ONS: 19 March 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 20, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Four Egyptian troops and 36 Islamic militants have died in the past five days of fighting in the Sinai Peninsula.
  • AMERICAS: With two people injured, a fourth explosion within a month Austin, Texas, may pose a new threat as police indicated it was triggered by tripwire.
  • ASIA: US-trained economist Yi Gang was appointed to succeed the longtime governor of China’s central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan.
  • EUROPE: Moscow’s denials over its involvement in the nerve toxin poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Britain are becoming “increasingly absurd,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israel arrested a French citizen, an employee of France’s consulate in Jerusalem, on suspicion of smuggling weapons to Palestinians.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Facebook faced backlash from US and British lawmakers over how private information from more than 50 million Facebook users were used by a political data firm with links to President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

TOP STORY

  • Russia: Putin re-elected with largest mandate ever.
    • Vladimir Putin now has a stronger hold on Russia — and stronger place in the world — thanks to an overwhelming mandate for yet another term as president.
    • With nearly 77 percent of the vote, Putin’s highest score ever allows a massive mandate to pursue his nationalist, assertive policies.
    • Putin is expected to continue with little change in terms of trying to rebuild Russia as a global power while limiting economic reforms at home.
    • Observers reported widespread ballot stuffing and unprecedented pressure on Russians to vote, but that is unlikely to seriously damage Putin given his popularity and his tight control over Russian politics.
    • World leaders congratulated Vladimir Putin on his election for a new six-year term as Russian president, but so far no Western leaders have responded to his victory.
    • Coverage: AP, AP-2, AP-3, BBC, NYT

AFRICA

  • Egypt: Four Egyptian troops and 36 Islamic militants have died in the past five days of fighting in the Sinai Peninsula. (AP)
  • Madagascar: At least 17 people died when a Tropical Storm Eliakim hit the country’s east. (Reuters)
  • Uganda: Ugandan authorities found fake Hepatitis B vaccines at some health facilities, including in the capital, Kampala. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: At least 1,000 people marched in Rio de Janeiro to protest the recent killing of Marielle Franco, a city councilwoman and human rights activist. (NYT)
  • United States: With two people injured, a fourth explosion within a month Austin, Texas, may pose a new threat as police indicated it was triggered by tripwire. (BBC)
  • United States: President Trump lashed out at Special Counsel Robert Mueller, alarming Republicans who feared he might seek to shut it down. (NYT)

ASIA

  • Region: Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed to establish a regional infrastructure pipeline, as the bloc seeks to balance rising Chinese influence. (Reuters)
  • China: US-trained economist Yi Gang was appointed to succeed the longtime governor of the country’s central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan. (AP)
  • New Caledonia: Lawmakers on the French overseas territory voted to hold an independence referendum on 04NOV. (AFP)
  • South Korea: South Korean prosecutors requested an arrest warrant for former President Lee Myung-bak over corruption allegations. (AP)
  • Vietnam: A Hanoi court began a criminal trial of Dinh La Thang, a former Politburo member accused of mismanagement at state oil giant PetroVietnam that cost millions of dollars. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Region: Moscow’s denials over its involvement in the nerve toxin poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Britain are becoming “increasingly absurd,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said. (RFE/RL)
  • Region: Diplomats handling Brexit talks for the EU were summoned to an urgent meeting by EU negotiators, amid speculation about an interim deal ahead of a summit later this week. (Region)
  • Region: At least two people attacked Turkey’s embassy in Copenhagen with petrol bombs, causing some minor damage to the building but no injuries. (Reuters)
  • France: The French government presented a plan to better fight against racism and anti-Semitism, focusing on social media and prevention in schools. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Israel arrested a French citizen, an employee of France’s consulate in Jerusalem, on suspicion of smuggling weapons to Palestinians. (Reuters)
  • Israel: An Israeli man died of his wounds after a Palestinian attacker stabbed him in Jerusalem’s Old City. (AP)
  • Syria: More than 3,500 people left the Eastern Ghouta region, said Russia’s Defense Ministry. (Reuters)
  • Syria: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group said Turkish-allied militiamen are looting the town of Afrin. (AP)
  • Syria: A bomb blast in a four-floor building in the town of Afrin killed seven civilians and four Free Syrian Army members. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Facebook faced backlash from US and British lawmakers over how private information from more than 50 million Facebook users were used by a political data firm with links to President Trump’s 2016 campaign. (NYT)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Eliakim
    • Location: 345 NM WSW of St. Denis, La Reunion
    • Wind: 50 mph
    • Movement: S at 14 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Marcus
    • Location: 146 NM N of Broome, Australia
    • Wind: 85 mph
    • Movement: WSW at 9 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 20JAN: 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 20JAN: 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 20JAN: 101 (Brazil, Ecuador)
        • 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 05MAR: 2,143 (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 05MAR: 750 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20MAR)

  • Global: Northward Equinox – N/A
  • Global: International Day of Francophonie (French Language Day) – 1970
  • Global: International Day of Happiness – 2012
  • Iran: Oil Nationalization Day – 1951
  • Tunisia: Independence Day – 1956
  • United States: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to meet with President Trump at the White House
  • United States: Tech companies including Facebook, Google, and Twitter to meet with First lady Melania Trump to discuss cyberbullying and online safety

END

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