ONS: 19 August 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on August 20, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: A spike in the forced recruitment of child soldiers in South Sudan could be imminent, the UN warned, amid fears of renewed civil war.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuela and Colombia agreed to let their citizens cross the border with tires and auto parts for personal use, as part of the gradual re-opening of their border.
  • ASIA: Japan is expected this month to unveil a record defense budget of USD 51B for 2017, in response to rising tensions with China and North Korea.
  • EUROPE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there is no reason to lift EU sanctions against Russia as Moscow has not fulfilled its Minsk peace plan commitments.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen said it wanted urgent talks with Doctors Without Borders over the charity’s withdrawal of staff from six Yemeni hospitals.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Twitter suspended 235,000 accounts that promoted terrorism over the last six months, as part of a continuing effort to keep people from using the social network for extremist causes.

TOP STORY

  • Brazil: Brazilian authorities uncover deception by US Olympic athletes.
    • US star swimmer Ryan Lochte’s account of being robbed at gunpoint unraveled as Rio police, his teammates and the US Olympic Committee broke from his narrative.
    • The head of Rio de Janeiro’s civil police, Fernando Veloso, said the athletes damaged a gas station bathroom and were involved in a confrontation with armed security before paying about $50 to resolve the matter.
    • The US Olympic Committee issued a statement that acknowledged a version of events that involved an argument spurned by “an act of vandalism” committed by “one of the athletes.”
    • David Fleischer, a political scientist at the University of Brasilia, said the incident touched a nerve in Brazil because of the country’s history of urban violence and cases of people impersonating police and committing crimes.
    • Coverage: CBS, LAT, WP, WSJ

AFRICA

  • Region: South Sudan’s opposition leader, Riek Machar, is in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN said. (Reuters)
  • Mali: Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, a popular radio presenter in the country, was released from police custody, a day after violent clashes between his supporters and police left one dead. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: A spike in the forced recruitment of child soldiers in the country could be imminent, the UN warned, amid fears of renewed civil war. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Venezuela and Colombia agreed to let their citizens cross the border with tires and auto parts for personal use, as part of the gradual re-opening of their border. (Xinhua)
  • Colombia: The country’s National Liberation Army rebel group released the first proof-of-life video of politician Odin Sanchez. (AP)
  • Mexico: Federal prosecutors took over investigations into the kidnapping of a son of notorious drugs boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Region: China has built a pier for warships at a site it is developing as a military base near the Senkaku Islands, sources said. (Kyodo)
  • Japan: The country is expected this month to unveil a record defense budget of USD 51B for 2017, in response to rising tensions with China and North Korea. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: The Philippine government criticized a UN statement that President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs amounted to a crime under international law as “baseless and reckless”. (AFP)
  • Thailand: Former PM Yingluck Shinawatra denied accusations she or her political allies were responsible for last week’s deadly bomb attack. (DPA)

EUROPE

  • Region: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there is no reason to lift EU sanctions against Russia as Moscow has not fulfilled its Minsk peace plan commitments. (Reuters)
  • Region: Turkey would like to join the EU by 2023, the Turkish EU ambassador Selim Yene has said. (DPA)
  • Germany: Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere came out in favor of a partial burqa ban amid a fierce national debate on integration. (AFP)
  • Greece: The country’s coast guard rescued dozens of migrants whose boat ran aground on a deserted islet off the country’s southwest coast. (AP)
  • Spain: The country’s conservative Popular Party has signed a deal with the business-friendly Ciudadanos party that could allow the formation of a new government and avert a possible third round of elections. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: The Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen said it wanted urgent talks with Doctors Without Borders over the charity’s withdrawal of staff from six Yemeni hospitals. (AFP)
  • Region: Palestinian police searching for weapons clashed with gunmen in the West Bank city of Nablus, leaving four people dead. (AFP)
  • Syria: Russia has denied responsibility for an attack in Aleppo which wounded a young boy whose rescue was filmed and shared widely on social media. (AP)
  • Syria: Aerial photos have been released showing Islamic State militants using civilians as shields to escape the northern town of Manbij. (BBC)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: Twitter suspended 235,000 accounts that promoted terrorism over the last six months, as part of a continuing effort to keep people from using the social network for extremist causes. (NYT)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm 12W
    • Location: 299 NM ESE of Yokosuka, Japan
    • Winds: 40 mph
    • Movement: WNW at 19 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm 11W
    • Location: 107 NM ESE of Hanoi, Vietnam
    • Winds: 46 mph
    • Movement: WSW at 9 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm 10W
    • Location: 272 NM NNW of Andersen AFB, Guam
    • Winds: 46 mph
    • Movement: NW at 8 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Tropical Storm Fiona
    • Location: 1180 NM W of the Cabo Verde Islands
    • Winds: 45 mph
    • Movement: NW at 8 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Tropical Depression 12-E
    • Location: 355 NM S of Baja California, Mexico
    • Winds: 35 mph
    • Movement: NW at 7 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: South Georgia Island region
    • Magnitude: 7.4
    • Depth: 10 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 27MAR: 28,646 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 27MAR: 11,323 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 12AUG: 180,056 (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)
      • Confirmed Cases as of 12AUG: 67,411
      • Deaths as of 12AUG: 50
        • Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 74 (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 25JUL: 1,791 (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 25JUL: 640 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 04AUG:  American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bonaire (Netherlands), Brazil, 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, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Netherlands), Sint Maarten, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, United States, Vietnam, United States Virgin Islands, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).
      • Outbreak Terminated as of 04AUG: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Gabon, Isla de Pascua (Chile), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
      • Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 04AUG: Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and the United States of America.
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20AUG)

  • Hungary: Saint Stephen’s Day
  • Iran and Iraq: Anniversary of the of end of the Iran-Iraq War – 1988
  • Morocco: Revolution Day – 1953

END

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