ONS: 20 March 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 21, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: A Italy-hosted European-North African migration summit is aimed at helping Libya better patrol its coasts and stop smugglers from setting off with their human cargo.
  • AMERICAS: Despite US President Trump’s rhetoric, the Air Force is shrinking its deployed force of land-based nuclear missiles to comply with an arms control treaty with Russia.
  • ASIA: Pakistan ordered the reopening of its border with Afghanistan, ending a protracted closure that has deepened tensions between the two neighbors.
  • EUROPE: France is trying to raise millions of dollars to protect cultural heritage sites around the world from war and Islamic State-style destruction.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Russia summoned Israeli Ambassador to Moscow Gary Koren to protest an Israeli military strike near the Syrian city of Palmyra.
  • TECHNOLOGY: British mobile phone giant Vodafone’s Indian unit will merge with Idea Cellular to create India’s largest telecoms operator.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Clashes in Damascus drive back rebels.
    • Intense clashes took place in Damascus as the army counter-attacked rebels who had advanced in the northeast of the Syrian capital.
    • Syrian government forces regained control of parts of Damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day.
    • The rebels short-lived gains were the first time they had penetrated the Abbasid Square neighborhood in two years.
    • At least 47 Syrian government troops and Islamist fighters have been killed in the clashes.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, EFE, Reuters

 

AFRICA

  • Region: A Italy-hosted European-North African migration summit is aimed at helping Libya better patrol its coasts and stop smugglers from setting off with their human cargo. (AP)
  • Region: Somali officials whose forces freed a hijacked oil tanker said NATO ships must do more to prevent the illegal fishing that locals say sparked the latest attack. (Reuters)
  • DR Congo: Mass graves found in the village of Tshienke are the latest indications of the escalating violence in the country. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Honduras: A Mexican and two Hondurans were found guilty of conspiring to assassinate President Juan Orlando Hernandez. (EFE)
  • Mexico: Journalist Ricardo Monlui was killed in the state of Veracruz, adding to the toll in a region plagued by drug gang violence and allegations of government corruption. (AP)
  • United States: Despite President Trump’s rhetoric, the Air Force is shrinking its deployed force of land-based nuclear missiles to comply with an arms control treaty with Russia. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Pakistan ordered the reopening of its border with Afghanistan, ending a protracted closure that has deepened tensions between the two neighbors. (AP)
  • Region: Pakistan and India opened round-table talks in Islamabad over water disputes between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. (AP)
  • Region: South Korea is taking steps to better protect compatriot residents in China from anti-Korean sentiment over the deployment of a US missile defense system. (Yonhap)
  • East Timor: The country voted in its first presidential election since the departure of UN peacekeepers in 2012. (AFP)
  • Korean Peninsula: North Korea’s latest test of a rocket engine showed the country was making “meaningful progress” in trying to build more powerful rockets and missiles, South Korean officials said. (NYT)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble suggested the eurozone rescue fund could be turned into a sort of “European Monetary Fund.” (AP)
  • Region: Russia launched a large-scale live-fire exercise in Crimea, despite the West’s repeated requests that Moscow return the Black Sea peninsula to Ukraine. (Xinhua)
  • France: The country is trying to raise millions of dollars to protect cultural heritage sites around the world from war and Islamic State-style destruction. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Russia summoned Israeli Ambassador to Moscow Gary Koren to protest an Israeli military strike near the Syrian city of Palmyra. (Reuters)
  • Region: A Palestinian policeman was killed at the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank. (AFP)
  • Iraq: More than 180,000 people have fled west Mosul as Iraqi forces battle to retake it from ISIS. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: British mobile phone giant Vodafone’s Indian unit will merge with Idea Cellular to create India’s largest telecoms operator. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: 68km N of Auki, Solomon Islands
    • Magnitude: 6.0
    • Depth: 4.2 km
    • Map
  • 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 (21MAR)

  • Global: International Day of Nowruz – 2010
  • Global: World Poetry Day – 1999
  • Global: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – 1960
  • Global: World Down Syndrome Day – 2011
  • Global: International Day of Forests – 2012
  • Belgium: Japan’s PM Abe to visit Brussels, meet with EU officials Juncker and Tusk
  • Bolivia: International Summit on Trans-Oceanic Railway to be held
  • Namibia: Independence Day – 1990
  • Russia: President of the self-proclaimed Republic of South Ossetia Leonid Tibilov to visit Moscow to meet with President Putin
  • United States: Anniversary of the first tweet – 2006
  • Bahai: New Year

 

END

 

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