ONS: 05 February 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 5, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: African Union officials began finalizing plans for a multinational force to fight Nigeria’s Boko Haram amid questions about who will fund the force.
  • AMERICAS: In Mexico, federal troops killed eight alleged gang members in clashes along a highway near the US border in the northern state of Tamaulipas.
  • ASIA: Senior Japanese lawmakers reported PM Shinzo Abe has said that he wants to start the process of revising the country’s Constitution as early as next year.
  • EUROPE: European sources said that the EU will add 19 people including five Russians to its sanctions list over the crisis in Ukraine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Yemen, negotiators reported that most factions have agreed to set up an interim presidential council to manage the country for up to one year.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Anthem Inc., the second-biggest health insurer in the US, said hackers broke into a database containing personal information for about 80 million of its customers and employees.

 

TOP STORY

  • Ukraine: NATO to increase size of reaction force as EU increases pressure on Russia.
    • NATO SG Stoltenberg is to agree to a major boost in NATO defenses in Eastern Europe including six bases and a spearhead force of 5,000 troops.
    • NATO will further increase a wider response force, which would take weeks or months to deploy in a crisis, from 13,000 to 30,000 troops.
    • US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Ukraine for talks expected to touch on Kiev’s hopes that the US will supply weapons.
    • French President Hollande said that he and German Chancellor Merkel are heading to Ukraine with a new peace initiative.
    • Government and rebel officials said that fourteen civilians and five government soldiers were killed in fighting in the east of the country over the past 24 hours.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, AFP-4, AP, BBC, NYT, Reuters

 

AFRICA

  • Region: African Union officials began finalizing plans for a multinational force to fight Nigeria’s Boko Haram amid questions about who will fund the force. (AP)
  • Guinea: The French government and medical research agency Inserm said an Ebola candidate treatment yielded “encouraging” results in an early-stage trial with 80 patients in the country. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: A former U.S. ambassador to the country warned that the presidential election would be a “train wreck” if it is held next week because the country is unprepared. (LAT)
  • South Sudan: The EU called for the international community to be involved in the country’s peace process. (Xinhua)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: The US government said that “it has not received contact” from UNASUR on a possible role as a mediator between the US and Venezuela and urged the Venezuelan government to communicate “directly”. (EFE)
  • Region: Guatemala announced that it will eliminate customs duties with Honduras in June. (AP)
  • Argentina: President Kirchner risked offending her Chinese hosts during a visit to the country on bilateral relations with an ill-phrased tweet. (AFP)
  • Mexico: Federal troops killed eight alleged gang members in clashes along a highway near the US border in the northern state of Tamaulipas.(Reuters)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: At least 18 militants were killed in a gun battle in Nangarhar province near the Pakistani border. (Reuters)
  • Bangladesh: The government expelled a Pakistani diplomat for allegedly providing funds to Muslim extremist groups and running a fake currency racket. (DPA)
  • India: Catholic priests accused PM Modi’s government of failing to protect religious minorities as some 200 Christian protesters clashed with police in the capital. (AFP)
  • Indonesia: President Joko Widodo arrived in Malaysia for his first bilateral trip abroad. (AFP)
  • Japan: Senior lawmakers reported PM Shinzo Abe has said that he wants to start the process of revising the country’s Constitution as early as next year. (NYT)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: EU officials increased growth forecasts across the 28-nation bloc amid optimism that falling oil prices, a weaker euro, and intervention by the ECB were brightening the outlook for the region. (NYT)
  • Greece: Parliament met for the first time since last month’s election, with markets jittery after the ECB blocked a key source of funding for the country’s banks. (AFP)
  • Russia: European sources said that the EU will add 19 people including five Russians to its sanctions list over the crisis in Ukraine. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Bahrain: Amnesty International urged the government to restore the citizenship of dozens of dissidents stripped of their nationality. (AFP)
  • Iraq: PM Abadi ordered an end to the nightly curfew that has been in force in Baghdad for years. (AFP)
  • Syria: Rebels fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells that struck several neighborhoods in Damascus killing at least three people and wounding 30 others. (AP)
  • Yemen: Negotiators reported that most factions have agreed to set up an interim presidential council to manage the country for up to one year. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Anthem Inc., the second-biggest health insurer in the US, said hackers broke into a database containing personal information for about 80 million of its customers and employees. (WSJ)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: 314km S of Punta de Burica, Panama
    • Magnitude: 6.0
    • Depth: 10.0 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 21,724 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 8,641 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 29DEC: 1,091,612 (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 03FEB: 965 (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 03FEB: 357 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (06FEB)

  • Global: International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
  • Germany: Munich Security Conference (to 08FEB)
  • Maldives: Anniversary of coup in Maldives that lead to the installation of the first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Waheed – 2012
  • South Korea: FM Yun Byung-se will attend a security conference in Munich, Germany (to 08FEB)

END

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