ONS: 19 May 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on May 21, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Thirty-two fighters loyal to the Libyan unity government were killed in clashes with Islamic State group jihadists and a car bombing near the IS stronghold of Sirte, the military said.
  • AMERICAS: The Republican-led House voted convincingly to approve a $602 billion defense policy bill after rejecting attempts by Democrats to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and to repeal the war powers President Barack Obama relies on to fight the Islamic State.
  • ASIA: China has rejected US claims that its warplanes maneuvered unsafely when they intercepted an American Navy reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea.
  • EUROPE: NATO foreign ministers will meet to finalize the alliance’s biggest military build-up since the end of the Cold War to counter what they see as a more aggressive and unpredictable Russia
  • MIDDLE EAST: Syrian troops backed by fighters from the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah retook a key town outside Damascus from rebels, a monitor said.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Hong Kong’s central bank launched a new program to strengthen lenders’ ability to protect their critical technology systems after recent attacks by unidentified groups on a global messaging system used by the financial community.

 

TOP STORY

  • Mediterranean: EgyptAir Flight MS804 fell off of radar and is feared crashed in the Mediterranean while flying from Paris to Cairo.
    • 66 passengers were on board including: 15 French passengers, 30 Egyptians, two Iraqis, one Briton, one Kuwaiti, one Saudi, one Sudanese, one Chadian, one Portuguese, one Belgian, one Algerian, and one Canadian.
    • EgyptAir Flight 804 was lost from radar at around 2:45 a.m. local time when it was flying at 37,000 feet, according to the airline. It said the Airbus A320 vanished 10 miles (16 kilometers) after it entered Egyptian airspace, around 280 kilometers (175 miles) off Egypt’s coastline north of the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.
    • Egyptian military aircraft and navy ships were taking part in a search operation off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast to locate the debris of the plane.
    • Greece also joined the search and rescue operation with two aircraft, officials at the Hellenic National Defense General Staff said. They said that helicopters were on standby on the southern island of Karpathos for potential rescue or recovery operations.
    • French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault offered to send military planes and boats to join the Egyptian search for wreckage.
    • Some experts believe that terrorism is the most likely reason for the plane’s downing.
    • French President Francois Hollande confirmed that the EgyptAir flight that disappeared from radar screens over the Mediterranean had “crashed”.
    • LAT, AFP,  AP, NBC News

 

AFRICA

  • Libya: Thirty-two fighters loyal to the unity government were killed in clashes with Islamic State group jihadists and a car bombing near the IS stronghold of Sirte, the military said. (AFP)
  • Nigeria:  Amina Ali, the first of 219 Chibok schoolgirls to be found after more than two years held captive by Boko Haram, is to meet President Muhammadu Buhari, the governor of Borno state said. (AFP)
  • Mali: Five United Nations peacekeepers from Chad were killed and three were wounded in northern Mali when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device and unknown gunmen opened fire. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Canada: More than 80,000 displaced residents of Fort McMurray of western Alberta province are expected to return home from 01JUN, the Alberta provincial government announced. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: Skeletal remains from an undetermined number of individuals have been found not far from where 43 Mexican students went missing nearly two years ago, officials said. (AFP)
  • United States: The Republican-led House voted convincingly to approve a $602 billion defense policy bill after rejecting attempts by Democrats to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and to repeal the war powers President Barack Obama relies on to fight the Islamic State. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: A rogue Afghan policeman shot dead eight of his colleagues, officials said, the latest in a series of insider attacks which have blighted government forces battling the Taliban. (AFP)
  • China: The country has rejected US claims that its warplanes maneuvered unsafely when they intercepted an American Navy reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea. (AP)
  • India: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party claimed victory in Assam elections, marking the first time the Hindu nationalist party has won control of a state in the country’s restive northeast. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: NATO foreign ministers will meet to finalize the alliance’s biggest military build-up since the end of the Cold War to counter what they see as a more aggressive and unpredictable Russia. (AFP)
  • Region: The speaker of Germany’s parliament criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over a push to strip legislators in Turkey of their immunity from prosecution. (AP)
  • Montenegro: Lawmakers have approved a government reshuffle to include opposition ministers as part of efforts to reduce political tensions as the tiny Balkan nation prepares to join NATO and faces general elections later this year. (AP)
  • Turkey: The ruling AKP party named Transport Minister Binali Yildirim, a close ally of President Erdogan, as the sole candidate to become the country’s next prime minister. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Israel: PM Netanyahu faced criticism for seeking to appoint ultra-nationalist former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman as defense minister. (DPA)
  • Saudi Arabia: The International Monetary Fund welcomed accelerated economic reforms by the country to reduce its reliance on oil but said more measures are needed to cover a fiscal deficit. (AFP)
  • Syria: Government troops backed by fighters from the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah retook a key town outside Damascus from rebels, a monitor said. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Hong Kong’s central bank has a launched a new program to strengthen lenders’ ability to protect their critical technology systems after recent attacks by unidentified groups on a global messaging system used by the financial community. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 27MAR: 28,646 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 27MAR: 11,323 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 13MAY: 78,214 (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, Panamá, 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: 8,396
      • Deaths: 12
        • Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 82 (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, French Guiana, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 26APR: 1,728 (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 26APR: 624 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 12MAY: Cabo Verde, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), BONAIRE – Netherlands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru*, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, United States Virgin Islands, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Maldives , American Samoa, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, and Tonga.
      • Outbreak Terminated as of 05MAY:Cambodia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Micronesia (Federated States of), New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Viet Nam and Isla de Pascua (Chile).
      • Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 05MAY: United States of America, Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, and Portugal.
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20MAY)

  • Canada: Victoria Day – 1858
  • Cuba: Anniversary of independence from the US – 1902
  • Taiwan: President-elect Tsai Ing-wen to be sworn in

 

END

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