ONS: 14 March 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 15, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Russia denied the presence of special forces in Egypt after US, Egyptian, and diplomatic sources said otherwise.
  • AMERICAS: Colombia approved the creation of special war crimes courts, a key component of the historic peace agreement reached with the FARC guerrillas.
  • ASIA: North Korea warned the US of “merciless” attacks if joint US-South Korean exercises infringe on its sovereignty or dignity.
  • EUROPE: Employers may bar staff from wearing visible religious symbols, the EU’s top court ruled in its first decision on the issue of women wearing Islamic headscarves at work.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Syria accused Turkey of breaking its commitments to peace talks as Ankara-backed rebel groups boycotted a third round of meetings.
  • TECHNOLOGY: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance saw a 60 percent increase in “cyberincidents” between 2015 and 2016.

 

TOP STORY

  • Somalia: Pirates hijack first oil tanker since 2012.
    • Pirates have hijacked an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia in the first such incident involving a large commercial vessel there since 2012.
    • The Aris 13 sent a distress call on 13MAR and turned off its tracking system.
    • Sources said at least eight suspected pirates were involved in the attack, adding that the ship moved toward the coast of Somalia in the vicinity of the coastal town Ras Asayr.
    • Aircraft from regional naval force EU Navfor were flying overhead to track the ship’s progress.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, Reuters, VOA

 

AFRICA

  • Egypt: Russia denied the presence of special forces in the country after US, Egyptian, and diplomatic sources said otherwise. (Reuters)
  • Libya: Fierce clashes resumed in southwest Benghazi where rival government forces have been battling for weeks. (Reuters)
  • Niger: An appeals court sentenced exiled former presidential candidate Hama Amadou to a year in jail for child trafficking. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: The senate approved the creation of special war crimes courts, a key component of the historic peace agreement reached with the FARC guerrillas. (AFP)
  • Guatemala: Authorities arrested three former child welfare officials who were responsible for overseeing a youth shelter where 40 girls died from a fire. (AP)
  • United States: President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants. (Reuters)

 

ASIA

  • Korean Peninsula: North Korea warned the US of “merciless” attacks if joint US-South Korean exercises infringe on its sovereignty or dignity. (Reuters)
  • Papua New Guinea: The Manus Island immigration processing center has closed, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia said, despite more than 800 men still being held there. (Guardian)
  • South Korea: South Korean prosecutors will summon ousted president Park Geun-hye for questioning as a suspect in a corruption case that led to her impeachment. (Reuters)
  • Taiwan: Prosecutors indicted the island’s China-friendly ex-president Ma Ying-jeou over the leaking of classified information. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Employers may bar staff from wearing visible religious symbols, the EU’s top court ruled in its first decision on the issue of women wearing Islamic headscarves at work. (Guardian)
  • Region: Turkey responded to EU comments over a spiraling diplomatic spat with the Netherlands, saying its criticism had no value for the country. (AFP)
  • Region: Dutch PM Mark Rutte responded to Turkish sanctions resulting from a diplomatic clash as inappropriate and the Netherlands had more to be angry about. (Guardian)
  • Switzerland: The country’s NDB intelligence service has ratcheted up scrutiny of asylum requests for signs of Islamist militancy, a government report showed. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: US special envoy Jason Greenblatt and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu discussed ways to reach peace with the Palestinians as well as settlement construction. (AFP)
  • Region: Syria accused Turkey of breaking its commitments to peace talks as Ankara-backed rebel groups boycotted a third round of meetings. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: Human Rights Watch charged the Iraqi interior ministry with holding over 1,200 suspected jihadists in “horrendous conditions” without charge at facilities south of Mosul. (AFP)
  • Syria: Top UN human rights official Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called for the release of tens of thousands of detainees held in the country’s prisons. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance saw a 60 percent increase in “cyberincidents” between 2015 and 2016. (RFE/RL)

 

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 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 10MAR: 4,519 (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela)
        • Suspected Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 349,936
      • Confirmed Cases as of 10MAR: 629 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Puerto Rico)
        • Confirmed Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250
      • Deaths as of 10MAR: 1 (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)
      • Cases as of 10FEB: 1,917 (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 10FEB: 677 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 10MAR:  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 10MAR: 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 10MAR: 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 (15MAR)

  • China: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia to visit (to 18MAR)
  • Hungary: Revolution Day – 1848
  • Japan: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to visit Tokyo (to 17MAR)
  • Liberia: Joseph Jenkins Roberts’ Birthday – 1809
  • Netherlands: General elections
  • South Korea: US Aircraft Carrier Carl Vinson to dock at Busan port
  • South Korea: Medical corps to conduct joint evacuation exercise with US Army
  • Syria: Anniversary of outbreak of anti-Assad protests – 2011
  • Ukraine: Next meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group

 

END

 

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