ONS: 24 May 2013

by admin on May 24, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Ugandan President Museveni removed his top military commander from his post, apparently prompted by an ongoing row over rumors that the President will nominate his son to succeed him.
  • AMERICAS: Paraguayan anti-drug police seized and destroyed 25.6 tons of marijuana in the eastern province of Alto Parana and arrested three, including two minors.
  • ASIA: A North Korean envoy in China in an attempt to mend ties with the country’s sole ally offered to renew disarmament talks according to Chinese media.
  • EUROPE: The United National Movement alleged PM Ivanishvili is attempting to eliminate the political opposition by arresting its leaders.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Opposition fighters launched a counterattack on the strategic town of Qusair near the border with Lebanon which rebels use to smuggle weapons.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Iranian hackers have escalated a campaign against US companies by launching infiltration and surveillance missions against energy companies’ computer networks.

 

 

TOP STORY

  • Niger: Algerian Islamist leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar took responsibility for the twin suicide bombings after having been pushed out of Mali by the French intervention.
    • His group, “Signitories in Blood” threatened to continue attacks unless the Nigerien president withdraws the country’s troops from Mali.
    • Media reports suggest that Belmokhtar himself supervised the operation planning of the attacks.
    • Following the attack, a number of army recruits in the north were kidnapped and are being held hostage.
    • Coverage: AP, Xinhua, AFP

 

 

AFRICA

  • Egypt: The country’s cash-strapped Islamist government has begun to make amends with business leaders in an attempt to bolster the free falling economy. (AFP)
  • Mali: French President Hollande defended the French intervention in Mali and asserted the country would continue to help in the fight against terrorism. (AP)
  • Rwanda: UN Secretary General Ban stated the country was ‘critical’ to ensuring peace in the volatile eastern DRC.
  • Uganda: President Museveni removed his top military commander from his post, apparently prompted by an ongoing row over rumors that the President will nominate his son to succeed him. (AP)

 

 

AMERICAS

  • Haiti: The head of the UN stabilization mission in Haiti confirmed the number of UN troops would be halved by 2017 as a National Police is established. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: A former official from the ruling party denied allegations from the prosecutor’s office that he is linked to more than USD7 million found in boxes on his property. (AFP)
  • Paraguay: Anti-drug police seized and destroyed 25.6 tons of marijuana in the eastern province of Alto Parana and arrested three, including two minors. (Xinhua)
  • Venezuela: The prosecutor’s office announced it will open an investigation into a leaked recording accusing the deputy head of the ruling party of corruption and conspiracy against President Maduro. (Reuters)

 

 

ASIA

  • India: Suspected militants in Kashmir ambushed and killed three army soldiers en route to conduct a counter-terrorism operation in a nearby town. (AP)
  • Korea, North: A government envoy in China, in an attempt to mend ties with the country’s sole ally, offered to renew disarmament talks according to Chinese media. (AP)
  • Pakistan: Officials and analysts welcomed President Obama’s speech on the use of drones in targeting senior Islamic militants, but stopped short of their demand to end the strikes entirely. (AP)
  • Thailand: A roadside bomb in the country’s majority-Muslim south targeted a group of paramilitary rangers, killing five and wounding one. (AFP)

 

 

EUROPE

  • France: IMF Chief Lagarde was questioned for a second day by prosecutors to decide if she should be charged over allegations of corruption during her time as Finance Minister. (AFP)
  • Georgia: The United National Movement alleged that PM Ivanishvili is attempting to eliminate the political opposition by arresting its leaders.  (Interfax)
  • Serbia: The country’s fiscal watchdog warned fiscal reforms have begun to lag and that serious financial problems are looming if the budget deficit is not addressed. (DPA)

 

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Syria: Opposition fighters launched a counterattack on the strategic town of Qusair near the border with Lebanon which rebels use to smuggle weapons. (DPA)
  • Syria: Rebel fighters began an attack on a prison in the northern Aleppo province, sparking intense clashes with government troops and killing a number of inmates. (Xinhua)
  • Yemen: Fighters loyal to AQAP seized control of a number of villages near the port city of Mukalla in a move to take control of the province of Hadramawt. (AFP)

 

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Iranian hackers have escalated a campaign against US companies by launching infiltration and surveillance missions against energy companies’ computer networks. (WSJ)

 

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquake: 225 mi SW of Esso, Russia
    • Magnitude: 8.3
    • Depth: 378.4 mi
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report
  • 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 23MAY: 44 (Saudi Arabia 32, Tunisia 2, France, Germany, Jordan, Qatar, United Kingdom)
        • Global Number of Deaths as of 23MAY: 22 (Saudi Arabia 16)
        • WHO

 

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (25MAY)

  • Global: Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories begins (to 01JUN).
  • Africa: AU leaders will meet in Addis Ababa for a special summit to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the predecessor to the AU, the Organization of African Unity, Secretary Kerry will attend.
  • Middle East: Anniversary of the creation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – 1981.
  • Jordan: Independence Day/Renaissance Day, commemorates the Treaty of 1946 and independence from the UK – 1946.
  • Korea, North: Fourth anniversary of North Korea’s second nuclear test – 2009.
  • Korea, South: South Korea has proposed trilateral summit with Japan and China (to 26MAY).
  • Nigeria: Democratic People’s Party (DPP) will hold its national convention in Abuja.
  • Pakistan: Re-polling date for select Pakistani seats, including NA-46, PK-71 and PK-72.
  • Buddhism: Wesak, Buddha Day, celebrates the Buddha’s birthday, and, for some Buddhists, also marks his enlightenment and death.

 

END

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