ONS: 29 January 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 29, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: African leaders are expected to elect Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe to the 54-member African Union’s rotating chair.
  • AMERICAS: Cuban President Raul Castro demanded that the US return the US base at Guantanamo Bay, lift the trade embargo, and compensate his country for damages before the two nations re-establish normal relations.
  • ASIA: Malaysian authorities declared the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident, clearing the way for the airline to pay compensation to victims’ relatives while the search for the plane continues.
  • EUROPE: Mikhail Gorbachev accused the US of drawing Russia into a new Cold War and said he feared hostilities could escalate into armed conflict.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israeli Defense Minister Yaalon said Hezbollah had passed on a message through the UN mission in southern Lebanon saying it did not want a further escalation.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Security researchers found a connection between the sophisticated malware platform ‘Reign’ and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: ISIS issues new threat to kill Jordanian pilot amid prisoner echange rumors.
    • In a new message purportedly posted by ISIS, the militants demanded that Jordan hand over by “sunset” female jihadist Sajida al-Rishawi at the Turkish border.
    • Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the fresh message threatening to kill Japanese and Jordanian hostages was very likely genuine.
    • Two managers of a Jordanian website were arrested for spreading rumors on Wednesday that Sajida al-Rishawi had been freed.
    • Jordan said it was still awaiting proof from ISIS that the captured Jordanian pilot was alive.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AP, BBC, Reuters, Reuters-2

 

AFRICA

  • Region: UN Ebola coordinator David Nabarro said that the Ebola epidemic is decreasing but is still present in a third of the areas of the three affected West African nations. (AFP)
  • Region: African leaders are expected to elect Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe to the 54-member African Union’s rotating chair. (AFP)
  • Libya: The UN said the country’s warring factions who operate rival governments have agreed “in principle” to hold future talks to end the crisis inside the country. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: A spokesman for UNSG Ban Ki-moon said he will attend the AU heads of state summit to discuss the threat posed by Boko Haram. (AP)
  • South Sudan: An official reported that President Kiir was been rushed to the hospital in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa after becoming ill. (BBC)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Costa Rican President Solis encouraged Latin American leaders attending a regional summit there to seek common development goals and increase intra-community cooperation. (Xinhua)
  • Cuba: President Raul Castro demanded that the US return the US base at Guantanamo Bay, lift the trade embargo, and compensate his country for damages before the two nations re-establish normal relations. (AP)
  • Panama: The nine judges on the Supreme Court voted unanimously to open a corruption investigation of former President Martinelli. (AP)
  • United States: The Obama administration signaled its displeasure with Israel that PM Netanyahu accepted Republican leaders’ invitation to address Congress on Iran without consulting the White House. (NYT)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Analysts reported that Arab and Central Asian Islamist militants have moved into Afghanistan after a military offensive by Islamabad largely eliminated havens in Pakistan’s tribal areas. (WSJ)
  • Indonesia: An official said the country is ready to execute seven foreigners on death row after their appeals for presidential clemency were rejected. (AFP)
  • Malaysia: Authorities declared the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident, clearing the way for the airline to pay compensation to victims’ relatives while the search for the plane continues. (Reuters)
  • Sri Lanka: The new government accused the military of trying to sow unrest to sabotage its efforts to bring about reconciliation in the north of the country. (AFP)
  • Thailand: A German rights group said that it has been ordered by the junta to cancel a briefing on the health of the kingdom’s media landscape, in a growing clampdown on freedom of expression. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Greece: European Parliament president Schultz is to be the first European official to visit Athens to meet with PM Tsipras. (AP)
  • Romania: Prosecutors indicted former presidential candidate Elena Udre, who was one of the country’s most influential politicians in recent years, on suspicion of money-laundering. (AP)
  • Russia: Mikhail Gorbachev accused the US of drawing the country into a new Cold War and said he feared hostilities could escalate into armed conflict. (AP)
  • Spain: The French air force reported that the jet that crashed during a NATO exercise on Monday experienced a technical failure during takeoff and the two pilots tried to eject. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: HRW blamed the rise of ISIS on the “sectarian and abusive” policies of the Iraqi and Syrian governments. (AP)
  • Iraq: PM Abadi ordered an investigation into allegations that Shiite militiamen massacred Sunni residents in the eastern province of Diyala. (AFP)
  • Israel: Defense Minister Yaalon said Hezbollah had passed on a message through the UN mission in southern Lebanon saying it did not want a further escalation. (AFP)
  • Kuwait: Authorities detained several online activists allegedly for comments deemed offensive to Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Security researchers found a connection between the sophisticated malware platform ‘Reign’ and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). (Mashable)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 08S (Diamondra)
    • Location: 936 NM SSE of Diego Garcia
    • Movement: SSE at 6 mph
    • Winds: 52 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 09S (Eunice)
    • Location: 569 NM ENE of Port Louis, Mauritius
    • Movement: ESE at 3 mph
    • Winds: 103 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 21,724 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 8,641 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 29DEC: 1,091,612 (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: 22,796
      • Deaths as of 29DEC: 169 (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 23JAN: 955 (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 23JAN: 351 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, WHO-3

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (30JAN)

  • Middle East Region: Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah to speak on Israel air strike on Golan
  • Myanmar: Myanmar’s government, global energy firms and experts meet on the nation’s growing oil and gas industry (to 30JAN)
  • Uganda: NRM Liberation Day – 1986

END

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