ONS: 21 January 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 22, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen faces 70 charges of war crimes by the International Criminal Court, including keeping sex slaves and recruiting child soldiers.
  • AMERICAS: In the US, new visa requirements will be announced for European travelers who are dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria, or who have visited any of these countries in the last five years.
  • ASIA: Bangladeshi Police are holding 14 of the 26 construction workers deported from Singapore late last year over links with a banned Islamist group.
  • EUROPE: Top NATO brass are meeting to discuss what changes the alliance should make in its strategy and force posture to face a more assertive Russia and other evolving security challenges.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is lobbying for more free and fair elections in the country, saying moderate and reformist political factions should be allowed to run.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Google’s head of ideas, Jared Cohen, said the terror group ISIS must be pushed off of the open web if it is to be hindered from spreading its message online.

TOP STORY

  • Russia: UK inquiry implicates Russian President Putin in 2006 murder of ex-KGB spy
    • A public inquiry concluded the murder of former spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 was “probably” approved by President Vladimir Putin.
    • The finding by Robert Owen, a retired United Kingdom High Court judge, in a 328-page report represented by far the most damning official link between Mr. Litvinenko’s death on 23NOV06 and the highest levels of the Kremlin.
    • The conclusion, which comes nearly a decade after Alexander Litvinenko succumbed to the effects of polonium slipped into a cup of green tea at London’s Millennium Hotel, is sure to raise tensions between London and Moscow.
    • The inquiry also found organizations and individuals within the Russian state had multiple motives to kill Litvinenko, including a “personal… antagonism” between the victim and Putin.
    • The Kremlin has always denied any involvement.
    • Coverage: BBC, Guardian, NYT, Reuters, WP

AFRICA

  • Burundi: The African Union expressed “fervent hope” that the UN Security Council will persuade the country to agree to the deployment of peacekeepers to prevent further violence. (AFP)
  • Djibouti: The country signed agreements with China to set up a trade zone and let Chinese banks operate in the Horn of Africa nation. (AFP)
  • Egypt: Unknown assailants shot dead five Egyptian policemen in an attack on a security checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula. (AFP)
  • Sierra Leone: The World Health Organization confirmed a new case of Ebola in the country. (AFP)
  • Uganda: Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen faces 70 charges of war crimes by the International Criminal Court, including keeping sex slaves and recruiting child soldiers. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: The country released a group of imprisoned rebels, marking another milestone in the peace process. (AP)
  • United States: The Obama administration will announce new visa requirements for European travelers who are dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria, or who have visited any of these countries in the last five years. (AP)
  • United States: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter confirmed the 12 US Marines missing at sea when two helicopters apparently collided in Hawaii last week are dead. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Region: Taiwan expressed serious concern over Chinese military live fire exercises and landing drills, just days after a landslide election win by a Taiwanese independence-leaning opposition party. (Reuters)
  • Bangladesh: Bangladeshi Police are holding 14 of the 26 construction workers deported from Singapore late last year over links with a banned Islamist group. (AFP)
  • India: Police claimed to have arrested four men with alleged links to Islamic State for planning to attack strategic locations in the national capital. (Xinhua)
  • Indonesia:  President Joko Widodo broke ground on on the country’s first-ever bullet train line, heralding the project as a symbol of “major cooperation” with China. (AFP)
  • Thailand: Authorities arrested members of a student group opposed to military rule, including one snatched off the street and into a vehicle that took him away. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Region: French PM Manuel Valls warned the EU faced a host of dangers and could “fracture” in the months to come. (AFP)
  • Region: Top NATO brass are meeting to discuss what changes the alliance should make in its strategy and force posture to face a more assertive Russia and other evolving security challenges. (AP)
  • Belgium: Two men were detained in the last two days for questioning in Brussels during police raids linked to the deadly Paris attacks. (AFP)
  • Moldova: The country braced for fresh protests after the opposition called for more demonstrations against a new government that was secretly sworn in overnight. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his deep concern about reports of an Israeli government plan to appropriate new land in the West Bank. (Xinhua)
  • Region: French President Francois Hollande said a coalition waging a bombing campaign against the Islamic State group would “accelerate” airstrikes. (AFP)
  • Iran: President Hassan Rouhani is lobbying for more free and fair elections in the country, saying moderate and reformist political factions should be allowed to run. (AP)
  • Kuwait: Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said the Gulf country plans to cut heavy subsidies on fuel and power in a bid to offset a fall in oil revenues. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Google’s head of ideas, Jared Cohen, said the terror group ISIS must be pushed off of the open web if it is to be hindered from spreading its message online. (Guardian)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 07P (Victor)
    • Location: 320 NM E of Tonga
    • Wind: 74 mph
    • Movement: W at 3 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 21JAN: 28,638 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 21JAN: 11,315 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 21JAN: 653,249 (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: 31,543
      • Deaths as of 21JAN: 82 (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 21JAN: 1626 (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 21JAN: 586 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (22JAN)

  • Vanuatu: Vanuatu snap elections

END

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