ONS: 14 September 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on September 15, 2017

 

 

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The Tunisian parliament gave amnesty to thousands of people linked to corruption under its pre-revolution authoritarian regime, despite protests.
  • AMERICAS: US President Donald Trump won’t rule out decertifying Colombia as a partner in the drug war after a record jump in cocaine production in the South American nation.
  • ASIA: A fire at an Islamic boarding school for boys killed at least 24 people, most of them students, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
  • EUROPE: Sweden launched its biggest war games in two decades with support from NATO countries, after years of spending cuts that have left the country fearful of Russia’s growing military strength.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Governments and aid agencies are unable to account for millions of dollars in school aid for Syrian refugees, frustrating efforts to meet schooling needs for children in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, Human Rights Watch said.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Nearly 40 states have joined a probe of Equifax’s handling of a massive data breach that exposed valuable information on up to 143 million Americans.

 

TOP STORY

  • Russia: Europe on edge as wargames with Belarus launched.
    • Russia kicked off a week-long military exercise with its ally Belarus that have its NATO neighbors and the US watching anxiously.
    • Russia and Belarus say the 2017 edition of the quadrennial Zapad exercises are designed to test defensive capabilities and are no threat to western countries.
    • While Russia and Belarus say only 12,700 troops are involved — a level just shy of triggering compulsory international monitoring — Germany and Poland put the real total at more than 100,000.
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, will appear on the sidelines of the drills.
    • Putin views the drills as important, as he has vowed to prevent “color revolutions” in the former Soviet region similar to the 2014 rebellions that established a pro-Western government in Ukraine.
    • The last time Putin sent troops to Belarus a new war erupted in Ukraine in 2014.
    • Coverage: Bloomberg, CNBC, FT, WP

 

AFRICA

  • Cameroon: A girl exploded a bomb in a mosque in the northern town of Kolofata, killing five worshippers. (Reuters)
  • Central African Republic: President Faustin-Archange Touadera sacked defense minister Joseph Yakete, amid growing violence that threatens to spin the country out of control. (Reuters)
  • Libya: The UN agency for migration is trying to improve “terrible” conditions for migrants detained in the country, and repatriate those willing and able to go home. (AFP)
  • Tunisia: The country’s parliament gave amnesty to thousands of people linked to corruption under its pre-revolution authoritarian regime, despite protests. (AP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: US President Donald Trump won’t rule out decertifying Colombia as a partner in the drug war after a record jump in cocaine production in the South American nation. (AP)
  • Colombia: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and President Juan Manuel Santos pledged to strengthen ties in areas like science and tourism. (AP)
  • Venezuela: The opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable laid out ground rules for dialogue with President Nicolas Maduro, including a complete electoral calendar and respect for the powers given by the Constitution to the National Assembly. (Xinhua)
  • Venezuela: In an effort to circumvent US sanctions, the government is telling oil traders that it will no longer receive or send payments in dollars. (WSJ)

 

ASIA

  • Region: China endorses Myanmar’s offensive against Rohingya Muslim insurgents, which the UN describes as “ethnic cleansing.” (Reuters)
  • Region: North Korea threatened to use nuclear weapons to “sink” Japan and reduce the US to “ashes and darkness” for supporting UN sanctions. (Reuters)
  • Malaysia: A fire at an Islamic boarding school for boys killed at least 24 people, most of them students, in the capital of Kuala Lumpur. (Reuters)
  • Thailand: Roadside bombs planted by suspected Muslim insurgents in the southern town of Yala killed one soldier and wounded 20 others, most of them soldiers and police. (Reuters)
  • Vietnam: The country braced for Typhoon Doksuri, which is expected to be the most powerful tropical cyclone to hit the nation in several years. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Sweden launched its biggest war games in two decades with support from NATO countries, after years of spending cuts that have left the country fearful of Russia’s growing military strength. (Reuters)
  • Region: EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos says extraordinary border controls inside Europe should not be extended because the refugee emergency is abating. (AP)
  • Region: Austria rejected European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker’s vision to expand eastward the euro and a border control free zone. (Reuters)
  • Greece: Greek officials fumbled their response to a minor oil spill that is now threatening the beaches near Athens, environmental group Greenpeace Greece said. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Jordan’s King Abdullah II said his country’s border with Syria would only reopen “when the right security conditions materialize on the ground.” (AP)
  • Region: Governments and aid agencies are unable to account for millions of dollars in school aid for Syrian refugees, frustrating efforts to meet schooling needs for children in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, Human Rights Watch said. (AP)
  • Region: Turkey warned Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region “there will most certainly be a price to pay” for its insistence on holding an independence referendum this month. (AP)
  • Syria: A sixth round of peace talks began in Kazakhstan, sponsored by Russia, Iran, and Turkey. (RFE/RL)
  • Syria: A convoy of Islamic State militants and their relatives finally crossed into an extremist stronghold in the country’s east, ending a standoff with the US-led coalition over their evacuation deal. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Nearly 40 states have joined a probe of Equifax’s handling of a massive data breach that exposed valuable information on up to 143 million Americans. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Typhoon Talim
    • Location: 172 NM W of Kadena AB
    • Wind: 130 mph
    • Movement: NNW at 7 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Typhoon Doksuri
    • Location: 225 NM E of Da Nang, Vietnam
    • Wind: 75 mph
    • Movement: WNW at 12 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Hurricane Jose
    • Location: 475 NM ENE of the Southeastern Bahamas
    • Wind: 80 mph
    • Movement: W at 3 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Tropical Storm Max
    • Location: 90 NM WSW of Acapulco, Mexico
    • Wind: 60 mph
    • Movement: ENE at 3 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Tropical Depression Fifteen-E
    • Location: 920 NM SW of Baja California, Mexico
    • Wind: 35 mph
    • Movement: W at 2 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 01SEP: 30,608 (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 01SEP: 113,910 (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin (French part), and Venezuela)
        • Confirmed Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250
      • Deaths as of 01SEP: 86 (Brazil)
        • 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 12SEP: 2,080 (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 12SEP: 722 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (15SEP)

  • Global: International Day of Democracy
  • Costa Rica: Independence Day – 1821
  • El Salvador: Independence Day – 1821
  • Germany: Chancellor Merkel to host Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for talks
  • Guatemala: Independence Day – 1821
  • Honduras: Independence Day – 1821
  • Nicaragua: Independence Day – 1821
  • United Kingdom: Battle of Britain Day – 1941
  • United States: National POW/MIA Recognition Day – 1998

 

END

 

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