ONS: 16 March 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 17, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Boko Haram Islamists raided the northeast Nigerian town of Magumeri, looting food supplies and burning homes after overwhelming troops.
  • AMERICAS: A US federal judge in Hawaii blocked President Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world.
  • ASIA: Australia urged Southeast Asia’s regional bloc and China to conclude a legally-binding code of conduct in the South China Sea.
  • EUROPE: French and German leaders expressed relief after Dutch voters backed the nation’s PM Mark Rutte over an anti-immigration and anti-Islam candidate in an election that many viewed as a symbolic defeat for the forces of political populism.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iraqi authorities said more than 150,000 people have fled fighting in and around Mosul since the operation to retake it from Islamic State jihadists began.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Indictments in the US of four people in a 2014 cyber attack on Yahoo Inc provides the clearest details yet on a symbiotic relationship between Moscow’s security services and private Russian hackers.

 

TOP STORY

  • North Korea: US Secretary Tillerson calls for a “new approach.”
    • In Japan, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the escalating threat from North Korea’s nuclear program showed a clear need for a “new approach,” although he stopped short of detailing what steps the Trump administration would pursue.
    • Tillerson said he hoped to deepen cooperation among the US, Japan and South Korea “in the face of North Korea’s dangerous and unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”
    • Tillerson said North Korea has nothing to fear from the US or its regional allies.
    • On his first trip as secretary to Asia, Tillerson will also stop in South Korea before heading to China, whom Tillerson said has a major role to play in a solution for North Korea.
    • In response, China insisted its proposal for de-escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula was the “only feasible plan” and challenged the US to come up with something better.
    • Coverage: AFP, Bloomberg, NYT, Reuters, VOA

 

AFRICA

  • Libya: Former PM Khalifa Ghweil was wounded during fighting in the capital Tripoli but his injuries are not life threatening, sources said. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Boko Haram Islamists raided the northeast town of Magumeri, looting food supplies and burning homes after overwhelming troops. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Boko Haram released a video showing the killing of three accused spies by gunshot and beheading. (AP)
  • Somalia: Somali authorities are tracking a pirate-seized oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan hostages and are ready to use force if talks to free the ship fail. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: The number of cases of Zika, dengue and chikungunya reported in the country during the first 6 weeks of 2017 is nearly 90 percent less than in the same period in 2016, the Health Ministry said. (AP)
  • Brazil: Demonstrators went on strike in a string of cities to protest reforms to the cash-strapped country’s pension system. (AFP)
  • El Salvador: A judge summoned 20 military suspects to appear in court in relation to the El Mozote massacre during the country’s civil war. (AP)
  • United States: A federal judge in Hawaii blocked President Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world. (NYT)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Australia urged Southeast Asia’s regional bloc and China to conclude a legally-binding code of conduct in the South China Sea. (AP)
  • Region: Taiwan is planning to buy stealth fighters and vertical take-off and landing aircraft to counter China’s rapid military development. (IANS)
  • Region: Interpol issued a red notice, the closest to an international arrest warrant, for four North Koreans wanted in connection with the murder of Kim Jong Nam. (Reuters)
  • Bangladesh: Four suspected extremists were killed after police stormed a house in the city of Chittagong suspected as a hideout for a violent Islamist group. (AFP)
  • Philippines: An opposition lawmaker filed an impeachment complaint in the Philippine Congress against President Rodrigo Duterte for abuses of power. (Reuters)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed “holy wars will soon begin” in Europe, in spite of the defeat of far-right leader Geert Wilders in the Netherlands elections. (INDE)
  • Region: French and German leaders expressed relief after Dutch voters backed the nation’s PM Mark Rutte over an anti-immigration and anti-Islam candidate in an election that many viewed as a symbolic defeat for the forces of political populism. (USA Today)
  • Russia: The country denies its agents were involved in hacking 500M Yahoo accounts. (INDE)
  • Sweden: Domestic intelligence head Anders Thornberg said there is “a real and serious threat against the security” of the country of “an increased military strategic importance.” (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Jordan’s King Abdullah II and US envoy Jason Greenblatt held talks about reviving long-stalled efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. (AP)
  • Iran: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sivanka Dhanapala praised the country for its generosity towards refugees. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Iraqi authorities said more than 150,000 people have fled fighting in and around Mosul since the operation to retake it from Islamic State jihadists began. (AFP)
  • Syria: More than 150 Russian demining experts have arrived to help demine the ancient city of Palmyra. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Indictments in the US of four people in a 2014 cyber attack on Yahoo Inc provides the clearest details yet on a symbiotic relationship between Moscow’s security services and private Russian hackers. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Mount Etna, Italy
    • Molten lava eruptions of 200 meters are not expected to pose any immediate threats. (AFP)
  • 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 16FEB: 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 16FEB: 684 (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 (17MAR)

  • Argentina: Anniversary of attack on Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires – 1992
  • France: Deadline for collection of signatures necessary to launch presidential campaign
  • Ireland: St. Patrick’s Day
  • Japan: Oga city to conduct evacuation drill to practice for North Korean missile threat
  • South Korea: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to visit (to 18MAR)
  • United Kingdom: Scottish National Party (SNP) conference to be held in Aberdeen (to 18MAR)
  • United States: German Chancellor Merkel to meet with President Trump in Washington

 

END

 

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