AFRICA: The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda said the UN Security Council’s call for the country to hold a presidential election this year would “sow the seeds of future violence”.
AMERICAS: The leader of Colombia’s FARC rebels rejected President Juan Manuel Santos’s demand to set a date to disarm.
ASIA: Secretary Carter said the proposed placement of a US missile defense system in South Korea is “going to happen” despite Chinese opposition.
EUROPE: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said the Russia-NATO Council will hold a session in the next two weeks.
MIDDLE EAST: According to two US officials, the Syrian government freed an American freelance photographer who was abducted after traveling to the country in 2012.
TECHNOLOGY: Security researchers and civil liberties advocates condemned draft legislation leaked from the US Senate that would let judges order technology companies to assist law enforcement agencies in breaking into encrypted data.
North Korea: Pyongyang said it successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile engine.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) claimed it successfully conducted a ground test of an engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile, which it said would enable it to strike the mainland US with a nuclear warhead.
The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, witnessed the engine test.
The report said it was conducted at the Sohae Space Center near the country’s western border with China, the site from which the North launched a long-range rocket on 06FEB16.
Algeria: The country refused visas to journalists from a French newspaper and TV news show amid a row over what Algiers says is a “hostile campaign” by French media following the Panama Papers leak. (AFP)
DR Congo: Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda said the UN Security Council’s call for the country to hold a presidential election this year would “sow the seeds of future violence”. (Reuters)
Djibouti: President Ismail Omar Guelleh, in power since 1999, claimed victory following a landslide win in an election boycotted by some opposition parties in this strategic African nation. (AFP)
Nigeria: An army spokesman said troops thwarted an attempt by four suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers to attack the northeastern city of Maiduguri, hotbed of the Islamist group. (AFP)
Colombia: The leader of the FARC rebels rejected President Juan Manuel Santos’s demand to set a date to disarm. (AFP)
Mexico: Federal police seized Marco Antonio Haro Rodriguez, one of the leaders of the infamous Gulf Cartel in the northern state of Tamaulipas. (Xinhua)
Venezuela: President of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Tibisay Lucena stated that the opposition’s attempt to hold a referendum seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro did not meet the necessary requirements of the electoral law. (Xinhua)
Region: Secretary Carter said the proposed placement of a US missile defense system in South Korea is “going to happen” despite Chinese opposition. (Reuters)
Region: China’s air force on Saturday began joint training exercises with that of Pakistan, China’s defense ministry said, as the two nations’ militaries strengthen operational ties. (Reuters)
Afghanistan: The State Department said Secretary Kerry made an unannounced visit to the country and planned to stress US support for the national unity government led by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. (WSJ)
Myanmar: For her first official act as the country’s new de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi freed more than 100 political prisoners. (AP)
Taiwan: President Ma Ying-jeou is visiting a small island in the East China Sea to reassert the partially recognized state’s sovereignty and its role in the contested region, one of the key issues of his administration that ends next month. (AP)
Region: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said the Russia-NATO Council will hold a session in the next two weeks. (Reuters)
Region: Belgian authorities arrested a sixth man, in addition to five men seized as part of investigations into terrorist attacks on Paris and Brussels. (DPA)
Iceland: The country’s center-right government survived a no-confidence vote, the day after the prime minister resigned in the wake of a major data leak that sparked widespread condemnation of his financial dealings.(AFP)
Turkey: According to local media, the country’s election authority denied that a massive data leak which saw the personal information of 50 million citizens posted online came from its system. (AFP)
Region: The sultanate’s foreign ministry said Omani armed forces evacuated an American from Yemen’s rebel-held capital following a request for assistance from the United States. (AFP)
Region: Secretary Kerry vowed to increase pressure on the Islamic State jihadist group as he visited Baghdad to show support for Iraq’s crisis-hit government. (AFP)
Syria: According to two US officials, the government freed an American freelance photographer who was abducted after traveling to the country in 2012. (Washington Post)
Syria: A monitor said Syrian mediators reached an agreement for the release of some 300 cement workers kidnapped by the Islamic State jihadist group, but it was unclear exactly how many were freed. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Information Security: Security researchers and civil liberties advocates condemned draft legislation leaked from the US Senate that would let judges order technology companies to assist law enforcement agencies in breaking into encrypted data. (Reuters)
Cyclones: Nothing to Report
Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
Global Disease Outbreaks:
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
Cases as of 30MAR: 28,646 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
Deaths as of 30MAR: 11,323 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
Suspected Cases as of 08APR: 39,090 (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: 1,959
Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 82 (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, French Guiana, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador)
Cases as of 09APR: 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 09APR: 609 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 09APR: 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 09APR: Micronesia, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia
Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 09APR: United States of America, France, Italy, Argentina, New Zealand