ONS: 27 January 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 28, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The UN highlighted the importance of solving African conflicts to world peace and development.
  • AMERICAS: International pressure has been mounting Venezuela over the government’s decision to push up presidential elections under conditions that opponents say overwhelmingly favor President Nicolas Maduro, who is so far the only candidate.
  • ASIA: The top defense officials of South Korea and the US have agreed to further build the countries’ joint deterrence against North Korea as part of efforts to denuclearize the communist state.
  • EUROPE: The Japanese and French defense ministers reaffirmed closer defense cooperation in a meeting after agreeing the previous day to hold the countries’ first joint maritime defense exercises next month.
  • MIDDLE EAST: More than 20,000 Kurdish participants from every part of Germany are expected to converge on Cologne on Saturday for a demonstration protesting the ongoing Turkish military offensive against Kurdish forces in the north.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database.

 

TOP STORY

  • Taliban explosion rocks Kabul.
    • A suicide bombing has killed at least 60 people and injured 140 others in the capital’s center.
    • Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mojahid claimed responsibility for the attack.
    • Kabul has been the site of numerous bombing attacks claimed by the Islamic State group and the Taliban over the last year.
    • Foreign embassies are on the road where the attack occurred, but no foreigners were reported among the casualties.
    • The latest attack will add pressure on Ghani and his US allies, who have expressed growing confidence that a new more aggressive military strategy has succeeded in driving Taliban insurgents back from major provincial centers.
    • AP, BBC, CNN, REU, WP,

 

AFRICA

  • Region: The UN highlighted the importance of solving African conflicts to world peace and development. (XIN)
  • Region: African countries could be losing 100 billion US dollars annually through corruption, a senior African expert said. (XIN)
  • Region: The AU called on its member states to facilitate the free movement of people on the continent in a bid to reduce riskier forms of migration, mainly to Europe. (XIN)
  • Libya: The UN Support Mission expressed concerns over retribution killings in eastern Libya. (XIN)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Nicaragua’s exports to its regional ally, Venezuela, have come to a halt this year amid fears of US retaliation. (SPU)
  • Honduras: Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was set to be sworn in for a second term Saturday as the opposition vowed mass protests over claims he fraudulently won November elections. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: International pressure has been mounting on the country over the government’s decision to push up presidential elections under conditions that opponents say overwhelmingly favor President Nicolas Maduro, who is so far the only candidate. (WP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Philippine president said he pities Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi for being the focus of international criticism over her country’s handling of the Rohingya refugee crisis. Duterte said he told Suu Kyi to ignore human right activists, describing them as a “noisy bunch.” (AP)
  • Region: The top defense officials of South Korea and the US have agreed to further build the countries’ joint deterrence against North Korea as part of efforts to denuclearize the communist state. (YON)
  • China: One of Hong Kong’s best-known democracy activists was banned from standing as lawmaker in upcoming elections, the latest blow to freedoms in the city as Beijing tightens its grip. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • France: The Japanese and French defense ministers reaffirmed closer defense cooperation in a meeting after agreeing the previous day to hold the countries’ first joint maritime defense exercises next month. (KYO)
  • Germany: President Steinmeier starts a four-day trip to the Middle East to hold talks with the political leadership in Jordan and Lebanon and visit German troops based in the region. (DPA)
  • Poland: The country hopes the US will offer political support for the republic in counteracting the Nord Stream-2 project, Poland’s Foreign Minister Yacek Czaputowicz told a joint news conference following a meeting between the Tillerson and Morawiecki. (TAS)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: Eight people were killed mistakenly and 10 wounded when a US and Iraqi joint force clashed with local police and paramilitary tribal fighters in western province of Anbar. (XIN)
  • Saudi Arabia: More top Saudi businessmen are being released from detention, including the founder of the Middle East’s largest media company, as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s corruption purge winds down. (FT)
  • Syria: More than 20,000 Kurdish participants from every part of Germany are expected to converge on Cologne on Saturday for a demonstration protesting the ongoing Turkish military offensive against Kurdish forces in the north. (DPA)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database. The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking, raising significant concerns from civil libertarians. (VER)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: 186km N of Madang, Papua New Guinea
    • Magnitude: 6.3 mww
    • Depth: 10.0 km
    • Map
  • 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 20JAN: 2,123 (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 20JAN: 740 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (28JAN)

  • Global: World Leprosy Day – 1954
  • Armenia: Army Day – 1992
  • Cyprus: First round of presidential elections
  • Finland: Presidential election
  • Sweden: Name Day of King Carl XVI Gustaf

 

END

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