ONS: 15 December 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 16, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In Zimbabwe, the ruling ZANU-PF party met to finalize the removal of former president Robert Mugabe from power.
  • AMERICAS: Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said he will not resign, despite growing pressure over corruption allegations.
  • ASIA: Japan expanded its sanctions on North Korea to leverage the return of abducted Japanese citizens and to halt its nuclear weapons and missile development.
  • EUROPE: Russia’s presidential election will take place on 18MAR following a vote in the upper chamber of the country’s parliament.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran accused the US of trying to divert attention from its own responsibility for the deadly war in Yemen with claims of Iranian weapons shipments.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The attorneys general of New York and Washington states will file lawsuits to prevent the US Federal Communications Commission from carrying out it decision to abolish net-neutrality rules for the Internet.

TOP STORY

  • Brexit: EU leaders greenlight next phase of talks.
    • EU leaders have given the go-ahead to Brexit talks with Britain to move onto the next stage, which will involve discussions over future relations and trade.
    • British PM Theresa May’s first priority in the next phase of talks is to establish a transition period, likely involving Britain remaining part of the single market and the customs union and probably lasting about two years.
    • The second phase Brexit negotiations will be significantly harder, said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
    • Juncker also said that British voters and Parliament, not Brussels, will be the ones to decide whether or not Brexit goes ahead.
    • European leaders expressed support for May, after she lost a key domestic vote on Brexit, and warned rebel members of her party of the perils of striking down a future EU deal.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, CNN, FT, Reuters

AFRICA

  • Libya: Russia is open to working with the US to try to solve the crisis in the country, including the lifting of an international arms embargo. (Reuters)
  • South Africa: The ruling African National Congress will announce current president Jacob Zuma’s successor as party leader on 17DEC. (Reuters)
  • Zimbabwe: The ruling ZANU-PF party met to finalize the removal of former president Robert Mugabe from power. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Two nephews of Venezuelan First Lady Cilia Flores were sentenced to 18 years in prison following their convictions in New York on US drug trafficking charges. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: The Brazilian federal police said this year’s marijuana and cocaine haul has been the biggest in the past 22 years. (Xinhua)
  • Peru: President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said he will not resign, despite growing pressure over corruption allegations involving Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht. (BBC)

ASIA

  • Region: Japan expanded its sanctions on North Korea to leverage the return of abducted Japanese citizens and to halt its nuclear weapons and missile development. (AP)
  • Region: South Korea expressed outrage after Chinese security guards beat and severely injured a South Korean photojournalist covering President Moon Jae-In’s visit to Beijing. (AFP)
  • Cambodia: PM Hun Sen encouraged the US and EU to freeze the assets of Cambodian leaders abroad in response to his government’s crackdown on the opposition and civil society. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: Joseph Yun, US special envoy for the country, expressed hope that Pyongyang would accept US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s diplomatic offer of unconditional talks. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Region: Britain said it and NATO allies must defend deep sea cables against a potentially catastrophic attack by the Russia navy that could disrupt trillions of dollars in financial transactions. (Reuters)
  • Region: NATO is concerned about a Russian missile system that could carry nuclear warheads, and believes it violates the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. (AP)
  • Russia: The country’s presidential election will take place on 18MAR following a vote in the upper chamber of the country’s parliament. (AP)
  • Russia: Former economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev was found guilty of soliciting a USD 2M bribe from Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Iran accused the US of trying to divert attention from its own responsibility for the deadly war in Yemen with claims of Iranian weapons shipments. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Iraqi Shi‘ite paramilitary groups who fought Islamic State militants should be incorporated into state security bodies, top Shi‘ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said. (Reuters)
  • Israel: Israeli police questioned PM Benjamin Netanyahu again as part of a corruption investigation. (AP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: The attorneys general of New York and Washington states will file lawsuits to prevent the US Federal Communications Commission from carrying out it decision to abolish net-neutrality rules for the Internet. (EFE)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm Kai Tak
    • Location: 428 NM ESE of Manila, Philippines
    • Wind: 50 mph
    • Movement: N at 1
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 08DEC: 61,549 (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 08DEC: 123,073 (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 08DEC: 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 19NOV: 2,103 (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 19NOV: 733 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (16DEC)

  • Bahrain: National Day – 1961
  • Bangladesh: Victory Day – 1971
  • Kazakhstan: Independence Day – 1991
  • South Africa: Day of Reconciliation – 1994

END

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