- AFRICA: Somalia’s government said between 200 and 300 Somalis may have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to cross illegally to Europe.
- AMERICAS: Argentina has returned to the international borrowing markets with a sale of sovereign bonds that ends 15 years of exile since its 2001 default.
- ASIA: South Korea’s military expected North Korea to conduct a “surprise” nuclear test at an unpredictable time as in its previous nuclear detonation.
- EUROPE: The European Commission will provide 700M euros in emergency humanitarian funding for Greece until 2018 to help it deal with the massive refugee crisis.
- MIDDLE EAST: Talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia on this year’s hajj pilgrimage have stalled because of a disagreement on how visas can be processed in the absence of formal diplomatic relations.
- TECHNOLOGY: BlackBerry acknowledged it helped Canadian federal police crack a Montreal crime syndicate that had been using its messaging system, while insisting its smartphone security remains impenetrable.
- Afghanistan: Dozens dead, hundreds wounded in Kabul suicide attack.
- At least 28 people were killed and more than 300 people were injured after a suicide attack rocked Kabul.
- A car bomb was detonated outside the offices of the Directorate of Security for Dignitaries, an elite security force that provides protection to senior government officials.
- After the explosion, a two-hour gun battle between security forces and insurgents ensued.
- The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility.
- This marks the highest casualty toll in a bombing in the capital since last August, when a late night truck bombing in the Shah Shahid neighborhood left at least 240 people injured.
- Coverage: CNN, LAT, NYT, USA Today, WP
- Region: Somalia’s government said between 200 and 300 Somalis may have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to cross illegally to Europe. (Reuters)
- Cameroon: The US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power has expressed her “great sorrow” after her motorcade accidentally hit and killed a seven-year-old boy in the country. (BBC)
- Cape Verde: Authorities seized 280 kilograms of cocaine in a bust in the Atlantic from a Brazil-registered fishing vessel as it prepared to transfer the drugs to a US-flagged yacht. (Reuters)
- Argentina: The country has returned to the international borrowing markets with a sale of sovereign bonds that ends 15 years of exile since its 2001 default. (BBC)
- Colombia: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Colombian FM Maria Angela Holguin met to discuss progress on the peace talks in the Latin American country. (Xinhua)
- Ecuador: The death toll from the powerful earthquake that struck the country over the weekend has risen to at least 413, government officials reported. (AFP)
- Region: China is “positive” towards establishing a military hotline with India, Defense Minister Chang Wanquan told his Indian counterpart during a meeting in Beijing. (Reuters)
- Australia: PM Malcolm Turnbull said the country would probably go to a general election on 02JUL, after parliament voted down a key labor reform bill. (Reuters)
- China: The country is marking its inaugural National Security Education Day with materials warning against “handsome” foreign spies. (AP)
- Korean Peninsula: South Korea’s military expected North Korea to conduct a “surprise” nuclear test at an unpredictable time as in its previous nuclear detonation. (Xinhua)
- Germany: Five people were arrested in the country on suspicion of founding a right-wing terror group to attack refugee homes and other facilities. (AP)
- Germany: The co-founder of anti-immigration group PEGIDA Lutz Bachmann is on trial in Dresden, charged with incitement over Facebook posts calling foreigners “cattle” and “trash.” (AP)
- Greece: The European Commission will provide 700M euros in emergency humanitarian funding for the country until 2018 to help it deal with the massive refugee crisis. (AP)
- Turkey: The EU will not “water down” visa requirements for the country, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said. (Reuters)
- Region: Talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia on this year’s hajj pilgrimage have stalled because of a disagreement on how visas can be processed in the absence of formal diplomatic relations. (AFP)
- Region: Iran and Pakistan will hold joint naval drills in the Persian Gulf waters. (Xinhua)
- Iran: The country will not accept an oil output freeze because it would effectively mean a prolonging of sanctions, insisting rival producers caused a supply-led price slide. (AFP)
- Iraq: US President Barack Obama said he expects the country’s second city Mosul to be retaken from the Islamic State group “eventually”. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Communications: BlackBerry acknowledged it helped Canadian federal police crack a Montreal crime syndicate that had been using its messaging system, while insisting its smartphone security remains impenetrable. (AFP)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 19S (Fantala)
- Location: 793 NM NW of Port Louis, Mauritius
- Wind: 161 mph
- Movement: W at 1 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Popocatepetl, Mexico
- Ash explosion blanketing the city of Puebla, forcing closure of the city’s airport. (AP)
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 15APR: 41,583 (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: 1,966
- 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 15APR: 1714 (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 15APR: 618 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 14APR: Cabo Verde, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bolivia, Bonaire (Netherlands), Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, United States Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Maldives, American Samoa, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga
- Outbreak Terminated as of 14APR: Gabon, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Vietnam
- Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 14APR: United States of America, France, Italy, Argentina, New Zealand, Chile
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20APR)
- Europe Region: Nato-Russia Council in Brussels to discuss Ukrainian crisis and other issues
- United States: Anniversary of Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion – 2010
- United States: Anniversary of shooting at Columbine High School in Denver, Colorado – 1999