. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: A gun battle between Indian troops and rebels killed three insurgents in disputed Kashmir and triggered more anti-India protests and clashes. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: An Afghan official said insurgents took control of a district headquarters in western Farah province, after 15 security forces were killed and wounded. (AP)
  • India: Tens of thousands of farmers marched to Mumbai to demand loan waivers, fair prices for their produce and other help as the agriculture sector continues to struggle. (AP)
  • Myanmar: Amnesty International says the country’s military is building installations on formerly-occupied Muslim Rohingya villages. (AP)
  • Philippines: A group of judges and four court employees’ organizations called for chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to step down, a plea she strongly rejected. (Reuters)

EUROPE

  • Region: The EU extended sanctions against senior Russian officials, lawmakers and military officers for a further six months over alleged meddling in Ukraine. (AP)
  • Region: Senior British lawmaker Tom Tugendhat said the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK looked like “state-sponsored attempted murder.” (AP)
  • Austria: A 26-year old Austrian man was shot and killed by the guard he wounded outside the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Vienna. (AP)
  • Russia: The country’s Federal Security Service foiled “terrorists” who were planning to carry out an attack near the southwest city Saratov, killing an undisclosed number of “criminals.” (RFE/RL)
  • Slovakia: Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said he would resign, bowing to demands amid a growing political crisis. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: BBC journalists will appeal for to the UN over “persecution and harassment” of those affiliated with its Persian service by the country. (AP)
  • Iran: Revolutionary Guard troops thwarted a twin suicide attack near the Pakistan border, killing both would-be bombers. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: The government denied reports of coercion and abuse in order to seize billions in a supposed “anti-corruption” campaign. (NYT)
  • Syria: The Russian military evacuated 52 civilians, including 26 children, from the rebel-held eastern Ghouta after talks with local authorities. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Seven years of conflict in the country have left more than 350,000 people dead, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Elon Musk stated test flights of his Mars spaceship will begin in 2019. (BBC)

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 05MAR: 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 05MAR: 750 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (13MAR)

  • Nothing to Report

END

 

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