- AFRICA: Communications lines were cut for a second day amid fears of post-election trouble as Congo waited to see if President Denis Sassou Nguesso will keep his grip on power.
- AMERICAS: US President Barack Obama is to address the Cuban people live on television before meeting with dissidents in a challenge to the communist regime on the final day of his historic visit.
- ASIA: Aung San Suu Kyi was nominated as a cabinet minister in Myanmar’s civilian government, giving the democracy champion a formal position despite being blocked from the presidency.
- EUROPE: A Russian court was due to deliver its verdict for the second straight day in the trial of Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.
- MIDDLE EAST: Amnesty urged Washington and London to halt arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia, which is leading a military coalition against rebels in Yemen.
- TECHNOLOGY: The US Justice Department said it might no longer need Apple’s assistance in opening an iPhone used by a gunman in the San Bernardino, Calif., rampage last year.
- Belgium: A series of explosions kills several; capital on lock-down.
- More than a dozen people were killed and many others injured after apparently coordinated explosions rocked Brussels’ airport and a metro station.
- The terror threat level in Belgium has been raised to four, its highest level.
- The attacks put the Belgian capital in a virtual state of lockdown with all fights canceled and all subway, tram and bus travel shut down.
- The attacks come four days after Salah Abdeslam, the main fugitive in the Paris attacks, was seized in Brussels.
- The rapidly unfolding crisis caused cellphone networks in Brussels to jam, with officials urging people to use WhatsApp or Twitter because the networks were becoming saturated.
- Coverage: BBC, CNN, NBC, NYT, WP
- Congo: Communications lines were cut for a second day amid fears of post-election trouble as the country waited to see if President Denis Sassou Nguesso will keep his grip on power. (AFP)
- Democratic Republic of the Congo: A special military unit launched operations to track down the Mai Mai Nyatura militia. (Xinhua)
- Guinea Bissau: Prosecutor Antonio Sedja Man said there is a “strong” possibility the country’s youths are being recruited to join terrorist groups. (Xinhua)
- Mali: One terrorist was killed and two suspects arrested by Malian police who intervened after a terrorist attack against a hotel in Bamako. (Xinhua)
- Region: US President Barack Obama is to address the Cuban people live on television before meeting with dissidents in a challenge to the communist regime on the final day of his historic visit. (AFP)
- Brazil: The opposition demands to extend the allegations against President Dilma Rousseff about fiscal maneuvers in connection with the corruption in the Petrobras case. (EFE)
- Colombia: US Secretary of State John Kerry met with the country’s representatives and the Marxist FARC rebels, urging them to “redouble” efforts for peace deal. (AFP)
- Region: Taiwan said it was investigating allegations an Indonesian ship pursued and shot at two Taiwanese fishing boats in the Malacca Strait. (AFP)
- Region: Japan’s Defense Ministry announced its ground-based missile interception system would be permanently deployed, following North Korea’s increasingly frequent launches of ballistic missiles. (Xinhua)
- Afghanistan: The new commander of US and NATO forces US Army Gen. John Nicholson apologized to the people of Kunduz for the deadly attack on a hospital last year that killed 42 people. (ABC)
- Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi was nominated as a cabinet minister in the country’s civilian government, giving the democracy champion a formal position despite being blocked from the presidency. (AFP)
- South Korea: The country’s disease control agency said it will take comprehensive measures to prevent the spread of the Zika virus after the first case of the mosquito-borne virus was detected. (Xinhua)
- Armenia: Armenian armed forces acquired “qualitatively new weapons” late last year, President Serzh Sarkisian said as he met with the top military brass in Yerevan. (RFE/RL)
- Russia: A Russian court was due to deliver its verdict for the second straight day in the trial of Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko. (AFP)
- France: FM Jean-Marc Ayrault will meet with South Korean FM Yun Byung-se for their first “strategic dialogue” to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues. (Yonhap)
- Region: Amnesty urged Washington and London to halt arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia, which is leading a military coalition against rebels in Yemen. (AFP)
- Iran: Three persons have been charged with engaging in hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions on behalf of the country and Iranian entities in violation of US sanctions. (AFP)
- Iraq: A British suicide bomber carried out an attack on government forces, the so-called Islamic State group has claimed. (BBC)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: The US Justice Department said it might no longer need Apple’s assistance in opening an iPhone used by a gunman in the San Bernardino, Calif., rampage last year. (NYT)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 15S (Emeraude)
- Location: 853 NM ESE of Diego Garcia
- Winds: 40 mph
- Movement: SW at 6 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Suspected Cases as of 22MAR: 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 22MAR: 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 22MAR: 1694 (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 22MAR: 605 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 21MAR: 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 22MAR: South Africa, China, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
- Deaths as of 22MAR: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (23MAR)
- Pakistan: Pakistan Day – 1956
- United States and Russia: US Secretary of State John Kerry to visit Russia (to 24MAR)