- AFRICA: The latest flare-up of Ebola in Sierra Leone has ended, leaving no confirmed cases of the virus in West Africa, the UN said.
- AMERICAS: In Brazil, protests erupted after a recorded phone call between President Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was released, suggesting that she appointed him to her cabinet to spare him from arrest for corruption.
- ASIA: China expressed its opposition to unilateral sanctions against North Korea saying they could raise tension.
- EUROPE: A radical Kurdish group with ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) claimed the deadly suicide car bomb attack that killed 35 people in Turkey last weekend.
- MIDDLE EAST: Russia will complete the withdrawal of most of its military contingent in Syria in two to three days, Russian Air Force Commander Viktor Bondarev said.
- TECHNOLOGY: Denmark’s military intelligence agency says it’s creating “a hacker academy” where to train IT specialists who, if they graduate, will be offered employment.
- Europe: Summit begins to finalize controversial migrant deal.
- EU leaders will push ahead with contested plans to send tens of thousands of migrants back to Turkey amid deep divisions over how to manage Europe’s biggest refugee emergency in decades.
- European Council President Donald Tusk admits a “catalogue of issues” in the way of an agreement remains unresolved.
- Turkey does not intend to make new demands at a meeting with EU leaders on the migrant crisis and sees the chances of finalizing a deal as difficult but not impossible, a senior Turkish official said.
- Human rights groups are concerned about Turkey’s standards for political asylum, as well as its recent crackdown on the media and a violent conflict with Turkish rebels.
- The summit will include UK PM David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Francois Hollande among other leaders from the region and will be chaired by the European Council President Donald Tusk.
- Coverage: AP, BBC, CNBC, Reuters, VOA
- Region: The latest flare-up of Ebola in Sierra Leone has ended, leaving no confirmed cases of the virus in West Africa, the UN said. (AFP)
- Region: The Pentagon restricted US service members’ travel to Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Ghana, citing recent militant attacks in the region. (Reuters)
- Egypt: Explosions rocked the northern Sinai town of Rafah as militants struck a weapons depot, killing at least five soldiers and injuring 10 others. (AP)
- Morocco: The country has threatened to pull its soldiers out of UN global peacekeeping missions in a row over the disputed territory of Western Sahara. (BBC)
- Region: President Barack Obama plans to honor the victims of Argentina’s “dirty war” when he visits the country next week. (AFP)
- Brazil: Protests erupted after a recorded phone call between President Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was released, suggesting that she appointed him to her cabinet to spare him from arrest for corruption. (AFP)
- Mexico: Attacks against journalists increased by nearly 22 percent in the country last year, with eight media workers killed and nearly 400 assaulted. (AFP)
- Region: China expressed its opposition to unilateral sanctions against North Korea saying they could raise tension. (Reuters)
- Japan: The country enacted a law banning drones from flying over important facilities while giving police the power to destroy drones if necessary. (Kyodo)
- Philippines: Joan Casamorin, a high-ranking leader, of the leftist New People’s Army (NPA) was nabbed and another was killed in a firefight with government troops in southern Philippine province of Davao del Sur. (Xinhua)
- Region: People smugglers taking migrants from Turkey to Greece are changing their routes to avoid NATO vessels deployed to the Aegean Sea. (DPA)
- Region: Azerbaijan on released a prominent opposition journalist who was imprisoned for spying for arch-enemy Armenia. (AFP)
- Turkey: A radical Kurdish group with ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) claimed the deadly suicide car bomb attack that killed 35 people in Ankara last weekend. (AFP)
- Turkey: The German consulate general and a German school in Istanbul were shut following a terrorism warning, days after a bombing in the capital Ankara. (DPA)
- Region: Two Palestinians stabbed and wounded an Israeli woman and were then shot and killed on outside a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank. (Reuters)
- Israel: Meir Dagan, a former head of Israeli spy agency Mossad who worked to thwart Iran’s nuclear programme while also opposing a military strike against it, died at 71. (AFP)
- Syria: Russia will complete the withdrawal of most of its military contingent in the country in two to three days, Russian Air Force Commander Viktor Bondarev said. (Reuters)
- Yemen: A spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition says that major combat operations in the country are coming to an end. (AP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: Denmark’s military intelligence agency says it’s creating “a hacker academy” where to train IT specialists who, if they graduate, will be offered employment. (AP)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 15S (Emeraude)
- Location: 730 NM ESE of Diego Garcia
- Winds: 103 mph
- Movement: WNW at 4 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 17MAR: 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 17MAR: 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 17MAR: 1684 (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 17MAR: 600 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 17MAR: 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 17MAR: South Africa, China, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
- Deaths as of 17MAR: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (18MAR)
- Global: Anniversary of the first spacewalk; Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov leaves his Voskhod 2 capsule and remains outside the spacecraft for 20 minutes, secured by a tether – 1965
- Global: Anniversary of North Atlantic Treaty Organization – 1949
- Argentina and Israel: Anniversary of an explosion destroying the Israeli Embassy near downtown Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and wounding 252 – 1992
- Germany: Anniversary East German voters signal that they want unification with West Germany as soon as possible, giving the Conservative alliance 48 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections – 1990
- Mexico: Benito Juarez Day – 1806
- Tunisia: Anniversary of the attack on Bardo National Museum in Tunisia by gunmen. 23 people, almost all tourists, were killed, and at least 50 other people are wounded. – 2015