INCIDENT REPORTs - 09 DEC 2008

FJHOPEFUL

Longterm Registered User
IN TODAY'S ISSUE


ASIA
India
Pakistan


EUROPE
Germany
Greece
Turkey
United Kingdom


MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Iran


SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Ghana
Kenya


GOVERNMENT WARNINGS
Kosovo



ASIA

India (Country threat level - 3 ): According to a report published on 7 December 2008, an unspecified threat sent from Pakistan via e-mail warned of a possible Mumbai style attack against Bengaluru. The report stated that the threat window will be open on 7 and 8 December. Police and National Security Guard commandos bolstered security at key installations, particularly Bengaluru International Airport (VOBL/BLR), the City Railway Station and main bus terminal.


Pakistan (Country threat level - 5 ): According to a report published on 8 December 2008, Pakistani forces have raided a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp in Musaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir. The raid reportedly netted Lashkar's operational chief and the man sources indicate was the person responsible for ordering the Mumbai attacks. Witneses state that a large-scale raid was launched against the position with Pakistani army helicopters and army personnel raiding the camp. While government and militant sources stated that the Lashkar chief was captured, the Pakistani government has not released any official statement about the operation.


EUROPE

Germany (Country threat level - 3 ): A right-wing demonstration in Berlin turned violent on 6 December 2008, after left-wing activists attempted to block the far-right activists from marching in the city's Lichtenberg suburb. Police officers fired water cannon to disperse protesters, who hurled bottles and overturned vehicles. At least 40 people were arrested during the clashes. Approximately 1,600 police officers were deployed to oversee the protest action, which was attended by 700 far-right activists. There were no reports of serious injuries.


Greece (Country threat level - 3 ): Violent rioting sparked by the police shooting of a teenager continued in cities across Greece for a third consecutive day on 8 December 2008. In Athens, protesters clashed with police officers outside the Parliament building and hurled rocks at the Interior Ministry. Violence was also reported in Thessaloniki, where protesters broke store windows and attacked a police station, prompting police officers to fire tear gas to disperse them. There were also reports of clashes in the cities of Veria and Trikala. Additional protest actions are expected in Athens and other cities later on 8 December, and the potential for further violence is high.

The protests initially broke out in Athens on 6 December after police officers shot and killed a teenager at a protest taking place in the Exarchia district. Hundreds of protesters then gathered in Athens and destroyed dozens of shops in the city's main commercial area on Ermou Street. On 7 December at least 1,000 students staged a violent demonstration during which participants used trashcans and vehicles to erect a barricade to prevent security forces from entering the Polytechnic University of Athens. In Thessaloniki, located 320 mi/515 km north of Athens, hundreds of youths also joined to protest the police shooting. A police precinct in the city center was attacked and several roads were blockaded. Youths hurled Molotov cocktails and set fire to various bank branches, stores and vehicles throughout Athens and Thessaloniki. Crete, Komotini and Ioannina were also affected by the rioting. Major traffic disruptions were reported.

Two police officers were arrested for shooting the teenager, and the shooting incident remains under investigation. At least 30 civilians and 37 police officers have sustained injuries since the unrest began. Meanwhile, protest actions have also been reported outside of Greece. A group of approximately 15 youths occupied the Greek consulate in Berlin on 8 December and anarchists staged a protest at the Greek Embassy in London.

ASI Comment: Due to the likelihood for continued violence, individuals traveling to Greece should exercise caution and avoid areas where protest actions are occurring. In Athens, the violence has remained limited to Ermou Street, in Monastiraki, Alexandras Avenue, in Exarchia and near the Polytechnic University. There are no indications that the protests have affected transportation between the city and Athens International Airport (LGAV/ATH).


Turkey (Country threat level - 4 ): A percussion bomb exploded outside a bank in the Fatih district of central Istanbul on 6 December 2008. The blast injured three people and blew out windows of the Vakif Bank. Authorities temporarily closed off streets in the area to prevent casualties should any subsequent attacks occur, but no further explosions were reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing. Left-wing groups, Kurdish militants and domestic Islamist groups periodically stage such attacks in Istanbul.


United Kingdom (Country threat level - 3 ): Members of a climate action group broke into a secure area of London's Stansted Airport (EGSS/STN) at approximately 0315 local time on 8 December 2008 and blocked a runway. The group planned to occupy the area for as long as possible, intending to draw attention to pollution from the aviation industry and to protest the expansion of Stansted Airport. Approximately 50 protesters participated in the action. Police officers contained the area where the activists were demonstrating and removed them at approximately 0810 local time. Flights resumed shortly thereafter, however, significant delays continued after the runway was reopened. No violence was reported.


MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Iran (Country threat level - 4 ): On 7 December 2008 members of the State Security Forces (SSF) reportedly fired tear gas into a large crowd of students at Boali Sina University in Hamedan, who were demonstrating on the anniversary of Student Day. Security forces attempted unsuccessfully to force students from a university building. The SSF was dispatched to several other universities to stop students from gathering. At Tehran University, student protesters demanded that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad release three students who have been detained since May.


SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Ghana (Country threat level - 3 ): Preliminary results from Ghana's 7 December 2008 presidential election show a close race between Nana Akufo-Addo (of the ruling New Patriotic Party) and John Atta Mills (of the opposition National Democratic Congress), with the latter only slightly ahead. The election took place without incident, although security was increased throughout the country. Final results are expected by the close of the day on 8 December, and a runoff vote on 28 December may be needed if neither candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. The winner will replace President John Kufuor in January in a transition that, if it proceeds without incident, will mark the second successful democratic transfer of power in the country.


Kenya (Country threat level - 4 ): Reports that emerged on 8 December 2008 indicate that university and college students have threatened to protest on Independence Day, 12 December 2008, due to the government's failure to halt the rising price of food. According to a statement issued by the chairperson of the Student Organization of the University of Nairobi, the government has a responsibility to "zero-rate" the price of food and other essential commodities, and if the government fails to do so, university students will join the National Civil Society Congress in peaceful demonstrations on 12 December. While protest organizers stress that the protests will be peaceful, demonstrations in Kenya often devolve into violence.


GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Kosovo (Country threat level - 4 ): On 7 December 2008 the U.S. Embassy in Pristina issued the following Warden Message: "This Warden Message is to inform U.S. Citizens that on Tuesday, December 9, the European Union rule of law mission (EULEX) is expected to take over duties and responsibilities from the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) for police, justice, customs, and other rule of law functions in Kosovo. While this transition has been well-planned and coordinated, the Embassy urges all U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance in light of recent public demonstrations and political issues related to this transition. The Embassy is not aware of any planned demonstrations.

"Spontaneous demonstrations take place in Kosovo from time to time in response to world events or local developments. We remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. American citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times."


SIGNIFICANT DATES

8 December

Saudi Arabia: Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca. More than 2 million pilgrims travel to Saudi Arabia during this time.)
Panama: Mother's Day
Uzbekistan: Constitution Day (Public holiday; most offices and businesses close.)
Worldwide: Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice. Two-three day holiday in many Islamic countries.)
Christianity: Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Observed as a holiday in some countries, including Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica [not banks], Guam [Our Lady of Camarin], Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malta, Paraguay and Peru.)


9 December

Saudi Arabia: Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca. More than 2 million pilgrims travel to Saudi Arabia during this time.)
Worldwide: Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice. Two-three day holiday in many Islamic countries.)
Tanzania: Independence Day (Public holiday. Offices and businesses close.)
Islam: Aid al Adha


10 December

Saudi Arabia: Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca. More than 2 million pilgrims travel to Saudi Arabia during this time.)
Cambodia: Human Rights Day (Public holiday)
Equatorial Guinea: Human Rights Day (Public holiday. Businesses, schools and government offices close.)
Greece: Greek public and private sector unions are staging a one-day strike. Transportation disruptions are likely to occur.
Thailand: Constitution Day (Government offices and businesses close.)
Worldwide: Human Rights Day (Observed as a holiday in some countries. Demonstrations in defense of human rights occur.)


11 December

Saudi Arabia: Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca. More than 2 million pilgrims travel to Saudi Arabia during this time.)
Burkina Faso: National Day (Public holiday)
Russia: Anniversary of the beginning of the first Chechen War (1995) (Violence possible in southern Russia.)
Thailand: Election for new prime minister


12 December

Italy: General transport strike scheduled
Kenya: Jamhuri/Independence Day (Public holiday)
Mexico: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Partial public holiday)
Russia: Constitution Day or Russian Independence Day (Formerly a public holiday. Demonstrations may occur in the capital.)
Turkmenistan: Neutrality Day (Public holiday)


13 December

Malta: Republic Day (Public holiday; offices and businesses close.)
Poland: Anniversary of imposition of martial law in 1981 (Demonstrations possible)


16 December

Bahrain: National Day (Observed as a public holiday on 18 December. Military parade organized in Manama.)
Bangladesh: Victory Day (The day that Pakistani-held Dhaka fell to the Indian army, marking Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan. Everything closes on Victory Day as it is a national holiday. Possibility of strikes due to a state of political unrest.)
Kazakhstan: Independence Day (All government offices, businesses close.)
South Africa: Reconciliation Day (Anniversary of the Battle of Blood River)


17 December

Bhutan: National Day (Public holiday)


18 December

Niger: Republic Day (Public holiday. Offices and businesses close.)
Qatar: National Day (Public holiday; many offices and businesses close.)



ASI THREAT LEVEL DEFINITIONS

- (1) A minimum threat of physical harm. Petty crime is the most common threat.

- (2) A low threat of physical harm. Petty crime and infrequent demonstrations are the most common threats.

- (3) A medium threat of physical harm. Petty crime and demonstrations are common and violent acts do occur.

- (4) A high threat of physical harm due to violent acts associated with crime, demonstrations or terrorism.

- (5) A very high threat of physical harm due to violent acts associated with crime, terrorism, demonstrations or war.
 

FJHOPEFUL

Longterm Registered User
Sure you are absolutly right. I will do it in my next reports. Additional, I have a lot pictures to upload, where and how can I do it?
 

Covert Munkey

Administrator
If you could do this on a regular interval i think it would be very beneficial to other forum members!

Regards,

CM
 
M

mickworldwide

Guest
cheers for that , interesting reading ... i echo above , more of the same please!
 

