ONS: 20 June 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on June 21, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The Vatican announced that Pope Francis will go to Uganda and the Central African Republic in November on his first visit in Africa.
  • AMERICAS: Colombian troops captured 20 leftist rebels in the southern region, seizing weapons and munitions, according to a radio report.
  • ASIA:  Reuters quoted sources alleging that the recent OPM hack in the US bears the markings of a Chinese intelligence operation.
  • EUROPE: The EU on Friday extended economic sanctions imposed on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol following their annexation by Russia, with the measures now due to stay in place until June 23, 2016.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Yemini peace talks ended in Geneva with no concrete progress, but the UN voiced optimism that a new round of talks could lead to a much-needed ceasefire.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Prominent Russian hacker group Sofacy is suspected of being behind a six-month-long cyberattack against the German parliament that ended on May 20.

 

TOP STORY

  • Greece: Tensions between the government and the EU continue to heighten as the deadline for Greece’s default nears.
    • Greece is hopeful for a last minute deal which would prevent the Greek government from defaulting on its debts.
    • EU President Donald Tusk has called an emergency eurozone meeting on Monday to discuss a bailout.
    • The European Central Bank has extended enough support to prevent Greek banks from defaulting over the weekend.
    • PM Tsipras stated in Moscow that Greece had alternatives to the EU.
    • AFP, EFE, Guardian

 

AFRICA

  • Region: The Vatican announced that Pope Francis will go to Uganda and the Central African Republic in November on his first visit to Africa. (AFP)
  • Region: The White House said US President Barack Obama will become the first sitting American leader to visit Ethiopia and the headquarters of the AU in late July. (AFP)
  • Region: EU member states approved plans to launch the first phase of a military operation against people smugglers in the Mediterranean as early as next week according to sources. (AFP)
  • Chad: The country said it planned to round up beggars and some foreigners as part of a security clamp-down, days after two suicide attacks on its capital were blamed on Boko Haram militants from Nigeria. (Reuters)
  • Congo:  Heavily armed poachers killed a ranger and two soldiers patrolling in a national park, a conservation group said. (AP)
  • Libya:  Al-Qaeda in North Africa has denied reports its former leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar was killed in a US air strike last week. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Troops captured 20 leftist rebels in the southern region, seizing weapons and munitions, according to a radio report. (DPA)
  • Hondouras: Thousands of angry protesters marched in the capital for the fourth week in a row to demand President Juan Orlando Hernandez step down over a corruption scandal. (AFP)
  • United States:  Federal authorities are investigating the murder of nine black churchgoers as a possible hate crime and an “act of domestic terrorism”. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: With elections delayed by political squabbling, the president issued a decree extending parliament’s mandate until a vote could be held. (Reuters)
  • China: Reuters quoted sources alleging that the recent OPM hack in the US bears the markings of a Chinese intelligence operation. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: The country has announced its plan to repatriate any boat people to their country of origin. (Xinhua)
  • South Korea: The country’s outbreak of MERS, the largest outside Saudi Arabia, appears to be easing, a senior government health official said. (NYT)

 

EUROPE

  • Macedonia: The leaders of the main political parties have resumed meeting in Skopje for the first time since negotiations in Burssels aimed at ending a major political crisis collapse last week. (AP)
  • Ukraine: The EU extended economic sanctions imposed on the peninsula of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol following their annexation by Russia, with the measures now due to stay in place until June 23, 2016. (DPA)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran:  The country continued its “terrorist-related” activity last year and provide broad military support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the State Department said in its annual report on terrorism. (NYT)
  • Syria: Insurgents say they have begun a campaign to capture full control of the divided city of Aleppo. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: Peace talks ended in Geneva with no concrete progress, but the UN voiced optimism that a new round of talks could lead to a much-needed ceasefire. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity:  Prominent Russian hacker group Sofacy is suspected of being behind a six-month-long cyberattack against the German parliament that ended on May 20. (DPA)
  • Internet Regulation: Europe’s antitrust authorities have threatened to impose significant fines on Google’s operations on the Continent if the company does not give rivals greater prominence in some search results across the 28-member bloc. (NYT)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes:
    • Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Talcahuano, Chile
    • Magnitude: 6.4
    • Depth: 10km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes:
    • Nothing to report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Global Disease Outbreaks:
      • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
        • Cases: 27,273 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
        • Deaths: 11,173 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
        • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
      • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
        • Suspected Cases as of 05JUN: 353,194 (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: 10,512
        • Deaths as of 05JUN: 47 (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 16JUN: 1321 (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 16JUN: 466 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
        • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (21JUN)

  • Canada: National Aboriginal Day – 1996
  • Greenland: Greenland National Day – 1983

END

 

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