ONS: 13 August 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on August 14, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Zambia plans to drop treason charges against opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema and free him from prison on Monday.
  • AMERICAS: US VP Mike Pence is set to embark on a trip to South and Central America as concerns mount in the region over growing unrest in Venezuela.
  • ASIA: Several senior members of Islamic State’s central Asian affiliate were killed in Afghanistan in a US airstrike.
  • EUROPE: Reporters Without Borders has condemned the Azerbaijani government’s use of tax evasion charges to harass the Turan news agency, the last independent media outlet based in the country.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Syrian government troops backed by Russian forces have recaptured huge swathes of territory from opposition forces in the previous two months.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Estonia’s e-residency digital ID program allows users to open a business in the EU and then run it remotely with the ability to declare taxes and sign documents digitally, thus giving UK citizens a way to continue doing business across the region after Brexit.

TOP STORY

  • Iran’s parliament voted to boost spending on its Revolutionary Guard and ballistic missile program in response to US sanctions.
    • The measure would allocate over $260 million to both.
    • The plan would also require the government and armed forces to draw up a strategy to counter US violations of human rights around the world, and to support Iranian bodies and individuals affected by US sanctions.
    • State broadcaster IRIB reported that lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the outlines of the bill to “counter America’s terrorist and adventurist actions” as some chanted “Death to America.”
    • They stressed the bill wouldn’t violate the terms of the nuclear deal struck with world powers in 2015.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, Bloomberg, Reuters, Xinhua-1, Xinhua-2

AFRICA

  • Kenya: Britain congratulated Uhuru Kenyatta on his re-election as president, as violent protests raged and the opposition vowed to overturn what they called a “sham” result. (AFP)
  • Kenya: Kenya’s defeated opposition faced mounting calls at home and abroad to calm their supporters. (AFP)
  • Zambia: The country plans to drop treason charges against opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema and free him from prison on Monday. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Venezuelan FM Jorge Arreaza met with the US charge d’affaires in Caracas, Lee McClenny, after US President Donald Trump said his government did not dismiss applying a “military option” to the crisis in the Caribbean country. (EFE)
  • Region: US VP Mike Pence is set to embark on a trip to South and Central America as concerns mount in the region over the growing unrest in Venezuela. (AP)
  • Region: Latin American countries, including Peru, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia, strongly condemned the US threat of military intervention against Venezuela. (Xinhua)

ASIA

  • Region: Two soldiers and three rebels were killed in a gunbattle in Kashmir, the latest bloodshed in the disputed Himalayan territory. (AFP)
  • Afghanistan: Several senior members of Islamic State’s central Asian affiliate were killed in a US airstrike. (Reuters)
  • China: The US announced that it is planning to launch an investigation into Chinese intellectual property violations that could result in severe trade penalties. (WP)

EUROPE

  • Azerbaijan: Reporters Without Borders has condemned the government’s use of tax evasion charges to harass the Turan news agency, the last independent media outlet based in the country. (RFE/RL)
  • Germany: Martin Schulz, Angela Merkel’s main challenger in the country’s upcoming general election, says he remains confident he can unseat the chancellor despite her wide lead in the polls. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: Chancellor Philip Hammond and International Secretary Liam Fox agreed that the UK will need a transition period to help businesses adjust after Brexit, and also stressed that it cannot be a backdoor to staying in the EU. (BBC)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Saudi Arabia: According to Human Rights Watch, the country’s security forces have sealed off a Shiite-majority town in the east of the Sunni-ruled kingdom following months of unrest and clashes with police. (AFP)
  • Syria: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Syrian government troops backed by Russian forces have recaptured huge swathes of territory from opposition forces in the previous two months. (RFE/RL)
  • Syria: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and UN Joint Investigative Mechanism is scheduled to arrive in Syria within 10 days to uncover who used chemical weapons in the country earlier this year. (AP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Estonia’s e-residency digital ID program allows users to open a business in the EU and then run it remotely with the ability to declare taxes and sign documents digitally, thus giving UK citizens a way to continue doing business across the region after Brexit. (AFP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Depression Eight
    • Location: 260 mi WSW of the southeastern Bahamas
    • Wind: 35 mph
    • Movement: NNW at 12 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Typhoon Banyan
    • Location: 177 nm NW of Wake Island
    • Wind: 105 mph
    • Movement: NNW at 8 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Tropical Depression JOVA
    • Location: 270 mi WNW of Socorro Island
    • Wind: 35 mph
    • Movement: W at 15 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: 73km W of Bengkulu, Indonesia
    • Magnitude: 6.4
    • Depth:35.9 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 27MAR16: 28,646 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 27MAR16: 11,323 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing:WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 11AUG: 73,928 (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 11AUG: 67,460 (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin (French part), and Venezuela)
        • Confirmed Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250
      • Deaths as of 11AUG: 51 (Brazil)
        • 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)
      • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
        • Cases as of 21JUL: 2,040 (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 21JUL: 712 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
        • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2:
      • Zika Virus
        • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 27JUL: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bonaire (Netherlands), Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cabo Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Montserrat, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Palau, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Singapore, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Netherlands), Sint Maarten, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, United States of America, Vietnam, United States Virgin Islands, and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).
          • Outbreak Terminated as of 27JUL: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Gabon, Isla de Pascua (Chile), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
          • Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 27JUL: Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and the United States of America.
          • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (14AUG)

  • Europe: Eurasian Intergovernmental Council to meet in Astana, Kazakhstan to discuss cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)
  • Cuba: Anniversary of the reopening of the US’ embassy in Havana – 2015
  • Iraq: Anniversary of the 2007 Yazidi community bombings – 2007
  • Morocco: Oued Ed-Dahab Day – 1979
  • Pakistan: Independence Day – 1947
  • United Kingdom: Anniversary of the first deployment of British troops to Northern Ireland – 1969
  • Zimbabwe: Heroes’ Day

END

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