ONS: 05 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 5, 2015

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Diplomats in South Sudan reported that peace talks aimed at ending the country’s civil war appeared to be deadlocked.

  • AMERICAS: Venezuelan President Maduro rejected speculation that he is considering suspending legislative elections later this year.

  • ASIA: Thai junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha spoke out against a proposal from one of his own military-appointed panels that he and other key coup figures should be temporarily banned from politics once civilian rule is returned.

  • EUROPE: The Russian Defense Ministry said that large-scale anti-aircraft exercises had started in the south of the country, involving over 2,000 troops and 500 items of weaponry.

  • MIDDLE EAST: US Secretary Kerry is in Saudi Arabia to speak with Gulf Arab leaders about an emerging nuclear deal with Iran and events in Yemen.

  • TECHNOLOGY: Newly released documents from Edward Snowden indicate that New Zealand is spying on its allies in the Pacific region and sharing the information with the US and the other “Five Eyes” alliance states.


TOP STORY

  • South Korea: US Ambassador attacked amid rising North-South tensions.

    • US Ambassador Mark Lippert was slashed on his face and arm in Seoul by a lone, blade-wielding activist opposed to ongoing US-Korean military drills.

    • North Korea’s official KCNA news agency called the attack “just punishment” and a valid “expression of resistance”.

    • The US State Department said it strongly condemned the incident which President Park Guen-hye described as an “attack on the South Korea-US alliance”.

    • The US Army Commander for the Pacific GEN Brooks had earlier in the day voiced concern over the increased range and precision of North Korean missiles.

    • Senior diplomats of South Korea, China and Japan will hold a meeting next week to discuss preparations for an upcoming foreign ministers’ meeting.

    • Coverage: AFP, AP, BBC, CNN, NYT, Reuters, WP, Xinhua


AFRICA

  • Region: The WHO said it has intensified support for Malawi and Mozambique in the wake of an outbreak of cholera in the two countries. (Xinhua)

  • Liberia: The WHO reported that the country for the first time since last May went a full week without reporting any new confirmed cases of Ebola. (Reuters)

  • South Sudan: Diplomats reported that peace talks aimed at ending the country’s civil war appeared to be deadlocked. (AFP)


AMERICAS

  • Region: The Dominican Republic announced the temporary closure of five of its consulates in Haiti because of security concerns. (AP)

  • Mexico: The leader of the Zetas cartel Omar Treviño Morales, known as Z-42, was arrested in northern Mexico. (NYT)

  • United States: Defense Secretary Carter urged lawmakers to endorse plans for a Pentagon base budget that exceeds federal spending caps by USD35 billion. (Reuters)

  • Venezuela: President Maduro rejected speculation that he is considering suspending legislative elections later this year. (AP)


ASIA

  • Region: Indonesian deputy foreign minister Fachir said the government has rejected Australia’s proposal of a prisoner swap. (Reuters)

  • Australia: Police said they had dismantled an international criminal syndicate in a joint operation with Colombia, seizing more than 480 kilograms of drugs. (AFP)

  • Burma: Police detained more than a dozen factory workers in a protest that follows a crackdown on students outside Yangon. (AP)

  • Thailand: The country’s junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha spoke out against a proposal from one of his own military-appointed panels that he and other key coup figures should be temporarily banned from politics once civilian rule is returned. (AFP)


EUROPE

  • Region: The European Central Bank is set to reveal details of a large-scale asset purchase program that it unveiled last month. (NYT)

  • Russia: The Defense Ministry said that large-scale anti-aircraft exercises had started in the south of the country, involving over 2,000 troops and 500 items of weaponry. (Reuters)

  • Turkey: The nation’s military says a fighter jet crashed during a training mission on Thursday, killing its two pilots, with the cause and circumstances of the crash not immediately known. (AP)


MIDDLE EAST

  • Iran: A diplomat kidnapped by suspected al Qaeda gunmen in July 2013 in Yemen was freed and returned to Tehran. (Reuters)

  • Iraq: Officials reported that attacks in Baghdad killed at least eight people and wounded over a dozen others. (AP)

  • Saudi Arabia: US Secretary Kerry is in the country to speak with Gulf Arab leaders about an emerging nuclear deal with Iran and events in Yemen. (AP)

  • Syria: Clashes continued between regime forces and rebels near an intelligence headquarters in Aleppo. (AFP)


TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Cybersecurity: Newly released documents from Edward Snowden indicate that New Zealand is spying on its allies in the Pacific region and sharing the information with the US and the other “Five Eyes” alliance states. (The Guardian)


WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.

  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.

  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.

  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.

  • Global Disease Outbreaks:

    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

      • Cases: 23,729 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)

      • Deaths: 9,604 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)

      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC

    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK) – Americas

      • Suspected Cases as of 06FEB: 1,172,787 (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: 25,255

      • Deaths as of 06FEB: 181 (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 26FEB: 1030 (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 and the US)

      • Deaths as of 26FEB: 381 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)

      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2


TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (06MAR)

  • Ghana: Independence Day – 1957

  • Saudi Arabia: Anniversary of Saudi officials banning public protests – 2011

  • Ukraine: German Chancellor Merkel to hold talks in Berlin on crisis with representatives from Russia, Ukraine, and France

  • Hinduism: Holi


END

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