ONS – 17 September 2013

by admin on September 17, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Zimbabwe’s political opposition said it would boycott the opening of parliament by President Mugabe, in protest of his reelection in July.
  • AMERICAS: A former US naval reservist killed 12 in a shooting spree at Navy Yard military base in Washington DC, before being killed by police.
  • ASIA: Philippine authorities said over 100 hostages held by Muslim rebels were rescued, but guerrillas captured Zamboanga city’s police chief.
  • EUROPE: Hungary’s parliament approved changes to the constitution, backtracking on legal aspects that the EU said were in conflict with its principles.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran’s foreign ministry acknowledged that President Rouhani had exchanged letters with US President Obama
  • TECHNOLOGY: Facebook and Twitter in Iran were unblocked and accessible for the first time since 2009 for a few hours, as a result of a technical glitch.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Western powers set on pressing for a UN resolution.
    • The Assad government accused Turkey of escalating tensions when the country shot down a Syrian helicopter in its airspace.
    • British foreign secretary Hague said Britain would send experts to Syria to ensure the regime gives up its chemical weapons.
    • The Israeli ambassador to the US said he wanted Assad removed, marking a shift from the country’s publicly stated position.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, Guardian, Reuters

 

AFRICA

  • DR Congo: Eleven armed groups from North Kivu and South Kivu provinces demanded involvement in the national dialogue. (Xinhua)
  • Djibouti: Officials announced the launch of a railway project that will link the country with neighboring Ethiopia. (Xinhua)
  • Nigeria: A government official said the country will terminate amnesty given to former militants of the restive Niger Delta region in 2015. (Xinhua)
  • Zimbabwe: The political opposition said it would boycott the opening of parliament by President Mugabe, in protest of his reelection in July. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Cuba and the US wrapped up a second round of talks on the issue of re-establishing direct mail service. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: President Rousseff announced plans to break the country’s dependence on US-centric Internet, due to recent online spying by the US. (AP)
  • Colombia: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the country is prepared to confront Nicaragua on a dispute over their maritime border. (Xinhua)
  • USA: A former US naval reservist killed 12 in a shooting spree at Navy Yard military base in Washington DC, before being killed by police. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: China called on Japan, South Korea and the US to issue a new declaration for the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. (Kyodo)
  • Afghanistan: The UN expressed concern at President Karzai’s decision to give human rights commission posts to political appointees. (NYT)
  • Bangladesh: The country’s Supreme Court sentenced to death a senior Islamist leader for murder during the 1971 liberation war against Pakistan. (AFP)
  • Philippines: Authorities said over 100 hostages held by Muslim rebels were rescued, but guerrillas captured Zamboanga city’s police chief. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Greece: FM Venizelos said the population would not be able to handle more austerity cuts, should another bailout be needed. (DPA)
  • Hungary: Parliament approved changes to the constitution, backtracking on legal aspects that the EU said were in conflict with its principles. (Reuters)
  • Ireland: PM Kenny announced that the country’s next general election would take place in March 2016. (Xinhua)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Israeli soldiers in a West Bank refugee camp killed a suspected Palestinian militant as he tried to escape. (Reuters)
  • Iran: The foreign ministry acknowledged that President Rouhani had exchanged letters with US President Obama, confirming direct communication between the two leaders. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: The country ratified a GCC security agreement, passed in 2012, aimed at law enforcement cooperation and information exchange. (Xinhua)
  • Yemen: Amnesty International urged the government to commute a cross-amputation sentence issued to a man convicted of robbery. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Social media: Facebook and Twitter in Iran were unblocked and accessible for the first time since 2009 for a few hours, as a result of a technical glitch. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm 17W (Usagi)
    • Location: 653 miles SSE from Kadena Airbase
    • Movement: WNW at 5 mph
    • Winds: 40 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Tropical Storm Humberto
    • Location: 1150 miles WSW from the Azores
    • Movement: NNE at 5 mph
    • Winds: 40 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Mount Sinabung, Indonesia
    • Erupted in volcanic ash and smoke
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Novel Coronavirus (Sars)
      • Cases: Global Number of Cases as of 07SEP: 114 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom)
      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 07SEP: 54 (Saudi Arabia, France, United Kingdom)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18SEP)

  • Albania: South East Europe Media Conference (SEEMC) will begin in Tirana to (20SEP).
  • Chile: Fiestas Patrias, first day; commemorates the beginning of the Chilean independence process – 1810.
  • Korean Peninsula: Proposed date for informal meeting with six-party officials, coincides with the eighth anniversary of an agreement when the six nations achieved their first breakthrough in resolving the North’s nuclear standoff during the multilateral dialogue – 2005.
  • Philippines: Annual joint military exercises between US and Philippine Marines (to 11OCT).
  • Judaism: Sukkot begins at sundown (to 25SEP).

 

END

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