ONS: 20 November 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on November 20, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Nigerian security forces fired teargas inside the parliament complex as opposition lawmakers, including the speaker of the lower house, arrived for a key vote on emergency rule in the northeast.
  • AMERICAS: Countries assisting peace talks between the Colombian government and FARC rebels said that an agreement has been reached to free a general whose capture jeopardized the negotiations.
  • ASIA: New satellite imagery suggests North Korea may be firing up a facility for processing weapons-grade plutonium, as Pyongyang threatened a fresh nuclear test in response to UN condemnation of its rights record.
  • EUROPE: Amnesty International reported that Turkey’s government-run refugee camps are operating at full capacity, with more than one million Syrian refugees.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Turkish PM Davutoglu arrived in Baghdad on an official visit aimed at boosting ties, in addition to discussing the fight against the Islamic State group.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A provision of the Patriot Act offers an opportunity for US President Obama to keep the NSA’s bulk phone records program going indefinitely.

 

TOP STORY

  • Iran: Diplomatic efforts intensify ahead of nuclear deal deadline.
    • US Secretary Kerry met with his French counterpart FM Fabius in Paris, as well as Saudi FM Saud al-Faisal.
    • US Secretary Kerry will fly to Vienna for a final round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program.
    • Iranian nuclear chief Salehi said the country sees “no more room” for negotiations on the design of its Arak reactor, refusing to give ground on a key issue in international negotiations.
    • The head of the IAEA said that Iran had again failed to provide explanations about suspected atomic bomb research.
    • UK Foreign Secretary Hammond publicly raised the prospect of extending the talks beyond the November 24 deadline
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, NYT, Reuters, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Egypt: A security official reported that authorities arrested leading Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Ali Bishr, who played a key role in negotiations between his now-banned group and the government. (AP)
  • Nigeria: Security forces fired teargas inside the parliament complex as opposition lawmakers, including the speaker of the lower house, arrived for a key vote on emergency rule in the northeast. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: A state-owned Chinese company has signed a USD12 billion agreement to build a railway along the country’s coast that it billed as China’s single largest overseas contract. (AFP)
  • Sierra Leone: The WHO said the transmission of Ebola remains “intense” and widespread in the country, even as some improvements are being seen in the two other countries worst hit by the crisis. (AP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Countries assisting peace talks between the government and FARC rebels said that an agreement has been reached to free a general whose capture jeopardized the negotiations. (AP)
  • Cuba: US Deputy National Security Advisor Blinken said President Barack Obama will not take measures to ease the embargo on the country unless the government of Havana makes significant progress in democratic and economic reforms. (EFE)
  • Mexico: The government prepared for a national day of protest and marches for 43 missing students. (EFE)
  • United States: President Obama is set to unveil administrative actions on immigration. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: China and New Zealand agreed to expand their trade relationship during talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping New Zealand’s PM Key. (AFP)
  • Korea, North: New satellite imagery suggests the country may be firing up a facility for processing weapons-grade plutonium, as Pyongyang threatened a fresh nuclear test in response to UN condemnation of its rights record. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Army Chief GEN Sharif told top US military and political leaders that the country’s security forces will continue its offensive against the militant groups in the tribal regions. (Xinhua)
  • Philippines: A senior government official said military has sought the support of local leaders in the south of the country to thwart the recruitment efforts of Islamic State. (Xinhua)
  • Sri Lanka: President Rajapakse confirmed he would seek a third term in office, with snap elections expected in January. (Reuters)

 

EUROPE

  • Turkey: Amnesty International reported that government-run refugee camps are operating at full capacity, with more than one million Syrian refugees. (AP)
  • Ukraine: UN HCHR Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein reported that fighting in the east of the country has killed an average of 13 people each day in the eight weeks since a 05SEP ceasefire agreement. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: A convoy of international monitors from the OSCE was shot at by “uniformed personnel” in the east of the country. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: Turkish PM Davutoglu arrived in Baghdad on an official visit aimed at boosting ties, in addition to discussing the fight against the Islamic State group. (Xinhua)
  • Israel: The military reported that militants in the Gaza Strip have test-fired rockets into the Mediterranean Sea, with four rockets fired over a 24-hour period, suggesting Gaza militants are “experimenting.” (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: Russian FM Lavrov is to meet with FM Prince Saud al-Faisal. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: A provision of the Patriot Act offers an opportunity for US President Obama to keep the NSA’s bulk phone records program going indefinitely. (NYT)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 14,413 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United States)
      • Deaths: 5,177 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 13NOV: 885,926 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, 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, 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.)
      • Deaths as of 13NOV: 153 (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 03NOV: 926 (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 and the U.S)
      • Deaths as of 13NOV: 331 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (21NOV)

  • Pakistan: Anniversary of mob attack on US Embassy in Islamabad – 1979

END

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