ONS: 17 May 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on May 18, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: France and Britain are preparing a UN resolution that would authorize EU ships in the Mediterranean to intercept vessels suspected of carrying weapons to Libya.
  • AMERICAS: Gunmen stormed a police headquarters in southern Haiti leaving at least six killed in a shootout and a related accident in an apparent uprising attempt days after the volatile country missed a deadline to sign in a new president.
  • ASIA: A teenager was arrested after Australian police alleged he had been planning to launch a terrorist attack in Sydney.
  • EUROPE: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and five of his associates have been injured when a group of Cossacks attacked them outside an airport in southern Russia.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Two bombs went off in Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 13 people and wounding more than 40, police and medical sources said.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Singapore’s central bank has said banks should maintain a high level of security for their critical IT systems following recent cyber attacks using the SWIFT financial messaging system.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Senior envoys from world and regional powers are to meet once again in Vienna in an effort to salvage stumbling efforts to halt Syria’s bloody civil war.
    • Dignitaries include US Secretary of State Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.
    • The 17-nation International Syria Support Group (ISSG) will renew its call for a national cessation of hostilities and immediate humanitarian access to besieged communities.
    • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that a military solution to the conflict in Syria is nothing but an “illusion,” Iran Review news website reported.
    • Major power talks on Syria aim to restore a truce across the country and get aid into besieged areas to encourage opposition groups to return to negotiations in Geneva, Germany’s foreign minister said.
    • Meanwhile, rebel fighters and officials in a besieged Syrian town on the outskirts of Damascus believe government forces are preparing an assault after they turned back an aid convoy last week.
    • AFP, Reuters, Reuters-1, Xinhua

AFRICA

  • Guinea Bissau: The African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), winner of last legislative elections, called for the formation of an inclusive government. (Xinhua)
  • Libya: France and Britain are preparing a UN resolution that would authorize EU ships in the Mediterranean to intercept vessels suspected of carrying weapons to Libya. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: The former militant leader of Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta Ekpemupolo said he was not part of a newborn militant group in the the oil-rich Niger Delta region. (Xinhua)

AMERICAS

  • Belize: The country has joined the growing number of Latin American nations grappling with the Zika virus, after the health ministry confirmed the country’s first known case. (AFP)
  • Cuba: The country’s top diplomat on US affairs says President Barack Obama’s trip to the island advanced the normalization of relations between the Cold War foes and created momentum for more cooperation on agriculture, medicine, and law enforcement. (AP)
  • Haiti: Gunmen stormed a police headquarters in the south, leaving at least six killed in a shootout and a related accident in an apparent uprising attempt days after the volatile country missed a deadline to sign in a new president. (Reuters)

ASIA

  • Australia: A teenager was arrested after police alleged he had been planning to launch a terrorist attack in Sydney. (AP)
  • China: The country’s official media reaffirmed the Communist Party’s longstanding judgment that the Cultural Revolution was a catastrophic mistake after staying silent on Monday’s 50th anniversary of the start of the decade-long upheaval. (AP)
  • Philippines: Business tycoons, politicians, celebrities, and rebel leaders are descending on the long-neglected far south of the country, hoping to gain favour with the nation’s shock new powerbroker. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • France:  Truckers are blocking highways to protest longer working hours in a new labor bill, but President Francois Hollande says he won’t abandon the contested reform. (AP)
  • Nagorno-Karabakh: An Azerbaijani soldier and an ethnic Armenian soldier of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region’s army died in fresh clashes, hours after Baku and Yerevan agreed to respect a ceasefire in the disputed territory. (AFP)
  • Russia: Opposition leader Alexei Navalny and five of his associates have been injured when a group of Cossacks attacked them outside an airport in southern Russia. (AP)
  • Turkey: Parliament is debating a hugely controversial bill that would strip dozens of deputies of their parliamentary immunity and which pro-Kurdish deputies say is directly aimed at driving them out of the legislature. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region:  A conference on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, due to be held on May 30 in Paris, has been postponed, French President Francois Hollande said. (AFP)
  • Iraq: The Oil Ministry has resumed work at a natural gas plant north of Baghdad, two days after a coordinated dawn assault by Islamic State militants left at least 14 dead. (AP)
  • Iraq: Two bombs went off in Baghdad, killing at least 13 people and wounding more than 40, police and medical sources said. (Reuters)
  • Syria: An American heritage organization says the Russian military is constructing a new army base in the central Syrian town of Palmyra, within the protected zone that holds the archaeological site listed by UNESCO as world heritage. (AP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cyber Security: Singapore’s central bank has said banks should maintain a high level of security for their critical IT systems following recent cyber attacks using the SWIFT financial messaging system. (Reuters)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 27MAR: 28,646 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 27MAR: 11,323 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 13MAY: 78,214 (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, Panamá, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
      • Confirmed Cases: 8,396
      • Deaths: 12
        • Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 82 (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, French Guiana, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 26APR: 1,728 (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, China, South Korea, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 26APR: 624 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 12MAY: Cabo Verde, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), BONAIRE – Netherlands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru*, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, United States Virgin Islands, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Maldives , American Samoa, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, and Tonga.
      • Outbreak Terminated as of 05MAY:Cambodia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Micronesia (Federated States of), New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Viet Nam and Isla de Pascua (Chile).
      • Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 05MAY: United States of America, Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, and Portugal.
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18MAY)

  • Afghanistan: Top diplomats from Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the United States are scheduled to meet in Islamabad to discuss restarting peace talks with the Taliban (to 19MAY)
  • India: Anniversary of India’s first nuclear test – 1974
  • Russia: Indonesian President Widodo to visit (to 20MAY)
  • Ukraine: Day of Remembrance of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars – 1944

END

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