ONS: 14 February 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 15, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: UN experts say a political solution in Libya remains “out of reach in the near future,” due to conflicting military dynamics and regional agendas.
  • AMERICAS: Peru, the host nation for the Summit of the Americas in APR18, withdrew its invitation to President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela.
  • ASIA: Despite President Donald Trump’s decision to send more US forces to the country, a US intelligence assessment says conditions there are likely to worsen this year.
  • EUROPE: In Denmark, Prince Henrik, the 83-year old husband of Queen Margrethe, died at Fredensborg Castle.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Kuwait will give USD 1B in loans and USD 1B in direct investments to help rebuild Iraq.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The UK unveiled a tool by artificial intelligence company, ASI Data Science, it says can accurately detect jihadist content and block it from being viewed.

TOP STORY

  • South Africa: No confidence vote on President Zuma expected today.
    • South Africa’s parliament will hold a motion of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma on 14FEB, signaling its determination to eject him from office after days of stalemate.
    • Police raided the Gupta home, the wealthy family at the center of high-profile corruption allegations made against President Jacob Zuma.
    • Three arrests were made, including one Gupta brother, as police say two other people are expected to hand themselves in.
    • The raid on the Gupta compound is a drastic escalation in pressure on Zuma and those close to him who have been accused of misusing state resources.
    • The Gupta family has been accused using their friendship with President Jacob Zuma to wield enormous political influence for their business interests.
    • President Jacob Zuma remained defiantly silent on whether he will resign, prolonging a crisis in the country.
    • Coverage: AFP, BBC, CNN, NYT, Reuters, WP, WSJ

AFRICA

  • Burundi: Police threatened to arrest anyone campaigning prematurely against a referendum to revise the constitution, which if passed could allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to remain in power until 2034. (AFP)
  • Libya: UN experts say a political solution in the country remains “out of reach in the near future,” due to conflicting military dynamics and regional agendas. (AP)
  • Tanzania: Daniel John, a local leader of the main opposition party, was found beaten to death after men bundled him into a car. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Peru, the host nation for the Summit of the Americas in APR18, withdrew its invitation to President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela. (AP)
  • Region: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said his country needs international aid to help cope with the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis. (Reuters)
  • Region: Colombian General Alberto Jose Mejia dismissed Venezuelan accusations that Colombia has been eyeing military action against it as “ridiculous.” (Reuters)
  • Bolivia: An explosion killed two people and injured 10 in the town of Oruro, where three people had been detained while authorities investigate its cause. (AP)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Despite President Donald Trump’s decision to send more US forces to the country, a US intelligence assessment says conditions there are likely to worsen this year. (WSJ)
  • Cambodia: The country unanimously adopted a law that forbids insulting the monarchy amid concern the legislation could be used against critics of the government. (Reuters)
  • Korean Peninsula: South Korea approved a USD 2.6M budget to cover expenses for North Koreans visiting for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a vehicle carrying paramilitary soldiers in Quetta, killing four troops. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Region: British FM Boris Johnson said it would be “intolerable” and “undemocratic” if the UK has to follow EU rules and regulations after Brexit. (Reuters)
  • Region: German FM Sigmar Gabriel called for the release of Deniz Yucel, the German-Turkish journalist who marks one year in a Turkish prison. (AP)
  • Denmark: Prince Henrik, the 83-year old husband of Queen Margrethe, died at Fredensborg Castle. (Reuters)
  • Turkey: The country imposed curfews in dozens of villages and towns in Diyarbakir province in the Kurdish-majority southeast. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Kuwait will give USD 1B in loans and USD 1B in direct investments to help rebuild Iraq. (AP)
  • Region: The US has a well advanced Middle East peace plan that has been under development for a number of months, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said. (Reuters)
  • Israel: PM Benjamin Netanyahu branded bribery allegations against him as “baseless” and pledged to continue as leader. (BBC)
  • Jordan: The country will secure a promise of five more years of US financial aid, despite US President Trump’s threat to withhold support from countries that opposed his position on Jerusalem. (WSJ)
  • Syria: French President Emmanuel Macron said he will order strikes in the country if there is “proven evidence” that President Bashar Assad’s government used chemical weapons against civilians. (AP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: The UK unveiled a tool by artificial intelligence company, ASI Data Science, it says can accurately detect jihadist content and block it from being viewed. (BBC)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Gita
    • Location: 184 nm SSW at Suva, Fiji
    • Wind: 135 mph
    • Movement: W at 9 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Depression Sanba
    • Location: 437 nm S of Manila, Philippines
    • Wind: 30 mph
    • Movement: WSW at 25 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 05FEB: 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 05FEB: 750 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (15FEB)

  • Afghanistan: Liberation Day – 1989
  • Canada: National Flag Day – 1965
  • Serbia: National Day – 1835
  • Singapore: Total Defense Day – 1942
  • United States: Susan B. Anthony Day – 1820
  • Vanuatu: John Frum Day – Unknown

END

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