- AFRICA: Around USD 15B was stolen from Nigeria’s public purse under the previous government through fraudulent arms procurement deals, VP Yemi Osinbajo said.
- AMERICAS: US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew pressed US lawmakers to work fast to enable Puerto Rico to restructure its massive USD 422M debt.
- ASIA: The Philippines have agreed in principle to lease five Japanese surveillance planes to be used in patrolling disputed areas of the South China Sea and in search-and-rescue missions during disasters.
- EUROPE: Negotiations for a vast US-EU trade pact are likely to grind to a halt because of US reluctance to make concessions, French trade minister Matthias Fekl said.
- MIDDLE EAST: Ordinary people feel corruption has worsened in nine Arab countries over the last year, especially Lebanon and Yemen, a Transparency International study said.
- TECHNOLOGY: A US judge partly dismissed a lawsuit filed by Twitter Inc in which the social media company argued it should be allowed to publicly disclose more details about information requests from the US government.
- Bangladesh: International concern rises over continued attacks on minorities.
- Coinciding with World Press Freedom Day, a coalition of rights groups are calling for a UN-backed inquiry into attacks in Bangladesh on liberals and religious minorities because the government has failed to address the situation.
- Bangladesh police were investigating a new hit-list that includes the head of a university, journalists and ruling party officials, after a series of gruesome killings.
- In another Bangladesh attack, unidentified attackers hurled crude bombs at the home of a Christian family, leaving two people injured.
- Bangladeshi blogger and social activist Ashif Entaz Rabi is in Washington at the invitation of a human rights group, calling attention to the dozens of writers and bloggers who fear they could be the next victims.
- These killings have raised worrying questions about whether the secular traditions of a moderate Muslim country are under threat from extremist Islamic groups.
- Coverage: AFP, AFP-2, AP, VOA
- Region: Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa will likely slow this year to its weakest in nearly two decades, the IMF said. (Reuters)
- Nigeria: Around USD 15B was stolen from the country’s public purse under the previous government through fraudulent arms procurement deals, VP Yemi Osinbajo said. (Reuters)
- Senegal: The country signed a cooperation agreement with the US to ease the deployment of American troops to the West African nation to counter humanitarian crises, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. (Reuters)
- Region: US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew pressed US lawmakers to work fast to enable Puerto Rico to restructure its massive USD 422M debt. (AFP)
- Argentina: A federal prosecutor is asking former President Cristina Fernandez and her son be investigated in a money laundering and tax evasion probe. (AP)
- Venezuela: A senior lawmaker from President Nicolas Maduro’s Great Patriotic Pole coalition said he believed there was no chance of a recall referendum against the president before December. (Xinhua)
- Region: China and Japan’s economies are expected to slow sharply over the next two years as Asian growth remains strong, the IMF said. (AFP)
- Region: The Philippines have agreed in principle to lease five Japanese surveillance planes to be used in patrolling disputed areas of the South China Sea and in search-and-rescue missions during disasters. (AP)
- China: Miao Deshun, the last known person still in prison for crimes related to the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests, is due to be released in October after being granted a sentence reduction. (WSJ)
- Korean Peninsula: South Korea reiterated its position denuclearization should be put before the resumption of dialogue with North Korea amid expectations that Pyongyang may start efforts at dialogue after its historic ruling party convention. (Xinhua)
- Singapore: The Singapore government arrested eight Bangladeshi men who allegedly plotted to carry out terror attacks, including assassinations, in their home country to establish an Islamic state. (AFP)
- Region: Negotiations for a vast US-EU trade pact are likely to grind to a halt because of US reluctance to make concessions, French trade minister Matthias Fekl said. (AFP)
- Hungary: The country’s supreme court has cleared the way for a government-initiated referendum on an EU quota for the resettlement of migrants and refugees. (AP)
- Spain: The Interior Ministry says police have arrested four people in the Madrid area suspected of spreading pro-jihad propaganda and recruiting followers. (AP)
- Turkey: A Turkish parliamentary committee approved a bill that strips deputies of immunity from prosecution, which members of the pro-Kurdish opposition say is designed to target them and suppress dissent. (Reuters)
- Turkey: Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorists attacked a military outpost in the country’s southeast, killing two Turkish soldiers and five PKK fighters. (Reuters)
- Region: Ordinary people feel corruption has worsened in nine Arab countries over the last year, especially Lebanon and Yemen, a Transparency International study said. (AFP)
- Iraq: Tens of thousands of Shiite pilgrims are converging on a Shiite shrine in Baghdad to commemorate the anniversary of the death of a revered imam. (AP)
- Syria: Heavy air strikes on the Islamic State group’s de facto Syrian capital Raqa killed at least 13 civilians and five jihadists. (AFP)
- Yemen: UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has met delegates of the country’s warring parties separately in a bid to restart peace negotiations. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: A US judge partly dismissed a lawsuit filed by Twitter Inc in which the social media company argued it should be allowed to publicly disclose more details about information requests from the US government. (Reuters)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 29APR: 74,204 (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: 8,319
- Deaths: 12
- 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 26APR: 1,728 (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 26APR: 624 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 21APR: Cabo Verde, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bolivia, Bonaire (Netherlands), Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haití, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, United States Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Maldives, American Samoa, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, and Tonga.
- Outbreak Terminated as of 21APR: Gabon, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Vietnam, and Isla de Pascua (Chile).
- Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 21APR: United States of America, Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, and Portugal.
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (04MAY)
- Israel: Yom HaShoah – 1953
- Italy: Chinese FM Wang Yi to visit to attend the Seventh Joint Session of the China-Italy Governmental Committee (to 05MAY)
- Japan: Greenery Day – 1989
- Latvia: Declaration of Independence – 1990
- Namibia: Cassinga Day – 1978
- Islam: Isra and Mi’raj