ONS: 03 January 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 3, 2015

 

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Parents of 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist rebels in April said they were appealing directly to the United Nations for help after losing hope that the Nigerian government would rescue them.
  • AMERICAS: Suspected al-Qaeda terrorist Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai died Friday night just days before he was slated to go on trial in New York on charges for his role in the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings.
  • ASIA: Recovery teams have found two big parts of AirAsia Flight 8501, Indonesia’s top search official said Saturday.
  • EUROPE: A ship abandoned by its crew off Italy with 360 migrants on board arrived at the Italian port of Corigliano Calabro, the Italian coastguard said.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Syrians will soon need visas to enter Lebanon, the latest and most significant in a series of new measures by Syria’s neighbors to try to control an overwhelming flow of refugees that appears unlikely to end any time soon.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on Net neutrality in February.

 

TOP STORY

  • North Korea: New sanctions first step in US response to Sony cyberattack
    • North Korea was hit with more sanctions designed to impede access to the US financial system in the wake of a cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.
    • The United States says its new round of sanctions against North Korea is just the opening salvo in its response to the unprecedented cyberattack.
    • The new sanctions target three entities — including the country’s primary intelligence organization — and 10 individuals as agencies or officials of the North Korean government, according to the Treasury Department.
    • Most targeted individuals seemed linked to the North’s missile and weapons sales and have not been directly linked to the Sony cyberattack.
    • The Obama administration has said there would be a covert element of its response as well.
    • Coverage: AP, FT, NBC, NYT, Reuters

 

AFRICA

  • Burundi: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that peaceful and credible elections are critical for the people “to consolidate peace and stability in their country.” (Xinhua)
  • Kenya: A student, Alan Wadi Okengo, has been sentenced to a year in jail for insulting Pres. Kenyatta on social media. (BBC)
  • Nigeria: Parents of 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist rebels in April said they were appealing directly to the United Nations for help after losing hope that the country’s government would rescue them. (Reuters)
  • Sudan, South: FM Barnaba Marial Benjamin said dialogue between the central government and rebels have made significant progress, but more dialogue is still needed. (Al-Awsat)

 

AMERICAS

  • Argentina: Kurt Sonnenfeld, an American who sought refuge in the country after he was accused of killing his wife in 2002 should be sent back to the United States, the nation’s Supreme Court announced this week. (NYT)
  • El Salvador: Authorities in the country say homicides increased 57 percent in 2014 to 3,912, blaming most of the bloodshed on gangs. (AP)
  • United States: Suspected al-Qaeda terrorist Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai died Friday night just days before he was slated to go on trial in New York on charges of helping plan the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings. (WP)
  • Venezuela: Pres. Maduro said he demanded respect from the United States during an encounter with VP Biden in Brazil. (BBC)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Recovery teams have found two big parts of AirAsia Flight 8501, Indonesia’s top search official said Saturday. (AFP)
  • Australia: Thousands of firefighters are battling wildfires burning throughout southern Australia, with residents fleeing their homes as strong winds fan the flames. (AP)
  • China: The mobile application of the nation’s disciplinary watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), which publishes the latest anti-corruption campaign news , has been well received by the public after its Jan. 1 launch. (Xinhua)
  • Philippines: At least two soldiers were killed and four others were wounded in separate attacks staged by rebels in the Philippines, military authorities said on Saturday. (IANS)

 

EUROPE

  • Germany: The floodlights of Cologne cathedral will be switched off as a counter-protest against a planned anti-immigrant march due to take place Monday night. (Telegraph)
  • Italy: A ship abandoned by its crew off the country’s coast with 360 migrants on board arrived at the Italian port of Corigliano Calabro, the coastguard said. (BBC)
  • Switzerland: The Justice Ministry is reportedly considering a proposal to export convicts to neighboring France and Germany. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Syrians will soon need visas to enter Lebanon, the latest and most significant in a series of new measures by Syria’s neighbors to try to control an overwhelming flow of refugees that appears unlikely to end any time soon. (NYT)
  • Region: Militant group Hamas condemned the fatal shooting by Egyptian border guards of what they said was a Palestinian minor on the Gaza border on Friday. (AFP)
  • Iran: The country has not made any nuclear agreement with the US, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Saturday, denying recent Western reports that the two sides have agreed to ship part of its enriched uranium abroad. (Xinhua)
  • Iraq: A delegation from the western Anbar governorate is preparing to visit Washington to call for more security and humanitarian assistance, according to the head of Anbar’s Provincial Council Sabah Karhout. (Al-Awsat)
  • Libya: A priest and a witness say masked gunmen in the country have kidnapped 20 Coptic Christians from Egypt. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: The Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on Net neutrality in February. (CNET)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Popocatépetl, Mexico
    • Emitting gas and ash. (AP)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 20,206 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United States)
      • Deaths: 7,905 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 29DEC: 1,071,696 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela..) Confirmed Cases: 22,796
      • Deaths as of 29DEC: 169 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
      • Sourcing: WHO, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 26DEC: 941 (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 and the US)
      • Deaths as of 17DEC: 347 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (04JAN)

  • Pakistan: The Peshawar Army Public School to reopen after Taliban massacre that killed over 160 people.
  • Islam: Eid Milad un Nabi – Birthday of the Prophet

 

END

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