ONS: 29 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 29, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Nigerian elections are underway despite Boko Haram attacks.  Voting has been extended for 24 hours due to technical malfunctions.
  • AMERICAS: Brazil tells China its intent to foster closer economic ties and join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  • ASIA: South Korea and Vietnam have initialed their free trade agreement (FTA).
  • EUROPE:  A summit between top European Union officials and Ukraine’s leaders will take place in Kiev at the end of April.
  • MIDDLE EAST:  In Yemen, a Saudi-led airstrike campaign has pushed Houthi forces out of contested air bases and destroyed the remaining jet fighters
  • TECHNOLOGY: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a draft of final rules to allow broader access to wireless internet to the American public.

 

TOP STORY

  • Syria: A coalition of rebels known as The Army of Fatah siezed full control of the city of Idlib from President Assad’s forces.
    • The coalition is made up of members of the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra as well as Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa.
    • This is the second siezure of a provincial capital in Syria, the first occuring two years ago with ISIS’ capture of Raqqa, now the ad-hoc capital of the Islamic State.
    • The capture of Idlib secures rebel control over most of northwest Syria.
    • At least seven rebels were killed; Syrian government casualties are unreported as of now.
    • Evidence indicates before the retreat of Syrian government forces, nine prisoners were executed.
    • Syrian forces are regrouping south of the city to repel further rebel attacks.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, Reuters, NYT, The Independent

 

AFRICA

  • Guinea: Pres. Alpha Conden declared a 45-day “health emergency” in five regions in the west and southwest of the country in a bid to stem the spread of Ebola. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: Elections are underway despite several deadly attacks by Boko Haram;  voting has been extended for 24 hours due to technical malfunctions with voter machines. (AFP)
  • Tunisia: Government forces killed nine men belonging to the Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigade, which was accused of organizing the attack on its national museum. (AFP)

 

AMERICAS

  • Region: Lawmakers from nine countries vowed to join forces to help protect children from being forced into manual labor or trafficked into slavery. (Reuters)
  • Brazil: Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira discussed bilateral cooperation as well intent to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. (Xinhua)
  • United States: NASA announced plans for a new space station project alongside the Russian Roscosmos, once the ISS is obsolete. (AFP)

 

ASIA

  • Region:  South Korea and Vietnam have initialed their free trade agreement that aims to boost bilateral trade by removing tariffs and other barriers. (Yonhap)
  • Burma: United Nationalities Federal Council leaders called for an immediate ceasefire as armed clashes continued in the north of the country amid peace talks. (Xinhua)
  • Uzbekistan: Presidential voting recognized as vaild with over 33% turnout, as per Central Election Commission rules; President Karimov is expected to be re-elected. (Tass)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: A summit announced between top European Union officials and Ukraine’s leaders will take place in Kiev at the end of April. (AFP)
  • Region: Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann met with his Croatian and Slovenian counterparts as well as EC VP Maros Sefcovic to discuss energy cooperation amid a nuclear energy row. (Xinhua)
  • Ukraine: Pres. Petro Poroshenko pledged to stop oligarchs from sowing “chaos” after the governor of a key industrial region quit following a row over a state oil firm. (AFP)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Egyptian Pres. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi announced the Arab League’s intent to create a joint military force. (AP)
  • Egypt: Ajnad Misr, a militant group, has claimed responsibility for a bombing in front of Cairo University that wounded eight people, including four police officers. (AP)
  • Iran: US Secretary of State John Kerry cancelled plans to return to the US in order to remain at ongoing nuclear talks as deadline nears. (AP)
  • Yemen: A Saudi-led airstrike campaign targeting Shiite rebels has pushed them out of contested air bases and destroyed any remaining jet fighters. (AP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Communications: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a draft of final rules to allow broader access to wireless internet to the American public. (WSJ)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Depression 04W (Four)
    • Location: 768 NM EAST OF YAP
    • Movement: W at 12 mph
    • Winds: 86 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquake: Calama, Chile
    • Magnitude: 6.0
    • Depth: 112km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 24,872 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 10,311 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 09MAR: 1,231,077 (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: 25,353
      • Deaths as of 09MAR: 183 (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 27MAR: 1090 (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, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 27MAR: 412 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (30MAR)

  • Japan and India: Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar to meet in Tokyo
  • Sierra Leone: Country’s schools to be opened for the first time after Ebola outbreak
  • Tibet and India: Anniversary of the Dalai Lama escaping to India – 1959
  • Ukraine: EU head Juncker and foreign policy chief Mogherini to visit

 

END

 

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