ONS: 04 January 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 4, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In Mali, Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine said it has suspended a ceasefire it agreed to with the government last month, accusing Bamako of making a mockery of peace talks by gearing up for war.
  • AMERICAS: In Honduras, thousands of protesters in Tegucigalpa blocked Supreme Court judges from entering the court’s building, saying they want to “clean up Honduras’ justice system.”
  • ASIA: The US could keep between 6,000 and 15,000 troops in Afghanistan after the official 2014 NATO withdrawal.
  • EUROPE: US troops arrived in Turkey to man Patriot missile defense batteries near the Syrian border.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Syria, at 11 people were killed and 40 wounded when a car bomb exploded at a crowded gas station in Damascus.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Communications satellites will become legal for civilian export under legislation that President Obama signed into law.

TOP STORY

  • Venezuela: According to the government, President Chavez is being treated for a severe “respiratory deficiency.”
    • “Chavez has faced complications as a consequence of a severe pulmonary infection. This infection has resulted in a respiratory deficiency, which requires … strict compliance with his medical treatment,” Information Minister Ernesto Villegas.
    • Questions are swirling about how the inauguration on 10JAN will proceed, if it happens, who will govern, and if there will be a power struggle.
    • VP Maduro stated Chavez authorized Venezuelan diplomats to have contact with their American counterparts.
    • The government accused the international media of waging a “psychological war” over President Chavez’s health to try to destabilize the government and bring down its socialist revolution.
    • Coverage: AP-1, CSM, AP-2, AFP

AFRICA

  • Angola: Authorities arrested nine former DRC military officers who are suspected of hatching a plot to destabilize their homeland. (AFP)
  • Central African Republic: Rebels may hold peace talks with the government in Gabon on 10JAN. (Bloomberg)
  • Central African Republic: Rights groups accused both the government and rebels of committing abuses. (AFP)
  • DRC: The M23 rebel group threatened to pull out of peace talks unless President Kabila signs a ceasefire agreement. (BBC)
  • DRC: The US Treasury designated Mouvement du 23 Mars and the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda for sanctions. (UPI)
  • Gambia: Police arrested two Nigerian nationals in possession of false gold worth thousands of dollars. (Xinhua)
  • Mali: Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine said it has suspended a ceasefire it agreed to with the government last month, accusing Bamako of making a mockery of peace talks by gearing up for war. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: Seven died, including a soldier and policeman, in an attack on a military base. (Xinhua)
  • Nigeria: Gunmen killed four people and burned down a police station in northeast Adamawa State. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Cuba: The Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation claims political detentions surged 60% in 2012. (AFP)
  • Honduras: Thousands of protesters in Tegucigalpa blocked Supreme Court judges from entering the court’s building, saying they want to “clean up Honduras’ justice system.” (AP)
  • United States: Authorities busted a smuggling ring that brought narwhal tusks from the Canadian Arctic into Maine. (AP)
  • Venezuela: Security personnel arrested a group of suspected cocaine traffickers, among them four Nigerians, further illustration of the importance of drug smuggling routes from South America to West Africa, and then onto Europe. (CSM)

ASIA

  • Region: Japan sent a special envoy to Seoul in an attempt to mend fences over a territorial dispute. (AFP)
  • Afghanistan: The US could keep between 6,000 and 15,000 troops in Afghanistan after the official 2014 NATO withdrawal. (CNN)
  • China: Press regulators will step up efforts to weed out unlicensed reporters. (Xinhua)
  • Hong Kong: The customs department seized 779 pieces of ivory weighing about 1,300 kilograms. (AP)
  • Indonesia: President Yudhoyono plans to pay frequent sudden visits in and outside the capital Jakarta during the last one and half years of his presidential term. (Xinhua)
  • Korea, North: The State Department has advised against a visit by former NM governor Bill Richardson and Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt. (NYT)
  • Pakistan: Deceased militant Mullah Nazir was replaced by a close associate and militant commander who goes by the name Salahuddin Ayubi. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: At least 20 militants were killed and 14 others injured when Pakistani army launched an operation in the country’s northwest tribal region. (Xinhua)
  • Philippines: A gunman opened fire in a town near Manila, killing at least five people and wounding 11 before being shot dead by police. (BBC)

EUROPE

  • Region: Spain to toughen Gibraltar stance with airspace veto. (Telegraph)
  • Northern Ireland: Eight police officers were injured and two people arrested in a protest over flying the British flag in Belfast. (UPI)
  • Spain: Batasuna, a Basque party linked to Eta, declares its own dissolution. (Guardian)
  • Turkey: US troops arrived to man Patriot missile defense batteries near the Syrian border. (CNN)
  • Turkey: Ex-general Ismail Hakki Karadayi was released after testifying about the 1997 coup. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Saudi Arabia has provided fighter jets to assist the US with its drone strikes against al Qaeda targets in Yemen. (AFP)
  • Iran: Agreed to hold talks about its nuclear program in January but the date and venue has yet to be decided. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: The government warned of possible “terrorist attacks” targeting mass protests being held by the country’s Sunni Muslims against Shiite PM al Maliki. (DPA)
  • Lebanon: The government will keep its border with Syria open to refugees but will seek more aid from other Arab states and the international community. (AFP)
  • Palestinian Territories: Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Fatah held their first mass rally in Gaza since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007. (Reuters)
  • Syria: At least 11 people were killed and 40 wounded when a car bomb exploded at a crowded gas station in Damascus. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Satellites: Communications satellites will become legal for civilian export under legislation that President Obama signed into law. (NYT)
  • Wikipedia: Old editors, impersonal rejection and restrictive rules are driving newcomers away from the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, report behavioral scientists. (USA Today)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 07S (Dumile)
    • Location: 260 NM SSW of La Reunion
    • Movement: S at 11 knots
    • Winds: 70 knots
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm 01W (Sonamu)
    • Location: 510 NM ESE of Ho Chi Minh City
    • Movement: WNW at 13 knots
    • Winds: 35 knots
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Noting to report.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (05JAN)

  • Nothing to Report.

END

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