ONS: 17 March 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 18, 2018

 

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The Canadian military will deploy helicopters and support troops, including medical teams, to the troubled West African nation of Mali later this year.
  • AMERICAS: Countries in Latin America this week have expressed deep concern about Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports while seeking exemption ahead of the negotiation deadline on March 23.
  • ASIA: Malaysia’s PM warned his South-east Asian neighbours that the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar could become a serious security threat for the region.
  • EUROPE: Turkish shelling of the Syrian town of Afrin overnight has killed at least 18 civilians, Kurdish forces and a war monitor have said.
  • MIDDLE EAST: More than 150,000 civilians have fled the city of Afrin in northern Syria since Wednesday evening to escape a Turkish-led military offensive against a Kurdish militia, a war monitor said.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Facebook Inc said it was suspending political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for Trump’s 2016 election campaign, after finding data privacy policies had been violated.

TOP STORY

  • Russia to expel 23 British diplomats
    • The Russian foreign ministry said staff from the UK’s Moscow embassy would be expelled within a week.
    • The ministry also declared it was closing the British Consulate General in St Petersburg and the British Council in Russia, in a step beyond the measures taken by Britain. The British Council is a cultural institute with artistic, language and educational programs.
    • The order came days after PM May expelled the same number of Russian diplomats and called off high-level contacts between the two governments.
    • The move caps a week that has seen relations between the UK and Russia reach their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. Britain’s top diplomat on Friday accused Putin of ordering the nerve-agent attack that left Sergei Skripal and his daughter fighting for their lives.
    • UK, US, Germany and France have jointly called on Russia to explain the attack, while Trump has said it looks as if the Russians were behind it.
    • Coverage: BBC, CNN, NYT, REU, WSJ

AFRICA

  • Mali: The Canadian military will deploy helicopters and support troops, including medical teams, to the troubled West African nation of Mali later this year. (AFP)
  • Morocco: Thousands of Moroccans defied a government ban and demonstrated in the former mining town of Jerada demanding an “alternative economy” and the release of jailed activists. (AFP)
  • South Africa: Top prosecutor reinstated decade-old corruption charges against Zuma, escalating the retired leader’s legal troubles just weeks after he stepped down. (WSJ)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Countries in Latin America this week have expressed deep concern about Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports while seeking exemption ahead of the negotiation deadline on March 23. (XIN)
  • Region: Trump will take further aim at the Venezuelan government and restrict US financial transactions involving Venezuela’s new digital currency. (MIA)
  • Costa Rica: Conservative evangelical Christian Fabricio Alvarado Munoz has an effective lead of almost 14 percentage points over ruling party hopeful Carlos Alvarado Quesada in the race to be next president. (REU)

ASIA

  • Region: Australia and Southeast Asian countries face a growing security threat with terrorists using more sophisticated technology, Australia’s interior minister said. (EFE)
  • Region: Malaysia’s PM warned his South-east Asian neighbours that the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar could become a serious security threat for the region. (AFP)
  • China: President Xi Jinping took the oath of allegiance to Constitution for first time. (XIN)

EUROPE

  • Greece: At least 14 migrants, including four children, died when a boat carrying about 20 people capsized overnight in the Aegean Sea, Greek police said. (AFP)
  • Region: Russia’s foreign ministry summoned Britain’s ambassador to the country. (REU)
  • Russia: The country expects more significant results from economic interaction with Japan, Russian FM Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the media of Vietnam and Japan ahead of his visits to those countries. (TAS)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Syria: More than 150,000 civilians have fled the city of Afrin in northern Syria since Wednesday evening to escape a Turkish-led military offensive against a Kurdish militia, a war monitor said. (AFP)
  • Syria: Turkish shelling of the Syrian town of Afrin overnight has killed at least 18 civilians, Kurdish forces and a war monitor have said. (IND)
  • Syria: Civilians in the last rebel-held pockets of besieged Eastern Ghouta have been urged to flee as Russia-backed regime forces storm into the beleaguered area near Damascus, with intense airstrikes killing dozens and causing thousands more to evacuate. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Facebook Inc said it was suspending political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for Trump’s 2016 election campaign, after finding data privacy policies had been violated. (REU)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 20JAN: 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 20JAN: 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 20JAN: 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 05MAR: 2,143 (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 05MAR: 750 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18MAR)

  • Aruba: Flag Day – 1976
  • Brazil: 8th World Water Forum opens in Brasília (to 23MAR)
  • Comoros: Sheikh Al Maarouf Day – Unknown
  • Guatemala: Referendum on the territorial dispute with Belize
  • India: Ugadi – Unknown
  • Mongolia: Mens’ and Soldiers’ Day – 1921
  • Russia: Presidential Election (to 28MAR)
  • Turkey: Gallipoli Memorial Day – 1915
  • United States: German economy minister to visit for talks with US officials (to 20MAR)
  • United States: 33rd annual Los Angeles Marathon to take place

END

 

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