ONS: 23 February 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 23, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: South Sudan’s rival factions opened the latest round of peace talks with negotiators warning it was the “final opportunity” to strike a deal.
  • AMERICAS: Venezuelan President Maduro leveled fresh accusations against the opposition of planning coups with the backing of foreign governments.
  • ASIA: Australian PM Abbott warned of a long era of heightened threats from “home-grown” extremists and announced new security measures.
  • EUROPE: The Ukrainian military said it will not pull back its heavy weapons from the front-line until separatist rebels completely stop attacking.
  • MIDDLE EAST:  A senior Iranian official in talks on the country’s disputed nuclear program said differences remain on key questions at the ongoing negotiations in Geneva.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A newly disclosed NSA document outlines the acceleration of the use of cyberweapons by the US and Iran against each other.

TOP STORY

  • Kuwait: US Defense Secretary Carter holds meeting on ISIS as coalition expand efforts.
    • US Defense Secretary Carter convened the meeting of more than two dozen senior military officers, ambassadors, and intelligence officials at the US Army base of Camp Arifjan.
    • The meeting was to include the commander running the anti-ISIS campaign LT GEN Terry, as well as the heads of CENTCOM, AFRICOM, EUCOM, SOCOM and JSOC.
    • The White House said President Obama is open to negotiating with Congress on many elements of his request for war powers against ISIS.
    • France deployed an aircraft carrier in the Gulf as part of the US-led military campaign against ISIS.
    • Australia’s government said the country’s air force had already commenced training aircrew and support staff in the US on the MQ-9 ’Reaper’ drone.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AP, WP, WSJ

AFRICA

  • Egypt: A court sentenced Alaa Abdel Fattah, a leading dissident in the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, to five years in prison over an illegal protest. (AFP)
  • Ivory Coast: UN peacekeepers and the army agreed on the need to carry out joint operations against armed groups operating along the country’s main highways. (Xinhua)
  • South Sudan: The country’s rival factions opened the latest round of peace talks with negotiators warning it was the “final opportunity” to strike a deal. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Authorities arrested 12 people, including a town councilor, for being members of a gang of kidnappers that sold their victims to the ELN. (EFE)
  • United States: Authorities said there was “no credible threat” associated with the Mall of America after the release of a video purportedly made by al-Qaida-linked rebels. (AP)
  • Venezuela: President Maduro leveled fresh accusations against the opposition of planning coups with the backing of foreign governments. (EFE)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: The Ministry of the Interior reported that joint police and army operations across the country killed 33 militants. (Xinhua)
  • Australia: PM Abbott warned of a long era of heightened threats from “home-grown” extremists and announced new security measures. (AFP)
  • Korea, North: Kim Jong-Un urged the army to ensure its combat readiness ahead of US-South Korea military exercises. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Officials said that authorities would allow agents from the FBI to interrogate two cyber-crime suspects. (DPA)

EUROPE

  • France: PM Valls said authorities had confiscated the passports of six citizens after they allegedly planned to travel to Syria, the first time the measure has been used. (AFP)
  • Greece: The government said it was discussing its list of reforms with international partners to ensure it is accepted. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: The military said it will not pull back its heavy weapons from the front-line until separatist rebels completely stop attacking. (WP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: A senior official in talks on the country’s disputed nuclear program said differences remain on key questions at the ongoing negotiations in Geneva. (AFP)
  • Iran: Russian state defense corporation Rostec offered the country advanced surface-to-air missiles after scrapping a similar deal in 2010 because of UN sanctions. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: President Hadi demanded talks on the country’s political crisis be moved from Sanaa after he escaped house arrest in the militia-controlled capital. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: A newly disclosed NSA document outlines the acceleration of the use of cyberweapons by the US and Iran against each other. (NYT)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: 235km SW of Tomatlan, Mexico
    • Magnitude: 6.2
    • Depth: 10.0 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 22,894 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 9,177 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 06FEB: 1,172,787 (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: 25,255
      • Deaths as of 06FEB: 181 (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 16FEB: 983 (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 and the US)
      • Deaths as of 16FEB: 360 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (24FEB)

  • Mexico: Flag Day
  • United States and South Korea: Foal Eagle, joint military drill with South Korea (to 06MAR)

END

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