ONS: 16 October 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on October 17, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The most powerful bomb blast ever witnessed in Somalia’s capital killed 276 people with around 300 others injured, making it the deadliest single attack in this Horn of Africa.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuelan opposition refused to recognize a surprise win for the ruling socialists in regional election, potentially rekindling protests and fresh foreign sanctions on the oil-rich country’s moribund economy.
  • ASIA: US Secretary of State Tillerson says diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the North Korean crisis “will continue until the first bomb drops.”
  • EUROPE: Voters in Austria shifted to the right in parliamentary elections, giving the far-right Freedom Party a mandate to enter coalition talks with young conservative victor Sebastian Kurz, who fell short of a parliamentary majority.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Clashes broke out as Iraqi forces moved to recapture Kurdish-held oil fields and a military base near the city of Kirkuk, setting the stage for a battle between two US allies.
  • TECHNOLOGY: German ambassador Michael Clauss said China’s internet restrictions could negatively impact foreign companies working there and warned that such moves may undermine the country’s political and commercial ties with the world.

 

TOP STORY

  • Iraqi forces launch operation for Kurdish-held oil fields, military base
    • The conflict between Kurdi­stan and the Iraqi government over land and oil is decades old, but a Kurdish referendum for independence last month inflamed the tensions. The Iraqi government, as well as the US, Turkey and Iran all opposed the vote.
    • Iraqi PM al-Abadi said the referendum was unconstitutional and demanded it be annulled. The Kurdistan Regional Government insisted it was legitimate and called for dialogue.
    • Iraq’s Interior Ministry said in a brief statement that federal forces have taken control of a power plant, a police station and industrial areas near Kirkuk. It provided no further details on the fighting or casualties in what it referred to as Operation Impose Security on Kirkuk.
    • US Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, tweeted that it was “closely monitoring site. near Kirkuk; urge all sides to avoid escalatory actions.
    • Iraq’s Kurds have vowed to fight back against any attempt by federal forces to seize the airport in the disputed city of Kirkuk, after clashes erupted overnight.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, TEL, WP, USN

AFRICA

  • Libya: The country’s security force has stopped a plan to take control of the capital Tripoli by armed groups. (XIN)
  • Egypt: In a brazen attack, about a dozen Islamic militants robbed a local bank and traded fire with security forces guarding an unused church in Sinai Peninsula, killing seven people, including three civilians. (AP)
  • Somalia: The most powerful bomb blast ever witnessed in the capital killed 276 people with around 300 others injured, making it the deadliest single attack in this Horn of Africa nation. The toll was expected to rise. (AP)

AMERICAS

 

  • Haiti: About 40 people are missing after a migrant vessel sunk the northern coast. (AFP)
  • Mexico: Local security forces said that Ranferi Hernandez Acevedo, the former head of Mexico’s Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) in the Pacific state of Guerrero, has been murdered. (AP)
  • Venezuela: The opposition refused to recognize a surprise win for the ruling socialists in a weekend regional election, potentially rekindling protests and fresh foreign sanctions on the oil-rich country’s moribund economy. (REU)

 

ASIA

 

  • Afghanistan: The country’s army found and defused 51 rounds of landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) within a day. (XIN)
  • Kyrgyzstan: Opposition leader Omurbek Babanov said he had lost Sunday’s presidential election after preliminary figures showed his main opponent winning outright with more than 50 percent of the vote. (REU)
  • North Korea: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the North Korean crisis “will continue until the first bomb drops.” (NYT)
  • Philippines: Nearly nine out of 10 Filipinos support President Duterte’s war on drugs, and almost three quarters believe extrajudicial killings are taking place in the bloody crackdown, an opinion poll showed. (REU)

EUROPE

 

  • Region: Wildfires in Portugal and Spain have killed nine people as hundreds of blazes were fanned by strong winds caused by a hurricane. (AP)
  • Austria: Voters shifted to the right in parliamentary elections, giving the far-right Freedom Party a mandate to enter coalition talks with young conservative victor Sebastian Kurz, who fell short of a parliamentary majority. (REU)
  • Ukraine: One of the Ukrainian Army’s largest ammunition depots caught fire overnight after what was probably an act of sabotage using a drone. (NYT)

MIDDLE EAST

 

  • Iran: EU foreign ministers are urging the US Congress to safeguard the Iran nuclear agreement after President Trump withdrew his support for the deal. (WP)
  • Iraq:  Clashes broke out as Iraqi forces moved to recapture Kurdish-held oil fields and a military base near the city of Kirkuk, setting the stage for a battle between two U.S. allies. (WP)
  • Region: Israel’s military said Monday it carried out an airstrike on an anti-aircraft battery in Syria after it fired toward its planes, while vowing it sought no further escalation in the war-torn country. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • German ambassador Michael Clauss said China’s internet restrictions could negatively impact foreign companies working there and warned that such moves may undermine the country’s political and commercial ties with the world. (REU)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm Khanun
    • Location: 210 NM N of Manila, Philippines
    • Wind: 40 mph
    • Movement: SW at 8 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Hurricane Ophelia
    • Location: 670 NM SW of the Azores
    • Wind: 85 mph
    • Movement: N at 44 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 06OCT: 60,105 (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 06OCT: 122,881 (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 06OCT: 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 10OCT: 2,090 (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 10OCT: 730 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (17OCT)

  • Global: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – 1993
  • Argentina: Loyalty Day – 1945
  • India: Digital Society Day – 2000
  • Ukraine: Mikhail Saakashvili’s New Forces Movement to hold a rally in Kiev
  • United States: Greek Prime Minister Tsipras to meet with US President Trump

 

END

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