ONS: 18 December 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 18, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Kenyan opposition lawmakers disrupted a vote to authorize terrorism-related measures that rights activists said threaten civil liberties and free speech, forcing the parliamentary speaker to postpone the session.
  • AMERICAS: In Colombia, the FARC declared an indefinite, unilateral ceasefire, saying they would only use weapons if they came under attack by the army.
  • ASIA: A Pakistani court granted bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the man accused of masterminding the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.
  • EUROPE: Russian President Putin said the economy would rebound in two years at most during his annual end-of-the-year news conference.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iranian local media reported that the military will hold a massive drill near the Strait of Hormuz on 25DEC.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the private agency that acts as a gatekeeper for the Internet, said that hackers had tricked their way into its computers.

 

TOP STORY

  • United States and Cuba: International community hails new policy direction while domestic US remains divided.
    • Latin American leaders across the political spectrum praised US President Obama’s decision to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba.
    • US President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro will attend the Summit of the Americas in Panama in April, ending a long-standing issue within the Organization of American States (OAS).
    • EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that “these moves represent a victory of dialogue over confrontation.”
    • Alan Gross hailed the abrupt shift in US-Cuban relations, saying it was time to end a half-century of “mutually belligerent policies.”
    • Cuban American members of Congress criticized President Obama’s decision to normalize relations.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, NYT, Reuters, WP, WP-2

 

AFRICA

  • Cameroon: The army said its troops killed 116 Nigerian fighters from the Boko Haram when they attacked an army base in Amchide on the border with Nigeria. (AFP)
  • Kenya: Opposition lawmakers disrupted a vote to authorize terrorism-related measures that rights activists said threaten civil liberties and free speech, forcing the parliamentary speaker to postpone the session. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: Militants stormed a remote village in the north-east, killing at least 33 people and kidnapping dozens. (BBC)
  • Tunisia: Jihadists who have since joined the Islamic State group claimed twin murders of secular politicians that plunged the country into crisis in 2013. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Canada: PM Harper said that the man who killed a soldier and then stormed the Parliament in October may not have been acting alone. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: The FARC declared an indefinite, unilateral ceasefire, saying they would only use weapons if they came under attack by the army. (BBC)
  • Colombia: The Trasandino pipeline was suspended after a bomb attack by guerrillas that caused a significant oil spill. (Reuters)
  • United States: UNSG Ban Ki-moon said a US Senate report detailing CIA interrogations of terror detainees should spur a global discussion on torture. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Japan is arranging to provide patrol boats to Indonesia to support its fight against piracy. (Kyodo)
  • Afghanistan: One policeman was killed and at least two others were wounded after a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb in Kabul. (Reuters)
  • Korea, North: US officials concluded that the country was “centrally involved” in the hacking of Sony Pictures computers. (NYT)
  • Pakistan: A court granted bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the man accused of masterminding the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. (AFP)
  • Sri Lanka: President Rajapakse asked minority Tamils to “forget the past” as he campaigned for re-election. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: German Chancellor Merkel said that sanctions against Russia remain unavoidable hours before the start of a European summit in Brussels focused on Russia. (Reuters)
  • Netherlands: Dutch far-right lawmaker Geert Wilders is to be tried for inciting racial hatred after pledging in March to ensure there were “fewer Moroccans” in the country. (AFP)
  • Russia: President Putin said the economy would rebound in two years at most during his annual end-of-the-year news conference. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: Local media reported that the military will hold a massive drill near the Strait of Hormuz on 25DEC. (AP)
  • Iraq: Kurdish forces backed by foreign jets pressed an operation against the Islamic State group in the north of the country. (AFP)
  • Israel: FM Lieberman described as a ‘gimmick’ a Palestinian-proposed UNSC draft resolution that calls for a peace deal within a year and an end to the ‘occupation’ of Palestinian territories by the end of 2017. (Reuters)
  • Syria: The UN is seeking more than USD8.4 billion for next year to help nearly 18 million people affected by the war in the country. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the private agency that acts as a gatekeeper for the Internet, said that hackers had tricked their way into its computers. (AFP)

 

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: 17,145 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United States)
      • Deaths: 6,928 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 13NOV: 885,926 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haití, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, 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.)
      • Deaths as of 13NOV: 153 (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 17DEC: 938 (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 and the U.S)
      • Deaths as of 17DEC: 343 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19DEC)

  • Hong Kong: Anniversary Britain signs Hong Kong to China – 1984
  • Serbia: FM Ivica Dacic to discuss Belgrade’s OSCE presidency with Russian FM Lavrov in Moscow

END

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