ONS: 17 January 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 18, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The Nigerian army released 244 Boko Haram suspects who have denounced their membership in the deadly extremist group.
  • AMERICAS: A former CIA officer has been arrested and charged with illegally retaining classified records, including names and phone numbers of covert CIA assets.
  • ASIA: Myanmar police opened fire on a mob of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists as they tried to seize a government office, killing seven and injuring 13 more.
  • EUROPE:  EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker renewed an offer to Britain to stay in the European Union and said he hoped that even if it goes through with Brexit it would apply to rejoin the bloc.
  • MIDDLE EAST:  Saudi Arabia announced it would transfer $2 billion to Yemen’s central bank, following desperate calls for funding from the war-torn country’s president and prime minister.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The attorneys general of 22 states — including New York, California, Kentucky, and Mississippi — are suing over the repeal of net neutrality regulations.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Kurdish PYD appeals to International community for help when faced with imminent Turkish invasion.
    • Turkey sees the prospect of an armed, autonomous Kurdish enclave in Syria as a threat vis-a-vis Turkey’s own restive Kurdish regions.
    • Last week the US unveiled plans to create a 30,000 strong Syrian “border force”–effectively a Kurdish force, which Ankara decried as unacceptable.
    • Turkish media has been reporting a large buildup of troops and vehicles on the border of the Afrin region, the identified target.
    • Russia’s position remains unclear, and the success of any Turkish intervention would be heavily dependent on an understanding with Russian forces operating in the area.
    • Bombardment of Afrin has already begun, prompting the Kurds to call for help.
    • Reporting: BBC, Reuters, AP, Reuters2, AFP

AFRICA

  • Region: Sudan and Ethiopia agreed to deploy a joint force to secure their joint border and prevent any hostile activities against the two countries. (Xinhua)
  • Region: Democratic Republic of Congo’s former military chief Faustin Munene, who has been accused by Kinshasa of an attempted coup against President Joseph Kabila in 2011, has been arrested in Gabon. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: The army released 244 Boko Haram suspects who have denounced their membership in the deadly extremist group. (AP)
  • South Africa: Prosecutors said they are seeking $130 million from global consultancy McKinsey and a local firm linked to a graft scandal that has engulfed President Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Chile: The National Customs Service seized a tractor-trailer coming from Bolivia carrying narcotics valued at $2.2 million in the northern city of Iquique. (EFE)
  • United States: A former CIA officer has been arrested and charged with illegally retaining classified records, including names and phone numbers of covert CIA assets. (AP)
  • Venezuela: The government announced that rogue pilot Oscar Perez was among seven “terrorists” killed during a bloody police assault. (AFP)

ASIA

  • China: The military will be subject to “stricter” discipline checks as efforts to root out corruption, a senior military official said. (Xinhua)
  • Myanmar: Police opened fire on a mob of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists as they tried to seize a government office, killing seven and injuring 13 more (AFP)
  • Pakistan: A senior police officer has escaped unhurt in a suicide blast targeting his vehicle in the southern port city of Karachi, (Xinhua)

EUROPE

  • Region: EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker renewed an offer to Britain to stay in the European Union and said he hoped that even if it goes through with Brexit it would apply to rejoin the bloc. (Reuters)
  • Czech Republic: The government led by Prime Minister Andrej Babis agreed to resign after the minority cabinet lost a confidence vote a day earlier. (Reuters)
  • Germany: The federal prosecutor’s office says police have conducted a series of searches across the country in connection with investigations into 10 suspected Iranian spies. (RFE-RL)
  • Spain: Catalonia’s parliament meets for the first time since it was dissolved, but without sacked regional leader Carles Puigdemont who is in self-imposed exile in Belgium. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: The Royal Australian Air Force has flown its final strike mission over Iraq in the fight against Islamic State, a chief marshal said. (Xinhua)
  • Saudi Arabia: The military said it had intercepted a fresh missile attack by Yemeni rebels on the south of the country, and renewed its accusations that Iran had armed them. (AFP)
  • Yemen: Saudi Arabia announced it would transfer $2 billion to Yemen’s central bank, following desperate calls for funding from the war-torn country’s president and prime minister. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: The attorneys general of 22 states — including New York, California, Kentucky, and Mississippi — are suing over the repeal of net neutrality regulations. (Mashable)

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Cyclone Berguitta
      • Location: 204 nm NE of Port Louis, Mauritius
      • Movement: W at 4mph
      • Wind: 80mph
      • Source
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes:
    • Mayon Volcano
      • Location: Luzon Island, Philippines
      • Height: 2,472 meters
      • Lava flow: 1.2 miles
      • 34,000 evacuated
      • Source
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 22DEC: 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 22DEC: 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 22DEC: 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 08JAN: 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 08JAN: 740 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18JAN)

  • Global: UN debate on nuclear non-proliferation to be chaired by Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev
  • Japan: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
  • Peru: Pope Francis to visit Peru (to 21JAN)
  • Peru: Foundation Day of Lima – 1535
  • Sierra Leone: Anniversary of the conclusion of the Sierra Leonean Civil War – 2002
  • Thailand: Royal Thai Armed Forces Day – 2007
  • Tunisia: Revolution Day – 1951
  • United Kingdom: Deadline for Facebook and Twitter to cooperate with an inquiry into Russian interference in the Brexit referendum campaign

END

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