ONS: 13 December 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 14, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: An African Union delegation was on its way to the Gambia to persuade outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to accept his electoral loss.
  • AMERICAS: President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of Venezuela’s border with Colombia for 72 hours in a crackdown on “mafias” smuggling cash that is destabilizing the socialist economy.
  • ASIA: Russian President Vladimir Putin cited the need to sign a post-World War II peace treaty with Japan but stressed a difference over a stalled territorial row.
  • EUROPE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said an EU summit this week should decide to extend sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict.
  • MIDDLE EAST: As Syrian government forces retake rebel-held areas of Aleppo, they are being accused of executing people with ties to the rebel groups.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and high-profile executives are investing USD 1B to spur clean energy technology and address global climate change.

 

TOP STORY

  • United States: Trump’s Secretary of State pick highlights Russian ties.
    • President-elect Donald Trump has tapped ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to lead the State Department, dismissing concerns over close ties to Russia.
    • If confirmed by the US Senate, Tillerson would represent a new American diplomatic approach that emphasizes more cooperation with Russia, where Exxon has extensive interests, and concessions from China on trade and security matters.
    • According to Russian Presidential Aide Sergei Markov, Trump’s cabinet appointments are viewed as a “fantastic team” from Russia’s perspective, compounded by the President-elect’s own apparent close ties with the country.
    • Senators John McCain of Arizona and Marco Rubio of Florida are among lawmakers who have questioned Tillerson’s dealings with Putin
    • Exxon’s USD 2.2B investment in Russian oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean will likely be a source of discussion in Tillerson’s Senate confirmation hearing.
    • Coverage: AP, Bloomberg, Fortune, USA Today, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Region: Africa will be able to feed its growing population by 2050, but only if it breaks a culture of complacency and invests more in agriculture, scientists said. (Reuters)
  • Burundi: Opposition groups demanded an international mediator resign just days after he arrived, casting a shadow over already troubled efforts to resolve months of political violence. (Reuters)
  • The Gambia: An African Union delegation was on its way to the country to persuade outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to accept his electoral loss. (DPA)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of Venezuela’s border with Colombia for 72 hours in a crackdown on “mafias” smuggling cash that is destabilizing the socialist economy. (AP)
  • Brazil: The Brazilian Federal Police asked prosecutors to charge former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for more crimes in the country’s widest-ever corruption probe. (Reuters)
  • United States: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), overseers of the US intelligence community, have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election. (Reuters)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Top nuclear envoys from South Korea, the US and Japan pledged to implement new sanctions against North Korea, including capping the country’s coal exports to choke off cash flowing into its nuclear weapons program. (AP)
  • Region: Russian President Vladimir Putin cited the need to sign a post-World War II peace treaty with Japan but stressed a difference over a stalled territorial row. (Kyodo)
  • Myanmar: Satellite images could prove that villages in the country’s restive Rakhine State were deliberately burned to the ground, according to Human Rights Watch. (CNN)
  • Philippines: The country rejected a demand by communist guerrillas to withdraw government troops from rebel-influenced communities. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said an EU summit this week should decide to extend sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict. (AFP)
  • Region: The EU debated how to move forward in membership talks with Turkey amid a push to freeze the negotiations in response to the government’s security crackdown. (AP)
  • Spain: Police arrested a Spaniard in the city of Segovia suspected of preparing to carry out a suicide attack for the Islamic State group. (AP)
  • Turkey: The country led in the worldwide rise of journalist detentions in 2016, where more than 100 journalists and media contributors are in jail, Reporters Without Borders said. (AFP)
  • Turkey: Turkish police detained two more pro-Kurdish lawmakers hours after arresting over 200 people accused of links to Kurdish militants. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: The country signed preliminary agreements with Russia’s Gazprom to develop two major oil fields in the latest of a flurry of deals with foreign firms. (AFP)
  • Qatar: The country has flown home 10,000 workers who were victims of labour abuse during 2015. (AFP)
  • Syria: As government forces retake rebel-held areas of Aleppo, they are being accused of executing people with ties to the rebel groups. (CNN)
  • Yemen: Nearly 2.2 million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished, victims of the near-collapse of the health care system during two years of escalating conflict, the UN said. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and high-profile executives are investing USD 1B to spur clean energy technology and address global climate change. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 27MAR: 28,646 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 27MAR: 11,323 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 09DEC: 319,825 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (French), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten (Dutch), Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, UK Virgin Islands, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Uruguay, and Venezuela)
      • Confirmed Cases as of 09DEC: 121,785
      • Deaths as of 09DEC: 135
        • 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 11DEC: 1,842 (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 11DEC: 652 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 08DEC:  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, Panama, 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 08DEC: 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 08DEC: 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 (14DEC)

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina: Anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement – 1995
  • India: Russian-Indian Indra NAVY-2016 naval exercise to be held in the southeastern Indian coastal city of Visakhapatnam and in the Bay of Bengal (to 21DEC)
  • Israel and Syria: Anniversary of the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights – 1981
  • Nigeria: President Buhari to address a Joint Session of the National Assembly on steps being taken to steer the nation out of recession
  • Ukraine: Verdict due in Dutch case over return of Crimean artifacts
  • United States: President-elect Trump to hold tech roundtable in New York
  • United States: Anniversary of the Newtown, Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting – 2012

 

END

 

 

 

 

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