ONS: 19 February 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 20, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has a solid lead in the country’s chaotic elections, early results showed, even as people were still lining up at polling stations to cast their vote.
  • AMERICAS: In Brazil, public and private physicians and health centers will be obligated to report all suspected cases of the Zika virus to health authorities.
  • ASIA: China has accused the US of militarizing the South China Sea, just days after it was revealed Beijing had deployed surface-to-air missiles on an island in the disputed area.
  • EUROPE: British PM David Cameron has resumed talks at the EU summit saying marathon all-night discussions had achieved “some progress” but “there’s still no deal”.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The number of children who have died fighting for so-called Islamic State in the last year is nearly twice the previous estimate, a Georgia State University report says.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Facebook and Twitter sided with Apple in the public spat with the Obama administration over its refusal to help the FBI break into the iPhone of San Bernardino, Calif., shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Ceasefire efforts continue to face hurdles.
    • US and Russian military officials held talks in Geneva aimed at securing a cease-fire in Syria, but the UN has warned it would be “extremely difficult” to monitor any deal.
    • A meeting of the international coordinating group charged with implementing a cease-fire in Syria was cancelled, Russia’s foreign ministry said.
    • Staffan de Mistura, UN special envoy for Syria, has warned that the planned resumption of troubled peace talks next week was not realistic.
    • In the first public sign of cracks in the alliance between Moscow and Damascus, Russia cited they had helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turn the tide of the war so it was now incumbent on him to follow Russia’s line and commit to peace talks.
    • Any cease-fire agreement would not include terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front.
    • Coverage: AFP, NBC, Reuters, VOA, WP

AFRICA

  • Democratic Republic of Congo: The UN Joint Human Rights Office documented at least 411 cases of human rights violations in the country in January. (Xinhua)
  • Egypt: The Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group has posted pictures online of what it says was the execution of two men caught spying for the army in the Sinai. (AFP)
  • Uganda: President Yoweri Museveni has a solid lead in the country’s chaotic elections, early results showed, even as people were still lining up at polling stations to cast their vote. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Cubans hailed US President Barack Obama’s announcement he will make a two-day trip to the communist-run island. (AP)
  • Brazil: Public and private physicians and health centers will be obligated to report all suspected cases of the Zika virus to health authorities. (EFE)
  • Colombia: The country suspended permits for rebel leaders to visit guerrilla camps after top commanders showed up with weapons in a town’s main plaza. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: China has accused the US of militarizing the South China Sea, just days after it was revealed Beijing had deployed surface-to-air missiles on an island in the disputed area. (AP)
  • Region: The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office, an Asian regional surveillance unit, held its opening ceremony in Singapore. (Xinhua)
  • Korean Peninsula: South Korean military is pushing to create an additional army unit in preparations for possible “terror attacks” from North Korea. (Xinhua)

EUROPE

  • Region: British PM David Cameron has resumed talks at the EU summit saying marathon all-night discussions had achieved “some progress” but “there’s still no deal”. (BBC)
  • Region: Dutch criminal investigators will “within months” establish the spot from where the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was fired. (AFP)
  • Turkey: Two soldiers and one police officer were killed in an attack by Kurdish militants in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: The number of children who have died fighting for so-called Islamic State in the last year is nearly twice the previous estimate, a Georgia State University report says. (BBC)
  • Israel and the Palestinian Territories: A Palestinian stabbed and lightly wounded two Israeli police officers outside Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate before they shot him dead. (AFP)
  • Syria: Kurdish-led forces backed by international air strikes have advanced to within a few kilometers of a key Islamic State group stronghold in the country’s northeast. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Facebook and Twitter sided with Apple in the public spat with the Obama administration over its refusal to help the FBI break into the iPhone of San Bernardino, Calif., shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. (USA Today)

WORLD

  • Cyclone: Tropical Cyclone Winston
    • Location: 401 NM E of Suva, Fiji
    • Winds: 126 mph
    • Movement:  W at 13 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclone: Tropical Cyclone Uriah
    • Location: 1084 miles SSE of Diego Garcia
    • Winds: 74 mph
    • Movement: S at 12 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 19FEB: 28,639 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 19FEB: 11,316 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 19FEB: 6,244 (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: 175
      • Deaths as of 19FEB: 0 (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 19FEB: 1638 (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 19FEB: 587 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 19FEB: Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, El Salvador, Paraguay, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Cape Verde, Honduras, French Guiana, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Guyana, Barbados, Ecuador, Bolivia, Haiti, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Guatemala, Curacao, Costa Rica, Maldives
      • Indication of Viral Circulation as of 19FEB: Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
      • Deaths as of 19FEB: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20FEB)

  • Global: World Day of Social Justice

END

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