ONS: 21 December 2011

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 21, 2011

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: EU unveiled plans to release Libyan assets
  • AMERICAS: Al-Qaeda militant al-Awlaki posthumously called on US Muslims to follow him
  • ASIA: South Korea signed a $1.1 billion deal to sell submarines to Indonesia
  • EUROPE: Norway lent $9.4 billion to the IMF
  • MIDDLE EAST:  VP Biden urged Iraqi PM al-Maliki to resolve crisis
  • TECHNOLOGY: Twitter unveiled open source code for TextSecure

TOP STORIES

  • Korean Peninsula: Defectors in South Korea view Kim Jong-il’s death as full of hope
    • The death re-kindled an already divisive class system between defectors and native South Koreans
    • London-based defectors held a protest at the embassy there
    • In light of his death, DPRK tightened internal security and placed troops on alert
    • US pushed ahead with food aid despite the leader’s death
    • ROK’s intelligence leader said he doubts the time and location of the death
    • Kim Jong-il’s son, uncle, and the military will share his previously held power
    • Coverage: LA Times, AP, Reuters, AFP, UPI, Reuters-2

AFRICA

  • Region: A Kenyan warplane bombed a Somali village held by Islamist rebels near the border with Kenya, killing several civilians. (Reuters)
  • Libya: One of PM Mahmoudi’s lawyers said that his health is “seriously degraded,” following a hunger strike. (Xinhua)
  • Libya: The EU introduced plans to unfreeze the European-based assets of the Libyan Central Bank and its subsidiary, Libyan Arab Foreign Bank. (RIA Novosti)
  • Tunisia: PM Jebali, newly-elected, presented his new government to the country’s president, although the make up of the team was not publicly available. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Arizona authorities arrested some 200 people and seized $7.8 million in cash and 1,200 pounds of drugs following an investigation that dismantled an extensive cell of Sinaloa cartel. (AP)
  • Region: Mercosur, the South American trading bloc, agreed to close its ports to ships flying the flag of the disputed Falkland Islands. (AFP)
  • Colombia: At least 40 suspected members of the drug trafficking gang Los Urabenos were captured in operations across Colombia. (Xinhua)
  • United States: A video was released that showed US-born al Qaeda militant al-Awlaki posthumously where he called on US Muslims to join the group in the Middle East. (Reuters)

ASIA

  • Region: A South Korean shipbuilder said it signed a $1.1 billion deal to sell three submarines to Indonesia. (Yonhap)
  • Afghanistan: A bomb attack targeted a military convoy of NATO-led Coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, killing 5 Polish soldiers. (AFP)
  • China: Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) established the Military Training Department under General Staff Headquarters. (Xinhua)
  • Indonesia: A passenger ship carrying over 200 passengers capsized, killing 4 off Maluku province. (AP)
  • Philippines: President Aquino declared state of calamity to hasten rescue after Tropical Storm Washi, as he ordered fixed pricing on basic goods. (CNN)

EUROPE

  • Region: An alleged fuel smuggler accused by NATO of orchestrating violence against its troops in Kosovo last month was arrested in Serbia. (Reuters)
  • Belarus: US Congress tightened sanctions on Belarus a year after its sweeping crackdown on dissent. (AFP)
  • Norway: Norway offered a 9.4 billion dollar loan to the IMF to boost lending capacity. (DPA)
  • Russia: President Medvedev set the task of reinforcing Russian companies’ position abroad with counterintelligence activities. (Interfax)
  • Spain: President Obama called Spain’s new PM Mariano Rajoy to congratulate him on his approval by the parliament. (Xinhua)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: The US said that the American of Iranian descent who was arrested in Iran has been falsely accused of being a US spy. (AFP)
  • Iraq: PM al-Maliki threatened to replace Iraqiya ministers if they continued to boycott the national unity cabinet. (AFP)
  • Yemen: Masked gunmen opened fire on a military vehicle, killing a high-ranking officer of the Yemeni intelligence agency in the southern province of Lahj. (Xinhua)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Social Media: Twitter opened the source code for TextSecure, an Android app that encrypts text messages and is popular among activists in many countries. (Mashable)
  • Social Media: A Swedish charity claimed to set up a paywall on Twitter in which people pay to read Tweets from some of the country’s celebrities. (ReadWriteWeb)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (22DEC)

  • Global: End of Biological Weapons Convention held in Geneva.
  • Russia: President Medvedev makes state of the nation speech.
  • Spain: New government sworn in.

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