ONS: 15 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 15, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Nigerian soldiers detonated two homemade bombs found in a Maiduguri camp housing people displaced by Boko Haram violence.
  • AMERICAS: South American nations jointly criticized President Obama’s declaration that Venezuela represents a national security threat to the US, calling it interventionism.
  • ASIA: Cyclone Pam ripped through the tiny 65-island nation, Vanuatu, leaving most of its residents homeless and infrastructure in ruins.
  • EUROPE: France engaged in hawkish diplomacy as the US and Iran strove to seek nuclear accord prior to the March 31 deadline.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Syrian conflict entered its fifth year, with the regime emboldened by shifting int’l attention and growing humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the rise of the IS.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Major Texas arts and trade festival South by Southwest (SXSW) showcased new apps and hot button tech topics such as drones for social issues, getting more women in tech, and using big data to solve issues.

 

TOP STORY

  • Pakistan: 14 reported dead as suicide bomber targets Lahore church during Sunday Mass.
    • At least 14 people were killed and 78 others wounded when two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance of churches in Pakistan’s east city of Lahore on Sunday
    • Jammatul Ahrar, a splinter group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying Christians were their enemies.
    • Witnesses said unidentified gunmen opened fire at the churches and fled the scene before the explosions.
    • Police arrested two suspects, including one who was allegedly giving instructions to the suicide bombers. Enraged Christians, who were praying inside a church, took the suspects from police custody, beat both of them to death and burnt their bodies.
    • The attack follows an increased government and military crackdown on extremism in Pakistan.
    • Coverage: Xinhua, BBC, AP

 

AFRICA

  • Egypt: A small bomb killed a street cleaner in Cairo amid heightened security for an investment conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Soldiers detonated two homemade bombs found in a Maiduguri camp housing people displaced by Boko Haram violence. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Three Chinese workers kidnapped and held hostage by gunmen were released unhurt after two weeks in captivity. (AFP)
  • South Africa: Cabinet minister Collins Chabane and two security personnel were killed in a car crash, President Jacob Zuma said. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: South American nations jointly criticized President Obama’s declaration that Venezuela represents a national security threat to the US, calling it interventionism. (AP)
  • Region: The first direct flight from the US in 57 years landed in Havana carrying 80 travelers including US business owners and executives. (EFE)
  • Guatemala: Police arrested three suspects in the murder of news cameraman Guido Armando Giovanni Villatoro Ramos. (EFE)
  • United States: A group of 10 aid workers possibly exposed to the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone departed back to the country for monitoring. (WaPo)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Approximately 54 Taliban militants were killed as the army pressed ahead with offensives in restive provinces. (XIN)
  • Indonesia: Australia doesn’t expect Indonesia to execute the convicted drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran until every legal avenue has been exhausted, Julie Bishop, the foreign minister in Canberra said. (Guardian)
  • Pakistan: Twin blasts near Saint John Catholic Church and Christ Church in Youhanabad area killed at-least 10 and injured 50. (BBC)
  • Vanuatu: Cyclone Pam ripped through the tiny 65-island nation, leaving most of its residents homeless and infrastructure in ruins. (BBC)

 

EUROPE

  • France: The country engaged in hawkish diplomacy as the US and Iran strove to seek nuclear accord prior to the March 31 deadline. (AFP)
  • Netherlands: The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs said no bird flu has been detected at nearby farms after an outbreak of low pathogenic H7N7 avian influenza originated from a poultry farm last November. (XIN)
  • Ukraine: Pro-Russian rebels busied themselves repairing Soviet T-62 and T-64 tanks in the occupied Corum Donetskgormash plant. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: The final budget before a May election contains perks for older voters and a “Google tax” on companies that shift profits overseas, media sources said. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: A prominent Shiite militia leader, Ali al-Mosawi, also known as Abu al-Hasanien, was killed in battles to free Tikrit from IS militants. (XIN)
  • Israel: PM Netanyahu, trailing in opinion polls two days before a parliamentary election, publicly offered the FM portfolio to a potentially king-making rival. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: The US embassy cancelled all consular services due to “heightened security concerns”. (BBC)
  • Syria: The conflict entered its fifth year, with the regime emboldened by shifting int’l attention and a growing humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the rise of the IS. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Major Texas arts and trade festival South by Southwest (SXSW) showcased new apps and hot button tech topics such as drones for social issues, getting more women in tech, and using big data to solve issues. (USA Today)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm 03W (Bavi)
    • Location: 216 NM E of Anderson AFB
    • Movement: W at 18 mph
    • Winds: 52 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 18P (Nathan)
    • Location: 242 NM NNE of Cairns, Australia
    • Movement: E at 10 mph
    • Winds: 57 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 17P (Pam)
    • Location: 646 NM SE of Noumea, New Caledonia
    • Movement: SSE at 36 mph
    • Winds: 115 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Turrialba Volcano, Costa Rica
    • Ash plumes caused airport and school closures. (AccuWeather)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 23,934 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 9,792 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 09MAR: 1,231,077 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.) Confirmed Cases: 25,353
      • Deaths as of 09MAR: 183 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
      • Sourcing: WHO, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 11MAR: 1060 (Saudi Arabia (KSA), Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Tunisia, Italy, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, Malaysia, Greece, Egypt, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Iran, Algeria, Austria, Turkey, The Philippines, Germany, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 11MAR: 394 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (16MAR)

  • Azerbaijan: UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Ms. Marie-Pierre Poirier to visit Baku (to18MAR)
  • Egypt: Anniversary of the Kingdom of Egypt Proclaimed – 1922
  • Iran: Iran to hold nuclear talks with Germany, France, Britain in Brussels

 

END

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