ONS: 25 March 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 25, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: CAR Seleka rebel leader Michel Djotodia named himself president after rebel forces overran the capital but announced he will keep a power-sharing government under the January peace deal.
  • AMERICAS: Colombian police said they seized a half ton of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bricks in the port city of Cartagena.
  • ASIA: The US military handed over full control of Bagram prison to the Afghan Defense Ministry, where nearly 3,000 suspected Taliban and alQaeda combatants are being held.
  • EUROPE: Cypriot negotiators and international creditors reached a bailout agreement which will include the restructuring of the country’s second-largest bank and a smaller levy on savings.
  • MIDDLE EAST: A Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman warned citizens fighting in Syria will face arrest upon their return to the country.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Google’s much anticipated “Google Glass” optical technology is already facing mounting pressure, including a ban on its use while driving in VA.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Activists said rebel leader wounded; Opposition to take Syria seat at Arab League; Syrian Embassy in Moscow refutes Assad death reports.
    • COL Riad al Assad, a prominent army defector and head of the Free Syrian Army, was targeted by a bomb stuck to his car in the east of the country.
    • It is expected that newly selected PM Ghassan Hitto will take up the country’s empty seat at the Arab League summit in Doha after SNC chairman al Khatib’s resignation.
    • French FM Fabius stated the opposition leadership must reunite after the al Khatib’s surprise resignation to avoid further factionalism and extremism.
    • The country’s embassy in Moscow denied reports on social media sites about the death of President alAssad.
    • Coverage: AP, AFP-1, AFP-2, Itar-Tass

 

AFRICA

  • Central African Republic: Seleka rebel leader Michel Djotodia named himself president after rebel forces overran the capital but announced that he will keep a power-sharing government under the January peace deal. (Reuters)
  • Somalia: Gunmen killed a female radio journalist in Mogadishu, the latest in a string of reporters murdered in the city. (AFP)
  • Sudan: The opposition National Umma Party called for the formation of a transitional government after President al Bashir’s announcement that he will retire in 2015. (Xinhua)
  • Zimbabwe: A high court released a prominent human rights lawyer on bail after more than a week in prison. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Police said they seized a half ton of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bricks in the port city of Cartagena. (BBC)
  • El Salvador: Hundreds marched in the capital of San Salvador to honor the slain archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero and urged the new Pope to push for his sainthood.
  • United States: The Navy’s top lawyer, who previously helped reform the Guantanamo Bay war courts, has been placed in charge of the trials related to 9/11 and the USS Cole bombing. (Miami Herald)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: The US military handed over full control of Bagram prison to the Defense Ministry, where nearly 3,000 suspected Taliban and al Qaeda combatants are being held. (Xinhua)
  • China: State media reported the government agreed to purchase two dozen fighter jets and four submarines from Russia, the first deal between the countries in a decade. (AFP)
  • Myanmar: Communal riots broke out amongst the country’s Buddhist and Muslim inhabitants a day after a state of emergency was proclaimed in Meikhtila. (Xinhua)
  • Pakistan: Mir Hazar Khan Khoso was sworn in as a caretaker PM to govern the country until elections can be held in May. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Cyprus: Negotiators and international creditors reached a bailout agreement which will include the restructuring of the country’s second-largest bank and a smaller levy on savings. (AP)
  • France: President Hollande’s approval rating is at an all time low of 30% as the government is unable to combat rising unemployment and the public debt crisis. (Guardian)
  • Italy: Former PM Berlusconi reiterated his demand that the center-left leadership negotiate to create a coalition with his center-right party in order to avoid another round of elections. (Reuters)
  • Turkey: Police raided 20 locations believed to be connected with the leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front, who claimed responsibility for attacks on government buildings last week. (Reuters)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: A Palestinian official says the US is seeking to bring Arab countries into its efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the coming weeks. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: An Interior Ministry spokesman warned citizens fighting in Syria will face arrest upon their return to the country. (AP)
  • Syria: Rebels fired dozens of mortar shells into central Damascus, hitting a high-security area near President Assad’s residence. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Google: The search giant’s much anticipated optical technology, “Google Glass,” is already facing mounting pressure, including a ban on its use while driving in VA. (ZDNet)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Mt. Lukon, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
    • Spewing ash as high as 2km into the air. (DPA)

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (26MAR)

  • Global: Fifth BRICS Summit will begin in Durban, South Africa, to seek common ground on areas of importance for these major economies; Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend (to 27MAR).
  • Global: World Social Forum, an annual meeting of civil society organizations, will begin in Tunis (to 30MAR).
  • Global: Sixth International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPIC) will be held in Beijing, hosted by China National Petroleum Corp. and Exxon Mobil (to 28MAR).
  • Europe: Discussions will begin in Geneva on stabilization in the Caucuses and guarantees for the non-use of force and improvement of humanitarian and socio-economic situation (to 27MAR).
  • Middle East and Africa: Arab League Summit will begin in Doha to discuss the current developments in and relations between the member states (to 28MAR).
  • South America: Anniversary of the creation of Mercosur, an economic and political agreement among Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela – 1991.

END

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