ONS: 17 February 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 17, 2015

 

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Egyptian President Sisi called for a UN resolution mandating an international coalition to intervene in Libya.
  • AMERICAS: In Colombia, the FARC said it is considering discharging fighters younger than 15 from its ranks, a week after it announced that it would stop recruiting youths under 17.
  • ASIA: Afghan officials said the Army launched an offensive in southern Taliban stronghold areas to try to weaken them before the start of the new “fighting season”.
  • EUROPE: The Turkish parliament is to start debating a contentious security bill significantly increasing police powers.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Syrian army backed by allied militia captured several villages north of Aleppo from insurgents and blocked a main supply route leading into the city.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Kaspersky Labs said the US has found a way to permanently embed surveillance and sabotage tools in computers and networks it targets.

 

TOP STORY

  • Ukraine: Clashes continue despite efforts by international community to support ceasefire.
    • Government forces and pro-Russian separatists said they would not carry out an agreement to pull back heavy weapons in the east of the country.
    • Troops and pro-Russian rebels were engaged in combat inside the town of Debaltseve, in the first direct clashes in the city.
    • The leaders of Russia, Germany and Ukraine agreed on “concrete measures” to allow the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observers to monitor the ceasefire.
    • The US State Department said the US was “gravely concerned by the deteriorating situation in and around Debaltseve.” and called “on Russia and the separatists it backs to halt all attacks.”
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AP, BBC, Reuters, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Region: Egyptian President Sisi called for a UN resolution mandating an international coalition to intervene in Libya. (Reuters)
  • Cameroon: The army said five of its soldiers and 86 Boko Haram militants were killed in clashes in the country’s north. (AFP)
  • Niger: Thousands of people marched in Niamey to protest against Boko Haram militants, who have recently launched raids in the country. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: The FARC said it is considering discharging fighters younger than 15 from its ranks, a week after it announced that it would stop recruiting youths under 17. (BBC)
  • Mexico: Secretary of Foreign Affairs Meade said a report presented by the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances had inaccuracies and was not as exhaustive as it should be. (EFE)
  • Venezuela: The Secretary General of the OAS Jose Miguel Insulza said that freeing political opposition leaders could help the country overcome ongoing internal issues. (EFE)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Officials said the Army launched an offensive in southern Taliban stronghold areas to try to weaken them before the start of the new “fighting season.” (AFP)
  • Burma: Chinese media reported that tens of thousands of refugees from the ethnic region of Kokang fled into the neighboring Chinese Yunnan province over the past week. (AP)
  • India: PM Modi pledged a crackdown against religious violence and promised to ensure freedom of worship after a series of attacks on churches. (AFP)
  • Indonesia: Authorities postponed the transfer of five convicts, including two Australians, to another prison for execution. (Reuters)
  • Pakistan: A suicide bomber killed at least five people near police headquarters in Lahore in an attack claimed by a Taliban faction as revenge for the execution of their comrades. (Reuters)

 

EUROPE

  • Greece: A government source said the country “will not accept ultimatums” in EU talks over the future of its reforms and financial support. (AFP)
  • Russia: Prosecutors at an appeals hearing in Moscow asked that opposition leader Alexei Navalny be sent to prison for 10 years. (AP)
  • Turkey: Parliament is to start debating a contentious security bill significantly increasing police powers. (AFP)
  • Turkey: Kurdish militants demanded concrete steps from the government to advance a peace process, saying negotiations would otherwise come close to end. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Bahrain: Authorities launched an investigation into statements by the country’s main Shiite opposition group, whose leader is already in jail awaiting a verdict on charges. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: A military helicopter crashed during a night training exercise in the northeast of the kingdom killing its four-member crew. (AP)
  • Syria: The UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is to brief the UNSC on the ongoing situation in the country. (AP)
  • Syria: The army backed by allied militia captured several villages north of Aleppo from insurgents and blocked a main supply route leading into the city. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Kaspersky Labs said the US has found a way to permanently embed surveillance and sabotage tools in computers and networks it targets. (NYT)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 12P (Lam)
    • Location: 463 NM E of Darwin, Australia
    • Movement: W at 5 mph
    • Winds: 63 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: 220km E of Miyako, Japan
    • Magnitude: 6.7
    • Depth: 23.0 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 22,894 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 9,177 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 06FEB: 1,172,787 (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: 25,255
      • Deaths as of 06FEB: 181 (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 16FEB: 983 (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 and the US)
      • Deaths as of 16FEB: 360 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18FEB)

  • Gambia: Gambia Independence Day – 1965
  • Russia and South Ossetia: Russia, South Ossetia to sign state border treaty
  • Sierra Leone: Armed Forces Day
  • United States: US to host summit on how to fight “violent extremists around the world”
  • Venezuela: Anniversary of jailing of Venezuela opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez – 2014
  • Yemen: Arab League will hold a meeting to discuss the crisis in the country and “review the recent dangerous developments on the Yemeni scene”
  • Christianity: Ash Wednesday

 

END

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