ONS: 21 January 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 21, 2015

 

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In the DR Congo, clashes continued at a student demonstration in Kinshasa in a third day of violence over controversial legislation that would extend President Kabila’s term in office.
  • AMERICAS: The highest-level US delegation to Cuba in 35 years is to begin talks aimed at restoring diplomatic ties and eventually normalizing relations.
  • ASIA:  A Philippine official said surveillance photographs show that China’s land reclamation in contested reefs in the South China Sea has become “massive”.
  • EUROPE: French and European leaders are scheduled to unveil a series of anti-terror measures as the first suspects linked to the Paris attacks were charged.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Yemen, authorities in Aden shut its international airport to protest against attacks by Shiite militiamen on the president and other state figures.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The main Twitter account for leading French newspaper Le Monde was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army.

 

TOP STORY

  • United States: President Obama delivers State of the Union emphasizing Cuba, cybersecurity.
    • President Obama asked Congress to pass new legislation to combat what he called “the evolving threat of cyber-attacks,” warning the US faces heightened risks if policy makers fail to act.
    • President Obama said that intelligence agencies will release a report next month stating that they’ve respected individual privacy while maintaining a close watch on terror groups.
    • President Obama asked Congress to begin to lift the embargo against Cuba.
    • President Obama pledged to make good on his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, saying it was “time to finish the job.”
    • President Obama asked Congress to give him the powers to fully negotiate transpacific and transatlantic free-trade agreements, arguing it will boost the economy and help American workers.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, AP, LAT, NYT, WP, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • DR Congo: Clashes continued at a student demonstration in Kinshasa in a third day of violence over controversial legislation that would extend President Kabila’s term in office. (AFP)
  • Egypt: HRW accused authorities of failing to take serious steps to improve conditions in overcrowded prisons which are causing deaths. (Reuters)
  • Somalia: Al Shebab urged supporters in Europe to follow the example of Islamist gunmen who carried out attacks in Paris. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: Rebel chief Riek Machar is expected to meet with President Kiir in Tanzania to ink the latest in a string of agreements. (AFP)
  • Uganda: The ICC’s prosecutor called for renewed efforts to arrest militia leader Joseph Kony, after one of his top commanders was taken into custody. (AP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: The highest-level US delegation to Cuba in 35 years is to begin talks aimed at restoring diplomatic ties and eventually normalizing relations. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: Mines and Energy Minister Eduardo Braga announced a series of measures to strengthen the supply of energy after 11 states suffered blackouts earlier in the week. (EFE)
  • Colombia: FARC guerrillas demanded that the government do more to respect a unilateral ceasefire. (AFP)
  • United States: The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester said nearly every US weapons program tested in fiscal 2014 showed “significant vulnerabilities” to cyber attacks. (Reuters)

 

ASIA

  • Region:  A Philippine official said surveillance photographs show that China’s land reclamation in contested reefs in the South China Sea has become “massive”. (AFP)
  • Region: The border guards of India and Pakistan exchanged fire on forward posts in Jammu district, violating a cease-fire agreement on the International Border (IB) in Kashmir. (Xinhua)
  • Bangladesh:  The government said that security forces have arrested more than 7,000 opposition activists since the start of recent protests. (AFP)
  • Japan: PM Shinzo Abe admitted it was a “race against time” to free two hostages captured by ISIS who are demanding USD200 million in exchange for their lives by Friday. (AFP)
  • Korea, North: The head of the UN commission that produced a report on rights abuses in the country dismissed Pyongyang’s claim that doubts about the credibility of a prominent witness made the panel’s findings “invalid.” (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: French and European leaders are scheduled to unveil a series of anti-terror measures as the first suspects linked to the Paris attacks were charged. (AFP)
  • Region: Russian FM Lavrov said he would seek an immediate ceasefire in east Ukraine at talks in Berlin with the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Germany and France. (Reuters)
  • France: PM Valls said that authorities have to monitor nearly 3,000 people involved in “terrorist networks” in the country, as he unveiled measures to combat jihadism after the Paris attacks. (AFP)
  • Turkey: Parliament voted against putting on trial four former ex-ministers accused in a 2013 graft investigation. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: A senior Revolutionary Guard commander said Israel will be punished for killing one of its generals in an airstrike in Syria that also killed six Lebanese Hezbollah fighters. (AP)
  • Israel: A Palestinian wounded at least 12 passengers in a stabbing attack on a Tel Aviv bus before being shot by a passing prison officer. (AFP)
  • Saudi Arabia: The Health Ministry announced the appointment of US experts to halt the spread of infectious and noncommunicable diseases, including MERS-CoV. (Xinhua)
  • Yemen: Authorities in Aden shut its international airport to protest against attacks by Shiite militiamen on the president and other state figures. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: The main Twitter account for leading French newspaper Le Monde was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 07P (Niko)
    • Location: 515 NM N of Papeete, Tahiti
    • Movement: SSE at 8 mph
    • Winds: 52 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 21,296 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 8,429 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 29DEC: 1,091,612 (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, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.) Confirmed Cases: 22,796
      • Deaths as of 29DEC: 169 (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 20JAN: 955 (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 US)
      • Deaths as of 20JAN: 351 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, WHO-3

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (22JAN)

  • Global: U.N. General Assembly will hold an informal meeting on the growth of anti-Semitism
  • Nepal: Nepal deadline to draft constitution
  • Sudan: Extended deadline for presidential and legislative election nominations

 

END

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