ONS: 31 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 31, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Nigerian opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari held a sizeable lead as counting in the country’s election resumed.
  • AMERICAS: In Peru, Congress removed PM Jara over alleged spying against lawmakers, reporters, business leaders and citizens.
  • ASIA: In Thailand, junta-installed PM Prayuth Chan-ocha said he plans to lift martial law, but will invoke a special security measure that critics say grants more power.
  • EUROPE: In Turkey, a massive power cut caused by a failure in the power distribution system hit several cities, including Istanbul and Ankara.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah pledged USD500 million at the start of a major donor conference for the country, describing the crisis unfolding as the “biggest humanitarian catastrophe in modern history.”
  • TECHNOLOGY: South Korea’s cabinet approved the creation of a new presidential post handling cyber-security, with President Park Geun-Hye expected to nominate a candidate for the new position in the near future.

TOP STORY

  • Iran: Nuclear program negotiations to enter ‘new phase’.
    • Iran and six world powers prepared to issue a general statement agreeing to continue negotiations in a new phase aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord by the end of June.
    • One of the officials said the statement was general in part because significant differences between the sides remained.
    • Russian FM Lavrov said he was planning to fly back to take part in talks and that “the prospects of this round of talks are not bad, even good I would say.”
    • US Secretary Kerry said there “still remain some difficult issues” after a day of negotiations with Iranian FM Zarif.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, BBC, NYT, Reuters, WP

AFRICA

  • Libya: A state oil security force called on the country’s state oil firm NOC to reopen the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil ports after a rival force pulled out from the area. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: Opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari held a sizeable lead as counting in the country’s election resumed. (Reuters)
  • Uganda: A key trial of 13 men accused of taking part in al-Shebab bombings that killed 76 people in 2010 was postponed after the top prosecutor was shot dead. (AFP)

AMERICAS

  • Argentina: FM Timerman wrote to international organizations to denounce the UK for boosting its military presence in the Falklands/Malvinas Islands. (Xinhua)
  • Canada: Lawmakers voted 142 to 129 to extend a campaign of airstrikes against ISIS and for the first time strike at them in Syria as well as in Iraq. (AFP)
  • Peru: Congress removed PM Jara over alleged spying against lawmakers, reporters, business leaders and citizens. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Region: Meteorologists warned that a storm reported to have left several casualties in Micronesia was building into a super typhoon. (AFP)
  • Burma: President Thein Sein signed a draft national ceasefire with armed rebel groups that the UN hailed as a “historic and significant achievement”. (AFP)
  • Indonesia: The military has launched exercises in the eastern island of Sulawesi, a haven for radical Islamists, as part of broader efforts to crack down on militants with suspected links to ISIS. (Reuters)
  • Japan: The government ruled out any immediate plan to join the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), denying a news report that its ambassador to China said Tokyo is likely to take part. (AFP)
  • Thailand: Junta-installed PM Prayuth Chan-ocha said he plans to lift martial law, but will invoke a special security measure that critics say grants more power. (AP)

EUROPE

  • Poland: The Ministry of Defense said the country will provide training to approximately 50 Ukrainian army instructors this year as part of NATO’s efforts to boost Ukraine’s defense capacity. (Reuters)
  • Spain: The Interior Ministry said police arrested four members of a family who were allegedly about to travel to Syria to become jihadi fighters. (AP)
  • Turkey: A massive power cut caused by a failure in the power distribution system hit several cities, including Istanbul and Ankara. (AFP)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Syria: Monitors reported that ISIS executed at least 30 civilians, including two children, in a raid on a regime-held village the central province of Hama. (AFP)
  • Syria: Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah pledged USD500 million at the start of a major donor conference for the country, describing the crisis unfolding as the “biggest humanitarian catastrophe in modern history.” (AFP)
  • Yemen: Iran’s official news agency said Tehran sent aid to the country, its first such shipment since a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Arab states launched airstrikes. (AP)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: South Korea’s cabinet approved the creation of a new presidential post handling cyber-security, with President Park Geun-Hye expected to nominate a candidate for the new position in the near future. (AFP)

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Super Typhoon 04W (Maysak)
    • Location: 49 NM ENE of Fais
    • Movement: WNW at 14 mph
    • Winds: 161 mph
    • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • 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 (01APR)

  • Europe Region: European Commission to discuss Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine and gas transit to European countries
  • Iran: Islamic Republic Day – 1980
  • Israel and the Palestinian Territories: Hague-based ICC jurisdiction to open cases on serious crimes committed in the Palestinian territories
  • Singapore: Cyber Security Agency of Singapore to be established

END

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