ONS: 20 October 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on October 20, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The WHO declared Nigeria officially Ebola-free, after 42 days without any new confirmed cases of the virus.

  • AMERICAS: The US federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working on revisions to safety protocols as the Pentagon announced it was forming a team to assist medical staff in the country, if needed.

  • ASIA: Joko Widodo was sworn in as Indonesia’s president and reached out to his political foes in his inauguration address to seek support for his ambitious reform agenda.

  • EUROPE:  French and German ministers are to meet to discuss ways of boosting growth in Europe’s two biggest economies, as Paris called on Berlin to step up investment.

  • MIDDLE EAST:  Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, met with the country’s prime minister in a sign of support for his newly-formed government and its struggle against the Islamic State extremist group.

  • TECHNOLOGY: The Brunei Computer Emergency Response Team (BruCERT) is hosting a three-day international cybersecurity conference.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: US, Turkey step up assistance to Kurdish fighters in Kobane.

    • Syrian activists reported that the US-led coalition launched new airstrikes on IS positions in Kobane, following overnight airdrops of weapons to Kurdish fighters.

    • USCENTCOM said US C-130 cargo planes made multiple drops of arms and supplies provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq.

    • Redur Xelil, spokesman for the People’s Protection Units (YPG), confirmed the weapons delivery and said it would “help greatly” and have a “positive impact on military operations against Daesh (IS).”

    • Turkey said it was assisting Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters to cross its borders to join Syrian Kurdish forces battling jihadists for Kobane.

    • EU foreign ministers have agreed to expand sanctions against Syria, adding 16 names and two entities to the blacklist, EU sources.

    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, AP, AP-2, BBC

 

AFRICA

  • Region: China contributed USD6 million to the World Food Program to combat food shortages in countries worst affected by the Ebola virus. (AP)

  • Nigeria: The WHO declared the country officially Ebola-free, after 42 days without any new confirmed cases of the virus. (BBC)

  • Nigeria: Military and intelligence officials raised doubts about the validity of a ceasefire with Boko Haram, with reports of fresh attacks and fighting in the country’s northeast. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: President Rousseff and opposition candidate Aecio Neves held a debate that highlighted allegations of bribery in state-run oil company Petrobras. (AP)

  • Colombia: Army troops conducting an operation in Huila found more than 200 kilos of explosives, 800 landmines, munitions and grenades in a rural area. (EFE)

  • United States: The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working on revisions to safety protocols as the Pentagon announced it was forming a team to assist medical staff in the country, if needed. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Officials reported that insurgents attacked several army checkpoints in the east and south of the country, killing at least four troops and wounding several people. (AP)

  • China: Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders angrily denied claims by the city’s chief executive Leung Chun-ying that more than three weeks of protests are being orchestrated by “external forces”. (AFP)

  • Indonesia: Joko Widodo was sworn in as president and reached out to his political foes in his inauguration address to seek support for his ambitious reform agenda. (AFP)

  • Indonesia: US Secretary Kerry is in the country for a brief visit aimed at building Asian support for the fights against Islamic State and the Ebola virus. (AP)

  • Korean Peninsula: South Korea warned North Korea against further “reckless” provocations following a series of minor skirmishes that have heightened military tensions ahead of planned high-level talks. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: EU foreign ministers agreed on measures to help halt Ebola’s spread in the region. (AFP)

  • Region: French and German ministers are to meet to discuss ways of boosting growth in Europe’s two biggest economies, as Paris called on Berlin to step up investment. (AFP)

  • Poland: President Komorowski said the country should decide on its path towards euro accession following parliamentary elections due in the autumn of 2015. (Reuters)

  • Sweden: A mysterious “foreign vessel” the military have been searching for off the coast of Stockholm might belong to the Netherlands, a source in the Russian defense ministry was quoted as saying. (AFP)

  • United Kingdom: European Commission president Barroso argued that Britain is better in the EU and warned that alienating its allies would be a “historic mistake”. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: The country’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, met with the country’s prime minister in a sign of support for his newly-formed government and its struggle against the Islamic State extremist group. (AP)

  • Iraq: Australia will deploy 200 special forces troops in the country to advise and assist security forces. (AP)

  • Yemen: At least 20 Shiite rebels were killed in clashes with al-Qaeda militants and a car bombing in the central town of Rada. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: The Brunei Computer Emergency Response Team (BruCERT) is hosting a three-day international cybersecurity conference. (Xinhua)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm 02C (Ana)

    • Location: 141 NM WSW of Barking Sands

    • Movement: W at 9 mph

    • Winds: 69 mph

    • Map

  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.

  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.

  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.

  • Global Disease Outbreaks:

    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

      • Cases: 9191 (Guinea, Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, DR Congo, US, Spain)

      • Deaths: 4546(Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone)

      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)

      • Cases as of 16OCT: 877 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, Iran, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom, Egypt, US, Yemen, Austria)

      • Deaths as of 16OCT: 317 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)

      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (21OCT)

  • Syria: New Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura to meet with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov

END

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