ONS: 18 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 18, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Shabaab militants killed at least four people during a raid on the Kenyan border town of Wajir.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuela’s Supreme Court ordered the release of a prominent student protester whose arrest has drawn strong international criticism.
  • ASIA: The Pakistani military said it killed 34 militants in air strikes in the Tirah Valley as part of a major offensive against insurgents that began last year.
  • EUROPE: Protesters set cars on fire and clashed with police in Germany near the European Central Bank’s new headquarters in Frankfurt in a demonstration against austerity programs.
  • MIDDLE EAST: HRW said that Iraqi security forces and militias looted and burned homes and destroyed villages after breaking the ISIS siege of a Turkmen town last August.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The US Defense Department set up a new panel to study electronic warfare needs across the US military and make recommendations.

TOP STORY

  • Israel: Netanyahu’s Likud party wins election after tight race.
    • With nearly all votes counted Likud appeared to have earned 30 and the Zionist Union 24 out of the parliament’s 120 seats.
    • The Likud party said that Netanyahu “intends to begin forming the government immediately in order to finish the task within two to three weeks”.
    • Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog conceded defeat and signaled that he would join the opposition.
    • Senior Palestine Liberation Organization official Yasser Abed Rabbo said that “Israel chose the path of racism, occupation and settlement building, and did not choose the path of negotiations and partnership between us”.
    • White House spokesman Josh Earnest said US President Obama was confident strong US-Israeli ties would endure far beyond the election, regardless of the victor.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, NYT, Xinhua

AFRICA

  • Algeria: The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said that the country has become the largest importer of defense equipment in Africa. (Xinhua)
  • Kenya: Shabaab militants killed at least four people during a raid on the border town of Wajir. (Reuters)
  • Sierra Leone: President Koroma fired VP Sam-Sumana for seeking asylum in a foreign embassy following his expulsion from the ruling party last week. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Region: A third round of negotiations between the US and Cuba over the restoration of full diplomatic relations concluded amid tension over relations between the US and Venezuela. (AP)
  • Brazil: The ruling party said that its treasurer will stay in his post despite being charged in relation to a corruption scandal involving the state oil firm Petrobras. (AFP)
  • United States: The Defense Department approved plans to start eliminating 780,000 shells containing 2,600 tons of mustard agent at the Army’s Pueblo Chemical Depot in southern Colorado. (AP)
  • Venezuela: The Supreme Court ordered the release of a prominent student protester whose arrest has drawn strong international criticism. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: Vietnam and Australia called for “self-restraint” in the South China Sea and warned against the unilateral use of force. (Reuters)
  • Afghanistan: At least seven people were killed and 40 others wounded in a car bombing in Lashkar Gah. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: The military said it killed 34 militants in air strikes in the Tirah Valley as part of a major offensive against insurgents that began last year. (AP)
  • Taiwan: Protesters marked the first anniversary of the student-led “Sunflower Movement”, which saw the occupation of parliament for more than three weeks. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • France: The government is due to propose measures aimed at improving the surveillance of potential terrorists in the country. (AFP)
  • Germany: Protesters set cars on fire and clashed with police in Frankfurt near the European Central Bank’s new headquarters in a demonstration against austerity programs. (NYT)
  • Serbia: Police arrested seven people suspected of participation in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia. (AFP)
  • Ukraine: Separatist leaders threatened to abandon a cease-fire following changes to a law granting their regions self-rule. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: HRW said that security forces and militias looted and burned homes and destroyed villages after breaking the ISIS siege of a Turkmen town last August. (AFP)
  • Iraq: A bombing in the south of the country killed at least three people and wounded four others near Umm Qasr port. (AFP)
  • Kuwait: The Interior Ministry and activists said that secret police arrested the leader of an opposition youth group following a complaint from the Saudi embassy. (AFP)
  • Syria: A source in the country’s military claimed that it downed a US drone in the country’s west because it was in an area where ISIS is not present. (AFP)
  • Syria: US envoy John Allen said the US still wants a negotiated political settlement in the country that excludes President Assad. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: The US Defense Department set up a new panel to study electronic warfare needs across the US military and make recommendations. (Reuters)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 18P (Nathan)
    • Location: 225 NM ENE of Cairns, Australia
    • Movement: W at 2 mph
    • Winds: 75 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: 132km NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia
    • Magnitude: 6.2
    • Depth: 45.8 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 23,934 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 9,792 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 09MAR: 1,231,077 (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: 25,353
      • Deaths as of 09MAR: 183 (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 11MAR: 1060 (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, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 11MAR: 394 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19MAR)

  • Egypt: Anniversary of Egyptians casting their first free vote – 2011
  • Russia and Iraq:  Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari is expected to visit Moscow
  • United States and Britain: US President Barack Obama will host Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla for talks in the Oval Office

END

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