ONS: 30 January 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 30, 2013

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: A Dutch court rejected a bid by a group of Nigerian farmers to hold Shell responsible for oil damage saying a local subsidiary, Shell Nigeria, was responsible.
  • AMERICAS: The US Senate confirmed Senator Kerry as the next secretary of state by a wide margin.
  • ASIA: The South Korean government successfully launched its first civilian satellite into orbit after two failed attempts.
  • EUROPE: US NGOs NDI and IRI have moved several Russian employees and their families out of the country after new legislation on treason was passed.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Israel announced it unfroze USD100 million of the PA’s funds due to its difficult financial situation.
  • TECHNOLOGY: The US DHS urged computer users to disable a common networking feature after researchers warned that hackers could exploit flaws.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Donors pledged more than USD1.1 billion; Opposition accused the regime of crimes against humanity; 700,000 Syrians waiting to register as refugees; 78 men were found executed in Aleppo.
    • More than USD1.1 billion has been pledged at an international donor conference in Kuwait to help civilians affected by the conflict.
    • The bodies of 78 young men, all executed with a single gunshot, were found in a river in Aleppo.
    • Syria’s opposition accused the regime of exploiting “global inaction” to carry out crimes against humanity.
    • UNHCR said more than 700,000 Syrians registered or were waiting to register as refugees in Turkey and other countries around Syria.
    • Coverage: BBC-1, AFP-1, AFP-2, AFP-3, BBC-2, NYT, WaPo

AFRICA

  • Region: A senior ECOWAS official called on West African countries to remove roadblocks in the trade of agricultural goods in an attempt to combat food shortages. (Xinhua)
  • Libya: UN Envoy Mitri said there are still 200,000 armed fighters in “revolutionary brigades” in Libya. (AFP)
  • Mali: French forces leading an offensive against Islamist fighters in northern Mali have entered the rebel stronghold of Kidal and secured the airport. (AFP)
  • Mali: MPs unanimously adopted the government’s road-map for transition towards democratic rule with free and fair elections. (Xinhua)
  • Nigeria: A Dutch court rejected a bid by a group of Nigerian farmers to hold Shell responsible for oil damage, saying a local subsidiary, Shell Nigeria, was responsible. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: Justice Minister Correa said a new drugs bill would legalize the personal use of synthetic drugs, such as ecstasy. (BBC)
  • Mexico: Authorities confirmed the 17 bodies found in a well in Nuevo Leon were confirmed to be members of a musical group that had gone missing. (AP)
  • United States: The Senate confirmed Senator Kerry as the next secretary of state. (RFE/RL)
  • Venezuela: A top aide to President Chavez said he is improving each day and becoming more engaged in his work. (AFP)

ASIA

  • China: A naval fleet will conduct training exercises in the Pacific after sailing through islands off the country’s coast. (Xinhua)
  • Korea, South: The government successfully launched its first civilian satellite into orbit after two failed attempts. (Xinhua)
  • Myanmar: The US provided an additional USD4.2 million in emergency aid to victims of violence in western Rakhine State. (Xinhua)
  • Pakistan: The government accused India of decapitating 12 soldiers in cross-border attacks since 1998 and registered a protest with a UN watchdog. (AFP)
  • Thailand: Police arrested Somchai Khunploem, an influential politician who was convicted in absentia last year for the murder of a political rival in 2003. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Azerbaijan: The opposition denied involvement in mass anti-government riots last week that were among the most serious outbreaks of unrest in the state in years. (AFP)
  • France: Police arrested two men in connection with last year’s attacks by Mohamed Merah in Toulouse which left seven dead. (AFP)
  • Germany: Opposition Social Democrats and Greens gained momentum after winning a regional vote last week giving them a boost in polling against Merkel. (Reuters)
  • Poland: The government reopened debate on a target date for its eurozone entry. (AFP)
  • Russia: NDI and IRI have moved several Russian employees and their families out of the country after new legislation on treason was passed. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: Several reformist newspapers publicly protested the 27JAN raids on their offices and the detention of their journalists. (RFE/FL)
  • Israel: The government announced it unfroze USD100 million of the PA’s funds due to its difficult financial situation. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: Officials said 12 Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace in less than 24 hours, flying low in several sorties over southern Lebanon. (AP)
  • Kuwait: The government pledged USD300 million in international aid to civilians caught in the Syrian conflict at an international donor conference in Kuwait City. (AFP)
  • Palestinian Territories: The PLO said Israeli PM Netanyahu would have to drastically change tactics if peace talks were to resume. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: The US DHS urged computer users to disable a common networking feature, Universal Plug and Play or UPnP, after researchers warned hackers could exploit flaws. (Reuters)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 13S (Felleng)
    • Location: 460 mi NW of La Reunion
    • Movement: SW at 7 mph
    • Winds: 121 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (31JAN)

  • Europe: EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels.
  • Guinea-Bissau: Jose Ramos-Horta, a former East Timor president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, will replace Joseph Mutaboba as the UN new special representative to Guinea-Bissau.
  • Russia: Hungarian PM Orban will make a brief working visit to Moscow to discuss the development of trade, economic, energy, financial, cultural and humanitarian ties.
  • United States: The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to be the next defense secretary.

END

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