ONS: 21 February 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 21, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Tunisian security forces seized a sizeable quantity of weapons in Mnihla, west of the capital, including automatic weapons, rocket launchers, and surface-to-air missiles.
  • AMERICAS: HRW accused Mexican security forces of failing to properly investigate at least 249 “disappearances” that occurred under President Calderon.
  • ASIA: Gunmen in Indonesia’s restive Papua region conducted a series of attacks on military targets, killing eight soldiers and wounding two.
  • EUROPE: A Lebanese man on trial in Cyprus for espionage and planning attacks on Israeli tourists admitted to membership in Hezbollah.
  • MIDDLE EAST: At least three Yemeni secessionist protestors were killed and 15 others injured in clashes with the police while demonstrating in the city of Aden.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Google is in talks with top credit card firms and PayPal in an effort to crack down on pirating sites by removing their sources of funding.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: A car bomb exploded at a security check point outside of the headquarters of the ruling Ba’ath party in Damascus.
    • The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the blast killed at least 31 people, mostly civilians, and wounded dozens more.
    • The explosion heavily damaged the Russian embassy, located next to the Ba’ath party headquarters.
    • A series of mortar shells were fired on the Army’s General Command in Damascus, but caused no casualties.
    • The attack comes as Russian and Arab League officials called on the opposition and government to negotiate an end to the two-year conflict.
    • Coverage: AFP-1, AFP-2, AP-1, AP-2, BBC, CBS

AFRICA

  • Djibouti: Opposition parties united to present the first real challenge to President Guelleh’s rule in parliamentary elections in a decade. (AFP)
  • Kenya: Gunmen ambushed and killed seven people at a mosque in Kulan near the Somali border, the most recent in a series of attacks in the area. (Xinhua)
  • Mali: General Lecointre, head of the EU training mission in Mali, said that there will be no collaboration with the ex-junta leader who is currently in charge of reforms in the country’s security forces. (Xinhua)
  • Tunisia: Security forces seized a sizeable quantity of weapons in Mnihla, west of the capital, including automatic weapons, rocket launchers, and surface-to-air missiles. (Xinhua)

AMERICAS

  • Cuba: Vice President Cabrisas met with Iran’s Vice President for International Affairs Ali Saeedlou to discuss promoting bilateral trade and economic ties. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: HRW accused security forces of failing to properly investigate at least 249 “disappearances” that occurred under President Calderon. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: Doctors refused Bolivian President Morales permission to visit President Chavez on his visit to Caracas. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Security forces killed four militants including a Taliban leader and arrested several others in a raid on a Taliban compound in the northern province of Kunduz. (Xinhua)
  • India: A business association claimed the nationwide strike called by trade unions cost the economy USD4.6 billion. (DPA)
  • Indonesia: Gunmen in the restive Papua region conducted a series of attacks on military targets, killing eight soldiers and wounding two. (AFP)
  • Japan: Coast guard ships said that a Chinese government ship had entered the territorial waters near the disputed Senkaku islands. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Cyprus: A Lebanese man on trial for espionage and planning attacks on Israeli tourists admitted to membership in Hezbollah. (AFP)
  • Greece: A Neo-Nazi party sued the police, alleging officers illegally entered party premises to arrest over a dozen members. (AFP)
  • Italy: The President of the EU Parliament Michael Schulz warned voters not to cast a ballot for Berlusconi in the upcoming elections over worries he will halt the country’s reforms. (Reuters)
  • Romania: A court detained an Israeli man and a Romanian woman accused of organizing and running a human egg trafficking ring. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: Gunmen attacked an army checkpoint north of Baghdad killing four soldiers and wounding four others. (AP)
  • Palestinian Territories: Israeli settlers set seven cars on fire in the West Bank village of Qusra due to a dispute over farmland lying between the village and the settlement. (AFP)
  • Syria: SNC leaders met in Cairo to discuss the leadership’s proposal for direct negotiations with the Ba’ath regime. (AFP)
  • Yemen: At least three secessionist protestors were killed and 15 others injured in clashes with the police while demonstrating in the city of Aden. (Xinhua)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Online Piracy: Google is in talks with top credit card firms and PayPal in an effort to crack down on pirating sites by removing their sources of funding. (Mashable)

WORLD

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Depression 02W (Two) Warning
      • Location: 132 mi SW of Puerto Princesa, Philippines
      • Movement: W at 9 mph
      • Winds: 29 mph
      • Map
    • Tropical Cyclone 16S (Haruna)
      • Location: 437 mi SW of Antananarivo, Madagascar
      • Movement: SE at 3.5 mph
      • Winds: 109 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcano: Karymsky, Petropalovsk, Kamchatsky
    • Spewing ash up to 2.5 mi high

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (22FEB)

  • Middle East: United Arab Republic formed – 1958.
  • Djibouti: Parliamentary elections.
  • Japan: Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe will hold talks with US President Barack Obama in Washington.
  • Philippines: People Power Day (also known as the EDSA Revolution and the Philippine Revolution) – 1986.
  • St. Lucia: Independence Day – 1979.
  • Tibet: Tibetan New Year.

END

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