ONS: 04 March 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 7, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: After rampaging across the West African region for years, forcing more than two million people to flee their homes and farms, Boko Haram appears to be falling victim to a major food crisis of its own creation.
  • AMERICAS: US President Barack Obama extended for one year an executive order declaring the situation in Venezuela a threat to US national security.
  • ASIA: China will raise its defense spending by between 7-8% this year, a smaller increase than past double-digit rises as Beijing seeks a more efficient military.
  • EUROPE: Russian FM Sergei Lavrov has said that “no consensus” has been reached over the timing of polls in Ukraine’s rebel-held east.
  • MIDDLE EAST: A new trade deal with Europe, a rush of foreign investment and public works are to put 200,000 Syrian refugees to work in Jordan.
  • TECHNOLOGY: French parliamentary deputies, defying government wishes, voted in favor of penalizing smartphone makers who fail to cooperate in terrorism inquiries.

TOP STORY

  • North Korea: Kim Jong Un rejects UN sanctions; orders nuclear force readiness.
    • In its first official response to the sanctions, Pyongyang said the measures were an “outrageous provocation” that it “categorically rejects.”
    • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his military to be ready to launch nuclear strikes at any time, an escalation in rhetoric targeting Seoul and Washington that may not reflect the country’s actual nuclear capacity.
    • Kim said the regime’s enemies – notably the US – were threatening North Korea’s survival.
    • The attitude of US officials is that they consider North Korea’s claim true because they can’t risk underestimating it, but the claim is not verified.
    • South Korea and the US militaries are set to formally begin talks on deployment of the advanced anti-missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system, which Russia and China oppose.
    • Coverage: AP, AP-2, CNN, Guardian, Reuters

AFRICA

  • Region: After rampaging across the West African region for years, forcing more than two million people to flee their homes and farms, Boko Haram appears to be falling victim to a major food crisis of its own creation. (NYT)
  • Guinea: The country signed multiple deals with Turkey in areas including defense, health and energy during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (AFP)
  • Zimbabwe: President Robert Mugabe said his government would take possession of all diamond operations because existing miners had robbed the country of its wealth. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Region: US President Barack Obama extended for one year an executive order declaring the situation in Venezuela a threat to US national security. (EFE)
  • Region: US Secretary of State John Kerry has canceled a trip to Cuba two weeks before President Obama visits the communist-ruled nation as diplomats haggle over which Cuban dissidents the president will be allowed to meet. (LAT)
  • Canada: Canadian regional leaders have ended climate talks without agreement on a central government goal to establish a carbon pricing plan. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Region: In China’s view, the US is the real culprit when it comes to increasing tensions in the contested South China Sea. (Time)
  • Region: One of five “missing” booksellers who was detained on the Chinese mainland returned to Hong Kong and met with police, in a case that has provoked fears of China’s increasing interference in the city. (AFP)
  • China: The nation will raise its defense spending by between 7-8% this year, a smaller increase than past double-digit rises as Beijing seeks a more efficient military. (AFP)
  • Japan: The government will suspend construction work for the planned relocation of a US airbase in Okinawa and begin a new round of talks with local authorities who want the base moved. (Reuters)

EUROPE

  • Region: The border controls that are hampering movement within the Schengen area should be lifted by December, the European Commission said. (DPA)
  • Ireland: A 52-year-old man has been taken to hospital after a bomb exploded under a van in east Belfast. (BBC)
  • Turkey: Two policemen were killed and 14 others injured by the Kurdish Workers’ Party car bombing and rocket attacks in the country’s southeast. (Xinhua)
  • Ukraine: Russian FM Sergei Lavrov has said that “no consensus” has been reached over the timing of polls in the country’s rebel-held east. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: The UN’s children agency issued an appeal on behalf of an 80-year-old Iranian-American detained in Tehran along with his son. (AP)
  • Jordan: A new trade deal with Europe, a rush of foreign investment and public works are to put 200,000 Syrian refugees to work in the country. (AP)
  • Syria: UN officials said they were on the verge of an agreement with the Syrian regime to get humanitarian relief flowing and to lift a ban on medical supplies to opposition-held areas. (WSJ)
  • Syria: The Syrian rebel group Jaish al-Islam said government forces were mobilizing in an attempt to seize more opposition-held territory since a cessation of hostilities. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: French parliamentary deputies, defying government wishes, voted in favor of penalizing smartphone makers who fail to cooperate in terrorism inquiries. (AFP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Bagana, Papua New Guinea
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 04MAR: 28,639 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 04MAR: 11,316 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 04MAR: 18,080 (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, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
      • Confirmed Cases: 376
      • Deaths as of 04MAR: 0 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 04MAR: 1638 (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, Germany, China, South Korea, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 04MAR: 587 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 04MAR: Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, El Salvador, Paraguay, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Cape Verde, Honduras, French Guiana, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Guyana, Barbados, Ecuador, Bolivia, Haiti, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Guatemala, Curacao, Costa Rica, Maldives
      • Indication of Viral Circulation as of 04MAR: South Africa, China, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
      • Deaths as of 04MAR: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (05MAR)

  • Iraq: Anniversary of uprisings during the Gulf War – 1991
  • Slovakia: National Council elections
  • Venezuela: Anniversary of the death of President Hugo Chavez – 2013

END

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