ONS: 19 December 2012

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 19, 2012

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Chadian troops entered the CAR following an appeal from President Bozize after rebels seized a number of key towns.
  • AMERICAS: In Mexico eleven prisoners and six guards were killed in armed clashes at a prison in the north of the country
  • ASIA: UNICEF and the WHO suspended work on campaigns against polio in Pakistan after a series of attacks left nine health workers dead in three days.
  • EUROPE: The Bulgarian parliament was forced to water down legislation aimed at tackling organized crime by making it easier to reclaim assets obtained by illegal means.
  • MIDDLE EAST:  A spokesman said Iraqi President Talabani is responding to hospital treatment and “improving hour after hour.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Instagram backed down from a planned policy change that appeared to clear the way for the mobile photo sharing service to sell pictures without compensation, after users strongly objected.

TOP STORY

  • Libya: Report on Benghazi attack alleges inadequate defense
    • The report claims the State Department suffered from “systemic failures” in its response to the terrorist threat in Benghazi and had insufficient numbers of security on the ground.
    • The independent panel faulted the department for ignoring requests from US diplomats in Tripoli for security assistance and for relying on ill-prepared local militias and inadequate equipment.
    • It found that two key bureaus failed to properly coordinate their security planning, and it pointed to a failure in leadership by officials at several levels.
    • The panel also said American intelligence officials relied too much on specific warnings of imminent attacks rather than basing assessments more broadly on a deteriorating security environment.
    • Despite those deficiencies, the board determined no individual officials ignored or violated their duties and recommended no disciplinary action.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, LaT, NYT, WSJ

AFRICA

  • Algeria: French President Hollande is set to arrive on a two-day state visit. (AP)
  • Central African Republic: Chadian troops entered the country following an appeal from President Bozize after rebels seized a number of key towns. (AFP)
  • DR Congo: President Obama warned Rwandan President Kagame that any support for rebels in eastern Congo is “inconsistent with Rwanda’s desire for stability and peace.” (AP)
  • DR Congo: The UN put peacekeeper reinforcements on alert after hundreds of rebels moved around Goma. (AFP)
  • Sudan: The AU announced major steps had been made in the ongoing peace talks between Sudan and South Sudan. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: Authorities made more than 20,000 arrests since a Strategic Border Protection Plan was launched in June 2011. (Xinhua)
  • Cayman Islands: Lawmakers removed Premier Bush from office in a vote of non-confidence. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: Eleven prisoners and six guards were killed in armed clashes at a prison in the north of the country. (AFP)
  • Mexico: The new attorney general said as many as 80 small to medium drug cartels are operating in the country, a vast rise from the last government assessment. (AP)
  • Paraguay: Amnesty International called on Paraguay to investigate all those involved in a violent land clash, including police officers, joining the family members of farmers recently charged in some of the 17 deaths. (AP)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Britain is set to announce a new withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, with media reports saying that around 4,000 soldiers are to withdraw next year. (BBC)
  • Afghanistan: The US said it has eliminated more than 20 of al Qaeda’s top 30 leaders based in Afghanistan and Pakistan from the battlefield since the beginning of the Obama administration. (Reuters)
  • Korea, South: South Koreans went to the polls to choose a new president. (NYT)
  • Pakistan: UNICEF and the WHO suspended work on campaigns against polio in Pakistan after a series of attacks left nine health workers dead in three days. (AFP)
  • Philippines: Maoist guerrillas have resumed high-level peace talks with the government after a 13-month impasse. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Bulgaria: The parliament was forced to water down legislation aimed at tackling organized crime by making it easier to reclaim assets obtained by illegal means. (AFP)
  • Italy: Former PM Berlusconi said Italy may have to quit the eurozone if Germany does not relax its economic stance. (DPA)
  • Spain: Two Catalan separatist parties agreed to stage a referendum on the independence of the north-eastern region in 2014. (DPA)
  • Sweden: Dozens of angry youths in southwestern Sweden pelted police with rocks and bottles in unrest apparently triggered by derogatory material published on the Internet. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: A spokesman said President Talabani is responding to hospital treatment and “improving hour after hour.” (AFP)
  • Palestinian Territories: President Abbas urged the international community to help Palestinian refugees fleeing fighting in camps in Syria to enter the West Bank and Gaza. (AFP)
  • Qatar: Alnoor Holding said it will raise the budget for a planned movie series on the life of Prophet Mohammed to USD1 billion from the USD1.5 million announced three years ago. (AFP)
  • Syria: State media reported the military is carrying out a broad operation against rebels in the suburbs of Damascus. (AP)
  • Yemen: The UN envoy to Yemen warned the world body could impose sanctions on those impeding the political transition in the impoverished country. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Social Media: Instagram backed down from a planned policy change that appeared to clear the way for the mobile photo sharing service to sell pictures without compensation, after users strongly objected. (AFP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 04P (Evan)
    • Location: 335 NM S of Nadi, Fiji
    • Movement: SSW at 8 mph
    • Winds: 51 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Tungurahua Volcano, Ecuador
    • Lava and ash spew. (AFP)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20DEC)

  • Panama: Anniversary of US Operation Just Cause removing Noriega from power – 1989.
  • Spain: Anniversary of Spanish PM Blanco’s assassination – 1973.

END

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