ONS: 14 March 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 14, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The brother of former Malawian leader Mutharika and a number of other high profile figures were charged with treason for allegedly orchestrating a coup against his successor.
  • AMERICAS: Acting Venezuelan President Maduro announced it may be impossible to display the body of President Chavez for posterity because the process was started days too late.
  • ASIA: ISAF Commander GEN Dunford sent a strongly worded advisory letter to his senior commanders warning of increased threat of attack due to Afghan President Karzai’s statements.
  • EUROPE: Slovenia’s likely next PM formed a coalition government of four parties after former PM Jansa was ousted over corruption allegations.
  • MIDDLE EAST:  Israeli politicians are set to meet to iron out details of a coalition government between PM Netanyahu’s Likud party, the centrist Yesh Atid, and the pro-settler “Jewish Home” party.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The tech giant announced it will retire its “Google Reader” service on 01JUL as part of a broader “spring cleaning” due to declining usage.

TOP STORY

  • Global: Argentine Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th pope and took the name of Francis.
    • His election marks the first time a pope from Latin America has been selected.
    • He also is the first Jesuit pope and chose a name that has not been used in the church’s 2,000-year history.
    • Cardinal Bergoglio was described as a “mild-mannered shepherd” compared to his predecessor, who was described as an “educator or intellectual.”
    • Coverage: WaPo, NYT, WSJ, LAT
  • China: Xi Jinping formally assumed the presidency, completing his ascendency nearly four months after taking over control of the Communist Party.
    • Xi was simultaneously elected the chairman of the PRC Central Military Commission, giving him power over the military as well.
    • His ally in the party, Li Yuanchao, who previously served as head of the powerful Organization Department, was voted as his Vice President.
    • Xi takes office amidst a number of societal issues including a wide wealth gap, but promised a “Chinese Dream” of a larger middle class.
    • Coverage: NYT, WSJ, Daily Mail, Xinhua

AFRICA

  • Malawi: The brother of former leader Mutharika and a number of other high profile figures were charged with treason for allegedly orchestrating a coup against his successor. (BBC)
  • Mali: France’s FM is pushing for a UN vote within the next month to approve a peacekeeping force to deploy to the country. (AP)
  • Sudan: FMs from a number of Western countries, including the US, urged the government and South Sudan to implement the recently signed bilateral agreement “immediately and unconditionally.” (Xinhua)
  • Zimbabwe: The country prepared to vote on a new constitution that could, for the first time, put a definite end date on President Mugabe’s controversial rule. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Guatemala: A court denied a general amnesty plea by former dictator Rios Mott, continuing with the trial for the murder, torture and displacement of Mayan Indians. (WaPo)
  • Mexico: Amnesty International accused President Peña Nieto’s government of failing to address abuse of migrants’ rights. (EFE)
  • Venezuela: Acting President Maduro announced it may be impossible to display the body of President Chavez for posterity because the process was started days too late. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: ISAF Commander GEN Dunford sent a strongly worded advisory letter to his senior commanders warning of increased threat of attack due to President Karzai’s statements. (AFP)
  • India: Authorities imposed a curfew in the Kashmiri city of Srinagar after a militant attack killed five paramilitary and also left one civilian dead. (AP)
  • Nepal: The Supreme Court Chief Justice took office at the head of an interim government charged with holding elections within three months. (AP)
  • Thailand: The government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, a rebel group in the country’s Muslim south, will begin peace negotiations in Malaysia on 28MAR. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Cyprus: The new government has had to cross a number of red lines in negotiations with EU officials in order to secure bailout funds, including on the corporate tax rate. (AFP)
  • Greece: The ECB said the country was making substantial progress on its economic reform, but that a number of issues had yet to be addressed. (AFP)
  • Russia: A policeman was killed in a special counter-terrorist operation in a village in the province of Dagestan when a criminal stole a machine gun from the officer. (Itar-Tass)
  • Slovenia: The country’s likely next PM formed a coalition government of four parties after former PM Jansa was ousted over corruption allegations. (DPA)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Bahrain: Police clashed with youth protesting the renewal of the deployment of a Gulf military force that helped the Sunni monarchy repress a Shiite-led popular uprising. (AFP)
  • Israel: Six weeks after inconclusive elections, politicians are set to meet to iron out details of a coalition government between PM Netanyahu’s Likud party, the centrist Yesh Atid, and the pro-settler “Jewish Home” party. (DPA)
  • Lebanon: A debate over electoral law threatens to delay parliamentary elections scheduled for 09JUN, driving fears of increased instability. (AFP)
  • Syria: Western diplomats claimed Iran has significantly increased its military support to President al Assad’s regime in recent months. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Google: The tech giant announced it will retire its “Google Reader” service on 01JUL as part of a broader “spring cleaning” due to declining usage. (USAToday)

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Cyclone 20P (Twenty)
      • Location: 276 mi NE of Cairns, Australia
      • Movement: SE at 15 mph
      • Winds: 40.3 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Cyclone 19P (Sandra)
      • Location: 535 SW of Noumea, New Caledonia
      • Movement: S at 20 mph
      • Winds: 46 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK

  • Global: Microsoft instant messaging service MSN Messenger will be officially shut down.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: Government and M23 rebels are scheduled to sign a peace deal.
  • Hungary: National Day – 1848.
  • Israel: Last day for PM Netanyahu to form a new coalition government, as determined by President Peres.
  • Syria: Anniversary of initial anti-government protests erupting – 2011.

END

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