ONS: 20 March 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 20, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: French Defense Minister Le Drian said soldiers have killed 40 Islamist fighters in Mali, including some senior commanders, in recent weeks.
  • AMERICAS: Colombian President Santos dismissed Bogota’s elected mayor, Gustavo Petro.
  • ASIA: The US military said more than 10,000 US troops will participate in a large-scale landing drill in South Korea from 27MAR to 07APR.
  • EUROPE:  EU member states and the European Parliament reached an accord on a new regulatory system designed to prevent a failing bank from wrecking the economy.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Cross-border shelling by the Syrian army wounded 25 people in northern Lebanon.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Google co-founder Larry Page criticized US government snooping on the Internet as a threat to democracy.

 

TOP STORY

  • Russia: EU to apply more sanctions as tensions with Ukraine rise.
    • German Chancellor Merkel said the EU will impose more sanctions on Russia following its decision to annex the Crimean Peninsula and will suspend all G-8 meetings until the political situation changes.
    • Crimean authorities released the head of the Ukrainian navy whom they had seized during a raid on a base in Crimea.
    • Russian FM Lavrov said the legal process required to make Crimea part of Russia will be completed this week.
    • Ukraine’s parliament said Kiev will never recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and will fight for the “liberation” of the peninsula.
    • President Obamam ruled out any US military action in Ukraine.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, AP, NYT, Reuters

 

AFRICA

  • Libya: The government vowed to fight terrorism in its first acknowledgement that “terrorist groups” were behind dozens of attacks against security services and Westerners. (AFP)
  • Mali: French Defense Minister Le Drian said soldiers have killed 40 Islamist fighters, including some senior commanders, in recent weeks. (AFP)
  • Rwanda: Reporters Without Borders condemned what it called “harassment” and “intimidation” of journalists by the government. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: President Santos dismissed Bogota’s elected mayor, Gustavo Petro. (AFP)
  • Colombia: Five employees of an oil company were kidnapped in the central province of Meta by suspected FARC guerrillas. (EFE)
  • Venezuela: Intelligence agents arrested one opposition mayor accused of stoking violent protests, while another was jailed for 10 months. (Reuters)

 

ASIA

  • Region: The governments of Japan, the US and South Korea are preparing for a possible summit next week in the Netherlands. (Kyodo)
  • Region: Japan and North Korea agreed to resume high-level government talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs after a gap of more than a year. (Reuters)
  • Region: Australian PM Abbott said that two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have been spotted on satellite imagery in the Indian Ocean. (AP)
  • Afghanistan: The Taliban staged a multi-pronged attack on a police station in Jalalabad in an hours-long assault that killed at least ten policemen. (WP)
  • Korea, South: The US military said more than 10,000 US troops will participate in a large-scale landing drill in the country from 27MAR to 07APR. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: EU member states and the European Parliament reached an accord on a new regulatory system designed to prevent a failing bank from wrecking the economy. (AFP)
  • France: French FM Fabius said he would soon travel to Cuba in the first such visit in three decades. (Xinhua)
  • Netherlands: Parties in the Netherlands’ centrist ruling coalition suffered major losses in local elections tied to dissatisfaction with austerity measures. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Cross-border shelling by the Syrian army wounded 25 people in northern Lebanon. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Late night bombings at a Baghdad cafe left 13 people dead pushing the toll from a day of nationwide attacks to at least 46. (AFP)
  • Israel: Defense Minister Yaalon apologized to his US counterpart for criticizing Washington and for calling it weak when it comes to its stance on Iran’s nuclear program. (AP)
  • Syria: The joint UN-OPCW said nearly half of the country’s declared chemical weapons have been shipped out of the country. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: Google co-founder Larry Page criticized US government snooping on the Internet as a threat to democracy. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • 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 18MAR: 196 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom)
      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 18MAR: 83 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (21MAR)

  • Global: UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • Europe: Ukraine and the EU sign political partnership deal
  • Mexico: Benito Juárez’s Birthday Memorial
  • Namibia: Namibian Independence Day
  • Palestinian Territories: Activists in Cairo have called for protests in Gaza
  • Baha‘i: Baha’i/Persian New Year

 

END

 

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