ONS: 26 December 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 27, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: As Liberia heads for a presidential runoff election, the African Union has redeployed its election observers (AUEOM) in the country.
  • AMERICAS: A senior federal judge in New York who oversaw the historic sovereign debt default cases brought against Argentina by creditors, Thomas Griesa, died on Christmas Eve at the age of 87.
  • ASIA: Frequent and increased Chinese military drills pose an “enormous threat” to Taiwan’s security, Taipei warned in an annual defense review that starkly highlighted rising cross-strait tensions.
  • EUROPE: A lawyer says Serbia has extradited a Kurdish political activist who sought asylum in Serbia after fleeing Turkey where he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The opposition has rejected Russia’s planned Sochi conference, suggesting that it is aimed at sidestepping UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva to end the war.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Cryptocurrencies have been a winning bet this year, but the chip makers who play a key role in the market are still playing their hands very cautiously.

 

TOP STORY

  • Thousands Protest Pardon of Former Peruvian President
    • Thousands of Peruvians took to the streets to protest the pardon granted to former President Fujimori, with many calling it part of a backroom deal struck to protect the current president from impeachment on corruption charges.
    • President Kuczynski acknowledged the anger at his decision but said he could not “allow Alberto Fujimori to die in prison”.
    • Fujimori is a divisive figure in Peru — credited with both stabilizing the country’s economic crisis and brutally repressing his opponents.
    • Rights lawyers in Lima say pardons and sentence reductions are not permitted for people tried for rights violations under the rules of the Inter-American Human Rights Court, which adjudicates some human rights cases in Peru and other countries that are members of the Organization of American States.
    • So far, three ruling party lawmakers have announced their resignations from Kuczynski’s party, which controls about a fifth of congressional seats. The deputy human rights minister has also resigned.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, CNN, NYT, REU

 

AFRICA

  • Region: As Liberia heads for a presidential runoff election, the African Union has redeployed its election observers (AUEOM) in the country. (XIN)
  • Liberia: Liberians go to the polls to select either former international footballer George Weah or Vice President Joseph Boakai as their new president, in a vote that analysts say is too close to call. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: The former campaign chief of ex-president Jonathan has been arrested for allegedly stealing $48.5 million from state coffers to fund his failed 2015 re-election bid. (AFP)
  • Somalia: A group that monitors extremist organizations says the Islamic State group has posted what is thought to be the first video from IS-affiliated fighters in the country. (AP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: A senior federal judge in New York who oversaw the historic sovereign debt default cases brought against Argentina by creditors, Thomas Griesa, died on Christmas Eve at the age of 87. (REU)
  • Peru: Kuczynski defended his pardon for Alberto Fujimori as justified clemency for an ailing man whose authoritarian government in the 1990s helped the country progress, after Peruvians protested for a second day. (REU)
  • Uruguay: Japan is planning to lift a ban on beef imports from the country next year, ending a more than 17-year embargo following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the South American nation in 2000. (KYO)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Frequent and increased Chinese military drills pose an “enormous threat” to Taiwan’s security, Taipei warned in an annual defense review that starkly highlighted rising cross-strait tensions. (AFP)
  • Region: North Korea will keep improving its nuclear and long-range ballistic missile capabilities next year to gain leverage to force Washington to make concessions, like the easing of sanctions, government and private analysts in South Korea said.  (NYT)
  • Region: China exported no oil products to North Korea in November, Chinese customs data showed, apparently going above and beyond sanctions imposed earlier this year by the United Nations in a bid to limit petroleum shipments to the isolated country. (REU)
  • Region: The South Korean government says North Korea is likely to seek dialogue with Washington next year while continuing to pursue nuclear and missile development. (UPI)
  • Region: The foreign ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan appealed to Taliban militants to join peace talks following a meeting Tuesday organized by China to mend strained relations between the two governments. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region:  An EU agreement with Britain on relations after Brexit could serve as a model for ties with other countries that want to be as close as possible to the bloc but are not yet ready to join, such as Ukraine and Turkey, Germany’s foreign minister said. (REU)
  • Region: A lawyer says Serbia has extradited a Kurdish political activist who sought asylum in Serbia after fleeing Turkey where he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. (AP)
  • Region: Britain’s Royal Navy has escorted one of Russia’s warships through the North Sea near UK waters, amid increasing tensions between the two countries. (AP)
  • Russia: Election officials formally barred opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running for president, prompting calls from him for a boycott of next year’s vote. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Japan’s FM Kono has told Israeli and Palestinian leaders that the status of Jerusalem should be settled through negotiations between the parties concerned. (AP)
  • Region: Israeli military court has extended the detention of a Palestinian teen who has become a national hero after she was filmed kicking and slapping Israeli soldiers. (AP)
  • Syria: The opposition has rejected Russia’s planned Sochi conference, suggesting that it is aimed at sidestepping UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva to end the war. (DPA)
  • Syria: Russia has started establishing a permanent military presence at naval and air bases in the country, as parliament ratified a deal with Damascus to cement Russian presence in the country. (REU)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Cryptocurrencies have been a winning bet this year, but the chip makers who play a key role in the market are still playing their hands very cautiously. (WSJ)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Depression Tembin
    • Location: 198 NM SW of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    • Movement: W. at 5 mph
    • Wind: 30 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)
    • 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)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (27DEC)

  • Afghanistan: Anniversary of the invasion of the Soviet Union – 1979
  • North Korea: Constitution Day – 1972
  • Pakistan: Anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto – 2007

 

END

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