ONS: 31 January 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 1, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Niger Delta militants in southern Nigeria are suspected to have blown up oil pipelines operated by a subsidiary of Italy’s Eni, causing a “massive” oil spill.
  • AMERICAS: A Brazilian hospital reported the death of a patient from acute myositis caused by the Chikungunya virus – transmitted by the same mosquito that carries the Zika virus – in the first such case in this country and only the fifth worldwide.
  • ASIA: The education ministers of South Korea, Japan and China held the first three-way meeting among the countries that often spar over how their wartime past is described in textbooks, and agreed to hold regular trilateral meetings to discuss exchanges in the field of education.
  • EUROPE: Two men with Swedish passports and carrying machetes and other “combat paraphernalia” have been arrested in Greece, suspected of links to jihadist groups, Greek police sources said.
  • MIDDLE EAST: According to a government report, Iraq needs $1.56 billion this year to finance its emergency response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war against Islamic State.
  • TECHNOLOGY: President Obama announced he will seek USD 4 billion from Congress to dramatically increase the number of children who have access to computer science classes in school, a move he said is necessary to ensure that students are competitive in a job market that rewards technological know-how.

TOP STORY

  • Europe: A war of words between Moscow and Ankara was reinvigorated after Turkey accused one of Russia’s warplanes of once again breaching its airspace along the Syrian border.
    • Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that a SU-34 Russian fighter jet entered the country’s airspace at 11:46 a.m. on Friday after radar units warned it to turn back in English and Russian.
    • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Moscow that it would be forced to “endure the consequences” if its jets continue to violate Turkish airspace, after Ankara reported a new border infringement incident by a Russian plane.
    • The Russian Defense Ministry called the Turkish government’s announcement “unsubstantiated propaganda.”
    • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the organization stands in solidarity with Turkey and called on Russia to “take all necessary measures to ensure that such violations do not happen again.”
    • Coverage: BBC, CSM, NYT, WSJ

AFRICA

  • Region: A statement from Algeria’s Defense Ministry said the country’s joint security forces arrested five members of an international drug trafficking network and seized 1550 kg of treated cannabis smuggled from Morocco. (Xinhua)
  • Nigeria: Niger Delta militants in the coastal Bayelsa State are suspected to have blown up oil pipelines operated by a subsidiary of Italy’s Eni, causing a “massive” oil spill. (AFP)
  • Somalia: At least 50 Al-Shabaab suspects were arrested in a joint security operation conducted by the country and AU peacekeeping mission forces in Jowhar town, the capital of Middle Shabelle. (Xinhua)
  • Uganda: The UN selected the east African country among the top nine countries in the world that need emergency humanitarian support, and UNHCR offered Kampala USD 18 million to be used to cater for refugees and host communities. (Xinhua)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil:  A hospital reported the death of a patient from acute myositis caused by the Chikungunya virus – transmitted by the same mosquito that carries the Zika virus – in the first such case in this country and only the fifth worldwide. (EFE)
  • Colombia: The number of pregnant women infected with the Zika virus doubled in a week to nearly 2,000 cases. (BBC)
  • Guatemala: Local health officials said at least 105 people there are infected with Zika virus. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Region: The education ministers of South Korea, Japan and China held the first three-way meeting among the countries that often spar over how their wartime past is described in textbooks, and agreed to hold regular trilateral meetings to discuss exchanges in the field of education. (AP)
  • Region: The US urged Japan to consult with China prior to Tokyo’s 2012 purchase of the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyudao Islands in the East China Sea from a private owner, a declassified e-mail forwarded to then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton showed. (Kyodo)
  • Region: China strongly condemned the US after an American warship deliberately sailed within 12 nautical miles of a Beijing-controlled island in the contested South China Sea to exercise freedom of navigation and challenge territorial claims. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Austria: According to a plan shared with local media, the government aims to repatriate 50,000 asylum seekers in the next three years. (DPA)
  • Greece: Two men with Swedish passports and carrying machetes and other “combat paraphernalia” have been arrested in the country, suspected of links to jihadist groups, police sources said. (AFP)
  • Sweden: Dozens of masked men believed to belong to neo-Nazi gangs gathered in Stockholm and handed out leaflets calling for attacks against young migrants. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: The Islamic State group released a video purporting to show a French-speaking jihadist threatening attacks against the West and executing so-called apostates and spies in the country. (AFP)
  • Iraq: According to a government report, the country needs $1.56 billion this year to finance its emergency response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war against Islamic State. (Reuters)
  • Israel: A government official said Jerusalem would consider a French invitation to peace talks with the Palestinians, but believes France has made a mistake by saying it will recognize a Palestinian state if the talks fail. (Reuters)
  • Syria: Local media said Australia’s most senior recruiter for the Islamic State group in the country, who was reportedly linked to an alleged plot to attack Anzac Day commemorations, was killed. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Education: President Obama announced he will seek USD 4 billion from Congress to dramatically increase the number of children who have access to computer science classes in school, a move he said is necessary to ensure that students are competitive in a job market that rewards technological know-how. (Washington Post)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Stan (09S)
    • Location: 52 NM ENE of Port Hedland, Australia
    • Wind: 63 mph
    • Movement: SSE at 9 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 31JAN: 28,638 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 31JAN: 11,316 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 31JAN: 951 (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, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
      • Confirmed Cases: 21
      • Deaths as of 31JAN: 0 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 31JAN: 1633 (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, China, South Korea, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 31JAN: 587 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (01FEB)

  • Russia: Anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) between Soviet forces and those of the Third Reich – 1943

END

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