ONS: 19 February 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 19, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: South Sudan’s army said that it had lost contact with its troops in the key oil hub of Malakal following a major offensive by rebels.
  • AMERICAS: Bolivian President Morales proposed that the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) call an emergency meeting on Venezuela.
  • ASIA: A Thai court ordered the government not to use force to crack down on protesters who are seeking the Prime Minister’s resignation.
  • EUROPE: German authorities arrested a German-Iranian man suspected of supplying Iran with components for use in its missile program.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Lebanon, a double suicide car bombing claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades targeted an Iranian cultural centre in Beirut and killed at least four people.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Officials reported that the US government increasingly relies on social media as a new method of diplomacy in parts of the world where traditional envoys are not always available.

 

TOP STORY

  • Ukraine: EU to meet on sanctions as clashes escalate.
    • At least 25 people were killed and 241 injured in clashes between riot police and protesters.
    • President Yanukovych said anti-government protesters had “crossed the limits” by taking to the streets to try to oust him from power in an address to the nation.
    • EU foreign policy chief Ashton summoned the bloc’s foreign ministers for emergency talks on the country on Thursday.
    • Russia condemned the protests as an attempted coup and demanded that opposition leaders immediately put an end to all violence.
    • French FM Fabius said the EU will likely impose sanctions on Ukraine.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AP, LAT, Reuters, WSJ, WSJ-2

 

AFRICA

  • Ethiopia: HRW reported that the government is clearing large swathes of land and forcibly displacing populations to make room for state-run sugar plantations. (AFP)
  • Libya: The UN envoy to the country urged militias that have threatened to use force to disband the interim parliament to use dialogue in holding elections. (AP)
  • Sudan, South: The army said that it had lost contact with its troops in the key oil hub of Malakal following a major offensive by rebels. (AFP)
  • Sudan, South: Uganda said it will gradually withdraw its troops in the country following the AU decision to deploy a force. (Xinhua)
  • Tunisia: US Secretary Kerry reported that the government approached the Obama administration with a request for security assistance. (LAT)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Canada made a commitment to negotiate with Mexico on visa free travel between the two countries. (EFE)
  • Region: Brazilian FM Figueiredo said that member countries of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) are close to finalizing a trade deal with the EU. (Xinhua)
  • Bolivia: President Morales proposed that the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) call an emergency meeting on Venezuela. (Xinhua)

 

ASIA

  • Region: An official report indicated that the Australian navy violated Indonesian territorial waters six times between December and January as part of border security operations. (AFP)
  • Region: USCENTCOM CMD GEN Austin met with senior Pakistani military leaders and discussed issues related to ” regional security situation with special emphasis on Afghanistan.”
  • Korea, North: An Australian man working as a Christian missionary was arrested in Pyongyang. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: President Aquino defended a controversial cybercrime law penalising online libel. (AFP)
  • Thailand: A court ordered the government not to use force to crack down on protesters who are seeking the Prime Minister’s resignation. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Czech Republic: The new center-left coalition government won its first confidence vote in parliament with a total of 110 of the 181 lawmakers present. (AFP)
  • Germany: Authorities arrested a German-Iranian man suspected of supplying Iran with components for use in its missile program. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: The government said it will further tighten benefits for European workers in the latest in a series of measures aimed at cracking down on immigration. (DPA)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: The Revolutionary Guard warned against crossing “red lines” in negotiations with world powers on the country’s nuclear program. (AFP)
  • Israel: Local media reported that the US is to demand the country implement a partial settlement freeze. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: A double suicide car bombing claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades targeted an Iranian cultural centre in Beirut and killed at least four people. (AFP)
  • Syria: A new group of civilians was evacuated from Homs after the humanitarian operation was halted for several days. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: Officials reported that the US government increasingly relies on social media as a new method of diplomacy in parts of the world where traditional envoys are not always available. (DPA)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 15S (Guito)
    • Location: 400 NM W of Antananarivo, Madagascar
    • Movement: S at 8 mph
    • Winds: 52 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Shiveluch Volcano, Russia
    • Ash plumes. (Interfax)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases: Global Number of Cases as of 07FEB: 182 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom)
      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 07FEB: 79 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20FEB)

  • Global: World Day of Social Justice
  • China: South Korean National Assembly delegation to visit with the National People’s Congress (to 23FEB)
  • Egypt: Trial begins for 20 Al-Jazeera journalists accused of joining a terror group, aiding a terrorist group, and endangering national security
  • Iran:  Basij militia force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps to stage 2-day drills (to 21FEB)
  • Libya: Constituent Assembly elections

 

END

 

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