- AFRICA: South Sudan’s rebels are taking positions in the capital, Juba, to prepare for the scheduled return of their leader later this month after over two years of war.
- AMERICAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has decreed all Fridays for the next two months will be holidays, in a bid to save energy in the blackout-hit OPEC country.
- ASIA: A law student who criticized Islamism on his Facebook page has been murdered, the latest in a series of killings of secular activists and bloggers in Bangladesh.
- EUROPE: President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine will continue moving towards the EU despite a resounding rejection by Dutch voters of a treaty on closer ties between the country and the European body.
- MIDDLE EAST: A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition used bombs supplied by the US in an attack on Yemen last month that killed at least 97 civilians, including 25 children, a Human Rights Watch report said.
- TECHNOLOGY: A terrorist hoping to buy an antiaircraft weapon in recent years needed to look no further than Facebook, which has been hosting sprawling online arms bazaars.
- Panama: President Varela announces committee to review financial sector.
- President Juan Carlos Varela said the country will establish a financial review committee in the wake of the leak of details regarding thousands of offshore accounts facilitated by a Panamanian law firm.
- The panel would examine working practices and propose measures that could be shared to strengthen the transparency of the financial and legal systems.
- Panama is still considering who will be in the commission, and Gian Castillero, a senior government adviser, said in an interview he expected it to report within six months.
- Varela said Panama will share those recommendations with other countries so joint action can be taken to boost the the overall transparency of the economic sector.
- Varela also pushed back against criticism about Panama, saying it was being unfairly stigmatized by other nations who themselves were implicated in the scandal and guilty of negligence.
- Coverage: BBC, DPA, Reuters, USA Today, VOA
- Somalia: The International Monetary Fund said its staff have agreed to deepen engagement with the country through a 12-month program to assist and monitor reforms of government operations and fiscal management. (Reuters)
- South Sudan: Chronic shortages of essential medical supplies are worsening an already dire humanitarian situation in the war-torn country, Doctors Without Borders warned. (AFP)
- South Sudan: The country’s rebels are taking positions in the capital, Juba, to prepare for the scheduled return of their leader later this month after over two years of war. (AP)
- Mexico: Independent experts investigating the disappearance of 43 students in the country have threatened to stop working with government authorities, accusing them of manipulating the probe for political ends. (AFP)
- Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro has decreed all Fridays for the next two months will be holidays, in a bid to save energy in the blackout-hit OPEC country. (Reuters)
- Bangladesh: A Bangladeshi law student who criticized Islamism on his Facebook page has been murdered, the latest in a series of killings of secular activists and bloggers in the country. (Guardian)
- Japan: All six crew members of a military plane that was missing have been confirmed dead after authorities found the wreckage on the southern Kyushu island. (AP)
- Pakistan: Dozens of suspected militants attacked a Pakistani security post along the Afghan border, sparking an hours-long gun battle in which 12 insurgents were killed. (AP)
- Singapore: Singapore Armed Forces will bolster its counter-terrorism measures in the areas of incident response, training and equipping of soldiers. (Xinhua)
- Vietnam: New prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was formally voted in and handed a five-year term by lawmakers. (AFP)
- Region: The foreign ministers of Russia and Iran joined efforts to prevent a new war between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces over Nagorno-Karabakh. (AP)
- Greece: Greek authorities say thousands of migrants and refugees camped out at the country’s largest port near Athens have been given two weeks to move to army-built camps or be expelled by force. (AP)
- Italy: Egyptian investigators began briefing Italian counterparts on a much-criticized probe into the slaying of an Italian student in Cairo that threatens to poison relations between the two countries. (AFP)
- Ukraine: President Petro Poroshenko said his country will continue moving towards the EU despite a resounding rejection by Dutch voters of a treaty on closer ties between the country and the European body. (Reuters)
- Region: A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition used bombs supplied by the US in an attack on Yemen last month that killed at least 97 civilians, including 25 children, a Human Rights Watch report said. (NYT)
- Iran: President Hassan Rouhani said his country was not a threat to any other nation and that it wanted interaction with the rest of the world. (Reuters)
- Iraq: Human Rights Watch called for the country to allow aid to reach starving residents of the city of Fallujah, and for the Islamic State group to allow civilians to leave. (AFP)
- Lebanon: An Australian television crew has been detained in the country, with Canberra urgently trying to confirm the reporters’ whereabouts. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Communications: A terrorist hoping to buy an antiaircraft weapon in recent years needed to look no further than Facebook, which has been hosting sprawling online arms bazaars. (NYT)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 18P (Zena)
- Location: 56 NM WSW of Tonga
- Wind: 57 mph
- Movement: ESE at 31 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: 68km SSW of Bunisari, Indonesia
- Magnitude: 6.0
- Depth: 35.4 km
- Earthquakes: 109km W of Sola, Vanuatu
- Magnitude: 6.9
- Depth: 32.8 km
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- 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 (08APR)
- Hinduism: Hindi New Year