ONS: 15 February 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 16, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Egypt mediated between two Libyan rivals –  Fayez Serraj and Khalifa Hifter – who agreed to form a committee to renegotiate a UN peace deal.

  • AMERICAS: In the US, phone records and intercepted calls show members of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials.

  • ASIA: Jamaat ul Ahrar, a Taliban breakaway faction, claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in a northwestern tribal region of Pakistan which killed at least three.

  • EUROPE: Russia has indicated it intends to keep Crimea and not return it to Ukraine because it considers it to be part of Russia.

  • MIDDLE EAST: The US’ apparent shift in stance on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “doesn’t make sense,” Palestinian leaders said.

  • TECHNOLOGY: Two US senators have requested details on President Donald Trump’s smartphone security, saying he could jeopardize national secrets if he is still using his old handset.

 

TOP STORY

  • North Korea: Assassins implicated, arrest made in death of leader’s brother.

    • Malaysian police detained a woman in connection with the apparent assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

    • Kim Jong-nam died after an apparent poison attack in the airport in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, on 13FEB.

    • South Korea and US sources believe two female North Korean assassins were responsible.

    • South Korea’s acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, said his government was working with the Malaysian authorities to find the killers.

    • Kim Jong-un has had a “standing order” to kill Kim Jong-nam since he took power in 2011, with a previous assassination attempt in 2012.

    • Coverage: BBC, Bloomberg, NYT, Reuters, USA Today

 

AFRICA

  • Region: Sub-Saharan Africa trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report. (AFP)

  • Kenya: The country’s Court of Appeal ordered the release of officials from the national doctors’ union so they can negotiate with the government over a public health strike. (Reuters)

  • Libya: Egypt mediated between two Libyan rivals –  Fayez Serraj and Khalifa Hifter – who agreed to form a committee to renegotiate a UN peace deal. (AP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro demanded the US apologize for slapping sanctions on his vice president over alleged drug trafficking. (AFP)

  • Brazil: At least 9,000 Brazilian army troops will patrol Rio de Janeiro as a “preventive” operation in the midst of a labor conflict. (EFE)

  • Dominican Republic: Three men have been arrested after two journalists were killed during a live radio broadcast in San Pedro de Macoris. (BBC)

  • United States: Phone records and intercepted calls show members of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials. (NYT)

  • United States: Immigration officials detained Daniel Ramirez Medina, who was authorized to remain in the country under the “Dreamer” program established by the Obama administration. (CNN)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Quake-prone countries around the Pacific Ocean began a joint exercise testing their ability to deliver timely warnings of approaching tsunamis. (AFP)

  • Afghanistan: Taliban militants abducted 52 civilians from Darzab district of the northern Jawzjan province. (Xinhua)

  • Kyrgyzstan: The country will hold its next presidential election on 19NOV. (AFP)

  • Pakistan: Jamaat ul Ahrar, a Taliban breakaway faction, claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in a northwestern tribal region which killed at least three. (Xinhua)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Russia has indicated it intends to keep Crimea and not return it to Ukraine because it considers it to be part of Russia. (CNN)

  • Region: German police raided the apartments of four imams suspected of conducting espionage on behalf of the Turkish government. (Reuters)

  • Montenegro: Protesters gathered outside the Montenegrin parliament ahead of a vote to lift the immunity of two pro-Russian opposition MPs allegedly involved in a foiled coup in OCT16. (AFP)

  • Russia: The country denied reports it had violated a treaty with the US by deploying a new ground-based missile. (Reuters)

  • Turkey: The Council of Europe urged Turkish leaders to “urgently change course” and reverse violations of media freedoms and the rule of law.. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: The US’ apparent shift in stance on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “doesn’t make sense,” Palestinian leaders said. (INDE)

  • Region: The Trump administration is in talks with Arab allies about forming a military alliance to share intelligence with Israel and counter their mutual foe, Iran. (WSJ)

  • Region: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran sought good relations with its Gulf Arab neighbors as he visited Oman and Kuwait, his first since taking power in 2013. (Reuters)

  • Iraq: Living conditions in west Mosul, where jihadists are hunkering down, are deteriorating fast and a source of great concern, the UN said. (AFP)

  • Syria: Kazakhstan said a new round of Astana talks on the Syria conflict would be delayed until 16FEB due to unexplained “technical reasons”. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Two US senators have requested details on President Donald Trump’s smartphone security, saying he could jeopardize national secrets if he is still using his old handset. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Dineo

    • Location: 136 NM WSW of Europa Island

    • Wind: 70 mph

    • Movement: WSW at 6 mph

    • Map

  • 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 10FEB: 406 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (French), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten (Dutch), Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, UK Virgin Islands, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Uruguay, and Venezuela)

        • Suspected Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 349,936

      • Confirmed Cases as of 10FEB: 26

        • Confirmed Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250

      • Deaths as of 10FEB: 0

        • 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: 1,905 (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 02FEB:  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 02FEB: 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 02FEB: 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 (16FEB)

  • Asia Region: US Secretary of State Tillerson and South Korean FM Un Byung-se to meet on sidelines of G-20 meeting in Bonn (to 17FEB)

  • Burundi: Next round of inter-Burundian talks to be held in Arusha, Tanzania; government representatives expected to attend (to 18FEB)

  • Ecuador: Campaigning to end for 19FEB general elections

  • Europe Region: Canadian PM Trudeau to address European Parliament in Strasbourg, France

  • Germany: Canadian PM Trudeau to meet with Chancellor Merkel in Berlin

  • Germany: G-20 foreign ministers to meet in Bonn (to 17FEB)

  • North Korea: Possible test launch of intercontinental ballistic missile

  • North Korea: Day of the Shining Star – 1941

  • United States: Meeting to lay the groundwork for the start of talks on a treaty banning nuclear arms to take place in NYC

 

END

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