Overnight News Summary – 30 March 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 30, 2014

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Guinea kept up its efforts on Saturday to contain an Ebola epidemic which has killed dozens spreading from its southern forests to the capital Conakry, as neighboring Senegal closed its border until further notice.
  • AMERICAS: Cuba’s National Assembly has unanimously approved a bill aimed at making the Communist-run island more attractive to foreign investors, a key part of President Raul Castro’s reform package, aiming to modernize the country’s economy.
  • ASIA: Japan and North Korea started high-level government talks on Sunday for the first time in more than a year that were expected to focus on abductions of Japanese by North Korea decades ago.
  • EUROPE: Germany is ready to provide military assistance to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, all former Soviet republics, as part of NATO efforts to counter fears over Moscow’s swift absorption of Crimea.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Two Spanish journalists – Javier Espinosa and photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova – kidnapped in Syria six months ago by radical Islamist rebels have been released to Turkish soldiers.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Google confirmed it’s Domain Name System service had been intercepted by most Turkish ISPs (Internet Service Providers) on the eve of Turkish nationwide municipal elections.

 

TOP STORY

  • Ukraine: US and Russia meeting Sunday to discuss crisis
    • US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Sunday with Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris to discuss the Ukraine crisis.
    • Russian FM Lavrov asserted on Saturday Western countries are trying to create an artificial impression of Russia’s international isolation despite the absence of evidence to the contrary.
    • Vitali Klitschko quits president race to support candidacy of Ukrainian billionaire Petro Poroshenko.
    • Leaders of Crimea’s Tatar minority gathered Saturday to condemn Russia’s annexation of the peninsula, appealing to international bodies for recognition as an autonomous group.
    • Coverage: AFP, AP, AP-2, ITAR-TASS

 

AFRICA

  • Region: Guinea kept up its efforts on Saturday to contain an Ebola epidemic which has killed dozens spreading from its southern forests to the capital Conakry, as neighboring Senegal closed its border until further notice. (AFP)
  • Chad: Soldiers sent to repatriate their compatriots from the Central African Republic opened fire on residents in Bangui, killing at least eight people on Saturday. (AFP)
  • Egypt: Ten people were killed and 37 others injured when a depot of petroleum products in a village in the southern province of Sohag exploded on Saturday evening. (Xinhua)

 

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: About 1,000 police officers have begun invading a massive complex of slums near Rio de Janeiro’s international airport, the latest impoverished area to be targeted for the government’s “pacification” program. (AP)
  • Colombia: The government has captured Jose Lenoir Aguilar, an alleged drug money launderer linked to one of the country’s top former kingpins, Daniel “El Loco” Barrera. (AFP)
  • Colombia: Anti-narcotic police on Saturday seized two tons of cocaine that allegedly belonged to the criminal gang Los Urabenos at the port of Santa Marta on the country’s northern Caribbean coast. (Xinhua)
  • Cuba: The National Assembly has unanimously approved a bill aimed at making the Communist-run island more attractive to foreign investors, a key part of President Raul Castro’s reform package, aiming to modernize the country’s economy. (BBC)
  • Haiti: Several thousand people demonstrated in capital Port-Au-Prince on Saturday to call for the resignation of President Michel Martelly, charging he has not done enough to alleviate hunger. (AP)

 

ASIA

  • Region: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on Sunday the creation of a new Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) based in Perth to coordinate the government’s support for the search of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. (Xinhua)
  • Region: Japan and North Korea started high-level government talks on Sunday for the first time in more than a year that were expected to focus on abductions of Japanese by North Korea decades ago. (AP)
  • Region: Japan on Sunday criticized and lodged a protest in response to Chinese President Xi Jinping for making remarks during a trip to Germany about Japan’s 1937 wartime atrocities in Nanjing. (AFP)
  • Afghanistan: A suicide attack rocked Shahr-e-Safa city in Zabul province on Sunday, leaving two people, including the attacker, dead and five others wounded. (Xinhua)
  • Thailand: Polls opened Sunday to elect the upper house of parliament in a vote that could hold the key to the fate of the prime minister, who faces possible impeachment for negligence after months of street protests. (AFP)

 

EUROPE

  • Region: Germany is ready to provide military assistance to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, all former Soviet republics, as part of NATO efforts to counter fears over Moscow’s swift absorption of Crimea. (AFP)
  • Armenia: President Serzh Sargsyan said on Saturday the country had met over 70% of its commitments, mentioned in the “road map” for entering the Customs Union. (ITAR-TASS)
  • Slovakia: Prime Minister Robert Fico conceded defeat in the presidential runoff election against independent businessman Andrej Kiska, with final results expected early Sunday. (DPA)
  • Turkey: Turks go to the polls on Sunday, March 30 for local elections seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and one of the most important votes in the country’s history. (VOA)
  • United Kingdom: According to a new report, the clout Britain gets from being in the European Union is a myth, whereas smaller countries like Switzerland are able to negotiate better trade deals with other countries than the EU. (Telegraph)

 

MIDDLE EAST

  • Iraq: Attacks in Sunni-majority areas of Iraq killed five people Sunday, exactly a month ahead of parliamentary polls that remain in disarray after the mass resignations of election commissioners last week. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: A suicide bomber blew up a booby-trapped car, killing three soldiers and wounding four others at an army checkpoint in the Bekaa Valley, near the Syrian border. (CNN)
  • Syria: Two Spanish journalists – Javier Espinosa and photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova – kidnapped in Syria six months ago by radical Islamist rebels have been released to Turkish soldiers. (BBC)
  • Yemen: Two members of the Popular Resistance Committees were killed in an overnight ambush by presumed Al Qaeda members northeast of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province. (AFP)

 

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology: Despite not being on display, watches that connect to smartphones and satellites were the hot topic of discussion at Baselworld, the world’s largest watch and jewelry fair, held in Switzerland. (AFP)
  • Communications: Google confirmed it’s Domain Name System service had been intercepted by most Turkish ISPs (Internet Service Providers) on the eve of Turkish nationwide municipal elections. (Re/Code)

 

WORLD

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases: Global Number of Cases as of 27MAR: 206 (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE, United Kingdom)
      • Deaths: Global Number of Deaths as of 27MAR: 86 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)
    • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2

 

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (31MAR)

  • Cyprus: Rival political leaders to meet.
  • Malta: Freedom Day
  • Sierra Leone: UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office will drawdown
  • Pakistan: Former president Pervez Musharraf to appear in court or face arrest
  • United States: Interop Tech Conference Las Vegas (to 04APR)

 

END

 

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