ONS: 19 December 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 20, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Rwanda voted to change the constitution to allow President Paul Kagame to potentially rule until 2034, according to partial referendum results.
  • AMERICAS: President Raul Castro said that Cuba is willing to keep improving relations with the United States even though Washington has failed to meet its key demands for normalization.
  • ASIA:  Beijing has issued a second pollution red alert, little more than a week after the first ever such warning.
  • EUROPE: The head of the UN refugee agency urged European leaders to set up a “massive” refugee resettlement program.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The U.N. ­Security Council unanimously approved a resolution endorsing a peace process that is designed to end Syria’s civil war and to allow the international community to focus its attention more fully on defeating the Islamic State.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The Counter Extremism Project called on YouTube and other online platforms to permanently ban material produced by Anwar al-Awlak, which continues to inspire terrorist attacks

 

TOP STORY

  • South China Sea: An American B-52 bomber flew within two miles of a Chinese made island.

○     Senior defense officials said the flight was routine and “unintentional.”

○     The Pentagon said there was no plan to fly the bomber within 12 nautical miles of any island.

○     Chinese defense officials are accusing the US of militarizing the South China Sea, its actions constituting, “a serious military provocation.”

○     China claims the Spraty Island Chain is within its territorial waters.

○     In October, a US Navy destroyer challenged China’s claim to the Spraty Islands.

○     This will further exacerbatie a hotly divisive issue for Washington and Beijing.

○     Coverage: (ABC, Guardian, IBT, Newsweek, NYT, WSJ)

 

AFRICA

  • Ethiopia: Human Rights Watch reported that at least 75 people have been killed during weeks of protests in the country. (AFP)
  • Kenya: Doctors Without Borders reported that a cholera epidemic that has been spreading throughout the country for more than a year is threatening Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp complex. (NYT)
  • Libya:  The Red Crescent reported that eleven people have been killed in fighting in the eastern city of Ajdabiya between armed residents and fighters of Al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Sharia. (AFP)
  • Rwanda: The country has voted to change the constitution to allow President Paul Kagame to potentially rule until 2034, according to partial referendum results. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: President Raul Castro said that Cuba is willing to keep improving relations with the United States even though Washington has failed to meet its key demands for normalization. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: President Dilma Rousseff has replaced her finance minister as Latin America’s largest economy struggles to recover from recession. (BBC)
  • United States: California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Bernardino County, following the massacre by an Islamic State-inspired couple at a holiday party for county workers. (Reuters)

 

ASIA

  • Bangladesh: Police are tapping Islamic scholars and clerics to combat the rise of Islamist militancy in the country. (VoA)
  • China: Beijing has issued a second pollution red alert, little more than a week after the first ever such warning. (BBC)
  • Nepal: The western portion of the country was rocked by a 5.5-magnitude earthquake early Saturday, reviving fears from a devastating quake in April that killed more than 8,000 people. (DPA)
  • Philippines: According to confirmed reports from national and local disaster monitoring agencies the death toll after a week of devastating weather has risen to 35. (Guardian)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: The head of the UN refugee agency urged European leaders to set up a “massive” refugee resettlement program. (BBC)
  • Germany:  Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier say that legal action may be required to enforce a plan to share the burden of refugees among European Union member states. (DPA)
  • Greece: Eighteen people drowned overnight when their boat sank in the Aegean Sea as it was heading for the island of Kalymnos. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: An air strike by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State may have killed Iraqi soldiers in what was likely the first “friendly fire” incident in the war on the extremists. (AFP)
  • Syria: The U.N. ­Security Council unanimously approved a resolution endorsing a peace process that is designed to end Syria’s civil war and to allow the international community to focus its attention more fully on defeating the Islamic State. (WSJ)
  • Yemen: The United Arab Emirates has secretly sent some 300 Colombian mercenaries to fight for it in Yemen, paying handsomely to recruit a private army of well-trained, battle-hardened South American soldiers. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Internet: The Counter Extremism Project called on YouTube and other online platforms to permanently ban material produced by Anwar al-Awlak, which continues to inspire terrorist attacks. (NYT)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: 128km N of Isangel, Vanuatu

○     Magnitude: 6.2

○     Depth: 10km

○     Map

  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:

○     Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

■     Cases as of 13DEC: 28,640 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)

■     Deaths as of 13DEC: 11,315 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)

■     Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC

○     Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)

■     Suspected Cases as of 18DEC: 607,961 (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, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)

■     Confirmed Cases: 35,019

■     Deaths as of 18DEC: 77 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)

■     Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

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

■     Cases as of 18DEC: 1621 (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, China, South Korea, and the US)

■     Deaths as of 18DEC: 584 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)

■     Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19DEC)

  • China: Britain signs Hong Kong to China – 1984

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

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