- AFRICA: The UNSC discussed imposing sanctions on Sudan and South Sudan due to escalating border clashes.
- AMERICAS: The US unveiled a new drug policy strategy that moves away from heavy prison sentences to prevention and treatment.
- ASIA: North Korea threatened “retaliation” over international condemnation of its failed rocket test.
- EUROPE: Spain may need a bailout according to economic experts.
- MIDDLE EAST: Iranian state news reported 15 Iranian and foreign nationals were arrested for espionage and other activities
- TECHNOLOGY: Major US phone carriers told the government that they required a larger radio spectrum to avoid running into capacity issues.
- Syria: Uncertainty about ceasefire, UN mission
- UN officials stated the observer mission may require more aircraft and peacekeeper troops to succeed.
- Security forces resumed an assault on Homs, despite the truce agreement.
- Opposition and government forces both accused the other of violating the ceasefire.
- Syrian FM Moallem stated his country would “honor and implement” the ceasefire agreement during a visit to China.
- Coverage: AP-1, Reuters, NYT, AP-2, Al Jazeera
- Region: The UNSC discussed imposing sanctions on Sudan and South Sudan due to escalating border clashes. (Reuters, Reuters-2)
- Egypt: The election commission upheld a decision to bar three front-runner presidential candidates from the upcoming elections. (LAT)
- Guinea Bissau: ECOWAS announced it was preparing to deploy troops to the country in the wake of the recent coup. (Xinhua)
- Guinea Bissau: The AU suspended the country’s membership. (Reuters)
- Mali: Interim President Traore named Cheick Diarra as new PM to head a unity government, a requirement of a transition deal brokered with ECOWAS. (AFP)
- Nigeria: The US embassy issued a warning that Boko Haram may launch attacks against hotels in Abuja. (AP)
- Cuba: Former leader Fidel Castro criticized the US’s political stance on Latin America after the Summit of the Americas, saying US style imperialism in Latin America cannot last. (Xinhua)
- Mexico: Authorities discovered 14 mutilated bodies in Nuevo Laredo. (AP)
- United States: General Michael Flynn was nominated to take over the DIA. (AP)
- United States: The White House unveiled a new drug policy strategy that veers away from imposing heavy prison sentences for illicit drug use and focuses instead on prevention and treatment. (AFP)
- Region: China accused the Philippines of violating international law in claiming a South China Sea shoal. (AP)
- Afghanistan: US and NATO officials are meeting this week to finalize the combat handover program and a strategy for world support to the Afghan government and military after 2014. (AP)
- India: The government may test fire later today the Agni-5 ballistic missile, capable of reaching Beijing and Shanghai. (AP)
- Korea, North: The government threatened “retaliation” over international condemnation of its failed rocket test. (Reuters)
- Myanmar: Officials announced Aung San Suu Kyi plans to take an international trip to Norway and the UK. (BBC)
- Belarus: The head of the Belarusian Presidential Administration, Vladimir Makei, said EU ambassadors can return to Belarus when the EU understands the need to discuss a lift of sanctions. (Interfax)
- Slovenia: Public workers launched a general strike protesting against austerity measures. (AP)
- Spain: Economic experts expressed concern the country will need a bailout. (Reuters)
- United Kingdom: Officials announced plans to deport alleged terror financier Abu Qatada to Jordan. (CNN)
- Iran: State news reported 15 Iranian and foreign nationals were arrested for spying for Israel, attempted assassination and sabotage. (AP)
- Iraq: An interior ministry official stated the numerous Iraqi security services operating within the country hampers efforts to fight militants. (AFP)
- Iraq: A roadside bombing in Salah al-Din killed one and injured three. (DPA)
- Israel: A letter from Palestinian Authority President Abbas was delivered to Israeli PM Netanyahu reiterating demands that Israel stop new settlement construction before peace talks can be initiated. (WaPo)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Mobile Technology: Major phone carriers told the US government that they required a larger radio spectrum to avoid running into capacity issues. (NYT)
- Cyclones: Nothing to report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to report
- Earthquake: East of the South Sandwich Islands
- Magnitude: 6.2
- Depth: 1 km
- Volcanoes: Nothing to report
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19APR)
- Global: Anniversary of the election of Pope Benedict XVI – 2005.
- Europe: Second day of Russia-NATO Council meeting in Brussels.
- Colombia: Spanish PM Rajoy visits Bogotà.
- Pakistan: Supreme Court resumes Hussain Haqqani trial.
- Sierra Leone: Anniversary of the formation of the Republic of Sierra Leone – 1971.
- United States: Anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing – 1995.
- United States: Congress announced end of War of American Independence – 1783.
- Venezuela: Independence from Spain celebrated – 1810.