FJHOPEFUL

Longterm Registered User
Daily incident report

IN TODAY'S ISSUE


ASIA

China
Indonesia

EUROPE

Greece (2)
Hungary
Spain
SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Ghana
Mauritius


ASIA
China (Country threat level -
yellowmedium.gif
):
Human rights activists staged a demonstration outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Beijing on 10 December 2008. Authorities stated that at least 24 people were arrested as police officers dispersed the protesters. The demonstration was staged ahead of an official report on human rights in China that the communist government will release in the coming months. Organizers staged the demonstration to protest the fact that ordinary citizens have not been allowed to contribute to the report, leaving out individual complaints of human rights abuses by the government. Eyewitnesses stated that officers quickly cordoned off the area, and the activists were led onto a city bus and driven away. There were no reports of any significant violence or disruptions.


Indonesia (Country threat level -
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):
Hundreds of workers associated with the National Labor Union (SPN) gathered in front of the City Hall in Jakarta on 9 December 2008 to protest the recently announced wage increases for 2009. The protesters claim that the minimum wage for 2009 is inadequate given the cost of living in the Indonesian capital and demanded the government take a stance on the issue. Union members proposed that a special wage scheme be implemented specifically for textile industry workers.


EUROPE
Greece (Country threat level -
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):
Athens International Airport (LGAV/ATH) was shut down and many offices and businesses were closed on 10 December 2008 due to a strike that Greece's two largest labor unions staged to demand more economic support from the government. Representatives of Athens-based Olympic Airlines and Aegean Airlines announced that all flights were canceled on 10 December, while other international air carriers also reported cancellations of flights in and out of Athens. Olympic and Aegean spokesmen reported that travelers affected by the strike will be placed on flights in the coming days after the airport reopens.


Authorities stated that workers for Athens' public bus and rail companies also joined the strike, bringing transportation in the city to a virtual standstill. Union organizers told reporters that the 24-hour work stoppage was called in order to put pressure on the Greek government to give financial assistance to low-income and unemployed public workers. Thousands of union activists also staged an anti-government rally in central Athens to further pressure Greek officials to agree to their demands. Clashes between police officers and groups of youths broke out during the demonstration near Parliament, injuring at least two people.

Greece (Country threat level -
yellowmedium.gif
):
Extensive rioting and violence in Athens continued for a fourth consecutive day on 9 December 2008. Clashes between police officers and protesters broke out shortly after the funeral for a teenager killed by police officers, whose death on 6 December initially set off the violence. While the funeral service -- which was held in the Athens suburb of Paleo Faliro -- was peaceful, violence broke out as hundreds of mourners departed the cemetery. Protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and rocks at anti-riot police officers, who fired tear gas to disperse them. Earlier, thousands of people marched to the Parliament building on Syntagma Square, and there were reports of minor scuffles between participants and police officers stationed outside the Parliament. Continued violence was also reported in the northern city of Thessaloniki.


The situation in Athens remains extremely volatile. Significant disruptions continued on 10 December due also to the one-day strike by Greece's two largest unions (see above). Meanwhile, according to police officials, at least 92 people have been arrested and charged with various offenses relating to the unrest over the course of the last four days. However, Greek security forces have been unsuccessful thus far in preventing rioters from attacking high-value locations in Athens, as evidenced by the vandalism of the upscale Grand Bretagne and Athens Plaza hotels on 8 December. Despite government calls for calm, violent protests by groups of youths are likely to continue.

Hungary (Country threat level -
yellowmedium.gif
):
Airport operations at Budapest’s Ferihegy International Airport (LHBP/BUD) came to a virtual stand-still at approximately 0700 local time (0600 UTC) on 10 December 2008, as airport worker unions declared an indefinite strike. Approximately 1,500 employees of the Trade Union of Airport Workers and Service Providers (RDSZSZ) and the Trade Union of Aviation Workers (LDFSZ) took part in the protest action over an ongoing dispute with airport company officials over working conditions. Almost all outgoing flights for the afternoon hours have been canceled. Baggage and passenger control has been halted, and sources reported long lines at the airport’s only operational terminal, Terminal 2B. Most outgoing flights have been canceled, although there are unconfirmed reports that some international flights may be able to depart from Terminal 2B. Flights within the European continent, including all of the Hungarian Malev Airlines flights, have been canceled. Incoming flights have reportedly been able to land at the airport but long delays have been reported at customs. Airport officials are currently in talks with union leaders.


Spain (Country threat level -
yellowmedium.gif
):
Spanish officials on 10 December 2008 issued a warning that the Basque separatist group ETA may soon attempt an attack in response to recent arrests of six ETA members in France and Spain on 8 December. Authorities gave no specific details regarding potential attacks, but stated that one is likely in retaliation for the arrests. Both France and Spain have conducted various operations to apprehend ETA leaders, and Spanish officials continue to assert that although the group has been weakened in recent years, it still possesses the capability to stage an attack.


SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Ghana (Country threat level -
yellowmedium.gif
):
A runoff presidential election is now expected in Ghana after the electoral commission announced the final results of the 7 December 2008 election, which showed Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party with 49.13 percent of the vote and John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress with 47.92 percent of the vote. As neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote, a new election could take place on either 21 or 28 December. Political tensions have increased in the country due to the delay in the release of the official results. Reports indicate that there has been a security increase in Accra, the capital, including soldiers being deployed to strategic locations. However, thus far, there have been no reports of protests or unrest.


