ONS: 17 November 2010

by TRG Alerts Admin on November 17, 2010

TOP STORIES:

AFRICA: Ethnic tension in Guinea sparks clashes across border

ASIA: North Korean heir apparent purges senior officials

EUROPE: Bout extradition will not seriously impact US-Russia relations

MIDDLE EAST: Tehran says foreign planes violated airspace

TECHNOLOGY: Syrian bloggers brace for fresh blow to press freedom

TOP STORY

Afghan handover could run past 2015 in some areas

  • The military handover from NATO-led forces to Afghans could run past the 2014 target date in some areas due to lingering security problems.
  • Mark Sedwill, the top NATO civilian representation in Afghanistan, said, “the end of 2014 does not mean that the mission over, but the mission changes.”
  • Sedwill said the timetable for transition would vary across the country and depend on conditions, but declined to give details on which areas would experience a transition that runs “to 2015 and beyond.”
  • Coverage: Reuters

AFRICA

Guinea: Ethnic tension sparks clashes across border

  • The increased ethnic tension in the wake of Guinea’s disputed election sparked clashes in neighboring Sierra Leone.
  • Assistant Inspector General of Police Sorie Kargbo said 20 people were arrested in Sierra Leone’s town of Kenema for rioting as the fighting between the Peul and Melinke escalates.
  • Coverage: AP

Western Sahara: Increased violence raises concerns on EU fish pact

  • Moroccan security force action against protestors in Western Sahara has boosted opposition in the EU to a treaty that would allow European fishing in waters off the territory.
  • At issue is the renewal of a four-year fishing pact that grants the EU the right from Morocco to fish in its waters; about 70 to 80 percent of fishing occurs in disputed waters.
  • European lawmakers across the political spectrum are beginning to question the accord, which is planned for March 2011.
  • Coverage: Reuters

ASIA

India: Eid prayers erupt in protests in Indian Kashmir

  • Prayers marking Eid al-Adha erupted into anti-Indian demonstrations in Sringagar, the main city in Indian Kashmir.
  • Indian police fired shots into the air and used teargas to disperse hundreds of protestors who were chanting, “We want freedom” and “Go India! Go back.”
  • A similar clash occurred in the southern district of Anantnag after police prevented worshippers from taking part in a rally to protest against Indian rule.
  • Coverage: AFP

Korea, N.: Heir apparent purges senior officials

  • The Seoul-based North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity states that Kim Jong-Un is purging senior party and military officials in an attempt to cement his grip on power.
  • The defectors’ group says Pyongyang began a crackdown on senior officials suspected of corruption this month, including about “15 heavyweight officials, many of them military.”
  • The spokesman says the crackdown would be expanded into a nationwide campaign that aims to replace longstanding military members with younger officials more loyal to Jong-Un.
  • Coverage:  AFP

EUROPE

Russia: Bout extradition will not seriously impact relations with the US

  • US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley says the extradition of Viktor Bout will not have a strong negative effect on US-Russia relations.
  • Moscow has asked the US for immediate consular access to Bout, who has arrived in the US from Thailand.
  • Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov states Bout “is a citizen of Russia, so he must enjoy every right of every Russian citizen in trouble.”
  • Coverage: ITAR-TASS

LATIN AMERICA

Region: Ecuador and Columbia to restore diplomatic ties by 2011

  • Ecuadorian Vice Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas says that Quito hopes to fully restore diplomatic ties with Colombia by January 2011.
  • Restoration of ties will depend on the resolution of sensitive issues, including the details of a cross-border raid in March 2008 carried out by the Colombian army against FARC rebels in Ecuador.
  • Kintto noted that Ecuador “[sees] that there is a very important political will from Colombia, which did not exist with the previous government.”
  • Coverage: Xinhua

Region: Haiti cholera case reaches Dominican Republic

  • The Dominican Republic detected its first case of cholera in the eastern tow of Higuey.
  • The patient is a Haitian migrant who recently returned from his homeland.
  • Dominican authorities had tightened border controls and stepped up health checks in an attempt to stop the disease from spreading from Haiti.
  • Coverage: AFPBBC

MIDDLE EAST

Iran: Tehran says foreign planes violated airspace

  • Military spokesman Gen. Hamid Arjangi that unidentified foreign planes violated the Iran’s airspace six times this week.
  • The reported breaches of airspace are occurring while the military is in the midst of a five-day air defense drill, which began on Tuesday.
  • Arjangi claims the foreign planes were intercepted and forced back by Iranian jets.
  • Coverage: AP

TECHNOLOGY & COMMUNICATION

Syria: Bloggers brace for fresh blow to press freedom

  • Syria is poised to narrow the window for dissent with a new Internet law that would provide a legal framework to police online activity.
  • The draft law, which is awaiting parliamentary approval, would force bloggers to register as union members, and potentially require content to be withdrawn from websites based on government discretion.
  • Online journalists and bloggers in Syria, already subject to harassment and imprisonment, are concerned that the law is designed to crack down on their activities and restrict freedom of expression.
  • Media analysts say the law will be approved “soon.”
  • Coverage: Christian Science Monitor

WORLD

Hurricanes:  Nothing to report.

Volcanoes:  Mount Merapi, Indonesia.

Cyclones: Nothing to report.

Earthquakes: Nothing to report.

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