- AFRICA: In Burundi, police said they were holding two respected foreign journalists as they reported on gunmen opposed to the government in the volatile nation.
- AMERICAS: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is asking the US for the removal of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia from its list of terrorist organizations in order to help seal a historic peace deal.
- ASIA: Japanese FM Fumio Kishida and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the possibility that North Korea may be gearing up to test a long-range rocket.
- EUROPE: Russia lashed out at the White House after it backed up an allegation from the US Treasury that President Vladimir Putin is corrupt.
- MIDDLE EAST: Syrian opposition members met but have still not announced whether they would join peace talks beginning in Geneva.
- TECHNOLOGY: A new Chinese military outfit will lead the country’s push to enhance its cyber warfare, space security, and online espionage capabilities.
- Israel: Leaked documents reveal US, UK spying on Israeli drone program.
- US and British intelligence hacked Israeli drones and monitored their surveillance feeds for almost 20 years, according to documents leaked by an American whistleblower, Edward Snowden.
- The project, titled ‘Anarchist’, scooped up drone video feeds as well as linked location data and flight paths from 2009 and 2010.
- The revelations are the latest in a series of examples of how the US and Israel profess friendship in public but also spy intensively on each other.
- The ability of the UK and the US to intercept encrypted military communications exposes the deep vulnerabilities in Israel’s military communications, leading to questions over who else may have penetrated them.
- Israel neither confirms nor denies having armed drones, though one of its senior military officers was quoted as acknowledging their existence in a 2010 US diplomatic cable that was previously disseminated by WikiLeaks.
- Coverage: AP, Forbes, Guardian, Reuters, Telegraph
- Burundi: Police said they were holding two respected foreign journalists as they reported on gunmen opposed to the government in the volatile nation. (AFP)
- Central African Republic: The UN said it had allegations that peacekeepers from Georgia, France, and another unnamed country sexually abused children while deployed in the nation. (Reuters)
- Egypt: A bomb blast killed two police officers and wounded five others in an attack on their armored vehicle in the Sinai Peninsula. (AFP)
- Somalia: The UN Security Council commended the nation’s government for seeking consensus on an electoral model for 2016. (Xinhua)
- Region: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is asking the US for the removal of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia from its list of terrorist organizations in order to help seal a historic peace deal. (AP)
- Colombia: The country will deploy 7,000 troops to eradicate illicit crops and teach farmers to grow substitute cash crops. (Xinhua)
- United States: The government placed more than a dozen immigrant children in the custody of human traffickers after it failed to conduct background checks of caregivers, according to a Senate report. (NYT)
- Region: Japanese FM Fumio Kishida and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the possibility that North Korea may be gearing up to test a long-range rocket. (Xinhua)
- China: The EU called the country’s the televised broadcasts of confessions by detained Chinese and European citizens “unacceptable”. (Reuters)
- North Korea: The country has sent top diplomats to Moscow and possibly Beijing, in the face of possible tough UN sanctions over its latest nuclear test. (AFP)
- South Korea: A UN envoy warned of a gradual erosion of the freedom of assembly in the country. (AFP)
- Region: Forcing Greece to become a “warehouse” for migrants was no solution to the crisis, Human Rights Watch said, adding that Turkey was not suitable for relocation. (AFP)
- Region: United Kingdom PM David Cameron said mooted EU reform proposals in response to Britain’s demands were “not yet strong enough”. (AFP)
- France: The country’s economy grew by a weak 1.1 percent in 2015, as its last quarter was weighed down by the 13NOV attacks in Paris and a warm winter. (AP)
- Russia: The Kremlin lashed out at the White House after it backed up an allegation from the US Treasury that President Vladimir Putin is corrupt. (AFP)
- Region: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has recruited thousands of Afghans, some by coercion, to fight in Syria’s war alongside forces loyalist forces, Human Rights Watch said. (AFP)
- Iran: The country claimed it flew a surveillance drone over a US aircraft carrier and took “precise” photographs as part of an ongoing naval drill. (AP)
- Saudi Arabia: An attack on a mosque in al-Ahsa in the country’s east killed three people. (Reuters)
- Syria: Opposition members met but have still not announced whether they would join peace talks beginning in Geneva. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: A new Chinese military outfit will lead the country’s push to enhance its cyber warfare, space security and online espionage capabilities. (Reuters)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 09S
- Location: 174 NM NNW of Port Hedland, Australia
- Wind: 40 mph
- Movement: SSE at 4 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 29JAN: 951 (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, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
- Confirmed Cases: 21
- Deaths as of 29JAN: 0 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
- Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
- Cases as of 29JAN: 1632 (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, Germany, China, South Korea, and the US)
- Deaths as of 29JAN: 587 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (30JAN)
- Uganda: NRM Liberation Day – 1986