- AFRICA: West Africa’s Ebola outbreak no longer constitutes a threat to international public health, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
- AMERICAS: Venezuela’s opposition-led legislature approved an amnesty bill for political prisoners, setting up an epic political clash with embattled President Nicolas Maduro, who opposes the move.
- ASIA: A senior official of the US Defense Department said Japan is in talks with the Philippines about participating in joint drills with the United States on a regular basis.
- EUROPE: The Pentagon has drawn up plans to position American troops full time along NATO’s eastern borders to deter Russian aggression, in the first such deployment since the end of the Cold War.
- MIDDLE EAST: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said missiles, not negotiation were key to the Islamic Republic’s future.
- TECHNOLOGY: The FBI’s discovery of a way to hack into the phone of one of the San Bernardino killers may not be the master key to unlock iPhones in hundreds of more ordinary criminal cases.
- Myanmar: First civilian president sworn in for first time in over 50 years.
- Myanmar’s new president, Htin Kyaw, has been sworn in, the first elected civilian leader in more than 50 years.
- Htin Kyaw, a close friend and confidant of Aung San Suu Kyi, was hand-picked by her to run the government because a constitution drafted by the former junta bars the democracy champion from the top office.
- His short speech didn’t explicitly say how he would change the constitution, but it was a clear reference to what the new ruling party has sought for months: to allow Aung San Suu Kyi to be president instead.
- Also under the constitution, the army retains 25% of seats in parliament, giving it an effective veto on constitutional change.
- Coverage: BBC, Guardian, Reuters, USA Today, WSJ
- Region: West Africa’s Ebola outbreak no longer constitutes a threat to international public health, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. (Reuters)
- Tanznia: A US aid agency has cancelled nearly USD 500M of funding for the country after disputed elections in the Zanzibar archipelago. (Reuters)
- Zambia: Eighteen political leaders in the country have agreed on modalities aimed at ending political violence ahead of general elections later this year. (Xinhua)
- Region: Venezuela is set to promote consensus among South American countries when it assumes the rotating presidencies of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) on 17APR, and the Mercosur (Southern Common Market) in July. (Xinhua)
- Colombia: Prosecutors will charge two army generals for their alleged role in the murders of civilians who were later presented as rebels killed in combat. (AFP)
- Venezuela: The opposition-led legislature approved an amnesty bill for political prisoners, setting up an epic political clash with embattled President Nicolas Maduro, who opposes the move. (AFP)
- Region: A senior official of the US Defense Department said Japan is in talks with the Philippines about participating in joint drills with the United States on a regular basis. (Kyodo)
- Region: Young Hong Kongers who set up a party calling for independence from the mainland were labelled “political hooligans” by Chinese media, which questioned the legality of their ideas. (AFP)
- The Philippines: The country may invest in its first-ever submarine fleet to help protect its territory in the disputed South China Sea, President Benigno Aquino said. (AFP)
- Vietnam: A court has sentenced three women who held up the flags of the defeated US-backed South Vietnam to up to four years in prison on charges of spreading anti-state propaganda. (AP)
- Region: The Pentagon has drawn up plans to position American troops full time along NATO’s eastern borders to deter Russian aggression, in the first such deployment since the end of the Cold War. (WSJ)
- Region: The EU backs the European diplomats who attended a controversial trial of two Turkish journalists charged with espionage after their appearance was bitterly attacked by Ankara. (AFP)
- France: Police have evacuated a few hundred migrants from a makeshift camp near a subway station in northeastern Paris for relocation. (AP)
- Netherlands: Dutch special police carried out a fresh raid overnight in Rotterdam but no arrests were made. (AFP)
- Iran: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said missiles, not negotiation were key to the Islamic Republic’s future. (Reuters)
- Syria: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all countries to accept nearly half a million Syrian refugees for resettlement over the next three years. (Reuters)
- Yemen: Loyalist forces pushed Al-Qaeda out of parts of Aden in a new drive against the militants, military sources said. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: The FBI’s discovery of a way to hack into the phone of one of the San Bernardino killers may not be the master key to unlock iPhones in hundreds of more ordinary criminal cases. (AP)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 17S
- Location: 941 NM SSE of Diego Garcia
- Winds: 46 mph
- Movement: SE at 24 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Sakurajima, Japan
- Ash eruption 3.6 kilometers in the air. (Volcano Discovery)
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 18MAR: 31,005 (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: 1,487
- 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 29MAR: 1698 (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 29MAR: 609 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 24MAR: Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Aruba, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Dominica, United States Virgin Islands, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, Bonaire, Curacao, Suriname, French Guiana, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Gabon, Maldives, Bangladesh, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, American Samoa
- Outbreak Terminated as of 24MAR: Micronesia, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia
- Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 24MAR: United States of America, France, Italy, Argentina, New Zealand
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (31MAR)
- Global: Nuclear Security Summit (to 01APR)
- Africa Region: The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union (AU) will hold an Africa Development Week in Addis Ababa (to 05APR)
- Asia Region: The leaders of Japan, the United States and South Korea plan to meet in Washington to bolster trilateral security cooperation in the face of North Korea’s nuclear and missile development ambitions
- Sudan: Darfur referendum