ONS: 24 October 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on October 25, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The US is considering an increased military presence in Africa to pursue Islamic State jihadists looking for new havens after the fall of their “caliphate.”
  • AMERICAS: The Trump administration approved the return to Venezuela of several US government employees pulled from the country in July at the height of anti-government protests.
  • ASIA: Australia will deploy forces to train Filipino troops on urban warfare following a siege by pro-Islamic State group militants on Marawi city in the southern Philippines.
  • EUROPE: Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catala urged Catalonia leader Carles Puigdemont to appear before the Spanish Senate to find a solution to the conflict between the restive region and Madrid.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabia opened the Future Investment Initiative conference, which highlights Saudi efforts to diversify its revenue streams and overhaul its economy and society.
  • TECHNOLOGY: US intelligence labeled RT a top Kremlin propaganda tool, which thrives on Google’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as the main distributors of its content.

TOP STORY

  • China: President Xi Jingping enshrined in country’s constitution.
    • China’s ruling Communist Party enshrined President Xi Jinping’s political thought into its constitution, putting him on the same level as founder Mao Zedong.
    • The unanimous vote to incorporate “Xi Jinping Thought” happened at the end of the Communist Party congress, China’s most important political meeting.
    • The move will make Xi the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, with ambitions to tighten party control over society and make his country a superpower on the world stage.
    • Xi is expected to be formally granted a second five-year term as the party’s general secretary and reveal the new members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the top decision-making body in the one-party system.
    • Many analysts are predicting Xi will not appoint any officials young enough to be considered a guaranteed successor to him as president — which could set the stage for Mr Xi to carry on as party head beyond 2022.
    • Coverage: BBC, CNN, FT, Reuters, WP

AFRICA

  • Region: The US is considering an increased military presence in Africa to pursue Islamic State jihadists looking for new havens after the fall of their “caliphate.” (AFP)
  • Region: Six crew members from a German-owned container ship, including the captain, have been kidnapped by pirates off the coast of southern Nigeria. (AFP)
  • Sudan: The EU vowed to provide the country with humanitarian assistance for “as long as it takes.” (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Mexican cartels are the biggest source of illegal drugs flooding the US, while Colombian criminal gangs are strengthening their hand, the US Drug Enforcement Agency said. (AFP)
  • Region: The Trump administration approved the return to Venezuela of several US government employees pulled from the country in July at the height of anti-government protests. (AP)
  • United States: A Government Accountability Office report says climate change is already costing the US billions of dollars each year, with those costs expected to rise in the coming decades. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: Australia will deploy forces to train Filipino troops on urban warfare following a siege by pro-Islamic State group militants on Marawi city in the southern Philippines. (AP)
  • Region: South Korea, Japan and the US began a two-day joint exercise to improve their ability to detect and track missiles launched by North Korea. (Kyodo)
  • Region: Hong Kong democracy activists Joshua Wong and Nathan Law were released from prison after the city’s highest court granted them bail to appeal their sentences. (NYT)
  • Myanmar: The government’s Peace Commission renewed its peace negotiation in Yangon with non-ceasefire signatory armed groups. (Xinhua)

EUROPE

  • Region: NATO will create two new commands to improve allied logistics and protect supply lines, to shore up weaknesses in any potential conflict with Russia. (WSJ)
  • Region: EU chief Donald Tusk says Brexit talks remain the bloc’s toughest test and renewed calls for unity among the UK’s 27 partners. (AP)
  • Region: The EU reached an agreement on so-called posted workers – cheap labor from Eastern Europe – that provides for their long-term posting of people for 12 months, and that they will be paid in line with the host country’s laws and practices.. (AP)
  • France: The country will discuss the possible sale of more Rafale aircrafts with Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during his visit to Paris this week. (Reuters)
  • Spain: Justice Minister Rafael Catala urged Catalonia leader Carles Puigdemont to appear before the Spanish Senate to find a solution to the conflict between the restive region and Madrid. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey’s military operation in Syria’s Idlib province was largely completed but the region of Afrin, controlled by a Kurdish militia, remained an issue. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: The country’s Kurdistan region accused Iraqi forces of launching an attack near Turkish border where a section of the Kurdish oil export pipeline is located. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: The country opened the Future Investment Initiative conference, which highlights Saudi efforts to diversify its revenue streams and overhaul its economy and society. (AP)
  • Syria: Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said less than five percent of the country remains under control of the Islamic State group. (AP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: US intelligence labeled RT a top Kremlin propaganda tool, which thrives on Google’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as the main distributors of its content. (WSJ)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm Twenty Seven
    • Location: 147 NM SSW of Andersen AFB, Guam
    • Wind: 45 mph
    • Movement: NW at 15 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: 141 km NNE of Palue, Indonesia
    • Magnitude: 6.7
    • Depth: 549.2 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 20OCT: 60,308 (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 20OCT: 122,951 (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 20OCT: 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 10OCT: 2,090 (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 10OCT: 730 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (25OCT)

  • Grenada: Thanksgiving Day – 1983
  • Lithuania: Constitution Day – 1992
  • Romania: Armed Forces Day
  • Russia: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to meet with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow
  • Taiwan: Retrocession Day – 1945
  • Thailand: Cremation ceremony for late king Bhumibol Adulyadej (to 29OCT)

END

 

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