ONS: 31 March 2018

by TRG Alerts Admin on April 1, 2018

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Voters in Sierra Leone head to the polls in the final round of the presidential campaign.
  • AMERICAS: The Venezuelan government broke its silence about a riot and fire in a police station’s cells that killed dozens of prisoners on Wednesday.
  • ASIA: After a rare meeting with the North Korean leader, the International Olympic Committee chief said that Kim Jong Un is committed to sending a North Korean team to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and the Beijing Winter Games 2022.
  • EUROPE: The Russian Embassy in Britain complained about the alleged search of a Russian airliner that landed at London’s Heathrow Airport, saying that it constituted a provocation and a violation of international rules.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Saudi air defense forces intercepted a missile fired by Houthi fighters in neighboring Yemen at the southern city of Najran.
  • TECHNOLOGY: An Iranian news site, quoting the head of the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, reports that the country will block the Telegram messenger service for reasons of national security.

 

TOP STORY

  • Global condemnation of violence in Gaza
    • Leading ambassadors expressed concerns and called on the UN Security Council to take action during emergency talks after clashes in Gaza near the Israeli border left at least 16 Palestinians dead and wounded hundreds more.
    • Leaders feared further escalation and “the possibility of a new conflict in the Gaza Strip”.
    • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an “independent and transparent investigation” and reaffirmed “the readiness” of the world body to revitalize peace efforts.
    • Palestinian ambassador to the UN urged the Council to stop the violence against civilians in Gaza.
    • Israeli forces guarding the border said they were forced to take measures to disperse the crowd when protesters began hurling stones and rolling burning tires toward the fence as thousands marched to demand the return of Palestinian refugees who were forced to leave their cities during the Arab-Israeli war in 1948.
    • Palestinians accused Israel of using disproportionate force while Israeli forces further alleged that the main protests were being used as cover by militants to either break through the border or carry out attacks.
    • Israel’s chief military spokesman says if violence drags on along the Gaza border, Israel will expand its reaction to strike the militants behind it.
    • Friday was the single deadliest day in the Israel-Palestine conflict since the 2014 Gaza war.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, BBC, Xinhua-1, Xinhua-2

 

AFRICA

  • Congo: The country’s main opposition party chose the son of its founder, a historic opposition figure, as its leader and presidential candidate. (AFP)
  • Mauritania: Two slave-owners face 10 and 20 years in prison after a court handed down the country’s harshest anti-slavery ruling yet, activists said. (Reuters)
  • Sierra Leone: Voters head to the polls in the final round of the presidential campaign. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Costa Rica: A former evangelical preacher has seized on the issue of gay rights to gain a lead in the presidential race, upending politics in a country that has long been exceptional for its stability in a tumultuous region. (WSJ)
  • Mexico: The country’s presidential race officially kicked off with four contenders competing for the nation’s highest office. (Xinhua)
  • Venezuela: The government broke its silence about a riot and fire in a police station’s cells that killed dozens of prisoners on Wednesday, issuing a statement, sending condolences to relatives, and promising an investigation. (Reuters)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Three soldiers were injured as a roadside bomb struck an Afghan army vehicle in Kandahar city the capital of southern Kandahar province. (Xinhua)
  • China: The country will prosecute a former senior provincial official for corruption after an investigation found he illegally accepted gifts and abused his power, the ruling Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog said. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: After a rare meeting with the North Korean leader, the International Olympic Committee chief said that Kim Jong Un is committed to sending a North Korean team to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and the Beijing Winter Games 2022. (Reuters)
  • Region: The PM of the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile in India has urged his compatriots to strengthen efforts to make the return of the Dalai Lama to his native land a reality. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: The Russian Embassy in Britain complained about the alleged search of a Russian airliner that landed at London’s Heathrow Airport, saying that it constituted a provocation and a violation of international rules. (AP)
  • Region: Moscow has told Britain it must cut “just over 50” more of its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia. (Reuters)
  • Russia: Sixty Russian diplomats expelled by the US in response to an apparent attempt to assassinate a former double agent in Britain with a nerve agent are set to return home, said Russia’s ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov. (AFP)
  • Ukraine: The U.S. State Department is calling on the country to repeal a law that it says has put undue burdens on civil society organizations and is for that reason discouraging their work. (RFE/RL)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Saudi air defense forces intercepted a missile fired by Houthi fighters in neighboring Yemen at the southern city of Najran. (Reuters)
  • Lebanon: An Israeli drone crashed in southern Lebanon, Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV reported on its website. (Reuters)
  • Syria: The White House has instructed the State Department to freeze over $200 million in funds earmarked for “recovery efforts” in Syria. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: An Iranian news site, quoting the head of the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, reports that the country will block the Telegram messenger service for reasons of national security. (AP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Typhoon Jelawat
      • Location: 356 nm northwest of Andersen Air Force Base
      • Movement: NE at 13 mph
      • Wind: 120 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)
    • 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 (01APR)

  • Costa Rica: Run-off of presidential elections
  • Greek Cyprus: National Day – 1955
  • Iran: Islamic Republic Day – 1979
  • Israel: Israel to begin deporting African migrants
  • United States: April Fool’s Day

 

END

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