ONS: 18 February 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 19, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is alarmed by reported terrorist attacks on vulnerable displaced people in Nigeria.
  • AMERICAS: Mexican consulates are flooded with immigrants fearful of deportation, following President Trump’s promise to crack down on illegal immigrants.
  • ASIA: 34 militants of Islamic State (IS) were killed after the army struck their positions in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar.
  • EUROPE: Leaders pushed back at President Trump’s ultimatum to increase defense spending or risk the United States’ reduction in Transatlantic protection.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Pentagon said that pressure on the Islamic State group in Syria is paying off, as there are signs that the group is exiting Raqqa.
  • COMMUNICATION: President Trump, in a rebuke of the nation’s press organizations, wrote on Twitter that the nation’s news media “is the enemy of the American people.”

 

TOP STORY

  • North Korea – Malaysia: Tensions escalate between North Korea and Malaysia over the death of Kim Jong Nam
    • Malaysia performed an autopsy on 15FEB despite the strong objections of North Korea, which asserted sovereignty over the body of its citizen.
    • Because the first autopsy was inconclusive, Malaysian authorities said they would perform a second post-mortem.
    • In response, North Korea accused the Malaysian government of trying to “conceal something.”
    • Police arrested a North Korean man in connection with the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
    • The detained man, identified as Ri Jong Chol, 46, is the fourth person to be detained by investigators and the only suspect from North Korea.
    • The other three suspects hold Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Malaysian documents.
    • Two women suspected of being involved in the attack were arrested earlier in the week.
    • A Malaysian man, described as the boyfriend of the Indonesian woman, was arrested and is said to be assisting the police in the investigation.
    • Coverage: Guardian, NYT, WP, AP, Reuters

 

AFRICA

  • Central African Republic: The UN Peacekeeping Mission (MINUSCA) reinforced its presence in Bambari with the arrival of additional forces. (Xinhua)
  • Gambia: New President Adama Barrow is due to be formally inaugurated in the capital Banjul. (BBC)
  • Nigeria: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that it is alarmed by reported terrorist attacks on vulnerable displaced people. (Xinhua)
  • Tanzania: Burundi’s government asked Tanzania to arrest several leaders of the main opposition attending peace talks in Arusha. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Mexican consulates are flooded with immigrants fearful of deportation, following President Trump’s promise to crack down on illegal immigrants. (NYT)
  • United States: The Coast Guard offloaded more than 13 tons of cocaine seized in operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. (EFE)
  • Venezuela: The highest court upheld a 14-year prison sentence for opposition leader Leopoldo López a day after President Trump called for his release. (Guardian)

 

ASIA

  • Region:  Four Chinese coast guard ships entered Japanese waters around the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. (Kyodo)
  • Afghanistan: 34 militants of Islamic State (IS) were killed after the army struck their positions in the country’s eastern province of Nangarhar. (Xinhua)
  • Afghanistan: The Red Cross called for the unconditional release of two staff members who were abducted last week after their convoy was ambushed leaving six dead. (AFP)
  • Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his order for the Armed Forces (AFP) and the National Police (PNP) to contain the Islamic State group. (CNN)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: European leaders pushed back at President Trump’s ultimatum to increase defense spending or risk the United States’ reduction in Transatlantic protection. (Telegraph)
  • Region: Defense Secretary Mattis said that President Trump supports NATO, while also pressing alliance members share the financial burden for defense. (RFE/RL)
  • Region: A senior UN official said that the EU should not expect too much on its deal with Libya to stem the flow of migrants from North Africa. (Xinhua)
  • Netherlands: Geert Wilders began his election campaign by promising to ban Muslim immigration and close all the mosques in the country. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the deployment of US troops in Syria to fight terrorism would adversely fan the flames of extremism. (Xinhua)
  • Lebanon: Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s harsh words for Israel and President Trump aimed at drawing “red lines” to prevent action against Lebanon. (Reuters)
  • Syria: The Foreign Ministry accused Turkey of bringing in equipment to build a separation wall in the north of the country. (Xinhua)
  • Syria: The Pentagon said that pressure on the Islamic State group in the country is paying off, as there are signs that the group is exiting Raqqa.  (WP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communication: President Trump, in a rebuke of the nation’s press organizations, wrote on Twitter that the nation’s news media “is the enemy of the American people.” (NYT)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • 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 10FEB: 406 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (French), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten (Dutch), Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, UK Virgin Islands, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Uruguay, and Venezuela)
        • Suspected Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 349,936
      • Confirmed Cases as of 10FEB: 26
        • Confirmed Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250
      • Deaths as of 10FEB: 0
        • 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 10FEB: 1,905 (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 10FEB: 677 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 02FEB:  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 02FEB: 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 02FEB: 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 (19FEB)

  • Ecuador: General Elections
  • Japan: 2017 Asian Winter Games to be held in Sapporo (to 26FEB)

END

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