ONS: 19 November 2010

by TRG Alerts Admin on November 19, 2010

KEY STORYLINES:

AFRICA: Madagascar orders evacuation near coup bid barracks
ASIA: China resuming export of rare earth minerals to Japan
EUROPE: EU president calls for support of Georgian sovereignty
LATIN AMERICA: Cholera clashes spread in Haiti
MIDDLE EAST:
US says Iraq pullout will not cause dramatic violence
TECHNOLOGY: Internet censorship in the US one step closer to law

TOP STORY

New North Korea reactor could make weapons-grade plutonium

  • The US-based Institute for Science and International Security says new satellite images show North Korea is constructing an experimental light-water nuclear reactor at the Yongbyong atomic complex.
  • The reactor could be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium by using the small 25-30 megawatt reactor to under-irradiate low-enriched uranium.
  • The think tank estimated the new reactor would need several tons of low-enriched uranium in the core and about one additional ton of uranium per year to keep the reactor running.
  • Coverage: AP

AFRICA

  • Cameroon: The rebel group Africa Marine Commando executed a pirate attack in the Bakassi region, and has threatened further attacks unless they receive a “security tax” from oil companies. (AFP, Xinhua)
  • Guinea: Final results from Guinea’s run-off presidential election will be announced by 02DEC, at the latest. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Militants from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta warn that they will carry out more raids on oil installations “from where fresh hostages will be taken.” (Reuters)
  • Madagascar: The defense ministry told families remaining in a barracks housing dissident army officers to evacuate the area. (BBC, Reuters)

ASIA

  • Region: Japanese Trade and Industry Minister Akihiro Ohata says China appears to be easing its de facto ban on exports of important rare earth metals to Japan. (AP, AFP, BBC)
  • Indonesia: The intensity of the eruption of Mount Merapi has weakened “significantly for about two weeks,” allowing the government to further reduce the restriction zone around the mountain. (AFP, BBC)
  • Korea, North: In accepting a proposal to hold the next round of Red Cross talks on family reunions in Munsan, South Korea, Pyongyang has agreed to hold talks inside South Korea for the first time in almost three years.  (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Cyprus: In January, Ban Ki-moon will decide on the future of the UN peace initiative to reconcile the land conflict between the Greece and Cyprus. (AFP)
  • Georgia: European Council President Herman Van Romput called on the international community to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. (RIA Novosti)
  • Russia: President Medvedev will present his vision for joint missile defense with the West when he addresses the NATO summit this weekend. (AFP)

LATIN AMERICA

  • Brazil: Police arrested 12 people in an operation against a ring accused of smuggling people into the US and then holding them to extract ransoms from their families back in Brazil. (EFE)
  • Cuba: Fidel Castro suggested he may resign as Communist Party chief, as he praised his brother Raul’s management of the country and noted he delegated his powers because of his health. (AFP)
  • Haiti: Clashes erupted in Port-au-Prince between UN forces and hundreds of protesting Haitians as unrest targeting peacekeepers blamed for the cholera outbreak continued. (AFP, BBC)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: In response to an annual USG report that states Iran is the “biggest violator” of Muslim rights, Tehran denied the accusation and accused the US of infringing on the religious rights of Muslims. (AFP)
  • Iraq: US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Colin Kalh stated that the US military’s planned withdrawal from Iraq by the end of 2011 is not expected to trigger a dramatic increase in violence. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: Colonel Ibrahim Abbas, a Yemeni intelligence agent, was attacked and stabbed near the US Embassy in Sanaa. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY & COMMUNICATION

  • US: The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to pass the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which would give the US Attorney General’s office the right to shutdown websites it deems are participating in piracy without due process. (ReadWriteWeb)
  • US: A Malaysian cyber bandit was arrested for hacking into the Cleveland, Ohio branch of the US Federal Reserve and stealing nearly half a million credit and debit card numbers. (AFP)

WORLD


Hurricanes: Nothing to report.

Volcanoes: Mount Merapi, Indonesia.

Cyclones: Nothing to report.

Earthquakes: Nothing to report.

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