ONS: 22 December 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 23, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The South Sudanese government and main armed groups signed a ceasefire agreement during peace talks in Ethiopia.
  • AMERICAS: In Peru, Congress voted not to impeach President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski over alleged corruption.
  • ASIA: Japan approved a record defense budget, with money earmarked for missile defense systems and weapons that could be used in pre-emptive strikes against North Korea.
  • EUROPE: British FM Boris Johnson will tell Russian FM Sergei Lavrov that there can be no “business as usual” until Moscow stops “destabilizing” Europe.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The US has “disqualified” itself from the Middle East peace process due to its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Russian hackers pursued journalists with the same gusto as when they went after US politicians and intelligence figures, an AP investigation found.

TOP STORY

  • Peru: President Kuczynski avoids impeachment.
    • Congress in Peru has voted not to impeach President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski over alleged corruption.
    • After hours of debate, the president’s opponents could summon only 78 votes to remove, instead of the 89 needed.
    • What may have swayed the result was the president’s tough stance, announced the night before, that if he was impeached, neither of this two vice-presidents would fill his shoes, effectively forcing new elections.
    • His detractors argued Kuczynski committed perjury by stating that he had no professional ties to the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.
    • Coverage: BBC, LAT, NYT, WP

AFRICA

  • South Sudan: The government and main armed groups signed a ceasefire agreement during peace talks in Ethiopia. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: The government denied on that sanctioned businessman Benjamin Bol Mel was an adviser to President Salva Kiir. (Reuters)
  • Zimbabwe: White farmers are being returned to their land, in a sign that new president Emmerson Mnangagwa is charting a path away from predecessor Robert Mugabe. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: South American regional grouping Mercosur urged Venezuela’s embattled government to free “political prisoners.” (AFP)
  • Region: Paraguay assumed the presidency of Mercosur at the bloc’s summit in Brasilia. (EFE)
  • Cuba: Leader Raúl Castro will remain in power at least until 19APR. (MH)
  • Peru: Congress voted not to impeach President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski over alleged corruption. (BBC)

ASIA

  • Region: Japan approved a record defense budget, with money earmarked for missile defense systems and weapons that could be used in pre-emptive strikes against North Korea. (Guardian)
  • Region: India and China held border talks with focus on ways to prevent a repeat of a recent face-off between their armed forces. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: A suicide car bombing killed four policemen in Kandahar province while a motorcycle bomb blast in western Herat province killed four civilians. (AP)
  • China: The country strongly opposed the US decision to sanction a former Beijing police official for his role in the death of a human rights campaigner. (AP)
  • Korean Peninsula: South Korea expressed willingness to discuss the issues of concern with the North Korea without precondition. (Xinhua)

EUROPE

  • Region: British FM Boris Johnson will tell Russian FM Sergei Lavrov that there can be no “business as usual” until Moscow stops “destabilizing” Europe. (AP)
  • Region: German FM Sigmar Gabriel said Turkey’s decision to release a sixth German citizen from jail gave hope to improved relations between the two NATO allies. (Reuters)
  • Region: Hungarian PM Viktor Orban said Hungary will block any action to suspend Poland’s voting rights in the EU. (Reuters)
  • Greece: A makeshift bomb exploded outside an appeals court in Athens, causing minor damage but no reports of injuries. (Reuters)
  • Turkey: Turkish authorities ordered the arrest of seven colonels and nine lieutenant colonels in an investigation last year’s attempted coup. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: The US has “disqualified” itself from the Middle East peace process due to its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Reuters)
  • Iran: Tehran denied reports that jailed British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe might be released in a swap deal. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Key powerbrokers scrambled over plans to speed up a political settlement in the country, with UN envoy Staffan de Mistura joining a second day of talks. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Facebook will bring up “related articles” next to the false stories that give context from fact-checkers on the stories’ problems. (AP)
  • Technology: Russian hackers pursued journalists with the same gusto as when they went after US politicians and intelligence figures, an AP investigation found. (AP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Depression Kai-Tak
    • Location: 297 NM NNE of Singapore
    • Movement: SW at 7 mph
    • Wind: 30 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm Tembin
    • Location: 490 NM SE of Manila, Philippines
    • Movement: W at 11 mph
    • Wind: 50 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 (23DEC)

  • Egypt: Victory Day – 1956
  • Japan: Emperor’s Birthday – 1989
  • South Sudan: National Electricity Corporation to restore electricity service in Juba
  • Sweden: Birthday of Queen Silvia – 1949
  • Ukraine: Ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists begins at midnight

END

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