ONS: 16 December 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 17, 2017

 

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Military authorities say Nigerian soldiers have arrested more than 400 people associated with the Boko Haram extremist group hiding on the islands of Lake Chad.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuela’s government and opposition concluded a new round of talks, in an effort to bridge deep and entrenched differences to find a way to end the dire political and economic crisis.
  • ASIA: Rahul Gandhi, the scion of India’s most famous political dynasty, took over as president of the main opposition Congress party.
  • EUROPE: European Union leaders agreed to open crucial talks on a future relationship with Britain once it leaves the bloc, but warned it would be “dramatically difficult” to reach a deal before Brexit in 2019.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Syrian Foreign Ministry slammed claims that the Syrian government delegation was responsible for the failure of the latest round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva,
  • TECHNOLOGY: France will continue to defend “net neutrality” irrespective of what other countries may do, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

TOP STORY: South Africa’s ruling ANC gathers to choose new leadership

  • After an initial delay, the leadership vote is set to go ahead this afternoon at 2pm local time.
  • Scandal-hit sitting President Jacob Zuma is set to be replaced as party leader by either Cyril Ramaphosa, his current deputy, or Nkosanza Dlamini-Zuma, his ex-wife.
  • In a last-minute announcement, Zuma declared that university education will be made freely available to the vast majority of citizens.
  • Whoever becomes the next leader of the ANC will likely become South Africa’s next president, given the party’s power.
  • However, a string of corruption scandals have tarnished the ANC’s image enough that it may be forced into forming a coalition government for the first time since coming to power at the end of Apartheid.
  • Sources: BBC, Guardian, AFP, Independent

AFRICA

  • Region: UN refugee agency UNHCR said it started the voluntary repatriation of Sudanese refugees from a camp in Bambari, in the Central African Republic. (Xinhua)
  • Liberia: The ruling Unity Party has asked the Supreme Court to further delay the presidential runoff, which its candidate Vice President Joseph Boakai will contest on December 26. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Military authorities say soldiers have arrested more than 400 people associated with the Boko Haram extremist group hiding on the islands of Lake Chad. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Panama’s government signed approval for the extradition of a former Mexican governor wanted in his home country on corruption charges. (AFP)
  • Cuba: The government reiterated its willingness to continue normalizing ties with Washington, despite setbacks caused by U.S. President Donald Trump’s position on the issue. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: Congress on Friday passed a law that strengthens the military’s role in fighting organized crime, defying an outcry from human rights groups, police experts and even United Nations officials. (NYT)
  • Venezuela: The government and opposition concluded a new round of talks in an effort to bridge deep and entrenched differences to find a way to end the dire political and economic crisis. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Region: Communist parties in Nepal with closer ties to neighboring China have emerged victorious in the country’s largest democratic exercise ever. (NYT)
  • India: Rahul Gandhi, the scion of India’s most famous political dynasty, on Saturday took over as president of the main opposition Congress party. (AP)
  • Indonesia: A strong earthquake shook densely populated Java island, killing two people and severely damaging dozens of homes near the epicenter. (AP)
  • Japan: Japan will contest the election for a non-permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council from 2023 to 2024 after its current two-year term closes. (Kyodo)

EUROPE

  • Region: European Union leaders agreed Friday to open crucial talks on a future relationship with Britain once it leaves the bloc, but warned it would be “dramatically difficult” to reach a deal before Brexit in 2019. (AFP)
  • Austria: Conservative and nationalist parties reached a deal to form a new coalition government that will shift the country to the right. (AP)
  • Spain: A court granted China’s extradition request for 121 Taiwanese citizens accused of belonging to Spain-based gangs that swindled people in China out of millions of euros by telephone. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: US Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday he does not see the need for a stepped-up military posture against Iran, (AFP)
  • Syria: The Foreign Ministry slammed claims that the Syrian government delegation was responsible for the failure of the latest round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, (Xinhua)
  • Yemen: Saudi-led air strikes have killed 28 Huthi rebels around Yemen’s west coast, medics and security sources close to the insurgents have said. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communication: France will continue to defend “net neutrality” irrespective of what other countries may do, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday. (Reuters)

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Storm Kai-Tak
      • 310 NM E-SE of Manila
      • Movement: W at 8mph
      • Wind: 50mph
      • Source
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes:
    • 6.5, 0km ESE of Cipatujah, Indonesia
  • 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 (17DEC)

  • Bhutan: National Day – 1907
  • Chile: Presidential runoff election
  • Guatemala: Deadline for registration of Guatemalan citizenship to participate in the March 2018 referendum
  • United States: Wright Brothers Day – 1959

END

 

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