ONS: 18 April 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on April 18, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: At least 21 people were killed fighting on the outskirts of Libya’s capital, as sticking points emerged in talks between the country’s rival parliaments in Morocco.
  • AMERICAS: Colombian President Santos called on FARC leaders to set a deadline to reach a peace deal following this week’s slaughter of 11 soldiers.
  • ASIA: Two men were arrested in Australia for allegedly planning an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack using “edged knives” at a ceremony commemorating Anzac soldiers who fought and died serving the country.
  • EUROPE: Russia warned that the arrival of US paratroopers in Ukraine to train its forces fighting pro-Russian rebels could reignite the conflict.
  • MIDDLE EAST: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for international action to end the Saudi-led air campaign on Houthi rebels as intense bombing hit Yemen and Al-Qaeda seized more ground in the chaos.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Cybercrime has become as big a threat to Europe’s security as terrorism, Europol chief Rob Wainwright warned.

 

TOP STORY

  • Afghanistan: Suicide bomb in Jalalabad killed 36, injured more than 110
    • At least 36 military and civilians were killed and more than 110 injured after a suicide bomber drove a motorbike into a crowd of workers lining up to withdraw their salaries in eastern Afghanistan.
    • The blast was one of several explosions heard in quick succession in this eastern city around 8 a.m. Saturday, local time.
    • A separate, smaller explosion occurred near an office of Da Afghanistan Bank, the country’s central bank, without causing any casualties.
    • A fourth explosion took place in the Behsood District of the province, when a small magnetic bomb killed one and wounded two others..
    • “We reject and condemn the explosions against civilians near a bank and a shrine in Jalalabad,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, CNN, NYT, Reuters, WP, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Burundi: The UN Security Council called upon all parties in the nation to “refrain from any acts of violence and intimidation before, during, and after elections.” (Xinhua)
  • Kenya: Amnesty International joined the UN and others in urging the country to halt its plans to close the world’s largest refugee complex, arguing that forcing the 350,000 Somalis in Dadaab to return home would put their lives at risk. (Guardian)
  • Libya: At least 21 people were killed fighting on the outskirts of Tripoli, as sticking points emerged in talks between the country’s rival parliaments in Morocco. (AFP)
  • South Africa: Police detained more than 30 people overnight as xenophobic violence simmered around the economic hub Johannesburg. (AFP)
  • South Africa: The nation sought diplomatic support from countries across the continent to defeat the “demon” of anti-immigrant violence. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Argentina: The country began legal proceedings against three British and two US companies for drilling oil near the Falkland Islands. (BBC)
  • Colombia: The US branded a FARC attack that killed 11 Colombian soldiers “brutal” and accused the Marxist guerrillas of violating their unilateral ceasefire. (AFP)
  • Colombia: President Santos called on FARC leaders to set a deadline to reach a peace deal following this week’s slaughter of 11 soldiers. (AP)
  • Mexico: A cartel attacked security forces in reaction to a drug lord’s arrest in Reynosa, unleashing gunfights that killed at least three gunmen and wounded two officers. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Australia: Two men were arrested for allegedly planning an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack using “edged knives” at a ceremony commemorating Anzac soldiers who have fought and died for their country. (AFP)
  • India: Government forces fired on anti-India protesters in Kashmir, killing a teenage student on the second day of violent clashes in the disputed region, police said. (AP)
  • Japan: The country’s population shrunk for the fourth year running, falling back to a level it was last at in 2000, the government said. (AFP)
  • Philippines: Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers prepared to kick off expanded war games, showcasing a deepening defense alliance. (AFP)
  • South Korea: President Park called for quick ratification of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Colombia to further boost bilateral trade. (Yonhap)

 

EUROPE

  • Greece: Europe’s hope that the nation would adopt the economic policies needed to unlock bailout funds before it runs out of money quickly faltered. (WSJ)
  • Turkey: PM Davutoglu accused Europe of showing signs of racism after the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the nation to recognize the mass killings of Armenians in the collapsing Ottoman Empire as genocide. (NYT)
  • Turkey: An unidentified assailant fired gunshots at the headquarters of the country’s main pro-Kurdish party overnight, but there were no casualties, media said. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: Russia warned that the arrival of US paratroopers in the country to train its forces fighting pro-Russian rebels could reignite the conflict, leading to mass bloodshed. (AFP)
  • Ukraine: The Ukrainian Insurgent Army, a local nationalist group, said it was behind the deaths of two public figures in Kiev earlier this week. (BBC)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: President Obama directed diplomats to use “creative negotiations” over the fate of sanctions if it agrees to curb its nuclear program, in effort to keep the tentative agreement from unraveling. (NYT)
  • Yemen: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for international action to end the Saudi-led air campaign on Houthi rebels, as intense bombing hit the country and Al-Qaeda seized more ground in the chaos. (AFP)
  • Yemen: Iran’s FM Zarif submitted a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon outlining a four-point peace plan for the country. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: Saudi Arabia, which is leading an air war against rebel forces in the nation, announced $274 million in humanitarian aid for the chaos-wracked country. (AFP)
  • Yemen: At least 27 people were killed by Saudi-led air raids and in clashes between loyalist forces and rebels in Taez. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Cybercrime has become as big a threat to Europe’s security as terrorism, Europol chief Rob Wainwright warned. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Colima Volcano, Mexico
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 25,550 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 10,587 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 10APR: 1,338,026 (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: 30,309
      • Deaths as of 10APR: 184 (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 16APR: 1106 (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 16APR: 421 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19APR)

  • Global: Asia-Africa Conference in Jakarta and Bandung, West Java (to 24APR)
  • Cuba: Cuban general elections
  • Sierra Leone: Anniversary of the formation of the Republic of Sierra Leone – 1971
  • Venezuela: Independence Declaration Day – 1811
  • United States: Anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing – 1995

 

END

 

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