ONS: 20 December 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 20, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In the Central African Republic Christian militia forces known as ‘anti-balaka’ attacked Muslim neighborhoods of Bangui.
  • AMERICAS: A sweeping US defense bill that authorizes Pentagon spending passed Congress 84-15 and allocates USD552.1 billion for military spending.
  • ASIA: India began training a group of Afghan special forces.
  • EUROPE: Russian President Putin issued a decree to free the country’s most famous prisoner, Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The leader of al Qaeda’s Syria branch said in his first televised interview that he was open to idea of an alliance with secular rebels.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Governments, led by the US, are increasingly demanding that Google remove information from the Web.

 

TOP STORY

  • South Sudan: International forces in country as violence continues.
    • India’s UN Ambassador Mukerji said three UN peacekeepers from his country were killed when armed youths breached a UN compound.
    • US President Obama deployed a small military contingent to the country to help bolster security at the US Embassy.
    • Ugandan soldiers were deployed in Juba following a request by the country’s government to help secure the city.
    • The UN said 34,000 people in the country are seeking refuge at UN bases in three locations across the country.
    • The government said it was ready for dialogue with rivals to prevent a return to war.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, AP-2, AP-3, BBC, NYT, Reuters, Xinhua

 

AFRICA

  • Central African Republic: French President Hollande said he expected Poland to announce that it would provide military backing for French troops in the country. (AFP)
  • Central African Republic: Christian militia forces known as ‘anti-balaka’ attacked Muslim neighborhoods of Bangui. (Reuters)
  • Egypt: FM Fahmy said the country is safe for tourists to visit despite its current political instability. (Kyodo)
  • Madagascar: Voters went to the polls to choose a new president in a run-off election. (BBC)

 

AMERICAS

  • Honduras: President Lobo fired the general in charge of the country’s police force who has been long accused of running death squads. (AP)
  • Mexico: Authorities confirmed that top Sinaloa drug cartel lieutenant Gonzalo Inzunza Inzunza was killed in a four-hour gunbattle in Puerto Penasco. (AP)
  • United States: A sweeping defense bill that authorizes Pentagon spending passed Congress 84-15 and allocates USD552.1 billion for military spending. (AFP)
  • United States: President Obama commuted the prison sentences of eight people convicted of crack cocaine offenses. (LAT)

 

ASIA

  • Region: India began training a group of Afghan special forces. (Reuters)
  • India: India brushed aside fresh efforts by the US to defuse a row over the arrest of one of its diplomats, warning Washington that “times have changed.” (AFP)
  • Kazakhstan: The government decided to send officers to aid UN peacekeeping missions next year for the first time. (Reuters)
  • Philippines: Four people including the mayor of a southern town were killed in an ambush at Manila airport. (AFP)
  • Thailand: Anti-government protesters resumed marches in Bangkok. (Reuters)

 

EUROPE

  • Cyprus: The parliament approved the country’s first post-bailout budget with a vote of 30 for 20 against and four abstentions. (AFP)
  • Putin: President Putin issued a decree to free the country’s most famous prisoner, Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky. (NYT)
  • Ukraine: The IMF issued report that criticized the country’s financial situation, saying that the government of President Yanukovich had largely abandoned much-needed economic reforms. (NYT)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: Two bombings in a livestock market in Tuz Khurmatu killed at least eight people and wounded 25. (AFP)
  • Syria: The UNHCR reported that the Syrian crisis pushed up the global number of refugees in the first half of the year, and 2013 is set to see the highest-ever figures. (DPA)
  • Syria: The leader of al Qaeda’s Syria branch said in his first televised interview that he was open to idea of an alliance with secular rebels. (WSJ)
  • Yemen: Saboteurs blew up a section of oil pipeline in the east of the country for the second time. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: Governments, led by the US, are increasingly demanding that Google remove information from the Web. (Bits)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 04S (Bruce)
    • Location: 424 Nm W of Cocos Island
    • Movement: WSW at 8 mph
    • Winds: 126 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 03S (Amara)
    • Location: 565 NM ENE of La Reunion
    • Movement: WSW at 7 mph
    • Winds: 126 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases: Global Number of Cases as of 17DEC: 165 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom)
      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 17DEC: 71 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (21DEC)

  • Global: First Day of Winter
  • Iran: Italian FM Bonino holds institutional meetings (to 22DEC)
  • Iraq: Anniversary of creation of unity government – 2010
  • Libya: Deadline for Libyans to register for 2014 election
  • Scotland: Anniversary of Lockerbie bombing on Pan Am flight – 1988

 

END

 

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