ONS: 15 February 2012

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 15, 2012

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: UNICEF pre-positioned emergency supplies to assist 100,000 people as a Cyclone Giovanna struck.
  • AMERICAS: Haitian President Martelly dismissed claims that he holds double nationalities.
  • ASIA: The Pakistani Parliament passed a constitutional amendment establishing an independent election commission.
  • EUROPE: Serbs in Nothern Kosovo started the last day of voting in a referendum on the Kosovo government.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Syrian stockpiles of chemical weapons continued to be monitored by the international community.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Mathematicians and cryptographers discovered a weakness in an encryption code used for online purchasing.

TOP STORY

  • Thailand: Details of the terror plot emerged
    • Thai officials said Iranians aimed to assassinate Israeli diplomats in Bangkok.
    • Iran denied any link to the explosions, and instead blamed Israel.
    • Israeli security forces Mossad and Shin Bet failed to identify the plots in advance.
    • Thai officials continued the search for two suspects following the arrest of the two Iranians responsible for the bombings.
    • Thai authorities also found a cache of bombs in the suspects’ rental house in Bangkok.
    • The bombs used in India, Thailand, and Georgia were all similar, homemade “sticky” bombs.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, Haaretz, Bloomberg, NYT, AP

AFRICA

  • Region: A Chadian rebel group based in the Central African Republic claimed its forces were preparing an offensive that would position them within striking distance of N’Djamena. (AFP)
  • Madagascar: UNICEF pre-positioned emergency supplies to assist 100,000 people as a tropical cyclone hit land. (UN)
  • Sudan: Sudan violated the non-aggression agreement with South Sudan by bombarding the town of Jau. (UPI)

AMERICAS

  • Argentina: Members of the British Defense Select Committee plan to visit the Falkland Islands next month. (AFP)
  • Colombia: The navy, air force and police collaborated in an operation to confiscate 1,000 kilograms of cocaine. (EFE)
  • Haiti: President Martelly dismissed allegations he holds double nationalities, which would preclude him from serving as head of state. (Xinhua)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: NATO expressed regret over killing eight children in an air-strike this month in eastern Afghanistan. (AP)
  • Pakistan: The Parliament passed a constitutional amendment setting up an independent election commission. (Kyodo)
  • Pakistan: The government continued to detain the bin Laden family nine months after Osama’s death. (USA Today)
  • Pakistan: US prosecutors charged Majid Khan, a Pakistani living in Baltimore, for allegedly plotting to assassinate President Musharraf. (Reuters)

EUROPE

  • Region: Serbs in Northern Kosovo started voting in the last day of a referendum predicted to reject the Kosovo government’s authority. (AFP)
  • Sweden: The government announced a comprehensive three-part strategy to mitigate and prevent terrorism. (Xinhua)
  • Turkey: The opposition accused the PM of supporting a law that would prevent the judiciary from investigating intelligence officials. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Bahrain: Authorities deported six US citizens and arrested dozens for joining pro-democracy demonstrations. (AFP)
  • Egypt: State-run newspapers accused US NGOs of spreading “anarchy.” (Reuters)
  • Iran: Deputy nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri said the first home-made nuclear fuel rods would be placed into the Tehran research reactor. (Xinhua)
  • Syria: The US and its allies continued to monitor stockpiles of chemical arms and portable anti-aircraft missiles. (AP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: A team of European and American mathematicians and cryptographers discovered a weakness in the encryption system used for online shopping, banking, and other services. (NYT)
  • Technology: In a change of precedent, Mark Zuckerburg announced he will retain ownership of 57% of Facebook following its IPO in order to steer the company towards  long-term profitability. (TechCrunch)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 12S (Giovanna)
    • Location: 250 NM WSW of Antananarivo, Madagascar
    • Movement: WSW at 13 knots
    • Winds: 40 knots
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 13S (Thirteen)
    • Location: 1000 NM ESE of Diego Garcia
    • Movement: W at 12 knots
    • Winds: 40 knots
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 10P (Jasmine)
    • Location: 65 NM W of Tonga
    • Movement: W at 04 knots
    • Winds: 35 knots
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Off Coast of Oregon, USA
    • Magnitude: 6.0
    • Depth: 10 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (16FEB)

  • Africa: ECOWAS countries’ presidents meet in Abuja, Nigeria to discuss piracy and al Qaeda.
  • Asia: Iranian and Afghan presidents travel to Pakistan to bolster regional peace and stability.
  • Algeria: Holds talks with the EU on accession to the WTO.
  • Austria: Third Conference on Combating Afghan Drug Trafficking held in Vienna.
  • Cuba: Anniversary of Fidel Castro sworn in as PM – 1959.
  • Cyprus: Israeli PM Netanyahu visits Cyprus for talks on offshore gas fields.
  • Lithuania: Independence day celebrated – 1918.
  • North Korea: Kim Jong-Il’s birthday – 1942.

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