ONS: 22 March 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 22, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members gathered outside their Cairo headquarters in anticipation of an opposition march on the building.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuelan student protesters, who were marching to protest the electoral commission and the government, clashed with supporters of the late President Chavez.
  • ASIA: A member of the Afghan government-backed militia shot and killed five of his colleagues.
  • EUROPE: Italian President Napolitano said he will hand out a mandate for the formation of a new government.
  • MIDDLE EAST: More than 150 Jordanians took part in a sit-in near the US embassy in Amman in protest of the upcoming visit by US President Obama.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The US government is expanding a cybersecurity program that scans internet traffic headed into and out of defense contractors to include far more of the country’s private, civilian-run infrastructure.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Tensions rise in wake of mosque bombing; US said no chemical weapons have been used; UN to open chemical weapon investigation.
    • A large explosion killed at least 42 people inside a central Damascus mosque, including the top Sunni cleric in the country.
    • President Assad vowed to rid the country of Muslim extremists whom he blamed for the suicide bombing.
    • A senior US official said the US now has strong indications that chemical weapons were not used in a Tuesday attack.
    • Mouaz al-Khatib, the head of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces called on Russia and the US not to intervene in Syria.
    • UNSG Ban Ki-moon said the UN will investigate the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, AP-2, AP-3, NYT, Xinhua, Xinhua-2

AFRICA

  • Chad: The main rebel group in the country, the Union of Resistance Forces, said it was resuming its fight against President Itno’s regime. (AFP)
  • DR Congo: Resistance to a planned UN intervention brigade for the country could hold up a UNSC vote approving the first “targeted offensive operations” by UN troops. (AFP)
  • Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood members gathered outside their Cairo headquarters in anticipation of an opposition march on the building. (AFP)
  • Kenya: Police warned of a major crackdown in the northern town of Mandera near the border with Somalia. (Xinhua)
  • Mali: The UN will appoint an independent expert to investigate and help improve the human rights situation the country. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: The government and the FARC said they have made strides toward striking an accord on land reform. (Reuters)
  • Dominican Republic: The Dominican National Drug Control agency said 35 soldiers and police officers have been arrested in a crackdown on drug smuggling to Europe. (AP)
  • Venezuela: Student protesters, who were marching to protest the electoral commission and the government, clashed with supporters of the late President Chavez. (AP)
  • Venezuela: A US official said Washington is still hoping for better ties with Venezuela in the wake of the break in communications. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: A member of the government-backed militia shot and killed five of his colleagues. (AP)
  • Burma: Angry mobs took to the streets for a third day as international pressure mounted for an end to communal unrest. (AFP)
  • Korean Peninsula: The ROK approved the first shipment of humanitarian aid to the DPRK since the escalation in military tensions. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: A bomb planted on a motorbike killed six people and wounded another 15 in Baluchistan. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Intelligence officials said a US drone targeting a vehicle killed three suspected militants near the Afghan border. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Cyprus: The finance minister left Moscow empty-handed after Russia turned down appeals for aid. (Reuters)
  • Georgia: Lawmakers approved constitutional amendments restricting the President’s power to fire a Cabinet. (AP)
  • Italy: President Napolitano said he will hand out a mandate for the formation of a new government. (AFP)
  • Turkey: The US welcomed a call from the jailed rebel leader of the PKK urging his fighters to lay down their arms, saying it was a “positive step.” (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: The UNSG’s special representative for Iraq said the Iraqis face a complex set of interrelated problems including a spillover of violence from Syria. (Xinhua)
  • Israel: A hard-line Islamist group claimed a rocket attack against southern Israel. (AFP)
  • Jordan: More than 150 Jordanians took part in a sit-in near the US embassy in Amman in protest of the upcoming visit by President Obama. (Xinhua)
  • Lebanon: One man was killed and five others wounded in two separate exchanges of fire in the northern of Tripoli, a security source said. (AFP)
  • Yemen: Three members of pro-government militia were killed in an ambush by al Qaeda militants in Abyan. (Xinhua)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: The US government is expanding a cybersecurity program that scans internet traffic headed into and out of defense contractors to include far more of the country’s private, civilian-run infrastructure. (Reuters)

WORLD

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

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (23MAR)

  • Global: World Meteorological Day.
  • Pakistan: Republic Day celebrated, which commemorates the Lahore Resolution of 1940 and the transition of the Dominion of Pakistan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, making Pakistan the world’s first Islamic republic.

END

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