ONS: 12 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 12, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Suspected members of Somalia’s al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab militants attacked a fortified area containing regional government headquarters, an airport and a UN compound in the central town of Baidoa.
  • AMERICAS: Colombian President Santos said that his suspension of bombing raids on rebel camps is the first step toward a permanent bilateral cease-fire.
  • ASIA: The Indonesian government signaled that it would not execute foreigners on death row for at least the next 16 days after the attorney general’s office said that all the prisoners would be executed together.
  • EUROPE: Russian President Putin’s spokesman dismissed rumors that the Russian leader is in poor health after a Kremlin announcement that Putin would postpone an upcoming trip to Kazakhstan.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli PM Netanyahu acknowledged that the center-left opposition could win next week’s general election and attempted to raise concerns about national security to rally support from voters.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A new survey by security group Trustwave indicated that security professionals are unable to keep pace with cybersecurity threats against companies as external and internal threats expand from both known and emerging technologies.

 

TOP STORY

  • Iraq and Syria: Humanitarian conditions in Syria declining as operation in Tikrit intensifies.
    • More than 20 international aid groups sharply criticized the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, saying it has failed to implement three resolutions passed last year seeking to boost humanitarian assistance to Syrian civilians caught in the country’s civil war.
    • US Defense Secretary Carter said the US does not appear to have clear-cut legal authority to protect Syrian rebels it trains from attack by forces loyal to Syrian President Assad.
    • Iraqi forces backed by allied militias launched the second phase of the offensive to recapture Tikrit amid ongoing rocket and mortar fire.
    • ISIS militants blew up a strategic highway bridge north of Tikrit and ruptured oil pipelines connecting Iraq’s largest refinery, at Baiji, to an export pipeline in Kurdish territory.
    • US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff GEN Dempsey said that Iranian-backed Shiite militia forces­ “dramatically” outnumbered Iraqi military and Sunni volunteer forces­ participating in the Tikrit operation.
    • Coverage: AP, DPA, NYT, Reuters, Reuters-2, WP

 

AFRICA

  • DR Congo: The UN blacklisted seven officers in the country’s military and police who pose a “real risk” of committing grave rights violations. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: A government spokesman said that the military has retaken 36 towns from Boko Haram. (WSJ)
  • Somalia: Suspected Shebab militants attacked a fortified area containing regional government headquarters, an airport and a UN compound in the central town of Baidoa. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: President Santos said that his suspension a day earlier of bombing raids on FARC rebel camps is the first step toward a permanent bilateral cease-fire. (WSJ)
  • Mexico: The central bank announced it will sell USD52 million per day over the next three months to stop the peso from sliding further after the currency reached historic lows. (AFP)
  • United States: Authorities ordered the deportation of former Salvadoran Defense Minister Carlos Casanova accused of serious human rights violations during the country’s civil war. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: FM Rodriguez said the US is laying a legal groundwork to wage a war against the country and other countries in the world. (Xinhua)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Thirty Taliban gunmen killed seven policemen in an ambush in northern Kunduz province. (AP)
  • China: The Supreme People’s Court said authorities convicted and sentenced 712 people for terrorism, separatism and related crimes last year, and that these offences were its top priority for 2015. (AFP)
  • Indonesia: The government signaled that it would not execute foreigners on death row for at least the next 16 days after the attorney general’s office said that all the prisoners would be executed together. (Reuters)
  • Japan: The UN is to hold in the country a high profile meeting on disaster risk reduction amid warnings that the cost of climate change-related calamities could bankrupt future generations. (AFP)
  • Korea, South: Vice Chairman of the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation Chung Chong-Wook worked to retract his earlier statements that Seoul was secretly planning for the possibility of “non-consensual” unification with North Korea. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: A senior official in the European Central Bank said it bought 9.8 billion euros in Eurozone bonds in the first three days of its program to combat deflation and stimulate growth. (WSJ)
  • Region: EU interior ministers are to meet in Brussels to agree on new polices to make it more difficult for terrorism suspects to enter or leave the Schengen area. (AP)
  • Austria: Interior Minister Mikl-Leitner said her agency plans to work closely with Google and YouTube to rid them of videos posted by terrorists. (AP)
  • Poland: Defense Minister Siemoniak said his government is seeking to obtain Tomahawk cruise missiles from the US or another country. (AP)
  • Russia: President Putin’s spokesman dismissed rumors that the Russian leader is in poor health after a Kremlin announcement that Putin would postpone an upcoming trip to Kazakhstan. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called a letter from US Republican lawmakers a sign of “the collapse of political ethics and the U.S. system’s internal disintegration”. (AP)
  • Israel: PM Netanyahu acknowledged that the center-left opposition could win next week’s general election and attempted to raise concerns about national security to rally support from voters. (AFP)
  • Yemen: Two soldiers were killed in clashes with militiamen loyal to President Hadi in Aden when Hadi loyalists sought to seize a base of the Special Security Force. (DPA)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: A new survey by security group Trustwave indicated that security professionals are unable to keep pace with cybersecurity threats against companies as external and internal threats expand from both known and emerging technologies. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 18P (Nathan)
    • Location: 217 NM N of Cairns, Australia
    • Movement: NE at 3 mph
    • Winds: 63 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones; Tropical Cyclone 17P (Pam)
    • Location: 556 NM WNW of Suva, Fiji
    • Movement: S at 9 mph
    • Winds: 138 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 19S (Olwyn)
    • Location: 155 NM NNE of Learmonth, Australia
    • Movement: SSW at 14 mph
    • Winds: 74 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm 03W (Bavi)
    • Location: 310 NM ESE of Ujelang
    • Movement: WNW at 9 mph
    • Winds: 40 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 23,934 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 9,792 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 09MAR: 1,231,077 (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: 25,353
      • Deaths as of 09MAR: 183 (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 11MAR: 1060 (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, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 11MAR: 394 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (13MAR)

  • Nothing to report.

END

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