ONS: 15 March 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 15, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Libyan gunmen attacked an Egyptian Coptic church in the eastern city of Benghazi, causing heavy damage to the church but no casualties.
  • AMERICAS: The head of the UNDP said the US-led war on drugs has failed to address major issues, with the policy of criminalization creating more problems than it solves.
  • ASIA: China’s annual Parliament confirmed Li Keqaing as the country’s new PM, succeeding Wen Jiabao after a decade in the office.
  • EUROPE: In Italy, the newly elected Parliament is headed towards gridlock in its first session after center-left leader Bersani failed to convince Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star Movement to negotiate a leadership strategy.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli PM Netanyahu and his coalition partners overcame their differences and agreed on the structure of a new government.
  • TECHNOLOGY:  US federal officials charged a social media editor for Reuters with conspiring with the group “Anonymous” to hack into the LA Times and alter a news story.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: British PM Cameron and French President Hollande pushed EU leaders to lift the arms embargo on Syria to allow it to provide arms to the opposition.
    • Both argue a political resolution requires a more equal military balance, something that is impossible while countries like Iran fund and equip the government.
    • Officials said Britain and France would not violate the embargo already in place, which is due to expire in May.
    • While Secretary Kerry reiterated the US would not arm the rebels, the CIA has been covertly training rebel groups in Jordan since last year.
    • A number of EU leaders pushed back, saying pumping more arms into the country could have dire political consequences.
    • Coverage: Xinhua, Guardian, WSJ, AP, CSM, NYT, Reuters

AFRICA

  • Egypt: President Morsi pledged compensation for the families of the victims of the violence that has plagued Port Said, killing nearly 40 since January. (DPA)
  • Kenya: The party of PM Raila Odinga, who was defeated by Uhuru Kenyatta in the presidential election, delayed filing a petition challenging the result until Saturday. (AFP)
  • Libya: Gunmen attacked an Egyptian Coptic church in the eastern city of Benghazi, causing heavy damage to the church but no casualties. (Xinhua)
  • Sudan: The government continued peace talks after months of intermittent clashes, but insurgencies in the country’s northern states continue unabated. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: The head of the UNDP said the US-led war on drugs has failed to address major issues, with the policy of criminalization creating more problems than it solves. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: FARC rebels were blamed for blowing up a section of train track, causing a cargo train to derail and disrupting exports. (Xinhua)
  • Cuba: The government claimed the US government had earmarked around USD205 million between 1996 and 2011 in an attempt to topple the government. (Xinhua)
  • Honduras: President Lobo said armed boats from El Salvador and Nicaragua threatened the naval and fishing ships in gulf that the three countries share. (Reuters)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Intelligence and security forces seized nearly eight kilograms of explosives hidden in cement bags in the outskirts of Kabul. (AFP)
  • China: The annual parliament confirmed Li Keqaing as the country’s new PM, succeeding Wen Jiabao after a decade in the office. (BBC)
  • Philippines: Police arrested a man suspected of belonging to the al Qaeda-linked rebel group Abu Sayyaf for his role in the kidnapping and massacre of workers in a southern village. (Xinhua)
  • Thailand: Suspected militants detonated a roadside bomb in the country’s insurgency-plagued south, killing three policemen. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Cyprus: Officials said the country is looking to Russia to contribute supplementary funds to an EU bailout package to avoid bankruptcy. (AP)
  • Italy: The newly elected parliament is headed towards gridlock in its first session after center-left leader Bersani failed to convince Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star Movement to negotiate a leadership strategy. (AP)
  • Portugal: The debt-racked government was given another year to cut its public debt to below three percent of the country’s GDP. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: A female candidate in the upcoming provincial elections was killed while returning from a wedding party with her husband in the northern Nineveh province. (Xinhua)
  • Israel: After last minute roadblocks, PM Netanyahu and his coalition partners overcame their differences and agreed on the structure of a new government. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Guterres called on the international community to show commitment and back Lebanon, as it hosts a high number of Syrian refugees. (AP)
  • Yemen: The country will begin an UN-backed “national dialogue” on Monday aimed at drawing the state’s many divisive players towards reconciliation. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: US federal officials charged a social media editor for Reuters with conspiring with the group “Anonymous” to hack into the LA Times and alter a news story. (WSJ)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 20P (Tim)
    • Location: 150 mi NE of Willis Island, Australia
    • Movement: SE at 12.7 mph
    • Winds: 63.3 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (16MAR)

  • Europe: NATO officials to meet in Lisbon (to 17MAR).
  • Israel: Deadline for Israeli PM Netanyahu to form coalition government.
  • Kazakhstan: Supporters of a referendum on Kazakhstan’s pullout from the Customs Union and Common Economic Space will meet in Almaty.
  • Libya: Mandate of UN support in Libya set to expire.
  • Zimbabwe: Constitutional referendum held that, if passed, would set a limit on presidential terms and abolish the head of state’s immunity.

END

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