ONS: 22 August 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on August 23, 2017

 

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari signed a letter officially notifying parliament of his return.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuela criticized neighboring Colombia for harboring its former prosecutor general Luisa Ortega, who fled the country last week.
  • ASIA: Divers searched the flooded compartments of the US Navy destroyer John S. McCain, as multiple nations also searched in the hope of finding 10 sailors missing since the vessel collided with an oil tanker near Singapore.
  • EUROPE: Germany called for the rest of Europe to back the “democratically minded” majority of Turks who did not support President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a dramatic hardening of Germany’s posture towards Ankara.
  • MIDDLE EAST: US defense chief Jim Mattis was in Baghdad to show US support for Iraqi forces as they pressed an assault on Tal Afar, the Islamic State group’s last major bastion in Iraq’s north.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Iran is in negotiations with Twitter to unblock the service, which has been banned for years despite being used even by the country’s supreme leader.

 

TOP STORY

  • Afghanistan: Trump lays out strategy, but remains vague on specifics.
    • President Donald Trump outlined his plan for the 16-year US war in Afghanistan, vowing that the US would find victory while no longer “nation-building.”
    • Trump declined to specify either the number of troops that would be committed, but added he would not set out time-based deadlines.
    • While Trump said there would be no “blank check” for the American engagement in Afghanistan, Trump deepened American involvement in a military mission that has bedeviled his predecessors and that he once called futile.
    • Relieved Afghan officials instantly welcomed Trump’s strategy announcement and praised his tough stance on Pakistan.
    • The Taliban responded by saying that Afghanistan would become “another graveyard” for the US if it did not withdraw its troops.
    • By tweaking a course set by President Barack Obama, Trump suggests he is facing the bleak reality of Afghanistan: There is no fast or politically palatable way to win, but losing quickly isn’t an acceptable option, either.
    • Coverage: BBC, CNN, NYT, WP, WP-2

 

AFRICA

  • Angola: An Angolan opposition party, CASA-CE, will use a computer program to minimize the chances of ballot-rigging in elections on 30AUG. (Reuters)
  • Congo Republic: President Denis Sassou Nguesso reappointed Clement Mouamba as prime minister, only four days after Mouamba resigned. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari signed a letter officially notifying parliament of his return. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Venezuela criticized neighboring Colombia for harboring its former prosecutor general Luisa Ortega, who fled the country last week. (Xinhua)
  • Region: Mexico is refining its objectives ahead of the second round of talks for the the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation in September. (Xinhua)
  • Ecuador: The country’s prosecutor Carlos Baca said he would present evidence of corruption against VP Jorge Glas, who was stripped of his duties by a presidential decree. (Reuters)
  • United States: The US Navy announced a fleet-wide global investigation after the latest in a series of warship accidents left 10 sailors missing and five injured. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Divers searched the flooded compartments of the US Navy destroyer John S. McCain, as multiple nations also searched in the hope of finding 10 sailors missing since the vessel collided with an oil tanker near Singapore. (NYT)
  • India: The country’s top court ruled the practice of instant divorce in Islam unconstitutional, marking a major victory for women’s rights activists. (BBC)
  • Korean Peninsula: US Pacific Command chief Adm. Harry Binkley Harris said diplomacy should outweigh military means in efforts to denuclearize North Korea. (Yonhap)
  • Korean Peninsula: North Korea threatened to respond in a ruthless way to the large annual military maneuvers between South Korea and the US. (EFE)
  • Maldives: The country’s military locked down Parliament in what opposition lawmakers said was an attempt to block a motion to impeach the speaker of the house. (Guardian)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Germany called for the rest of Europe to back the “democratically minded” majority of Turks who did not support President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a dramatic hardening of Germany’s posture towards Ankara. (Reuters)
  • Finland: Finnish police requested that two of five Moroccans arrested over last week’s deadly knife attack in Turku be detained for murder with terrorist intent. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Police say two cars used by German lawmaker Michelle Muentefering were targeted in an arson attack in the western town of Herne. (AP)
  • Spain: Four men accused of being members of an Islamist cell behind a van attack that killed 13 people in Barcelona last week appeared in court. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: The Lebanese Armed Forces launched the third phase of a broad offensive to capture areas controlled by the Islamic State group on the border with Syria. (AP)
  • Iran: The government warned only five days are needed to ramp up its uranium enrichment to 20 percent, a level at which the material could be used for a nuclear weapon. (AP)
  • Iraq: US defense chief Jim Mattis was in Baghdad to show US support for Iraqi forces as they pressed an assault on Tal Afar, the Islamic State group’s last major bastion in the country’s north. (AFP)
  • Iraq: The UN urged the Iraqi government to do more to help thousands of women and girls who faced rape, sexual abuse and other violations by the Islamic State group. (AP)
  • Syria: At least 42 civilians were killed in a barrage of US-led air strikes on Islamic State group territory in the city of Raqa. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: Iran is in negotiations with Twitter to unblock the service, which has been banned for years despite being used even by the country’s supreme leader. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm Hato
    • Location: 20.4 N 120 E
    • Wind: 50 mph
    • Movement: W at 14 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Hurricane Kenneth
    • Location: 1450 NM W of the southern tip of Baja California
    • Wind: 105 mph
    • Movement: NW at 10 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • 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)
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 18AUG: 73,943 (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 18AUG: 67,483 (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin (French part), and Venezuela)
        • Confirmed Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250
      • Deaths as of 18AUG: 51 (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)
      • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
        • Cases as of 12AUG: 2,066 (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 12AUG: 720 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 27JUL:  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, Panamá, 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 27JUL: 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 27JUL: 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 (23AUG)

  • Global: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition – 1998
  • Asia: Meeting of Thai and Cambodian provincial leaders from along the border
  • Angola: General elections
  • Armenia: Anniversary of Armenia’s declaration of independence – 1990
  • China: Anniversary of the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis – 1958
  • India: PM of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba to visit India (to 28AUG)
  • Iraq: Anniversary of Saddam Hussein appearing on state TV with Western hostages in an attempt to prevent invasion of Iraq – 1990
  • Russia: Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn to visit Moscow (to 24AUG)
  • Ukraine: Flag Day – 1990

 

END

 

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