- AFRICA: UK PM David Cameron has pressed EU leaders for more international patrol ships to start turning back boats of refugees to Libya.
- AMERICAS: A Brazilian judge has blocked the appointment of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as chief of staff to his successor, Dilma Rousseff.
- ASIA: South Korea protested Tokyo’s approval of updated high school textbooks that identify a cluster of small, Korean-controlled islets are a part of Japanese territory.
- EUROPE: Turkish premier Ahmet Davutoglu warned EU leaders ahead of crunch talks that Ankara’s offer to curb the refugee flow to Europe was strictly a humanitarian rather than a “bargaining” issue.
- MIDDLE EAST: With Syria’s shaky cease-fire holding, peaceful protesters have yet again taken to the streets in opposition-held areas of the country.
- TECHNOLOGY: The number of websites in China rose to 4.27 million at the end of last year.
- North Korea: First ballistic missile tests since 2014, defying UN.
- North Korea ignored UN resolutions by firing a medium-range ballistic missile into the sea.
- Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe condemned North Korea’s actions and called on the country “to exercise self-restraint.”
- US Secretary of State John Kerry said the US is “closely monitoring the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”
- A South Korean defense official said it was the first medium-range missiles launched by the North since April 2014.
- North Korea often fires missiles at periods of tension on the Korean peninsula or when it comes under pressure to curb its defiance and abandon its weapons program.
- Coverage: AP, CBS, CNN, Reuters, WP
- Guinea: Two family members have died from Ebola, the government said, two days after the World Health Organization said the region was “effectively managing” the virus. (DPA)
- Ivory Coast: Former First Lady Simone Gbagbo will go on trial in Abidjan on 25APR accused of crimes against humanity. (AFP)
- Libya: UK PM David Cameron has pressed EU leaders for more international patrol ships to start turning back boats of refugees to the country. (Guardian)
- Region: US President Barack Obama will move to declassify US military and intelligence records related to Argentina’s “Dirty War,” aiming to bring closure to questions of US involvement in a notorious chapter in Argentina’s history. (AP)
- Brazil: A judge has blocked the appointment of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as chief of staff to his successor, Dilma Rousseff. (BBC)
- Haiti: The country’s UN envoy told the Security Council the nation is at a “critical juncture” in consolidating its democracy and the next few weeks will be decisive. (AP)
- Region: South Korea protested Tokyo’s approval of updated high school textbooks that identify a cluster of small, Korean-controlled islets are a part of Japanese territory. (AFP)
- Region: Exercise Cope Tiger, a trilateral air exercise conducted by the air forces of Singapore, Thailand and the US, concluded at Korat Air Base of Thailand. (Xinhua)
- Indonesia: Rights activists called on the Indonesian parliament to reject government proposals designed to tighten the country’s anti-terrorism laws. (Reuters)
- Philippines: At least seven Abu Sayyaf militants and a soldier have been killed in fierce fighting in the country’s south that also wounded a top militant commander wanted by the country and the US. (AP)
- Region: Turkish premier Ahmet Davutoglu warned EU leaders ahead of crunch talks that Ankara’s offer to curb the refugee flow to Europe was strictly a humanitarian rather than a “bargaining” issue. (AFP)
- Greece: Six suspected members of a trafficking network were arrested in the country as they prepared to fly seven Iraqi migrants to Italy in a light aircraft. (AFP)
- Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on European countries to stop supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). (AFP)
- Iraq: Followers of influential Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demanded they be allowed to march to the gates of the heavily fortified Green Zone to hold an anti-corruption sit-in. (Reuters)
- Syria: With the country’s shaky cease-fire holding, peaceful protesters have yet again taken to the streets in opposition-held areas of the country. (AP)
- Syria: The Islamic State group has claimed the killing of five Russian troops in fighting near the ancient city of Palmyra. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: The number of websites in China rose to 4.27 million at the end of last year. (Xinhua)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 15S (Emeraude)
- Location: 700 NM ESE of Diego Garcia
- Winds: 132 mph
- Movement: SW at 1 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 18MAR: 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 18MAR: 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 18MAR: 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 18MAR: 600 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 18MAR: 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 18MAR: South Africa, China, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
- Deaths as of 18MAR: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (19MAR)
- Egypt: Anniversary of Egyptians casting their first free vote – 2011
- Libya: Commemoration of the Victory over Kadhafi – 2014