- AFRICA: French FM Jean-Marc Ayrault urged the international community to prepare to help Libya’s unity government, providing military support if necessary.
- AMERICAS: In several Latin American nations hit hard by the Zika epidemic, the transmission of the virus appears to have peaked, with the number of infections declining in recent weeks.
- ASIA: In Myanmar, military MPs said a plan to bolster Aung San Suu Kyi’s power with a special advisory role was unconstitutional.
- EUROPE: The Greek parliament was set to vote on a bill that prepares its asylum laws for the planned return of thousands of asylum seekers to Turkey, under a deal struck between the EU and Ankara.
- MIDDLE EAST: The death toll from air strikes in Damascus has risen to 33, mostly women and children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.
- TECHNOLOGY: Egypt blocked Facebook Inc’s Free Basics Internet service at the end of last year after the company refused to give the Egyptian government the ability to spy on users.
- North Korea: Tensions remain high with new missile test and GPS sabotage.
- North Korea fired a short-range missile into the sea, hours after the US, South Korean and Japanese leaders pledged to work closer together to prevent North Korea from advancing its nuclear and missile programs.
- South Korea warned North Korea to stop disrupting GPS signal reception which it said forced some fishing boats to return to port and vowed to take action if it continued.
- The Pyongyang government has made several similar sabotage attempts since 2010, but that no disruption of mobile communications or of air or ship traffic had resulted.
- Searches of North Korean ships under new UN sanctions are inexcusable and North Korea won’t tolerate them, Nam Hyon Il, of North Korea’s Maritime Administration said.
- Coverage: AP, CBS, NYT, Reuters, WSJ
- Guinea: Hundreds have been vaccinated with an experimental Merck vaccine to try and halt a flare-up of Ebola, the World Health Organization said. (Reuters)
- Libya: French FM Jean-Marc Ayrault urged the international community to prepare to help the country’s unity government, providing military support if necessary. (AFP)
- South Sudan: Festus Mogae, the head of an international group monitoring the country’s peace process, said the formation of a transitional national unity government was now within reach. (AP)
- Region: In several Latin American nations hit hard by the Zika epidemic, the transmission of the virus appears to have peaked, with the number of infections declining in recent weeks. (WP)
- Colombia: New talks to end the country’s half-century conflict depend on the National Liberation Army (ELN) releasing hostages. (AFP)
- United States: Cyber security experts have found vulnerabilities in a US State Department system that could have allowed hackers to alter visa applications or steal data from the more than half-billion records on file. (Reuters)
- Region: Singapore’s central bank confirmed it has asked a number of banks to provide information on fund flows as part of a probe into possible money-laundering related to Malaysian state firm 1MDB. (AFP)
- Myanmar: Military MPs said a plan to bolster Aung San Suu Kyi’s power with a special advisory role was unconstitutional. (AFP)
- Myanmar: Patrick Kum Ja Lee, a prominent political prisoner, was released, coincidentally on the day the country’s new, democratically-elected government began working. (AP)
- Philippines: Authorities on the island of Mindanao, used gunfire to disperse the protestors, killing at least one person and injuring dozens of others in the process. (AP)
- Region: Denmark decided to extend temporary controls at its border with Germany by 30 days to 03MAY. (Reuters)
- Greece: The Greek parliament was set to vote on a bill that prepares its asylum laws for the planned return of thousands of asylum seekers to Turkey, under a deal struck between the EU and Ankara. (DPA)
- Turkey: Turkish police detained 15 suspected members of the Islamic State (IS) in the western tourist city of Izmir. (Xinhua)
- Ukraine: The country announced a pact to import uranium from Australia, which could help ease Kiev’s traditional reliance on hostile neighbor Russia for energy. (AFP)
- Iraq: Tens of thousands of trapped civilians have stalled Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State group in the country’s western Anbar province. (AP)
- Lebanon: Lebanese security forces have dismantled the country’s largest known sex trafficking ring and freed 75 mainly Syrian women. (AFP)
- Syria: The death toll from air strikes in Damascus has risen to 33, mostly women and children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. (Reuters)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: Egypt blocked Facebook Inc’s Free Basics Internet service at the end of last year after the company refused to give the Egyptian government the ability to spy on users. (Reuters)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: 56km SE of Shingu, Japan
- Magnitude: 6.0
- Depth: 10 km
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 18MAR: 31,005 (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: 1,487
- Deaths: 2
- Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 82 (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, French Guiana, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
- Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
- Cases as of 29MAR: 1698 (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 29MAR: 609 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 24MAR: Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Aruba, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Dominica, United States Virgin Islands, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, Bonaire, Curacao, Suriname, French Guiana, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Gabon, Maldives, Bangladesh, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, American Samoa
- Outbreak Terminated as of 24MAR: Micronesia, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia
- Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 24MAR: United States of America, France, Italy, Argentina, New Zealand
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (02APR)
- Argentina: Malvinas Day
- Kenya: Anniversary of gunmen attack on Garissa University College in Kenya, killing at least 148 people and wounding 79 others. – 2015
- Saudi Arabia: Indian PM Modi to visit (to 03APR)
- United States: Anniversary of spree shooting at the Fort Hood Army Base near the town of Killeen, Texas, with four people dead, including the gunman, and 16 others sustaining injuries. – 2014