ONS: 19 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 19, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Tunisian PM Essid said that one of the two gunmen who killed 19 tourists and others at a prominent museum was known to intelligence services.
  • AMERICAS: The Haitian government demanded a “pause” in a UN plan to reduce by half a peacekeeping force ahead of elections.
  • ASIA: Japan and China held security talks for the first time in four years.
  • EUROPE: British troops began a training mission in Ukraine, helping government forces fighting pro-Russian separatists.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Yemen, clashes between forces loyal to former president Saleh and President Hadi forced the closure of the international airport in Aden.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that technology firms will ultimately succeed in their efforts to use strong encryption on devices that cannot be accessed by the government.

TOP STORY

  • Europe: EU leaders to gather to discuss Russian sanctions and Greek economic policy.
    • Greek PM Tsipras will meet on the sidelines of the summit with German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande in talks convened by EU President Tusk.
    • Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk urged the EU to stay united in maintaining sanctions pressure on Russia.
    • Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk said that Russian President Putin is trying to divide Europe over Ukraine and that this would be a “disaster for the free world.”
    • German Chancellor Merkel said that the return of growth and a fall in unemployment levels in the euro zone showed progress, but that the debt crisis had not been completely overcome.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, Reuters, Reuters-2

AFRICA

  • Nigeria: Amnesty International said two major oil companies operating in the country, Shell and ENI, reported a combined 553 oil spills in 2014. (AFP)
  • Sierra Leone: VP Sumana described his removal from office as “unlawful and unconstitutional” and said he plans to bring leagal action to the Supreme Court. (Xinhua)
  • Somalia: The US Defense Department said that airstrikes last week killed senior al Shabab member Adan Garar. (NYT)
  • Tunisia: PM Essid said that one of the two gunmen who killed 19 tourists and others at a prominent museum was known to intelligence services. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ricardo Patiño said that he accepted Venezuelan President Maduro’s proposal to lead mediation efforts between Venezuela and the US. (EFE)
  • Brazil: President Rousseff announced a package of anti-corruption measures amid an ongoing corruption scandal involving state oil company Petrobras. (AFP)
  • Haiti: The government demanded a “pause” in a UN plan to reduce by half a peacekeeping force ahead of elections. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: Japan and China held security talks for the first time in four years. (AFP)
  • Afghanistan: A US official said that US military bases in Kandahar and Jalalabad are likely to remain open beyond the end of 2015. (Reuters)
  • Korea, South: US-South Korea Combined Forces Command said that the country and the US will launch a massive landing drill next week amid ongoing tensions with North Korea. (AFP)
  • Thailand: The Supreme Court said that it will try former PM Yingluck Shinawatra on charges of negligence over a rice subsidy scheme. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Germany: Pilots for Lufthansa announced they would extend until Friday a strike that has seen hundreds of flights cancelled in a dispute over a retirement plan. (AFP)
  • Netherlands: Leaders of the ruling coalition pledged to remain in government despite losing provincial elections that will complicate forming a coalition. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: British troops began a training mission in the country, helping government forces fighting pro-Russian separatists. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: The UN reported that ISIS may have committed genocide in trying to wipe out the Yazidis in the country. (AFP)
  • Israel: The White House criticized PM Netanyahu’s reelection campaign and suggested his opposition to a Palestinian state could jeopardize US support for Israel at the UN. (LAT)
  • Saudi Arabia: The Interior Ministry said that a total of 2,284 Saudis have joined terrorist groups outside the country over the past four years. (Xinhua)
  • Yemen: Clashes between forces loyal to former president Saleh and President Hadi forced the closure of the international airport in Aden. (AP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that technology firms will ultimately succeed in their efforts to use strong encryption on devices that cannot be accessed by the government. (AFP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 18P (Nathan)
    • Location: 146 NM NNE of Cairns, Australia
    • Movement: W at 7 mph
    • Winds: 104 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 23,934 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 9,792 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 09MAR: 1,231,077 (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: 25,353
      • Deaths as of 09MAR: 183 (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 11MAR: 1060 (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, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 11MAR: 394 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20MAR)

  • Iraq: Anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War – 2003
  • United States and Cambodia: US First Lady Michelle Obama to visit to promote girls’ education (to 22MAR)

END

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