ONS: 28 January 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 29, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: With one potential challenger after another arrested, quitting or being forced out of the race, the March presidential election is increasingly taking on the character of the one-candidate referendums held for decades by Egypt’s authoritarian rulers.
  • AMERICAS: At least 23 police officers were wounded by a car bomb that exploded outside a police station in Ecuador.
  • ASIA: The US State Department said that it was deeply concerned that a Swedish citizen and Hong Kong-based bookseller, Gui Minhai, had been detained in China and called for him to be allowed to leave the country.
  • EUROPE: Cyprus voters headed to the polls for a presidential election that could determine if the divided island makes another push to reunite after the collapse of talks last year.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Turkish jets and tanks pounded a strategic hill on the outskirts of Afrin, while Ankara-backed Syrian rebels engaged in heavy clashes with Kurdish militias.
  • TECHNOLOGY: China’s popular social media Sina Weibo has been asked by the country’s Internet regulator to overhaul sections that carry “harmful content”.

 

TOP STORY

  • Police raid Russian opposition’s HQ.
    • Police raided the Moscow office of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and arrested him at anti-Putin protest as thousands rally.
    • Surrounded by supporters, the 41-year-old chanted “Swindlers and thieves” before being detained by police.
    • Demonstrators called for a boycott of presidential election.
    • Sizeable gatherings have been reported in the Far East and Siberia, including Vladivostok, and more are set for Moscow and St. Petersburg in the afternoon.
    • Navalny, an anti-corruption lawyer, was jailed three times last year after bringing tens of thousands of people on to the streets for anti-Putin protests. He was also nearly blinded when a pro-Kremlin supporter threw a chemical into his face.
    • Mr Navalny, who insists he would beat Mr Putin in a fair fight, is barred from running in the ballot over a criminal conviction that he says is politically motivated.
    • Political commentators say Putin, 65, is eager for a high turnout to strengthen his mandate in what could be his last stint in the Kremlin, as he would be constitutionally barred from seeking a third straight term in 2024.
    • Coverage: AP, AFP, BBC, GUA, RFE/RL, WP,

 

AFRICA

  • Egypt: The former chief-of-staff, who recently announced his bid to run for presidential elections, is being held at a military prison, according to his lawyer. (REU)
  • Egypt: With one potential challenger after another arrested, quitting or being forced out of the race, the March presidential election is increasingly taking on the character of the one-candidate referendums held for decades by the country’s authoritarian rulers. (AP)
  • Mali: Islamic militants stormed an army camp in north, killing at least 14 soldiers in the worst attack on security forces in the West African country in more than a year. (NYT)

 

AMERICAS

  • Bolivia: The president has been aided in the courts, which threw out the country’s term limits, describing them as unfair to politicians like Mr. Morales, a leftist who has reshaped the country in his dozen years in power. (NYT)
  • Ecuador:  At least 23 police officers were wounded by a car bomb that exploded outside a police station. (XIN)
  • Honduras: The newly appointed national police chief, a key ally in the US war on drugs, helped a cartel leader pull off the delivery of nearly a ton of cocaine. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Australia: A Royal Australian Air Force electronic warfare plane caught fire on takeoff during an exercise in the US but there were no serious injuries. (AFP)
  • China: The US State Department said that it was deeply concerned that a Swedish citizen and Hong Kong-based bookseller, Gui Minhai, had been detained in China and called for him to be allowed to leave the country. (REU)
  • India: Life came to a standstill in most of India-administered Kashmir as a strike to protest the killing of two civilians by army troopers took hold. (DPA)
  • Pakistan: Army ‘has greatly increased its clout’ under new chief. (NYT)

 

EUROPE

  • Cyprus: Voters headed to the polls for a presidential election that could determine if the divided island makes another push to reunite after the collapse of talks last year. (AFP)
  • Finland: Finns voted and are expected to re-elect president Sauli Niinisto who is credited for maintaining a balanced relationship with powerful neighbor Russia at a time of simmering tensions between Moscow and the West. (AFP)
  • Spain: Constitutional court blocked Catalonia’s ousted separatist leader Carles Puigdemont from returning to power while he remains the subject of legal action. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Syria: Turkish jets and tanks pounded a strategic hill on the outskirts of Afrin, while Ankara-backed Syrian rebels engaged in heavy clashes with Kurdish militias. (DPA)
  • UAE: Sheikha Hessa bint Mohammed Al Nahyan, the mother of the ruler of the country, has died. (AP)
  • Yemen: Government forces clashed with separatists in the southern city of Aden. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: China’s popular social media Sina Weibo has been asked by the country’s Internet regulator to overhaul sections that carry “harmful content”. (XIN)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • 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)
    • 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 (29JAN)

  • Global: International Mobilization Day against Nuclear War – 1985
  • Lebanon: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to visit (to 31JAN)
  • Nepal: Martyr’s Day – Unknown
  • Russia: Syrian dialogue congress to open in Sochi (to 30JAN)
  • Russia: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with President Putin in Moscow

 

END

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