ONS: 24 March 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 25, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Zambian President Edgar Lungu said he was not bothered by a decision by opposition to lay a motion for his impeachment in parliament.
  • AMERICAS: Peru’s new President Martin Vizcarra promised to fight corruption “at any cost,” two days after his predecessor was toppled by a sprawling graft scandal and constant clashes with the opposition-run Congress.
  • ASIA: China’s top economic official Liu He spoke by phone with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on and “agreed to continue to communicate” on trade issues.
  • EUROPE: European countries are set to take further steps to punish Russia over the poisoning of a former spy in England, officials said, as diplomatic pressure builds on Moscow over the nerve agent attack.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Syrian rebels left one besieged enclave on and agreed to abandon another, leaving only the city of Douma still in insurgent hands in eastern Ghouta after a month-long army assault to drive them from the stronghold near Damascus.
  • TECHNOLOGY:  A measure signed into law by President Donald Trump changes the rules for cross-border law enforcement requests to internet firms and could render moot a long-running court battle between the US government and Microsoft.

 

TOP STORY

  • France Attack: French officer dies after swapping himself for hostage
    • Col. Arnaud Beltrame, who once served in Iraq, had been raced to hospital fighting for his life after the siege in which he took the place of a female hostage at the Super U store in the town of Trebes, near the Pyrenees mountains.
    • Col. Arnaud Beltrame was among the first officers to respond to the attack on the supermarket in the south of France.
    • Unbeknownst to the Morocco-born captor, he left his cell phone on so police outside could hear what was happening in the store.
    • The gunman, identified as Radouane Lakdim, 25, who witnesses said claimed to be acting on behalf of the Islamic State, was later killed by police officers who stormed the market.
    • Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said that Lakdim was known to police for petty crimes and drug offenses but that French security services were unaware he had been radicalized and had no indication he would carry out a terrorist act.
    • Coverage: AP, LAT, NYT, Reuters, USA-T

 

AFRICA

  • Ghana: Parliament ratified a deal granting “unimpeded” access to the US to deploy troops and military equipment in the West African nation in a vote boycotted by the opposition, legislators said. (Reuters)
  • Libya: UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) held discussions with the government in Tunis on a strategic plan to support economic and social sectors in Libya over the next two years, the mission said in a statement. (Xinhua)
  • Nigeria: Nine deaths have been recorded following an outbreak of cholera in the northeastern state of Bauchi, local authorities confirmed. (Xinhua)
  • Zambia: President Edgar Lungu said he was not bothered by a decision by opposition to lay a motion for his impeachment in parliament. (Xinhua)

 

AMERICAS

  • Mexico: A four-member family from the United States was found dead on at a condominium apartment in the beach resort of Tulum. (Xinhua)
  • Peru: New President Martin Vizcarra promised to fight corruption “at any cost,” two days after his predecessor was toppled by a sprawling graft scandal and constant clashes with the opposition-run Congress. (Reuters)
  • United States: President Donald Trump abandoned a threat to shut down the US government , signing off on a budget despite being “unhappy” with many of its provisions — and warning he won’t back anything similar ever again. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: Vice President Tarek El Aissami confirmed that the country’s oil-backed cryptocurrency became publicly available for purchase. (Xinhua)

 

ASIA

  • Region: North Korea has agreed to hold high-level talks with South Korea on 29MAR at the border truce village of Panmunjom to prepare for a summit of their leaders planned for April. (Reuters)
  • Afghanistan: Ten Taliban militants were killed and four others wounded in an accidental blast in the northern province of Faryab, an army source said. (Xinhua)
  • Afghanistan: A car bombing outside a sports stadium in the southern Helmand province on killed 13 people and wounded 40 others, an official said. (AP)
  • China: Top economic official Liu He spoke by phone with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and “agreed to continue to communicate” on trade issues. (AFP)
  • Malaysia: An official says two Chinese sailors have been rescued more than 50 hours after their sand dredger capsized off the southern coast. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: European countries are set to take further steps to punish Russia over the poisoning of a former spy in England, officials said Friday, as diplomatic pressure builds on Moscow over the nerve agent attack. (AFP)
  • Slovakia: Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in new anti-government protests amid a political crisis triggered by the slayings of an investigative reporter and his fiancee. (AP)
  • Spain: Crowds of protesters in the Catalonia region have clashed with police after the Supreme Court stepped up legal action against separatists. (BBC)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed gratitude to the 20 nations who pledged approximately 100 million U.S. dollars for Palestinian refugees to help make up a shortfall in donations from the United States. (Xinhua)
  • Egypt: The country will choose their next president in elections starting Monday, 26MAR, with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expected to easily secure a second four-year term.  (AFP)
  • Iran: The government slammed new US sanctions against 10 of its citizens and an Iranian company over their alleged involvement in a massive state-sponsored hacking and intellectual property theft scheme. (AFP)
  • Syria: Rebels left one besieged enclave and agreed to abandon another, leaving only the city of Douma still in insurgent hands in eastern Ghouta after a month-long army assault to drive them from the stronghold near Damascus. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Rome prosecutors have opened an investigation into the possible violation of Italian Facebook users’ privacy following a complaint by Italy’s consumer rights association Codacons, local media reported. (Xinhua)
  • Technology: A measure signed into law by President Donald Trump changes the rules for cross-border law enforcement requests to internet firms and could render moot a long-running court battle between the US government and Microsoft. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Marcus
    • Location: 414 NM WSW of Learmonth, Australia
    • Wind: 65 mph
    • Movement: SSE at 19 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Nora
    • Location: 419 NM NW of Cairns, Australia
    • Wind: 105 mph
    • Movement: SE at 11 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 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)
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 24MAR: 2,144 (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 05MAR: 750 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (25MAR)

  • Global: International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members – 1993
  • Global: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade – 2007
  • Belarus: Freedom Way – 1918
  • Greece: Independence Day – 1821
  • Cameroon: Senate elections
  • Latvia: Memorial Day for the Victims of Communist Terror – 1949
  • New Zealand: Army Day – 1845
  • Turkmenistan: Parliamentary Elections

 

END

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