ONS: 16 August 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on August 17, 2017

 

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was released from prison and treason charges against him were dropped.
  • AMERICAS: President Juan Manuel Santos declared the Colombia’s 50-year conflict with FARC guerrillas finally over, as the last truckloads of decommissioned weapons rolled away to be melted down.
  • ASIA: China told the US and North Korea to “hit the brakes” on threats and work toward a peaceful resolution of their dispute.
  • EUROPE: The Swedish military will get an extra USD 1B over the coming three years to boost defense capabilities in the face of increased tension with Russia in the Baltics.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israel will construct an underground barrier along the border with the Gaza Strip in an attempt to halt the threat of attack tunnels built by the Hamas militant group.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A Ukrainian malware expert – known as ‘Profexer’ – is now a witness for the FBI with potential knowledge of Russian hacking.

 

TOP STORY

  • NAFTA: Renegotiation of US-Canada-Mexico trade deal begins.
    • The US, Canada and Mexico kick off negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement.
    • The biggest uncertainty is whether a deal can pass President Donald Trump’s “America First” test.
    • Canada and Mexico argue for updating the pact and business has lobbied in favor of an arrangement which now covers USD 1T worth of trade across North America in a broad range of industries from dairy to automobiles.
    • The US wants to do away with dispute-resolution panels, while Canada and Mexico insist they are a crucial tool to use to fight tariffs imposed by the US.
    • Coverage: BBC, Reuters, Reuters-2, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Kenya: Top electoral official, Roselyn Akombe, among those who oversaw the country’s disputed presidential election, has been stopped from traveling to the US. (AP)
  • Kenya: Police and tax authorities raided the office of  pro-democracy organization, Africa Centre for Open Governance, raising questions over preparations for last week’s disputed elections. (Reuters)
  • Zambia: Opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was released from prison and treason charges against him were dropped. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: The Trump administration is ending an Obama-era pathway to the US for young migrants fleeing violence in Central America, further narrowing the options for thousands of people hoping to seek refuge. (NYT)
  • Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos declared the country’s 50-year conflict with FARC guerrillas finally over, as the last truckloads of decommissioned weapons rolled away to be melted down. (AFP)
  • Mexico: A Mexican judge ordered federal authorities to investigate whether army commanders played any role in the killing by soldiers of 22 suspected criminals at a warehouse three years ago. (AP)
  • Venezuela: Well-known violinist-protester Wuilly Arteaga has been freed after more than two weeks in prison. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: China told the US and North Korea to “hit the brakes” on threats and work toward a peaceful resolution of their dispute. (AP)
  • Region: Australia will join the annual US-South Korean military exercises scheduled for next week following Pyongyang’s decision to hold off its plan to attack Guam. (EFE)
  • Region: South Korea proposed holding three-way discussions with the US and China over the deployment of the US missile shield THAAD that is strongly opposed by Beijing. (Yonhap)
  • Region: China urged India to protect the peace and stability of the border region after the two Asian giants were involved in an altercation in the western Himalayas. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia: President Joko Widodo urged the country to pull together to meet the threat of extremism and safeguard a constitution that enshrines religious freedom and diversity. (Reuters)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Turkey asked Germany to extradite Adil Oksuz, a theology lecturer suspected of playing a major role in last year’s failed coup. (Reuters)
  • Sweden: The Swedish military will get an extra USD 1B over the coming three years to boost defense capabilities in the face of increased tension with Russia in the Baltics. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: Britain will consider replacing some EU funding for peace projects in Northern Ireland after it leaves the bloc in 2019, PM Theresa May said. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: The unemployment rate declined again to its lowest level since 1975, despite an overall growth slowdown and falling real wages. (INDE)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Israel will construct an underground barrier along the border with the Gaza Strip in an attempt to halt the threat of attack tunnels built by the Hamas militant group. (AP)
  • Region: Saudi Arabia denied seeking any sort of mediation with Iran, describing such news reports as baseless. (Xinhua)
  • Region: Israeli forces demolished the home of a Palestinian who fatally stabbed three Jewish residents of a nearby settlement in the West Bank. (AFP)
  • Kuwait: An analysis of satellite imagery suggests at least 34,000 barrels of oil have leaked out during a spill off the country’s coast. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: A Ukrainian malware expert – known as ‘Profexer’ – is now a witness for the FBI with potential knowledge of Russian hacking. (NYT)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Typhoon Banyan
    • Location: 263 NM NW of Wake Island
    • Wind: 75 mph
    • Movement: NNE at 15 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Hurricane Gert
    • Location: 360 NM WNW of Bermuda
    • Wind: 85 mph
    • Movement: NE at 15 mph
    • Map
  • 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)
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 11AUG: 73,928 (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 11AUG: 67,460 (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 11AUG: 51 (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)
      • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
        • Cases as of 21JUL: 2,040 (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 21JUL: 712 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2:
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 27JUL:  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, Panamá, 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 27JUL: 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 27JUL: 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 (17AUG)

  • Bangladesh: Anniversary of the 2005 Bangladesh bombings – 2005
  • Indonesia: Independence Day – 1945
  • Slovakia: Prekmurje Union Day – 2006
  • United States: US and Japan to hold defense talks in Washington

 

END

 

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