Mauritius (Country threat level -
greenlow.gif
):
On 9 December 2008 the Mauritian government announced new measures to be introduced at the country's air and sea ports as part of an effort to tighten security against terrorism. Measures at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (FIMP/MRU) will include the introduction of a color-coded alert system, a new computerized border control system and an Advance Passenger Information (API) system; filming and photography at the airport will also be prohibited. Measures that are currently in place include the installation of new X-ray machines in the arrival area and in transport services, which have been in place since June 2008.


As for the Port Louis harbor, the government stated that a new high security fence has been erected along the perimeter and that access to the area is now restricted and controlled by closed circuit television. Officials stated that the increased security measures are not expected to cause delays at the air or sea ports but that they will simply help minimize the risk of terrorism and increase responsiveness to incidents.

SIGNIFICANT DATES

10 December

Saudi Arabia: Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca. More than 2 million pilgrims travel to Saudi Arabia during this time.)
Cambodia: Human Rights Day (Public holiday)
Equatorial Guinea: Human Rights Day (Public holiday. Businesses, schools and government offices close.)
Greece: Greek public and private sector unions are staging a one-day strike. Transportation disruptions are likely to occur.
Tanzania: Independence Day (Public Holiday)
Thailand: Constitution Day (Government offices and businesses close.)
Worldwide: Human Rights Day (Observed as a holiday in some countries. Demonstrations in defense of human rights occur.)

11 December

Saudi Arabia: Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca. More than 2 million pilgrims travel to Saudi Arabia during this time.)
Burkina Faso: National Day (Public holiday)
Russia: Anniversary of the beginning of the first Chechen War (1995) (Violence possible in southern Russia.)

12 December

Italy: General transport strike scheduled
Kenya: Jamhuri/Independence Day (Public holiday)
Mexico: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Partial public holiday)
Russia: Constitution Day or Russian Independence Day (Formerly a public holiday. Demonstrations may occur in the capital.)
Turkmenistan: Neutrality Day (Public holiday)

13 December

Malta: Republic Day (Public holiday; offices and businesses close.)
Poland: Anniversary of imposition of martial law in 1981 (Demonstrations possible)

16 December

Bahrain: National Day (Observed as a public holiday on 18 December. Military parade organized in Manama.)
Bangladesh: Victory Day (The day that Pakistani-held Dhaka fell to the Indian army, marking Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan. Everything closes on Victory Day as it is a national holiday. Possibility of strikes due to a state of political unrest.)
Kazakhstan: Independence Day (All government offices, businesses close.)
South Africa: Reconciliation Day (Anniversary of the Battle of Blood River)

17 December

Bhutan: National Day (Public holiday)

18 December

Niger: Republic Day (Public holiday. Offices and businesses close.)
Qatar: National Day (Public holiday; many offices and businesses close.)

20 December

Argentina: Anniversary of the ousting of Fernando de la Rua (Street demonstrations likely to occur.)

ASI THREAT LEVEL DEFINITIONS
(1) - A minimum threat of physical harm. Petty crime is the most common threat.
(2) - A low threat of physical harm. Petty crime and infrequent demonstrations are the most common threats.
(3) - A medium threat of physical harm. Petty crime and demonstrations are common and violent acts do occur.
(4) - A high threat of physical harm due to violent acts associated with crime, demonstrations or terrorism.
(5) - A very high threat of physical harm due to violent acts associated with crime, terrorism, demonstrations or war.

(Sources: ASI Group - Global Risk Management Services)
 
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FJHOPEFUL

Longterm Registered User
IN TODAY'S ISSUE


AMERICAS

Dominican Republic
Paraguay

ASIA

Bangladesh
Thailand

EUROPE

Belarus
Belgium
Greece
Hungary
Italy

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Cameroon
South Africa
GOVERNMENT WARNINGS
Thailand
Libya
Mali


AMERICAS
Dominican Republic (Country threat level - 3 ): A bus drivers' strike caused traffic disruptions in the hotel zones of Punta Cana and Bavaro in the eastern Dominican Republic on 10 December. The drivers -- who operate buses that provide transportation services for hotel employees and guests -- launched the strike in response to the recent arrest of a union leader on charges that he threatened a union member with a gun during an election dispute. The drivers allowed private vehicles to access hotels; however, the situation caused transportation delays in the area. It is not currently known how long the strike will continue.

Paraguay (Country threat level - 3 ): On 10 December 2008 Unión de Gremios de la Producción (UGP), the national union representing rural workers, announced plans to hold a demonstration in Asuncion in the upcoming week. The union did not specify a date or time. The demonstration will be held to protest what is perceived as general insecurity in the country, as well as to demonstrate support for representative democracy. This planned demonstration is the latest in a string of protests over rural worker issues begun in the weeks prior to President Fernando Lugo's ascension to power on 15 August 2008.

ASIA
Bangladesh (Country threat level - 4 ): On 10 December 2008 Bangladesh's caretaker government announced that it will lift the current state of emergency order on 17 December ahead of general elections scheduled to take place on 29 December. Bangladesh has been under a state of emergency following widespread violence stemming from the January 2007 general elections. Both main Bangladeshi political parties had demanded the lifting of the state of emergency ahead of the elections, stating that the vote would not be credible otherwise.

