ONS: 14 March 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 15, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Sierra Leone’s presidential election will head to a runoff later this month after neither of the two frontrunners secured an outright majority in the first round.
  • AMERICAS: Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is prepared to work with the US to ensure that Canada doesn’t become a conduit for cheaper steel imports from other countries.
  • ASIA: Japan left the door open to a possible summit with North Korea to discuss the matter of Japanese citizens kidnapped by Pyongyang’s agents decades ago.
  • EUROPE: Britain’s national Security Council will consider sanctions against Russia after Moscow ignored a deadline to explain how a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union was used to target a former spy in England.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he hoped Turkey’s military and its rebel allies would completely capture the Syrian town of Afrin by the evening of 14MAR.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Mexico became the third country in the world and the first in Latin America to gain access to Google Station, a service providing free high-speed Wi-Fi through hotspots located across the nation.

TOP STORY

  • Philippines: President Duterte withdraws country from ICC.
    • President Rodrigo Duterte plans to pull his country out of the International Criminal Court, putting the court’s investigation of alleged crimes against humanity in the Philippines in doubt.
    • The decision marks an about-face by Duterte, who initially welcomed an ICC examination into a complaint that accuses him and top officials of crimes against humanity, committed during a war on drugs that has killed thousands of people.
    • Duterte’s decision to withdraw was due to “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks” by UN officials and an attempt by the ICC prosecutor to seek jurisdiction “in violation of due process and presumption of innocence.”
    • Thousands of mostly poor drug suspects have been killed under Duterte’s crackdown, but he has argued that the killings do not amount to crimes against humanity or genocide.
    • Coverage: AP, Reuters, WP, WSJ

AFRICA

  • Mauritania: President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim refused to resign, vowing to fight allegations that have her embroiled in a financial scandal. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Herders are believed to have killed 25 villagers in central Plateau state, the latest violence linked to land, water and grazing rights. (AFP)
  • Sierra Leone: The country’s presidential election will head to a runoff later this month after neither of the two frontrunners secured an outright majority in the first round. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is prepared to work with the US to ensure that Canada doesn’t become a conduit for cheaper steel imports from other countries. (WSJ)
  • Panama: A protest over infrastructure and insecurity turned into violent clashes with police in the city of Colon, with 35 arrested and one injured. (AP)
  • United States: Rep. K. Michael Conaway acknowledged Russian interference in the 2016 election, at odds with the most surprising finding in the GOP’s report that Russia was not trying to help President Trump. (WP)
  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s former spy chief, Miguel Rodriguez Torres, was arrested on accusations of sowing unrest as he leads a movement to replace President Nicolas Maduro. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: Japan left the door open to a possible summit with North Korea to discuss the matter of Japanese citizens kidnapped by Pyongyang’s agents decades ago. (Reuters)
  • Afghanistan: Alleged Taliban insurgents attacked a checkpoint in western Farah province and killed at least 10 security personnel. (AP)
  • Maldives: The government will not extend the state of emergency after it expires on MAR22. (Xinhua)
  • New Zealand: The foreign ministry censured Caroline Beresford, its second-ranking envoy to the US, for her tweets that the US Democratic Party should get its act together “or we will all die.” (NYT)

EUROPE

  • Region: Britain’s national Security Council will consider sanctions against Russia after Moscow ignored a deadline to explain how a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union was used to target a former spy in England. (AP)
  • Region: Russia promised retaliation against any fresh measures taken by the UK over the death of a former Russian spy. (Guardian)
  • Region: Pro-Kurdish demonstrators protesting against Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria clashed with police outside the US embassy in Paris. (AP)
  • Germany: Angela Merkel has been elected by German lawmakers for a fourth term as Chancellor and is due to be sworn in today. (CNN)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Reactions in the Middle East to the firing of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson range from fear his departure heralds the demise of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, to Gulf Arab nations hoping for a more hawkish US stance toward Tehran and Qatar. (AP)
  • Region: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he hoped Turkey’s military and its rebel allies would completely capture the Syrian town of Afrin by the evening of 14MAR. (Reuters)
  • Region: Iran expressed a willingness to resolve differences with Saudi Arabia as part of Tehran’s desire for stability in the region. (AP)
  • Syria: Over 300 people have left the eastern Ghouta district in Damascus since a humanitarian corridor opened there. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Mexico became the third country in the world and the first in Latin America to gain access to Google Station, a service providing free high-speed Wi-Fi through hotspots located across the nation. (EFE)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Linda
    • Location: 411 NM NNE of Brisbane, Australia
    • Wind: 50 mph
    • Movement: WSW at 9 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 22DEC: 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 22DEC: 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 22DEC: 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 (15MAR)

  • Belarus: Constitution Day – 1994
  • Hungary: Revolution Day – 1948
  • Japan: Honen Matsuri – Unknown
  • Palau: Youth Day – Unknown
  • United States: UN Security Council to vote on a resolution calling for an arms embargo on South Sudan

END

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