ONS: 23 January 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 24, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: UN Security Council ambassadors and African Union leaders met for crisis talks about Burundi, after the government refused a proposed AU force to stem violence in the troubled country.
  • AMERICAS: Three people in New York have tested positive for the Zika virus, which has been blamed for a surge in babies born with abnormally small heads in Latin America, city officials said.
  • ASIA: Chinese President Xi Jinping met his Iranian counterpart in Tehran, where they will discuss how to improve economic and political ties after international sanctions on Iran were lifted.
  • EUROPE: Left-wing protest groups in Greece are planning two days of demonstrations at the country’s border with Turkey, to call on authorities to ease transit restrictions in the wake of two deadly boat sinkings that left at least 46 migrants and refugees dead.
  • MIDDLE EAST: US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Saudi Arabia for talks with Gulf Arab officials on their deteriorating relations with Iran and on the Syria peace process that is supposed to start next week.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Cuban officials say they have held two days of talks with their US counterparts about telecommunications and the Internet.

TOP STORY

  • European Union: Dialogue heats up about the Schengen zone’s future.
    • Unable to stem the flows, six Schengen members, including Germany and four other EU countries, have resorted to reinstating temporary border checks in the passport-free area.
    • European Union ministers will discuss on 25JAN whether to further extend emergency border controls within the Schengen free-travel zone, which is cracking as a wave of migrants arrive from the Middle East, Africa, and beyond.
    • EU leaders are weighing a drastic plan to staunch the influx of asylum-seekers by blocking their passage into Macedonia, stoking fears in Athens that tens of thousands of migrants will become stranded in Greece.
    • Meanwhile, at least 43 migrants, including 17 children, drowned when their wooden sailboats sank off two Greek islands near Turkey.
    • Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi responded to growing concerns about security, arguing that scrapping the Schengen zone to stem Europe’s migration crisis will not stop the Islamist terror threat.
    • Coverage: IANS, Daily Mail, FT, Reuters, Telegraph

AFRICA

  • Burundi: UN Security Council ambassadors and African Union leaders met for crisis talks about the nation, after the government refused a proposed AU force to stem violence in the troubled country. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: Warring rivals missed a key deadline to forge a unity government, with rebels rejecting President Salva Kiir’s creation of new regional states as fighting continues. (AFP)
  • Tanzania: The country’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar region will hold a re-run of its disputed general election on March 20, its electoral body, despite opposition calls for the poll to be scrapped on the grounds it might spark violence. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Ecuador: The country announced that it secured a loan of 970 million U.S. dollars from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the largest financial entity in the world. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: Police have incinerated 75.5 tons of marijuana in western Mexico after discovering several fields of cannabis in the state of Nayarit. (AFP)
  • United States: Three people in New York have tested positive for the Zika virus, which has been blamed for a surge in babies born with abnormally small heads in Latin America, said city officials. (AFP)

ASIA

  • China: President Xi Jinping met his Iranian counterpart in Tehran, where they will discuss how to improve economic and political ties after international sanctions on Iran were lifted. (Reuters)
  • India: The capital was on maximum security alert, a day after 14 men were detained in various cities in an anti-terrorism crackdown, federal Home Ministry sources said. (DPA)
  • Japan:  The country accepted only 27 refugees last year and rejected almost all applications, as rights groups urged the government to allow more people in. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Croatia: The country’s parliament approved a new center-right government led by a political novice, who warned “difficult decisions” lie ahead as the EU’s newest member struggles with meagre economic growth and an influx of refugees. (AFP)
  • Greece: Left-wing protest groups in the country are planning two days of demonstrations at the country’s border with Turkey, to call on authorities to ease transit restrictions in the wake of two deadly boat sinkings that left at least 46 migrants and refugees dead. (AP)
  • Turkey: Vice President Biden urged “a change of attitude” by the government toward its domestic critics, saying that the media and all others here must be free to “challenge orthodoxy,” including political and religious beliefs, if the country is to thrive. (WP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Saudi Arabia for talks with Gulf Arab officials on their deteriorating relations with Iran and on the Syria peace process that is supposed to start next week. (AP)
  • Palestinian Territories: A Palestinian teenage girl tried to stab an Israeli guard at a West Bank settlement but was shot dead, police said, in the third settlement attack in a week. (AFP)
  • Syria: Fierce battles continue around the strategic city of Deir Ezzor between regime forces and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to human rights groups. (CNN)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Internet: Cuban officials say they have held two days of talks with their US counterparts about telecommunications and the Internet. (AP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 08S (Corentin)
    • Location: 866 NM South of Diego Garcia
    • Wind: 46 mph
    • Movement: S at 9 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report.
  • Volcanoes: Popocatépetl, Mexico
    • Spewing high ash plumes and toxic gas (Express)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 17JAN: 28,638 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 17JAN: 11,316 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 15JAN: 660,494 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
      • Confirmed Cases: 31,871
      • Deaths as of 15JAN: 71 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 23JAN: 1626 (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 23JAN: 586 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (24JAN)

  • Nigeria: Entitled National Political Summit in Nigeria (to 26JAN)
  • Philippines: Anniversary that the Philippines and the Bangsamoro agree to a peace deal that would help end the 45-year conflict.
  • Portugal: Portugal presidential elections

END

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