ONS: 22 January 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 23, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Former international soccer star George Weah will be sworn into office as the Liberia’s new president.
  • AMERICAS: A US government shutdown will enter its third day on 22JAN as Senate negotiators failed to reach agreement to restore federal spending authority.
  • ASIA: Bangladesh said the repatriation of Muslim Rohingya refugees to Myanmar will not happen on 23JAN as planned because arrangements were incomplete.
  • EUROPE: Britain’s army chief Gen. Nick Carter warned the country’s ability to withstand attack and respond to threats is being eroded by a lack of investment in the military.
  • MIDDLE EAST: A Saudi-led military coalition announced USD 1.5B in new humanitarian aid for Yemen.
  • TECHNOLOGY: #SchumerShutdown was the top trending topic promoted by Russian bots on social media on 21JAN, in reference to the current US government shutdown.

TOP STORY

  • Spain: Fugitive Catalan leader Puigdemont continues to elude arrest.
    • Catalonia’s former leader Carles Puigdemont arrived in Denmark, triggering a new attempt by Spain’s prosecutor to have him arrested.
    • Catalan Parliament Speaker Roger Torrent proposed Puigdemont as a candidate to form a government, despite his status as a fugitive from Spanish justice.
    • The trip to Denmark is the latest bid by Puigdemont to attract attention to his campaign to split Catalonia from Spain.
    • Spain’s prosecutor office said Puigdemont’s immunity as a member of the Catalan Parliament doesn’t invalidate a European arrest warrant.
    • Puigdemont fled to Brussels in OCT2018 after authorities in Madrid sacked him and accused him of sedition over an illegal referendum.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, Bloomberg, Reuters

AFRICA

  • Region: The 30th African Union summit officially opened at the headquarters of the pan-African bloc in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. (Xinhua)
  • DR Congo: At least six people were killed during demonstrations across the country against delayed elections and the de facto continuation of Joseph Kabila’s presidency. (NYT)
  • Liberia: Former international soccer star George Weah will be sworn into office as the country’s new president. (AP)
  • Zimbabwe: The EU says it stands ready to send election monitors to the country and hopes that free and fair polls can be held soon. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: US authorities detained former Guatemalan presidential candidate Manuel Baldizon on charges of accepting bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. (AP)
  • Colombia: At least thirteen people died in a landslide in the Narino department bordering Ecuador. (EFE)
  • Mexico: The country posted its highest homicide rate in decades, with 29,168 murders in 2017, a 27 percent increase over 2016. (AP)
  • United States: A federal government shutdown will enter its third day on 22JAN as Senate negotiators failed to reach agreement to restore federal spending authority. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Region: Bangladesh said the repatriation of Muslim Rohingya refugees to Myanmar will not happen on 23JAN as planned because arrangements were incomplete. (Reuters)
  • Japan: Tokyo held its first missile evacuation drill to prepare for the event of a North Korean missile strike. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: Philippine intelligence operatives arrested an Iraqi explosives expert and are checking whether he had been in contact with Filipino militant groups. (NYT)
  • Thailand: A motorcycle bomb exploded in a market in southern Yala province, killing three people and wounding 22. (Reuters)
  • Vietnam: Dinh La Thang, a former politburo member, was sentenced to 13 years in prison amid a widespread corruption crackdown. (Reuters)

EUROPE

  • Russia: FM Sergei Lavrov says the level of what he described as “Russophobia” in Western countries is higher than it was at the peak of the Cold War. (RFE/RL)
  • Turkey: Turkish authorities detained 24 people on suspicion of disseminating “terror propaganda” against the country’s military operation inside Syria. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: Britain’s army chief Gen. Nick Carter warned the country’s ability to withstand attack and respond to threats is being eroded by a lack of investment in the military. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: A Saudi-led military coalition announced USD 1.5B in new humanitarian aid for Yemen. (WSJ)
  • Region: The EU pledged to study ways to support a two-state solution in Israel and the Palestinian territories in talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (AP)
  • Syria: The US-backed Kurdish militia waged a successful counteroffensive, repelling Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters from two villages they briefly captured. (AP)
  • Iran: The Iranian navy kicked off its two-day annual drill near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. (AP)
  • Israel: US VP Mike Pence met PM Benjamin Netanyahu for talks, the second day of a visit that has been boycotted by the Palestinians. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: #SchumerShutdown was the top trending topic promoted by Russian bots on social media on 21JAN, in reference to the current US government shutdown. (Hill)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Mount Mayon, Philippines
    • A huge eruption of volcanic fragments, ash and steam led authorities to raise the alert level to four on a scale of five, which means an explosive eruption is possible within days. (AP)
  • 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 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)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (23JAN)

  • Canada: Sixth round of NAFTA negotiations to open in Montreal (to 28JAN)
  • France: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to visit (to 24JAN)
  • Pitcairn Islands:  Bounty Day – 1790
  • Russia: President Vladimir Putin and Argentine President Mauricio Macri to hold negotiations
  • Switzerland: World Economic Forum to open in Davos (to 26JAN)
  • Taiwan: World Freedom Day – 1954

END

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