ONS: 20 December 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 21, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The UN closed the first of seven protection camps that have sheltered more than 200,000 civilians during the South Sudan’s civil war.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the armed forces to respond violently to “the terrorist groups” that attacked a Bolivarian National Guard barracks.
  • ASIA: South Korea said any delay in joint military drills with the US would depend on North Korea’s behavior during the 2018 Winter Olympics.
  • EUROPE: A “transition period” after the UK leaves the EU will not continue beyond 31DEC2020, the EU said.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Between 9,000 and 11,000 civilians died in the final battle to drive Islamic State extremists out of the Iraqi city, Mosul, nearly 10 times higher than previously reported.
  • TECHNOLOGY: British homes and businesses will have a right to high-speed broadband by 2020, the UK said.

TOP STORY

  • EU: Court judgement declares Uber a taxi service.
    • Uber is officially a transport company and not a digital service, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled.
    • The judgment dashes any hopes for Uber of regulatory rollback in those jurisdictions and could embolden regulators to impose more onerous restrictions on the company.
    • The decision stems from a complaint by a Barcelona taxi drivers association, which said Uber drivers should have authorizations and licenses, and accused the company of engaging in unfair competition.
    • Uber had argued it was simply a digital app that acted as an intermediary between drivers and customers looking for a ride and so should fall under lighter EU rules for online services.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, Reuters, WSJ

AFRICA

  • DR Congo: Security forces and an army-backed militia planned massacres in the southern Kasai region, the International Human Rights Federation said. (AFP)
  • Kenya: The country’s economy has suffered after months of political turmoil as businesses had lost about USD 7B as a result of the instability. (AP)
  • South Sudan: The UN closed the first of seven protection camps that have sheltered more than 200,000 civilians during the country’s civil war. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Mexico is poised to recognize Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez as the winner of last month’s election. (Reuters)
  • Region: Two US Cabinet secretaries visited Puerto Rico and promised to speed up Hurricane Maria recovery efforts and increase federal assistance. (AP)
  • Region: Alleged former Mexican cartel leader Mario Ramirez-Trevino was extradited to the US to face drug conspiracy charges. (Reuters)
  • Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro ordered the armed forces to respond violently to “the terrorist groups” that attacked a Bolivarian National Guard barracks. (EFE)

ASIA

  • Region: India will host China for another round of talks on long-running border disputes, the first since they defused one of their worst deadlocks in decades. (AFP)
  • Korean Peninsula: South Korea said any delay in joint military drills with the US would depend on North Korea’s behavior during the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: The UN independent investigator into human rights in the country, Yanghee Lee, was barred from visiting the nation for the rest of her tenure. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte declared a Christmas truce with communist guerrillas and urges them to reciprocate. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Region: A “transition period” after the UK leaves the EU will not continue beyond 31DEC2020, the EU said. (BBC)
  • Greece: At least seven people were injured in an overnight brawl at a migrant detention center on the island of Lesbos. (AP)
  • Russia: The country is working on defensive measures to prepare for possible new sanctions from the US and other countries. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: US President Donald Trump plans to visit Britain in FEB2018 to open the new US embassy in London but will not meet Queen Elizabeth. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Iran strongly denied it had supplied weapons to Yemeni rebels which they used in attacks on its arch foe Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
  • Region: The Saudi-led coalition decided to keep Yemen’s main Hodeidah port open for a month, despite a missile attack towards the Saudi capital Riyadh. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: Between 9,000 and 11,000 civilians died in the final battle to drive Islamic State extremists out of Mosul, nearly 10 times higher than previously reported. (AP)
  • Syria: A series of airstrikes hit a residential district in the northwestern town of Maarshurin overnight, killing 19 civilians, seven of them children. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Facebook and Microsoft disabled a number of North Korean cyber threats last week, the US said. (Reuters)
  • Communications: British homes and businesses will have a right to high-speed broadband by 2020, the UK said. (Reuters)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm Kai-Tak
    • Location: 369 NM ESE of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    • Movement: W at 10 mph
    • Wind: 40 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 15DEC: 61,585 (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 15DEC: 123,081 (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 15DEC: 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 19NOV: 2,103 (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 19NOV: 733 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (21DEC)

  • Global: Winter/Summer Solstice – N/A
  • Peru: President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to be questioned by judicial investigators for links to the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht
  • Philippines: Armed Forces Day – 1935
  • São Tomé and Príncipe: São Tomé Day – 1470
  • Spain: Catalonia regional elections to be held
  • Turkmenistan: Saparmurat Niyazov Memorial Day – 2006

END

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