ONS: 19 April 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on April 19, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: South Africa is facing a backlash from the rest of the continent over the targeting of immigrants in a wave of xenophobic violence.
  • AMERICAS: Two guerrillas died Saturday in a military bombardment in the central Colombian province of Meta, the first since President Juan Manuel Santosgave the order to renew airstrikes against FARC camps.
  • ASIA: China on Sunday expressed concern about a report that New Zealand and US spy agencies planned to hack into a data link between Chinese government buildings in Auckland.
  • EUROPE: Pope Francis on Saturday joined Italy in pressing the European Union to do more to help the country cope with rapidly mounting numbers of desperate people rescued in the Mediterranean.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The first French weapons from a US$3 billion Saudi-funded program will arrive in Lebanon on Monday to bolster the country’s defenses against the Islamic State group and other militants pressing along its Syrian border.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A Russian cyber-spying campaign against diplomatic targets in the US and elsewhere has been using two previously unknown flaws in software to penetrate target machines, a security company investigating the matter said.

 

TOP STORY

  • Afghanistan: Islamic State takes credit for attack, as President Ghani visits Iran
    • The Islamic State, or a militant group linked to it, has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday that killed at least 34 people and injured 125.
    • Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani arrived in Tehran Sunday on his first trip to Iran since taking office, with security questions likely to dominate talks after ISIS claimed a massive suicide bombing.
    • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned “in the strongest terms the barbaric attack” in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, calling for those responsible for this act “to be swiftly brought to justice.”
    • An Isil spokesperson, Shahidullah Shahid, claimed responsibility online, and identified the suicide bomber as Abu Muhammed Khurasani.
    • The attack marks a major escalation in the extremists’ nascent campaign of violence in the country.
    • The Islamic State has started to draw support from younger fighters in the region, impressed by its rapid capture of territory in Syria and Iraq.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, Reuters, Telegraph, WP, Xinhua

 

AFRICA

  • Burundi: The country has charged 65 protestors with rebellion after they were arrested during clashes with police while calling for the president not to seek re-election, a prosecutor said. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: A “mysterious” disease has killed at least 18 people in the past several days in south-eastern Nigeria, local officials say. (BBC)
  • South Africa: The country is facing a backlash from the rest of the continent over the targeting of immigrants in a wave of xenophobic violence. (Guardian)
  • South Africa: President Jacob Zuma cancelled a state visit to Indonesia to deal with a wave of anti-immigrant violence at home. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Two guerrillas died Saturday in a military bombardment in the central province of Meta, the first since President Juan Manuel Santosgave the order to renew airstrikes against FARC camps. (EFE)
  • Cuba: A first for the country, at least two government opponents will be standing on Sunday in municipal elections. (BBC)
  • Peru: South Korean President Park Geun-hye will seek the export of South Korea’s light attack aircraft to the nation during her four-day state visit to the South American country, an official said Sunday. (Yonhap)

 

ASIA

  • Region: China and Cambodia have vowed to further enhance bilateral cooperation on law enforcement and security. (Xinhua)
  • Australia: Security will be boosted at Anzac Day commemorations in the state of Victoria, as its premier on Sunday urged people to turn up despite arrests linked to an alleged attack plan inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). (AFP)
  • Myanmar: The government said that 126 soldiers have been killed and 359 injured so far since a fighting with the Kokang ethnic army erupted on Feb. 9. (Xinhua)
  • New Zealand: China on Sunday expressed concern about a report that the country and US spy agencies planned to hack into a data link between Chinese government buildings in Auckland. (Xinhua)
  • North Korea: The US is considering imposing fresh sanctions on the country over reported cases of serious human rights violations there, a U.S. government official and a diplomatic source said. (Kyodo)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Pope Francis on Saturday joined Italy in pressing the European Union to do more to help the country cope with rapidly mounting numbers of desperate people rescued in the Mediterranean. (AP)
  • Cyprus: Turkish Cypriots are electing a new leader for the country’s breakaway northern region in an unpredictable contest as talks to reunify the ethnically split island are expected to resume next month. (AP)
  • Finland: Finnish voters are going to the polls, amid hopes that a new government will pull the country out of its three-year economic slump. (BBC)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: An explosive device was detonated outside the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in Gaza City overnight, without causing any injuries, UN and Palestinian security sources said late Saturday. (AFP)
  • Iran: General Hossein Salami, the country’s deputy leader of the Revolutionary Guard,  says inspectors would be barred from military sites under any nuclear agreement with world powers. (AP)
  • Lebanon: The first French weapons from a US$3 billion Saudi-funded program will arrive in the country on Monday to bolster the country’s defenses against the Islamic State group and other militants pressing along its Syrian border. (AFP)
  • Yemen: The government has rejected a four-point peace plan for the country that Iran submitted to the United Nations, a spokesman said on Saturday. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: A Russian cyber-spying campaign against diplomatic targets in the US and elsewhere has been using two previously unknown flaws in software to penetrate target machines, a security company investigating the matter said. (Reuters)

 

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: 25,550 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 10,587 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 10APR: 1,338,026 (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: 30,309
      • Deaths as of 10APR: 184 (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 16APR: 1106 (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 16APR: 421 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20APR)

  • Europe Region: Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasborg
  • Philippines and United States: Annual joint exercise Balikatan to be held (to 30APR)
  • United States: Anniversary of Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion – 2010
  • United States: Anniversary of shooting at Columbine High School in Denver, Colorado – 1999

 

END

 

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