- AFRICA: Guinea Bisssau’s former head of military intelligence was killed.
- AMERICAS: Colombia rejected a FARC condition for the release of hostages.
- ASIA: Japanese DM Tanaka said he is considering ordering the SDF to destroy the DPRK’s rocket-mounted satellite should it pass over Japan.
- EUROPE: French Interior Minister Gueant ordered tightened security around all Jewish schools after an attack in Toulouse that left four dead.
- MIDDLE EAST: Technical experts from the UN and OIC are in Syria on a mission to assess the humanitarian impact of its year-long conflict.
- TECHNOLOGY: The Pentagon is accelerating efforts to develop a new generation of cyber weapons
- Syria: Clashes renewed in Damascus and Homs
- Heavy firefights occurred between FSA rebels and security forces in Damascus.
- State television reported three “terrorists” and one security force member killed.
- Activists reported 50 security force members dead.
- Fourteen people were killed in central Homs, with the government blaming ‘terrorists’.
- Coverage: AFP, Xinhua, Reuters, AP, DPA
- Guinea Bissau: The former head of military intelligence was killed near his residence in Bissau. (Reuters)
- Libya: Amnesty International reported NATO failed to properly investigate or provide compensation for civilian deaths caused by its air strikes during operations in Libya. (Reuters)
- Somalia: Mortar shells killed six civilians in a camp for displaced people near the presidential palace in Mogadishu. (AFP)
- Sudan: The army accused rebels in South Kordofan of planning a wide-range attack backed by South Sudan. (Xinhua)
- Colombia: President Santos rejected a FARC demand that peace activists be allowed to visit imprisoned guerrillas as a condition for the release of hostages. (AFP)
- Mexico: Police found the severed heads of ten people killed in a suspected outbreak of drug gang violence. (Reuters)
- Mexico: Banners in Guanajuato purportedly signed by drug cartel The Knights Templar promised there will be no violence during the state by Pope Benedict XVI. (AP)
- Region: Japanese DM Tanaka said he is considering ordering the SDF to destroy the DPRK’s rocket-mounted satellite should it pass over Japan. (Kyodo)
- Maldives: Police used tear gas to disrupt demonstrators preventing the new president from opening Parliament. (AP)
- Indonesia: Counter-terrorism police killed five men suspected of planning a series of attacks on Bali. (Reuters)
- East Timor: A second round of presidential elections are expected be held on 16APR. (AFP)
- France: Interior Minister Gueant ordered tightened security around all French Jewish schools after an attack in Toulouse that left four dead. (AFP)
- Germany: Public-service workers began strikes in a dispute over wages. (AP)
- Germany: Activist Gauck was elected German president with 991 of 1,232 votes from a special assembly of MPs. (AP)
- Region: Turkey reported two Syrian generals crossed into Turkey to support rebel forces, bringing the total to nine. (AFP)
- Syria: Technical experts from the UN and OIC are in Syria on a mission to assess the humanitarian impact of its year-long conflict. (AFP)
- Syria: The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported Syria imported six times more weapons in 2007-2011 than in the previous five-year period. (AP)
- Yemen: Authorities tightened security around Taez, a day after an American was killed in an attack claimed by Al Qaeda. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Cybersecurity: The Pentagon is accelerating efforts to develop a new generation of cyber weapons capable of disrupting enemy military networks, even when those networks are not connected to the Internet. (Washington Post)
- Cyclones: Nothing to report.
- Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
- Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
- Volcanoes: Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy
- Eruptions occurred as well as a seven-kilometer-high plume of ash.
- Lava flowed into the uninhabited valley of Valle del Bove.
- Coverage: Telegraph
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (20MAR)
- Iraq: Anniversary of the start of the US invasion of Iraq – 2003.
- Japan: Kuwaiti ruler al Sabah visits Japan.
- Myanmar: Anniversary of the dissolution of the military junta – 2011.
- Pakistan: The Supreme Court hears the “Balochistan law & order situation suo moto” case.