ONS: 27 March 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 28, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The Congolese government says it will not take international funding for its long-delayed elections, calling it a decision to avoid foreign interference.
  • AMERICAS: A Brazilian court rejected former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s latest appeal against a corruption conviction that could see him imprisoned for 12 years.
  • ASIA: A North Korean train arrived to an honor guard reception in Beijing, sparking rumors that Kim Jong Un may be aboard, on an apparent first foreign visit.
  • EUROPE: Fourteen EU countries announced they are to expel 30 Russian diplomats in a coordinated response to the nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Syrian state media reported the largest-yet convoy of evacuees from Eastern Ghouta, totaling over 6,700 people, left in accordance with ceasefire terms.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Facebook is under investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission over the company’s failure to protect the personal information of tens of millions of users.

TOP STORY

  • United States: US joins European allies in ordering expulsion of Russian diplomats in response to poisoning.
    • President Trump signed an order demanding the departure of 60 Russian diplomats, and shuttering the Seattle consulate.
    • Russia has decried the expulsion, but has not yet announced any reciprocal move.
    • Russian embassies have seen a wave of expulsions across EU/NATO countries in response to the poisoning of a Russian defector living in Britain.
    • The move represents a break from the Trump administration’s predominantly conciliatory gestures toward Russia.
    • The UK and allied nations have hailed the step as presenting a unified front against Kremlin intelligence operations.
    • Reporting: AFP, AP, Reuters, NBC, BBC

AFRICA

  • Region: Delegates from Burundi, Tanzania and UNHCR started a three-day meeting in Bujumbura to seek ways of boosting the repatriation of Burundian refugees living in Tanzania. (Xinhua)
  • Congo: The government says it will not take international funding for its long-delayed elections, calling it a decision to avoid foreign interference. (AP)
  • Kenya: Authorities want to deport opposition politician Miguna Miguna again despite court orders that he should be allowed into the country, a human rights official said. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: A court rejected former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s latest appeal against a corruption conviction that could see him imprisoned for 12 years. (AFP)
  • Canada: The province of British Columbia vowed to press on with a legal battle against a controversial oil pipeline after a federal court dealt the province a setback. (AFP)
  • United States: The revelation that the Pulse nightclub shooter’s father was an FBI informant for 11 years before the attack has little bearing on the trial of the gunman’s widow, a judge ruled. (AP)
  • United States: A handful of federal facilities in the Washington, D.C., area received packages on that were considered suspicious, with the FBI and military investigating. (CBS)

ASIA

  • Region: A North Korean train arrived to an honor guard reception in Beijing, sparking rumors that Kim Jong Un may be aboard, on an apparent first foreign visit. (AFP)
  • Region: Multilateral talks began in Uzbekistan between regional, EU, Russian, and US delegations, aimed at building consensus for peace talks for Afghanistan. (AFP)
  • Australia: Four dozen people have been rescued from flood waters at two caravan parks in a post Cyclone Nora downpour that dropped 100 millimeters worth of rain. (DPA)
  • Japan: An official connected to the cronyism and cover-up scandal that has dented Shinzo Abe’s popularity said that the prime minister’s office was not involved in falsifying documents. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Region: Fourteen EU countries announced they are to expel 30 Russian diplomats in a coordinated response to the nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain. (AFP)
  • Cyprus: The president says he’d like to have Turkey as an ally in the bid to exploit offshore gas reserves, but Ankara must stop its “gunboat diplomacy” that prevents exploratory drilling. (AP)
  • Germany: A court extended the detention of ex-Catalonian leader Carles Puigdemont, ahead of possible deportation proceedings (DPA)
  • Turkey: The EU and Turkey failed to reach any “concrete solutions or compromises” in talks aimed at patching up their tattered relations, EU President Donald Tusk said after the meeting. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: The United Arab Emirates condemned Qatar over two military aircraft that flew dangerously close to two UAE civil aircraft in Bahraini airspace. (Xinhua)
  • Egypt: The Interior Ministry says it has killed six militants believed to be involved in a weekend bombing in the coastal city of Alexandria that killed two policemen. (AFP)
  • Saudi Arabia: The Saudi-led military coalition accused Iran of supplying Yemen’s Houthi rebels with the ballistic missiles used to attack Riyadh over the weekend (RFE-RL)
  • Syria: State media reported the largest-yet convoy of evacuees from Eastern Ghouta, totaling over 6,700 people, left in accordance with ceasefire terms. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: Facebook is under investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission over the company’s failure to protect the personal information of tens of millions of users. (Guardian)

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Cyclone Iris
      • Location: 470 nm W-NW of Noumea, New Caledonia
      • Movement: S at 10mph
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Depression Jelawat
      • Location: 84 nm N of Kayangel
      • Movement: W-NW at 5 mph
      • Wind: 35 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 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)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
    • 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)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (28MAR)

  • Tibet: Serf Emancipation Day – 2009

END

 

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