ONS: 28 December 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 28, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: More than 100 suspected Nigerian Islamic sect Boko Haram militants were killed and over 200 arrested during a army operation in Doble, Cameroon.
  • AMERICAS: A team of developers in Costa Rica created a free app to allow the public to easily report the standing water that acts as mosquito hatcheries, allowing the government to quickly spray these areas with pesticides.
  • ASIA: Seeking to expand the Japan’s military role, the Abe administration drafted a law to expedite overseas deployments in support of peacekeeping operations.
  • EUROPE: An international rescue effort was under way after a car ferry carrying 466 passengers and crew caught fire while sailing from Greece to Italy.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Syrian government said that it would be willing to participate in a Russian-sponsored conference to end its almost four-year-long civil war
  • TECHNOLOGY: Tech firms resisted Russian government orders to remove information about a rally next month in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, raising the prospect of a showdown over the Kremlin’s efforts to control online information.

TOP STORY

  • AirAsia Flight QZ8501 (Airbus A320-200) carrying approximately 162 passengers disappeared over the Java Sea while en route from Indonesia to Singapore.
    • Flight QZ8501, left the Indonesian city of Surabaya around 5:30 a.m. for the short hop to Singapore, a flight that usually takes about two hours. Air traffic control lost contact with the Airbus A320-200 at 6:17 a.m., about 40 minutes later.
    • The aircraft was on the submitted flight plan route and was requesting deviation due to weather before communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control.
    • To assist Indonesian search-and-rescue teams, Malaysia’s dispatched three ships and one aircraft to join the effort.
    • As darkness fell over the Java Sea about 12 hours after the plane took off, the search was reportedly being hindered by poor visibility and difficult weather.
    • Coverage: AP, BBC, GUA, LAT, NYT, WaPo

AFRICA

  • Cameroon: More than 100 suspected Nigerian Islamic sect Boko Haram militants were killed and over 200 arrested during a Army operation in Doble. (XIN)
  • Libya: The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) strongly condemned renewed attacks on Libyan oil installations, which set ablaze storage tanks in the Sidra oil terminal. (XIN)
  • Somalia: Government officials in the Gedo region confirmed the arrest of Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi, a top Al-Shabaab intelligence commander who has a U.S. bounty of three million U.S. dollars on his head. (XIN)

AMERICAS

  • Region: President Obama’s intention to normalize relations with Cuba generated massive interest among Americans eager to see the Caribbean island. (WaPo)
  • Region: Cuba’s most prominent dissidents said they have been kept in the dark by US officials over a list of 53 political prisoners soon to be released. (NYT)
  • Costa Rica:  A team of developers created a free app to allow the public to easily report the standing water that acts as mosquito hatcheries, allowing the government to quickly spray these areas with pesticides. (GUA)

ASIA

  • Japan: Seeking to expand the country’s military role, the Abe administration drafted a law to expedite overseas deployments in support of peacekeeping operations. (AFP)
  • Sri Lanka: The country’s largest Muslim political party withdrew support for President Rajapaksa and switched allegiance to opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisenadue. (AP)
  • Taiwan: Former VP Annette Lu began a hunger strike to protest what she called the administration’s procrastination of granting jailed former President Chen Shui-bian medical parole. (Kyodo)

EUROPE

  • Region: An international rescue effort was under way after a car ferry carrying 466 passengers and crew caught fire while sailing from Greece to Italy. (REU)
  • Croatia: Presidential elections began amid a deep economic crisis, with incumbent Ivo Josipovic seen as the frontrunner. (AFP)
  • Russia: The Foreign Ministry declared relations with the EU to be the country’s top foreign policy priority, despite the “complexity of the current situation.” (XIN)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Egypt: An appeals court upheld last month’s “debauchery” conviction of eight men amid an increasingly harsh government campaign against homosexuality. (LAT)
  • Iran: The Skyguard Air Defense System designed to shoot down enemy drones was tested during combined forces military exercises. (XIN)
  • Iran: FM Zarif condemned western sanctions as “cruel and unfair” tools that prevent development and violate international law. (XIN)
  • Syria: The government said that it would be willing to participate in a Russian-sponsored conference to end its almost four-year-long civil war. (LAT)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Censorship:  Tech firms resisted Russian government orders to remove information about a rally next month in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, raising the prospect of a showdown over the Kremlin’s efforts to control online information. (WSJ)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Depression 23W (Twentythree)
    • Location: 651mi SE of Manila, Philippines
    • Movement: WNW at 9 mph
    • Winds: 40 mph
    • Map
  • Tropical Cyclone 04S (Kate)
    • Location: 259mi WSW of Cocos Island, Australia
    • Movement: WSW at 2 mph
    • Winds: 110 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Popocatepetl, Mexico
    • Moderate ash erupted 3.5km into the air SE of Mexico City. (AP)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 19,497 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United States)
      • Deaths: 7,588 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 13NOV: 885,926 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haití, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, 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.)
      • Deaths as of 13NOV: 153 (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 26DEC: 941 (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 and the US)
      • Deaths as of 17DEC: 347 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (29DEC)

  • Botswana: Independence Day – 1965
  • Korea: Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki is scheduled to visit Seoul for a meeting with Cho Tae Yong, South Korea’s first vice foreign minister.

END

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