ONS: 21 March 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 22, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Boko Haram Islamists who kidnapped more than 100 schoolgirls in Dapchi, northeast Nigeria, just over a month ago have returned 76 of the students to the town.
  • AMERICAS:  The suspect in a spate of bombings across Austin, Texas, has been killed following a confrontation with police.
  • ASIA: Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw has resigned, amid concerns in recent months about the 71-year-old’s health after he appeared frail at official functions.
  • EUROPE: Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy returned to police custody for a second day of questioning over allegations the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi financed his 2007 election campaign.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The US Senate rejected a bipartisan bid to end American involvement in Yemen’s civil war, voting down a rare effort to overrule presidential military authorization.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Cambridge Analytica, the political data firm with ties to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, over the access it gained to private information on more than 50 million Facebook users.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Israel claims responsibility for 2007 strike on Syrian nuclear reactor
    • The Al-Kubar nuclear facility near Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria was destroyed by an airstrike long-believed to have been conducted by Israel.
    • Previously classified photos, documents, and footage from the strike were released alongside the announcement.
    • The facility was thought to have been constructed with North Korean cooperation.
    • The announcement was made by defense Minister Israel Katz as a warning to Israel’s enemies, “Syria then, and Iran today.”
    • Reporting: Reuters, BBC, AP, AFP

AFRICA

  • Region: A deadly outbreak linked to tainted food in South Africa is now threatening other African nations, with neighboring Namibia reporting a confirmed case that might be connected, the World Health Organization said. (AP)
  • Gambia: Ten members of Gambia’s former spy agency have been detained on suspicion of murdering a political activist who led a protest during ousted strongman Yahya Jammeh’s rule, police said. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Boko Haram Islamists who kidnapped more than 100 schoolgirls in Dapchi, northeast Nigeria, just over a month ago have returned the students to the town. (AFP)
  • Somalia: At least six al-Shabab fighters were killed and several others injured in heavy fighting with the Somali National Army in the Gedo region. (Xinhua)

AMERICAS

  • Bolivia: Hundreds of coca growers clashed with police in the capital La Paz, resulting in at least five arrests and an undetermined number of casualties. (EFE)
  • Peru: The biggest opposition party released evidence that supporters of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski appear to offer lawmakers public work projects in exchange for help defeating an impeachment motion. (Reuters)
  • United States: An Iranian was arrested on U.S. charges that he participated in a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions and funnel more than $115 million paid under a Venezuelan construction contract. (Reuters)
  • United States: The suspect in a spate of bombings across Austin, Texas, has been killed following a confrontation with police. (NBC)

ASIA

  • Region: South Korea has proposed talks with North Korea next week to discuss details of the upcoming summit talks between their leaders. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: A suicide bomber killed at least twenty six people in an attack in Kabul, claimed by ISIS, officials said. (AFP)
  • Maldives: Authorities have charged former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and several senior judges with “terrorism” for attempting to topple President Abdulla Yameen. (AFP)
  • Myanmar: President Htin Kyaw has resigned, amid concerns in recent months about the 71-year-old’s health after he appeared frail at official functions. (BBC)
  • Taiwan: A senior U.S. diplomat was scheduled to speak alongside Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen at an event in Taipei, an official exchange that China has denounced. (AP)

EUROPE

  • France: Former president Nicolas Sarkozy returned to police custody for a second day of questioning over allegations the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi financed his 2007 election campaign. (AFP)
  • Greece: A Russian whistleblower linked to slain Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has handed herself in to the police in Greece, saying she feared for her life. (RFE-RL)
  • Italy: Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wants the center-right to team up with the 5-Star Movement to form a government with a predetermined agenda. (Reuters)
  • Netherlands: Voters go to the polls in local elections with far-right parties seeking gains and all eyes on a referendum on plans to broaden government online spying powers. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Gaza: Hamas is to reopen the offices of a major telecommunications firm after a row over a probe into the attempted assassination of the Palestinian premier. (TOI)
  • Iran: Tehran denied allegations made by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that it was harboring Osama bin Laden’s son and supporting him as the new leader of al Qaeda. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: Islamic State militants kidnapped 10 federal policemen who were on vacation in north of the capital Baghdad, a police source said. (Xinhua)
  • Yemen: The US Senate rejected a bipartisan bid to end American involvement in Yemen’s civil war, voting down a rare effort to overrule presidential military authorization. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Cambridge Analytica, the political data firm with ties to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, over the access it gained to private information on more than 50 million Facebook users. (NYT)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Eliakim
    • Location: 499 NM S of St. Denis, La Reunion
    • Wind: 50 mph
    • Movement: S-SE at 14 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Marcus
    • Location: 485 nm N-NW of Learmonth, Australia
    • Wind: 145 mph
    • Movement: W at 17 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 (22MAR)

  • Global: World Water Day – 1992
  • Baltic Sea Region: Baltic Sea Day – 1986
  • Belgium: European Council (Summit of EU leaders) (to 23MAR)
  • Belgium: EU leaders expected to sign off on a deal on the post-Brexit transition
  • Laos: Day of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party – 1975
  • Puerto Rico: Emancipation Day – 1873

END

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