ONS: 18 July 2012

by TRG Alerts Admin on July 18, 2012

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In Libya, the liberal National Forces Alliance won 39 out of 80 seats.
  • AMERICAS: In Mexico, the head of Los Zetas cartel in Ciudad Victoria was killed.
  • ASIA: US President Obama named James Cunningham and Richard Olson as the new ambassadors to Afghanistan and Pakistan respectively.
  • EUROPE: In Turkey, more than 40,000 Syrian refugees have fled to the country.
  • MIDDLE EAST: A minesweeping exercise in the region, involving 20 nations, has been planned for September.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Data WikiLeaks stole from the Pentagon is being analyzed and might be able to predict insurgent attacks.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Defense Minister Dawood Rajiha was reportedly killed in a suicide attack.  
    • The state news agency reported that a suicide bomber attacked the National Security building in Damascus.
    • The attack targeted a meeting of government ministers and security officials.
    • Chaos ensued elsewhere in Damascus when loud explosions and heavy gunfire echoed through the city.
    • Coverage: AP, CNN, Reuters
  • Korea, North: Kim Jong Un was named marshal, the highest military rank.
    • The country’s former Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho had been previously relieved of all military duties.
    • Analysts considered the move as a consolidation of Un’s power, while others speculated the changes marked power struggles within the leadership.
    • There was no indication so far that Kim’s actions would translate into a change in foreign policy.
    • Coverage: NYT, Reuters, Telegraph

AFRICA

  • Eritrea: A multimillion-dollar arms trafficking industry that is funding the military regime is behind the kidnap, torture and ransom of thousands of Eritrean refugees. (Guardian)
  • Libya: The liberal National Forces Alliance won 39 out of 80 seats. Independent candidates won 120 seats, while the Muslim Brotherhood gained 17. (BBC)
  • Mali: Journalists went on strike to protest death squads, kidnappings and attacks on the members of the media. (AFP)  
  • Nigeria: An attack aimed at a Muslim school killed one boy in Jos. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: A suspected kidnapper of Ingrid Betancourt was arrested. (Xinhua)
  • Dominican Republic: The rise in drug consumption and trafficking in the country in recent years is due to geographical location, the penetration of broad swaths of society by the illegal drug trade and the operations of Mexican drug cartels and the Russian mob. (EFE)
  • Mexico: The head of Los Zetas cartel in Ciudad Victoria was killed. (EFE)
  • United States: 860 pounds of marijuana was intercepted by Customs and Border Protection in Texas. (Xinhua)

ASIA

  • Region: US President Obama named James Cunningham and Richard Olson as the new ambassadors to Afghanistan and Pakistan respectively. (Reuters)
  • Region: Cambodia and Thailand each withdrew their troops from the disputed border region. (AP)
  • Region: A shootout between Kyrgyzstan and Uzebkistan in a disputed border region left one Kyrgyz border guard dead. (AFP)
  • Region: Indonesian FM Natalegawa began an emergency swing through Southeast Asia to try to end disagreements over territorial rifts in the South China Sea. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: A bomb placed on a truck destroyed 22 NATO supply trucks. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: President Karzai admitted his administration was unable to deliver justice to the people, despite decade-long international efforts to rebuild the war-torn nation. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Eight civilians were killed by a remote-controlled bomb in Sepoy village in Orakzai district. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Georgia: Three activists from the opposition Georgian Dream coalition were arrested; the move was branded as “political persecution” by the coalition. (AFP)
  • Russia: Drug control officers seized 185 tonnes of poppy seeds at a storehouse outside Moscow more than half of which contained opiates. (Interfax)
  • Turkey: As refugees from Syria continued to flee across the border, an official Turkish statement placed the overall number of Syrian refugees in the country at 42,682. (Xinhua)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: An Indian fisherman said the US Navy provided no warning before it fired upon his boat in the Strait of Hormuz, a charge the Navy has denied. (AP)
  • Region: A minesweeping exercise, involving 20 nations, has been planned for September. According to the US, its purpose is to preserve “freedom of navigation in the international waterways of the Middle East.” (AP)
  • Egypt: A Cairo court postponed a case calling for the country’s constitutional assembly to be dissolved, as chaos erupted inside and outside the court by both Islamist and anti-Islamist lawyers and protesters. (DPA)
  • Syria: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 60 soldiers had been killed in clashes amid a rebel offensive. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • WikiLeaks: Data WikiLeaks stole from the Pentagon is being analyzed and might be able to predict insurgent attacks. (Wired)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm 08W (Khanun)
    • Movement: 345 degrees at 20 knots
    • Winds: 50 knots
    • Map
  • Hurricanes (Pacific): Tropical Depression Fabio
    • Location: 24.9N, 120.6W
    • Movement: N at 9 knots
    • Winds: 30 knots
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19JUL)

  • Burma: Martyrs Day celebrated.
  • Myanmar: Anniversary of the assassination of Aung San – 1947.
  • Greece: Anniversary of the murder of investigative journalist Socratis Giolas – 2010.
  • Ireland: Anniversary of declared ceasefire by IRA – 1997.
  • Nicaragua: Anniversary of Sandinista rebels overthrowing the government – 1979.

END

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