ONS: 16 February 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 16, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The top Tuareg officer in the Malian army urged France on to keep its forces in Mali for as long as it takes to permanently drive out islamist rebels.
  • AMERICAS: In Colombia, the ELN released five foreign workers kidnapped last month from a mining project.
  • ASIA: In Afghanistan, the US Army chief of staff said he may be forced to extend deployments of soldiers next year because budget cuts will limit training for replacement brigades.
  • EUROPE: In Italy, Giovanni Esposito, considered one of the Neapolitan Camorra Mafia’s most wanted bosses, was arrested.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli and Gaza-rulers Hamas have been holding indirect talks on easing the blockade on the Palestinian enclave.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Facebook Inc. said it was the target of hackers but no user information was compromised during the attack.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: International pressure rises as tensions in region increase
    • French DM Le Drian called for urgent action to bring about a power transfer in Syria that excludes President Assad.
    • The minister’s remarks came after the umbrella opposition National Council said it refused to accept Assad in any talks on ending Syria’s 23-month conflict.
    • The US Ambassador to Lebanon Connelly said the US remains concerned over the developments in Syria that affects security situation in Lebanon.
    • The ICRC said the plight of civilians in Syria has now reached catastrophic levels.
    • The Syrian Foreign Ministry accused Turkey of hindering the Syrian political process.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, NYT, Xinhua, Xinhua-2

AFRICA

  • Chad: President Deby fired two ministers in charge of security after his suspension of the nation’s entire police force following allegations of graft, favoritism and abuse. (Reuters)
  • Ivory Coast: The country became a member of the ICC, where its former president is facing trial over alleged crimes against humanity. (AFP)
  • Mali: The top Tuareg officer in the army urged France on to keep its forces in Mali for as long as it takes to permanently drive out islamist rebels. (Reuters)
  • Mali: The “Red Beret”, an elite army unit loyal to the ousted president that has clashed repeatedly with rival units, will be dispersed by March. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: A bomb targeting soldiers killed at least two people in the northeastern city of Maiduguri. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: The Brazilian government sent military reinforcements to tackle a wave of violence in the southern state of Santa Catarina. (BBC)
  • Colombia: The ELN released five foreign workers kidnapped last month from a mining project. (EFE)
  • Haiti: UN Acting Special Representative Nigel Fishersaid the country is “not yet” ready for foreign investment. (AP)
  • Mexico: One of the country’s highest officials said capturing fugitive Sinaloa drug cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is the Mexican government’s “most important” objective. (EFE)
  • United States: The US Embassy in Mexico issued a statement denying an article in The New York Times that reported that the US intervened the determination of the Mexican cabinet. (NYT)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: The US Army chief of staff said he may be forced to extend deployments of soldiers next year because budget cuts will limit training for replacement brigades. (AP)
  • Australia: Australian politician Nick Xenophon was declared a security risk and taken into custody when he arrived in the Malaysian capital. (DPA)
  • India: Police said they lifted a strict curfew across Indian-controlled Kashmir imposed one week ago. (AP)
  • Korea, North: The US called on the DPRK not to take any further provocative steps. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: The military condemned the killing of its soldier who had mistakenly crossed into the Indian part of Kashmir. (Xinhua)

EUROPE

  • Albania: The US warned leaders in Albania to stop stoking nationalism in the run-up to an election because they risk destabilizing the region. (Reuters)
  • Italy: Giovanni Esposito, considered one of the Neapolitan Camorra Mafia’s most wanted bosses, was arrested. (UPI)
  • Italy: US President Obama consulted with Italy’s President Napolitano on the implications of his country’s looming elections. (AFP)
  • Turkey: A Turkish news agency said demonstrators clashed with police during protests marking the 14th anniversary of the capture of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Bahrain: Four people were arrested in Bahrain after an overnight attack on security forces that wounded four policemen. (AFP)
  • Iran: The Supreme Leader said Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, but that no power could stop Tehran’s access to an atomic bomb if it intended to build it. (AP)
  • Iraq: A suicide blast in the north of the country killed a senior military official and three bodyguards. (AP)
  • Israel: Israeli and Gaza-rulers Hamas have been holding indirect talks on easing the blockade on the Palestinian enclave. (AFP)
  • Yemen: The UNSC warned Yemen’s former president and vice-president that they could face possible sanctions, along with others reported to be interfering in the country’s transition. (AP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Social media: Facebook Inc. said it was the target of hackers but no user information was compromised during the attack. (AP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquake: 28km SE of Caburan, Philippines
    • Magnitude: 6.2
    • Depth: 98.2 km
    • Map
  • Earthquake: 219km ENE of Tairua, New Zealand
    • Magnitude: 6.0
    • Depth: 190.3 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (17FEB)

  • Asia: Anniversary of China invading Vietnam – 1979 .
  • Cyprus: Presidential Election.
  • Ecuador: Presidential and parliamentary elections.
  • Israel: Trial of former FM Avigdor Lieberman on charges of corruption.
  • Kosovo: Kosovo declares independence – 2008.
  • Libya: Anniversary of the start of the uprising against former Libyan leader Gaddafi – 2011.

END

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