ONS: 24 December 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 25, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will visit Addis Ababa next week for talks with his Ethiopian counterpart, in a bid to end a standoff over a multi-billion dollar dam project on the Nile River.
  • AMERICAS:  Venezuelan authorities began releasing some of those detained during demonstrations against Maduro’s socialist government, a rare goodwill gesture to the opposition at the end of a politically torrid year.
  • ASIA: North Korea slammed the latest UN sanctions imposed on it over the isolated country’s widely-condemned intercontinental ballistic missile tests, describing the move as an “act of war”.
  • EUROPE: Turkey has fired 2,756 more people from its public service sector for alleged links to terror groups as it presses ahead with purges launched following last year’s failed military coup.
  • MIDDLE EAST: A federal judge ordered the Pentagon to permit a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union to meet with a US citizen who has been imprisoned in military custody for three months after being deemed an enemy combatant.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Edward Snowden unveiled a new phone app he helped create, called Haven, which aims to protect laptops from physical tampering.

TOP STORY

  • Venezuela Expels Top Diplomats from Brazil and Canada
    • The move was announced by the head of the country’s powerful Constituent Assembly, Delcy Rodriguez. Ms. Rodriguez accused Brazil of violating the rule of law and Canada of interfering in Venezuela’s internal affairs.
    • Officials from both countries and the US have been increasingly critical of the president, Nicolás Maduro, and his government for consolidating power and isolating opposition parties ahead of next year’s presidential election, when Maduro is expected to seek a second term.
    • Venezuela drew international condemnation on Wednesday when the pro-government constituent assembly effectively stripped three of the country’s most influential opposition parties of the right to participate in the presidential election.
    • The US Embassy in Caracas strongly rebuked the assembly’s latest decree. “The Venezuelan government and its illegitimate National Constituent Assembly are inventing rules as they go,” the embassy said in a tweet. “This is not democracy. Differing political views make strong democracies.”
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, GUA, REU,

AFRICA

  • Region: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will visit Addis Ababa next week for talks with his Ethiopian counterpart, in a bid to end a standoff over a multi-billion dollar dam project on the Nile River. (REU)
  • Region: The African Union has welcomed the cease-fire agreement signed between the Government of the Republic of Congo and a group led by the Reverend Priest Ntumi. (XIN)
  • South Sudan: Armed opposition accused government troops of violating cease-fire just hours after it came into effect. (NYT)

AMERICAS

  • Argentina: A sonar search for the disappeared submarine on November 15 with 44 crew members on board has made a new contact in the South Atlantic. (AFP)
  • Peru: Former president Fujimori was rushed from prison to a local hospital by ambulance after suffering a severe drop in blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythm that put him at risk of dying. (REU)
  • Venezuela: Officials took the first step toward expelling top diplomats from Brazil and Canada who have been accused of meddling in the country’s politics. (WP)
  • Venezuela: Authorities began releasing some of those detained during demonstrations against Maduro’s socialist government, a rare goodwill gesture to the opposition at the end of a politically torrid year. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Myanmar: After facing international outrage and charges of ethnic cleansing, the Buddhist government made a pledge: Rohingya Muslims would start their journey home within weeks. (AP)
  • North Korea: The hermit kingdom slammed the latest UN sanctions imposed on it over the isolated country’s widely-condemned intercontinental ballistic missile tests, describing the move as an “act of war”. (AFP)
  • Philippines: Thirty-seven people were believed killed in a fire that engulfed a shopping mall in the southern city of Davao. (GUA)

EUROPE

  • France: The government is deploying nearly 100,000 police and soldiers for the holiday season as fears of extremist attacks remain high. (AP)
  • Russia: Despite Trump’s hopes, US-Russia relations are getting chilly. (CNN)
  • Turkey: The country has fired 2,756 more people from its public service sector for alleged links to terror groups as it presses ahead with purges launched following last year’s failed military coup. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Iraq has invited companies to submit statements of interest in building a new pipeline from the northern city of Kirkuk to Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. (AP)
  • Iraq: A federal judge ordered the Pentagon to permit a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union to meet with a US citizen who has been imprisoned in military custody for three months after being deemed an enemy combatant. (NYT)
  • Syria: Secretive drones and surveillance jets are boring down on an estimated 3,000 remaining Islamic State fighters, who are hiding in Syria along a short stretch of the Euphrates River and surrounding deserts. (NYT)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Edward Snowden unveiled a new phone app he helped create, called Haven, which aims to protect laptops from physical tampering. (AP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Typhoon Tembin
    • Location: 413 NM ESE of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    • Movement: W at 11 mph
    • Wind: 90 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 24DEC: 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 24DEC: 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 24DEC: 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 24DEC: 2,121 (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 24DEC: 740 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (25DEC)

  • India: Good Governance Day – 2014
  • Pakistan: Quaid-i-Azam Day – Unknown
  • Taiwan: Constitution Day – 1946

END

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