ONS: 30 December 2010

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 30, 2010

KEY STORYLINES:

  • AFRICA: Ivory Coast UN envoy warned of genocide.
  • ASIA: Japan to consider using drones.
  • EUROPE: Sale of French warships to Russia raises alarm in Europe.
  • LATIN AMERICA: US revoked Venezuelan ambassador’s visa.
  • MIDDLE EAST: US appointed an ambassador to Syria.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Facebook is the most visited website in the US.

TOP STORY

  • North Korea boosts special forces
    • According to a South Korean defense review, North Korea has increased its investment in tanks and special forces.
    • The report noted that over the past two years, the North increased their special forces by at least 20,000, pushing the number to 200,000
    • It also warned the North is capable of a “massive surprise bombardment” on Seoul.
    • Coverage: AFP, BBC

AFRICA

  • Ivory Coast: Youssoufou Bamba, Ivory Coast’s newly appointed ambassador to the UN, warned the country is “on the brink of genocide.” (BBC)
  • Senegal: Police prevented opposition supporters from holding a banned march to protest the squandering of public funds. (AFP)

ASIA

  • China: Related to Beijing’s decision to reduce legal exports of rare earth minerals, the government plans to heavily crack down on illegal mines. (NY Times)
  • Japan: The defense ministry will research the use of unmanned aircraft for surveillance flights in the next fiscal year, and intends to make a final decision on whether to deploy drones by the end of fiscal 2015. (AFP)
  • Korea, North: Pyongyang attached conditions to its nuclear inspection offer, including seeking payment “about five times higher than the market price” for the sale of 12,000 of its nuclear fuel rods. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Region: France’s sale of Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia continues to raise alarm as Eastern European countries fear the deal will allow Moscow to exert greater control over coastal regions. (LA Times)
  • Armenia: In an attempt to remind Azerbaijan of the dangers of renewing military conflict, the Armenian Defense Ministry announced it has S-300 air defense missiles. (AP)
  • Greece: A strong bomb exploded outside a court in Athens after a warning call enabled police to evacuate the area. (Reuters)

LATIN AMERICA

  • Colombia: In the port town of Buenaventura, authorities seized six tons of cocaine that was en route to the US. (AFP)
  • Cuba: According to leaked diplomatic cables, Reporters Without Borders believes the Cuban government is more worried about bloggers than traditional activists. (ReadWriteWeb)
  • Venezuela: The US revoked the visa of the Venezuelan ambassador to the US amid the diplomatic row with Chavez. (BBC)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: Iraq Body Count, a British group monitoring Iraqi civilian deaths, said the number of civilians killed by violence in the past year was the lowest since the 2003 invasion. (AP, BBC)
  • Lebanon: Foreign Minister Ali Shami summoned the British Ambassador to Lebanon to inquire about British Foreign Secretary William Hague’s comments about possible turmoil erupting in the country. (Xinhua)
  • Syria: President Obama bypassed Congress to appoint Ambassador Robert Ford as the first US envoy to Syria in nearly six years. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY & COMMUNICATIONS

  • World: Facebook.com surpassed Google as the top visited website in the US in 2010, taking 8.93 percent of site visits between January and November 2010. (TechCrunch)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.

END

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