ONS: 20 February 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 20, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In Libya, at least 30 people were killed in car bomb explosions targeting a petrol station and a security building in Qubbah.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuelan intelligence service agents arrested the mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma over what President Maduro alleges was a coup plot financed by the US.
  • ASIA: Indonesian authorities delayed the execution of two Australian drug smugglers by up to a month.
  • EUROPE: The Greek government said the country has made every effort to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with its euro zone partners but will not be pushed to implement its old bailout program.
  • MIDDLE EAST: UN mediator Jamal Benomar said Yemen’s feuding parties agreed on a “people’s transitional council” to govern the country.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Digital-security firm Gemalto NV said it was investigating a report that alleged it was hacked on a massive scale by US and U.K. intelligence agencies.

 

TOP STORY

  • Ukraine: Clashes between rebels and government forces spread amid ‘ceasefire’.
    • A Ukrainian military spokesman said separatist rebels fired on Ukrainian positions nearly 50 times over the past day.
    • US officials said that Pro-Russian rebels broke the five day old ceasefire more than 250 times since it went into effect.
    • Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine said an initial exchange of prisoners with the Ukrainian side would take place on Saturday.
    • A critical report from a British parliamentary committee said Britain and the EU are guilty of “sleepwalking” into the crisis in Ukraine.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, AP, BBC, Reuters

 

AFRICA

  • Libya: At least 30 people were killed in car bomb explosions targeting a petrol station and a security building in Qubbah. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: Local officials reported that Boko Haram released 158 women and children abducted from a village in Yobe State. (Xinhua)
  • South Sudan: UNSG Ban Ki-moon said he is asking his office to explore ways that perpetrators of human rights abuses in the country can begin to be held accountable. (AP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: A judge said there was not enough evidence to keep an American missionary jailed after he was arrested over suspected links to FARC leftist guerrillas. (AFP)
  • Mexico: At least 200 students attacked the headquarters of an army unit in Chilpancingo to protest the disappearance of 43 of their classmates in September. (EFE)
  • Venezuela: Intelligence service agents arrested the mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma over what President Maduro alleges was a coup plot financed by the US. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: President Maduro said that he had visited Cuba and met retired leader Fidel Castro for talks focused on global issues. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Pakistani Interior Minister Khan said that relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have never been better in a meeting with US Secretary Kerry. (AFP)
  • Indonesia: Authorities delayed the execution of two Australian drug smugglers by up to a month. (AFP)
  • Philippines: MILF rebels said they acted purely in “self-defense” in a clash that killed 44 police commandos despite police claims that they were ambushed. (AFP)
  • Thailand: Rights groups expressed concern over a bill passed by the junta-picked parliament that could allow the military to detain civilians for up to 84 days without charge. (AFP)
  • Thailand: Police said suspected insurgents detonated a car bomb that wounded 13 people and damaged buildings in Narathiwat province. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • France: Interior Minister Cazeneuve traveled to Silicon Valley to discuss his government’s concerns about violent jihadist social media messaging with leading tech and internet companies. (Reuters)
  • Germany: Officials said that Chancellor Merkel will visit Japan early next month for the first time in seven years for a summit with PM Shinzo Abe. (AFP)
  • Greece: The government said the country has made every effort to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with its euro zone partners but will not be pushed to implement its old bailout program. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: US military officials said the US wants the country to launch its offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group in April or May. (AFP)
  • Syria: UNSG Ban Ki-moon called for urgent action to lift sieges on civilians and to end barrel bomb attacks. (AFP)
  • Yemen: UN mediator Jamal Benomar said the country’s feuding parties agreed on a “people’s transitional council” to govern the country. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Digital-security firm Gemalto NV said it was investigating a report that alleged it was hacked on a massive scale by US and U.K. intelligence agencies. (WSJ)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 12P (Lam)
    • Location: 234 NM E of Darwin, Australia
    • Movement: SW at 9 mph
    • Winds: 75 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 13P (Marcia)
    • Location: 262 NM NNW of Brisbane, Australia
    • Movement: S at 12 mph
    • Winds: 86 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: 78km ESE of Lakatoro, Vanuatu
    • Magnitude: 6.4
    • Depth: 10.0 km
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: 140km E of Miyako, Japan
    • Magnitude: 6.3
    • Depth: 13.5 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 22,894 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 9,177 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 06FEB: 1,172,787 (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: 25,255
      • Deaths as of 06FEB: 181 (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 16FEB: 983 (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 and the US)
      • Deaths as of 16FEB: 360 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (21FEB)

  • Global: International Mother Language Day
  • Ireland: Ireland Republic Day – 1922

 

END

 

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