ONS: 19 March 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 19, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA:  The ICC welcomed rebel DRC GEN Ntaganda’s surrender to the US Embassy in Kigali and are seeking a transfer to The Hague as soon as possible.
  • AMERICAS: A defense contractor for US Pacific Command is being charged with leaking national security secrets to a Chinese student with whom he was dating.
  • ASIA: The US said it was flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over South Korea as part of joint military exercises, underscoring US commitment and capacity to defend the country.
  • EUROPE: The Cypriot Parliament is set to reject a bill that includes an EU demand to include a levy on bank deposits as part of a crucial bailout plan.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iraqi Insurgents unleashed a number of attacks on Shiite areas of Baghdad, killing at least 56 and wounding over 200, as the country marks the ten-year anniversary of the American invasion on 20MAR.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Al Jazeera announced plans to launch news channels in the UK and it was in the advanced stages of planning for a French-language channel.


TOP STORY

  • Syria: The opposition coalition elected a little known American-educated Islamist activist to head an interim government that will administer areas under rebel control.
    • Ghassan Hitto, an IT executive from Texas, received 35 out of the 49 votes cast by opposition leaders.
    • The US and its allies have repeatedly called on the SNC to set up a clear chain of command before further aid would be dispersed.
    • Hitto ruled out political negotiations with the Ba’ath regime.
    • Given the opposition’s factionalism, it is far from certain how quickly or if Hitto will be able to form a cabinet.
    • Coverage: AP-1, AP-2, NYT, WaPo


AFRICA

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: The ICC welcomed rebel GEN Ntaganda’s surrender to the US Embassy in Kigali and are seeking a transfer to The Hague as soon as possible. (AFP)
  • Kenya: Today the Supreme Court will issue a ruling on the petition filed by PM Odinga claiming Kenyatta failed to cross the barrier needed to avoid a runoff. (NYT, CapitalFM)
  • South Sudan: ICRC reported more than 60 people had been wounded in fighting between the army and rebels led by David Yau Yau. (AP)
  • Sudan: Negotiations with the South stalled over the issue of breaking the link between South Sudan’s army and the SPLM. (Xinhua)
  • Zimbabwe: Unofficial results showed voters overwhelmingly cast ballots in favor of a new constitution limiting the powers of President Mugabe. (AFP)


AMERICAS

  • Colombia: The government is sending 1,200 more police officers to patrol the streets of the western city of Medellin as part of an anti-crime program launched by President Santos. (Xinhua)
  • Peru: The government signed an anti-drug cooperation agreement with Russia specifically targeting drug trafficking. (Xinhua)
  • United States: A defense contractor for Pacific Command is being charged with leaking national security secrets to a Chinese student with whom he was dating. (AP)


ASIA

  • China: President Xi reiterated the country’s policy of “peaceful development,” while saying it will take on more international responsibility as its strength increases. (Xinhua)
  • India: A regional southern party announced it will withdraw from the national ruling coalition, over the government’s failure to condemn Sri Lankan attacks on Tamils. (AFP)
  • Korea, South: The US said it was flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over the country as part of joint military exercises, underscoring US commitment and capacity to defend the country. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: The TTP called on voters to rebel against democratic rule and threatened attacks on political gatherings ahead of the national election. (DPA)


EUROPE

  • Cyprus: The parliament is set to reject a bill that includes an EU demand to include a levy on bank deposits as part of a crucial bailout plan. (Reuters)
  • Italy: Leader of the Five Star Movement, Beppe Grillo, demanded the resignation of MPs who defied orders in voting for the center-left’s candidate for Senate speaker. (Xinhua)
  • Russia: The navy announced the creation of a rapid response naval force for permanent operations in the Mediterranean in the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet. (Itar-Tass)
  • United Kingdom: International monitoring body OSCE warned government plans to regulate the country’s media risked undermining freedom of the press. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: Insurgents unleashed a number of attacks on Shiite areas of Baghdad, killing at least 56 and wounding over 200, as the country marks the ten-year anniversary of the American invasion on 20MAR. (AP)
  • Lebanon: President Suleiman called sorties flown by the Syrian air force against targets within the country’s borders unacceptable and a violation of sovereignty. (AFP)
  • Syria: The government accused rebel forces of firing a rocket containing chemical agents in the northern province of Aleppo, killing at least 15. (AFP)
  • United Arab Emirates: A security official stated dozens of Islamists accused of plotting to seize power in a coup had formed a “state within the state” linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • News: Al Jazeera announced plans to launch news channels in the UK and it was in the advanced stages of planning for a French-language channel. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquake: 75 mi E of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands
    • Magnitude: 6.1
    • Depth: 19.4 mi
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report


TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20MAR)

  • Global: March Equinox.
  • Iraq: Ten-year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War – 2003.
  • Israel: President Obama will visit Israel to meet with PM Netanyahu, after which he will also visit the West Bank and Jordan (to 22MAR).
  • Myanmar: Second anniversary of the Junta officially dissolving – 2011.
  • Serbia and Kosovo: Next round of Kosovo talks will begin in Brussels.

END

Comments on this entry are closed.