ONS: 25 February 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 25, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: An Egyptian border official said that 20,000 Egyptians have fled Libya since the release of a beheading video by Islamic State militants.
  • AMERICAS: A Venezuelan police officer shot and killed a teenage boy during an anti-government protest in San Cristóbal.
  • ASIA: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim said the US is “deeply concerned” about the country’s nuclear advances.
  • EUROPE: Turkish authorities launched a nationwide sweep targeting suspects accused of wiretapping top officials including President Erdogan.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard began large-scale naval and air defense drills near the Strait of Hormuz.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Gemalto, a French-Dutch digital security company, confirmed that American and British intelligence agencies had hacked into the company’s networks in an attempt to gain access to worldwide mobile phone communications.

TOP STORY

  • Ukraine: European leaders threaten new sanctions amid ongoing clashes.
    • French FM Fabius said that Moscow would face more EU sanctions if pro-Russia separatists attacked Ukraine’s government-held port of Mariupol.
    • Polish FM Schetyna similarly said Western countries should prepare a package of new sanctions against Russia if militia forces start attacking Mariupol.
    • The Ukrainian military said that Russian-backed rebels shelled the village of Popasna and continued trying to overrun military positions at the village of Shyrokyne.
    • Russian FM Lavrov said Russia is concerned that many people in Kiev and outside Ukraine want a peace deal in the east of the country to fail.
    • Pro-Russian rebels took journalists to see a column of artillery pieces being moved, saying it proved that their forces were withdrawing heavy weapons in line with a truce.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, Reuters, Reuters-2, Tass

AFRICA

  • Region: An Egyptian border official said that 20,000 Egyptians have fled Libya since the release of a beheading video by Islamic State militants. (AP)
  • DR Congo: Outgoing US special envoy Russ Feingold said the government “owes it to its people” to end the threat posed by Rwandan Hutu rebels in its eastern provinces. (AFP)
  • Kenya: The police force reported that 174 people were killed in 2014 in attacks by Islamic extremists, the highest number in the three years. (AP)
  • Somalia: US President Obama nominated the US’s first ambassador to the country since 1991. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: Defense Minister Wagner said tensions in ties with Indonesia are unlikely to affect a potential weaponry purchase deal. (Xinhua)
  • Colombia: ELN rebels claimed to have kidnapped four geologists missing since last week in the northeast of the country. (AFP)
  • Jamaica: Lawmakers passed an act to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and establish a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry. (AP)
  • Venezuela: A police officer shot and killed a teenage boy during an anti-government protest in San Cristóbal. (NYT)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: The UN reported that the government is making progress in reducing the torture of conflict detainees, but more than a third still suffer mistreatment. (AFP)
  • Bangladesh: A court issued an arrest warrant for opposition leader Khaleda Zia for failing to attend hearings on graft charges. (AFP)
  • Korea, North: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim said the US is “deeply concerned” about the country’s nuclear advances. (Reuters)
  • Pakistan: Inter-Services Intelligence chief LT GEN Rizwan Akhtar left for an official visit to the US to discuss regional security. (AFP)
  • Philippines: A military assault against Abu Sayyaf on a remote southern island triggered a day-long battle that left five rebels and two soldiers dead. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Germany: A domestic intelligence official reported that the number of fighters returning to the country from conflict zones in Iraq and Syria has risen to 200. (DPA)
  • Greece: German Finance Minister Schaeuble stressed that the country will not receive “a single euro” until it meets the pledges of its existing bail-out program. (AFP)
  • Turkey: Authorities launched a nationwide sweep targeting suspects accused of wiretapping top officials including President Erdogan. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: The Revolutionary Guard began large-scale naval and air defense drills near the Strait of Hormuz. (AP)
  • Israel: US NSA Rice said that PM Netanyahu’s acceptance of an invitation to address the US Congress, without the blessing of the White House, is destructive to US-Israeli ties. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: France said it will begin shipping USD3 billion worth of weapons paid for by Saudi Arabia to the country’s army in April. (AP)
  • Syria: Monitoring groups reported that at least 132 Islamic State fighters were killed since Saturday in fighting with Kurdish militia backed by US coalition air strikes in Hasaka. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: Armed men from the Houthi group took over a special forces army camp in Sanaa after overnight fighting, sources in the camp said. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Gemalto, a French-Dutch digital security company, confirmed that American and British intelligence agencies had hacked into the company’s networks in an attempt to gain access to worldwide mobile phone communications. (NYT)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 14S (Glenda)
    • Location: 661 NM SSW of Diego Garcia
    • Movement: WSW at 8 mph
    • Winds: 63 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • 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 23FEB: 1026 (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 23FEB: 376 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (26FEB)

  • France and Philippines: French President Francois Hollande will visit Philippines (to 27FEB)
  • Kuwait: Liberation Day – 1991
  • Lebanon: Anniversary of US troop withdrawal from Lebanon – 1984
  • Poland and Japan: President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski will visit Japan (to 27FEB)
  • United States: Anniversary of NY World Trade Center bombings – 1993
  • United States: Anniversary of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin shot and killed in Florida causing widespread rallies across the US – 2012

END

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