ONS: 19 March 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 20, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The security situation in Mali “remains worrying” despite recent troop deployments and some progress on the country’s peace accord, the head of the UN’s peacekeeping force said in Bamako.
  • AMERICAS: In Brazil, a small city in the state of Rio de Janeiro is on high alert after authorities confirmed the death of one man by yellow fever and are investigating several other possible cases.
  • ASIA: In Afghanistan, at least 15 Taliban militants were killed and 12 injured during separate clashes with the army in three northern provinces within 24 hours.
  • EUROPE: Martin Schulz will officially become Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief challenger in the German September general election.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will make his first state visit to Washington during the first week of April at the invitation of Trump.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Germany raised its alert level against against cyber attacks to “heightened readiness” ahead of parliamentary elections, saying government websites are already subjected to daily assault.

TOP STORY

  • Korean Peninsula: Tensions from North Korea Missile Launch Reach ‘Dangerous Level’
    • Kim Jong Un has presided over a rocket engine test “of historic significance,” North Korean state media said, a test that coincided with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to neighboring China.
    • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s blunt comments that “all options are on the table” over thwarting North Korea’s weapons program was met with immediate alarm by national security analysts and academics.
    • Chinese President Xi Jinping and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged in talks that the two powers would work to strengthen a relationship that has been unsettled by disputes over North Korea and trade.
    • According to Tillerson, “tensions on the (Korean) Peninsula are quite high right now,” and the situation over North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats has reached a “rather dangerous level.”
    • China urged the United States to take a “cool-headed” approach to escalating tensions with North Korea, calling for a diplomatic solution to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
    • China stated that all parties were duty-bound to implement UN sanctions against Pyongyang, but also to seek dialogue and diplomatic solutions.
    • Coverage: WP, NBC, Reuters, AFP, Yonhap, CNN, BBC

AFRICA

  • Mali: The security situation “remains worrying” despite recent troop deployments and some progress on the country’s peace accord, the head of the UN’s peacekeeping force said in Bamako. (AFP)
  • Morocco: Forming a new government is a “difficult task” during “the critical period” Morocco is going through, said the newly-appointed Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani. (Xinhua)
  • Rwanda: The World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim is expected in Rwanda on Tuesday next week. (Xinhua)
  • Somalia: The government condemned a helicopter attack on a boatload of Somali refugees off the coast of Yemen and called on the Saudi-led coalition fighting in the country to investigate. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: A small city in the state of Rio de Janeiro is on high alert after authorities confirmed the death of one man by yellow fever and are investigating several other possible cases. (AP)
  • Guatemala: The country asked Interpol to be on the lookout for a lawmaker accused of war crimes dating back to its 1960-1996 civil war. (AFP)
  • Peru: The intense rains, overflowing rivers, mudslides and flooding being experienced in the country affected more than half the nation as the death toll since the beginning of the year hit 72. (AP)
  • United States: The US Secret Service bolstered security at the White House after a man was arrested after making threats at one its checkpoints. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: At least 15 Taliban militants were killed and 12 injured during separate clashes with army in three northern provinces within 24 hours. (Xinhua)
  • Myanmar: Thousands of people protested against plans to name a bridge after Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, the latest flashpoint between her administration and the country’s restless ethnic minorities.(AFP)
  • New Zealand: A US diplomat has been forced to leave the country over allegations he was involved in a serious criminal incident in which he had his nose broken and sustained a black eye. (Guardian)
  • Japan: PM Abe left for a four-day trip to Germany, France, the European Union headquarters in Brussels, and Italy. (Kyodo)

EUROPE

  • Region: The Russian Ambassador warned Norway that Russia will respond if Oslo joins the NATO European missile shield. (TASS)
  • Belgium: This week marks the first anniversary of the Brussels airport and metro bombings with ceremonies to commemorate the country’s worst ever attacks. (AFP)
  • Germany: Martin Schulz will officially become Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief challenger in the September general election. (AFP)
  • Italy: Under an initiative introduced last year by the government, nearly 700 Syrian refugees have been granted one-year humanitarian visas to begin their asylum process in the country. (AFP)
  • Russia: A regime of counter-terrorism operation was introduced in the Khasavyurtovsky district in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan. (TASS)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Egypt: President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will make his first state visit to Washington during the first week of April at the invitation of Trump. (Reuters)
  • Yemen:  The country’s Houthi movement claimed that it had fired a long-range ballistic missile on Saudi King Salman air base in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. (Xinhua)
  • Yemen: Two senior Yemen rebels survived a Saudi-led coalition air raid on their convoy in the southwestern province of Taez that killed eight of their guards, (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Germany raised its alert level against against cyber attacks to “heightened readiness” ahead of parliamentary elections, saying government websites are already subjected to daily assault. (Reuters)

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 http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en/(CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 10MAR: 4,519 (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela)
        • Suspected Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 349,936
      • Confirmed Cases as of 10MAR: 629 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Puerto Rico)
        • Confirmed Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250
      • Deaths as of 10MAR: 1 (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 16FEB: 1,917 (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 16FEB: 684 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 10MAR:  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 10MAR: 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 10MAR: 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 (20MAR)

  • Global: International Day of Happiness – 2012
  • East Timor: Presidential election
  • Greece: Intended deadline for government and creditors to reach a framework of a deal on bailout
  • Iraq: Anniversary of beginning of US Invasion – 2003
  • Japan: Russian and Japanese foreign and defense ministers to meet in Tokyo
  • Mauritius: African Union to host African Economic Platform (to 22MAR)
  • Thailand: Philippine President Duterte to visit (to 22MAR)
  • United States: First public hearing on Russian meddling in election to be held in Washington

END

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