ONS: 17 December 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 17, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: UNSG Ban Ki-moon will travel to Ebola-hit countries in West Africa this week to raise awareness about the health crisis.
  • AMERICAS: Sources involved in the negotiations between Colombia and FARC said that a ceasefire announcement could be expected during the closing of the latest round of talks.
  • ASIA: In the DPRK, Kim Jong-Un led tens of thousands of military and party officials in a ceremony to mark the end of three years of mourning for Kim Jong-Il.
  • EUROPE: German Chancellor Merkel called Russian President Putin to discuss possible steps to secure a comprehensive cease-fire in eastern Ukraine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Palestinian FM Malki said that a draft resolution on ending ‘Israeli occupation’ will be submitted to the UNSC after the government agreed with France on a merged text.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A jury rejected an antitrust lawsuit that accused Apple of using a software update to secure a monopoly over the digital music market.

TOP STORY

  • Pakistan: Army, government step up offensive against militants in wake of attack on school.
    • PM Sharif vowed to pursue terrorists even outside the country’s borders and lifted a moratorium on the death penalty.
    • Army chief GEN Raheel Sharif visited Kabul to meet with Afghan President Ghani and ISAF commander GEN Campbell for talks on enhancing intelligence cooperation.
    • Opposition politician Imran Khan called off a planned nationwide strike by his party activists set for 18DEC.
    • A US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan killed at least four Pakistani Taliban and seven other insurgents.
    • The Afghan Taliban condemned the attack on the Peshawar school that left 141 dead, saying killing innocent children was against Islam.
    • Coverage: AP, NYT, Reuters, Reuters-2, Reuters-3, WP, WSJ

AFRICA

  • Region: UNSG Ban Ki-moon will travel to Ebola-hit countries in West Africa this week to raise awareness about the health crisis. (AFP)
  • Egypt: The Obama administration said that it welcomes new flexibility in providing up to USD1.4 billion in aid to the country. (AP)
  • Libya: African leaders increased calls for Western countries to intervene in the country to stem a flow of arms to militant groups in the Sahel region. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Sources involved in the negotiations between the government and FARC said that a ceasefire announcement could be expected during the closing of the latest round of talks. (EFE)
  • Haiti: Hundreds of people marched through Port-au-Prince to demand the resignation of President Martelly. (BBC)
  • Mexico: Vigilante groups fighting drug cartels in Michoacan state turned on each other in a shootout that left at least 11 dead. (Reuters)
  • United States: The US Senate confirmed Tony Blinken as deputy secretary of state with a vote of 55-38. (WP)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Taliban militants detonated a suicide bomb and stormed a bank in Lashkar Gah killing at least six people. (AFP)
  • Australia: PM Abbott ordered an urgent inquiry into why a gunman who took hostages in Sydney was not under surveillance. (AFP)
  • Korea, North: Kim Jong-Un led tens of thousands of military and party officials in a ceremony to mark the end of three years of mourning for Kim Jong-Il. (AP)
  • Philippines: Communist New People’s Army rebels declared cease-fire periods for the Christmas holidays and for the visit of Pope Francis next month. (AP)
  • Thailand: The junta said it will “hunt” fugitives wanted under the kingdom’s strict royal defamation law, vowing to press foreign governments to hand over suspects seeking sanctuary abroad. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Region: German Chancellor Merkel called Russian President Putin to discuss possible steps to secure a comprehensive cease-fire in eastern Ukraine. (AP)
  • Greece: Lawmakers are to cast ballots in the first round of a presidential election that could see the government collapse if its nominee does not garner enough votes. (AP)
  • Russia: The finance ministry said it is selling its foreign currency to support the ruble, a day after the currency lost a fifth of its value in a single day. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: World powers resumed negotiations with the country over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. (AFP)
  • Palestinian Territories: FM Malki said that a draft resolution on ending ‘Israeli occupation’ will be submitted to the UNSC after the government agreed with France on a merged text. (AFP)
  • Palestinian Territories: A European court ruled that the Islamic militant group Hamas must be removed from the EU’s terrorism blacklist, but its assets will stay frozen. (AFP)
  • Yemen: The country’s official news agency said that Shiite rebels who control Sanaa stormed the building of the nation’s main state newspaper and ousted the chief editor. (AP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology:  A jury rejected an antitrust lawsuit that accused Apple of using a software update to secure a monopoly over the digital music market. (NYT)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Pico do Fogo, Cape Verde
    • Eruption, lava flow. (AFP)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 17,145 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United States)
      • Deaths: 6,928 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 13NOV: 885,926 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haití, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, 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.)
      • Deaths as of 13NOV: 153 (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 02 DEC: 927 (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 and the US)
      • Deaths as of 02 DEC: 338 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18DEC)

  • Iraq: Anniversary US troops complete their withdrawal from Iraq – 2011
  • Niger: Republic Day – 1958
  • Qatar: National Day – 2007

END

 

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