ONS: 12 February 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 12, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA:  A UN investigation showed North Korean-made weapons and ammunition were found in Somalia, violating international weapons embargoes.
  • AMERICAS: Colombian President Santos dismissed allegations that his government was considering scaling back military deployments to ease peace talks with the FARC.
  • ASIA: Thai authorities strengthened security surrounding the US Consulate in the northern province of Chiang Mai after reports suggested it could be the target of Islamist terrorist groups.
  • EUROPE: A Milan court convicted two former spy chiefs for their role in the kidnapping of a terror suspect as part of the CIA’s rendition program.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli soldiers arrested eight Hamas members in early-morning raids in the northern West Bank.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Tech startup Relationship Science has compiled a database of power brokers’ and business executives’ interpersonal relationships using Google.

TOP STORY

  • Korea, North: The government conducted its third and most powerful nuclear test at its Punggye-ri military base.
    • The South Korean military calculated the test had an explosive yield of between six and seven kilotons.
    • Japan, Russia, South Korea, and China all quickly condemned the nuclear test.
    • An emergency meeting of the UNSC has been called to discuss the test.
    • Japan will fly military sorties to survey residual radiation over North Korean territory and is considering imposing unilateral sanctions.
    • The North Korean government threatened to continue escalation if further sanctions were placed on the country.
    • Coverage: AFP-1, AFP-2, Xinhua, Reuters, Time, WaPo, WSJ, AFP-3

AFRICA

  • Guinea: A political dialogue between the President and political parties was postponed after a helicopter crash in Liberia killed army chief Souleymane Kelefa Diallo. (Xinhua)
  • Mali: DM Camara said he was not opposed to the deployment of UN peacekeeping troops after French troops leave the country. (Xinhua)
  • Somalia: A UN investigation showed North Korean-made weapons and ammunition were found in the country, violating weapons embargoes. (Kyodo)
  • Zambia: Transparency International backed calls to remove former President Banda’s legal immunity so that a comprehensive corruption investigation can be launched. (Xinhua)
  • Zimbabwe: Rights groups say Zimbabwean police have intensified a clampdown on civil society organizations and democracy campaigners ahead of a referendum on a new constitution and crucial elections to end the nation’s coalition government. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: President Santos dismissed allegations that his government was considering scaling back military deployments to ease peace talks with the FARC. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: The Sinaloa drug cartel smuggled tons of cocaine into Australia using private planes procured in the US, according to DEA allegations. (EFE)
  • Peru: The government and Colombian officials are working together to improve the quality of life for towns and villages on both sides of their shared Amazonian border which remain largely underdeveloped due to difficulty of access. (Xinhua)

ASIA

  • Indonesia: Parliament passed a bill aimed at cracking down on terrorist funding by freezing suspicious transactions both domestically and abroad. (AP)
  • Myanmar: Opposition Leader Suu Kyi offered to help negotiate an end to conflicts between the government and the country’s ethnic minority groups. (AP)
  • New Zealand: The air force cleared its controversial new NH90 helicopters for “non-tactical” operations within the country. (Xinhua)
  • Philippines: FM Rosario said the Philippines expects to get 10 new Japanese patrol boats within 18 months, as it tries to strengthen its sea defense capabilities amid a deepening territorial row with China. (AFP)
  • Sri Lanka: The government announced it would not pursue a new funding program with the IMF after the organization refused conditions proposed by the government. (Xinhua)
  • Thailand: Authorities strengthened security surrounding the US Consulate in the northern province of Chiang Mai after reports suggested it could be the target of Islamist terrorist groups. (AP)

EUROPE

  • France: The national auditor warned there is very little chance the government will be able to meet European deficit reduction goals of 3% next year. (AP)
  • Georgia: DM Alasania said Georgia intends to be more transparent to improve civil society in order to speed up the integration processes with NATO. (Interfax)
  • Italy: Police arrested the CEO of Finmeccanica, an aerospace and defense giant, for corruption and embezzlement in relation to bribes made to Indian government officials. (AFP)
  • Italy: A Milan court convicted two former spy chiefs for their role in the kidnapping of a terror suspect as part of the CIA’s rendition program. (AP)
  • Russia: Authorities killed five militants in Dagestan’s Derbent district. (Itar-Tass)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: The government said it would allow IAEA inspectors on the Parchin military base if the country’s right to a nuclear program was acknowledged. (DPA)
  • Iraq: Eleven were killed in a series of attacks in the north, including a suicide bombing targeting a military outpost in Mosul. (AFP)
  • Palestinian Territories: Israeli soldiers arrested eight Hamas members in early-morning raids in the northern West Bank. (AFP)
  • Syria: Rebel forces captured a strategic airport in the northern city of Aleppo, seizing a large number of weapons, ammunition, and roughly 40 soldiers. (AFP)
  • Yemen: HRW called for a new investigation into the 2011 killing of 45 protesters in Sana’a and to repeal the law granting immunity to Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides. (DPA)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Tech startup Relationship Science has compiled a database of power brokers’ and business executives’ interpersonal relationships using Google. (NYT)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 15S (Gino)
    • Location: 748 mi SE of San Diego
    • Movement: SW at 7 mph
    • Winds: 63 mph
    • Maps
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (13FEB)

  • Global: UNESCO World Radio Day.
  • China: EU-China Summit about rare minerals in Beijing.
  • Egypt: Anniversary of Egyptian military suspending constitution and announcing military rule for six months – 2011.
  • Germany: Neo-Nazi groups will stage an annual `memorial’ event for the victims of Allied bombing in World War II in Dresden, Germany. Counter-protesters will be out in force, with police trying to keep the two sides apart.
  • Christianity: Ash Wednesday.

END

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