AFRICA: ISIS militants in Libya released two Bangladeshi citizens who were among a group of foreign workers taken hostage in an attack on an oilfield.
AMERICAS: The EU’s foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini met with Cuban President Raul Castro in a bid to accelerate talks aimed at normalizing ties.
ASIA: Thai Junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha warned detractors that he would hold onto power indefinitely if they continued to oppose his plans for the kingdom.
EUROPE: In France, rescuers resumed the search for the remains of the 150 people killed when a Germanwings Airbus crashed into the side of a mountain in the Alps.
MIDDLE EAST: US officials said the US is considering launching air strikes to support Iraqi and Shiite forces battling to recapture Tikrit.
TECHNOLOGY: The top technology firms and a coalition of privacy groups in the US are urging Congress to place curbs on government surveillance ahead of a fast-approaching deadline for legislative action.
Yemen: Rebels advance on Aden, seize air base.
Houthi militants captured the Al Anad air base a day after having moved hundreds of their forces into the southern al-Dali and Lahij provinces.
US Special Forces had been stationed at Al Anad as part of counterterrorism operations carried out in cooperation with President Hadi until their evacuation last week.
Officials reported that President Hadi fled his Aden home for an undisclosed location following the rebel advance.
President Hadi asked the UNSC the previous day to authorize a military intervention in support of his government to oust the Houthi Shiite rebels.
Army officers loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh expressed “utter rejection” of any foreign intervention to end the country’s conflict.
Burkina Faso: Authorities began an investigation into the 1987 assassination of former president Thomas Sankara. (AFP)
Libya: ISIS militants released two Bangladeshi citizens who were among a group of foreign workers taken hostage in an attack on an oilfield. (Reuters)
Libya: An ISIS affiliate group in the country claimed responsibility for a series of car bombings that killed 12 people in Benghazi. (AP)
Region: Russian FM Lavrov praised the thaw in US-Cuban relations in Havana during the opening of a Latin American tour that will also take him to Colombia, Nicaragua and Guatemala. (Reuters)
Brazil: The government said that US VP Biden invited President Rousseff to visit the US, seeking to restore ties damaged by revelations of spying against her and her country. (AFP)
Colombia: Police captured five members of a criminal organization that placed and detonated explosives in recent weeks in Bogota on behalf of the ELN. (EFE)
Cuba: The EU’s foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini met with President Raul Castro in a bid to accelerate talks aimed at normalizing ties. (AP)
United States: The IMF is discussing potentially reducing the country’s voting power by nearly in half. (AFP)
Region: Intelligence officials said that a US drone strike killed 11 Pakistani Taliban militants in northeastern Afghanistan, including six or seven senior commanders. (Reuters)
Australia: PM Abbott said that the country will join a China-backed infrastructure bank if conditions such as multilateral and transparent governance are met. (BBC)
China: Hong Kong’s chief executive Leung Chun-ying warned activists that the public would “not be sympathetic” to more pro-democracy protests as the city prepares for the next phase of controversial political reforms. (AFP)
Indonesia: Police said that militants believed to have returned from fighting with ISIS in Syria are suspected of being behind an attempted chlorine bomb attack in a shopping mall last month. (AFP)
Thailand: Junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha warned detractors that he would hold onto power indefinitely if they continued to oppose his plans for the kingdom. (AFP)
France: Rescuers resumed the search for the remains of the 150 people killed when a Germanwings Airbus crashed into the side of a mountain in the Alps. (AFP)
Russia: President Putin fired the governor of Sakhalin, Alexander Khoroshavin, who has been arrested on charges of corruption. (AP)
Ukraine: President Poroshenko fired billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky as governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region after a raid by armed men on the Kiev offices of a state oil firm. (Reuters)
Iran: France warned that “insufficient” progress has been made toward a nuclear deal between the country and six world powers with specific disparities over research and development and the issue of sanctions. (Reuters)
Iraq: The Oil Ministry said crude exports averaged 2.596 million barrels a day in February, far from levels planned to provide funding for ongoing military operations against Islamic State extremists. (AP)
Iraq: US officials said the US is considering launching air strikes to support government and Shiite forces battling to recapture Tikrit. (AFP)
Israel: President Rivlin’s office said he will seek the formation of a new government “as soon as possible.” (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Cybersecurity: The top technology firms and a coalition of privacy groups in the US are urging Congress to place curbs on government surveillance ahead of a fast-approaching deadline for legislative action. (WP)
Cyclones: Nothing to report.
Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
Global Disease Outbreaks:
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
Cases: 24,701 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States)
Deaths: 10,194 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
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 20MAR: 1075 (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 20MAR: 404 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)