ONS: 19 May 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on May 19, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Amnesty International issued a report documenting widespread torture by Moroccan state agencies, contrary to the government’s public commitment to reform.
  • AMERICAS: US authorities said they are investigating Venezuela’s parliamentary head, Diosdado Cabello, and other senior officials for possible cocaine trafficking and money laundering.
  • ASIA: UNSG Ban Ki-moon said he will visit the Korean Peninsula’s Kaesong industrial complex on Thursday.
  • EUROPE: NATO officials said SG Stoltenberg will hold talks with Russian FM Lavrov in Brussels, the first such contacts since they met in January.
  • MIDDLE EAST: in Yemen, Saudi-led warplanes hit rebels and their allies in Sanaa, in the first strikes on the rebel-held capital since the end of a five-day humanitarian truce.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Tech companies and leading cryptologists urged US President Obama to reject any government proposal that alters the security of communications devices so that law enforcement can view decrypted data.

 

TOP STORY

  • Iraq: Clashes in Anbar continue amid concerns of ISIS advances.
    • Sheikh Rafie al-Fahdawi said an offensive to capture the town of Khaldiya, which is between Fallujah and Ramadi, started shortly before midnight.
    • An American interrogation team began questioning the United States’ first ISIS detainee in hopes that she will provide clues about the group’s handling of foreign hostages.
    • Residents of Ramadi reported that militants were going door-to-door looking for government sympathizers and throwing bodies in the nearby Euphrates river.
    • Finland is to send about 50 soldiers to northern Iraq for training Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting against ISIS forces.
    • Australia ruled out any leniency for returning jihadists following reports that three of its nationals suspected of fighting with ISIS were in secret negotiations to return home.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, BBC, NYT, WP, Xinhua

 

AFRICA

  • Region: A jihadist group that is based in the Sahara and was once a part of Al Qaeda’s global network announced that it was holding a Romanian hostage, just five days after it pledged allegiance to ISIS. (NYT)
  • Morocco: Amnesty International issued a report documenting widespread torture by state agencies, contrary to the government’s public commitment to reform. (AP)
  • Sudan: The government rejected fresh accusations that it supported rebels in South Sudan. (Xinhua)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: US authorities said they are investigating Venezuela’s parliamentary head, Diosdado Cabello, and other senior officials for possible cocaine trafficking and money laundering. (WSJ)
  • Colombia: At least 52 people were killed and dozens injured by a flash flood and mudslide in the town of Salgar. (AP)
  • Guatemala: President Molina said he will stay in office through his full term ending in January 2016 despite widespread protests against government corruption. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: The spy agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to share intelligence and carry out “coordinated intelligence operations” against militants operating along their porous border. (AP)
  • Bangladesh: Police said they have asked the government to ban an Islamist militant group they suspect of involvement in the murders of atheist bloggers. (AFP)
  • Korea, North: UNSG Ban Ki-moon said he will visit the Kaesong industrial complex on Thursday. (Reuters)
  • Thailand: Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said he had no plans to mobilize his “Red Shirt” supporters but called the first year of the junta government “not so impressive”. (Reuters)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande jointly pledged to do their utmost to ensure an “ambitious” UN deal to combat climate change is reached this year. (AFP)
  • Region: NATO officials said SG Stoltenberg will hold talks with Russian FM Lavrov in Brussels, the first such contacts since they met in January. (AP)
  • Macedonia: Rival political camps staged a third day of protests as the prime minister and the opposition leader prepared to hold talks to try to end an ongoing political crisis. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: Local media reported that the trial of a Washington Post reporter detained for months will begin next week. (AP)
  • Iran: An adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed accusations that he masterminded Argentina’s worst terrorist attack and says that he and the country are innocent. (AP)
  • Yemen: Saudi-led warplanes hit rebels and their allies in Sanaa, in the first strikes on the rebel-held capital since the end of a five-day humanitarian truce. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Tech companies and leading cryptologists urged US President Obama to reject any government proposal that alters the security of communications devices so that law enforcement can view decrypted data. (WP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Typhoon 07W (Dolphin)
    • Location: 72 NM W of Iwo To
    • Movement: NE at  10 mph
    • Winds: 75 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 26 044 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths: 10 808 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 08MAY: 1,391,616 (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: 31,223
      • Deaths as of 08MAY: 194 (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 18MAY: 1118 (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 18MAY: 423 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20MAY)

  • Canada: Victoria Day – 1858
  • Cuba: Anniversary of Cuba’s independence from the US – 1902
  • Israel and the Palestinian Territories: EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (to 21May)

 

END

 

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