ONS: 31 January 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 31, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA:  Three soldiers and 123 Boko Haram militants were killed when the Islamist group attacked a Chadian army contingent in the border town Fotokol, Cameroon.
  • AMERICAS: Canadian PM Harper introduced sweeping legislation that would allow courts to remove online postings and increase police detention powers.
  • ASIA: India succeeded in using a mobile launcher to test-fire a long-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead deep inside rival China.
  • EUROPE:  Italian lawmakers convened for the fourth time for what was expected to be a decisive ballot to elect Constitutional Court Judge Mattarella as the new head of state.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Japanese Deputy FM said negotiations with the IS group threatening to execute a Jordanian pilot and Japanese journalist are “deadlocked.”
  • TECHNOLOGY: The UK Army carved out a new brigade specializing in fighting ‘information age’ psychological and social media warfare.

TOP STORY

  • Greece: The country sparked Eurozone outrage by refusing to honor its debts.
    • The government dramatically escalated its battle with the country’s international creditors, saying it would no longer meet with EU and IMF auditors.
    • The new finance minister used a joint appearance with a top Eurozone official to insist that Greece would no longer cooperate with auditors representing its international creditors.
    • Greece’s radical new government began searching for European allies to support its anti-austerity agenda, reaching out to France and Italy hoping for sympathy.
    • German Chancellor Merkel said there should be no debt relief for Athens, after the country announced it would not cooperate with auditors from creditors.
    • Chancellor Merkel underscored the refusal of Greece’s European creditors to consider forgiving part of the debt-ridden country’s rescue loans though stressing that Berlin’s aim remains to keep Greece in the Eurozone.
    • Coverage: AFP, AFP-1, AP, NYT, RFE/RL

AFRICA

  • Cameroon: Three soldiers and 123 Boko Haram militants were killed when the Islamist group attacked a Chadian army contingent in the northern border town Fotokol. (AFP)
  • DR Congo: Experts monitoring sanctions reported widespread smuggling of gold, minerals, and ivory by elements of the Congolese army and rebel groups. (AP)
  • Egypt: A 50-year-old interior ministry employee  was shot in the head in his home in the regional capital of El-Arish, amid a continued surge of anti-government attacks. (AFP)
  • Nigeria: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed an AU proposal to set up a regional five-nation force of 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram Islamist militants. (AFP)
  • South Sudan: The African Union joined regional and international organizations in threatening the country’s warring factions with sanctions. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Canada: PM Harper introduced sweeping legislation that would allow courts to remove online postings and increase police detention powers. (NYT)
  • Honduras: Four men were shot dead on the streets of Tegucigalpa just days after the president said homicide rates were decreasing in violence-wracked country. (AFP)
  • Venezuela: President Maduro claimed US agencies are plotting to overthrow him, and asked President Barack Obama if he is aware of the conspiracy. (XIN)

ASIA

  • India: The country succeeded in using a mobile launcher to test-fire a long-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead deep inside rival China. (AFP)
  • Pakistan: Thousands of Shiites across the country mourned and protested after a bombing at a Shiite mosque in Shikarpur that killed at least 59 people. (AP)
  • Philippines: Muslim rebels planned to begin turning over weapons to independent monitors, starting the demobilization of its fighters under a peace deal. (DPA)
  • Philippines: Officials said an eight-year-old girl and three men were among those killed in a botched anti-terror police operation in the last weekend. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • France: Authorities laid preliminary charges against five men suspected of involvement in a jihadi recruiting network that drew youths to fight in Syria and Iraq. (AP)
  • Hungary: Amid increasing international isolation, the country found itself under increasing pressure to pick sides in the EU – Russia standoff. (Guardian)
  • Italy: Lawmakers convened for the fourth time for what was expected to be a decisive ballot to elect Constitutional Court Judge Mattarella as the new head of state. (DPA)
  • Macedonia: Police charged four with trying to overthrow the government, including – according to one senior official – the leader of the main opposition Social Democrats. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Japanese Deputy FM Nakayama said negotiations with the IS group threatening to execute a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist have become “deadlocked.” (AFP)
  • Iraq: IS chemical weapons expert, Abu Malik, was killed in a coalition airstrike last week near Mosul, Iraq, the U.S. Central Command reported. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Outgoing US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the US might eventually need to send non-combat ground troops to Iraq to help turn back IS forces. (Reuters)
  • Syria: The Obama administration lavished praise on a Kurdish group that helped score a victory over IS militants in Kobani after four months of fighting. (LAT)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Information Warfare: The UK Army carved out a new brigade specializing in fighting ‘information age’ psychological and social media warfare. (BBC)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 10P (Ten)
    • Location: 392 NM NW of Noumea, New Caledonia
    • Movement: S at 3 mph
    • Winds: 45 mph
    • Map
  • Tropical Cyclone 09S (Eunice)
    • Location: 710 NM E of Port Louis, Mauritius
    • Movement: E at 11 mph
    • Winds: 166 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases: 21,724 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
      • Deaths: 8,641 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas
      • Suspected Cases as of 29DEC: 1,091,612 (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: 22,796
      • Deaths as of 29DEC: 169 (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 23JAN: 955 (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 and the US)
      • Deaths as of 23JAN: 351 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, WHO-3

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (01FEB)

  • Hong Kong: Pro-democracy rally expected to take place
  • Russia: Anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) between Soviet forces and those of the Third Reich – 1943
  • South Korea: The navy will set up a submarine command as part of efforts to boost the country’s underwater capabilities

END

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