ONS: 20 February 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 20, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Shops in the northern Malian town of Kidal stayed closed following orders from the MNLA, a Tuareg separatist group, in protest of French and government troops there.
  • AMERICAS: A seven-member US congressional delegation met with Cuban President Castro in Havana to discuss ways to improve relations between the two countries.
  • ASIA: Indian unions started a two-day strike throughout the country to protest high inflation, privatization of public sector jobs, and alleged anti-labor policies of the government.
  • EUROPE: Bulgarian PM Borisov’s government resigned following days of clashes between police and protestors that left dozens wounded in Sofia.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Yemen, a leader of the secessionist Southern Movement was arrested by police in Aden along with three of his followers.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The Obama Administration is developing more aggressive responses to hacking and cybercrime, including the stealing of government data and corporate trade secrets.

TOP STORY

  • Tunisia: PM Jebali resigned after he failed to create a technocratic government due to opposition from his own party.
    • Jebali’s resignation came the same day that Standard and Poor’s downgraded the government’s credit rating due to the political instability.
    • President Marzouki held urgent talks with Islamist and opposition politicians in an attempt to create a new government.
    • Coverage: WaPo, BBC, WSJ, NYT, AP

AFRICA

  • Cameroon: A French family of seven was kidnapped near Lake Chad by suspected Boko Haram militants and who are thought to have taken them into Nigeria. (AFP)
  • Mali: Shops in the northern town of Kidal stayed closed following orders from the MNLA, a Tuareg separatist group, in protest of French and government troops there. (Xinhua)
  • Morocco: The reform 20 February movement, largely moribund since the Arab Spring two years ago, is seeking to capitalize on popular discontent with the Islamist government and push for further reform. (AFP)
  • Zimbabwe: The government nominated a Supreme Court judge to serve as the head of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ahead of a referendum on a new constitution slated for March. (DPA)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: Workers ended protests aboard a Chinese freighter after winning concessions on the use of local longshoremen. (AFP)
  • Cuba: A seven-member US congressional delegation met with President Castro in Havana to discuss ways to improve relations between the two countries. (Reuters)
  • Grenada: The opposition New National Party swept the island’s parliamentary elections, winning most of the 15 contested seats. (Xinhua)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: UNHCR reported over 83,000 refugees had been repatriated from camps in Pakistan in 2012. (Xinhua)
  • India: Unions started a two-day strike throughout the country to protest high inflation, privatization of public sector jobs, and alleged anti-labor policies of the government. (Xinhua)
  • India: A majority of the shops and businesses in Kashmir closed for the first day of a three-day strike to demand the return of the body of a Kashmiri activist put to death by the government. (AP)
  • Japan: The government sought US support for averting an inadvertent clash between the SDF and the Chinese military over the Senkaku Islands. (Kyodo)
  • Taiwan: The government announced plans to withdraw troops from two small islands near the Chinese mainland as relations improve. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Bulgaria: PM Borisov’s government resigned following days of clashes between police and protestors that left dozens wounded in Sofia. (WSJ)
  • Greece: The two main unions called a 24-hour general strike that will include doctors, lawyers, and teachers protesting austerity measures ahead of a government audit by international creditors. (AFP)
  • Italy: Opinion polls show ex-Communist Pier Luigi Bersani is likely to become the next PM with roughly 33% support ahead of next week’s elections. (AP)
  • Poland: Parliament approved the EU’s fiscal compact limiting public debt in the next step towards adoption of the Euro. (AP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: The government approved a USD10 billion Iranian proposal to build a natural gas pipeline from Iran to Syria through its territory. (AP)
  • Syria: Government troops repelled intensified rebel attacks on the international airport in Aleppo, maintaining control of the crucial supply point. (Xinhua)
  • Syria: Russia and the Arab League offered to broker talks between the rebel forces and the regime and are attempting to establish direct contact between the two. (AP)
  • Yemen: A leader of the secessionist Southern Movement was arrested by police in Aden along with three of his followers. (Xinhua)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: The Obama Administration is developing more aggressive responses to hacking and cybercrime, including the stealing of government data and corporate trade secrets. (AP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Depression 02W (Two)
      • Location: 46 mi SW of Zamboanga, Philippines
      • Movement: W at nine mph
      • Winds: 29 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Cyclone 16S (Haruna)
      • Location: 443 mi SW of Antananarivo, Madagascar
      • Movement: W at 4.6 mph
      • Winds: 63 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcano: Shiveluch Volcano, Kamchatka, Russia
    • Eruption causing an ash cloud up to 4 mi high.
    • Coverage: Siberian Times

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (21FEB)

  • Europe: The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 2013 Winter Meeting in Vienna (to 22FEB).
  • Bangladesh: Shaheed Dibash, Language Movement Day, to protect Bangla as the national language – 1952.
  • Barbados: Parliamentary elections held.
  • Cuba: Russian PM Medvedev will visit Cuba to discuss ties with Cuban leader Raul Castro.
  • Korea, North: Military officials from the United States and South Korea will meet in Washington to talk about how to keep North Korea from using its nuclear weaponry.
  • Thailand: Last day of Cobra Gold 2013, the military training exercise in Thailand involving the US and six Asian countries.
  • Ukraine: NATO-Ukraine commission will meet in Brussels (to 22FEB).
  • Zimbabwe: President Mugabe’s 89th birthday – 1924.

END

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