ONS: 13 April 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on April 13, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Two male political dissidents claim they were raped in Egyptian police custody in separate assaults that campaigners suspect are indicative of a wider strategy as the brutal crackdown on opposition continues.
  • AMERICAS: The Union of Press Workers said Saturday a total of 181 journalists have been the target of attacks, thefts or arbitrary detentions in Venezuela since the start of anti-government protests two months ago.
  • ASIA: Top US environmental official Gina McCarthy will visit Taiwan in the first trip by a cabinet-level leader from Washington to the Chinese-claimed island in 14 years.
  • EUROPE: Swedish passports are becoming “hard currency” on the black market, and over the last two years 177,000 valid Swedish passports in total were reported missing.
  • MIDDLE EAST: An Iranian appeals court has overturned a death sentence of a former US marine convicted of working for the CIA, instead sentencing him to 10 years in prison.
  • TECHNOLOGY: US officials revealed President Obama allows the National Security Agency to exploit major flaws in Internet security both to crack encryption and design cyber weapons.

 

TOP STORY

  • Ukraine: Violent clashes with pro-Russia groups begin in eastern region.
    • Pro-Russian forces opened fire Sunday on Ukrainian soldiers trying to clear a police station in the eastern city of Slaviansk that the armed and camouflage-clad men had seized one day prior.
    • Ukrainian forces launched an operation against pro-Russian activists who seized a Slaviansk police station on Saturday.
    • Another police building was seized by pro-Russia militants in the eastern Ukraine city of Kramatorsk following a gun battle with police.
    • US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia Saturday of “additional consequences” if it fails to pull its troops back from the Ukraine border.
    • US vice president Joe Biden will travel to Kiev on 22APR to demonstrate high-level US support for Ukraine.
    • Coverage: AFP, BBC, BBC-2,  Reuters, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Algeria: Islamists are boycotting this month’s presidential election, chastened by recent poor performances at the polls. (AFP)
  • Egypt: Minister of electricity and renewable energy Mohamed Shaker said Saturday the government will not be able to prevent power cuts this summer. (Reuters)
  • Egypt: Two male political dissidents claim they were raped in Egyptian police custody in separate assaults that campaigners suspect are indicative of a wider strategy as the brutal crackdown on opposition continues. (Guardian)
  • Guinea-Bissau: Presidential and parliamentary election preparations are under way in the first election since a coup in 2012. (BBC)

 

AMERICAS

  • Cuba: French FM Laurent Fabius arrived Saturday in Havana for a brief visit aimed at strengthening ties, as talks begin with the European Union on normalizing relations. (AFP)
  • Haiti: World Bank head Jim Yong Kim stressed a renewed sense of urgency and more coordination from the international community to help Haiti eliminate cholera. (Miami Herald)
  • Venezuela: The Union of Press Workers said Saturday a total of 181 journalists have been the target of attacks, thefts or arbitrary detentions since the start of anti-government protests two months ago. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Abdullah Abdullah, a frontrunner to succeed President Hamid Karzai vowed reconciliation with his one-time rival and that he wouldn’t pursue “vengeance” against the man he claims stole the last election. (AFP)
  • Japan: Two chickens have tested positive for avian influenza at a farm where more than 1,000 chickens have died, marking the country’s first case of bird flu in three years. (Reuters)
  • Pakistan: Suspected Taliban militants have released over 90 tribesmen they abducted from a tribal festival in the northwest but still hold seven influential men. (AP)
  • Taiwan: Top US environmental official Gina McCarthy will visit, marking the first trip by a cabinet-level leader from Washington to the Chinese-claimed island in 14 years. (AFP)
  • South Korea: The trade ministry said Sunday it is seeking ways to remove non-tariff barriers set by its main trade partners on concerns they may sap Seoul’s overseas shipments. (Yonhap)

 

EUROPE

  • Hungary: PM Viktor Orban retained his controlling two-thirds majority in parliament following last week’s election, a final ballot count revealed early Sunday, giving him free legislative rein for the next four years. (AFP)
  • Macedonia: Macedonians will vote for a new president Sunday, in a poll seen as a test for the ruling party. (AFP)
  • Sweden: Swedish passports are becoming “hard currency” on the black market, and over the last two years 177,000 valid Swedish passports in total were reported missing. (Xinhua)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Palestinians and Israeli police clashed at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday when police opened one of the walled compound’s gates to non-Muslim visitors. (AFP)
  • Iran: An appeals court has overturned a death sentence of a former US marine convicted of working for the CIA, instead sentencing him to 10 years in prison. (AP)
  • Iraq: A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at a checkpoint in the northern city of Kirkuk on Sunday, killing seven police while gunmen shot dead three people in the Sulaiman Bek area. (AFP)
  • Syria: Government and rebels blamed each other for an alleged poison gas attack that reportedly injured scores of civilians in the central province of Hama, despite no independent confirmation of a chemical strike. (LAT)
  • Yemen: The Interior Ministry says suspected al-Qaida militants have ambushed troops from the country’s Special Forces, killing two soldiers and wounding five others. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Turkey’s PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday he will “go after” Twitter, accusing the site of tax-evasion, after it was used to spread damaging leaks implicating his inner circle in corruption claims. (AFP)
  • Technology: US officials revealed President Obama allows the National Security Agency to exploit major flaws in Internet security both to crack encryption and design cyberweapons. (NYT)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes: 100km SSE of Kirakira, Solomon Islands
    • Magnitude: 7.6
    • Depth: 29.3 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases: Global Number of Cases as of 11APR: 212 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom)
      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 11APR: 88 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
    • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (14APR)

  • China: Syrian Opposition Chief Ahmad Jarba visits to discuss prospects for a political solution
  • Japan: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen meets with Emperor Akihito and PM Shinzo Abe (to 17APR)
  • Moldova: Deputy PM for Reintegration Eugen Carpov meets with chief Transdniestrian negotiator, FM Nina Stanski
  • Judaism: Passover begins in the evening (to 22APR)

 

END

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