Thailand (Country threat level - 3 ): The Thai Parliament will open a special session on 15 December 2008 to elect a new prime minister. Both the opposition Democrat Party and the Puea Thai Party -- made of elements of the now dissolved People Power Party (PPP) -- claim that they have enough votes in the legislature to elect the next prime minister and form the next government. Puea Thai Party officials, however, have called for a national government that would unite all parties and have stated that they will not nominate a party member for the premiership.

ASI Comment: There is a possibility of rallies by both supporters and opponents of the former PPP-led government during the parliamentary session. There is a realistic risk that political tensions and the threat of civil unrest will again increase, depending on who is elected as prime minister. The election of any individual seen as being close to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra carries the highest risk of sparking a new round of protests by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD). Meanwhile, there is also some concern of unrest on 13 December, when Thaksin plans to address his supporters by phone. Details of when and where the address is supposed to take place are not available.


EUROPE
Belarus (Country threat level - 4 ): Market vendors are threatening to stage a demonstration in Minsk, the capital, on 15 December 2008 over planned changes to import policies. The new regulations, which eliminate the use of a fixed value-added tax on Russian imports and require additional documentation on goods, will go into affect on 1 January 2009. Approximately 40 percent of the 200,000 market vendors in the country participated in a one-day strike over the issue on 10 December.

Meanwhile, opposition activists also marked International Human Rights Day on 10 December. Small demonstrations were staged at various venues across the country, including the headquarters of the Belarusian KGB in Minsk. Dozens of the activists were arrested, but no significant clashes or incidents of violence were reported.


Belgium (Country threat level - 3 ): Belgian police officers detained 14 suspected members of the al-Qaeda network during raids conducted in Brussels and Liege during the early morning hours on 11 December 2008. Several suspects arrested in the raids had recently traveled to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area, where they were believed to have undergone training at terrorist camps. Authorities stated that one of the suspects may have been preparing to launch a suicide attack, the target of which was not known. The arrests occurred as Brussels holds a two-day European leaders' summit beginning on 11 December.

Greece (Country threat level - 3 ): Violence and rioting continued for a sixth consecutive day in Greece on 11 December 2008. According to reports, youths attacked at least five Athens police stations and the Koyrdallas prison, located in a western suburb; authorities responded with tear gas to disperse the attackers. The fresh violence comes one day after a national strike paralyzed much of the country and halted flights on 10 December. Violence and disruptions are expected to continue for the next few days at least. Students are planning to hold demonstrations in Athens on 12 December, and were expected to force random road closures throughout the city on 11 December.

Meanwhile, there are demands for the Greek government to step down and call an early election. The General Confederation of Greek Labor and the Civil Servants Union continued rallies outside Parliament, intending to put pressure on Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to either step down or improve state support for low-income families.

The violence in Greece has also prompted lower-scale violence and solidarity protests in other European cities. Several incidents were reported from 10-11 December; in Copenhagen, Denmark, as many as 150 people took to the streets and threw rocks and paint bombs at buildings, police officers and police vehicles. In Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, at least 11 people were arrested during protests. A small group of left-wing protesters sprayed red paint at the front of the Greek Consulate in Istanbul. Similarly, Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Greek embassies in Moscow, Russia and Rome, Italy. A small-scale clash was reported between students and police officers at the Greek Consulate in the Italian university town of Bologna.


Hungary (Country threat level - 3 ): Approximately 90 percent of airport workers at Budapest's Ferihegy International Airport (LHBP/BUD) continued a strike on 11 December 2008, which has shut down most of the airport since 10 December. Airport officials stated that only Terminal 2B will be operational and further outbound flight cancellations are expected throughout the day. Terminal 2B is functioning with limited passenger and baggage security personnel, creating significant delays for travelers. Inbound flights have been allowed to land at the airport, although delays are reported through customs and baggage check areas. Sources contradicted earlier reports that talks had begun between union representatives and airport administration officials. According to recent reports, airport officials have not engaged in any discussions with strikers and there is no word on when such talks may be held.

Italy (Country threat level - 3 ): Labor unions are planning a general strike in Italy on 12 December 2008. Workers associated with two unions, CGIL and SUL, will participate in the strike from 0930 to 1300 local time, and workers with the SDL and COBAS unions will participate from 0830 to 1700 local time and from 2000 local time to early in the morning on 13 December. Disruptions to public transport will likely be the heaviest from 0930 to 1300 local time, as the SUL represents public transport sector workers and all four unions will be protesting during this time. The strike will affect bus, rail (both local and long distance), postal, public sanitation and other services, although the extent of the disruptions is difficult to predict.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Cameroon (Country threat level - 3 ): Cameroonian police officers clashed with demonstrators during an anti-corruption rally in Yaoundé on 10 December 2008. At least eight people were arrested and several others were seriously injured. The police officers claimed that they had the right to disperse the protest because the rally was not registered with the authorities and therefore was illegal. The Cameroonian Citizens' Association for the Defense of Collective Interests (ACDIC) organized the rally to protest alleged corruption in the country's Ministry of Agriculture. ACDIC claims that the ministry embezzled approximately two-thirds of the subsidies meant for corn farmers in 2008.

