ONS: 23 May 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on May 23, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The US said it had suspended training of Burundian soldiers for African peacekeeping missions over concerns that political violence in Burundi would hamper their ability to participate in such operations.
  • AMERICAS: Peru and China agreed to study the feasibility of a controversial 5,300 km (3,300 miles) transcontinental railroad that will connect the nation’s Pacific coast with Brazil’s Atlantic coast.
  • ASIA: China met with INTERPOL to enhance bilateral cooperation in police training and combating transnational crime.
  • EUROPE: The Netherlands has approved plans for a partial ban on wearing the face-covering Islamic veil in public places including schools, hospitals and on public transport.
  • MIDDLE EAST: An attempt to strengthen and expand the world’s premier arms-control treaty ended in failure as international delegations squabbled over a long-sought goal of establishing a ban on weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The US Senate struggled to prevent an interruption in critical government surveillance programs, rejecting both a House-passed bill and a short-term extension of the USA Patriot Act.

TOP STORY

  • Saudi Arabia: ISIS claims suicide bombing at Shiite mosque
    • The Islamic State said that it was behind a blast that killed or wounded scores of worshipers at a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia.
    • The Saudi Health Ministry said at least 21 people had been killed and more than 120 others injured.
    • Tweets from ISIS supporters relayed a statement from the group claiming responsibility for the attack.
    • It was the first attack in the kingdom to be claimed by Islamic State militants.
    • The attack could further harm relations between Sunnis and Shias in the Gulf region.
    • Coverage: CNN, Guardian, NYT, Reuters, WP

AFRICA

  • Burundi: The US said it had suspended training of Burundian soldiers for African peacekeeping missions over concerns that political violence in the country would hamper their ability to participate in such operations. (Reuters)
  • Tanzania: Cholera has infected about 3,000 people in the country, the UN has said, where many Burundians have fled seeking refuge. (BBC)
  • South Sudan: The nation is on the verge of economic collapse, sparking renewed fears of famine due to continued fighting, the country’s UN humanitarian coordinator Toby Lanzer has warned. (Guardian)

AMERICAS

  • Region: Peru and China agreed to study the feasibility of a controversial 5,300 km (3,300 miles) transcontinental railroad that will connect the nation’s Pacific coast with Brazil’s Atlantic coast. (Reuters)
  • Colombia: The nation’s UN Office expressed concerns over the escalation of the armed conflict in the country. (Xinhua)
  • Peru: The government said it was suspending civil liberties in a southern coastal valley after a fourth death in violent anti-mining protests against a Mexican-owned copper mining project. (AP)
  • United States: The US Senate overcame bitter divisions on trade policy and passed legislation that gives President Barack Obama authority to swiftly conclude a landmark Pacific Rim trade accord. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Region: South Korea and Japan have agreed to expand economic and financial cooperation at a finance ministers meeting in Tokyo. (Yonhap)
  • Region: Japan is giving 55 billion yen ($450 million) in climate change and disaster aid to Pacific island nations, an effort to beef up its profile in the region. (AP)
  • China: The nation has met with INTERPOL to enhance bilateral cooperation in police training and combating transnational crime. (Xinhua)
  • China: The country is contributing 600 personnel, including 49 from the military, to multinational disaster relief exercises in Malaysia, the first time it has taken part in such an effort, the Defense Ministry said. (AP)
  • Thailand: The nation’s Transport Ministry was planning to limit incoming flights, ending its open skies policy, local media reported. (DPA)

EUROPE

  • Britain: The country’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) announced it had chosen a new helicopter-borne surveillance system from a French defense contractor to protect the Royal Navy’s two future flagship carriers. (Xinhua)
  • Ireland: Voters appear to have approved a proposal to allow same-sex couples to marry, which would make it the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage by popular vote. (WSJ)
  • Netherlands: The Dutch cabinet has approved plans for a partial ban on wearing the face-covering Islamic veil in public places including schools, hospitals and on public transport. (BBC)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: An attempt to strengthen and expand the world’s premier arms-control treaty ended in failure as international delegations squabbled over a long-sought goal of establishing a ban on weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. (WP)
  • Region: An Iranian aid ship docked in Djibouti, averting a showdown with Saudi Arabian and US forces over its original plans to deliver the aid directly to a port in Yemen. (RFE/RL)
  • Lebanon: For the past year, Lebanon’s parliament has been unable to elect a president. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: The US Senate struggled to prevent an interruption in critical government surveillance programs, rejecting both a House-passed bill and a short-term extension of the USA Patriot Act. (AP)

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: 26 044 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths: 10 808 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 15MAY: 1,110,034 (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: 24,375
      • Deaths as of 15MAY: 178 (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 18MAY: 1118 (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 18MAY: 423 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (24MAY)

  • Eritrea: Eritrean Independence Day – 1993
  • Ethiopia: House of People’s Representatives elections
  • Ireland: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to Ireland
  • North Korea: Women’s Rights Activists will march across the DMV in a call for peace.

END

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