ONS: 25 December 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 26, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: South Sudan’s army clashed with rebels in an oil-producing region, both sides said, shattering a ceasefire hours after it came into effect.
  • AMERICAS: President Kuczynski has pardoned former leader Alberto Fujimori on health grounds in a move that has prompted angry protests.
  • ASIA: North Korea said it is a “pipe dream” for the US to think it will give up its nuclear weapons, and called the latest UN sanctions to target the country “an act of war” that violates its sovereignty.
  • EUROPE: Trump’s decision to provide antitank missiles to Ukraine reflects assessments that the shipment of defensive lethal arms is needed to raise the cost to Russia of its aggression and provide the West with fresh leverage in negotiations over its future.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Syrian army forces backed by Iranian-backed militias pushed deeper into the last rebel-held enclave near a strategic border area with Israel and Lebanon in a new expansion of Tehran’s influence in the war-torn country.
  • TECHNOLOGY: China has closed more than 13,000 websites since the beginning of 2015 for breaking the law or other rules and the vast majority of people support government efforts to clean up cyberspace.

TOP STORY

  • Guatemala to move its Embassy to Jerusalem
    • Guatemala will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, becoming the first nation to follow Trump’s lead in ordering the change.
    • The decision by Guatemala, one of only eight countries to vote last week with the US in opposing a UN resolution condemning Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, is in stark contrast to the rest of the world, including all other 14 members of the UN Security Council, apart from the US, who opposed the move.
    • Israel has welcomed the announcement, with the foreign ministry saying it was a sign of “true friendship”.
    • The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel regards Jerusalem as its “eternal and undivided” capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem – occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war – as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
    • Trump upended decades of US policy. Though Trump said he was merely recognizing reality and not prejudging negotiations on the future borders of the city, Palestinians saw the move as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, GUA, NYT, REU

AFRICA

  • Nigeria: For two years, the military has claimed to have defeated Boko Haram but even if the government has regained much of the territory once controlled by the group, the fight is far from over. (LAT)
  • South Sudan: Army clashed with rebels in an oil-producing region, both sides said, shattering a ceasefire hours after it came into effect. (REU)
  • Uganda: Security agencies beefed up security control and raised security levels around churches and entertainment areas on Christmas Day in efforts to prevent possible terror attacks in the East African country. (XIN)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Cultural authorities at UNESCO have recognized the artisans of Panama for their distinctive woven hats. The famed “Panama hat” comes from Ecuador. (AP)
  • Mexico: Running a newspaper, radio station or television outlet usually means relying on a single, powerful client that spends exorbitant sums on advertising with a simple warning: “I do not pay you to criticize me.” That client is the government of Mexico. (NYT)
  • Peru: President Kuczynski has pardoned former leader Alberto Fujimori on health grounds in a move that has prompted angry protests. (BBC)

ASIA

  • Region: China’s growing economic, political and diplomatic power means it is achieving an “overwhelming advantage” in bringing self-ruled Taiwan to heel, and time is on China’s side, a senior official said in a comment. (REU)
  • Region: The Chinese government has urged countries to act with restraint and work to ease tensions after North Korea called the latest UN sanctions to target the country “an act of war” that violates its sovereignty. (AP)
  • North Korea: The government said it is a “pipe dream” for the US to think it will give up its nuclear weapons, including that the sanctions are tantamount to a “complete economic blockade.” (AP)

EUROPE

  • Region: Trump’s decision to provide antitank missiles to Ukraine reflects assessments that the shipment of defensive lethal arms is needed to raise the cost to Russia of its aggression and provide the West with fresh leverage in negotiations over its future. (WSJ)
  • France: Authorities said about 150 skiers have been rescued after becoming stranded in chair lifts at a resort in the French Alps. (GUA)
  • Germany: A man drove a car at the entrance of the Berlin headquarters of Germany’s Social Democratic Party, lightly injuring himself in what police said was an apparent suicide attempt. (REU)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Syrian army forces backed by Iranian-backed militias pushed deeper into the last rebel-held enclave near a strategic border area with Israel and Lebanon in a new expansion of Tehran’s influence in the war-torn country. (REU)
  • Iraq: A Christmas service at a church in the city of Mosul has taken place for the first time since militants from the so-called Islamic State were driven out of the region. (BBC)
  • Israel: Guatemalan President Morales drew praise from Israeli officials for deciding to relocate the Central American country’s embassy to Jerusalem. (REU)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: China has closed more than 13,000 websites since the beginning of 2015 for breaking the law or other rules and the vast majority of people support government efforts to clean up cyberspace. (REU)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm Tembin
    • Location: 208 NM SE of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    • Movement: W at 10 mph
    • Wind: 60 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 (26DEC)

  • Bulgaria: Father’s Day – Unknown
  • Canada and Great Britain: Boxing Day – Unknown
  • China: Foreign Ministers of China, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to meet in Beijing for discussions on development and security
  • Europe: Anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union – 1991
  • Liberia: Presidential runoff election
  • Slovenia: Independence and Unity Day – 1990
  • Solomon Islands: National Day of Thanksgiving – Unknown
  • South Africa: Day of Goodwill – Unknown
  • United States: Kwanzaa (to 01JAN) – 1965

END

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