ONS: 20 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 20, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Nigerian President Jonathan said in an interview that he hopes that all territory seized by militant group Boko Haram will be retaken within a month.
  • AMERICAS:  Thousands of demonstrators marched in Ecuador’s capital Quito to protest constitutional changes that would allow indefinite re-election of the president and other officials.
  • ASIA: Diplomatic and congressional sources said Japanese PM Shinzo Abe is expected to become the country’s first prime minister in history to address a joint session of the US Congress.
  • EUROPE: Russia proposed a UNSC draft resolution asking Kiev to “immediately start consultations” with pro-Russian separatists on elections within their territories.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Yemen, at least 30 people were killed in triple suicide bombings that targeted mosques attended by Shiite Huthi militiamen in Sanaa.
  • TECHNOLOGY: NSA Director and Commander of US Cyber Command ADM Rogers said the US needs to step up its offensive cyber capabilities as too many adversaries can attack the US without fear of retaliation.

 

TOP STORY

  • Iran: Talks on nuclear deal continue as deadline approaches.
    • EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini held talks with British PM Cameron, French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel to exchange views amid conflicting reports about what progress is being made.
    • US President Obama said that the negotiations now presented “the best opportunity in decades” for the two countries to settle long-standing differences and resolve a major international concern.
    • US Secretary Kerry and Iranian FM Zarif said there had been progress but a EU official believed the parties were still “pretty far from a deal.”
    • Iranian FM Zarif urged the US and five other world powers to drop the pressure in nuclear negotiations and agree to a deal.
    • Russia’s senior negotiator at Iran nuclear talks said that FM Lavrov would not be attending talks alongside EU leaders.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AP, NYT, Reuters, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Region: A top Tunisian security official said two extremist gunmen who killed 21 people at a top museum in Tunis trained in Libya before carrying out the attack. (AP)
  • Libya: EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said EU leaders are looking to back UN-brokered efforts to form a national unity government that may include a possible mission to help provide security. (AP)
  • Nigeria: President Jonathan said in an interview that he hopes that all territory seized by militant group Boko Haram will be retaken within a month. (BBC)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: The Organization of American States called for a dialogue between the US and Venezuela to reduce tension. (EFE)
  • Region: Ten Venezuelans were arrested over a shipment of cocaine found in a plane that travelled from Caracas to the Dominican Republic. (AFP)
  • Ecuador: Thousands of demonstrators marched in Quito to protest constitutional changes that would allow indefinite re-election of the president and other officials. (AP)
  • Mexico: The Institute for Economics and Peace said that violence in the country cost the country USD233 billion last year, equivalent to 17.3 percent of gross domestic product. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • India: Two suspected rebels stormed a police station in Kashmir killing three officers and a civilian before being shot dead by government forces. (AP)
  • Indonesia: President Widodo is to begin a visit to Japan and China to seek fresh investment to boost slowing growth. (AFP)
  • Japan: Diplomatic and congressional sources said PM Shinzo Abe is expected to become the country’s first prime minister in history to address a joint session of the US Congress. (AFP)
  • Korea, North: The country announced it will convene a rare parliamentary session of the Supreme People’s Assembly next month. (AFP)
  • Philippines: The government said it has been investigating the alleged establishment of a new training camp by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in a possible violation of the ceasefire agreement. (Xinhua)

 

EUROPE

  • Greece: PM Tsipras said he was optimistic about resolving the country’s financial crisis after his first round of meetings with European leaders in Brussels. (Xinhua)
  • Netherlands: Copenhagen police said they had arrested a fifth man suspected of being an accomplice of gunman Omar El-Hussein who killed two people in attacks last month. (AP)
  • Ukraine: Russia proposed a UNSC draft resolution asking Kiev to “immediately start consultations” with pro-Russian separatists on elections within their territories. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: ISIS published a video purporting to show the beheading of three Kurdish peshmerga fighters by militants who threatened to kill “dozens” more of those being held captive. (Reuters)
  • Israel: A senior official said that defense ties with the US would remain “intensive” despite a deepening rift between US President Obama and PM Netanyahu. (AFP)
  • Israel: US President Obama told PM Netanyahu that the US would “reassess” its policy options after the position change on Palestinian statehood. (AFP)
  • Syria: US Secretary Kerry said that the US is looking into allegations that the regime used chlorine gas in an attack in the northwest of the country earlier this week. (AFP)
  • Yemen: At least 30 people were killed in triple suicide bombings that targeted mosques attended by Shiite Huthi militiamen in Sanaa. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: NSA Director and Commander of US Cyber Command ADM Rogers said the US needs to step up its offensive cyber capabilities as too many adversaries can attack the US without fear of retaliation. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 18P (Nathan)
    • Location: 208 NM NW of Cairns, Australia
    • Movement: W at 10 mph
    • Winds: 81 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 23,934 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 9,792 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 09MAR: 1,231,077 (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: 25,353
      • Deaths as of 09MAR: 183 (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 11MAR: 1060 (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, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 11MAR: 394 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (21MAR)

  • Global: Spring Equinox
  • Global: Anniversary of the first “tweet” on Twitter – 2006
  • Asia Region: China, Japan & South Korea foreign ministers meeting
  • Namibia: Independence Day -1990
  • Baha’i: Baha’i New Year

 

END

 

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