South Africa (Country threat level - 3 ): Anti-riot police officers reportedly fired stun grenades to disperse crowds of African National Congress (ANC) supporters during by-elections in the Western Cape on 10 December 2008. Unrest was reported in Philippi and Gugulethu, where ANC supporters attempted to discourage people from voting because the party's candidates were unable to contest the election. There were widespread reports of voter intimidation, as ANC members attempted to block the entrances of polling stations. However, there were no reports of injuries or arrests. The ANC candidates were unable to participate in the election after an electoral court ruled that they had missed the deadline for the registration of candidates. There were 27 seats contested in the Western Cape by-elections on 10 December, which were seen as the first major test for the ANC against its breakaway faction, the Congress of the People (COPE).

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS
Thailand (Country threat level - 3 ): On 11 December 2008 the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok issued the following Warden Message: "This warden message is being issued to alert U.S. Citizens traveling to and residing in Thailand that approximately 300-plus individuals have gathered in front of the GPF Witthayu Building on Wireless Road to demonstrate against the Beer Chang Company and its desire to be listed on the Bangkok Stock Exchange. Buses continue to drop off demonstrators at Lumpini Park who are then walking down Wireless Road to the GPF Building. We ask Americans to exercise caution if you are going to be in this vicinity or in the area of any demonstrations. ..."

Libya (Country threat level - 3 ): On 11 December 2008 the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli issued the following Warden Message: "This Warden Message alerts U.S. citizens to be cautious when traveling to desert and border regions of Libya.

"The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to exercise caution when traveling in desert and border regions of Libya. All U.S. citizens in Libya are encouraged to comply with local regulations regarding desert travel, to maintain a high level of vigilance with regard to their personal security, and to remain aware of local developments. There have been no instances in which U.S. facilities or citizens in Libya have been subject to terrorist attack. However, recent terrorist attacks in Algeria, kidnappings of Western tourists in desert regions of Tunisia and Egypt in 2008, the November 2, 2007 announcement of the merger between the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and Al-Qaida in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and the cancellation of the 2008 Dakar Rally are all indicative of an increased threat in the region. AQIM is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, and the presence of AQIM in North Africa presents potential dangers to travelers."


Mali (Country threat level - 3 ): On 10 December 2008 the U.S. Department of State issued the following Travel Warning: "Travel Alert is being issued to warn U.S. citizens of security concerns in Mali. This replaces the Travel Alert for Mali issued on February 12, 2008, expires on March 31, 2009, updates information on security incidents and areas of concern, including Essakane, and strongly urges U.S. citizens against travel to northern Mali.

"Due to recent armed conflicts, kidnappings, armed robberies, and the continued presence of Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to northern Mali. AQIM has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States. The presence of AQIM and Tuareg rebel groups in northern Mali presents serious potential dangers to travelers.

"Areas of particular concern include the Mali-Niger and Mali-Algeria borders, the Kidal region, and areas north of Timbuktu. This includes Essakane, site of Timbuktu’s Festival in the Desert scheduled for January 8-10, 2009. American citizens who must travel to any of these areas despite this Travel Alert should remain vigilant at all times, exercise extreme caution, and avoid large gatherings.

"U.S. government employees, including those on temporary duty, must have special permission to travel to Timbuktu, Essakane, Menaka, and towns in the region of Kidal. Individuals traveling north of Timbuktu or to the region of Kidal often travel with Malian military escorts. However, an August 2007 attack by Tuareg rebels on a convoy escorted by Malian military personnel illustrates that this does not ensure safety.

"While the government of Mali is working to strengthen security in northern Mali and to achieve a peaceful settlement with Tuareg rebels, the area remains unstable. On October 31, 2008, in northern Mali, AQIM freed two Austrian tourists kidnapped in Tunisia eight months earlier. On October 16, 2008, bandits in the Kidal region of Mali carjacked two vehicles belonging to the International Committee for the Red Cross. Disparate Tuareg rebel groups attacked Malian military units in Tessalit in July 2008, in Abeibara in May 2008, and in Tinzawaten and Bourghessa in March 2008. On January 3, 2008, four Italians were robbed at gunpoint near Araouane, Mali, 150 miles north of Timbuktu by assailants whose affiliation remains unknown.

"In September 2007, armed rebels attacked the Malian military garrison at Tinzawaten. On August 30, 2007, a truck transporting civilians from Algeria to Tinzawaten, Mali, hit a landmine, killing at least 14 people. On August 26-27, 2007, Tuareg dissidents attacked and kidnapped civilian and military convoys near the Mali-Niger border. ..."


SIGNIFICANT DATES

11 December

Saudi Arabia: Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca. More than 2 million pilgrims travel to Saudi Arabia during this time.)
Burkina Faso: National Day (Public holiday)
Russia: Anniversary of the beginning of the first Chechen War (1995) (Violence possible in southern Russia.)

12 December

Italy: General transport strike scheduled
Kenya: Jamhuri/Independence Day (Public holiday)
Mexico: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Partial public holiday)
Philippines: Large anti-government rally planned Makati City, Metro Manila (security to be increased for the event)
Russia: Constitution Day or Russian Independence Day (Formerly a public holiday. Demonstrations may occur in the capital.)
Turkmenistan: Neutrality Day (Public holiday)

13 December

Malta: Republic Day (Public holiday; offices and businesses close.)
Poland: Anniversary of imposition of martial law in 1981 (Demonstrations possible)

16 December

Bahrain: National Day (Observed as a public holiday on 18 December. Military parade organized in Manama.)
Bangladesh: Victory Day (The day that Pakistani-held Dhaka fell to the Indian army, marking Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan. Everything closes on Victory Day as it is a national holiday. Possibility of strikes due to a state of political unrest.)
Kazakhstan: Independence Day (All government offices, businesses close.)
Kyrgyz Republic: Kyrgyzstan Muslim Union to launch series of protests in regional centers, which will conclude with a demonstration in Bishkek on 24 December.
South Africa: Reconciliation Day (Anniversary of the Battle of Blood River)

17 December

Bhutan: National Day (Public holiday)
Ukraine: Trade union protests planned in large industrial centers ahead of a mass demonstration in Kiev on 23 December

18 December

Niger: Republic Day (Public holiday. Offices and businesses close.)
Qatar: National Day (Public holiday; many offices and businesses close.)

