ONS: 15 January 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 15, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: South Sudan’s military battled rebels in the key northern oil town of Malakal.
  • AMERICAS: Mexican officials from the federal and Michoacan state governments met with leaders of anti-cartel “self-defense” groups but formed no agreements.
  • ASIA: Thai PM Yingluck said 02FEB elections would go ahead despite intense pressure to postpone the vote.
  • EUROPE: A Russian official reported three members of the security forces and two militants were killed in an ongoing shootout in Dagestan.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Iraq, attacks in and north of Baghdad, including a suicide bombing at a funeral and seven car bombs, killed at least 39 people.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The NSA implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the US to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Donors’ conference opens as European intelligence agencies reach out to regime.
    • Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah opened the donors’ conference with a pledge of USD500 million.
    • US Secretary Kerry pledged USD380 million in new American assistance to help civilians in Syria.
    • UNSG Ban Ki-moon told the conference USD6.5 billion was needed to provide medical care, food, water and shelter for Syrian refugees and civilians inside the country through 2014.
    • European intelligence agencies secretly met with President Assad’s delegates to share information on European extremists operating in Syria.
    • Iranian FM Zarif arrived in Damascus for a meeting with President Assad.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AP, BBC, DPA, Reuters, NYT, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • DR Congo: M23 rebels denied UN accusations that it was seeking to rebuild. (AFP)
  • Egypt: Polls opened across the country for the second and final day of a referendum on a new constitution. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: HRW reported that Boko Haram is building an insurgency in the mountains that increasingly includes children. (WSJ)
  • Sudan, South: The military battled rebels in the key northern oil town of Malakal. (AFP)
  • Sudan, South: UNSG Ban Ki-moon said he is “alarmed” by the rising death toll in the country. (Xinhua)

 

AMERICAS

  • Honduras: The government suspended 25 police officers and two anti-narcotics officers assigned to Toncontin airport in connection with a currency smuggling case. (EFE)
  • Mexico: Officials from the federal and Michoacan state governments met with leaders of anti-cartel “self-defense” groups but formed no agreements. (AP)
  • United States: US Customs and Border Protection officers found more than 35 pounds of heroin in an SUV. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: One ISAF soldier was killed in an attack in the east of the country. (Xinhua)
  • Korean Peninsula: South Korean activists launched thousands of anti-Pyongyang leaflets and Wikipedia-loaded USB keys across the border. (AFP)
  • Philippines: The military said it wants to acquire two more navy ships from the US to boost its maritime protection amid tensions with China. (AFP)
  • Thailand: PM Yingluck said 02FEB elections would go ahead despite intense pressure to postpone the vote. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: EU negotiators struck a deal on the outlines of new regulation covering an array of financial instruments and marketplaces. (AP)
  • Italy: Police seized assets worth €44 million allegedly belonging to the Mallardo clan tied with mafia. (Xinhua)
  • Russia: An official reported three members of the security forces and two militants were killed in a shootout in Dagestan. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: Attacks in and north of Baghdad, including a suicide bombing at a funeral and seven car bombs, killed at least 39 people. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Government forces lost more ground in Anbar province as Sunni gunmen, including those linked to al-Qaeda, overran two key areas. (AFP)
  • Israel: A UN report indicates the annual rate of Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians has almost quadrupled in eight years. (AP)
  • Israel: Minister of Defense Yaalon apologized to US Secretary Kerry after he accused him of having an “obsession” with Middle East peace. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: The NSA implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the US to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks. (NYT)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 08S (Colin)
    • Location: 1140 NM NNE of Kerguelen Island
    • Movement: SE at 15 mph
    • Winds: 46 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Mount Sinabung, Sumatra, Indonesia
    • Continued eruptions, ash plumes, lava flows. (Xinhua)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases: Global Number of Cases as of 09JAN: 178 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom)
      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 09JAN: 75 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (16JAN)

  • Algeria: Anniversary of the Algerian protests within the Arab Spring – 2011
  • Chile: Anniversary of the Chilean Civil War – 1891
  • China: Mongolian Foreign Minister Bold to visit (to 21JAN)
  • El Salvador: Anniversary of Chalpultepec Peace Accords and the end of Salvadorean Civil War – 1992
  • Lebanon: The trial of the alleged killers of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri will open in a special UN tribunal at the Hague

 

END

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