ONS: 13 May 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on May 14, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: German lawmakers approved a plan to declare Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia “safe countries of origin,” a move aimed at making it easier to quickly return failed asylum-seekers and to deter others from coming.
  • AMERICAS: Colombia and leftist FARC rebels agreed any peace deal agreed at negotiations will be constitutionally binding if approved in a proposed referendum.
  • ASIA: Top generals from China and the US said they were ready to work out an effective mechanism to prevent confrontation and maintain stability in the South China Sea.
  • EUROPE: A UK parliamentary report will warn the EU’s naval mission to combat people smuggling in the Mediterranean, Operation Sophia, has failed to disrupt the trade.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israel reiterated its opposition to a French attempt to resurrect the peace process with the Palestinians, ahead of a visit by France’s foreign minister.
  • TECHNOLOGY: China had its own answer to WikiLeaks: a mysterious Twitter account that posted the personal information of dozens of the country’s most prominent people, including billionaires and even the architect of the country’s Internet controls.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Hezbollah says top military commander killed
    • Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group said its top military commander who was supervising its military operations in Syria, Mustafa Badreddine, was killed in an explosion in Damascus.
    • Hezbollah said Badreddine was killed in a big explosion targeting one of its bases near Damascus airport, and an investigation was underway into whether it was caused by an air strike, a missile attack or artillery bombardment.
    • The incident deals a major blow to the powerful Iranian-backed group.
    • Badreddine is charged with leading the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri in Beirut in 2005.
    • The official statement from Hezbollah didn’t say when the incident took place.
    • Initial reports claim the Israeli Air Force executed a targeted strike on Badreddine.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, NYT, Reuters, WP, WSJ          

AFRICA

  • Region: German lawmakers approved a plan to declare Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia “safe countries of origin,” a move aimed at making it easier to quickly return failed asylum-seekers and to deter others from coming. (AP)
  • Region: Burkina Faso plans to withdraw its troops deployed in the UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur and to bring them home against a backdrop of growing security threats in the Sahel-Saharan region. (Reuters)
  • Kenya: Security forces killed 10 suspected al Shabaab Islamist militants and arrested 36 others in nine months since launching an operation against the insurgents on the coast. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: Interim President Michel Temer pledged to renew economic growth and cut unnecessary public posts, denying charges that he would cut government social programs. (Xinhua)
  • Colombia: The country and leftist FARC rebels agreed any peace deal agreed at negotiations will be constitutionally binding if approved in a proposed referendum. (Reuters)
  • Cuba: The country said the US must give assurances that banks will not be punished for dealing with the country under the US trade embargo. (AFP)     

ASIA

  • Region: Top generals from China and the US said they were ready to work out an effective mechanism to prevent confrontation and maintain stability in the South China Sea. (AP)
  • Region: According to China, the territory arbitration initiated by the Philippines over islands in the South China Sea lacks legal backing and violates a joint declaration co-signed by China and all ASEAN member states. (Kyodo)
  • Malaysia: Four Malaysian militants were sentenced to between 20 and 25 years imprisonment for plotting to bomb government buildings and entertainment centers. (DPA)
  • Nepal: Amnesty International and other human rights groups slammed a deal between the country’s ruling parties to withdraw civil war cases from courts and offer amnesty to people accused of abuses during the country’s decade-long Maoist insurgency. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Region: A UK parliamentary report will warn the EU’s naval mission to combat people smuggling in the Mediterranean, Operation Sophia, failed to disrupt the trade. (Independent)
  • Turkey: Eight Turkish soldiers and 21 militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were killed, as violence in the largely Kurdish southeast widened a day after two bombings. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: The International Monetary Fund warned that London’s status as a global financial center would be jeopardized should the nation vote to leave the EU in a 23JUN referendum. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Israel reiterated its opposition to a French attempt to resurrect the peace process with the Palestinians, ahead of a visit by France’s foreign minister. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Gunmen, including two suicide bombers, stormed a coffee shop in a town north of Baghdad, leaving at least 13 people dead and 15 wounded. (AP)
  • Iraq: Australia said it was investigating the death of an Australian security contractor at its embassy in Baghdad. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Al-Qaeda fighters and their allies shot dead 19 civilians from President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite minority after seizing the central village of Al-Zara. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: China had its own answer to WikiLeaks: a mysterious Twitter account that posted the personal information of dozens of the country’s most prominent people, including billionaires and even the architect of the country’s Internet controls. (NYT)
  • Technology: Malicious software used in February’s USD 81M heist at Bangladesh Bank is linked to other cyber attacks, including the 2014 attack on Sony’s Hollywood studio, according to a new BAE Systems report. (Reuters)

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 27MAR: 28,646 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 27MAR: 11,323 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 06MAY: 75,140 (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: 8,377
      • Deaths: 12
        • Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 82 (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, French Guiana, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 26APR: 1,728 (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 26APR: 624 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 05MAY: Cabo Verde, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bolivia, Bonaire (Netherlands), Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haití, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, United States Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Maldives, American Samoa, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, and Tonga.
      • Outbreak Terminated as of 05MAY: Gabon, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Vietnam, and Isla de Pascua (Chile).
      • Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 05MAY: United States of America, Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, and Portugal.
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (14MAY)

  • Europe Region: Anniversary of the creation of the Warsaw Pact – 1955
  • Liberia: National Unification Day – 1971
  • Nigeria: Leaders of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and France to meet in Abuja to discuss fight against Boko Haram
  • Paraguay: Independence Day – 1811

END

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