ONS: 30 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 30, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: The AU Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) said in preliminary findings that Nigeria’s presidential vote was “conducted in a peaceful atmosphere within the framework that satisfactorily meets the continental and regional principles of democratic elections.”
  • AMERICAS: The Pentagon released documents indicating that Defense Secretary Carter is considering easing some military enlistment standards.
  • ASIA: In the Philippines, armed forces chief GEN Catapang declared victory against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters after a five-week offensive.
  • EUROPE: British PM Cameron is to ask Queen Elizabeth II to dissolve parliament, kicking off formal campaigning.
  • MIDDLE EAST: In Yemen, Arab coalition warplanes carried out a fifth straight night of air strikes against Shiite rebels near Sanaa and elsewhere in the country.
  • TECHNOLOGY: US officials said that the NSA considered abandoning its secret program to collect and store US calling records in the months before Edward Snowden revealed the practice.

TOP STORY

  • Iran: Talks on nuclear deal intensify ahead of deadline.
    • US Secretary Kerry, Iranian FM Zarif, British Foreign Secretary Hammond and the top diplomats of China, France and Germany are meeting for the first time since November.
    • German FM Steinmeier said that after 18 months of negotiations, they were in the “endgame” while Iran’s lead negotiator Aragchi said they were in the “final phase.”
    • Iranian officials backed away from a critical element of a proposed nuclear agreement, saying they are no longer willing to ship their atomic fuel out of the country.
    • A spokeswoman said that Russian FM Lavrov will leave the nuclear talks on Monday and return the following day if there is a realistic chance of a deal.
    • Turkish President Erdogan said he still planned to visit Iran this month despite his claims that Tehran was trying to dominate the region.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AFP-3, AP, LAT, NYT, Reuters, WP

AFRICA

  • Nigeria: The AU Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) said in preliminary findings that the country’s presidential vote was “conducted in a peaceful atmosphere within the framework that satisfactorily meets the continental and regional principles of democratic elections.” (AFP)
  • Sierra Leone: The government announced the end of a three-day nationwide lockdown aimed at preventing a resurgence of the Ebola virus. (AFP)
  • Tunisia: The country held an international anti-terrorism march entitled “The World is Bardo” 11 days after the terrorist attack against the Bardo museum. (Xinhua)

AMERICAS

  • Bolivia: President Morales’ governing party suffered setbacks in local and regional elections, with unofficial results showing it losing La Paz and several key governorships. (AP)
  • Peru: PM Jara said that she is ready to face a no-confidence vote over the collection of personal information by the country’s intelligence agency. (Xinhua)
  • United States: The Pentagon released documents indicating that Defense Secretary Carter is considering easing some military enlistment standards. (AP)

ASIA

  • Bangladesh: A blogger was hacked to death in Dhaka, with police arresting two suspects. (AFP)
  • Korea, South: Thousands of soldiers and US troops staged an amphibious landing drill. (AFP)
  • Malaysia: The government unveiled a new anti-terrorism bill that allows lengthy detentions without trial. (AFP)
  • Philippines: Armed forces chief GEN Catapang declared victory against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters after a five-week offensive. (WSJ)

EUROPE

  • Region: Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis said that finger-pointing between Germany and Greece will only play into the hands of Europe’s enemies. (AFP)
  • Region: German Chancellor Merkel is to visit Finland for talks with PM Stubb. (DPA)
  • Ukraine: 290 US paratroopers will train the country’s soldiers from 20APR. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: PM Cameron is to ask Queen Elizabeth II to dissolve parliament, kicking off formal campaigning. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: UNSG Ban Ki-moon arrived in Baghdad for talks with PM Abadi and other top officials. (AFP)
  • Israel: A Jerusalem court found former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert guilty of corruption over allegations that he received envelopes of cash from a US businessman. (AP)
  • Syria: President Assad said ISIS has been expanding since a US-led coalition began its airstrikes last year. (AP)
  • Yemen: Arab coalition warplanes carried out a fifth straight night of air strikes against Shiite rebels near Sanaa and elsewhere in the country. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: US officials said that the NSA considered abandoning its secret program to collect and store US calling records in the months before Edward Snowden revealed the practice. (AP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Typhoon 04W (Maysak)
    • Location: 458 NM E of Yap
    • Movement: WNW at 14 mph
    • Winds: 104 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: 107km ENE of Hihifo, Tonga
    • Magnitude: 6.8
    • Depth: 10.0 km
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: 55km SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
    • Magnitude: 7.5
    • Depth: 40.0 km
    • Map
  • Volcanoes: Shiveluch Volcano, Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
    • Ash plume, flight warnings. (Sputnik)
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 24,701 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 10,194 (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 (31MAR)

  • Nothing to report

END

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