ONS: 15 February 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 15, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The Obama administration applied sanctions on Yahya Abu Hammam, a senior leader of AQIM.
  • AMERICAS: Pat Kennedy, the Under Secretary of State for Management, told a House hearing that more than half the US diplomatic posts overseas may not fully meet security standards.
  • ASIA: The US embassy in Islamabad confirmed its diplomat’s car crushed to death a Pakistani and injured another.
  • EUROPE: Serbian authorities said they had uncovered a plot by “criminal clans” to bring down a government plane carrying a national leader.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Iraq, tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims gathered in several cities to protest against what they describe as unfair treatment by the Shiite-led government.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The US House Intelligence Committee authors of the controversial cybersecurity bill CISPA attempted to dispel concerns that the legislation would violate people’s privacy.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: US Secretary Kerry pressured Assad; UN denies new peace plan; Turkish artillery fired on Syria; 100 civilian abducted by armed groups; Former Lebanese leader predicted downfall of Assad.
    • US Secretary Kerry urged President Assad to end the ongoing violence in the country.
    • The UN denied reports that a new peace plan is being drawn up for Syria involving the creation of a senate to oversee a power transition.
    • Turkish artillery struck back after a shell fired from Syria ploughed into Turkish territory without causing any casualties.
    • More than 100 civilians have been abducted by armed groups in the Syrian province of Idlib in separate incidents.
    • Former Lebanese PM Hariri predicted the downfall of President Assad.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, Reuters, Xinhua

AFRICA

  • Region: The Obama administration applied sanctions on Yahya Abu Hammam, a senior leader of AQIM. (Xinhua)
  • Kenya: The High Court said it lacked the jurisdiction to rule whether presidential hopeful Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces a crimes against humanity trial, is eligible to run for office next month. (AFP)
  • Mali: The country is set to hold presidential elections in July. (BBC)
  • Somalia: The UNSC discussed a revised UN presence in Somalia to support recent political gains. (Xinhua)
  • Somalia: Militants linked to al Qaeda said they executed a Kenyan army private after the expiry of an ultimatum for the release of Muslims held by Kenya on terror charges. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross said the expected release of the three hostages held by FARC has been postponed. (AP)
  • Guatemala: A prominent lawyer who received threats after handling high-profile cases was shot and killed. (AP)
  • United States: Pat Kennedy, the Under Secretary of State for Management, told a House hearing that more than half the US diplomatic posts overseas may not fully meet security standards. (Reuters)
  • United States: The FAA asked for proposals to develop six research and test sites for unmanned aircraft systems around the US. (Reuters)
  • Venezuela: A group of students held a protest outside the Cuban Embassy in Caracas condemning Cuba’s meddling in Venezuela’s affairs. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: Three Chinese government ships entered the waters near territory disputed between Japan and China. (AFP)
  • Afghanistan: The US general nominated to oversee CENTCOM backed keeping Afghan forces at a peak strength of 352,000, contrary to current plans to shrink them. (Reuters)
  • India: The Indian army said its troops had killed a Pakistani soldier who strayed onto their side of the disputed border in the Kashmir region. (AFP)
  • Malaysia: FM Aman told Philippine FM Rosario that Malaysia would resolve peacefully the standoff between Malaysian security forces and about 100 Filipinos who reportedly intruded in the eastern state of Sabah. (DPA)
  • Pakistan: The US embassy in Islamabad confirmed its diplomat’s car crushed to death a Pakistani and injured another. (Xinhua)
  • Thailand: Anti-narcotics police seized 2.2 million methamphetamine pills and 50 kilograms of crystal meth. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Region: Secretary Kerry assured EU Foreign Policy Chief Ashton that US engagement with Asia will not come at the expense of the relationship with Europe. (DPA)
  • Bulgaria: The government distanced itself from a Hamas parliamentary delegation visit, saying it would not meet with government officials. (AFP)
  • Serbia: Authorities said they had uncovered a plot by “criminal clans” to bring down a government plane carrying a national leader. (Reuters)
  • Turkey: PM Erdogan talked with his Georgian counterpart Bidzina Ivanishvili. (Xinhua)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Bahrain: Authorities said they have opened investigations into the deaths of a policeman and a protester during widespread clashes. (AP)
  • Iran: UNSG Ban Ki-moon said Iran could use talks as a cover to build a bomb. (WaPo)
  • Iran: US lawmakers pressed for the release of an Iranian-American pastor imprisoned in Tehran over his work with underground churches. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims gathered in several Iraqi cities to protest against what they describe as unfair treatment by the Shiite-led government. (AP)
  • Iraq:  US GEN Lloyd Austin, last commander of US forces in Iraq before they withdrew, warned sectarian tensions and political discord in Iraq signaled a “troubling” trend in the country. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: Former PM Hariri said Hezbollah’s arsenal is the biggest problem in the country. (Xinhua)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: The US House Intelligence Committee authors of the controversial cybersecurity bill CISPA attempted to dispel concerns that the legislation would violate people’s privacy. (Hillicon Valley)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 15S (Gino)
    • Location: 1275 NM SSE of Diego Garcia
    • Movement: SE at 15 mph
    • Winds: 57 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: 132 km WSW of Druzhina, Russia
    • Magnitude: 6.9
    • Depth: 10.1 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (16FEB)

  • Cuba: Fidel Castro is sworn in as PM of Cuba – 1959.
  • Korea, North: Kim Jong-Il’s birthday – 1941.
  • Lithuania: Independence Day celebrated -1918.

END

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