ONS: 23 July 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on July 24, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Amnesty International said that security forces in Burundi crushed anti-government demonstrations, including shooting protesters running away from them, to silence those opposed to President Nkurunziza’s bid for a third-term.
  • AMERICAS: US officials said the White House is in the “final stages” of a plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
  • ASIA: South Korean officials said North Korea is preparing to launch an upgraded missile possibly capable of reaching the US mainland amid speculation the launch might take place before October.
  • EUROPE: In Greece, parliament approved a second batch of reforms needed to help unlock a huge international bailout for the economy.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Officials said that EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini will visit Iran and Saudi Arabia next week.
  • TECHNOLOGY: FBI Director James Comey said that terrorist groups had begun discussing ways to hit the US with a cyberattack, though he said plotting appeared to be in early stages.

TOP STORY

  • Iraq: US officials meet with government amid spread of ISIS violence.
    • US Defense Secretary Carter made a surprise visit to Baghdad to get a first-hand assessment of the campaign against ISIS as Iraq tries to retake Ramadi, the fallen capital of Sunni-dominated Anbar province.
    • US Defense Secretary Carter, on his first visit to Iraq since taking the job in February, is expected to meet PM Abadi as well as Sunni tribal leaders from Anbar province.
    • The UNSG’s Special Representative for Iraq Jan Kubis said that at least 8.2 million people need urgent assistance, of whom half need food assistance.
    • Authorities said that a pair of car bombs that exploded Wednesday at crowded popular markets in predominantly Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad killed at least 26 people and wounded 58.
    • US President Obama spoke with Turkish President Erdogan about the conflicts in Iraq and Syria and the fight against ISIS in the region.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AP, Reuters, WP, WSJ, Xinhua

AFRICA

  • Burundi: Amnesty International said that security forces crushed anti-government demonstrations, including shooting protesters running away from them, to silence those opposed to President Nkurunziza’s bid for a third-term. (AFP)
  • Somalia: Military officials said that AU and local troops seized one of the last major towns held by Shabab militants in the southwest of the country. (AP)
  • South Sudan: UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien warned of the “devastating” toll on civilians in the country during a four-day visit to see “first-hand the humanitarian consequences of the conflict, and efforts by aid organizations to respond to escalating needs”. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Region: The Haitian government fired its ambassador to Santo Domingo, Daniel Supplice, for not “appropriately” defending the country amid the current immigration issue with the Dominican Republic. (EFE)
  • Region: US officials said the White House is in the “final stages” of a plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. (AFP)
  • Colombia: Police seized 800 kilos of cocaine hidden inside a tanker in the outskirts of Bogota. (Xinhua)
  • United States: A report by the Migration Policy Institute said under new immigration enforcement programs the Obama administration the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants would have “a degree of protection” to remain in the country. (NYT)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: The Interior Ministry reported that a key Taliban commander, Mullah Zindani, was killed in southern Helmand province. (Xinhua)
  • Australia: Officials announced a clearer terror alert system as the country faces what PM Abbott called the worst extremist threat in its history, with the government outlining a long-term strategy to tackle the issue. (AFP)
  • Korea, North: South Korean officials said the country is preparing to launch an upgraded missile possibly capable of reaching the US mainland amid speculation the launch might take place before October. (Kyodo)

EUROPE

  • Region: The Italian Coast Guard said that authorities coordinated the rescue of almost 2,000 migrants in the Mediterranean and overseen eight rescue operations with ships from various countries in recent hours. (EFE)
  • France: Hundreds of farmers blocked access roads to Lyon to protest the government response to falling food prices, while President Hollande added to his schedule a meeting with officials from top agricultural unions. (AFP)
  • Greece: Parliament approved a second batch of reforms needed to help unlock a huge international bailout for the economy. (AFP)
  • Turkey: A leading media outlet in the country fired one of its most senior commentators after he sent a tweet critical of President Erdogan’s policy on ISIS. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Officials said that EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini will visit Iran and Saudi Arabia next week. (AFP)
  • Iran: Amnesty International reported that there has been an “unprecedented spike” in the number of executions in the country, with as many as 694 people killed between 01JAN and 15JUL. (BBC)
  • Palestinian Territories: Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian during an operation in the occupied West Bank, the second killing within 24 hours. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: FBI Director James Comey said that terrorist groups had begun discussing ways to hit the US with a cyberattack, though he said plotting appeared to be in early stages. (WSJ)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Depression 12W
    • Location: 212 NM NE of Manila, Philippines
    • Movement:  NNW at 6 mph
    • Winds: 29 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Typhoon 01C (Halola)
    • Location: 413 NM ESE of Kadena AB
    • Movement: WNW at 9 mph
    • Winds: 104 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Tropical Depression Seven-E
    • Location: 430 miles SW of Baja California
    • Movement: NNW at 9 mph
    • Winds: 35 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 27,550 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths: 11,235 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 10JUL: 414,765 (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: 12,379
      • Deaths as of 10JUL: 60 (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 21JUL: 1368 (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, China, South Korea, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 21JUL: 490 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (24JUL)

  • Burkina Faso: Burkina Faso’s National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) to start receiving nomination papers for candidates contesting in the October elections
  • South America Region: Simon Bolivar Day

END

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