ONS: 16 April 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on April 17, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Around 15 Malian militants, including some disguised as peacekeepers, were killed in an attack on a United Nations base in Timbuktu, while seven French troops were injured.
  • AMERICAS: 96 percent of voters in Guatemala said yes to a referendum to bring its territorial dispute with neighboring Belize before the UN.
  • ASIA:  China and Japan resumed high-level economic talks after a hiatus of nearly eight years in a sign of improving ties in their often-frosty relationship.
  • EUROPE:  European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the bloc wants to use a major meeting on Syria next week to give impetus to U.N. peace moves following Western airstrikes.
  • MIDDLE EAST: A Syrian official says the country is “fully ready” to cooperate with the fact-finding mission from the OPCW that’s investigating the alleged chemical attack that triggered U.S.-led airstrikes.
  • TECHNOLOGY: China has stepped up its campaign against foreign espionage with a website encouraging people to report national security threats such as spies or corrupt officials.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: French President Macron says he has convinced Trump to stay in Syria
    • In a TV address, Emmanuel Macron said France had convinced the US to remain engaged in Syria “for the long term.”
    • However he also stated that France had not declared war against the Syrian government.
    • In the US, the White House said in a statement that its mission in Syria “has not changed.”
    • Macron cited a 2013 UN Resolution demanding that Syria destroy its chemical weapons, as justification for this the past weekend’s airstrikes.
    • He accused Russia of complicity in its allies use of chemical weapons, but added that he still intends to meet with Putin towards a diplomatic solution.
    • Reporting: AFP, Reuters, BBC, Guardian

AFRICA

  • Ghana: Eighteen people were killed and about 70 others injured when a passenger bus collided with two other vehicles near Tamale. (Xinhua)
  • Kenya:  Three commissioners of the election board announced their resignation from the body, citing failure of the leadership and dysfunction in the organization. (Reuters)
  • Mali: Around 15 militants, including some disguised as peacekeepers, were killed in an attack on a United Nations base in Timbuktu, while seven French troops were injured. (AFP)
  • Nigeria:  Talks between the government and Boko Haram militants on the release of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls have been set back by disagreements among their abductors. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Region: 96 percent of voters in Guatemala said yes to a referendum to bring its territorial dispute with neighboring Belize before the UN. (EFE)
  • Region: Bolivia’s President Evo Morales made a visit to Caracas for talks with embattled President Nicolas Maduro, a month ahead of controversial polls set to give the socialist leader a second term. (AFP)
  • Brazil: A poll released by the Datafolha institute shows former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva still leads in the Presidential race, despite his imprisonment. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: Bangladesh rejected a claim by Myanmar that it had repatriated the first five among some 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees. (AP)
  • Region: China and Japan resumed high-level economic talks after a hiatus of nearly eight years in a sign of improving ties in their often-frosty relationship. (AP)
  • Philippines: The government has barred entry to an EU party official critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s drugs crackdown, in a move denounced by critics as a gag on dissent. (AFP)
  • South Korea: Disgraced former president Park Geun-hye will not appeal her 24-year prison sentence for corruption, reports said. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Region: European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the bloc wants to use a major meeting on Syria next week to give impetus to U.N. peace moves following Western airstrikes. (AP)
  • Armenia: Around a thousand protesters staged rallies in the capital against former president Serzh Sarkisian as he moves to maintain a chokehold on power as prime minister. (AFP)
  • Turkey: American pastor Andrew Brunson went on trial on terror-related charges after spending the last one-and-a-half years behind bars. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region:  Israel’s Foreign Ministry says its new ambassador to Jordan is starting his posting, ending a months-long spat between the two countries over a deadly embassy shooting. (AP)
  • Syria: Hundreds gathered in a landmark square in Damascus in support of Assad’s armed forces, following joint airstrikes by the West over the weekend. (AP)
  • Syria: An official says the country is “fully ready” to cooperate with the fact-finding mission from the OPCW that’s investigating the alleged chemical attack that triggered U.S.-led airstrikes. (AP)
  • UAE: The military ended a training program in Somalia in response to the seizure of millions of dollars and the temporary holding of a UAE plane by Somali security forces last week. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: China has stepped up its campaign against foreign espionage with a website encouraging people to report national security threats such as spies or corrupt officials. (AFP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 20JAN: 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 20JAN: 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 20JAN: 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 20JAN: 2,123 (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 20JAN: 740 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (17APR)

  • American Samoa: Flag Day – 1960
  • Armenia: Parliament to elect new Prime Minister
  • Macedonia: European Commission’s report on Macedonia’s integration into the EU due to be published
  • Sweden: BEAC Youth Conference to open in Luleå (to 18APR)
  • Syria: Evacuation Day – 1946

END

 

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