ONS: 15 May 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on May 15, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Nigerian President Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three states in the country’s northeast that are threatened by the Islamist group Boko Haram.
  • AMERICAS: FARC rebels and Colombian police clashes killed five rebels and one police officer across the country.
  • ASIA: Filipino President Aquino apologized for the killing by his country’s coast guard of a Taiwanese fisherman.
  • EUROPE: A Russian media report alleged the American CIA agent caught by Russia was likely interested in obtaining information about the Boston bombing suspects.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Fatah and Hamas agreed to form a national unity government within three months.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, begins in San Francisco.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Plans for peace conference take shape as international community reacts to escalated violence.
    • US Secretary Kerry urged Syrian President Assad not to squander the opportunity to come to the table for negotiations, and insisted “enormous plans are being laid” for what has been dubbed Geneva II.
    • The FSA vowed to punish those committing atrocities as anger mounted at a video showing a rebel filmed apparently cutting out and eating the organs of a soldier.
    • Government troops backed by tanks and warplanes fought to repel an attack on the central prison in Aleppo after rebels blew up its walls in suicide car bombings.
    • The Syrian regime said it and its allies will refuse any “dictate” at an international peace conference, particularly concerning the departure of President Assad.
    • Diplomats said the UN General Assembly is expected to approve an Arab-backed resolution calling for a political transition in Syria.
    • Coverage: AFP AFP-2, AFP-3, AFP-4, AP, Reuters, UPI

 

AFRICA

  • Central African Republic: UNSG Ban Ki-moon reiterated support for the transitional process of the CAR in meetings with the country’s PM. (Xinhua)
  • Egypt: President Morsi said Egypt is trying to resume a leading role in reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks along with international efforts. (Xinhua)
  • Libya: The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved US President Obama’s nominee Deborah Kay Jones to serve as US ambassador to Libya. (AP)
  • Mali: International donors opened a conference in Brussels aimed at raising some USD2.6 billion for the country. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: President Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three states in the country’s northeast that are threatened by the Islamist group Boko Haram. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: President Santos ordered government envoys to speed up peace talks with the FARC. (Xinhua)
  • Colombia: FARC rebels and Colombian police clashes killed five rebels and one police officer across the country. (AFP)
  • Cuba: The Netherlands and Cuba signed an agreement to strengthen bilateral ties. (Xinhua)
  • Ecuador: The new National Assembly took office for a period of four years. (Xinhua)
  • United States: The US government claimed it was only trying to protect American lives when it seized journalists’ phone records. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Special Operations forces are expected to make up one-third of the American military presence in Afghanistan by next February. (NYT)
  • Bangladesh: The government ordered the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people in anticipation of a cyclonic storm. (AFP)
  • Burma: President Sein’s state visit to the US could be delayed because of a cyclone threatening to strike his country’s northwest coast. (AFP)
  • Korea, North: A senior US official said the DPRK has yet to develop a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a missile, contradicting a recent US military intelligence report. (AFP)
  • Philippines: President Aquino apologized for the killing by his country’s coast guard of a Taiwanese fisherman. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Albania: PM Berisha confirmed a readiness to strengthen defense co-operation with Macedonia. (Xinhua)
  • Cyprus: The government said it has received two billion euros of a 10 billion euro bailout loan by the European Stability Mechanism. (Xinhua)
  • France: The French legislature passed a loosening of the country’s labor code. (NYT)
  • Greece: Civil servants enacted a strike to protest the government’s use of an emergency law to ban a planned strike by teachers. (NYT)
  • Russia: A report by Russian media alleged the American CIA agent caught by Russia was likely interested in obtaining information about the Boston bombing suspects. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: The government is set to face international pressure in two separate meetings over its nuclear program. (Reuters)
  • Kuwait: Some members of Kuwait’s cabinet have offered to resign amid ongoing conflict with the appointed government. (Reuters)
  • Lebanon: UN Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Ladsous stressed the importance of stability and security in Lebanon amid the turbulence in the region. (Xinhua)
  • Palestinian Territories: Fatah and Hamas agreed to form a national unity government within three months. (Xinhua)
  • Saudi Arabia: The country has detected six new cases of the deadly coronavirus, raising the number of people infected in the kingdom to 30. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, begins in San Francisco. (Mashable)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 01B (Mahasen)
    • Location: 308 NM S of Kolkata, India
    • Movement: NNE at 14 mph
    • Winds: 51 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: 30% Chance of Tropical Cyclone Formation
    • Location: 650 miles S of Acapulco, Mexico
    • Movement: WNW at 10 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico City, Mexico
    • Ash plumes, some heated rock fragments. (AFP)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • H7N9 (Avian Influenza)
      • Cases: 131
      • Deaths: at least 32 (WHO)
      • Novel Coronavirus (Sars)
        • Cases: 38
        • Deaths: at least 20 (WHO)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (16MAY)

  • Russia: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit Russia (to 19MAY).
  • Sudan: Anniversary of the beginning of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army’s rebellion – 1983.
  • United States: President Barack Obama will host Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington for talks on the Syrian conflict and other regional issues.

 

END

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