ONS: 18 June 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on June 19, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Chad’s military said it had carried out airstrikes on Boko Haram positions in Nigeria to avenge twin suicide bombings in N’Djamena that were blamed on the group.
  • AMERICAS: Honduran President Hernandez said the US Congress may pass a huge Central American aid package despite ongoing calls for his resignation amid corruption charges.
  • ASIA: Lawmakers in Hong Kong rejected a proposal to change how Hong Kong chooses its top official, voting down a Beijing-backed plan that set off huge street protests last year.
  • EUROPE: Ukraine’s Parliament fired the head of the SBU state security service amid a conflict with the country’s chief prosecutor.
  • MIDDLE EAST: HRW urged Kuwait to waive a six-year jail sentence against a blogger for criticizing Saudi Arabia on Twitter.
  • TECHNOLOGY: US FCC officials announced plans to fine AT&T USD100 million for misleading subscribers about unlimited data plans.

TOP STORY

  • Russia: Tensions with NATO increase amid continued sanctions.
    • Russian Economy Minister Alexei Uluykayev said Russia is unlikely to introduce new sanctions in retaliation for EU decisions, adding that Moscow would likely extend a food embargo.
    • Latvian FM Rinkevics said Russia’s nuclear “saber-rattling” and refusal to abide by the terms of a ceasefire in Ukraine have dragged East-West relations to their lowest level since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.
    • NATO SG Stoltenberg said the alliance was implementing its biggest defense reinforcement since the Cold War.
    • More than 2,000 troops of NATO’s new spearhead Very High Readiness Joint Task Force are began training in southwestern Poland.
    • Russian Deputy PM Dvorkovich refused to say whether Russia is going to lend money to Greece ahead of a visit by Greek PM Tsipras.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, AP-2, AP-3, Reuters, Reuters-2

AFRICA

  • Region: Chad’s military said it had carried out airstrikes on Boko Haram positions in Nigeria to avenge twin suicide bombings in N’Djamena that were blamed on the group. (AFP)
  • Burundi: The government said it had agreed “in principle” to the deployment of AU military observers and human rights experts to monitor key elections, rejected calls for further delays to the polls. (AFP)
  • Somalia: Security forces shot dead at least four suspected al Shebab insurgents, foiling an attack on a political conference in the central town of Adado. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Chile: Tens of thousands of striking teachers marched in Santiago to protest a proposed education reform that includes a requirement for teacher testing. (EFE)
  • Colombia: Environment Minister Vallejo said a FARC attack against an oil pipeline affected water service to more than 16,000 people in Tibu. (Xinhua)
  • Honduras: President Hernandez said the US Congress may pass a huge Central American aid package despite ongoing calls for his resignation amid corruption charges. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: Spanish FM Garcia-Margallo said Spain’s top diplomat for Latin America will travel to the country next week amid tensions in the bilateral relationship. (EFE)

ASIA

  • Region: The Philippines is to hold simultaneous naval drills next week with the US and Japan. (AFP)
  • Afghanistan: The Pentagon said in a report to Congress that ISIS is in an “initial exploratory phase” in the country, noting the Taliban retained its resilience. (AFP)
  • China: Lawmakers rejected a proposal to change how Hong Kong chooses its top official, voting down a Beijing-backed plan that set off huge street protests last year. (NYT)
  • Indonesia: Cabinet Secretary Andi Widjajanto said that President Widodo will soon fire several top government officials due to poor performance. (Reuters)
  • Korea, South: The government reported three more deaths from the MERS virus, bringing the number of fatalities to 23 and amplifying fears that authorities do not have the outbreak under control after the WHO criticized their response. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Region: German Chancellor Merkel said the EU should deal “seriously and conscientiously” with British demands for changes to the bloc. (AP)
  • Denmark: Polls indicated that the center-left coalition of PM Thorning-Schmidt and the center-right opposition led by ex-PM Rasmussen appear to be tied ahead of the election. (BBC)
  • France: The Socialist government faces a parliamentary vote of no confidence over a key package of reforms designed to energize the country’s sluggish economy. (AFP)
  • Ukraine: Parliament fired the head of the SBU state security service amid a conflict with the country’s chief prosecutor. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: ISIS militants said they had shot down a government fighter plane north of the city of Ramadi in Anbar Province. (Reuters)
  • Israel: A suspected arson attack damaged a Christian shrine in the north of the country overnight. (AFP)
  • Kuwait: HRW urged the government to waive a six-year jail sentence against a blogger for criticizing Saudi Arabia on Twitter. (AFP)
  • Syria: Turkey closed its border post of Akcakale on the frontier, preventing Syrian refugees who had fled fighting in the town of Tal Abyad from returning home. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: US FCC officials announced plans to fine AT&T USD100 million for misleading subscribers about unlimited data plans. (Re/Code)

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: 27,273 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths: 11,173 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 05JUN: 353,194 (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: 10,512
      • Deaths as of 05JUN: 47 (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 16JUN: 1321 (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, China, South Korea, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 16JUN: 466 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19JUN)

  • Kuwait: Kuwait Independence Day – 1961
  • Myanmar: Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday – 1961

END

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