- AFRICA: Tunisian security forces searched for jihadists near the Libyan border after a deadly raid described as an “unprecedented” assault by the Islamic State group.
- AMERICAS: US President Barack Obama will be accompanied on his historic visit to Cuba this month by up to 20 members of Congress.
- ASIA: China’s took a hard line on the country’s claims to virtually all the South China Sea, saying Beijing won’t permit other nations to infringe on what it considers its sovereign rights in the strategically vital area.
- EUROPE: Thousands of refugees stranded on the Greek-Macedonia border are waking up to the realization that their onward route through the Balkans to wealthy EU countries is effectively closed.
- MIDDLE EAST: Iran conducted multiple ballistic missile tests to demonstrate “deterrent power,” a move that comes in defiance of US sanctions.
- TECHNOLOGY: South Korea’s spy agency said North Korea had hacked into smartphones belonging to a number of key government officials, part of a series of cyberattacks launched after its fourth nuclear test.
- Somalia: US strike on Al-Shabaab inflicts heavy casualties.
- In a move to stop what the US military said was an imminent threat against US troops and African peacekeeping forces in Somalia, a US strike in Somalia killed as many as 150 suspected Al-Shabaab fighters, the Pentagon said.
- Somalia’s intelligence service cooperated with the US in the operation.
- The attack on Saturday using manned and unmanned aircraft targeted the Raso Camp, a training facility for al-Shabaab fighters, the US Defense Department said.
- Somali Islamist group al Shabaab confirmed the US had bombed an area it controlled but said the casualties were an exaggeration.
- The US military had been monitoring the camp for several weeks before the strike and had gathered intelligence, including about an imminent threat posed by those in the camp to US forces and African Union peacekeepers.
- Coverage: AP, Bloomberg, CNN, Reuters, Reuters-2
- Benin: The country’s presidential election looks likely to be a second-round run-off between PM Lionel Zinsou and businessman Patrice Talon. (AFP)
- Democratic Republic of Congo: Three Congolese employees of charity Save the Children who were kidnapped in the country’s east last week have been released, a UN official said. (Reuters)
- Tunisia: Tunisian security forces searched for jihadists near the Libyan border after a deadly raid described as an “unprecedented” assault by the Islamic State group. (AFP)
- Region: US President Barack Obama will be accompanied on his historic visit to Cuba this month by up to 20 members of Congress. (Reuters)
- Region: Suspected Colombian drug kingpin Fermin Alberto Garcia was arrested in Honduras. (EFE)
- El Salvador: President Salvador Sanchez Ceren says he has brought together the government and attorney general to analyze what measures can be taken in the face of spiraling gang violence. (AP)
- Region: China’s FM Wang Yi said Sino-Japanese relations still lack substantive improvement, mainly because of Japanese political leaders’ attitude toward Beijing. (Kyodo)
- Region: China’s took a hard line on the country’s claims to virtually all the South China Sea, saying Beijing won’t permit other nations to infringe on what it considers its sovereign rights in the strategically vital area. (AP)
- Region: British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond hailed intelligence sharing between Pakistan and India to counter terrorism, while in Pakistan. (Xinhua)
- India: Two people were killed when the crude bombs they were making exploded in West Bengal. (AFP)
- Region: Head of the UN refugee agency Filippo Grandi said he was “deeply concerned” by a proposed deal between the EU and Ankara that would involve people being sent back to Turkey. (AFP)
- Region: Thousands of refugees stranded on the Greek-Macedonia border are waking up to the realization that their onward route through the Balkans to wealthy EU countries is effectively closed. (AP)
- Region: Ukraine prepared to send a team of doctors to check the health of a hunger-striking helicopter pilot who is on trial in Russia as global calls grew for her release. (AFP)
- Turkey: Turkish authorities have seized control of the Cihan news agency, widening the crackdown against supporters of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. (Reuters)
- Iran: The country conducted multiple ballistic missile tests to demonstrate “deterrent power,” a move that comes in defiance of US sanctions. (AFP)
- Iran: Russia and the West are divided on how well the UN atomic agency is reporting on whether Tehran is meeting its nuclear deal commitments. (AP)
- Israel: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s office defended his controversial decision to turn down an invitation to the White House, hours before US Vice President Joe Biden arrives for talks. (AFP)
- Syria: UN envoy Staffan de Mistura will begin holding “substantive” talks between the Syrian government and the opposition no later than Monday. (AP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: South Korea’s spy agency said North Korea had hacked into smartphones belonging to a number of key government officials, part of a series of cyberattacks launched after its fourth nuclear test. (AFP)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Cases as of 08MAR: 28,639 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
- Deaths as of 08MAR: 11,316 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 08MAR: 21,285 (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: 451
- Deaths as of 08MAR: 0 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
- Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
- Cases as of 08MAR: 1644 (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 08MAR: 590 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 08MAR: Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, El Salvador, Paraguay, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Cape Verde, Honduras, French Guiana, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Guyana, Barbados, Ecuador, Bolivia, Haiti, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Guatemala, Curacao, Costa Rica, Maldives
- Indication of Viral Circulation as of 08MAR: South Africa, China, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
- Deaths as of 08MAR: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (09MAR)
- Syria: Syria’s government and rebels will re-start peace talks