ONS: 19 February 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 19, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The WHO reported that Ebola-hit Sierra Leone and Guinea saw an increase in the last week in unsafe burials that risk spreading the disease.
  • AMERICAS: The US State Department announced the creation of a top-level position to “counter violent extremism,” especially the propaganda of the Islamic State.
  • ASIA: Taliban sources said representatives from the group are to meet US officials in Qatar soon for possible peace talks on Afghanistan.
  • EUROPE: Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem confirmed that Greece had sent a request for a six-month extension to their EU loan program, which will be discussed Friday.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Syrian rebels dismissed a UN cease-fire proposal for Aleppo agreed to by President Assad, saying he has never negotiated in good faith.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Cuba temporarily reduced the hourly charge for using state-run Internet cafes in the country’s first public move to increase online access.

 

TOP STORY

  • Ukraine: European leaders hold meetings on ceasefire amid growing concern.
    • The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany held four-way talks over the crisis in the east of the country.
    • President Poroshenko won approval from the National Security and Defense Council to invite UN-mandated peacekeepers into the country to monitor the frontline.
    • Russia’s UN Ambassador Churkin said the call for peacekeepers made by President Poroshenko was aimed at destroying the Minsk accords.
    • A Ukrainian military spokesman said more than 90 percent of its forces have been withdrawn from Debaltseve and its surroundings.
    • The British Royal Air Force scrambled warplanes to intercept two Russian bombers off the coast of Cornwall, as Defense Minister Fallon said Russian President Putin poses a “real and present danger” to Baltic countries.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AP, AP-2, NYT, NYT-2, Reuters, WP, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Region: The WHO reported that Ebola-hit Sierra Leone and Guinea saw an increase in the last week in unsafe burials that risk spreading the disease. (AFP)
  • Burundi: Thousands marched through Bujumbura in one of the largest demonstrations in recent years after the release of a journalist from jail. (AFP)
  • DR Congo: The US welcomed an announcement that the country will hold presidential elections in November 2016. (AFP)
  • Zimbabwe: The ruling Zanu-PF party expelled a former top official and ally of President Mugabe, in an apparent purge targeting allies of ex-deputy president Joice Mujuru. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: The Inter-American Development Bank is to host a meeting in The Bahamas with finance ministers from Caribbean countries. (EFE)
  • Colombia: Anti-drug Police seized 3.2 tons of cocaine in the port city of Cartagena, from where the drug was to have been shipped to Veracruz, Mexico.(EFE)
  • United States: The State Department announced the creation of a top-level position to “counter violent extremism,” especially the propaganda of the Islamic State. (EFE)

 

ASIA

  • Region: A report indicated that Japan and China plan to resume security talks as early as April after a four-year hiatus.(AFP)
  • Region: Taliban sources said representatives from the group are to meet US officials in Qatar soon for possible peace talks on Afghanistan. (AFP)
  • Burma: Aid workers called for a ceasefire to allow the evacuation of people trapped around a town at the center of fighting between the army and ethnic rebels. (AFP)
  • India: The country cleared a USD8 billion plan to build seven warships as part of a twin push to ramp up local production and counter Chin. (AFP)
  • Thailand: Former PM Yingluck Shinawatra was indicted over a bungled rice subsidy plan. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • France: The Socialist government is to undergo a parliamentary vote of confidence over its economic reforms. (AFP)
  • Greece: Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem confirmed that the country had sent a request for a six-month extension to their EU loan program, which will be discussed Friday. (AFP)
  • Turkey: The country’s intelligence service warned of attacks by Islamic State militants on foreign diplomatic missions in the country. (Xinhua)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Gulf Cooperation Council SG Zayani said in a statement he “rejects accusations by Egypt’s permanent envoy at the Arab League that Qatar supports terrorism”. (AFP)
  • Iran: A diplomat said that FM Zarif and US Secretary Kerry will join new talks on Tehran’s nuclear program in Geneva later this week. (AFP)
  • Syria: Activists reported that rebels captured 32 soldiers and pro-government gunmen near Aleppo amid ongoing fighting. (AP)
  • Syria: Rebels dismissed a UN cease-fire proposal for Aleppo agreed to by President Assad, saying he has never negotiated in good faith. (WSJ)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: Cuba temporarily reduced the hourly charge for using state-run Internet cafes in the country’s first public move to increase online access. (AP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 12P (Lam)
    • Location: 286 NM E of Darwin, Australia
    • Movement: SW at 5 mph
    • Winds: 104 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 13P (Marcia)
    • Location: 437 NM NNW of Brisbane, Australia
    • Movement: WSW at 15 mph
    • Winds: 104 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Klyuchevskoy, Zhupanovsky Volcanoes, Kamchatka, Russia
    • Ash plume, flight disruptions. (Tass)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 22,894 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 9,177 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 06FEB: 1,172,787 (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: 25,255
      • Deaths as of 06FEB: 181 (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 16FEB: 983 (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 and the US)
      • Deaths as of 16FEB: 360 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20FEB)

  • Global: World Day of Social Justice
  • Armenia: Three Armenian opposition parties (Prosperous Armenia, the Armenian National Congress and the Heritage party) to jointly hold a rally in Yerevan.
  • Poland and Germany: President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski will visit Germany

 

END

 

Comments on this entry are closed.