20 December

Argentina: Anniversary of the ousting of Fernando de la Rua (Street demonstrations likely to occur.)

21 December

Chinese Calendar: Dongzhi (Winter Solstice)
Israel: Hanukkah

ASI THREAT LEVEL DEFINITIONS
(1) - A minimum threat of physical harm. Petty crime is the most common threat.
(2) - A low threat of physical harm. Petty crime and infrequent demonstrations are the most common threats.
(3) - A medium threat of physical harm. Petty crime and demonstrations are common and violent acts do occur.
(4) - A high threat of physical harm due to violent acts associated with crime, demonstrations or terrorism.
(5) - A very high threat of physical harm due to violent acts associated with crime, terrorism, demonstrations or war.

(Sources: ASI Group - Global Risk Management Services)

 

FJHOPEFUL

Longterm Registered User
IN TODAY'S ISSUE


AMERICAS

Argentina
Dominican Republic
Venezuela

ASIA

Philippines (2)

EUROPE

Greece
Russia
GOVERNMENT WARNINGS
China
Thailand


AMERICAS
Argentina (Country threat level -
yellowmedium.gif
):
On 12 December 2008 a subway strike led to major traffic congestion in the province of Buenos Aires, especially on roads leading to the Federal District. Major highways, including Illia, Perito Moreno and Buenos Aires-La Plata, remained clogged throughout the morning. Other major roads which led to the center of Buenos Aires experienced heavy congestion, especially Santa Fe, Libertador, San Juan, Corrientes and Belgrano. No demonstrations or civil disturbances were reported.

The subway strike is one of several countrywide transportation strikes that have been planned for December 2008. An unspecified number of fuel stations will close on 12-13 December, and taxi drivers will strike on 24-25 December, with the possibility of additional strikes on 31 December and 1 January 2009.


Dominican Republic (Country threat level -
yellowmedium.gif
):
A bus drivers' strike continued to cause transportation disruptions in Punta Cana in the eastern Dominican Republic on 11 December 2008. Bus drivers from rival unions parked their vehicles on both sides of the main highway leading to Punta Cana International Airport (MDPC/PUJ), preventing thousands of tourists and workers from accessing the hotel zone for several hours. The Dominican Tourism Ministry plans to deploy police officers to the area to prevent further disruptions. The drivers -- who operate buses that provide transportation services for hotel employees and guests -- launched the strike in response to the recent arrest of a union leader on charges that he threatened a rival union member with a gun during an election dispute. The Tourism Ministry plans to implement various reforms to weaken the power of the unions in an effort to prevent rivalries between competing unions from causing disruptions. As the issue is unresolved, travelers should anticipate further possible transportation disruptions in Punta Cana.


Venezuela (Country threat level -
orangehigh.gif
):
On 11 December 2008 much of Caracas was affected by a brief power outage. The incident occurred at approximately 1600 local time and also affected several suburbs throughout the city. People were left stranded in elevators and traffic jams resulted, as traffic lights were not functioning. Electricity began returning to the city 50 minutes later. Officials are investigating the outage.


ASIA
Philippines (Country threat level -
orangehigh.gif
):
On 12 December 2008 activists gathered at the intersection of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas in Makati City, Manila's financial district, to protest against attempts by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her allies to amend the constitution. The president's supporters want to revise the constitution so that she can stay in office beyond 2010, when her term ends. Protest organizers claimed that they met their goal of bringing 10,000 people to the rally, but media reports placed the number of participants at approximately 8,000. Approximately 4,700 police officers monitored the demonstration, which was peaceful. Most participants reportedly dispersed by 1930 local time (1130 UTC).


Philippines (Country threat level -
orangehigh.gif
):
Philippine officials stated on 12 December 2008 that they arrested on 9 December a suspected member of the militant Islamic group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who was planning to stage bombings in several major cities, including Metro Manila. Reports did not specify whether the militants had established a date for the attacks. According to officials, the arrested militant stated during interrogation that MILF and Abu Sayyaf, another militant group, planned the attacks jointly. The suspect was seized during an operation in Tamontaka, a village on the island of Mindanao; authorities seized bomb-making material during the arrest.


EUROPE
Greece (Country threat level -
yellowmedium.gif
):
Violence continued to be reported in Athens on 12 December 2008 despite inclement weather. Anti-government demonstrations took place in Athens, although turnout was lower than expected due to the heavy rains; thousands of protesters marched toward the Parliament and chanted anti-government slogans. Clashes were reported between police officers and youths, who threw firebombs and rocks. Demonstrations were also scheduled to be held in Thessaloniki, which has also experienced violence.

