- AFRICA: Voters in Central African Republic are returning to the polls to cast ballots in a historic presidential runoff vote.
- AMERICAS: Haitian lawmakers elected Jocelerme Privert as the country’s interim president to fill the power vacuum following the departure of Michel Martelly, after a vote to choose his replacement was postponed over fears of violence.
- ASIA: South Korea says most of the money it paid to North Korea for the now-shuttered jointly-run industrial park was channeled into weapons programs and used to buy luxury goods for the impoverished nation’s elite.
- EUROPE: The quest to prevent Britain crashing out of the European Union faces its moment of truth this week, with EU chief Donald Tusk touring key capitals in a final push for a deal at a crucial Brussels summit.
- MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabia has deployed warplanes to a Turkish airbase in order to “intensify” its operations against the Islamic State group in Syria, a senior Saudi defense official has said.
- TECHNOLOGY: South Korea has upgraded its military information surveillance status in response to growing threats of North Korean cyber-attacks.
- Syria Conflict: Turkish forces shelled positions held by the Kurdish backed PYD militia.
- Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on 13FEB said Turkey would, if necessary, take military action against fighters from the Syrian Kurdish PYD, which Ankara considers a terror group.
- The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Turkish artillery bombarded areas of Aleppo province in northern Syria controlled by the group.
- The United States pressed Turkey to halt military strikes on Kurdish and Syrian regime targets, as Ankara weighs a joint ground assault with Saudi troops.
- The Turkish army shelled positions held by the Kurdish-backed militia in northern Syria for a second day on 14FEB, killing two fighters.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin and US counterpart Barack Obama held frank talks on Syria amid US concern over the shellings days before a ceasefire deal is due to take hold.
- The PYD party rejected Turkish demands that allied militia withdraw from positions near the border, and warned that Syrians would resist any Turkish intervention in the country.
- AFP, AFP-1, AFP-2, AFP- 3, Reuters, Reuters-1
- Central African Republic: Voters in the country are returning to the polls to cast ballots in a historic presidential runoff vote. (AP)
- Somalia: The country’s president says military forces have made inroads in their fight against al-Shabab militants but the key to defeating them lies in providing better opportunities for the country’s youth. (AP)
- Uganda: Veteran ruler Yoweri Museveni, who is standing for re-election, said he is in favor of his country pulling out of the “partisan” International Criminal Court based in The Hague. (AFP)
- Haiti: Lawmakers elected Jocelerme Privert as the country’s interim president to fill the power vacuum following the departure of Michel Martelly, after a vote to choose his replacement was postponed over fears of violence. (AFP)
- United States: Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died, leaving the high court without its conservative majority and setting up an ideological confrontation over his successor in the maelstrom of a presidential election year. (AP)
- Region: Afghanistan summoned Pakistan’s ambassador to the foreign ministry in Kabul to express “serious concerns” over the kidnapping of a former Afghan governor in Islamabad, the ministry said in a statement. (AFP)
- China: A senior Beijing official blamed “radical separatists” for a riot that erupted in Hong Kong last week, the worst clashes the city has seen since mass pro-democracy protests. (AFP)
- Korean Peninsula: South Korea says most of the money it paid to North Korea for the now-shuttered jointly-run industrial park was channeled into weapons programs and used to buy luxury goods for the impoverished nation’s elite. (AP)
- Region: The quest to prevent Britain crashing out of the European Union faces its moment of truth this week, with EU chief Donald Tusk touring key capitals in a final push for a deal at a crucial Brussels summit. (AFP)
- Albania: US Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Albania to make a push for the Balkan nation to enact a major package of judicial and legislative reforms. (AP)
- Greece: Authorities arrested three heavily armed Britons near the Turkish border, without indicating if the trio was seeking to cross into Turkey. (AFP)
- Region: Saudi Arabia has deployed warplanes to a Turkish airbase in order to “intensify” its operations against the Islamic State group in Syria, a senior Saudi defense official has said. (AFP)
- Region: Saudi Arabia intercepted a Scud missile fired towards the kingdom by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, the Riyadh-led coalition fighting the insurgents has said. (AFP)
- Yemen: A Saudi-led coalition air strike on a sewing workshop killed at least two people and wounded 15 on Sunday in the rebel-held Yemeni capital. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Cyber Security: South Korea has upgraded its military information surveillance status in response to growing threats of North Korean cyber-attacks. (Yonhap)
- Cyclone: Winston
- 545 miles SSW of Suva, Fiji
- Winds: 86 mph
- Movement: ESE at 15 mph
- Cyclone: Uriah
- 339 miles WSW of Cocos Islans, Australia
- Winds: 52 mph
- Movement: WSW at 13 mph
- Earthquakes: Nothing to report
- Volcanoes: Nothing to report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 14FEB: 6,244 (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: 175
- Deaths as of 14FEB: 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 14FEB: 1638 (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 14FEB: 587 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 14FEB: Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, El Salvador, Paraguay, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Cape Verde, Honduras, French Guiana, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Guyana, Barbados, Ecuador, Bolivia, Haiti, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Guatemala, Curacao, Costa Rica, Maldives
- Indication of Viral Circulation as of 14FEB: Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
- Deaths as of 14FEB: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (15FEB)
- Afghanistan: Liberation Day/Total Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan – 1989
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) will make a formal application for the membership of the European Union
- Europe Region: The Czech Republic will call an extraordinary summit of the Visegrad-four countries
- Serbia: National Day – 1804
- US and Asia Region: US-ASEAN Summit in Rancho Mirage, California (to 16FEB)
- United States: President’s Day