ONS: 17 March 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 17, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: A UN official stated a peacekeeping mission could be deployed to Mali by July, replacing French troops.
  • AMERICAS: The Colombian army reported seizing 3.9 tons of cocaine from the FARC in the country’s southwest.
  • ASIA: China’s new president, Xi Jinping, gave his first speech as head of state in Beijing, stating he would attempt to begin a “great renaissance” for the country.
  • EUROPE: Cyprus’ parliament delayed a vote on the controversial bank-savings tax, a component of the bailout agreement.
  • MIDDLE EAST: An al-Qaida militant group claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s suicide attack in central Baghdad.
  • TECHNOLOGY: China’s new premier, Li Keqiang, rejected US allegations of hacking by the military.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Activists report major defection, gains in key areas, as fighting continued.
    • Activists reported that the logistics commander of the military, General Khalluf, defected from the regime.
    • The general reportedly stated that the regime’s soldiers had low morale.
    • Rebels reported seizing arms depots in Aleppo as fighting reportedly intensified in Damascus.
    • Coverage: Al Jazeera-1, AFP, Al Jazeera-2

AFRICA

  • Region: The UN reported that thousands of Sudanese have fled Darfur to Chad in recent weeks. (AFP)
  • Mali: A UN official stated a peacekeeping mission could be deployed to the country by July, replacing French troops. (AFP)
  • Mali: A fifth French soldier was reported killed during a clash in the country’s north. (AFP)
  • Zimbabwe: Preliminary results of a constitutional referendum on limiting presidential power indicate it will pass. (Al Jazeera)

AMERICAS

  • Chile: The country’s main socialist party announced it would nominate Michelle Bachelet as its candidate for presidential elections. (EFE)
  • Colombia: The army reported seizing 3.9 tons of cocaine from the FARC in the country’s southwest. (Xinhua)
  • Venezuela: Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles launched a national tour as part of his campaign. (AP)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: US and Afghan officials were reported to be close to deal on keeping special forces in Wardak province. (Reuters)
  • China: The country’s new president, Xi Jinping, gave his first speech as head of state in Beijing, stating he would attempt to begin a “great renaissance” for the country. (Al Jazeera)
  • Korea, North: The country stated it would not trade nuclear arms for food aid and it would not negotiate with the United States. (NYT)
  • Pakistan: The government ended a full five-year term for the first time in the country’s history. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: President Benigno Aquino stated negotiations were the only way to solve the dispute over the Sabah region of Malaysia. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Cyprus: Parliament delayed a vote on the controversial bank-savings tax, a component of the bailout agreement. (AFP)
  • Italy: The parliament elected speakers on a narrow margin; the political deadlock largely continues. (Reuters)
  • Russia: The government reported seven militants were killed in a security operation in the country’s south. (Interfax)
  • Russia: Russian media reported the country will deploy a permanent fleet to the Mediterranean. (RIA Novosti)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: The Albanian government offered asylum to 210 members of the MKO militant group; a spokesman for the group said it was not likely to accept the offer. (RFE/RL)
  • Iraq: An al-Qaida militant group claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s suicide attack in central Baghdad. (Xinhua)
  • Iraq: A car bombing in Basra killed at least 10 and wounded 16. (AFP)
  • Israel: PM Netanyahu selected Moshe Yaalon as the country’s next DM. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • China: The country’s new premier, Li Keqiang, rejected US allegations of hacking. (AP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Tim
    • Location: 235 NM SE of Willis, Australia
    • Movement: SSW at 5 mph
    • Winds: 40 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18MAR)

  • Global: UN Arms Trade Treaty Negotiating Conference will begin in New York (to 28MAR).
  • Australia: OSCE-Australia Conference on Improving the Security of Women and Girls will be held in Adelaide (to 19MAR).
  • Pakistan: A caretaker government is scheduled to be put into place to supervise the new elections.
  • Yemen: Interim president Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi will host national dialogue in Sanaa to draft a new constitution and electoral law for general polls in 2014.
  • Christianity: Clean Monday, start of the “Great Lent” for Orthodox Christians.

END

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