ONS: 18 March 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 18, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: A suicide bomber drove a car into a bus near the National Theater in Mogadishu, killing at least eight.
  • AMERICAS: Acting President Maduro urged President Obama to stop a Pentagon and CIA “plot” to assassinate his main opposition rival.
  • ASIA: A report claimed that the Taiwanese military is planning to aim 50 of their newly designed ballistic missiles at military targets in southeastern China, including airports and bases.
  • EUROPE: British politicians struck a last minute deal over press regulation, unveiling a new code meant to curb abuses in the country’s scandal-tarred media.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The opposition coalition is meeting in Istanbul to select their first PM, to be tasked with creating an interim government in the territory under rebel control.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Hackers associated with the pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army hacked into the HRW website and Twitter feed, accusing it of lying about the regime’s human rights’ abuses.

TOP STORY

  • Afghanistan: Opposition political leaders began talks with the Taliban and Islamist groups hoping to broker a peace deal.
    • A Taliban spokesman indicated the militant group’s interest by contemplating the replacement of their top negotiator.
    • Reaching a consensus with the Taliban and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e Islami would give the opposition candidate a stronger chance of creating a post-Karzai government.
    • These negotiations circumvent the Karzai government entirely, in spite of Karzai’s insistence that any negotiations must go through his government.
    • Coverage: Guardian, AP

AFRICA

  • Somalia: A suicide bomber drove a car into a bus near the National Theater in Mogadishu, killing at least eight. (AP)
  • Sudan: Media sources reported that the parliament and presidential administration have been in intensive discussions over offering a general amnesty for rebels. (Xinhua)
  • Sudan: DM Hussain claimed that all troops had been removed from the demilitarized zone on the country’s southern border in preparation for a resumption of negotiations with South Sudan. (Xinhua)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: FARC rebels said that they were optimistic about the progress achieved so far in negotiations with the government. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: Prosecutors in the border city of Reynosa, a hotbed of cartel activity, said that five armed people were killed in a shootout with soldiers. (AP)
  • Venezuela: Acting President Maduro urged President Obama to stop a Pentagon and CIA “plot” to assassinate his main opposition rival. (Reuters)

ASIA

  • Bangladesh: Over 100 cars were destroyed in riots as the opposition began a 48-hour general strike demanding the release of opposition members arrested in a recent police raid on party headquarters. (Xinhua)
  • India: The Supreme Court ruled that Italy’s envoy to the country is not entitled to diplomatic immunity after securing the release of two Italians accused of murder. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Militants and at least one suicide bomber attacked a court complex in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least three and wounding over two dozen. (AP)
  • Taiwan: A report claimed that the military is planning to aim 50 of their newly designed ballistic missiles at military targets in southeastern China, including airports and bases. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Cyprus: President Anastasiades campaigned to persuade lawmakers to approve a controversial EU bailout deal that would place a large levy on bank savings. (AFP)
  • Italy: Two political opponents of former PM Berlusconi were elected leaders of Italy’s two houses of parliament, another blow to his hope for a political comeback. (Telegraph)
  • Russia: A security officer was wounded in a clash with armed gunmen in the Chechnya region. (Interfax)
  • United Kingdom: Politicians struck a last minute deal over press regulation, unveiling a new code meant to curb abuses in the country’s scandal-tarred media. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: The government and the P5+1 countries began a new round of nuclear talks in Istanbul by setting the agenda for April negotiations in Kazakhstan. (Xinhua)
  • Israel: PM Netanyahu presented his coalition government of Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitnu coalition, the centrist Yesh Atid party, the pro-settler Jewish Home party, and another centrist party led by former FM Tzipi Livni. (DPA)
  • Syria: The opposition coalition is meeting in Istanbul to select their first PM, to be tasked with creating an interim government in the territory under rebel control. (AFP)
  • Yemen: The government launched a UN-backed national dialogue aimed at bringing divisive players towards negotiation and reconciliation despite a boycott by hardline southern factions. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Hackers associated with the pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army hacked into the HRW website and Twitter feed, accusing it of lying about the regime’s human rights’ abuses. (WaPo)

WORLD

  • Cyclone: Tropical Cyclone 20P (Tim)
    • Location: 253 mi SE of Willis Island, Australia
    • Movement: SW at 7 mph
    • Winds: 29 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19MAR)

  • Global: The Committee of Permanent Representatives to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) will hold its 122nd meeting in Nairobi on issues concerning environmental activities and ways to assist developing countries in implementing environmental policies.
  • Egypt: Second anniversary of first free vote – 2011.
  • Libya: Second anniversary of the beginning of Operation Odyssey Dawn – 2011.
  • United States: President Obama will host Irish PM Kenny at the White House for St. Patrick’s Day festivities; later he will meet with Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

END

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