ONS: 18 October 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on October 18, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The Nigerian government announced it has agreed a deal with the militant group Boko Haram for the release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls as part of a ceasefire deal.

  • AMERICAS: Hurricane Gonzalo directly hit Bermuda Friday evening, knocking out most of the electricity as it lashed the tiny Atlantic island chain with pounding surf, drenching rains and sustained winds topping 100 miles per hour.

  • ASIA: Chinese Coast Guard ships entered waters off disputed islands in the East China Sea on Saturday, the Japan Coast Guard said, a day after Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe angered Beijing by sending an offering to a controversial war shrine.

  • EUROPE: German rail travelers on Saturday faced delays and disruptions on one of autumn’s busiest travel weekends as the train drivers’ union began one of its largest strikes in recent years with service down to one-third on major lines.

  • MIDDLE EAST: The Palestinian U.N. ambassador said his government wants the U.N. Security Council to vote on a resolution before the end of the year setting November 2016 as the deadline for Israeli troops to withdraw from all Palestinian territories.

  • TECHNOLOGY: U.S. President Barack Obama ordered “pin and chip” security measures for government payment systems, aiming to stem the proliferation of credit card fraud and identity theft.

 

TOP STORY

  • Ebola: Senegal “Ebola-free” as disease continues to present challenges

    • The World Health Organization said Friday the West African nation of Senegal was officially free of Ebola, as the agency reported the current outbreak of the deadly disease has surpassed 9,000 cases.

    • Despite growing paranoia in the United States and increased calls to impose a travel ban, experts say such a measure would be ineffectual as it would cut off worst-hit countries from international aid and resources to help fight the disease.

    • The World Health Organization admitted to bungling its response to the surging Ebola outbreak in West Africa while President Obama named Ron Klain, a government insider with no medical expertise as the ‘czar’ for the government’s efforts to combat the deadly disease.

    • The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is presenting drug makers with thousands of potential patients desperate for treatment—and setting off a rush among companies and health officials to find anything that might work.

    • The Ebola infection two Texas hospital workers has exposed hospital’s lack of ability to handle the tide of infectious waste that Ebola generates.

    • Coverage: Boston Herald, NYT, NYT-2, WSJ, WSJ-2

 

AFRICA

  • Region: Wang Min, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, called for joint international efforts to fight Ebola, citing the epidemic as a common non-traditional security challenge to the international community. (Xinhua)

  • DR Congo: Twenty-two people, mostly women and children, have been killed on Saturday in a new attack in the country’s troubled east, just days after a similar massacre, according to a government official. (AFP)

  • Libya: At least 18 people were killed in violent battles in the eastern city of Benghazi between the renegade general Khalifa Hafter’s forces and Islamic militias, making the death toll rise to 52, medical sources said. (Xinhua)

  • Nigeria: The government announced it has agreed a deal with the militant group Boko Haram for the release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls as part of a ceasefire deal. (Independent)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: The U.S. government extended for 18 months the Temporary Protected Status enjoyed by more than 83,000 Honduran migrants and some 4,200 people from Nicaragua. (EFE)

  • Bermuda: Hurricane Gonzalo scored a direct hit on Friday evening, knocking out most of the electricity as it lashed the tiny Atlantic island chain with pounding surf, drenching rains and sustained winds topping 100 miles per hour. (Reuters)

  • Brazil: The country’s Supreme Electoral Court has banned negative campaigning for the presidential run-off on OCT26, local media reported. (Xinhua)

  • Canada: The Canadian coast guard reached a fuel-laden Russian container ship dangerously adrift off the Pacific shore and threatening to cause an environmental catastrophe. (AFP)

  • Mexico: Mexican authorities have announced the arrest of Guerreros Unidos kingpin Sidronio Casarrubias, the “maximum leader” of a drug gang accused of colluding with crooked police in the disappearance of 43 college students. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Chinese Coast Guard ships entered waters off disputed islands in the East China Sea on Saturday, the Japan Coast Guard said, a day after Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe angered Beijing by sending an offering to a controversial war shrine. (AFP)

  • China: US Secretary of State John Kerry dined with top Chinese official State Councilor Yang Jiechi as Washington and Beijing grapple with a number of bilateral differences and global issues. (AFP)

  • Hong Kong: Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong clashed violently with police Saturday as they reoccupied a protest camp, leading to multiple arrests and jeopardizing government talks aimed at ending a political stalemate. (AFP)

  • Japan: Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yuko Obuchi intends to resign over irregularities in the financial reports of political groups supporting the recent Cabinet appointee’s activities, a government source said Saturday. (Kyodo)

  • North Korea: The nation sign agreements with Cuba designed to expand bilateral trade ties, the state daily Granma reported. (Xinhua)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: The European Union announced a trilateral gas meeting between the EU, Russia and Ukraine was scheduled for next Tuesday (OCT21) in Brussels. (Xinhua)

  • Region: Interior ministers of Hungary, Austria and Serbia met to discuss ways to jointly fight illegal migration and human-trafficking. (Xinhua)

  • Britain: The country is “lighting a fire under the European Union” by holding an in-out referendum on membership, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said today, in an effort to force Brussels to grant Britain “meaty and substantial” reforms. (Telegraph)

  • Germany: German rail travelers on Saturday faced delays and disruptions on one of autumn’s busiest travel weekends as the train drivers’ union began one of its largest strikes in recent years with service down to one-third on major lines. (AFP)

  • France: A French court of appeal has ruled in favor of extraditing to Russia Alexei Kuznetsov, a former finance minister accused of embezzling billions of rubles. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State are training its members in Syria to fly three captured fighter jets, according to a UK-based activist group that monitors the conflict. (BBC)

  • Region: The Palestinian U.N. ambassador said his government wants the U.N. Security Council to vote on a resolution before the end of the year setting November 2016 as the deadline for Israeli troops to withdraw from all Palestinian territories. (AP)

  • Iraq: The UN Security Council unanimously urged the world to step up support for the the nation and its security forces in their intensifying battle against Islamist fighters. (AFP)

  • Iraq: At least 26 people were killed and 96 others wounded in three car bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad Saturday evening, a police source said. (Xinhua)

  • Yemen: Dozens of armed Yemeni Shi’ite Houthi demonstrators protested in front of the Saudi embassy in Sanaa on Saturday calling for the release of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shi’ite cleric sentenced to death by a Saudi court this week. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: US President Barack Obama ordered “pin and chip” security measures for government payment systems, aiming to stem the proliferation of credit card fraud and identity theft. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones:  Tropical Storm 20E (Trudy)

    • Location: 84 NM SE of Acapulco, Mexico

    • Movement: N at 2 mph

    • Winds: 18 mph

    • Map

  • Hurricanes: Hurricane Gonzalo

    • Location: 35 NM NNE of Bermuda

    • Movement: NNE at 16 mph

    • Winds: 110 mph

    • Map

  • Hurricanes: Hurricane 02C (Ana)

    • Location: 195 NM S of Bradshaw AAF

    • Movement: WNW at 7 mph

    • Winds: 43 mph

    • Map

  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report

  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report

  • Global Disease Outbreaks:

    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

      • Cases: 9191 (Guinea, Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, DR Congo, US, Spain)

      • Deaths: 4546(Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone)

      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)

      • Cases as of 16OCT: 877 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, Iran, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom, Egypt, US, Yemen, Austria)

      • Deaths as of 16OCT: 317 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)

    • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19OCT)

  • United States: U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker will visit Japan and South Korea (to 23OCT)

 

END

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