ONS: 27 December 2017

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 28, 2017

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In Somalia, a US military airstrike killed 13 members of the al-Shabab extremist group northwest of Kismayo.
  • AMERICAS: Brazil declared Venezuela’s most senior diplomat in Brazil, Gerardo Delgado, as persona non grata.
  • ASIA: Two Reuters journalists were remanded for a second 14-day custody period as authorities continued a probe into allegations that they breached the Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act.
  • EUROPE: Russia will supply Turkey with four divisions of S-400 surface-to-air missile divisions for an almost-finalized USD 2.5B deal.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates plan to impose a 5 percent tax in 2018 on most goods and services to boost revenue after oil prices collapsed three years ago.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Software for analyzing fingerprints used by the FBI and more than 18,000 other US law enforcement agencies could contain Russian code.

 

TOP STORY

  • South Korea & Japan: Ties tested over review of ‘comfort women’ deal.
    • South Korea’s foreign ministry has said a 2015 deal with Japan to compensate forced World War Two sex slaves failed to meet the needs of the victims.
    • After a five-month review, a South Korean nine-member task force found procedural faults in what was hailed as an “irreversible” accord, adding that Japan didn’t voluntarily offer an apology and compensation.
    • The panel also said the deal was forged partly through “behind-the-scene negotiations” and sensitive terms of the final deal were kept out of the public domain to avoid “democratic procedures.”
    • Under the deal, Japan apologized to former comfort women and provided USD 8.8 million to a fund to help them.
    • Japanese FM Taro Kono said any attempt to revise the deal would be unacceptable and make relations unmanageable.
    • Coverage: BBC, Bloomberg, Reuters, Reuters-2, Yonhap

 

AFRICA

  • Liberia: Votes are being counted in a contested presidential runoff that voters hope will lead to the country’s first democratic transition in more than 70 years. (AJ)
  • Libya: PM Fayez Serraj said families displaced in Tawergha after a 2011 uprising will be allowed to return in FEB2018. (AP)
  • Somalia: A US military airstrike killed 13 members of the al-Shabab extremist group northwest of Kismayo. (AP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Brazil declared Venezuela’s most senior diplomat in Brazil, Gerardo Delgado, as persona non grata. (BBC)
  • Region: OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro asked the Honduran government to receive a special delegate amid the ongoing election crisis. (EFE)
  • Peru: Allies continued to distance themselves from President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski after his Christmas Eve pardon for disgraced former head of state Alberto Fujimori. (EFE)

 

ASIA

  • Region: China told Taiwan to ‘get used to’ Chinese air force drills that encircle the island. (Reuters)
  • Cambodia: PM Hun Sen vowed to extend his more than 30 years in power by at least another decade. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: Two Reuters journalists were remanded for a second 14-day custody period as authorities continued a probe into allegations that they breached the nation’s Official Secrets Act. (Reuters)
  • Thailand: The death toll this year from an insurgency in the country’s Muslim-majority southern provinces was the lowest since the conflict began 13 years ago. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Russia will supply Turkey with four divisions of S-400 surface-to-air missile divisions for an almost-finalized USD 2.5B deal. (Reuters)
  • Region: Media reports say that Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine sent captured Ukrainian soldiers to the site of a planned prisoner exchange between the separatists and Kyiv. (RFE/RL)
  • Russia: Many foreign investors appear to be pulling money out of the country amid concern that new US sanctions next year may target Russian oligarchs and state corporations close to the Kremlin. (RFE/RL)
  • Spain: The country’s economy is set to expand by 3.1 percent despite the negative effects of the Catalan political crisis. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates plan to impose a 5 percent tax in 2018 on most goods and services to boost revenue after oil prices collapsed three years ago. (AP)
  • Region: Russia will deploy a naval unit permanently in the eastern Mediterranean after the military operation in Syria ends. (Xinhua)
  • Qatar: More Turkish troops arrived at a military base in Doha to begin joint military exercises. (Xinhua)
  • Syria: Evacuations of the first critical medical cases from the rebel-controlled area of Eastern Ghouta east of Damascus have begun. (CNN)
  • Syria: Russia accused the US of training former Islamic State fighters to try to destabilize the country. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Software for analyzing fingerprints used by the FBI and more than 18,000 other US law enforcement agencies could contain Russian code. (Hill)

 

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: Mount Sinaburg, Indonesia
    • Ash eruption up to 4.6 km in the atmosphere. (Netral News)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 22DEC: 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 22DEC: 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 22DEC: 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 (28DEC)

  • Thailand: King Taksin Memorial Day – 1767

 

END

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