ONS: 21 February 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 22, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Libya’s internationally recognized government condemned a US air strike west of Tripoli believed to have killed a top Islamic State group operative and dozens of others the previous day.
  • AMERICAS: President Juan Manuel Santos said government forces killed seven members of the country’s second-largest rebel movement even as officials move toward ending the country’s long guerrilla struggle.
  • ASIA: Indonesian police said they arrested dozens of suspected Islamic extremists on Java Island, most of whom were allegedly carrying out military-style training on a remote mountain.
  • EUROPE: Russia’s energy minister said consultations on a preliminary deal between leading oil producers to freeze output should be concluded by 01MAR after a group led by Moscow and Riyadh reached a common position this week in Doha.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he is ready for cease-fire in Syria on condition that the “terrorists” don’t exploit it.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A source familiar with the matter said Google chief executive Sundar Pichai will meet with the European Union’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager in Brussels in the coming week.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: A double car bombing in the central city of Homs kills at least 46
    • The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said most of those killed appeared to be civilians, adding that the toll could rise further because of the number of seriously wounded.
    • The attacks happened in a predominantly Alawite district, the minority sect to which President Assad belongs.
    • The attacks came as world powers try to salvage a deal struck in Munich earlier this month to work toward a cease fire in the country.
    • Coverage: BBC, AFP, Reuters, WSJ

AFRICA

  • Central African Republic: The country’s defeated candidate Anicet-Georges Dologuele said he will respect the provisional results released by the National Elections Authority (ANE). (Xinhua)
  • Libya: The country’s internationally recognized government condemned a US air strike west of Tripoli believed to have killed a top Islamic State group operative and dozens of others the previous day. (AFP)
  • Libya: The Pentagon said it had “no information” indicating that its air strike on a jihadist training camp had led to the deaths of two kidnapped Serbian embassy employees, noting it had watched the facility for weeks before the raid. (AFP)
  • Niger: The country began voting in an election in which President Mahamadou Issoufou is running for a second term with a promise to crush Islamist militants and develop the economy in one of the poorest countries in the world. (Reuters)
  • South Africa: Health authorities confirmed the country’s first case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in a Colombian man. (Reuters)
  • Uganda: The United States noted a series of troubling “irregularities” in the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections and said that “the Ugandan people deserve better.” (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Bolivia: The country goes to the polls in a referendum that will decide if President Evo Morales can stay in power for a fourth term, with the result looking uncertain as support for the once popular leader has ebbed. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos said government forces killed seven members of the country’s second-largest rebel movement even as officials move toward ending the country’s long guerrilla struggle. (AP)
  • Venezuela: According to the opposition, one of their politicians was arrested by the state intelligence service after a food storage facility was looted by an angry mob. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: The National Directorate for Security (NDS) said about six Haqqani militants, including two local leaders of the militant group, were captured in the eastern province of Khost. (Xinhua)
  • Indonesia: Police said they arrested dozens of suspected Islamic extremists on Java Island, most of whom were allegedly carrying out military-style training on a remote mountain. (AFP)
  • Japan: Thousands of people surrounded the country’s parliament to protest against government plans to relocate a US military base on Okinawa island. (Reuters)
  • Malaysia: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said over 130 Malaysians who are now in Syria and Iraq fighting for the Islamic State (IS) will be barred from returning home. (Xinhua)

EUROPE

  • Russia: The country’s energy minister said consultations on a preliminary deal between leading oil producers to freeze output should be concluded by 01MAR after a group led by Moscow and Riyadh reached a common position this week in Doha. (Reuters)
  • Turkey: Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the country will introduce new national security measures in the wake of a suicide car bombing in Ankara that killed 28 people. (AFP)
  • Ukraine: Kyiv and pro-Russian rebels exchanged nine prisoners captured in the country’s war-torn east in the first such swap this year. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Two prominent Lebanese politicians lashed out at Shiite movement Hezbollah and its allies over Saudi Arabia’s decision to halt a 4-billion-dollar military aid programme. (DPA)
  • Iraq: Provincial security sources said they fought fierce clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants and retook control of an area near the city of Ramadi, while the troops repelled five suicide car bombs in the province. (Xinhua)
  • Syria: President Bashar al-Assad said he is ready for cease-fire in Syria on condition that the “terrorists” don’t exploit it. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Internet Governance: A source familiar with the matter said Google chief executive Sundar Pichai will meet with the European Union’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager in Brussels in the coming week. (AFP)

WORLD

  • Cyclone: Tropical Cyclone Winston
    • Location: 253 NM E of Suva, Fiji
    • Winds: 144 mph
    • Movement:  WSW at 7 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 21FEB: 28,639 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 21FEB: 11,316 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 21FEB: 6,244 (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, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
      • Confirmed Cases: 175
      • Deaths as of 21FEB: 0 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 21FEB: 1638 (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, China, South Korea, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 21FEB: 587 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 21FEB: Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, El Salvador, Paraguay, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Cape Verde, Honduras, French Guiana, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Guyana, Barbados, Ecuador, Bolivia, Haiti, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Guatemala, Curacao, Costa Rica, Maldives
      • Indication of Viral Circulation as of 21FEB: South Africa, China, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
      • Deaths as of 21FEB: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (22FEB)

  • India: As part of a regional tour (to 04MAR), US Assistant Secretary for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Frank Rose will meet officials of a space institute, the External Affairs and Defense ministries and parliament, attend the U.S.-India space security dialogue and deliver a keynote speech at a conference (to 24FEB)
  • Middle East Region: Anniversary of formation of United Arab Republic – 1958
  • Palestinian Territories: Fatah, Hamas leaders to resume dialogue in Qatar
  • St. Lucia: Independence Day

END

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