- AFRICA: In Egypt, protesters gathered in Tahrir Square to demand the military council hand over power to civilians.
- AMERICAS: In Colombia, President Santos announced the resignation of the head of the national police.
- ASIA: In Afghanistan, a US helicopter crashed with four people believed to be on board.
- EUROPE: US Secretary Clinton said Turkey is considering invoking the NATO alliance’s mutual defense treaty over Syrian shelling.
- MIDDLE EAST: In Iraq, al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks that struck 10 cities.
- TECHNOLOGY: A survey released from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth says companies are shifting away from maintaining blogs and towards other social media platforms.
- Syria: Increased violence amid calls for intervention
- The government reinforced posts on the borders of Homs.
- The UN aims to have 30 cease-fire monitors in Syria next week and up to 300 overall.
- The proposed plan will include deployment in 10 locations throughout Syria.
- French FM Juppe warned if Annan’s peace plan “doesn’t function, we have to envisage other methods.”
- Coverage: DPA, Xinhua, AP, Reuters, AP-2
- Region: Uganda’s military said it would intervene if fighting between Sudan and South Sudan escalated to full-scale war. (Xinhua)
- Egypt: Thousands of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square to demand the military council hand over power to civilians. (AP)
- Mali: Ex-president Toure left the capital for Senegal. (AP)
- Somalia: AU troops in Somalia took control of al Shebab insurgent bases near Mogadishu. (AFP)
- Sudan: Rebels in the Blue Nile state said they killed 79 government troops and militiamen in two ambushes on Tuesday and Wednesday. (AFP)
- Region: Two men from China held at Guantanamo Bay were released in El Salvador. (AP)
- Colombia: President Santos announced the resignation of the head of the national police. (AP)
- Mexico: Members of an indigenous community released 14 police and a local official seized to protest weak security. (AFP)
- United States: Airborne troops from Russia and the US will hold joint anti-terror drills between 24MAY and 31MAY in Colorado. (Xinhua)
- United States: The Secret Service’s investigation into alleged misconduct expanded to determine involvement beyond the current 11 individuals. (NYT)
- Region: The Philippines accused China of escalating the ten-day standoff by sending a third patrol vessel. (AP)
- Afghanistan: A US helicopter crashed with four people believed to be on board. (Reuters)
- Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi and other party members plan to boycott parliament next week over the constitutional oath. (AFP)
- Philippines: A fisherman died when his boat collided with a US Special Forces vessel on a mission to contain Islamic extremists. (AFP)
- Thailand: Security forces killed five suspected insurgents including a most-wanted leader during a shootout in Yala province. (AFP)
- Region: The Ukraine and the EU will negotiate issues on Schengen visas on 15MAY. (Interfax)
- Turkey: US Secretary Clinton said Turkey is considering invoking the NATO alliance’s mutual defense treaty over Syrian shelling along its border. (AFP)
Turkey: FM Davutoglu urged the leader of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region for tougher action against the PKK insurgency in the southeast of Turkey. (AFP)
- United Kingdom: British police arrested three men on suspicion of possessing documents intended for “terrorist purposes” overseas. (AFP)
- Region: A defense official says rockets fired from Egypt toward Israel earlier this month were smuggled from Libya. (AP)
- Region: Iran wrote to the UN reasserting its claim to sovereignty over three Gulf islands amid counterclaims by the UAE. (AFP)
- Iraq: Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks yesterday that struck 10 cities across Iraq, killing at least 30 and wounding 117. (AP)
- Yemen: Clashes between al Qaeda militants and the army, on the outskirts of Zinjibar in Yemen’s restive south, left 20 people dead. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Social media: A survey released from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth says companies are shifting away from maintaining blogs and towards other social media platforms.(USA Today)
- Cyclones: Nothing to report.
- Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
- Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
- Volcanoes: Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico
- Super-heated rock fragments ejected. (AP)
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (21APR)
- Colombia: Shared Responsibility Campaign launched – 2006.
- France: First round of presidential elections.