- AFRICA: In Burundi, President Pierre Nkurunziza and the opposition agreed to hold talks to end a 10-month-old political crisis, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.
- AMERICAS: Colombia is intensifying efforts to identify some 28,000 victims of the country’s long-running conflict whose bodies were dumped in unmarked graves.
- ASIA: Talks in Kabul between representatives of four countries trying to end Afghanistan’s war with the Taliban are likely to set a date for a face-to-face meeting between the two sides.
- EUROPE: The bosses of more than a third of Britain’s top companies urged voters to keep the country in the EU, warning that a “Brexit” would threaten jobs.
- MIDDLE EAST: Israeli soldiers have been ordered to take their guns with them when off duty to allow them to intervene in the event of Palestinian attack.
- TECHNOLOGY: South Korea and China discussed ways to bolster cooperation on cybercrime, repatriation of fugitives and anti-terrorism.
- Syria: Syrian government & opposition accept truce terms.
- The Syrian government said it accepted a halt to “combat operations” that does not include the Islamic State group, the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, or groups connected to it, in line with a US-Russian plan.
- The Syrian government said the armed forces reserved the right to respond to any attack by opposition groups.
- The High Negotiations Committee, representing opposition groups, wants Assad to halt his military campaign against 18 rebel-held areas as part of its conditional acceptance of the truce.
- The UN has conceded that enforcing the plan on the ground will be challenging.
- Coverage: AFP, AP, BBC, Reuters, USA Today
- Burundi: President Pierre Nkurunziza and the opposition agreed to hold talks to end a 10-month-old political crisis, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said. (AFP)
- Morocco: Spanish and Moroccan police have arrested four suspected members of a jihadi cell that sought to recruit members for the Islamic State group. (AP)
- Nigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari is in Saudi Arabia to meet King Salman, with analysts forecasting his country’s support for an output freeze to stabilize prices. (AFP)
- Nigeria: The country’s anti-graft agency has arrested a former interior minister over the death of at least 20 people in a stampede tragedy two years ago. (AFP)
- Colombia: The nation is intensifying efforts to identify some 28,000 victims of the country’s long-running conflict whose bodies were dumped in unmarked graves. (AP)
- Jamaica: The country opened its 2016 parliamentary elections. (Xinhua)
- United States: The country has made little or no progress in explaining how and why it orders lethal drone strikes, even as American reliance on the unmanned aircraft soars worldwide, a Stimson Center report found. (AFP)
- Region: French President Francois Hollande has acknowledged that three decades of nuclear tests in French Polynesia had “an impact” on health and the environment and promised a review of the victim compensation process. (AFP)
- Afghanistan: Talks in Kabul between representatives of four countries trying to end the country’s war with the Taliban are likely to set a date for a face-to-face meeting between the two sides. (AP)
- Singapore: The country has deported four suspected Indonesian extremists allegedly heading to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group. (AFP)
- South Korea: Amnesty Korea is planning a virtual march – a “ghost protest” – in response to what it called the growing erosion of freedom of assembly and expression in the country. (AFP)
- Region: Germany and France stepped up pressure on Kiev and Moscow to implement a peace deal in Ukraine’s separatist territories, warning the credibility of the agreement itself was at stake. (Reuters)
- Region: Greek police started removing migrants from the Greek-Macedonian border after additional restrictions imposed by Macedonian authorities left hundreds stranded. (Reuters)
- Region: The bosses of more than a third of Britain’s top companies urged voters to keep the country in the EU, warning that a “Brexit” would threaten jobs. (AFP)
- Germany: US intelligence agents allegedly listened in on telephone conversations between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2008, according to the latest revelations by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. (DPA)
- Israel and the Palestinian Territories: The Israeli military demolished the homes of two Palestinians who committed deadly attacks against Israelis. (AP)
- Israel: Israeli soldiers have been ordered to take their guns with them when off duty to allow them to intervene in the event of Palestinian attack. (AFP)
- Syria: An important government supply route to Aleppo was shut for a second day because of an Islamic State attack. (Reuters)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: South Korea and China discussed ways to bolster cooperation on cybercrime, repatriation of fugitives and anti-terrorism. (Yonhap)
- Cyclone: Tropical Cyclone Winston
- Location: 314 NM WSW of Suva, Fiji
- Winds: 97 mph
- Movement: SE at 9
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 23FEB: 6,244 (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: 175
- Deaths as of 23FEB: 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 23FEB: 1638 (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 23FEB: 587 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 23FEB: 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 23FEB: South Africa, China, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
- Deaths as of 23FEB: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (24FEB)
- Democratic Republic of Congo: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo
- Mexico: Flag Day
- Mexico and United States: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Mexico City (to 25FEB)
- United States: Anniversary of final launch of Discovery shuttle – 2011