ONS: 22 May 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on May 22, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe signed a new constitution limiting the presidency’s powers into law, paving the way for elections to be held later this year.
  • AMERICAS: American lawmakers are seeking to bar the executive and military from removing missile defense equipment from eastern Asia, many of whom are concerned about Chinese military power.
  • ASIA: North Korea appointed a hawkish general believed to have ordered the 2010 shelling of a South Korean island to be the new military chief.
  • EUROPE: In Sweden, riots that erupted after police killed a 69-year-old man spread for the third day, setting fire to buildings and cars in the suburbs of Stockholm.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iraqi PM al-Maliki ordered a reshuffle of the security cabinet after a recent increase in casualties, replacing the commander of Baghdad Operations Command and several other posts.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A recent poll suggests that American adolescents are increasingly leaving Facebook for Twitter due to increased parental use of social media and “oversharing.”

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: A group of western and Arab countries are to meet in Amman to discuss a proposal for peace talks while rebel leaders urged fighters across the country to join the battle for Qusayr.
    • The group of 11 countries will discuss the US-Russian proposal which aims to bring a negotiated end to the more than two-year war.
    • Government troops, bolstered by Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon, made a significant push into the strategic town of Qusayr, trapping nearly 25,000 in the village.
    • The push into Qusayr threatens to disrupt the fragile confessional peace in Lebanon, which has already seen increased Sunni-Alawite conflict near the border.
    • Coverage:  AFP-1, AP, AFP-2, NYT

 

AFRICA

  • Egypt: The government reopened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip after the release of seven hostages in the Sinai Peninsula. (AFP)
  • Libya: Reports surfaced suggesting that Petraeus assisted in drafting the Benghazi talking points under fire in Congress to make sure that both he and the CIA were portrayed positively. (WaPo)
  • Nigeria: The military stepped up an offensive against Boko Haram in the northeast which has been met with heavy resistance bolstered by sophisticated weapons from Libya. (Guardian)
  • Zimbabwe: President Mugabe signed a new constitution limiting the presidency’s powers into law, paving the way for elections to be held later this year. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: FM Patriota and Haitian PM Lamothe agreed to launch an initiative to combat trafficking in illegal immigrants into the country from Haiti. (Xinhua)
  • Jamaica: IMF officials dismissed speculation on the likelihood of a debt default, citing progress made in economic reform despite a debt to GDP ratio of 140 percent. (Xinhua)
  • United States: Congressional lawmakers are seeking to bar the executive and military from removing missile defense equipment from eastern Asia, many of whom are concerned about Chinese military power. (AP)
  • Venezuela: Parliament reconvened amid lively debate between government and opposition lawmakers three weeks after a brawl stopped proceedings. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Hard-line Islamist students at Kabul University are protesting against a presidential decree that protected a number of women’s rights, saying that they are un-Islamic. (AP)
  • Korea, North: The regime appointed a hawkish general believed to have ordered the 2010 shelling of a South Korean island to be the new military chief. (Reuters)
  • Korea, South: A Foreign Ministry official called for an expansion of “economic diplomacy” to stimulate the country’s export-driven economy. (Yonhap)
  • Pakistan: Imran Khan, leader of the upstart political success Tehreek-e Insaf, was released from the hospital after breaking his back in a fall while campaigning. (Reuters)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Anti-poverty advocate Oxfam International released research hours before EU leaders will meet on tax reform claiming that USD 12 trillion is hidden in tax havens. (DPA)
  • Italy: The new government is set to announce its plan to address the issue of rampant youth unemployment hoping to stem faltering public support. (Reuters)
  • Russia: Magomed Abdusaidov, a leader of the Gubden terroristh group in the restive region of Dagestan was killed in a special operation. (Itar-Tass)
  • Sweden: Riots that erupted after police killed a 69-year-old man spread for the third day, setting fire to buildings and cars in largely immigrant suburbs of Stockholm amid charges of racism among police. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: Diplomats warned that the country is moving ahead to update its nuclear program, purchasing around 100 centrifuges since mid-April. (AP)
  • Iran: President Ahmadinejad said that he would contest the presidential campaign ban placed on a close aide directly to the Supreme Leader. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: PM al-Maliki ordered a reshuffle of the security cabinet after a recent increase in casualties, replacing the commander of Baghdad Operations Command and several other posts. (Xinhua)
  • Israel: Increases in gas production from huge offshore deposits is allowing the economy to shift from costly importing to a growing model of self-sufficiency. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Social Media: A recent poll suggests that American adolescents are increasingly leaving Facebook for Twitter due to increased parental use of social media and “oversharing.” (AP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • H7N9 (Avian Influenza)
      • Global Number of Cases as of 16MAY: 131 (China 130, Taiwan 1)
      • Global Number of Deaths as of 16MAY: 36 (China)
      • WHO
      • Novel Coronavirus (Sars)
        • Global Number of Cases as of 18MAY: 41 (Saudi Arabia 31, France, Germany, Jordan, Qatar, United Kingdom)
        • Global Number of Deaths as of 18MAY: 21 (Saudi Arabia 15)
        • WHO

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (23MAY)

  • Europe: International conference on European security problems will begin in Moscow; Assistant Secretary General Dirk Brengelmann will represent NATO (to 24MAY).
  • Israel, Palestinian Territories: Secretary Kerry will travel to Jerusalem and Ramallah for meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders aimed at reviving the long-stalled peace negotiations between the two sides (to 24MAY).
  • Moldova: Five-plus-two negotiations between Moldova and Trans-Dinestria will begin in Odessa (to 24MAY).
  • Nigeria: Election for the chairmanship of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) will be held.
  • Syria: Syria’s key National Coalition opposition group will meet to discuss a US-Russian proposal for an international conference on a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
  • Baha’i: Declaration of the Bab, the forerunner of Baha’u’llah, founder of the Baha’i faith.
  • Sikhism: Birthday of Guru Amar Das, the third of the Sikh Gurus.

 

END

 

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