ONS: 18 January 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 19, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The Democratic Republic of the Congo plans to prosecute notorious militia leader Germain Katanga, already convicted by the International Criminal Court and who was to leave prison in Kinshasa.
  • AMERICAS: Fifteen fishermen who had been abducted by the Colombian ELN guerrilla group were freed in an operation involving 200 commandos and six helicopters.
  • ASIA: An Afghan official said the second round of four-country talks aimed at bringing an end to the war by charting a roadmap to peace are set to begin in Kabul.
  • EUROPE:  Three Turkish policemen were killed and four wounded in a roadside bomb attack blamed on Kurdish rebels in the southeast of the country.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iraqi security forces fanned out across the Baghdad neighborhood where three Americans were reportedly kidnapped over the weekend, closing streets and conducting house-to-house searches.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A hacker proclaiming allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group infiltrated the internal network of one of China’s top universities to display images of militants.

 

TOP STORY

  • Iran: As sanctions are lifted, Iran and the United States exchange prisoners.
    • Three of the four US citizens freed by Iran in a prisoner swap arrived at a US military base in Germany after a brief stop in Geneva.
    • Iran denounced “illegitimate” new sanctions by the United States on its ballistic missile programme, days after Tehran’s historic nuclear deal with world powers was confirmed.
    • The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in Tehran to discuss further inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities under the recently implemented deal.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-1, DPA

 

AFRICA

  • Algeria:  Algeria and China inked a 3.3-billion USD deal to build and exploit the new center transshipment port of Cherchell. (Xinhua)
  • Burkina Faso: The African Union (AU) strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in the country that killed 29 people and injured 30 others. (Xinhua)
  • DRC: The country plans to prosecute notorious militia leader Germain Katanga, already convicted by the International Criminal Court and who was to leave prison in Kinshasa. (AFP)
  • Sudan: The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) expressed concern over the fighting between the Sudanese army and armed groups in Central Darfur State. (Xinhua)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Fifteen fishermen who had been abducted by the ELN guerrilla group were freed in an operation involving 200 commandos and six helicopters. (AFP)
  • Cuba: According to local media, customs officers seized 104.68 kilograms of drugs throughout 2015, more than double the amount confiscated the year before. (Xinhua)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: An official said the second round of four-country talks aimed at bringing an end to the war by charting a roadmap to peace are set to begin in Kabul. (AP)
  • China: Rights campaigners dismissed an apparent confession by a missing Hong Kong bookseller paraded on state television as “worthless” and a “smokescreen” as the city’s leader distanced himself from the case. (AFP)
  • Laos: The secretive ruling Communist Party of Laos opened its five-yearly congress, a rare and significant event which decides who runs the country and sets its economic priorities. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: At least five paramilitary soldiers were killed and two others injured when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the southwestern province of Balochistan. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Czech Republic: President Milos Zeman, known for his fiery anti-migrant rhetoric, said it was “practically impossible” to integrate the Muslim community into European society. (AFP)
  • Turkey:  Three Turkish policemen were killed and four wounded in a roadside bomb attack blamed on Kurdish rebels in the southeast of the country. (AFP)
  • Turkey: At least one person was killed and three others wounded when two mortar shells, likely fired from Syria, landed near a school in the Turkish border town of Kilis. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: Security forces fanned out across the Baghdad neighborhood where three Americans were reportedly kidnapped over the weekend, closing streets and conducting house-to-house searches. (AP)
  • Syria:  Local al-Watan newspaper reported the Islamic State (IS) militant group and the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front are expected to withdraw from areas under their control south of the capital Damascus within 72 hours. (Xinhua)
  • West Bank:  The Israeli army and medics said a Palestinian stabbed a woman in a settlement and was shot by security personnel, in the second such incident over the last 24 hours. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: A hacker proclaiming allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group infiltrated the internal network of one of China’s top universities to display images of militants.
  • Cybersecurity: Ukraine’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UA) warned of the threat of possible further virus attacks after malware was found in the IT system of Kiev’s main airport over the weekend. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Cyclone Victor
    • 450 miles SE of Pago Pago
    • Winds: 86 mph
    • Movement: S at 10mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
        • Cases as of 18JAN: 28,637 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
        • Deaths as of 18JAN: 11,315 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
        • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
      • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
        • Suspected Cases as of 18JAN: 653,249 (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, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
        • Confirmed Cases: 31,543
        • Deaths as of 18JAN: 82 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
        • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
      • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
        • Cases as of 18JAN: 1626 (Saudi Arabia (KSA), Jordan, Qatar, the United

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19JAN)

  • Nothing to Report

 

END

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