ONS: 12 March 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 13, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: A high-level board of inquiry will investigate how United Nations peacekeepers responded to an attack in South Sudan where tens of thousands of civilians were sheltering.
  • AMERICAS: Despite withdrawing its strike aircraft from participation in the anti-Islamic State coalition in Iraq and Syria, the new Canadian government has moved to reassure the United States that it will boost its overall contribution to the US-led campaign.
  • ASIA: North Korea said its military is ready to pre-emptively attack and “liberate” the South if it sees signs that American and South Korean troops involved in the drills were attempting to invade the North.
  • EUROPE: The names of three of the Paris attackers appeared in files leaked from the Islamic State militant group.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Obama administration is nearing a decision on whether to formally declare that Islamic State group atrocities against religious minorities, including Christians, constitute “genocide.”
  • TECHNOLOGY: President Barack Obama  has sided with law enforcement in the debate pitting encryption and personal privacy against national security, arguing that authorities need access to data on electronic devices because the “dangers are real.”

TOP STORY

  • Syria: US and Russian officials to meet on Syrian opposition charges of truce violations by the regime.
    • Kerry, speaking in Saudi Arabia, said he hoped for a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
    • Air raids by the Syrian regime killed seven civilians in rebel-held areas of Aleppo, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
    • Kerry said that “perceived” violations of the ceasefire that went into effect on February 27 should not derail the UN-mediated peace talks.
    • Furthermore, he emphasized that negotiators have made it very clear that the Assad regime cannot use the peace process as a way to exploit the situation.
    • The US Secretary of State urged that the UN should continue peace talks in Geneva on Monday.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, Reuters, Tass, WSJ

AFRICA

  • Chad: Police broke up a student demonstration in the country’s second city, as protests against the country’s long serving ruler gather pace a month before elections. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: A high-level board of inquiry will investigate how United Nations peacekeepers responded to an attack at their camp where tens of thousands of civilians were sheltering. (AFP)
  • Uganda: The country has persistently violated the rights of its citizens and the media in the aftermath of last month’s presidential election which saw President Yoweri Museveni retain his hold on power. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Canada: Despite withdrawing its strike aircraft from participation in the anti-Islamic State coalition in Iraq and Syria, the new government has moved to reassure the United States that it will boost its overall contribution to the US-led campaign. (WP)
  • Peru: The governing Nationalist Party withdrew from the April 10 elections, asking electoral authorities to remove from the ballot the names of all PNP candidates for national office. (EFE)
  • US: A Russian man who posed as a Wall Street banker has pleaded guilty to spying for Moscow as part of what was described by prosecutors as a Cold War-style espionage ring. (Telegraph)
  • Venezuela: The Inter American Press Association is condemning a four-year sentence handed down to the director of a Venezuelan newspaper. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde urged Asian countries to respond to global economic challenges by implementing structural reforms in order to boost productivity and growth. (Kyodo)
  • India: At least two border guards of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) were killed and four others wounded in a fierce gunfight with Naxals in the central state of Chhattisgarh. (Xinhua)
  • Korean Peninsula: North Korea said its military is ready to pre-emptively attack and “liberate” the South if it sees signs that American and South Korean troops involved in drills were attempting to invade the North. (AP)
  • Malaysia: A top finance ministry official is set to be appointed as the new central bank governor to replace Zeti Akhtar Aziz next week. (Reuters)

EUROPE

  • Britain: The UK said it was sending more troops to Iraq to bolster its mission training up the armed forces taking on the Islamic State jihadist group. (AFP)
  • France: The names of three of the Paris attackers appeared in files leaked from the Islamic State militant group. (BBC)
  • Ukraine: The country has asked Russia to repatriate several high-profile prisoners, raising hopes for an exchange that could free controversial detainees caught up in the confrontation between the two countries. (Telegraph)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: The Obama administration is nearing a decision on whether to formally declare that Islamic State group atrocities against religious minorities, including Christians, constitute “genocide.” (AP)
  • Israel: Planes struck Hamas bases in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire, killing a child living near one of the targets and injuring his sister. (AFP)
  • Syria: The country’s opposition said it will attend fresh peace talks next week, stoking hopes the war-ravaged country may be able to end five years of civil war and move toward elections in 18 months. (AFP)
  • Yemen: Fighting raged in the country’s rebel-besieged city of Taiz over the past 24 hours, as pro-government forces advanced and broke rebel siege on the city and over 100 people were killed in the clashes. (Xinhua)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Encryption: President Barack Obama sided with law enforcement in the debate pitting encryption and personal privacy against national security, arguing that authorities need access to data on electronic devices because the “dangers are real.” (AP)

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 12MAR: 28,639 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 12MAR: 11,316 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
  • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 12MAR: 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 12MAR: 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 12MAR: 1652 (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 12MAR: 591 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 12MAR: 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 12MAR: South Africa, China, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
      • Deaths as of 12MAR: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (13MAR)

  • Global: Anniversary of Pope Francis elected, in the papal conclave, as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church – 2013
  • United States: Daylight Saving Time starts

END

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