ONS: 15 March 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 16, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In Libya, forces loyal to the UN-backed unity government overran the Tripoli headquarters of a rival militia as artillery exchanges rocked the capital for a third day.
  • AMERICAS: In Colombia, cultivation of the cocaine-producing coca plant rose to record numbers in 2016, pressuring the government to implement programs to wean farmers off illicit crops.
  • ASIA: South Korea will hold an election on 09MAY to choose a successor for former President Park Geun-hye.
  • EUROPE: EU chiefs blasted Turkey’s Nazi comparisons with the Netherlands and Germany as “detached from reality” and incompatible with its ambitions to join the bloc.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Kazakhstan said the Syrian rebel delegation was expected in Astana for peace talks this week aimed at ending the six-year civil war.
  • TECHNOLOGY: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said protecting infrastructure from potential cyber attacks is a top priority.

 

TOP STORY

  • Netherlands: Vote underway in first test of European populism.
    • Dutch voters headed to the polls in an election that will set the tone for a year of ballot-box drama in Europe, as anti-immigrant, anti-establishment campaigners test their strength against long-serving politicians and parties.
    • The contest pits Liberal PM Mark Rutte against his anti-Islam challenger, Geert Wilders, whose platform of pulling the Netherlands out of the EU and halting immigration attempts to ride the wave of nationalist sentiment that prompted the UK’s Brexit vote and catapulted Donald Trump to the White House.
    • The final days of campaigning were overshadowed by a diplomatic crisis with Turkey, as Rutte refused to bow to pressure from the Turkish government, a stance which has widespread backing in the nation.
    • Wilders’ popularity has waned in recent weeks and one expert suggested his decline could be due to the unpopularity of US President Trump.
    • France goes to the polls next month to elect a new president while Germany is due to hold a general election in September.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNN, WP

 

AFRICA

  • Libya: Forces loyal to the UN-backed unity government overran the Tripoli headquarters of a rival militia as artillery exchanges rocked the capital for a third day. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Officials say at least six people have been killed as four teenage girls detonated explosives worn on their bodies on the outskirts of Maiduguri city. (AP)
  • Somalia: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrived for a surprise visit and is holding talks with President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. (AP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: The Organization of American States wants regional governments to suspend Venezuela from the group unless general elections are held soon. (AP)
  • Brazil: President Michel Temer’s government has been accused of covering up exploitation of workers in conditions likened to modern-day slavery. (AFP)
  • Colombia: Cultivation of the cocaine-producing coca plant rose to record numbers in 2016, pressuring the government to implement programs to wean farmers off illicit crops. (WSJ)
  • United States: White House instructions to the State Department to look for budget cuts include orders for potentially even higher reductions in US payments to the UN. (WP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: On his first Asian visit, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will warn China that the US is prepared to step up missile defenses and pressure on Chinese financial institutions if they fail to use their influence to restrain North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. (NYT)
  • Afghanistan: The Afghan defense ministry shrugged off allegations insiders were involved in an insurgent attack on the country’s largest military hospital in Kabul. (AFP)
  • China: Premier Li Keqiang said his government hopes for positive relations with Washington and has no desire for a trade war nor plans to devalue its currency. (AP)
  • South Korea: The country will hold an election on 09MAY to choose a successor for former President Park Geun-hye. (Reuters)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: European Council President Donald Tusk warned Britain that leaving the EU without any formal agreement would harm the UK most. (AP)
  • Region: EU chiefs blasted Turkey’s Nazi comparisons with the Netherlands and Germany as “detached from reality” and incompatible with its ambitions to join the bloc. (AFP)
  • Turkey: Suspected Kurdish rebels detonated explosives on a highway as security forces were passing by, killing two soldiers. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: Britain’s Scotland minister David Mundell said a legal and decisive referendum on Scottish independence in the timeframe demanded by Scotland’s nationalist First Minister Nicola Sturgeon would be impossible. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Israel: More than a dozen employees of state-owned weapons manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries were arrested over allegations of “systematic” corruption. (AFP)
  • Syria: Kazakhstan said the Syrian rebel delegation was expected in Astana for peace talks this week aimed at ending the six-year civil war. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Air strikes pounded rebel-held Idlib province, killing at least nine people, including children. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Indonesian authorities were checking reports an Indonesian militant fighting alongside the Islamic State group had died in a suicide bombing in Palmyra. (DPA)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Dozens of Twitter accounts were hacked in an apparent large-scale cyber-attack, featuring posts in Turkish mentioning Turkey’s 16APR referendum. (USA Today)
  • Technology: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said protecting infrastructure from potential cyber attacks is a top priority. (Reuters)

 

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 (16MAR)

  • Global: G20 Finance Ministers to meet in Baden, Germany (to 18MAR)
  • Azerbaijan: V Global Baku Forum to be held in Baku (to 17MAR)
  • Germany: French independent candidate and presidential election front-runner Emmanuel Macron to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin
  • Japan: Intelligence satellite to be launched
  • United States: Trump administration to release budget proposal

 

END

 

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