ONS: 17 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 17, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Libyan Minister of Information of the Tripoli government Ali Al-Huni was released five days after being kidnapped by gunmen in Tripoli.
  • AMERICAS: Brazilian President Rousseff pledged to hold talks with critics and said her government needed to show humility a day after widespread protests across the country.
  • ASIA: Officials said that China, Japan and South Korea will this week hold the first meeting of their foreign ministers in three years.
  • EUROPE: European Parliament President Schulz said that time is running out for the world to achieve a climate change agreement, ahead of a key UN meeting in Paris later this year.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that six people were killed in an alleged regime gas attack in Idlib.
  • TECHNOLOGY: South Korean prosecutors blamed North Korea for cyber attacks against the country’s nuclear reactor operator in December, based on its investigation into internet addresses used in the hacking.

 

TOP STORY

  • Israel: Voting begins in general elections.
    • Over 5.8 million voters can cast their vote between 0500 GMT and 2000 GMT in 10,372 polling stations for parties which will comprise the 120-member parliament.
    • Israeli PM Netanyahu ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state if he is reelected in comments on the eve of the election.
    • Final opinion polls gave the center-left Zionist Union led by Labour head Isaac Herzog a 3-4 seat lead over Netanyahu’s Likud.
    • Isaac Herzog announced he would cancel a controversial deal to share the prime minister’s job with his coalition partner in a bid to gain broader support.
    • The US reaffirmed its support to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying it is in the best interest of the two peoples.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, BBC, NYT, WP, WSJ, WSJ-2, Xinhua

 

AFRICA

  • Libya: Minister of Information Ali Al-Huni of the Tripoli government was released five days after being kidnapped by gunmen in Tripoli. (Xinhua)
  • Libya: The Philippine government said that four Filipino nurses reported to have been kidnapped from a hospital by militants from an ISIS affiliate were actually not abducted. (AP)
  • Nigeria: UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman arrived in the country for a two-day visit to support the country’s upcoming general elections. (Xinhua)

 

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: President Rousseff pledged to hold talks with critics and said her government needed to show humility a day after widespread protests across the country. (AFP)
  • Colombia: The UN said that the criminal gangs pose the biggest threat to the country’s citizens and are responsible for human trafficking, rights abuses and for forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes each year. (Reuters)
  • Cuba: Government and US negotiators met in Havana to resume their dialogue on reestablishing diplomatic relations and opening embassies. (EFE)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Officials said that China, Japan and South Korea will this week hold the first meeting of their foreign ministers in three years. (AFP)
  • Region: US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel dismissed Beijing’s objection to the possible deployment of a US missile defense system in South Korea, saying North Korea’s missile programme poses a “significant threat.” (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Officials said that paramilitary troops have been deployed to prevent more rioting by minority Christians after the Taliban church attacks in Lahore. (AP)
  • Thailand: The Attorney General filed charges against a former commerce minister and 20 state officials and employees of private firms over alleged graft related to rice export deals (Reuters)
  • Vanuatu: Authorities said the country faces imminent food shortages as accounts emerged of huge damage to a large outer island. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: European Parliament President Schulz said that time is running out for the world to achieve a climate change agreement, ahead of a key UN meeting in Paris later this year. (AFP)
  • Denmark: Police searched eight Copenhagen apartments as part of an ongoing investigation into the February 14-15 attacks that left two people dead. (AFP)
  • Romania: National Integrity Agency chief Horia Georgescu resigned after being detained on suspicion he inflated property prices costing the state USD82 million. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: US officials said that Iran has deployed advanced rockets and missiles to Iraq to help fight ISIS in Tikrit. (NYT)
  • Iran: US Secretary Kerry and FM Zarif resumed negotiations on the country’s nuclear program amid concerns from the country’s negotiators over a letter from Senate Republicans on the future status of any nuclear deal. (WP)
  • Iraq: ISIS posted pictures of the beheadings of four men it said were recruiters for pro-government militia. (AFP)
  • Syria: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that six people were killed in an alleged regime gas attack in Idlib. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: South Korean prosecutors blamed North Korea for cyber attacks against the country’s nuclear reactor operator in December, based upon its investigation into internet addresses used in the hacking. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm 03W (Bavi)
    • Location: 390 NM NNW of Yap
    • Movement: W at 12 mph
    • Winds: 40 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 18P (Nathan)
    • Location: 254 NM ENE of Cairns, Australia
    • Movement: SSW at 2 mph
    • Winds: 52 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 23,934 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 9,792 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 09MAR: 1,231,077 (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: 25,353
      • Deaths as of 09MAR: 183 (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 11MAR: 1060 (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, Germany, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 11MAR: 394 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18MAR)

  • Global: Anniversary of the first spacewalk when Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov left his Voskhod 2 capsule and remained outside the spacecraft for 20 minutes, secured by a tether – 1965
  • Argentina: Anniversary of an explosion destroying the Israeli Embassy near downtown Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and wounding 252 – 1992
  • Europe Region: Anniversary of the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – 1949
  • Mexico: Benito Suarez Day
  • South America Region: Organization of American States to elect new secretary general
  • United States and Japan: US First Lady Michelle Obama to visit to promote girls’ education (to 20MAR)

 

END

 

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