ONS: 21 June 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on June 21, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Mauritanians cast ballots Saturday in a presidential election that incumbent Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was expected to win as main opposition rivals boycotted the vote.

  • AMERICAS: Colombian President Santos said his government is working to reach a peace deal this year to end a five-decade conflict with FARC that has claimed 200,000 lives.

  • ASIA: Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah held street protests in Kabul as fears grow of unrest over alleged fraud in last week’s election.

  • EUROPE: The US imposed sanctions against separatists in eastern Ukraine, which included asset freezes against seven pro-Russian leaders.

  • MIDDLE EAST: A powerful truck bomb exploded in a government-held Syrian village, killing more than 30 civilians and wounding dozens more..

  • TECHNOLOGY: The Cuban government authorized the state telecom company to provide Internet access to the country’s budding private cooperatives.

 

TOP STORY

  • Iraq: Sectarian tensions rise as violence continues.

    • Thousands of Shia militia loyal to the powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr paraded through the streets of Baghdad, raising sectarian tensions amid continued fighting.

    • Sunni militants overran one of the last government-held crossings on the Iraqi-Syrian border after a fierce battle that left at least 34 Iraqi soldiers dead.

    • Sunni militants who fought together to capture swathes of Iraqi territory have turned their weapons on each other during clashes in Kirkuk province that cost 17 lives.

    • The spiritual leader of the country’s Shiite majority called for a new, “effective” government, increasing pressure on the country’s prime minister as an offensive by militants rages on.

    • US President Obama authorized a secret plan late last year to aid Iraqi troops in their fight against Sunni extremists by sharing intelligence on the militants’ desert encampments, but fizzled from lack of resources and mutual distrust.

    • Coverage: AFP, BBC, Gulf News, NYT,  WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Region: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will begin his visit to Namibia, Equatorial Guinea and Kenya on Monday and is scheduled to attend a series of AU and UN meetings. (IANS)

  • Egypt: An court confirmed the death sentences of more than 180 alleged Islamists, including the top leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. (WP)

  • Mauritania: Citizens cast ballots in a presidential election that incumbent Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was expected to win as main opposition rivals boycotted the vote. (AFP)

  • Rwanda: Marking World Refugee Day the country pledged that the Congolese refugees living in the country remain safe and secure. (Xinhua)

  • Sudan: The country’s armed opposition called on the international community to establish a no-fly zone over South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur to protect civilians. (Al-Awsat)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Chilean Foreign Minister Munoz said Latin American nations should explore similarities between the Pacific Alliance and Southern Common Market (Mercosur) to help the two trade blocs converge. (Xinhua)

  • Argentina: President Fernandez said her government would negotiate with all of the nation’s creditors in a bid to avoid a new debt default that would further weaken the country’s ailing economy. (Reuters)

  • Colombia: President Santos said his government is working to reach a peace deal this year to end a five-decade conflict with FARC that has claimed 200,000 lives. (Bloomberg)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah held street protests in Kabul as fears grow of unrest over alleged fraud in the last week’s election. (AFP)

  • Afghanistan: An Afghan security official said a suicide car bombing aimed at a senior government official killed one civilian and wounded three others but did not harm its intended target. (AP)

  • Australia: The country is offering asylum-seekers in its Pacific immigration camps up to $10,000 (US$9,400) if they voluntarily return to their home country, prompting outrage from refugee campaigners. (AFP)

  • China: Thirteen “thugs” were shot dead in the restive Xinjiang region on Saturday after they drove into a police building and set off an explosion. (AFP)

  • Thailand: The country said it was disappointed with a decision by the U.S. State Department to blacklist it for its failure to do enough to fight human trafficking and vowed to keep fighting the scourge. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • Poland: The country’s center-right government has found its future called into question after leaked audio recordings suggested it cut a deal with the central bank to boost the budget and garner political support. (AFP)

  • Russia: The US threatened “scalpel” sanctions on the country’s financial, defense and hi-tech industries as more Russian military material flowed into Ukraine. (Reuters)

  • Turkey: Two kidnapped workers were released by the members of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), said a Turkish official statement on Friday. (Xinhua)

  • Ukraine: President Petro Poroshenko on Friday ordered a seven-day ceasefire in the fight against pro-Russian separatists, but also warned them they could face death if they did not use the time to put down their guns. (Reuters)

  • Ukraine: The US imposed sanctions against separatists in eastern Ukraine, which include asset freezes against seven pro-Russian leaders. (BBC)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region:  The ISIL released a video calling upon Westerners to join its ranks. (LAT)

  • Syria: A powerful truck bomb exploded in a government-held village, killing more than 30 civilians and wounding dozens more. (AP)

  • Syria: The humanitarian situation in the country  is worsening and the number of people needing urgent help has reached 10.8 million, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: The Cuban government has authorized the state telecom company to provide Internet access to the country’s budding private cooperatives. (Xinhua)

  • Technology: Google and Microsoft plan to join Apple in introducing theft-deterring “kill switches” in their smartphone operating systems, as part of an agreement with mayors and police agencies. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report

  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report

  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report

  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report

  • Global Disease Outbreaks:

    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

      • Cases: 528 (Guinea, Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone)

      • Deaths: 337 (Guinea, Liberia)

      • Sourcing: WHO

    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)

      • Cases: Global Number of Cases as of 16 June: 701 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, Iran, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom, Egypt, US, Yemen)

      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 16 June: 249 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)

    • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (22JUN)

  • Europe Region: Day of Remembrance and Mourning for victims of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, held in the countries of the CIS – 1941

  • Indonesia: Televised presidential candidate debate pitting the popular Jakarta governor Joko Widodo against former special forces chief Lt. Gen (ret.) Prabowo Subianto

 

END

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