ONS: 13 March 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 14, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA:  Exiled opposition leader Moise Katumbi said he would return home by JUN18 to lodge his candidacy for DR Congo’s DEC18 presidential election to succeed Joseph Kabila.
  • AMERICAS: Colombia urgently needs international help with a humanitarian “catastrophe” caused by a flood of Venezuelan migrants uprooted by hunger, the UN said.
  • ASIA: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the country to discuss with US and Afghan officials the military campaign and possible peace talks with the Taliban.
  • EUROPE: Turkey passed a law revamping electoral regulations, which the opposition says could open the door to fraud and jeopardize the fairness of 2019 polls.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Sick and injured civilians were shown on Syrian state television leaving the eastern Ghouta rebel enclave in what insurgents and the UN said was a medical evacuation.
  • TECHNOLOGY: US President Donald Trump blocked a planned takeover of chipmaker Qualcomm by Singapore-based rival Broadcom on grounds of national security.

TOP STORY

  • United Kingdom: PM May gives Russia 24 hours to explain nerve agent in attack.
    • Moscow must explain why a Russian-made nerve agent was used in the poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter by the end of 13MAR, PM Theresa May said.
    • May said it was “highly likely” Moscow was to blame after Britain identified the substance as part of the Novichok group of nerve agents which were developed by the Soviet military during the 1970s and 1980s.
    • May threatened “extensive” retaliation against Russia, saying, “we will not tolerate such a brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil.”
    • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the nerve agent used in the attack “clearly came from Russia” and will have consequences.
    • Coverage: BBC, CBS, Guardian, Reuters

AFRICA

  • DR Congo: Exiled opposition leader Moise Katumbi said he would return home by JUN18 to lodge his candidacy for the DEC18 presidential election to succeed Joseph Kabila. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration said it plans to negotiate for the release of 110 girls abducted in the northeastern town of Dapchi last month. (Reuters)
  • Sudan: The country will sign a “roadmap” with Russia to build nuclear power stations during a visit to Moscow by Khartoum’s electricity minister. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Colombia urgently needs international help with a humanitarian “catastrophe” caused by a flood of Venezuelan migrants uprooted by hunger, the UN said. (AP)
  • Colombia: Candidates who have vowed to dismantle portions of the country’s peace accord with the FARC rebel group made strong showings in weekend congressional and presidential primary elections. (LAT)
  • Mexico: Mexican authorities arrested a suspected drug gang member regarded as key figure in the kidnapping and massacre of 43 student teachers in 2014. (Reuters)

ASIA

  • Region: Japanese PM Shinzo Abe told South Korean National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon he wants North Korean denuclearization and resolve to past abductions of Japanese citizens. (Reuters)
  • Afghanistan: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the country to discuss with US and Afghan officials the military campaign and possible peace talks with the Taliban. (WP)
  • China: The country unveiled plans for the biggest shakeup of government in at least a decade, including the merger of its banking and insurance regulators. (AFP)
  • Philippines: The US handed over six surveillance drones to the country, as part of efforts to tackle a growing threat from Islamist militants and to respond to natural disasters. (Reuters)

EUROPE

  • Region: Speeches made about the future relationship between Britain and the EU need to be translated into treaties and agreements as soon as possible, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said. (Reuters)
  • Austria: The Austrian of Egyptian origin who was shot dead after attacking a soldier with a knife outside the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Vienna had Islamist sympathies. (AFP)
  • Turkey: The Turkish parliament passed a law revamping electoral regulations, which the opposition says could open the door to fraud and jeopardize the fairness of 2019 polls. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: The Russian military threatened to respond to a US strike on Syria, targeting any missiles and launchers involved in such an attack. (Reuters)
  • Region: Turkey’s military and its rebel allies have encircled the northern Syrian town of Afrin, a substantial advance in Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish fighters across its southern border. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Sick and injured civilians were shown on Syrian state television leaving the eastern Ghouta rebel enclave in what insurgents and the UN said was a medical evacuation. (Reuters)
  • Syria: The Army of Islam, the largest rebel group in the besieged suburbs of the capital Damascus, vowed to continue fighting advancing government forces. (AP)
  • Yemen: At least four people were killed when a car bomb ripped through a military kitchen in Aden used to prepare meals for Yemeni forces. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: US President Donald Trump blocked a planned takeover of chipmaker Qualcomm by Singapore-based rival Broadcom on grounds of national security. (BBC)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Thirteen
    • Location: 437 NM NW of Noumea, New Caledonia
    • Wind: 45 mph
    • Movement: S at 11 mph
    • Map
  • 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 (14MAR)

  • Global: Pi (π) Day –  1988
  • Albania: Summer Day – Unknown
  • Andorra: Constitution Day – 1993
  • Liberia: Decoration Day – Unknown
  • Russia: President Vladimir Putin to visit Crimea, on the last day of his presidential election campaign
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: National Heroes’ Day – Unknown

END

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