ONS: 04 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 4, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: South Sudanese FM Benjamin said that UN sanctions aimed at bringing an end to the country’s civil war would be counterproductive if imposed.
  • AMERICAS: The US said it would respond through diplomatic channels to Venezuela’s demand for a cut in US Embassy staff in Caracas.
  • ASIA: Afghan President Ghani ordered a review of all military logistics contracts after cancelling a USD280 million fuel supply deal over allegations the bidding process was rigged.
  • EUROPE: The Italian coast guard reported that a boat transporting migrants capsized off Sicily, killing at least 10 people while 121 were rescued.
  • MIDDLE EAST:  A Kurdish commander said a British citizen fighting alongside his forces against the Islamic State group was killed in Syria.
  • TECHNOLOGY: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler defended the new “open Internet” rules against complaints by telecom operators that they give the government too much control.

 

TOP STORY

  • Iran: Nuclear negotiations continue as US moves to counter concerns raised by Israeli PM Netanyahu.
    • US Secretary Kerry and Iranian FM Zarif resumed talks for a third day on a nuclear deal.
    • US Secretary Kerry flies later Wednesday to Riyadh where he will meet the new Saudi king and the foreign ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
    • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham denounced Netanyahu’s speech as “lie-spreading about the goals and intentions behind Iran’s peaceful nuclear program”.
    • Israeli PM Netanyahu said upon landing in Israel that his speech offered a “practical alternative” to a possible nuclear deal and that lawmakers “better understand” why the deal is bad.
    • US Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) said that debate should begin next week on bipartisan legislation requiring President Obama to submit any nuclear deal with Iran to Congress for its approval.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, AP, AP-2, NYT, Reuters, WP, WP-2

 

AFRICA

  • Egypt: PM Mehleb said the cabinet had approved a draft law on investment, ahead of an investment conference this month in Sharm al-Sheikh. (Reuters)
  • Lesotho: PM Thabane won a parliamentary election with a narrow majority that prevents him from governing alone. (DPA)
  • Nigeria: Police in the northeast of the country said they were hunting the mob that beat a woman to death after suspecting that she was a suicide bomber. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: FM Benjamin said that UN sanctions aimed at bringing an end to the country’s civil war would be counterproductive if imposed. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: China’s foreign ministry said that a ship detained in the country for illegally transporting arms and operated by China’s largest shipping group was involved in “normal trade cooperation”. (Reuters)
  • Cuba: Government and EU representatives will meet from 04MAR-05MAR for a third round of negotiations aimed at normalizing ties. (AFP)
  • Mexico: President Nieto vowed to strengthen the rule of law in the country while on a state visit to the UK. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: The US said it would respond through diplomatic channels to the country’s demand for a cut in US Embassy staff in Caracas. (Reuters)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: President Ghani ordered a review of all military logistics contracts after cancelling a USD280 million fuel supply deal over allegations the bidding process was rigged. (Reuters)
  • Bangladesh: Foreign diplomats in the country called for an end to the violent unrest as tensions rose further between the opposition and the government.  (AFP)
  • China: Parliament said that the country’s defense budget will rise by ten percent in 2015. (AFP)
  • Indonesia: Ambassador to Australia Kesoema confirmed “all aspects” of relations between the countries would be affected by the impending execution of two Australians. (Xinhua)
  • Philippines: The UN reported that more than 75,000 people have been displaced by the ongoing conflict involving government security forces and Muslim rebels. (Xinhua)

 

EUROPE

  • France: Paris police said the public had reported around a dozen drone sightings over sensitive areas of the capital. (AFP)
  • France: President Hollande said his government would find four billion euros in “new savings” this year to meet demands from Brussels. (AFP)
  • Italy: The coast guard reported that a boat transporting migrants capsized off Sicily, killing at least 10 people while 121 were rescued. (AFP)
  • Russia: Federal Security Service Director Bortnikov said that investigators into the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov had identified several suspects. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: President of Parliament Groysman said at least 32 miners were killed in a blast at a coal mine in Donetsk. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Palestinian Territories: Officials began a two-day meeting during which they could decide to suspend security coordination with Israel. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: Amnesty International said the country has engaged in an unprecedented pace of executions, with dozens of convicts beheaded since the start of the year. (AFP)
  • Syria: A Kurdish commander said a British citizen fighting alongside his forces against the Islamic State group has been killed. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler defended the new “open Internet” rules against complaints by telecom operators that they give the government too much control. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 23,729 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 9,604 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 06FEB: 1,172,787 (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: 25,255
      • Deaths as of 06FEB: 181 (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 26FEB: 1030 (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 and the US)
      • Deaths as of 26FEB: 381 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (05MAR)

  • Iraq: Rebellion Anniversary – 1991
  • Togo: Presidential elections – tentative
  • United States and India: Frank Rose, assistant secretary for arms control, verification and compliance, will visit for first bilateral space security dialogue (to 10MAR)
  • Venezuela: Anniversary of former President Hugo Chavez’s death – 2013

END

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