ONS: 18 January 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 19, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Zimbabwe will hold elections in four to five months, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.
  • AMERICAS: The stretch of the Paraguay River that flows through the capital, Asuncion, surpassed critical-flood stage as the number of evacuees approached 7,000.
  • ASIA: The Chinese economy grew a forecast-beating 6.9 percent in 2017, picking up steam for the first time since 2010.
  • EUROPE: Britain will pay France an extra USD 62M to boost security around Calais following a demand for more money from President Emmanuel Macron.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed a wanted Palestinian believed responsible for the murder of a rabbi.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Facebook agreed to broaden its own investigation into fake news around the Brexit vote.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Turkey and US butt heads over Syrian Kurdish region.
    • Turkey said it would not hesitate to take action in Syria’s Afrin district and other areas unless the US withdrew support for a Kurdish-led force there.
    • Turkish PM Binali Yildirim complained about inconsistent statements from the US about the creation of a border security force in northern Syria, saying Washington has to eliminate the confusion and stand by Turkey.
    • The Trump administration is backtracking on its description of a planned new security force in northeastern Syria amid escalating threats by Turkey to launch a cross-border assault against the Kurdish group involved.
    • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denied the US had any intention to build a Syria-Turkey border force, saying the issue had been “misportrayed.”
    • Coverage: AP, Reuters, Reuters-2, WP

 

AFRICA

  • Libya: Europe should send migrants back to the country until the security situation there has stabilized, Human Rights Watch said. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Nigerian armed forces joined the hunt for two Americans and two Canadians who were kidnapped in an ambush in northern Kaduna state. (AFP)
  • Zimbabwe: The country will hold elections in four to five months, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was quoted as saying. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Two former FARC rebel fighters were killed after campaigning for a political candidate for the now-demobilized guerrilla group. (Reuters)
  • Paraguay: The stretch of the Paraguay River that flows through the capital, Asuncion, surpassed critical-flood stage as the number of evacuees approached 7,000. (EFE)
  • United States: A German man with alleged al Qaeda ties was charged with conspiring to kill Americans in New York. (NYT)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Australia and Japan are committed to signing a defense and Asia Pacific trade deal by MAR2018, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said. (Reuters)
  • Region: Pakistani and Indian troops traded gunfire in the disputed region of Kashmir, leaving three civilians and a soldier dead. (AP)
  • China: The Chinese economy grew a forecast-beating 6.9 percent in 2017, picking up steam for the first time since 2010. (AFP)
  • China: The country criticized recent US targeting of the sale of fake goods and Chinese telecoms equipment. (AP)
  • Kazakhstan: Fifty-two people were killed in a bus fire in the northern Aktobe region. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Britain will pay France an extra USD 62M to boost security around Calais following a demand for more money from President Emmanuel Macron. (AFP)
  • Germany: The country’s financial watchdog found no evidence of any large-scale wrongdoing by the German banks identified in the “Panama Papers” scandal. (AFP)
  • Germany: German authorities filed terrorism and murder charges against a suspected member of Afghanistan’s Taliban whom they accuse of participating in the killing of an Afghan police officer. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: The first of Britain’s new fleet of F-35 stealth fighter jets will be operational from British land bases by the end of this year. (Xinhua)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed a wanted Palestinian believed responsible for the murder of a rabbi. (AP)
  • Region: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu stepped back from comments that envisioned a one-year timeframe for the planned relocation of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: The government and British energy giant BP signed a memorandum of understanding to develop lucrative oil fields in the country’s north. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: Prominent cleric Sheikh Salman Al Awda was hospitalized after almost five months in solitary confinement, Amnesty International said. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Facebook agreed to broaden its own investigation into fake news around the Brexit vote. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Berguitta
    • Location: 72 NM ENE of Port Louis, Mauritius
    • Movement: SW at 12 mph
    • Wind: 75 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Mount Mayon, Philippines
    • Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from the vicinity of the erupting volcano in the eastern province of Albay. (EFE)
  • 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)
    • 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)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19JAN)

  • Belarus: Rescuer’s Day – 1998
  • Central Asia Region: UN Security Council to hold ministerial-level debate on strengthening relations between Afghanistan and Central Asia chaired by Kazakh FM Kairat Abdrakhmanov
  • France: French President Emmanuel Macron to host German Chancellor Angela Merkel for talks
  • Middle East Region: US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Egypt, Jordan and Israel (to 23JAN)

 

END

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