ONS: 08 December 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 9, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The UN urged Libyan lawmakers to back a UN-sponsored deal between the Libya’s warring factions, saying differences could be worked out after the accord.
  • AMERICAS: An Air France flight from San Francisco to Paris was diverted to Montreal after an anonymous threat.
  • ASIA: The US has agreed on a first deployment of spy planes in Singapore this month, in response to China over its territorial claims in the South China Sea.
  • EUROPE: France is urging its European Union partners to speed up efforts to cut off funds to extremists groups.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The number of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria has more than doubled since last year to at least 27,000, the Soufan Group reported.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Companies on the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong are waging a serious war against cybercriminals.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Summit in Saudi Arabia begins in effort to unify al-Assad opposition

○     Syria’s fragmented opposition was due to meet in Saudi Arabia in an attempt to unify ahead of possible peace talks.

○     President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents and the governments that back them see it as a long-overdue step towards ending the disunity that has obstructed diplomacy.

○     The summit is expected to produce a document setting out a shared vision for the future of the country and to form a 25-member committee to represent the fragmented opposition camp.

○     Global and regional powers recently met in Vienna and agreed on launching peace talks and a political process but there was no agreement on Assad’s role in that process.

○     Syrian Kurdish factions, including the Democratic Union Party, said they have not received invitations.

○     Coverage: Al-Jazeera, BBC, Guardian, Reuters, VOA

 

AFRICA

  • Region: Kenya and Ethiopia have signed a UN-backed trade deal worth USD 200M in a bid to ease cross-border conflict. (BBC)
  • Ghana: Twenty judges and magistrates have been sacked in the country after they were convicted of bribery. (BBC)
  • Libya: The UN urged Libyan lawmakers to back a UN-sponsored deal between the country’s warring factions, saying differences could be worked out after the accord. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: An Air France flight from San Francisco to Paris was diverted to Montreal after an anonymous threat. (CNN)
  • Mexico: Independent investigators say they have evidence that contradicts official versions of how 43 students disappeared last year in Guerrero state. (BBC)
  • United States: Federal authorities have arrested a naturalized US citizen who they say was part of a conspiracy with connections to Syria’s al-Qaeda’s affiliate. (WP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: The “Heart of Asia” conference opened in Pakistan aimed at shoring up support for war-ravaged Afghanistan. (Reuters)
  • Region: The US has agreed on a first deployment of spy planes in Singapore this month, in response to China over its territorial claims in the South China Sea. (Reuters)
  • Region: Japan and China had a meeting on an array of maritime issues, aimed at preventing unintended clashes, amid an improvement in bilateral relations. (Kyodo)
  • Japan: PM Shinzo Abe vowed to prevent terrorism at home as a new unit was launched to collect and analyze information on global attacks. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: France is urging its European Union partners to speed up efforts to cut off funds to extremists groups. (AP)
  • Greece: At least six refugees drowned when their boat capsized in the Aegean Sea while attempting to reach a Greek island. (Xinhua)
  • Russia: Five people were lightly injured when a homemade explosive detonated at a bus stop in central Moscow. (AFP)
  • Turkey: Police detained 18 people in an investigation of alleged supporters within the police force of President Tayyip Erdogan’s foe, Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: The number of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria has more than doubled since last year to at least 27,000, The Soufan Group reported. (AFP)
  • Syria: A Russian submarine equipped with cruise missiles has entered the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea and is near the Syrian coast. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: Warring factions in the country are preparing to observe a week-long truce from 15DEC while UN-mediated peace talks take place in Switzerland. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Companies on the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong are waging a serious war against cybercriminals. (Xinhua)

 

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 08DEC: 28,637 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)

■     Deaths as of 08DEC: 11,315 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)

■     Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC

○     Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)

■     Suspected Cases as of 08DEC: 606,183 (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: 34,205

■     Deaths as of 08DEC: 77 (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 08DEC: 1621 (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 08DEC: 584 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

■     Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (09DEC)

  • Tanzania: Republic Day – 1961
  • United States and Israel:  President Barack Obama will host Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Washington

 

END

 

 

 

 

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