ONS: 21 March 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 21, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: French President Hollande said Mali’s sovereignty over almost all of its territory would be restored within “a few days.”
  • AMERICAS: A top US general warned the Pentagon budget cuts will undermine the US military’s efforts to seize illegal narcotic shipments out of Latin America.
  • ASIA: The DPRK’s supreme military command said its “precision attack” weapons have US navy bases in Guam and Okinawa in their sights and will attack them if it is provoked.
  • EUROPE: In Turkey, jailed Kurdish rebel chief Ocalan is set to call a “historic” ceasefire with the government.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The UN said Syria has made no formal request for a UN investigation into government claims that opposition rebels have used chemical weapons.
  • TECHNOLOGY: South Korea said it had sourced a damaging cyber attack on its broadcasters and banks to an IP address in China, fuelling suspicions that North Korea may have been responsible.

TOP STORY

  • Israel: Rockets hit the south of country President Obama’s during visit of; Military aid discussions underway; President Obama is scheduled to meet with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank.
    • Two rockets fired by militants in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip hit southern Israel as US President Obama was making his first official visit to the country in four years.
    • US President Obama said Israel and the US are to “begin discussions” on extending US military aid to Israel beyond 2017.
    • President Obama is scheduled for brief meetings with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank on the prospects for restarting Mideast peace talks with Israel.
    • US Secretary Kerry is set to return to Jerusalem on Saturday to meet Israeli PM Netanyahu.
    • Palestinian militants pitched a protest camp on the site of a contested Jewish settlement.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, AFP-4, AP, Reuters

AFRICA

  • Region: Ministers from western and central African countries pledged to cooperate to halt the spread of sea piracy in the region at a meeting in Benin. (AFP)
  • Central African Republic: The UNSC condemned CAR rebels, who have staged attacks and threatened new hostilities against the government. (AFP)
  • Egypt: Justice Minister Mekki asked to be removed from his post over the public’s growing anti-judiciary sentiments. (Xinhua)
  • Mali: French President Hollande said Mali’s sovereignty over almost all of its territory would be restored within “a few days.” (AFP)
  • Zimbabwe: South African MPs called for a total removal of sanctions and restrictions imposed by the EU against Zimbabwe. (Xinhua)

AMERICAS

  • Haiti: The UN criticized Haiti for failing to establish democratic institutions while it struggled with health and development problems arising after the 2010 earthquake. (DPA)
  • United States: An al Qaeda veteran who fought US troops in Afghanistan has been held in secret federal custody in New York since October. (WaPo)
  • United States: A top general warned the Pentagon that budget cuts will undermine the US military’s efforts to seize illegal narcotic shipments out of Latin America. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: FM Jaua said the country has cut off all diplomatic contact with the US because Washington is meddling in its domestic affairs. (AP)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: A roadside bomb killed a district administrator and two of his bodyguards in the north of the country. (AP)
  • Australia: PM Gillard faced down a leadership challenge, emerging victorious from a party vote after former leader Kevin Rudd made a last-minute decision not to run. (AFP)
  • Burma: At least 10 people have been killed in riots in the central Burma in the country’s worst communal violence since clashes in western Rakhine state last year. (AFP)
  • Korea, North: The DPRK’s supreme military command said its “precision attack” weapons have US navy bases in Guam and Okinawa in their sights and will attack them if provoked. (Reuters)
  • Pakistan: At least 12 people were killed and 30 injured after a car bomb was detonated at the Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar. (BBC)

EUROPE

  • Region: EU Foreign Policy Chief Ashton said a deal to normalize ties between Serbia and Kosovo is close and could be sealed next month. (AFP)
  • Cyprus: The European Central Bank said it will continue to provide emergency funding to Cyprus until next Monday. (AFP)
  • Russia: Three gunmen and one special tasks policeman were killed in a special operation in Dagestan. (Itar-Tass)
  • Spain: Police at Madrid’s Barajas airport seized 55 kilos of cocaine hidden in the luggage of three passengers who arrived on a flight from Lima, Peru. (AFP)
  • Turkey: Jailed Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan is set to call a “historic” ceasefire. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: US President Obama said the US will do “what is necessary” to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. (DPA)
  • Iraq: A top UN official in Iraq expressed his deep concern about the decision to postpone the governorate council elections in the provinces of Anbar and Ninewa. (Xinhua)
  • Iraq: US Ambassador Beecroft said the staffing in the US Embassy in Baghdad and other sites around the country has fallen to 10,500, down from 16,000 last year. (AP)
  • Syria: The UN said Syria has made no formal request for a UN investigation into government claims that opposition rebels have used chemical weapons. (AFP)
  • Syria: The UN refugee agency said the number of Syrians seeking asylum in developed nations tripled last year. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: South Korea said it had sourced a damaging cyber attack on its broadcasters and banks to an IP address in China, fuelling suspicions that North Korea may have been responsible. (AFP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (22MAR)

  • Global: International Water Day, a high-level Interactive Dialogue of the 67th session of the General Assembly will also be convened in New York to mark the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation.
  • Europe: The Russian government and European Commission officials are to meet in Moscow to analyze outcomes of the latest Russia-EU summit on 21DEC12, and start preparing the next top-level meeting in June this year.
  • Israel: President Obama is expected to visit Mount Herzl and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Institute before leaving for neighboring Jordan.
  • Russia: Chinese leader Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Russia at President Putin’s invitation to discuss bilateral cooperation and the most pressing international and regional problems (to 24MAR).
  • Russia: Posthumous trial of Sergei Magnitsky will begin.

END

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