ONS: 22 November 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on November 22, 2014

 

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Al-Shabaab militants hijack a bus in Kenya near the Somali-border and execute 28 non-Muslim passengers.
  • AMERICAS: Mexican President Nieto struggles to stabilize the country amid protests over the case of 43 missing students.
  • ASIA: Armed Taliban rebels in Afghanistan raid a security checkpoint in Abqul area of Baghlan-e-Markazai, triggering a firefight that left four militants dead.
  • EUROPE:  Kiev reports 7,500 Russian military personnel in Ukraine.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Voting began in Bahrain’s first legislative elections since the failed pro-democracy uprising in 2011.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Intelligence officials fear hackers can destabilize America’s infrastructure through cyber security.

 

TOP STORY

Iran: Deadline countdown pressures negotiators to overcome obstacles.

  • Three days before the deadline, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is consulting with allies on how to overcome deep obstacles to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.
  • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday canceled plans to return to Tehran for consultations with top officials and remained in Vienna four days ahead of a deadline for a final agreement.
  • US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif stayed overnight Friday in the Austrian capital Vienna to try to narrow what Washington has said are “serious gaps” in the cliffhanger negotiations.
  • Western negotiators said they may offer additional concessions to Iran to reach an agreement on its nuclear program, as a fourth day of talks offered no signs of an imminent breakthrough ahead of a Monday deadline.
  • Anonymous sources in the talks disclosed to reporters that top Iranian and U.S. diplomats were preparing ideas that could be shown to both countries’ capitals.
  • Coverage: AFP,  AP, AP-2, Reuters, Reuters-2, WSJ

 

AFRICA

  • Region: China urges the international community at the UN to continue efforts in West Africa to completely rid the Ebola outbreak. (XIN)
  • Region: UNSG Ban Ki-moon states that ‘Ebola could be contained by mid-2015’. (The Hill)
  • Burkina Faso: LTC Kafando and PM Zida set to name ministerial team amid fears of the military’s growing influence during the country’s phased return to democratic rule. (AFP)
  • Kenya: Al-Shabaab militants hijacked a bus near the Somalian border, singled-out, and executed 28 non-Muslim passengers. (AP)
  • Madagascar: The WHO reports 40 cases of bubonic plague deaths, and 119 infections in the country since September 2014. (DPA)
  • Sierra Leone: An elite group of 30 health care professionals depart from Britain to staff a UK-built Ebola treatment center in the country. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Prosecutors close their investigation of the Bogota Mayor removed from office for suspicions of abuse of power. (AFP)
  • Colombia: Doctors remove 18 ounces of cocaine from an 11-year-old girl whose father was arrested for various charges related to using her as a drug mule. (AFP)
  • Cuba: Guinea-Bissau PM Pereira visits the country in an effort to boost economic, educational, and military ties between the two. (XIN)
  • Cuba: Senior military officials met with Congolese counterparts to advance plans to boost technological military cooperation and capabilities. (XIN)
  • Cuba: The country’s general customs service (AGR) reportedly seized 38.8 kg of drugs, including 36.6 kg of cocaine and 2.2 kg of marijuana since January 2014. (XIN)
  • Ecuador: The country guarantees WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange political asylum in its embassy for ‘as long as necessary’ after losing an appeal to the Swedish regarding the arrest warrant against him.  (AFP)
  • Guyana: The country’s main opposition party (ANPU) demands immediate elections after accusing the commission of delaying polls. (EFE)
  • Mexico: President Nieto’s spokesman told BBC that a ‘crusade’ was needed to re-establish rule-of-law in wake of the domestic instability caused by the case of the 43 missing students. (BBC)
  • United States: A source familiar with longtime former diplomat Robin Raphel claims the FBI investigation leading to her termination was triggered by an intercepted conversation between herself and a Pakistani official. (WaPo)
  • United States: A Colombian FARC rebel is extradited to face hostage-taking charges. (REU)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Japan and South Korea are urged by the U.S. to settle their dispute over contested islands to further ease regional tensions. (Kyodo)
  • Afghanistan: Armed Taliban rebels raid a security checkpoint in Abqul area of Baghlan-e-Markazai, triggering a firefight that left four militants dead. (XIN)
  • Afghanistan: President Obama discretely committed U.S. troops to combat roles through 2015, following a heated debate in Washington whereby some military officials accuse the administration of ‘having their eyes on domestic politics’ more than commitments abroad. (NYT)
  • Myanmar: The country sought cooperation with Austria for the development, operation and transfer of the Deedoke Hydropower project in Mandalay region. (XIN)
  • South Korea: PM Chung departs for an ‘economic diplomacy’ mission to Egypt, Morocco and Azerbaijan. (Yonhap)
  • Pakistan: Taliban claim responsibility for an attack on a political party camp in the southern city of Karachi which wounded at least 15 people. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Air Force Spokesman Mahmood reports that a Mirage fighter jet was on a routine night-time training mission when it went down on the outskirts of Karachi. (AP)
  • Thailand: The country’s Monarch misses a planned meeting with coup leader and new government ministers as speculation increases over his declining health. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: A Russian spy jailed in Germany with her husband last year is released early and allowed to return home, suggesting a possible prisoner swap. (AFP)
  • Region: Egyptian Pres. Sisi’s meeting with French and Italian heads of state is aimed at coordinating a response to fighting between government-backed troops and militias in Libya as well as boosting economic ties. (AFP)
  • Scotland: The country’s Royal Bank is discovered to have overstated its strength by approximately USD 3.3B during a stress-test audit. (AFP)
  • Ukraine: DM Poltorak reported that ‘7,500 Russian defense representatives’ are destabilizing the situation. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: The UK-China Mobility Forum 2014 was held in London, celebrating and reflecting on 40 years of students exchange in the two countries. (XIN)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Bahrain:  Voting began in the country’s first legislative elections since the failed pro-democracy uprising in 2011 with the opposition boycotting the polls. (AFP)
  • Syria: A new hostage video by the Islamic State group features 43-year-old Britain John Cantlie ‘accepting his fate’, and referring to the policy against negotiating with terrorists. (BBC)
  • Syria: Two British citizens died fighting for the Islamic State group in Syria, increasing the British death toll of Islamic State fighters to 27. (BBC)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cyber Security: Adm. Michael Rogers, head of both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Cyber Command told the House Intelligence Committee that the U.S. is vulnerable to attacks that could shut down utilities, fuel and water delivery, aviation, banking and other computer-based systems. (NewsMax)

 

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: 14,413 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United States)
      • Deaths: 5,177 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 13NOV: 885,926 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, 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, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
      • Deaths as of 13NOV: 153 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
      • Sourcing: WHO, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 03NOV: 926 (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 and the U.S)
      • Deaths as of 13NOV: 331 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (23NOV)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

  • Tunisia: Tunisian presidential elections.

 

END

 

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