- AFRICA: France said it was ready to help Libya’s new unity government with maritime security.
- AMERICAS: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos named a new cabinet to strengthen his government as peace talks with Marxist FARC rebels enter their final phase.
- ASIA: France has beaten Japan and Germany to win a USD 40B deal to build a fleet of 12 new submarines for Australia, one of the world’s most lucrative defense contracts.
- EUROPE: The chances of reaching agreement over an ambitious US-EU free trade deal are “fading”, France’s minister of state for foreign trade Matthias Fekl said.
- MIDDLE EAST: Thousands of supporters of powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr answered his call to demonstrate in Baghdad to pressure the Iraqi government to carry out stalled reforms.
- TECHNOLOGY: Some terrorist financiers blacklisted by the US government continue to raise money and attract followers on US-based social media.
- Ukraine: Chernobyl disaster remembered as it continues to pose challenges.
- Ukraine commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident that sent radiation spewing across Europe.
- The meltdown at the plant remains the worst nuclear disaster in history.
- Total Chernobyl casualty figures remain a subject of fierce dispute, due to the deferred health impact of irradiation, as cancer usually sets in slowly.
- The anniversary has garnered extra attention due to the imminent completion of a giant USD 1.7B steel-clad arch that will enclose the stricken reactor site and prevent further leaks for the next 100 years.
- Chernobyl will continue to pose a financial challenge for Ukraine, as international donors say it will be years before the Kiev government can take on the larger share of the burden with battles against Russian-backed separatists and a reeling economy.
- Coverage: BBC, NBC, Reuters, USA Today, WSJ
- Burundi: President Pierre Nkurunziza has condemned the killing of a senior army officer, as nationwide violence continues to grow. (Reuters)
- Gambia: The country’s High Court refused a bail for opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) leader Ousainou Darboe and other party members. (Xinhua)
- Libya: France said it was ready to help the country’s new unity government with maritime security. (AFP)
- Region: Argentine Production Minister Francisco Cabrera said the ongoing political crisis in Brazil has a significant impact on Argentina’s industrial sector. (Xinhua)
- Region: The number of people caught trying to enter the US illegally from Mexico rose in the first months of 2016, compared to the same period last year. (AFP)
- Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos named a new cabinet to strengthen his government as peace talks with Marxist FARC rebels enter their final phase. (Reuters)
- Region: Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled Australia’s detention of asylum seekers at a facility on the Pacific nation’s Manus Island is unconstitutional. (AP)
- Australia: France has beaten Japan and Germany to win a USD 40B deal to build a fleet of 12 new submarines for the country, one of the world’s most lucrative defense contracts. (Reuters)
- Bangladesh: PM Sheikh Hasina has vowed to hunt down and prosecute those who fatally stabbed two men, including a USAID gay rights activist. (AP)
- Korean Peninsula: North Korea has completed preparations for a fifth nuclear test, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said. (AFP)
- Philippines: The Philippine government vowed to bring to justice the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group responsible for the beheading of Canadian John Ridsdel. (Xinhua)
- Region: The chances of reaching agreement over an ambitious US-EU free trade deal are “fading”, France’s minister of state for foreign trade Matthias Fekl said. (AFP)
- Region: The EU’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini said Turkey would only get visa-free travel to the bloc once it has met all the required criteria. (AFP)
- Spain: King Felipe VI is to end two days of talks with political party leaders in a last-ditch bid to snap a four-month deadlock in finding a candidate capable of forming a government. (AP)
- Sweden: Swedish security services say it is “working to assess information” after Iraqi authorities reported a group of men said to be planning a terror attack in Stockholm. (AP)
- Region: Turkey has struck a deal with the US to deploy American light multiple rocket launchers on its border with Syria to combat the ISIS group. (AFP)
- Iraq: Thousands of supporters of powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr answered his call to demonstrate in Baghdad to pressure the Iraqi government to carry out stalled reforms. (AFP)
- Syria: Fighting in the northern city of Aleppo has killed at least 30 people in the past 24 hours including at least eight children. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Communications: Some terrorist financiers blacklisted by the US government continue to raise money and attract followers on US-based social media. (WSJ)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 22APR: 51,783 (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: 2,475
- 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 22APR: 1,724 (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 22APR: 623 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 21APR: 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, Haití, 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, and Tonga.
- Outbreak Terminated as of 21APR: 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, and Isla de Pascua (Chile).
- Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 21APR: United States of America, Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, and Portugal.
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (27APR)
- China: Foreign ministers of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) member states to meet in Beijing (to 28APR)
- Germany: Ground personnel strikes at airports to halt air travel
- Kyrgyzstan: Parliament to make second attempt to elect speaker
- Russia: Defense Ministry to organize 5th Moscow int’l security conference (to 28APR)
- Sierra Leone: Independence Day – 1961
- South Africa: Freedom Day – 1994
- Togo: Independence Day – 1960
- Yemen: Anniversary of outbreak of civil war – 1994