ONS: 20 January 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 21, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: South Africa’s ANC declined to comment on a report its executive plans to force Jacob Zuma to quit as president.
  • AMERICAS: Colombia says the number of Venezuelans fleeing a severe economic crisis to live in Colombia has increased by 62% in the last six months.
  • ASIA:  Rohingya militants hit out at a repatriation plan for refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar saying it aims to trap the Muslim minority in long-term camps.
  • EUROPE: Berlin must work with Paris to improve and deepen the European Union, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel urged.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Turkish army said it launched new strikes against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in northern Syria.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab reported its revenue increased 8 percent last year.

 

TOP STORY

  • United States: Government shuts down.
    • The federal government began partial shutdown at midnight Friday after Senate Democrats voted to block a bill over immigration and spending.
    • Despite last minute bipartisan meetings, the bill to fund the government until 16FEB did not receive the required 60 votes.
    • Social Security and most other safety net programmes are unaffected.
    • Critical government functions will continue, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay. But if no deal is brokered before Monday, two million federal employees will be furloughed – given leave of absence.
    • Democrats were seeking concessions on other priorities, such as protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation, increasing domestic spending, securing disaster aid for Puerto Rico and bolstering the government’s response to the opioid epidemic.
    • Trump immediately moved to blame Democrats: “Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans.” He also said it would not discuss immigration until the government was up and running again.
    • Coverage: AJ, BBC, NYT, REU, TEL

 

AFRICA

  • Egypt: Former army chief of staff Sami Anan announced his bid to run in the 2018 presidential election scheduled for March. (XIN)
  • Liberia:  Outgoing president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said her parting wish for the country was that the citizens support the new government, respond to its call for action, and civility, and hold it accountable. (XIN)
  • South Africa: African National Congress declined to comment on a report its executive plans to force Jacob Zuma to quit as president, as its leaders gather to outline the party’s program for the coming year. (REU)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Cuban and U.S. officials concluded a week of talks on law enforcement cooperation with a meeting on the combat against illicit drug trafficking. (Reuters)
  • Haiti: Cholera epidemic could be over this year, according to the United Nation’s children’s fund, as the number of cases declines following the world’s most virulent outbreak in modern times. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: Colombia says the number of Venezuelans fleeing a severe economic crisis to live in Colombia has increased by 62% in the last six months. (BBC)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Rohingya militants hit out at a repatriation plan for refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar set to begin next week, saying it aims to trap the Muslim minority in long-term camps while their ancestral lands are seized. (AFP)
  • China: A Foreign Ministry spokesperson vowed “necessary measures” will be undertaken to safeguard the country’s sovereignty after a U.S. warship entered waters surrounding Huangyan Island in the South China Sea. (XIN)
  • India: The country, along with Russia, is developing a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with a strike range of 800 km. (XIN)

 

EUROPE

  • Region:  A China-Europe freight train carrying 36 containers of auto parts, engineering equipment, and daily necessities left Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (XIN)
  • Region: Berlin must work with Paris to improve and deepen the European Union, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel urged as his Social Democrats weigh renewing a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel. (AFP)
  • Turkey: At least 11 people were killed and 44 others injured in a bus accident in northwestern Eskisehir province. (XIN)

 

MIDDLE EAS

  • Iran: After protests, the leadership pushes hard for ‘homegrown’ Apps. (RFE/RL)
  • Syria: The Turkish army said it launched new strikes against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in north, amid mounting expectations of a cross-border ground operation. (AFP)
  • Syria: Government forces have reached the perimeter of a rebel-held air base deep inside what was once opposition territory in northwest. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • The Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab reported its revenue increased 8 percent last year even though sales fell in North America as a result of a US ban on use of its software in government computers. (RFE/RL)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: 77km NNE of Loreto, Mexico
    • Magnitude: 6.1 mww
    • Depth: 10.0 km
    • Map
  • 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)
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 20JAN: 2,123 (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 20JAN: 740 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (21JAN)

  • Barbados: Errol Barrow Day – 1989
  • Cuba: Municipal assemblies to hold extraordinary session to nominate candidates for regional and national assemblies
  • Dominican Republic: Our Lady of Altagracia Day – Unknown
  • Israel: US Vice President Mike Pence to visit (to 23JAN)
  • Norway: Birthday of Princess Ingrid Alexandra – 2004
  • United Kingdom: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to visit (to 23JAN)
  • United States: Anniversary of the Women’s March demonstrations – 2017

 

END

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