ONS: 31 January 2012

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 31, 2012

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA:  To restart AU Commission member election process, AU discussed introducing an ad hoc committee
  • AMERICAS: A Haitian judge came under fire for omitting human rights abuses in the Duvalier case
  • ASIA: In Pakistan, dozens of people killed in clashes between soldiers and militants
  • EUROPE: Georgian President explored a free trade agreement with the US while in Washington, DC
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iraqi security forces detained 16 VP bodyguards
  • TECHNOLOGY:  US Secretary of Homeland Security is deploying the “latest tools” in cybersecurity

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Global attention centered on Russian view of violence
    • In a surge of violence, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said over 100 people were killed.
    • UNSC members focused on Russia’s opposition to UN intervention in Syria.
    • Russia opposed an Arab League proposal, supported by the West, calling for President Assad to step down.
    • The US and EU planned a rare diplomatic assault on Russia at the UNSC on 31JAN involving US Secretary Clinton alongside her UK and French counterparts.
    • Coverage: AFP, Reuters, NYT, BusinessWeek

AFRICA

  • Region: In an effort to restart the stymied election process of AU Commission members, the AU discussed plans to set up an ad hoc committee in March 2012. (Xinhua)
  • Libya: Two Libyans are suing British spy agency MI6’s counter terrorism director for his role in their torture. (AFP)
  • Senegal: Police released the coordinator of a protest movement against President Wade’s controversial bid for a third term. (AFP)
  • Somalia: Al Shabab militants claimed to permanently shut down the Red Cross’s operations. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Cuba: The Communist Party announced plans to replace up to 20% of leaders in an effort to oust ex-guerrillas. (AFP)
  • Ecuador: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees signed an agreement with the government to manage refugee problems. (Xinhua)
  • Haiti: Human rights groups blasted a Haitian judge for omitting charges for human rights abuses in the case of former dictator Duvalier. (AP)

ASIA

  • Afghanistan: UN poll results showed approximately 75% of Afghan citizens do not wish to see NATO troops exit immediately, while 20% trust the Afghan security forces to maintain order. (AP)
  • Japan: An IAEA team said Japan passed the necessary nuclear stress tests. (Reuters)
  • Myanmar: President Sein denied reports that Myanmar is trying to obtain nuclear weapons from North Korea. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Dozens of people were killed in clashes between Pakistani soldiers and militants in Kurram district. (Reuters)
  • Taiwan: President Ma Ying-jeou named Sean Chen, a top financial regulator, as his prime minister. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • France: A contingent of senators asked the constitutional council to determine the legality of a law banning the mention of Armenian “genocide.” (AFP)
  • Georgia: President Obama said the US and Georgia are exploring a FTA to strengthen trade relations. (Reuters)
  • Russia: US Ambassador McFaul emphasized his meeting with the opposition is routine for US officials overseas, amid accusations that he is instigating a coup. (Interfax)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: President Ahmadinejad announced a Spanish-language television station called Hispan TV, seen by many as a way to chip away at American influence globally. (AP)
  • Iraq: Security forces detained 16 of VP Tareq al-Hashemi’s bodyguards following accusations that he ran a death squad. (AFP)
  • Yemen: An overnight air strike killed at least 11 in southern Yemen. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano assured the National Press Club that officials are using “the latest tools” in cybersecurity. (AFP)
  • Technology: US President Barack Obama hosted a Google+ Hangout where he conducted a virtual town hall meeting. (DPA)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 09S (Iggy)
    • Location: 260 NM W of Learmonth, Australia
    • Movement: SSW at 08 knots
    • Winds: 45 knots
    • Map
  • Hurricanes:Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (01FEB)

  • Europe: German Ambassador to Syria Reinicke assumes the position of EU envoy to the Middle East.
  • Mexico: Anniversary of the Gulf, Sinaloa, and La Familia criminal organizations allying themselves against Los Zetas criminal organization – 2010.
  • Vietnam: US Assistant Secretary of State Campbell visits Vietnam to discuss bilateral ties and regional issues.

END

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