ONS: 17 January 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 17, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: South Sudan’s army said it has been unable to contact its forces fighting in the key oil-town of Malakal.
  • AMERICAS: US President Obama is expected to present reforms to the NSA’s phone and internet data collection sweeps.
  • ASIA: A bomb blast in Thailand at an opposition protest march in Bangkok wounded at least 28 people.
  • EUROPE: EU foreign affairs head Ashton said she was “deeply concerned” after Ukraine passed laws to curb the right to protest.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said that the IAEA will inspect its Gachin uranium mine this month.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A report published by a global cyber intelligence firm iSight indicated that the security breach that hit Target Corp. during the holiday season seemed to be part of a broader scam that affected several retailers.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Government offers prisoner exchange and limited ceasefire.
    • Syrian FM Moualem said he had handed Russia plans for a ceasefire in Aleppo, and was ready to exchange lists with rebel forces on a possible prisoner swap.
    • Syrian rebels backed by the US agreed that if the government commits to a partial ceasefire, they would abide by it.
    • The divided Syrian opposition is to meet in Istanbul to decide whether to join the Geneva II peace talks.
    • UN refugee chief Guterres said it was vital that peace talks next week find a “political solution” to the conflict.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, BBC, NYT, Reuters

 

AFRICA

  • Madagascar: The country’s electoral court declared Hery Rajaonarimampianina president with 53.49 percent of votes in the December polls. (AFP)
  • Mali: 245 Chinese peacekeepers arrived in Gao to boost the UN Integrated Multidimensional Force in Mali (MINUSMA). (Xinhua)
  • Rwanda: The US condemned the killing of the country’s former spy chief and dissident in South Africa. (AFP)
  • Sudan, South: The army said it has been unable to contact its forces fighting in the key oil-town of Malakal. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Bolivia: President Morales endorsed the appointments of new parliamentary leaders for the 2014-2015 legislative term. (Xinhua)
  • Colombia: UN representative in the country Fabrizio Hochschild condemned a deadly motorcycle bomb blast that authorities blamed on the FARC. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: Vigilante militias battling drug-traffickers in Michoacan said they had returned several hundred acres of land seized from villagers by the Knights Templar cartel. (AFP)
  • United States: President Obama is expected to present reforms to the NSA’s phone and internet data collection sweeps. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Indonesia demanded Australia suspend its military-led operation to halt the flow of asylum-seekers in a furious response after Australia apologized for intrusions by its navy into Indonesian waters. (AFP)
  • Region: Japanese FM Fumio Kishida called for summit talks with China and South Korea. (AFP)
  • China: The central bank told financial institutions that they had an obligation to report transactions and accounts suspected of links to terror activities. (Reuters)
  • Pakistan: The WHO declared the northwestern city of Peshawar as the world’s “largest reservoir” of polio and called for urgent action to boost vaccination. (AFP)
  • Thailand: A bomb blast at an opposition protest march in Bangkok wounded at least 28 people. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Portugal: President Silva said the country will “successfully” exit its adjustment program in May. (Xinhua)
  • Turkey: The Council of Europe warned that government moves to “politicize” the judiciary would weaken trust in the entire state and jeopardize democracy. (AFP)
  • Ukraine: EU foreign affairs head Ashton said she was “deeply concerned” after the country passed laws to curb the right to protest. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: Former Pentagon chief Robert Gates said proposals by US lawmakers to impose new sanctions against the country would sabotage a possible diplomatic deal. (AFP)
  • Iran: The country’s Atomic Energy Organization said that the IAEA will inspect its Gachin uranium mine this month. (AFP)
  • Iraq: A suicide bomber targeting tribal militia fighting alongside security forces in Sunni Arab-majority areas west of Baghdad killed three people. (AFP)
  • Israel: FM Lieberman summoned European ambassadors over pro-Palestinian “bias” which has harmed peace chances. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: A report published by a global cyber intelligence firm iSight indicated that the security breach that hit Target Corp. during the holiday season seemed to be part of a broader scam that affected several retailers. (AP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 09S (Deliwe)
    • Location: 375 NM SW of Antananarivo, Madagascar
    • Movement: SSW at 12 mph
    • Winds: 51 mph
    • Map
  • 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 09JAN: 178 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom)
      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 09JAN: 75 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18JAN)

  • Burkina Faso: Opposition calls protest against extending president’s mandate
  • Thailand: Thai Armed Forces Day; military parade held in Bangkok.

END

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