ONS: 31 July 2012

by TRG Alerts Admin on July 31, 2012

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Uganda denied it was supporting the M23 rebel group in the DR Congo.
  • AMERICAS: In Mexico, a leader of Los Zetas cartel was arrested in the northern part of the country.
  • ASIA: The Taliban was reportedly pleased by the resumption of NATO supply convoys from Pakistan into Afghanistan.
  • EUROPE: Spanish and Italian borrowing costs eased following statements of support for the euro from key officials.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Iran sanctions have to have more time to work, according to US Defense Secretary Panetta.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Google announced it will upgrade the video chat function of Gmail to work like the “Hangout” system of Google+.

TOP STORY

  • Syria: Battle of Aleppo continued
    • Government forces intensified their assault on rebel holdouts in Aleppo as the offensive entered its fourth day.
    • Rebel and government forces fought a pitched battle outside an intelligence service compound.
    • The rebels claimed to be withstanding the assault.
    • Coverage: Al Jazeera, BBC, Reuters, Reuters-2, NYT

AFRICA

  • Region: Uganda denied it was supporting the M23 rebel group in the DR Congo. (Reuters)
  • Guinea-Bissau: The UNSC condemned Guinea-Bissau’s military coup plotters for maintaining their grip on the country and an increase in drug trafficking. (AP)
  • Nigeria: Gunmen attacked the home of Vice President Sambo. (Reuters)
  • Somalia: US authorities are cracking down on money transfers to the country. (Reuters)
  • Sudan: Rebels in the Blue Nile stated at least three civilians were killed by government airstrikes. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Colombia: US Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, said cocaine production in Colombia has declined by 25 percent in the last year. (AP)
  • Colombia: The navy seized a submarine carrying six tons of cocaine off the coast. (AFP)
  • Colombia: Four FARC guerrillas were killed in a clash with government forces in Bolivar department. (EFE)
  • Mexico: A leader of Los Zetas cartel was arrested in the northern part of the country. (EFE)
  • Venezuela: The country will be formally welcomed into Mercosur today. (Reuters)

ASIA

  • Region: The Taliban was reportedly pleased by the resumption of NATO supply convoys from Pakistan into Afghanistan, because it can extract illegal bribes from companies to avoid targeting them. (AP)
  • Region: Australian police seized half a billion dollars’ worth of crystal methamphetamine and heroin after smashing a Hong Kong-based international drugs syndicate. (AFP)
  • Afghanistan: Two NATO soldiers were killed in separate incidents. (AP)
  • China: The government criticized a US report that alleged a lack of religious freedom in the country released on Monday. (AP)
  • India: Two soldiers were killed by a roadside bombing in the northeastern part of the country. (AP)
  • Myanmar: A UN human rights envoy toured the site of recent ethnic clashes in the western part of the country. (AP)
  • Pakistan: Pakistan signed an agreement with the US on arrangements for NATO convoys supplying troops in Afghanistan. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Region: Spanish and Italian borrowing costs eased following statements of support for the euro from key officials. (NYT)
  • Greece: The government will seek an extension of its bailout program as it assembles another round of austerity measures. (WSJ)
  • Russia: Growing online trade has encouraged drug traffickers to increasingly use mail services to deliver cocaine to their customers. (RIA Novosti)
  • Russia: Opposition activist blogger Alexei Navalny was charged with embezzlement, which he claimed was a spurious charge aimed at discrediting him. (BBC)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Over the past two months, the Pentagon has notified Congress of deals totaling more than USD 11.3 billion to Gulf ally states like Qatar and Kuwait. (AP)
  • Iran: US legislators reached an agreement on tightened sanctions against the country. (AP)
  • Iran: US Defense Secretary Panetta urged more time be allowed for sanctions against the country to work. (NYT)
  • Iraq: Gunmen killed a local TV journalist in the northern part of the country. (AP)
  • Yemen: Clashes between guards and gunmen wearing security uniforms were reported outside the Interior Ministry in Sanaa. (Xinhua)
  • Yemen: Authorities arrested suspected al Qaeda leader Abdul al-Rahman al-Baihani. (AFP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Google: The company announced it will upgrade the video chat function of Gmail to work like the “Hangout” system of Google+, allowing for greater social networking integration and multiple-person communications. (PCWorld)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Tropical Storm Damrey
    • Location: 525 NM ESE of Nasebo, Japan
    • Movement: WNW at 17 mph
    • Winds: 50 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclones: Typhoon Saola
    • Location: 280 NM SE of Taipei
    • Movement: N at 5 mph
    • Winds: 70 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes (Atlantic): 20% chance of tropical cyclone formation
    • Location: 1100 miles WSW of Cape Verde
    • Movement: W at 10-15 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (01AUG)

  • Global: Russia and India hold joint anti-terror exercises – Indra 2012.
  • Middle East: Anniversary of Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem – 1967.
  • Benin: Independence Day celebrated (France) – 1960.
  • Korea, North: Anniversary of the test-firing of Taepodong-1 ballistic missile – 1998.
  • Philippines: Anniversary of democracy heroine Corazon Aquino passing away – 2009.

END

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