Rioting and violence, which began after a police officer fatally shot a youth, has been reported for the past seven consecutive days. Authorities did, however, state that the violence that took place overnight on 11-12 December was on a lower scale compared to other days, although it is too soon to determine whether the violence is actually declining (and an end to the rioting may be in sight) or if the inclement weather is a factor. Over the past week, hundreds of businesses, police stations, banks and vehicles have been attacked.


Russia (Country threat level -
yellowmedium.gif
):
Rioting took place in Spassk-Dalny, which is located in the far eastern Primorye Territory, in the early hours of 12 December 2008. Gangs of youths attacked buildings in the city, including banks, stores and restaurants, damaging at least 17 of them. Some of the buildings were completely destroyed after being set on fire. Police officers were eventually able to bring the situation under control, and four people were arrested.

ASI Comment: Although unrest in Spassk-Dalny is unlikely to affect travelers to Russia, the incident is significant in that it has been connected to the recent rioting in Greece. Local sources have called the unrest "copy-cat" rioting, influenced by media reports on the situation in Greece. While this has not been confirmed and there are some reports that speculate the youths were paid off by local crime groups, travelers should consider the possibility of similar incidents in other locations in the wake of the Greek rioting.


GOVERNMENT WARNINGS
China (Country threat level -
yellowmedium.gif
):
On 11 December 2008 the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong issued the following Consular Affairs Bulletin: "On December 9, the Hong Kong government elevated the alert for Avian Influenza (AI) to 'serious', after discovering the H5 virus in live chickens at a chicken farm in Yeun Long, New Territories, Hong Kong. In light of the elevated alert status, we would like all Americans traveling or living in Hong Kong to be aware of the latest information on AI. The Hong Kong Government maintains up-to-date information on AI on their website: http://www.info.gov.hk/info/flu/eng/index.htm."


Thailand (Country threat level -
yellowmedium.gif
):
On 12 December 2008 the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office updated its travel advice for Thailand, which includes the following: "A large rally in support of former PM Thaksin is scheduled to take place at the Supachalasai (National) Stadium on Rama 1 Road (near the MBK shopping centre) on the afternoon and evening of 13 December 2008. Demonstrators are expected to commence gathering there from 08:00 hours onwards. It is also possible that supporters of former PM Thaksin may protest outside the parliament on 15 December 2008. You are strongly advised to avoid these areas and should continue to exercise caution when travelling around Bangkok and major cities, avoiding any demonstrations or large gatherings of people. If you plan to visit Thailand you should consider the present situation when making your decision."


SIGNIFICANT DATES

12 December

Bahrain: Manama Dialogue (Regional security conference in Manama; disruptions possible due to heightened security measures.)
Italy: General transport strike scheduled
Kenya: Jamhuri/Independence Day (Public holiday)
Mexico: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Partial public holiday)
Philippines: Large anti-government rally planned Makati City, Metro Manila (security to be increased for the event)
Russia: Constitution Day or Russian Independence Day (Formerly a public holiday. Demonstrations may occur in the capital.)
Turkmenistan: Neutrality Day (Public holiday)

13 December

Bahrain: Manama Dialogue (Regional security conference in Manama; disruptions possible due to heightened security measures.)
Malta: Republic Day (Public holiday; offices and businesses close.)
Poland: Anniversary of imposition of martial law in 1981 (Demonstrations possible)

14 December

Bahrain: Manama Dialogue (Regional security conference in Manama; disruptions possible due to heightened security measures.)
Turkmenistan: Parliamentary election

15 December

Thailand: Parliamentary session to elect new PM begins (protests possible and heavy police presence outside Parliament building)

16 December

Bahrain: National Day (Observed as a public holiday on 18 December. Military parade organized in Manama.)
Bangladesh: Victory Day (The day that Pakistani-held Dhaka fell to the Indian army, marking Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan. Everything closes on Victory Day as it is a national holiday. Possibility of strikes due to a state of political unrest.)
Kazakhstan: Independence Day (All government offices, businesses close.)
Kyrgyz Republic: Kyrgyzstan Muslim Union to launch series of protests in regional centers, which will conclude with a demonstration in Bishkek on 24 December.
South Africa: Reconciliation Day (Anniversary of the Battle of Blood River)

17 December

Bhutan: National Day (Public holiday)
Ukraine: Trade union protests planned in large industrial centers ahead of a mass demonstration in Kiev on 23 December

18 December

Niger: Republic Day (Public holiday. Offices and businesses close.)
Qatar: National Day (Public holiday; many offices and businesses close.)

20 December

Argentina: Anniversary of the ousting of Fernando de la Rua (Street demonstrations likely to occur.)

21 December

Chinese Calendar: Dongzhi (Winter Solstice)
Israel: Hanukkah

ASI THREAT LEVEL DEFINITIONS
(1) - A minimum threat of physical harm. Petty crime is the most common threat.
(2) - A low threat of physical harm. Petty crime and infrequent demonstrations are the most common threats.
(3) - A medium threat of physical harm. Petty crime and demonstrations are common and violent acts do occur.
(4) - A high threat of physical harm due to violent acts associated with crime, demonstrations or terrorism.
(5) - A very high threat of physical harm due to violent acts associated with crime, terrorism, demonstrations or war.

(Sourc: ASI Group - Global risk Management Services)
 
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