ONS: 26 February 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 26, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Nigerian Army head LT GEN Kenneth visited soldiers in the northeastern town of Baga, telling troops that the conflict against Boko Haram will soon be over.
  • AMERICAS: US Secretary Kerry criticized the Venezuelan government’s “egregious behavior” and promised the speedy implementation of recent sanctions.
  • ASIA: A Taliban suicide attack targeting a Turkish diplomatic vehicle belonging to the NATO mission killed at least two people in Kabul.
  • EUROPE: Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis hailed a “turn in the tide” following an extension of the country’s bailout but warned of problems ahead in meeting billions of euros in debt repayments.
  • MIDDLE EAST: A monitoring group reported that Islamic State group jihadists abducted 220 Assyrian Christians from Syrian villages in recent days, more than twice as many as previously reported.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Google said it was launching a reorganization of its European operations in the face of a tougher regulatory environment.

 

TOP STORY

  • Ukraine: Russia ups rhetoric as ceasefire struggles.
    • Russian FM Lavrov called threats of fresh sanctions against Moscow evidence that Washington and Brussels are not working for the success of a truce.
    • The Ukrainian military said that President Poroshenko is likely to order government forces to start pulling back heavy weapons in the country’s east on Thursday.
    • A spokesman for Gazprom said the company could cut off supplies to Ukraine by the end of the week, barring further payments.
    • Russian President Putin said that the Ukrainian government cutting off gas supplies to the pro-Russian separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk “smells of genocide.”
    • US defense leaders said the Obama administration is still assessing whether to provide lethal, defensive weapons to Ukraine.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, AP-2, Reuters, Reuters-2, WP

 

AFRICA

  • Egypt: One person was killed and two wounded by a bomb outside a restaurant in the residential Imbaba district of Cairo. (Reuters)
  • Liberia: President Sirleaf is to visit the US and address the Senate on the country’s progress combatting Ebola. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Army head LT GEN Kenneth visited soldiers in the northeastern town of Baga, telling troops that the conflict against Boko Haram will soon be over. (AFP)
  • Somalia: Insurgents in Mogadishu fired a barrage of mortar rounds targeting the presidential palace and main government compound, killing a guard. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: US Secretary Kerry criticized the Venezuelan government’s “egregious behavior” and promised the speedy implementation of recent sanctions. (AFP)
  • Argentina: Congress approved a bill to scrap the country’s intelligence agency and replace it with a new federal agency that will be accountable to Congress. (BBC)
  • Mexico: Federal police rejected accusations by a teacher’s union that a 65-year-old protestor died after being beaten by officers during a demonstration in Acapulco. (AFP)
  • United States: Senate leaders struck a deal to avert a shutdown and fund homeland security operations through September. (AFP)
  • United States: Three New York residents from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan were arrested for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State group fighting in Syria. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: A Taliban suicide attack targeting a Turkish diplomatic vehicle belonging to the NATO mission killed at least two people in Kabul. (AFP)
  • Australia: PM Abbott spoke with Indonesian President Widodo about the looming execution of two convicted drug traffickers. (Reuters)
  • Thailand: Junta chief Chan-O-Cha said he is willing to provide testimony about his involvement in a 2010 military crackdown on anti-government protesters in Bangkok. (AFP)
  • Thailand:  A committee appointed by the military junta to draft a new constitution said a 200-member Senate will be nominated and not elected in what critics call a setback for democracy. (AP)

 

EUROPE

  • France: President Hollande called for a climate change “alliance” with the Philippines at the start of a two day visit. (AFP)
  • Greece: Finance Minister Varoufakis hailed a “turn in the tide” following an extension of the country’s bailout but warned of problems ahead in meeting billions of euros in debt repayments. (AFP)
  • Spain: The country said it plans to deport 34 top members of violent Latin American street gangs operating in Madrid. (AP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Bahrain: A court sentenced three Shiites to death and jailed seven others for life after convicting them of killing three policemen last year. (AFP)
  • Iraq: HRW reported that Kurdish forces have prevented displaced Arabs from returning to disputed areas of the country that Kurdish leaders want to incorporate in their autonomous region. (AFP)
  • Syria: A monitoring group reported that Islamic State group jihadists abducted 220 Assyrian Christians from villages in recent days, more than twice as many as previously reported. (Reuters)
  • Syria: A coalition air strike near the Iraqi border town of al-Qaim killed at least 17 Islamic State militants and nine civilians overnight. (Reuters)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Google said it was launching a reorganization of its European operations in the face of a tougher regulatory environment. (AFP)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 14S (Glenda)
    • Location: 586 NM E of Port Louis, Mauritius
    • Movement: SSW at 8 mph
    • Winds: 63 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico
    • Ash cloud that disrupted US and Mexican flights. (AFP)
  • 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 (27FEB)

  • Chile: Anniversary of A huge 8.8-magnitude earthquake rocks Chile, killing at least 450 people and triggering tsunami warnings across the Pacific – 2010
  • Cuba and United States: The US State department said that the US and Cuba will hold a second round of talks on normalizing relations
  • Dominican Republic: Independence Day -1844
  • Nigeria: Anniversary of Nigerians voting to break military rule – 1999
  • Tunisia: Anniversary of former Tunisian PM Ghannouchi resigning – 2011
  • Venezuela: Anniversary of the the deadly revolt led by commander Hugo Chavez – 1989

 

END

 

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