ONS: 14 April 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on April 15, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Police fired rubber bullets at protesters in Swaziland while they marched against worsening living conditions and the cost of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the absolute monarchy.
  • AMERICAS:  Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno confirmed that Marxist group Oliver Sinisterra Front killed two journalists and their driver abducted near the southern border of Colombia and Ecuador.
  • ASIA:  A new U.N. report puts the armed forces of Myanmar on a U.N. blacklist of government and rebel groups “credibly suspected” of carrying out rapes and other acts of sexual violence in conflict.
  • EUROPE: Top NATO leadership expressed support for Western strikes in Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Egyptian military said 27 jihadists were killed over the last few days in a sweeping operation in the Sinai to quash extremists based in the peninsula.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The Latvian Corruption Prevention Bureau no longer considers blocking Facebook for Latvia’s coming parliamentary election after successful talks Facebook, the anti-corruption bureau chief Jekabs Straume told reporters.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: US, UK, and French forces launched airstrikes in Syria in retaliation for chemical attacks widely believed to have been ordered by Syrian President al-Assad.
    • The targets were reported to have been research centers, storage, and military facilities.
    • There have been no reported Syrian military and civilian casualties.
    •  NATO, EU, Canada, Turkey, Israel, and several other US allies have praised the airstrikes as a necessary measure to combat the alleged war crimes of President al-Assad.
    • Russia, Iran, China, and Syria strongly condemned the strikes; Russia has called for an emergency UN Security Council session to discuss the issue.
    • French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters that more strikes were possible if the Syrian government used chemical weapons again.
    • Reporting: REU, NYT, REU2, WaPo, NATO

 

AFRICA

  • Mozambique: Customs reported the seizure of 3.5 tons of ivory in a container which had Cambodia as the declared destination from the Maputo port. (Xinhua)
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: Ireland will provide at least 5 million euros (6.16 million U.S. dollars) of humanitarian aid that will be announced at a United Nations pledging conference in Geneva, said the Irish Foreign Ministry in a press release. (Xinhua)
  • South Africa: An official stated that a private jet used by a business family at the heart of corruption allegations against ex-president Jacob Zuma has been flown back to South Africa where it was grounded by a court order. (AFP)
  • Swaziland: Police fired rubber bullets at protesters while they marched against worsening living conditions and the cost of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the absolute monarchy. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Ecuador: President Lenín Moreno confirmed that Marxist group Oliver Sinisterra Front killed two journalists and their driver abducted near the southern border of Colombia and Ecuador. (NYT)
  • Peru: President Martin Vizcarra opened the Summit of the Americas decrying widespread corruption and urging regional leaders to join forces in increasing transparency and boosting civil society. (AP)
  • Venezuela: US Vice President Mike Pence called for more sanctions to isolate President Nicolas Maduro and his administration, overshadowing the opening of a summit in Peru with Latin American leaders. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: The process of voter registration for the upcoming parliamentary elections slated for Oct. 20 formally started. (Xinhua)
  • China: The Trump administration declined to brand China a currency manipulator, but it did target China and five others for special monitoring. (AP)
  • Myanmar: A new U.N. report puts the armed forces on a U.N. blacklist of government and rebel groups “credibly suspected” of carrying out rapes and other acts of sexual violence in conflict. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: NATO top leadership expressed support for Western strikes in Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack. (AFP)
  • Germany: A senior ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel questioned whether sanctions against Russia were working and called for Germany to maintain a dialogue with Russia. (Reuters)
  • Russia:  The lower house of parliament is considering to draft legislation that could potentially allow the Kremlin to ban or restrict a list of U.S. imports, reacting to new U.S. sanctions on Russian tycoons and officials. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Egypt: The military said 27 jihadists were killed over the last few days in a sweeping operation in the Sinai to quash extremists based in the peninsula. (AFP)
  • Israel/Palestine: One Palestinian was killed and at least 968 wounded in clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers stationed at the border. (Xinhua)
  • Iran: Foreign Ministry dismissed a statement by the Arab Quartet Ministerial Committee that accused them of interference in the internal affairs of the Arab states. (Xinhua)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: The Latvian Corruption Prevention Bureau no longer considers blocking Facebook for Latvia’s coming parliamentary election after successful talks with Facebook, the anti-corruption bureau chief Jekabs Straume told reporters. (Xinhua)

 

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)
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 20JAN: 2,123 (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 20JAN: 740 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (15 APR)

  • Iraq: Oil Ministry to announce new oil and gas exploration and development contracts
  • Japan: Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi to make an official visit (to 17APR)
  • Montenegro: Presidential Election
  • North Korea: Kim II-sung’s Birthday (Day of the Sun) – Unknown
  • Saudi Arabia: Arab League summit to convene in Riyadh
  • United States: Anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing – 2013

 

END

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