- AFRICA: Somali troops attacked al Shebab militants in Mogadishu.
- AMERICAS: Jamaican PM Miller suggested cutting ties with the British monarchy.
- ASIA: US PACOM Commander Willard revealed that special forces are active in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives.
- EUROPE: The EU officially granted Serbia candidate status.
- MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabia sent an envoy to Iraq to discuss Syrian President Assad.
- TECHNOLOGY: Wireless providers in the US slowed Internet transfer speeds for high data users.
- Iran: Polls opened in parliamentary elections
- The elections are seen as a test of support for President Ahmadinejad.
- It is the first election since 2009.
- The opposition Green Movement will not participate as its members were placed under house arrest for over a year.
- Protesters warned low turnout may increase the likelihood of foreign military strikes.
- Coverage: Reuters, AP, BBC, AP-2, NYT
- Senegal: The opposition June 23 Movement (M23) threatened to resume protests if President Wade receives a third term. (Xinhua)
- Somalia: African Union-backed government troops attacked al Shebab insurgents in Mogadishu. (AFP)
- Zimbabwe: President Mugabe and PM Tsvangirai set a two-week ultimatum for the drafting of the new constitution, saying they were “perturbed” by the current slow pace. (AFP)
- Region: US authorities arrested three people attempting to smuggle methamphetamine across the Mexican border. (AP)
- Jamaica: PM Miller suggested a referendum to sever ties with British Queen Elizabeth II. (AP)
- Mexico: President Calderon called on regional prosecutors to coordinate in a common front against organized crime. (AFP)
- Region: In a meeting with heads of diplomatic missions, Kazakh President Kzarbayev suggested the creation of a free trade zone in Central Asia. (Itar-Tass)
- Region: The Indian Air Force, in coordination with the army, held a major war exercise in Guwahati. (Xinhua)
- Region: US PACOM Commander Adm Willard revealed US special forces are working throughout Asia, specifically alongside Indian authorities to contain the Lashka-e-Taiba. (BBC)
- Pakistan: At least 33 were killed in clashes with militants in Khyber Agency. (Reuters)
- Pakistan: Voting for 45 contested Senate seats began as the Pakistan People’s Party is expected to take over the chamber. (AFP, Xinhua)
- Region: Twenty-five European heads of state signed an intergovernmental treaty on fiscal stability. (Xinhua)
- Region: German Economy Minister Roesler supported the establishment of a special commissioner to implement debt reform in European member states. (AFP)
- Russia: PM Putin criticized the opposition, saying they have not produced any constructive proposals. (Itar-Tass)
- Serbia: EU ministers agreed to grant Serbia candidate status to join the organization at a future, undetermined date. (AFP)
- Region: As part of a strategy to convince Iraq to abandon Syrian President Assad, Saudi Arabia sent an envoy and delegation to Baghdad. (AFP)
- Iran: Russian PM Putin called on Iran to resume cooperation with the IAEA. (Itar-Tass)
- Yemen: President Hadi appointed two generals and a governor in an effort to reform the security and army units in a Gulf-brokered deal. (Xinhua)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Social Media: In her TEDtalk, MIT professor Sherry Turkle opined that constant communication does connect people more, but at the sacrifice of face-to-face conversation. (Mashable)
- Technology: Wireless phone companies in the US have reportedly been caught slowing down Internet transfer speeds on phones for heavy data users. (NYT)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 15S (Fifteen)
- Location: 460 NM NE of Port Louis, Mauritius
- Movement: WSW at 07 knots
- Winds: 30 knots
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 14S (Irina)
- Location: 595 NM ENE of Maputo, Mozambique
- Movement: SW at 13 knots
- Winds: 55 knots
- Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
- Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
- Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (03MAR)
- Colombia: Anniversary of FARC leader Ivan Rios killed by his own men – 2008.
United States: Israeli PM Netanyahu attends Israeli American lobbying group AIPAC’s meeting.