- AFRICA: South African President Jacob Zuma faces an impeachment attempt in parliament after the country’s top court ruled that he had violated the constitution over spending on his private residence.
- AMERICAS: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he welcomes the release of a former governor held for almost three years by National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas.
- ASIA: Aung San Suu Kyi consolidated her power in the new Myanmar government, as the parliament created a post of state counsellor specifically for her.
- EUROPE: Fighting raged between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in Nagorno Karabakh overnight ahead of talks aimed at quelling the violence, as the death toll rose to 64.
- MIDDLE EAST: Global military spending rose in 2015 to nearly USD 1.7T, driven by conflicts against the Islamic State group, the Saudi-led war in Yemen and fears about Iran, a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report shows.
- TECHNOLOGY: China’s Internet and media censors are squelching reports the Panama Papers name relatives of current and retired Chinese politicians, including President Xi Jinping.
- Panama Papers: Global investigations and denials begin in wake of data leak.
- The Panama law firm at the center of the biggest data leak in history had connections to several dozen firms and individuals who were placed on sanctions blacklists by the US and international groups.
- Authorities across the globe have opened investigations into the activities of the world’s rich and powerful after the leaked documents showed possible wrongdoing using offshore company structures.
- Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela has promised to cooperate with any judicial investigations stemming from the leaked data.
- The law firm, Mossack Fonseca, which says it has set up more than 240,000 offshore companies for clients around the globe, denied any wrongdoing and called itself the victim of a campaign against privacy.
- Coverage: AP, BBC, Fortune, Reuters, USA Today
- Algeria: A company that manages the finances of the country’s industry minister Abdessalam Bouchouareb says he’s linked to the Panama Papers, but says its activities are frozen while he’s in government. (AP)
- Algeria: The Algerian army killed four armed Islamists in El-Oued, meaning almost a dozen have been killed in the lawless desert region in the past two weeks. (AFP)
- South Africa: President Jacob Zuma faces an impeachment attempt in parliament after the country’s top court ruled that he had violated the constitution over spending on his private residence. (AFP)
- Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos said he welcomes the release of a former governor held for almost three years by National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas. (Xinhua)
- Colombia: The government’s paramilitary activity should be cleared up in order to reach a lasting peace deal with the rebel groups, ELN leader Antonio Garcia said. (Xinhua)
- Mexico: The country has registered 201 confirmed cases of infections with Zika virus. (Xinhua)
- Region: China and Japan have agreed to coordinate closely to implement sanctions on North Korea. (AP)
- Afghanistan: Some 30 militants had been killed amid cleanup operations conducted by Afghan forces in countryside within 24 hours, the Afghani Defense Ministry said. (Xinhua)
- Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi consolidated her power in the new government, as the parliament created a post of state counsellor specifically for her. (DPA)
- North Korea: Monitoring project 38 North says satellite imagery shows “suspicious activity” at the Yongbyon Radiochemical Laboratory complex. (CNN)
- Region: Fighting raged between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in Nagorno Karabakh overnight ahead of talks aimed at quelling the violence, as the death toll rose to 64. (AFP)
- Greece: Greek authorities have paused deportations to Turkey and acknowledged that most migrants and refugees detained on Greek islands have applied for asylum. (AP)
- Turkey: Authorities in the country’s south have arrested two men suspected of preparing to carry out suicide bombings for ISIS. (AFP)
- Russia: Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko’s 22-year sentence formally begins and she will be sent to prison camp in the next 10 days unless Kiev secures a swap deal with Moscow. (AFP)
- Region: Global military spending rose in 2015 to nearly USD 1.7T, driven by conflicts against the Islamic State group, the Saudi-led war in Yemen and fears about Iran, a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report shows. (AP)
- Iran: Russia will begin the first shipment of its S-300 air defense missile systems to the country in the coming days. (Reuters)
- Syria: Syrian rebels were closing in on a town near the Turkish border held by Islamic State after seizing numerous villages from the group in the area. (Reuters)
- Syria: Islamic State militants fired several shells containing mustard gas against Syrian military positions in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour. (Xinhua)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Communications: China’s Internet and media censors are squelching reports the Panama Papers name relatives of current and retired Chinese politicians, including President Xi Jinping. (AP)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Popocatepetl, Mexico
- Ash eruption that rose 2 km in the air. (Volcano Discovery)
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 01APR: 36,596 (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: 1,600
- 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 31MAR: 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 31MAR: Micronesia, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia
- Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 31MAR: United States of America, France, Italy, Argentina, New Zealand
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (06APR)
- Italy: Anniversary of L’Aquila Earthquake – 2009
- Mali: Anniversary Tuareg rebels proclaim independence of north Mali – 2012
- Rwanda: Anniversary of the start of the Rwandan Genocide – 1994
- Thailand: King Rama I Memorial and Chakri Day – 1782
- Ukraine: Meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine will be held in Minsk