ONS: 29 March 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 29, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: A deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus suspected of killing at least 63 people has spread from rural Guinea to the capital Conakry as West African nations branded the virus a serious threat to regional security.
  • AMERICAS: A Venezuelan court rejected a bail application by one of the opposition leaders, Leopoldo Lopez, who continues to be held in a military prison outside Caracas.
  • ASIA: The Taliban have launched a gun and bomb attack on an office of the Afghan election commission in Kabul, less than two weeks before presidential polls.
  • EUROPE: Norway’s ex-PM Jens Stoltenberg was appointed NATO’s next Secretary General, to replace Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen in October.
  • MIDDLE EAST: US President Barack Obama reassured King Abdullah on Friday the US remained committed to strengthening the moderate opposition in the Syrian civil war.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Microsoft Corp, under fire for accessing an employee’s private Hotmail account to prove he was leaking computer code to a blogger, has said it will now refer all suspicions of illegal activity on its email services to law enforcement.

 

TOP STORY

  • Ukraine: Russia calls for diplomacy amid troop build-up
    • Russia’s Vladimir Putin has telephoned US President Barack Obama to discuss a possible diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
    • President Obama urged his counterpart Putin to pull his troops back from the border with Ukraine during the hour-long phone call.
    • Intelligence analysts have concluded that Russian forces are gathering the three elements needed for a sustained offensive – artillery, supplies and communications – under the cover of military exercises.
    • Russia’s reinforcement of troops near Ukraine has brought the total forces there to as many as 40,000, U.S. officials estimated on Friday.
    • According to Russian FM Sergei Lavrov, Russia has no intention of ordering its armed forces to cross over the Ukrainian border.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, BBC, Reuters, Telegraph

 

AFRICA

  • Guinea: A deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus suspected of killing at least 63 people has spread from rural areas to the capital Conakry as West African nations branded the virus a serious threat to regional security. (Reuters)
  • Kenya: Gunmen killed six worshipers in a church near the city of Mombasa on Sunday, an attack of the kind that Islamist militants have been carrying out in retaliation for Kenya’s intervention in neighboring Somalia. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: The military has arrested two Britons and 10 of its own citizens on charges of trying to bribe a military officer to facilitate oil theft. (Reuters)

 

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: More changes were announced Friday to the cabinet of President Dilma Rousseff, unveiling the new appointees for the ministries of Institutional Relations and Human Rights. (Xinhua)
  • Colombia: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group Friday hailed a government proposal to reestablish a national peace commission to aid talks between the two sides. (Xinhua)
  • Venezuela: A court rejected a bail application by one of the opposition leaders, Leopoldo Lopez, who continues to be held in a military prison outside Caracas. (BBC)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Australia announced the search area for the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared March 8 has shifted to a new Indian Ocean region, 680 miles to the northeast of where planes and ships had been trying to find it. (AP)
  • Region: Japan’s defense minister Itsunori Onodera has vowed to defend the country’s territory after three Chinese government ships entered disputed waters off Tokyo-controlled islands in the East China Sea. (Al Jazeera)
  • Afghanistan: The Taliban have launched a gun and bomb attack on an office of the Afghan election commission in Kabul, less than two weeks before presidential polls. (BBC)
  • China: President Xi Jinping reaffirmed Friday his country will firmly stick to the path of development and an independent foreign policy rooted in peace. (Xinhua)
  • Phillipines: A government ship has slipped past a Chinese coast guard blockade and brought food and fresh troops to a marooned navy ship used as a base to bolster the country’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Region: Norway’s ex-PM Jens Stoltenberg was appointed NATO’s next Secretary General, to replace Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen when he steps down in October. (BBC)
  • Albania: FM Ditmir Bushati said government will strengthen cooperation with UNESCO in all areas such as education, culture, sport and communication. (Xinhua)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Israel’s refusal on Saturday to free a final batch of 104 Arab prisoners to Palestinian authorities is another obstacle to US efforts to broker peace. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Despite the disarray caused by the sudden mass resignation of election chiefs ahead of next month’s polls, candidates for seats in the Iraqi parliament are pressing ahead with unofficial campaigning. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Ongoing clashes between anti-government fighters and soldiers in southeast Fallujah in Iraq have killed at least 44 soldiers and four armed men. (Al Jazeera)
  • Saudi Arabia: President Obama reassured King Abdullah on Friday the US remained committed to strengthening the moderate opposition in the Syrian civil war. (NYT)
  • Syria: The UN reported there has been no humanitarian improvement for millions of Syrians since the Security Council passed a resolution last month to increase aid deliveries. (BBC)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Microsoft Corp, under fire for accessing an employee’s private Hotmail account to prove he was leaking computer code to a blogger, has said it will now refer all suspicions of illegal activity on its email services to law enforcement. (Reuters)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases: Global Number of Cases as of 27MAR: 206 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom)
      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 27MAR: 86 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
    • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (30MAR)

  • Brazil: Anniversary of coup d’etat against President Goulart – 1964
  • Cambodia: Opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party to hold protest in Freedom Park in Phnom Penh
  • Thailand: Senate elections
  • Turkey: Municipal elections

 

END

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