AFRICA: Militants attacked an Egyptian army checkpoint in the northern Sinai near Rafah killing an officer.
AMERICAS: The Venezuelan legislature passed the first of two votes that would allow President Maduro to act against “external or internal” threats to peace as he seeks special decree powers amid US sanctions.
ASIA: A Pakistani paramilitary force raided the headquarters of major political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Karachi, recovering weapons and arresting suspects wanted for several crimes.
EUROPE: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that ISIS militants launched a major offensive to try to capture the strategic town of Ras al-Ain on the Syrian-Turkish border, sparking fierce clashes with Kurdish militia.
MIDDLE EAST: In Iraq, ISIS militants launched a coordinated attack of seven near simultaneous suicide car bombings on government-held areas of city of Ramadi, killing at least ten people and wounding 30.
TECHNOLOGY: A group of Mexican media outlets and civil society groups launched MexicoLeaks, a digital platform to receive information leaks that could lead to corruption investigations.
Russia: Tensions increase with Europe over support for Ukraine rebels, NATO exercises.
A Russian Foreign Ministry official said the country is ready to hold talks on a new agreement to control conventional arms in Europe, after Russia announced the end of its participation in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
NATO SG Stoltenberg said that Russia was continuing to arm and train rebel forces in eastern Ukraine and called on Moscow to respect the ceasefire.
A NATO naval exercise was under way in the Black Sea involving seven members of the alliance including Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.
Russian media reported that Russia began military exercises with the use of aviation and anti-aircraft systems in its southern Stavropol region.
A Ukrainian military spokesman reported that one soldier was killed and four wounded in fighting in separatist eastern territories in the past 24 hours despite a ceasefire deal.
Egypt: Militants attacked an army checkpoint in the northern Sinai near Rafah killing an officer. (AP)
Egypt: Egypt hosts a foreign investor conference Friday it hopes will jump-start its battered economy while showcasing international support for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he battles increasingly radical Islamist opponents. (AFP)
Zimbabwe: Police said they were investigating the abduction of an anti-government activist, which the opposition attributes to state security agents. (DPA)
Brazil: A former Petrobras executive told a congressional hearing that the governing Workers’ Party of President Rousseff received up to USD200 million skimmed from contracts with the state-owned oil company. (BBC)
Colombia: President Santos said the military will stop air raids on FARC rebels for a month. (AFP)
Peru: The government of President Humala said it might back a bill that would lift a 14-year-old ban on shooting down aircraft suspected of carrying drugs. (Reuters)
United States: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is to hear from Secretary Kerry, Defense Secretary Carter and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff GEN Dempsey. (AP)
Venezuela: The legislature passed the first of two votes that would allow President Maduro to act against “external or internal” threats to peace as he seeks special decree powers amid US sanctions. (AFP)
Indonesia: Security Minister Purdijatno said the country could unleash a “human tsunami” of asylum-seekers on Australia in retaliation if Canberra keeps pressing for clemency for two Australian drug smugglers on death row. (AFP)
Kazakhstan: President Nazarbayev confirmed his candidacy for snap April 26 presidential elections that he is expected to win by a landslide. (AFP)
Korea, North: A US think-tank reported that recent satellite imagery shows no sign of the country preparing an imminent nuclear test, despite a rise in military tensions on the Korean peninsula. (AFP)
Pakistan: A Pakistani paramilitary force raided the headquarters of major political party MQM in the country’s biggest city, officials said, recovering weapons and arresting suspects wanted for several crimes, including the murder of a journalist. (Reuters)
Philippines: The military reported that twenty-five people, including two soldiers and 23 militants, were killed in the series of firefights in Maguindanao. (Xinhua)
Belarus: US said it will lift sanctions on the country’s energy company Belorusneft, underscoring a thaw in relations in the wake of Minsk’s key role in negotiations over Ukraine. (AP)
Greece: The government and the country’s creditors are expected to launch a new round of negotiations on reforms that the country will have to implement in return for further bailout aid. (DPA)
Russia: A member of the Kremlin’s rights council said that the former Chechen police officer who admitted to taking part in the murder of opposition activist Boris Nemtsov “likely confessed under torture”. (AFP)
Spain: The central bank took over a unit of Banco de Madrid SA following accusations by the US that its owner was involved in laundering money for criminal groups from China, Russia and Venezuela. (AP)
Iraq: ISIS militants launched a coordinated attack of seven near simultaneous suicide car bombings on government-held areas of city of Ramadi, killing at least ten people and wounding 30. (AFP)
Saudi Arabia: The Gulf Center for Human Rights reported that a founding member of one of the independent human rights groups in the country was sentenced to 10 years in prison. (AFP)
Syria: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that ISIS militants launched a major offensive to try to capture the strategic town of Ras al-Ain on the Syrian-Turkish border. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Communications: A group of Mexican media outlets and civil society groups launched MexicoLeaks, a digital platform to receive information leaks that could lead to corruption investigations. (AP)
Suspected Cases as of 09MAR: 1,231,077 (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, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.) Confirmed Cases: 25,353
Deaths as of 09MAR: 183 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
Cases as of 09MAR: 1041 (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, and the US)
Deaths as of 09MAR: 383 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)