ONS: 21 September 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on September 21, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Lesotho PM Thabane said the parliament cannot reconvene unless peace and stability are guaranteed in the country.

  • AMERICAS: South Korean President Park said her country will sign a free trade deal with Canada next week, as she arrived in Ottawa for a three-day state visit on a trip that will also take her to New York for the U.N. General Assembly.

  • ASIA: Japan’s new industry minister Yuko Obuchi said the resource-poor nation should be realistic about its energy needs as the government tries to convince a sceptical public on the necessity of nuclear power.

  • EUROPE: The European Commission said it has not been told of any specific threat against it, after reports suggested its Brussels headquarters was a possible target for jihadist fighters returning from Syria.

  • MIDDLE EAST:  Islamic State jihadists were closing in on the Syrian Kurdish town of Ain al-Arab after their capture of surrounding villages sent tens of thousands of refugees streaming into Turkey, a monitoring group said.

  • TECHNOLOGY: In a letter to the Ministry of Communications, the Iranian judiciary ordered to block social networking services of Viber, Tango and WhatsApp over what it said the dissemination of derogatory content, Press TV reported.

 

TOP STORY

  • Global: G20 Finance ministers met in Cairns, Australia to discuss the global economy

    • The ministers issued a communique claiming they can overcome geo-political tensions and financial risks to achieve extra combined growth of 1.8 percent, adding trillions of dollars to the world economy.

    • The ministers said they would establish a global infrastructure hub to share information between countries about matching investors with projects to boost economic growth.

    • US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew called on the Eurozone to do more to strengthen demand and make the structural changes needed to kick-start a moribund economy that is hampering world growth.

    • The US said it hoped Russia would address concerns about its actions in Ukraine ahead of the G20 November leaders’ summit, or Moscow risked further economic isolation.

    • China’s macro policy will focus on delivering comprehensive growth targets such as stable employment and inflation, and will not be distracted by changes in certain economic indicators, finance minister Lou Jiwei has stressed.

    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, XIN

AFRICA

  • Egypt: U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel spoke by phone with counterpart Sedki Sobhi, confirming that the United States will deliver 10 Apache helicopters to Egypt to support its counterterrorism efforts. (XIN)

  • Egypt: A bomb blast killed a policeman near the foreign ministry in central Cairo, a security official said. (Reuters)

  • Lesotho: PM Thomas Thabane said the parliament cannot reconvene unless peace and stability are guaranteed in the country. (XIN)

  • Libya: Continuous clashes between rival militants in suburban Tripoli have damaged several main power lines, throwing the country’s western towns and cities into a total blackout, an electric company said. (XIN)

 

AMERICAS

  • Canada: South Korean President Park said her country will sign a free trade deal with Canada next week, as she arrived in Ottawa for a three-day state visit on a trip that will also take her to New York for the UN General Assembly. (Yonhap)

  • Guatemala: An argument among villagers over plans to build a cement factory and a highway erupted into a battle with guns and machetes, killing at least six people and seriously wounding dozens, authorities said. (AP)

  • Venezuela: Iván Simonovis, a jailed former police official whose nearly decade-long stay in prison has become a rallying cry for the political opposition, was moved to house arrest, his wife and court officials announced. (NYT)

 

ASIA

  • Bangladesh: The Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party enforced a nationwide 48-hour non-stop hartal (strike) to push for the unconditional release of its vice-president Delwar Hossain Sayeedi. (XIN)

  • Japan: New industry minister Yuko Obuchi said the resource-poor nation should be realistic about its energy needs as the government tries to convince a sceptical public on the necessity of nuclear power. (AFP)

  • Korean Peninsula: A group of South Korean activists launched tens of thousands of leaflets across the border carrying messages criticising North Korea’s ruling dynasty, in defiance of Pyongyang’s threat to attack them. (AFP)

  • Myanmar: Rakhine state’s chief minister Maung Maung Ohme warned the international medical group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to stay away from politics if it resumes aid operations in western Myanmar, local media reported. (DPA)

  • Sri Lanka: President Rajapakse’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) saw its popularity significantly eroded in a narrow local election win seen as a bellwether for a snap presidential election, official results showed. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Albania: Tens of thousands of Christians and Muslims thronged the capital Tirana to greet Pope Francis who arrived in the mainly Muslim country for a one-day visit to praise it as a model of religious harmony. (AFP)

  • Belgium: The European Commission said it has not been told of any specific threat against it, after reports suggested its Brussels headquarters was a possible target for jihadist fighters returning from Syria. (AFP)

  • Turkey: The US State Department criticized the government over attempts to intimidate and threaten a New York Times correspondent whose reporting about Turks recruited by the Islamic State, the militant group, has deeply offended President Erdogan. (NYT)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Saudi Arabia: The authorities have banned more than 24,000 domestic pilgrims from entering Makkah for not having Hajj permits, according to local newspaper. (XIN)

  • Syria: Islamic State jihadists were closing in on the Kurdish town of Ain al-Arab after their capture of surrounding villages sent tens of thousands of refugees streaming into Turkey, a monitoring group said. (AFP)

  • Yemen: Fighting raged in the capital Sanaa despite an announcement by the UN envoy that pro-government forces and Shiite rebels were poised to sign a deal. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Iran: In a letter to the Ministry of Communications, the judiciary ordered to block social networking services of Viber, Tango and WhatsApp over what it said the dissemination of derogatory content, Press TV reported. (XIN)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm 16W (Fung-wong)

    • Location: 174 mi S of Taipei, Taiwan

    • Movement: NE at 14 mph

    • Winds: 58 mph
      Map

  • Hurricanes: Tropical Storm Polo

    • Location: 100 mi SSW of Baja California, Mexico

    • Movement: WNW at 7 mph

    • Winds: 40 mph

    • Map

  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.

  • Volcanoes: Mayon Volcano, Philippines

    • Activity slowed down but remains a threat. (Tempo)

  • Global Disease Outbreaks:

    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

      • Cases: 4784 (Guinea, Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, DR Congo)

      • Deaths: 2400 (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone)

      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

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

      • Cases as of 24JUL: 837 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, Iran, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom, Egypt, US, Yemen)

      • Deaths as of 24JUL: 291 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)

      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (22SEP)

  • Albania: Pope Francis to visit

  • China and Japan: Delegation of Japanese business leaders will make a six-day visit to China (to 28SEP)

  • Hong Kong: Students plan a week-long strike in response to Beijing’s refusal to grant the city full universal suffrage

  • Moldova and Belarus: Belarusian President Lukashenko will visit Moldova

 

END

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