ONS: 17 February 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 17, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: EU ministers approved the suspension of most sanctions against Zimbabwe while leaving in place those directly targeting President Mugabe.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuelan President Maduro ordered the expulsion of three US consular officials.
  • ASIA: Pakistani PM Sharif condemned the “heinous” execution of kidnapped soldiers by a Taliban faction, warning that the deaths could affect ongoing peace talks.
  • EUROPE: Italian President Napolitano asked center-left leader Matteo Renzi to form a new government following the resignation of former PM Letta last week.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iranian Ayatollah Khamenei said that while he is not against a resumption of nuclear negotiations, the talks will “lead nowhere”.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Der Spiegel reported that hackers attempted to take control of senior German government officials’ computers last year and the source has since been traced to China.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: US accuses Russia of hindering peace efforts.
    • US Secretary Kerry accused Russia of enabling the regime to continue to pursue its agenda through violence with its stream of weapons and aid.
    • Russian FM Lavrov rejected the assertions and blamed terrorist organizations operating in the country for the lack of progress toward a political solution.
    • The Western- and Arab-backed Syrian Free Army (FSA) fired its leader and replaced him with a more experienced field commander.
    • Analysts reported that the regime and rebels are likely to up military pressure on the ground after the failure of peace talks.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AP, LAT, Reuters, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Ethiopia: A co-pilot on an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound for Rome hijacked the airliner and flew it to Geneva, Switzerland, looking for asylum. (CNN)
  • Nigeria: At least 90 people were killed in an attack launched by Boko Haram in Borno. (Xinhua)
  • Senegal: President Sall called for increased regional cooperation with China. (Xinhua)
  • Zimbabwe: EU ministers approved the suspension of most sanctions against the country while leaving in place those directly targeting President Mugabe. (DPA)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: President Santos said he is “outraged” by allegations of a massive corruption network in the army. (BBC)
  • Venezuela: President Maduro ordered the expulsion of three US consular officials. (AP)
  • Venezuela: Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, accused by the government of being responsible for deadly anti-government protests, said he was calling a new march on 18FEB. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: China’s Vice Foreign Minister is visiting North Korea, in the highest level visit since its Kim Jong Un executed his uncle. (AFP)
  • Afghanistan: President Karzai ordered changes to a draft of new criminal legislation in response to an international outcry warning it would severely limit justice for victims of domestic abuse. (AP)
  • Australia: Thirty-five asylum-seekers broke out of an immigration detention on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and several were injured. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: PM Sharif condemned the “heinous” execution of kidnapped soldiers by a Taliban faction, warning that the deaths could affect ongoing peace talks. (AFP)
  • Thailand: Opposition demonstrators besieged government offices in defiance of authorities who have vowed to reclaim key state buildings. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Georgia: A court sentenced former PM Vano Merabishvili to five and a half years in prison for public funds embezzlement in a case his lawyer denounced as political persecution. (AFP)
  • Italy: President Napolitano asked center-left leader Matteo Renzi to form a new government following the resignation of former PM Letta last week. (Reuters)
  • Slovenia: PM Bratuse said the country will complete its planned privatizations by the end of the year and is considering selling off more state-run companies. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: Ayatollah Khamenei said that while he is not against a resumption of nuclear negotiations, the talks will “lead nowhere”. (AFP)
  • Israel: Rights groups asked the Supreme Court to overturn a law that bans Israelis from calling for a boycott of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. (AP)
  • Israel: President Peres hailed remarks by Mahmud Abbas on the Palestinian refugee issue. (AFP)
  • Jordan: Border guards killed a man and wounded three others as they tried to enter the country illegally from Syria. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Der Spiegel reported that hackers attempted to take control of senior German government officials’ computers last year and the source has since been traced to China. (DPA)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases: Global Number of Cases as of 07FEB: 182 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom)
      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 07FEB: 79 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18FEB)

  • Europe: The European Information Security Summit 2014 held in London (to 19FEB)
  • Cambodia: Representatives of the ruling and opposition parties meet to discuss electoral reform
  • Estonia and Russia: Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet will visit Moscow
  • Gambia: Independence Day – 1965
  • Iran: Nuclear talks with six powers in Vienna, Austria
  • Niger: Anniversary of Niger Coup of President Tandja – 2010
  • Venezuela: Opposition protest scheduled in Caracas

END

Comments on this entry are closed.