ONS: 22 February 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 23, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In Uganda, opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested as he tried to leave his home, ratcheting tensions after the country’s elections.
  • AMERICAS: The Bolivian government urged patience following a referendum that would allow the President Evo Morales to seek a fourth term, saying the results were tied despite media projections to the contrary.
  • ASIA: China’s South China Sea military deployments are no different from US deployments on Hawaii, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, ahead of a visit by FM Wang Yi to the US this week.
  • EUROPE: Greece said it was taking diplomatic action to persuade Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to accept Afghan migrants as thousands were stranded at its border and main port.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Russia said a string of suicide bombings in Syria over the weekend claimed by the Islamic State group were aimed at undermining the peace process.
  • TECHNOLOGY: FBI Director James Comey weighed in over whether Apple should help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, saying the nation owes the victims “a thorough and professional investigation under law.”

TOP STORY

  • United Kingdom: PM Cameron to present pro-EU case to Parliament
    • Prime Minister David Cameron will try to sell his case for Britain remaining in the EU to parliament, facing hostility from his own lawmakers.
    • Cameron’s governing Conservative Party is deeply split on the issue, with as many as half of Tory legislators in favor of leaving the EU — a prospect known as Brexit.
    • The pound fell the most since May 2010 after London Mayor Boris Johnson, one of the UK’s most popular politicians, said he’ll campaign for Britain to leave the EU in a June referendum.
    • The UK will be taking a “big gamble” with its security if it votes to leave the EU, defense secretary Michael Fallon has claimed.
    • China has always supported the European integration process and would like Europe to play an important role globally, China’s Foreign Ministry said.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, Bloomberg, Reuters, Reuters-2

AFRICA

  • Libya: Military forces loyal to the country’s eastern government said they had pushed back Islamist fighters in Benghazi, seizing the strategic port of Marisa. (Reuters)
  • Niger: Voting in the country’s presidential and legislative elections stretched into a second day in areas where logistical problems prevented polling the previous day, delaying the preliminary election results. (Reuters)
  • Uganda: Opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested as he tried to leave his home, ratcheting tensions after the country’s elections. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Bolivia: The government urged patience following a referendum that would allow the President Evo Morales to seek a fourth term, saying the results were tied despite media projections to the contrary. (AFP)
  • Panama: Authorities have seized 6.4 tons of drugs and arrested 72 alleged drug traffickers so far this year, the Public Safety Ministry said. (EFE)
  • United States: Russia will ask permission to fly surveillance planes with high-powered digital cameras, despite warnings from American intelligence and military officials that such overflights help Moscow collect intelligence on the US. (AP)

ASIA

  • Region: South Korea criticized Japan for sending a senior official to an event aimed at renewing Japan’s territorial claim over a pair of South Korea-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan. (Kyodo)
  • Region: At least three suspected militants were killed in a US drone strike launched along the Pak-Afghan border. (Xinhua)
  • Region: China’s South China Sea military deployments are no different from US deployments on Hawaii, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, ahead of a visit by FM Wang Yi to the US this week. (Reuters)
  • Fiji: A massive cleanup after one of the most powerful storms recorded in the southern hemisphere tore through the Pacific island nation, killing 21 people. (Reuters)
  • Korean Peninsula: South Korea and the US plan to hold a three-day joint exercise at a US air base in California to boost their combined deterrence against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats. (Kyodo)

EUROPE

  • Region: Greece said it was taking diplomatic action to persuade Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to accept Afghan migrants as thousands were stranded at its border and main port. (AFP)
  • Greece: PM Alexis Tsipras has agreed to meet with representatives of protesting farmers who have staged blockades at the country’s highways for the past month. (AP)
  • Hungary: The country reported a sharp rise in the numbers of migrants breaching its southern borders in February, the first significant surge since the frontiers were sealed last year. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: Former president Mohammad Khatami and his predecessor have urged voters to back reformists and moderates in Friday’s elections. (AFP)
  • Saudi Arabia: The country has put 32 people on trial, including 30 members of its own Shi’ite Muslim minority, accused of spying for Iran. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Russia said a string of suicide bombings in the country over the weekend claimed by the Islamic State group were aimed at undermining the peace process. (AFP)
  • Syria: An opposition activist group says heavy fighting has cut off the government’s only supply route to the northern city of Aleppo. (AP)
  • Yemen: A gunman killed a senior Yemeni army officer General Abedrabbo Hussein in Aden, as violence in the southern port city showed no let-up. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: FBI Director James Comey weighed in over whether Apple should help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, saying the nation owes the victims “a thorough and professional investigation under law.” (WP)

WORLD

  • Cyclone: Tropical Cyclone Winston
    • Location: 337 NM W of Suva, Fiji
    • Winds: 109 mph
    • Movement:  WSW at 2 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 22FEB: 28,639 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 22FEB: 11,316 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 22FEB: 6,244 (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: 175
      • Deaths as of 22FEB: 0 (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 22FEB: 1638 (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 22FEB: 587 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 22FEB: Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, El Salvador, Paraguay, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Cape Verde, Honduras, French Guiana, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Guyana, Barbados, Ecuador, Bolivia, Haiti, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Guatemala, Curacao, Costa Rica, Maldives
      • Indication of Viral Circulation as of 22FEB: South Africa, China, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
      • Deaths as of 22FEB: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (23FEB)

  • Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev will pay a visit to Iran
  • Guyana: Republic Day
  • Tajikistan: Tajik National Army Day
  • Russia: Motherland Defenders’ Day – 1919

END

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