ONS: 18 May 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on May 19, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: An outbreak of Ebola in the DR Congo is in an extremely remote area and presents a high risk at a national level, the World Health Organization said.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuela is sending 2,600 troops to the western region of Tachira to quell looting and rioting amid continuing anti-government protests.
  • ASIA: The Philippines will no longer accept new grants from the EU, to “discourage them from interfering with our internal affairs.”
  • EUROPE: Germany is free to withdraw its troops stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik air base if it wants to, Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu said, adding Berlin should change its attitude towards Ankara.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Turkey called for the removal of Brett McGurk, the US diplomat coordinating the international coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, accusing him of backing Syrian Kurdish militia.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The EU fined Facebook USD 122M for giving misleading statements during the company’s acquisition of the WhatsApp messaging service in 2014.

 

TOP STORY

  • United States: Special Counsel appointed to investigate Trump-Russia ties
    • The US Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to investigate possible coordination between President Trump’s associates and Russian officials.
    • The FBI director for 12 years, Mueller is well regarded as a nonpartisan figure.
    • Veteran law enforcement officials praised the selection, calling Mr. Mueller an unflinching advocate for facts.
    • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s decision to opt for a special counsel is meant to demonstrate that the US political system still has the capacity to investigate itself and its most powerful players.
    • The FBI and Congress are looking into potential links between Trump’s campaign team and Russia.
    • Coverage: BBC, CNN, LAT, NYT, WP

 

AFRICA

  • Burundi: Three members of the country’s “Imbonerakure” ruling party youth league died when a grenade exploded in the capital Bujumbura. (AFP)
  • DR Congo: An outbreak of Ebola in the country is in an extremely remote area and presents a high risk at a national level, the World Health Organization said. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: Military corruption is weakening the country’s efforts to battle the Islamist insurgency of Boko Haram, the watchdog Transparency International said. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: President Michel Temer faced calls for his removal after a newspaper reported that he had been recorded discussing payments of hush money to a corrupt politician. (AFP)
  • Colombia: Explosions at a Cartagena shipyard, which killed at least six people and injured 23 others, are under investigation. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: The country is sending 2,600 troops to the western region of Tachira to quell looting and rioting amid continuing anti-government protests. (BBC)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Four Indonesian soldiers were killed and eight others injured by artillery fire in an accident during training in the South China Sea. (AFP)
  • Afghanistan: US Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford says NATO should be prepared to move fast to deploy additional forces if President Trump and other heads of states agree to bolster the alliance’s mission in the country. (USA Today)
  • Korean Peninsula: US President Donald Trump told South Korean presidential envoy Hong Seok-hyun that he was willing to make peace through engagement with North Korea if conditions are right. (Xinhua)
  • Philippines: The country will no longer accept new grants from the EU, to “discourage them from interfering with our internal affairs.” (AP)
  • South Korea: President Moon Jae In reopened a probe into the May 1980 Gwangju pro-democracy uprising in which hundreds of protesters were killed or injured by a brutal military crackdown. (Yonhap)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Germany is free to withdraw its troops stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik air base if it wants to, Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu said, adding Berlin should change its attitude towards Ankara. (Reuters)
  • Albania: With mediation, the country’s political parties reached a compromise on next month’s parliamentary election, likely resulting in the postponement of the 18JUN general election. (AP)
  • Germany: Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it’s “absolutely necessary” to continue intelligence cooperation with the US amid a furor over President Donald Trump’s discussions with Russian diplomats. (AP)
  • Ukraine: Two Ukrainian policemen were hospitalized after 30 men attacked a rally by LGBT activists in the city of Kharkiv. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Turkey called for the removal of Brett McGurk, the US diplomat coordinating the international coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, accusing him of backing Syrian Kurdish militia. (AFP)
  • Iran: The country criticized new US sanctions on its missile program, saying they would undermine a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. (AFP)
  • Iraq: The US floated the idea of NATO assuming some responsibility for training troops in the country after the Islamic State jihadist forces there are defeated. (AFP)
  • Iraq: The UN said up to 200,000 more people could flee Mosul as Iraqi forces push into the last districts held by Islamic State militants. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: A bill proposed in Congress would require the US National Security Agency to inform representatives of other government agencies about security holes it finds in software, such as the one that allowed last week’s “ransomware” attacks. (Reuters)
  • Technology: The EU fined Facebook USD 122M for giving misleading statements during the company’s acquisition of the WhatsApp messaging service in 2014. (NYT)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Klyuchevskoy, Russia
    • The Kamchatka Peninsula volcano spewed ash 6 kilometers into the air and tours to the area have been cancelled. (TASS)
  • 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 12MAY: 34,465 (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, and Venezuela)
        • Suspected Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 349,936
      • Confirmed Cases as of 12MAY: 13,534 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela)
        • Confirmed Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250
      • Deaths as of 12MAY: 9 (Brazil)
        • 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 29APR: 1,952 (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 29APR: 693 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 13APR: 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, Panamá, 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 13APR: 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 13APR: 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 (19MAY)

  • Croatia: Anniversary of the Croatian independence referendum – 1991
  • Iran: Presidential elections
  • Japan: The government to submit a special bill to the Diet to allow the emperor to step down
  • Mexico: Anniversary of Mexico ratifying the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for US $15 million – 1848
  • Turkey: Anniversary of Atatürk landing at Samsun on the Anatolian Black Sea coast, initiating what is later termed the Turkish War of Independence – 1919
  • United States: Abu Zubaydah to testify at the pre-trial hearing of the Guantánamo war court against his alleged CIA torturers

 

END

 

 

 

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