ONS: 23 April 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on April 23, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In Libya, the rival government in control of Tripoli said it would “confront” any unilateral EU moves to attack sites used by people-traffickers.
  • AMERICAS: In Chile, officials ordered an evacuation for a 20-kilometer radius around the Calbuco volcano as the interior ministry moved in the army to temporarily take control of the province of Llanquihue.
  • ASIA: China’s top nuclear experts increased their estimates of North Korea’s nuclear weapons production, claiming the country has the capability of producing enough weapons-grade uranium to double its arsenal by next year.
  • EUROPE: EU leaders are to consider launching a military operation against human traffickers in Libya in an effort to halt the flow of refugees trying to reach Europe by sea.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Syria, several hard-line rebel groups launched a new offensive in the northwest of the country.
  • TECHNOLOGY: US Defense Secretary Ash Carter is due to unveil an updated cyber strategy as officials announced that the Pentagon plans to open its first office in Silicon Valley and provide venture capital in an effort to tap commercial technology.

 

TOP STORY

  • Yemen: Saudi-led coalition airstrikes resume amid concerns of spreading instability.
    • Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition struck Houthi targets in and around Aden and Ibb.
    • HRW said that an 18APR airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on a warehouse of the aid group Oxfam appears to have violated the laws of war.
    • A newly announced division of ISIS calling itself the “Green Brigade” claimed a bombing that it said had killed five Shiite rebels.
    • Pakistani PM Sharif and army chief GEN Raheel Sharif are to meet with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to discuss Yemen.
    • US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he is concerned that Iranian ships heading toward Yemen may be carrying advanced weapons for Houthi rebels.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, AP, AP-2, Reuters

 

AFRICA

  • Burundi: The ruling CNDD-FDD party said it would designate its candidate for upcoming presidential elections on Saturday, with incumbent President Nkurunziza expected to defy a two-term limit and seek re-election. (AFP)
  • Guinea: The opposition looked to promote protests across the country against a disputed election timetable after days of clashes in the capital. (AFP)
  • Kenya: President Kenyatta removed the chairman and deputy chairwoman of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission after MPs voted to sanction the pair, accusing them of incompetence and abuse of office. (AFP)
  • Libya: The rival government in control of Tripoli said it would “confront” any unilateral EU moves to attack sites used by people-traffickers. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Chile: Officials ordered an evacuation for a 20-kilometer radius around the Calbuco volcano as the interior ministry moved in the army to temporarily take control of the province of Llanquihue. (AFP)
  • Cuba: EU foreign policy chief Mogherini said that the EU and Cuba have restarted political dialogue and will hold the first meeting in June. (Xinhua)
  • Haiti: Justice Minister Casmir said that the government will appeal a judge’s widely criticized decision to dismiss charges against two men in a high-profile kidnapping case. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: China’s top nuclear experts increased their estimates of North Korea’s nuclear weapons production, claiming the country has the capability of producing enough weapons-grade uranium to double its arsenal by next year. (WSJ)
  • Afghanistan: The Taliban stormed a police checkpoint in Badghis province and killed nine border guards, while a roadside bombing killed six civilians in the southwest. (AP)
  • China: The government issued a list of its top 100 officials wanted on suspicion of corruption who are believed to have fled abroad. (AP)
  • Pakistan: The military claimed to have killed at least 47 Taliban fighters in two days of airstrikes in the northwest. (AFP)
  • Sri Lanka: Anti-corruption investigators began questioning two brothers of former president Mahinda Rajapakse as the new government stepped up its crackdown against the old regime. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: EU leaders are to consider launching a military operation against human traffickers in Libya in an effort to halt the flow of refugees trying to reach Europe by sea. (AFP)
  • Region: Polish FM Schetyna said that Poland, along with other countries, may support Ukraine’s defense capacities if the conflict in eastern Ukraine escalates. (Reuters)
  • Armenia: President Sarkissian said he expected a “stronger message” from Turkish President Erdogan on mass killing carried out by Ottoman forces during World War I in order to unblock frozen relations. (AFP)
  • France: PM Valls said that five terror attacks had been “foiled” in the country in recent months. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: Government negotiators and major powers held a second day of talks seeking to finalize a deal on the country’s nuclear program. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Authorities said that a suicide car bomb went off next to a crowd of Shiite pilgrims near the town of Balad killing eight and wounding 16. (AP)
  • Syria: Several hard-line rebel groups launched a new offensive in the northwest of the country. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: US Defense Secretary Ash Carter is due to unveil an updated cyber strategy as officials announced that the Pentagon plans to open its first office in Silicon Valley and provide venture capital in an effort to tap commercial technology. (WSJ)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Calbuco Volcano, Chile
    • Two ash eruptions, with the possibility of a third and lava flows. (AFP)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 25,550 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 10,587 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 10APR: 1,338,026 (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, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.) Confirmed Cases: 30,309
      • Deaths as of 10APR: 184 (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 16APR: 1106 (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, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 16APR: 421 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (24APR)

  • Asia and Africa Region: Asian-African Conference, or the Bandung Conference in Indonesia
  • Turkey: Turkey marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I Gallipoli campaign

 

END

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