ONS: 07 March 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 8, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Tunisian authorities say 26 people have been killed in clashes between police and unidentified gunmen near the Libyan border.
  • AMERICAS: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) said there has been “substantial progress” in peace talks with the Colombian government.
  • ASIA: In Pakistan, at least 13 people, including two police officers and two children, were killed in a suicide attack claimed by the Taliban.
  • EUROPE: The EU aims to stem the flow of migrants and plans to declare the route north through the Balkans closed.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Syrian opposition will attend a new round of UN-sponsored peace talks set for this week in Geneva.
  • TECHNOLOGY: An Australian woman accused of fanning hatred of foreigners in Singapore on her website said she would plead guilty to sedition.

 

TOP STORY

  • Korean Peninsula: US and South Korea drills begin amid nuclear threats.
    • The US and South Korea started huge military exercises that will include rehearsing surgical strikes on North Korea’s main nuclear and missile facilities and sending in special forces to carry out “decapitation raids” on the North Korean leadership.
    • This year’s war games will be the largest ever staged, involving 300,000 South Korean and 17,000 US troops.
    • In response, North Korea issued a new nuclear threat against the US and South Korea, a common practice during joint exercises—in part, experts say, to solidify support among its military for the North Korean leadership.
    • South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it had seen no sign of any unusual military activity by the North.
    • South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang Gyun told reporters: “If North Korea launches a provocation, our military will respond sternly and mercilessly.”
    • Coverage: CBS, Reuters, USA Today, WP, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Somalia: Six people were wounded when a laptop bomb exploded at a Somali airport. (AFP)
  • Sudan: President Omar al-Bashir met Indonesian President Joko Widodo briefly on the sidelines of an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Jakarta. (AFP)
  • Tunisia: At least 27 people were killed in a predawn firefight between attackers suspected of being Islamist militants and the Tunisian security forces at a military barracks near the border with Libya. (NYT)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: The Cuban Council of Churches said it “hails and celebrates” US President Barack Obama’s 21-22MAR visit to the island, which it called “advantageous” for both countries, the region and the world. (EFE)
  • Bolivia: The country signed a USD 300M deal with Russia to build a world-class nuclear research lab in the South American nation, President Evo Morales announced. (AFP)
  • Colombia: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) said there has been “substantial progress” in peace talks with the Colombian government. (Xinhua)

 

ASIA

  • Region: The Marshall Islands began legal proceedings against India at the UN’s highest court, as part of cases against three of the world’s nuclear powers aimed at breathing new life into disarmament negotiations. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: Some 15 militants of the Islamic State (IS) group were killed as a US pilotless plane attacked their position in the eastern province of Nangarhar. (Xinhua)
  • Pakistan: At least 13 people, including two police officers and two children, were killed in a suicide attack claimed by the Taliban. (CNN)
  • Philippines: Murad Ebrahim, chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, warned the Islamic State group could gain from the Philippine Congress’ failure to pass an autonomy bill as part of a peace agreement. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: The EU aims to stem the flow of migrants and plans to declare the route north through the Balkans closed. (BBC)
  • Region: Dutch PM Mark Rutte said he was moderately optimistic that EU leaders and Ankara would reach agreement over a deal to limit flows of migrants into Europe through Turkey. (Reuters)
  • Greece: The country will deliver within a week on its pledges to shelter 30,000 migrants and refugees. (Reuters)
  • Turkey: French FM Jean-Marc Ayrault said the decision by Turkish authorities to seize control of the country’s largest newspaper was “unacceptable” and went against European values. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged a summit of Muslim nations to be part of the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rather than part of the problem. (AP)
  • Syria: Russia says it is aiming to step up humanitarian aid to war-battered Syrians by opening up its military facilities in the country for international aid cargos. (AP)
  • Syria: The Syrian opposition will attend a new round of UN-sponsored peace talks set for this week in Geneva. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: An Australian woman accused of fanning hatred of foreigners in Singapore on her website said she would plead guilty to sedition. (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 as of 07MAR: 28,639 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
  • Deaths as of 07MAR: 11,316 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
  • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
  • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
    • Suspected Cases as of 07MAR: 21,285 (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: 451
    • Deaths as of 07MAR: 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 07MAR: 1644 (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 07MAR: 590 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 07MAR: 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 07MAR: South Africa, China, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
      • Deaths as of 07MAR: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (08MAR)

  • Global: International Women’s Day
  • Finland and Japan: Finnish President Sauli Niinisto will visit Japan (to 11MAR)
  • Greece and Turkey: The prime ministers of Turkey and Greece are to meet in the Aegean port city of Izmir to discuss ways to enhance their cooperation
  • Israel and United States: US Vice President Joe Biden will arrive in Israel (to 09MAR)
  • Malaysia: Anniversary of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappearing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The aircraft is believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia with the loss of all 239 people aboard – 2014

 

END

 

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