ONS: 23 May 2013

by admin on May 23, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: In Niger, twin car bombs targeted a French-owned uranium mine and military base in the north wounding a number of people.
  • AMERICAS: The Obama administration is set to restart the transfers of detainees from the facilities at Guantanamo Bay, renewing the drive to close the prison.
  • ASIA: North Korea proposed a joint celebration with the South to commemorate a landmark joint declaration to promote economic cooperation and exchange.
  • EUROPE: The UK’s national security chiefs met as counter-terrorism police investigated the stabbing of a soldier by two suspected Islamic extremists.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Lebanon, fighting between Sunnis and Alawites in the northern town of Tripoli killed at least six and wounded at least 40, renewing fears of Syria’s conflict spilling over international borders.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Twitter announced that it was stepping up its security measures following a series of high-profile attacks targeting media organizations.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: The opposition Syrian National Council is set to meet in Istanbul to discuss peace talks with the regime.
    • The group of foreign supporters threatened to increase aid to the opposition if al-Assad continued to refuse to negotiate a political transition.
    • A spokesman for the opposition welcomed renewed calls from western and Arab supporters for President al-Assad’s resignation as the beginning of a political transition.
    • The meeting comes as German intelligence released a report saying that the regime forces have gained strength, revising an earlier opinion to the contrary.
    • Coverage: AFP-1, AP, AFP-2

AFRICA

  • Democratic Republic of Congo:  M23 rebels in the eastern provinces announced a ceasefire with government troops before a visit from UN Secretary General Ban. (Reuters)
  • Niger: Twin car bombs targeted a French-owned uranium mine and military base in the north wounding a number of people. (AFP)
  • Sudan: Renewed tribal clashes in the South Darfur state killed ten and injured dozens, the attack was the second after the tribes declared a formal truce and end to hostilities. (Xinhua)
  • Tanzania: Police made sweeping arrests a day after protests over a gas pipeline project resulted in the death of one person and damaging several houses. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Argentina: Hundreds gathered in the home village of former dictator Videla to protest his burial, decrying his crackdowns on leftists and their suspected supporters. (AFP)
  • Colombia: President Santos appointed Luis Felipe Henao, the current vice minister of housing, to assume the position of minister of housing. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: Authorities seized five boxes filled with cash as part of an investigation into allegations of embezzlement by a former governor of the southern Tabasco state. (AP)
  • United States: The Obama administration is set to restart the transfers of detainees from the facilities at Guantanamo Bay, renewing the drive to close the prison. (WSJ)

ASIA

  • India: A police officer in Kashmir announced that a local rebel leader was killed in a gunfight with government forces. (AP)
  • Indonesia: Authorities arrested two suspected militants in connection with the foiled plot to bomb the Myanmar embassy. (AP)
  • Korea, North: The government proposed a joint celebration with the South to commemorate a landmark joint declaration to promote economic cooperation and exchange. (Xinhua)
  • Thailand: A shootout in the country’s restive majority-Muslim south resulted in the death of a ranger and one militant despite ongoing peace talks. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • France: IMF Chief Lagarde appeared before a special court in Paris for questioning over controversial action taken while Finance Minister. (AP)
  • Russia: The Justice Ministry denied the registration of an aspiring opposition party, the National Democratic Party, while the party leadership claimed political motives. (Itar-Tass)
  • United Kingdom: National security chiefs met as counter-terrorism police investigated the stabbing of a soldier by two suspected Islamic extremists. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: Former president Rafsanjani sharply criticized the country’s leadership two days after being disqualified from contesting the presidential election in June. (Reuters)
  • Israel: US Secretary Kerry returned to the country to renew his push to bring the country’s leaders and Palestinians back to the negotiating table amid increased skepticism. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: Fighting between Sunnis and Alawites in the northern town of Tripoli killed at least six and wounded at least 40, renewing fears of Syria’s conflict spilling over international borders. (AFP)
  • United Arab Emirates: Reporters Without Borders criticized a court decision to uphold a jail sentence for a Twitter user for posting information on the site about the trial of 94 Islamists. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Social Media: Twitter announced that it was stepping up its security measures following a series of high-profile attacks targeting media organizations. (AFP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcano: Turriabla, Costa Rica
    • Erupted, spewing clouds of ash and gas and causing small-scale evacuations. (AP)
  • 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 22MAY: 43 (Saudi Arabia 31, Tunisia 2, France, Germany, Jordan, Qatar, United Kingdom)
        • Global Number of Deaths as of 22MAY: 21 (Saudi Arabia 15)
        • WHO

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (24MAY)

  • Global: UN Security Council counter-terrorism committee will hold a meeting on countering terrorism through the use of new communications and information technologies.
  • Ecuador: President Rafael Correa will begin his third four-year term.
  • Eritrea: Independence Day, 20th anniversary of the Ethiopian government recognizing Eritrea as a sovereign state – 1993.
  • India: US diplomat Wendy Sherman in Delhi to prepare for Secretary Kerry’s trip to the country next month.
  • Iran: Iranian Army will begin a series of war games, “Beit ol-Moqaddas 25,” in the general zone of Isfahan.
  • Iran: According to a Press TV report the latest Iranian UAV, which uses “high technology,” will be unveiled.
  • Myanmar: Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe plans to visit Myanmar to meet President Thein Sein for his first summit with the Myanmar leader to promote economic development and democratization Myanmar (to 26MAY).
  • Ukraine: Bulgarian Vice President Margarita Popova will visit Ukraine to attend meetings on topical issues of Ukrainian-Bulgarian cooperation (to 27MAY).

END

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