ONS: 11 February 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 11, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The Sudanese government and the Justice and Equality Movement, Darfur’s main rebel group, signed a ceasefire deal in Qatar aimed at ending the decade-long conflict.
  • AMERICAS: President Obama is expected to propose a dramatic reduction to the nuclear stockpile in his State of the Union address.
  • ASIA: In Indian Kashmir, two died in protests that erupted after a Kashmiri was hanged in New Delhi for his participation in a 2001 attack on the Parliament.
  • EUROPE: Greek farming associations said they will launch a campaign to block highways for an hour each day to protests the proposed austerity tax hikes.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israel approved plans to build hundreds of new settlement homes in the West Bank.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A new intelligence assessment concluded the US is the target of a massive, sustained cyber-espionage campaign, threatening the country’s economic competitiveness.

TOP STORY

  • Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI announced he will step down on 28FEB, becoming the first Pope in nearly six centuries to do so voluntarily.
    • Pope Benedict cited deteriorating health and age as reasons for his decision to step down.
    • The Vatican will hold a conclave of the College of Cardinals by mid-March to elect a new Pope.
    • Coverage: CNN, WSJ, AP, BBC, Telegraph, Reuters

AFRICA

  • Egypt: Security forces were put on high alert as the secular opposition parties called for pro-democracy rallies to mark the second anniversary of Mubarak’s abdication. (AFP)
  • Mali: A French helicopter bombed a police station in northern Gao, where coalition troops and Islamist rebels clashed over the weekend. (AFP)
  • Somalia: A suicide bomber killed four in the central Galkayo region when he blew up his car, targeting a senior police officer. (AFP)
  • Sudan: The government and the Justice and Equality Movement, Darfur’s main rebel group, signed a ceasefire deal in Qatar aimed at ending the decade-long conflict. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: The government and FARC rebels announced peace talks continue to advance towards an agreement on land reform. (Reuters)
  • Mexico: The military claimed to have captured security chief to Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, the country’s most wanted drug lord. (BBC)
  • Panama: Authorities arrested the Colombian drug lord known as Pichi, who leads the drug gang The Office. (BBC)
  • United States: President Obama is expected to propose a dramatic reduction to the nuclear stockpile in his State of the Union address. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Region:  The US started using the land route through Pakistan to pull American military equipment out of Afghanistan. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: Police killed 34 Taliban militants in a series of operations across the country and captured six others. (Xinhua)
  • India: Two died in protests that erupted in Kashmir after a Kashmiri was hanged in New Delhi for his participation in a 2001 attack on the Parliament. (AP)
  • Japan: Okinawa police arrested a US airman for allegedly causing a traffic accident while driving drunk. (AFP)
  • Philippines: After meeting with MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, President Aquino may announce the members of the Transition Commission within a week. (Xinhua)

EUROPE

  • Armenia: The ruling Republican Party said they did not believe a second round of presidential elections would be necessary because sitting President Sargsyan would win reelection freely and fairly. (Interfax)
  • Germany: The Economy Ministry announced economic indicators suggest the country’s economy will begin to rebound after several quarters of weak performance. (AFP)
  • Greece: Farming associations said they will launch a campaign to block highways for an hour each day to protest the proposed austerity tax hikes. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: The government restarted a uranium fuel conversion program, though it does not go far enough to assuage international concerns about the weapons program. (AP
  • Israel: The government approved plans to build hundreds of new settlement homes in the West Bank. (AFP)
  • Palestinian Territories: Electoral officials began the process of updating voter rolls in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, taking the first step towards future elections. (AFP)
  • Syria: The opposition renewed its call for dialogue with the Ba’athist regime proposing to meet in rebel-held territory in the north of the country. (Bloomberg)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: A new intelligence assessment concluded the US is the target of a massive, sustained cyber-espionage campaign, threatening the country’s economic competitiveness. (WaPO)

WORLD

  • Cyclone: Tropical Cyclone 14P (Haley)
    • Location: 575 mi SE of Bora Bora, French Polynesia
    • Movement: SE at 13 mph
    • Winds: 40 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclone: Tropical Cyclone 15S (Fifteen)
    • Location: 748 mi SE of Diego Garcia
    • Movement: SW at 11.5 mph
    • Winds: 40 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquake: SW of Lata, Solomon Islands
    • Magnitude: 6.3
    • Depth: 21.7 mi
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (12FEB)

  • Chile: Chilean Declaration of Independence – 1818.
  • Myanmar:  Myanmar Union Day marking the date in 1947 when Burmese leaders led by Gen. Aung San, the father of Suu Kyi, and the leaders of ethnic minority groups came together and demanded that Britain grant independence to the country.
  • Pakistan: The Supreme Court is scheduled to resume a hearing into a case involving alleged corruption charges against PM Zardari.
  • United States: Obama’s State of the Union Address.
  • Christianity: Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras.

END

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