ONS: 23 November 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on November 24, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Zimbabwe’s ex-president Robert Mugabe was granted immunity from prosecution and assured that his safety would be protected in his home country as part of a deal that led to his resignation.
  • AMERICAS: More than a dozen US and European companies have been importing timber from a Brazilian logging firm whose owner is implicated in one of the most brutal Amazonian massacres in recent memory.
  • ASIA: Philippine presidential spokesman says there is a “strong likelihood” that President Duterte will lift a suspension on police from his war on drugs, a move likely to alarm activists who accuse police of committing murder under the guise of drug busts.
  • EUROPE:  Facebook has promised to tell users whether they liked or followed a member of Russia’s notorious “troll army” who are accused of trying to influence elections in the US and the UK.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran announced an agreement to sponsor a conference aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement of the Syrian war.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Germany spy agencies should have the authority to digitally strike back against cyber criminals, the president of the country’s new cyber security agency said.

TOP STORY

  • Deal signed to return Myanmar Rohingya
    • Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an accord over terms for the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh, amid concern that Myanmar’s powerful army could prove obstructive.
    • More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Rakhine state in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, mostly to neighboring Bangladesh, since the crackdown, which followed the insurgent attacks.
    • Bangladesh said it was a “first step”. Myanmar said it was ready to receive the Rohingya “as soon as possible”.
    • The talks between Suu Kyi and her Bangladeshi counterpart come ahead of a highly anticipated visit to both nations by Pope Francis, who has been outspoken about his sympathy for the plight of the Rohingya.
    • Coverage: AJ, AP,  BBC, CNN, REU

AFRICA

  • Libya: UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) condemned slave trade of African migrants in western part of the country. (XIN)
  • Uganda: The country’s foreign minister faced growing calls for his resignation following allegations in the US that he accepted a bribe shortly after finishing his term as president of the UN General Assembly. (AP)
  • Zimbabwe: Former president Mugabe was granted immunity from prosecution and assured that his safety would be protected in his home country as part of a deal that led to his resignation. (REU)

AMERICAS

  • Argentina: Ships and planes hunting for a missing submarine with 44 crew members will return to a previously search area after officials said that a noise made a week ago in the South Atlantic could provide a clue to the vessel’s location. (AP)
  • Brazil: More than a dozen US and European companies have been importing timber from a Brazilian logging firm whose owner is implicated in one of the most brutal Amazonian massacres in recent memory. (GUA)
  • Venezuela: Venezuelan authorities arrested the six executives of Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of the country’s state-owned oil giant, alleging that they had sought to defraud the nation through a $4 billion financial deal. (WP)

ASIA

  • Myanmar: The US temporarily suspended travel for American officials to parts of Rakhine state due to concerns over potential protests after Tillerson accused the country of “ethnic cleansing” in the state. (REU)
  • Myanmar: According to the Burmese government, the US declaration that the country is carrying out ethnic cleansing was made “without any proven facts”.  (WSJ)
  • Philippines: According to his spokesman, there is a “strong likelihood” that President Duterte will lift a suspension on police from his war on drugs, a move likely to alarm activists who accuse police of committing murder under the guise of drug busts. (REU)
  • South Korea: The US has yet to follow the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ruling last year that calls for the lifting of anti-dumping duties levied on the country’s washing machines. (YON)

EUROPE

  • Germany: Social Democrats (SPD) should reconsider their opposition to joining a new “grand coalition” with Angela Merkel’s conservatives because Europe needs a stable government in Berlin, a senior ally of Merkel said. (REU)
  • Russia: Facebook has promised to tell users whether they liked or followed a member of the country’s notorious “troll army” who are accused of trying to influence elections in the US and the UK. (GUA)
  • Region: Switzerland will contribute 1.3 billion Swiss francs (1.1 billion euros) to the European Union to help lower economic inequalities faced by some EU members, notably in eastern Europe. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: The chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said that the Islamic republic provides “advisory assistance” for Yemeni Houthi militants. (XIN)
  • Region: Leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran announced an agreement to sponsor a conference aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement of the Syrian war. (NYT)
  • Region: Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards will play an active role in establishing a lasting “ceasefire” in crisis-hit Syria, its chief commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said, adding that disarming Lebanon’s Hezbollah was non-negotiable. (REU)
  • Qatar: According to Qatari PM Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Saudi-led blockade on Qatar was created to interfere in the country’s internal affairs. (XIN)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Germany spy agencies should have the authority to digitally strike back against cyber criminals, the president of the country’s new cyber security agency said. (REU)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: 19km ESE of Ula, Turkey
    • Magnitude: 5.0 mww
    • Depth: 10.0 km
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: 25km E of Jiayi Shi, Taiwan
    • Magnitude: 5.1 mww
    • Depth: 14.6 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 17NOV: 60,576 (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 17NOV: 122,996 (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 17NOV: 101 (Brazil, Ecuador)
        • Deaths (01JAN16-31DEC16): 172
        • Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 91 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico)
    • 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)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (24NOV)

  • Belgium: Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Brussels
  • Myanmar: National Day – 1920
  • Tajikistan: Flag Day – 2009
  • Turks and Caicos Islands: National Day of Thanksgiving – 2014

 

END

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