ONS: 21 May 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on May 21, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In Nigeria, two attacks by Boko Haram gunmen killed 30 people near Chibok.
  • AMERICAS: The US government plans to disclose a secret memo describing its legal justification for using drones to kill US citizens suspected of terrorism overseas.
  • ASIA: The Thai military convened crisis talks between warring political rivals, vowing to stop the kingdom degenerating into another “Ukraine or Egypt”.
  • EUROPE: A spokesman for Russia’s Gazprom said the company has signed a 30-year contract to supply natural gas to China.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Syria’s stocks of a key chemical used to produce the deadly nerve agent sarin have been destroyed.
  • TECHNOLOGY: South African police said they have smashed an international cybercrime network operating out of Pretoria and made several arrests in a joint operation with the US.

 

TOP STORY

  • Russia: Government reports troop withdrawal as US threatens sanctions.
    • US VP Biden said tougher sanctions must be imposed on Russia if it undermines elections in Ukraine.
    • Ukraine plans to deploy more than 55,000 police and 20,000 volunteers to ensure that the presidential ballot goes off smoothly.
    • European Commission President Barroso called on Russia to live up to its commitment to ensure continued gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine as long as talks on their future continued.
    • Russia’s Defense Ministry said its forces in the regions near Ukraine are moving to railway stations and airfields en route to their home bases.
    • The US is sending another warship to the Black Sea to reassure its allies over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, AFP-4, AP, WP

 

AFRICA

  • Egypt: An court convicted ousted President Mubarak of embezzlement and sentenced him to three years in prison. (AP)
  • Libya: The top official in the country’s air forces announced he’ll back an offensive by a renegade general against Islamic extremists and militias. (AP)
  • Mali: The UNSC called for an immediate end to violence in the north of the country after more than 30 people were killed in fighting between rebels and the army. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Two attacks by Boko Haram gunmen killed 30 people near Chibok. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Rescue workers continued to search for more victims of twin car bomb blasts in Jos that killed at least 118. (AP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: A US Senate committee greenlighted new sanctions on Venezuelan officials responsible for violent crackdowns against anti-government student protesters. (AFP)
  • Mexico: Authorities arrested an alleged member of the Zetas drug gang who they say is one of 12 cartel members fueling an increase of violence in Tamaulipas. (AP)
  • United States: The Obama administration plans to disclose a secret memo describing its legal justification for using drones to kill US citizens suspected of terrorism overseas. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Insurgents killed 16 policemen in the space of one day and beheaded eight of them ahead of a second-round of elections. (AFP)
  • China: President Xi Jinping issued a veiled warning to the US saying countries should not build up military alliances in Asia. (AFP)
  • India: PM-elect Narendra Modi invited Pakistan’s premier Nawaz Sharif as well as other South Asian leaders to his swearing-in ceremony. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Military jets and helicopter gunships bombed several militant hideouts in a northwestern tribal region killing nearly 30 militants. (AP)
  • Thailand: The military convened crisis talks between warring political rivals, vowing to stop the kingdom degenerating into another “Ukraine or Egypt”. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: UN agencies and their partners began scaling up disaster response in the Balkans. (Xinhua)
  • Cyprus: US VP Biden is to visit the country for talks on the divided Mediterranean island’s peace process and its ties with Russia. (AFP)
  • Russia: A spokesman for Gazprom said the company has signed a 30-year contract to supply natural gas to China. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Monitoring groups reported that jihadists have launched a fresh bid to take over the Syria-Iraq border area and set up a so-called Islamic state they can control. (AFP)
  • Iran: The government denied as “completely unfounded” a report that it is recruiting Afghan refugees to fight in Syria to help its ally battle rebels. (AFP)
  • Lebanon:  Amnesty International said that Syrian refugees in the country are going without treatment for chronic illnesses like diabetes and cancer because of a shortfall in funding to provide them with medical care. (AP)
  • Syria: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the country’s stocks of a key chemical used to produce the deadly nerve agent sarin have been destroyed. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: South African police said they have smashed an international cybercrime network operating out of Pretoria and made several arrests in a joint operation with the US. (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: 248 (Guinea, Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone)
      • Deaths: 171 (Guinea, Liberia)
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases: Global Number of Cases as of 16MAY: 614 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom, Egypt, US, Yemen)
      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 16MAY: 181 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, WHO-3

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (22MAY)

  • Europe Region: European parliament elections
  • Chile: Anniversary of a 9.5-magnitude earthquake, the biggest ever recorded, kills 5,700 people in Chile while the tsunami it triggers leaves 130 dead in Japan and 61 in Hawaii -1960
  • Europe Region: Anniversary of creation of the Eurocorps, an intergovernmental standing army corps, which integrates the Franco-German brigade. – 1992
  • Iraq: Anniversary of end of Britain’s military presence in Iraq – 2011
  • Kazakhstan: International exhibition of armaments and military equipment KADEX-2014 (to 25MAY)
  • Russia: St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

 

END

 

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