ONS: 14 February 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 14, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The UN ended its DR Congo military offensive support against a rebel group after two generals linked to human rights violations were picked to lead the operation.

  • AMERICAS: Cuban President Castro held talks with Russian DM Shoigu, with both sides expressing readiness to further strengthen military-technical cooperation.

  • ASIA: Indian chief anti-graft leader Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in after running on a platform of corruption reform, and winning elections by a landslide.

  • EUROPE: Greece’s deepening ties with Russia during its economic crisis drew concerns the country may try to lure it under its political umbrella.

  • MIDDLE EAST:  The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that more than 60 percent of Yemen’s population  — nearly 16 million — desperately need food, clean water and sanitation.

  • TECHNOLOGY: A new US intelligence unit, the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC), was created to “coordinate analysis of cyber threats.”


TOP STORY

  • Ukraine: Peace deal in grave danger as fighting rapidly escalates.

    • Mikheil Saakashvili, the former fiercely pro-Western leader of Georgia, was appointed to aide Ukrainian President Poroshenko in helping the war-torn country on its path to reform, officials said.

    • The military said there was no let-up in a pro-Russian rebel offensive ahead of a planned ceasefire, reporting 120 separate attacks in the past 24 hours.

    • Ferocious fighting raged on, threatening a ceasefire deal as Kiev and the US accused Russia of fuelling a rebel onslaught to grab territory before the truce started.

    • President Poroshenko warned that continuing bombardments that killed dozens had plunged a peace plan reached in Minsk after marathon talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin into “big danger” before it even got off the ground.

    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3 Reuters


AFRICA

  • Chad: Boko Haram fighters attacked a village by canoe, killing seven people including a local chief in the country’s first ever lethal attack by the terrorist sect. (AFP)

  • DR Congo: The UN ended its military offensive support against a rebel group after two generals linked to human rights violations were picked to lead the operation. (AP)

  • Mali: The UN appointed three experts to investigate a violent protest in front of a UN peacekeeping camp that led to the death of at least three protesters last month. (XIN)

  • Nigeria: President Jonathan promised there would be no further election delays, after presidential and parliamentary polls were postponed to late March. (AFP)

  • Nigeria: Hundreds of Boko Haram Islamists invaded Gombe, firing heavy guns and throwing leaflets calling on residents to boycott the forthcoming general elections. (AFP)


AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Authorities detained 16 Pakistanis who illegally entered the country and were trying to reach the United States with the assistance of a human smuggler. (AFP)

  • Cuba: President Castro held talks with Russian DM Shoigu, with both sides expressing readiness to further strengthen military-technical cooperation. (XIN)

  • Panama: Citizens angry over Nicaragua’s plan to build a “bigger and better” canal, took to the streets to protest the Chinese-funded USD50 billion project. (Miami)


ASIA

  • China: More than 70 kilograms of drugs were seized and 20 suspects arrested after an inter-provincial drug ring was busted, police in central Hunan Province said. (XIN)

  • India: Chief anti-graft leader Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in after running on a platform of corruption reform, and winning elections by a landslide. (AFP)

  • Indonesia: UNSG Ban Ki-moon appealed to the country not to execute prisoners on death row for drug crimes, including citizens of Australia, Brazil, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines. (Reuters)

  • Myanmar: The army launched fresh air strikes following the government’s rare admission that dozens of its soldiers died in a dramatic resurgence of conflict. (AFP)

  • Pakistan: Chinese FM Wang Yi met with Asif Ali Zardari, former Pakistani president and co-chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). (XIN)


EUROPE

  • Region: US Treasury Secretary Lew urged all sides in Greece debt talks to focus on solving the crisis that risks pushing the eurozone country into default. (AFP)

  • Greece: The country’s deepening ties with Russia during its economic crisis drew concerns the country may try to lure it under its political umbrella. (WSJ)

  • Turkey: Police used water cannons to disperse scores of protesters in Izmir who were boycotting schools over the growing influence of religion in the classroom. (Guardian)


MIDDLE EAST

  • Bahrain: Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who took to the streets on the fourth anniversary of a pro-democracy uprising. (AFP)

  • Iran: Supreme Leader Khamenei responded to overtures from President Obama seeking better relations by sending secret communications of his own to the White House. (WSJ)

  • Jordan: The US readied plans to resupply the country with munitions, possibly including precision-guided arms, as it expands its campaign against IS. (Reuters)

  • Yemen: The UAE suspended operations at its embassy and evacuated staff due to security concerns as the country’s political crisis became more volatile. (AFP)

  • Yemen: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that more than 60 percent of the population  — nearly 16 million — desperately need food, clean water and sanitation. (XIN)


TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cyber Warfare: A new US intelligence unit, the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC), was created to “coordinate analysis of cyber threats.” (DOD)


WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.

  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.

  • Earthquakes: 18 miles ESE of Taitung City, Taiwan

    • Magnitude: 6.2

    • Depth: 18.4km

    • Map

  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.

  • Global Disease Outbreaks:

    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

      • Cases: 22,894 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)

      • Deaths: 9,177 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)

      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC

    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas

      • Suspected Cases as of 06FEB: 1,172,787(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: 25,255

      • Deaths as of 06FEB: 181 (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 12FEB: 975 (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 and the US)

      • Deaths as of 12FEB: 358 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)

      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2


TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (15FEB)

  • Afghanistan: Liberation Day/Total Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan – 1989

  • Croatia: Croatian President-elect Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic will be inaugurated

  • Lebanon: Rafik Hariri Memorial Day – 2005

  • Serbia: National Day – 1804

  • Ukraine: Ceasefire to go into effect with the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Ukraine’s front lines

  • Ukraine: The UN Security Council is expected to meet for an emergency session to shore up the Minsk ceasefire deal

  • Ukraine: A Russian Emergencies Ministry convoy is expected to deliver a regular shipment of relief aid to the Donbas region


END

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