AFRICA: Authorities in Mali have arrested two men believed to be linked to an al Qaeda attack on a beach resort town in neighboring Ivory Coast that killed 19 people earlier this month.
AMERICAS: Israel reassigned its pick for ambassador to Brazil to a US posting, backing off in a spat with Brasilia over the nominee’s links to Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
ASIA: An Afghan official says overnight attacks by the Taliban on two police checkpoints in the volatile south killed at least eight policemen.
EUROPE: Brussels prosecutors said they had charged three more people with participating in a terrorist group and released a fourth person they had detained for questioning.
MIDDLE EAST: Shiite rebels who control the Yemeni capital Sanaa have released nine Saudis in exchange for 109 Yemenis captured in fighting near the border.
TECHNOLOGY: Facebook has apologized for sending texts to people across the world asking if they were “affected by the explosion” in Pakistan.
Pakistan: Hunt begins for Taliban militants responsible for attack on Christians.
Pakistani authorities are hunting for breakaway Taliban militants who once declared loyalty to Islamic State after the group claimed responsibility for an Easter suicide bomb that killed at least 70 people.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway faction of the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the explosion in Lahore.
The attack intentionally targeted Christians, the perpetrators say.
Many believe there may be a wider context to the latest attack as 27MAR was the deadline set by an alliance of more than 30 religious groups for the provincial government of Punjab to withdraw a new women’s rights law they oppose.
It was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since the December 2014 massacre of 134 school children at a military-run academy in the city of Peshawar that prompted a major government crackdown on Islamist militancy.
Region: Authorities in Mali have arrested two men believed to be linked to an al Qaeda attack on a beach resort town in neighboring Ivory Coast that killed 19 people earlier this month. (Reuters)
Algeria: At least 12 soldiers were killed when a military helicopter crashed in the south of the country, the Defense Ministry said. (Reuters)
Somalia: At least 115 Al-Shabaab militants have been killed and 110 others arrested in four days of heavy fighting with security forces in the country’s central region. (Xinhua)
Region: Israel reassigned its pick for ambassador to Brazil to a US posting, backing off in a spat with Brasilia over the nominee’s links to Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. (Reuters)
Mexico: Authorities have captured Juan Manuel Alvarez Inzunza, the chief financial operator behind drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s empire. (AFP)
Mexico: More than 100 South Korean business executives plan to travel to the country this week along with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, in an effort to forge new business opportunities. (Yonhap)
Afghanistan: A government official says overnight attacks by the Taliban on two police checkpoints in the volatile south killed at least eight policemen. (AP)
Bangladesh: The country’s high court rejected a petition by secular activists to scrap Islam’s status as the state religion. (AFP)
China: Chinese authorities have detained the relatives of several dissidents living abroad, as part of a widening crackdown following the publication of a letter critical of President Xi Jinping. (AFP)
Korean Peninsula: South Korea is building up a comprehensive counter-artillery system to guard against growing threats posed by North Korea’s multiple rocket launchers, the South Korean Defense Ministry said. (Yonhap)
Belgium: Brussels prosecutors said they had charged three more people with participating in a terrorist group and released a fourth person they had detained for questioning. (Reuters)
Turkey: Three soldiers were wounded in a bomb attack by militants of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) in the country’s southeast. (Xinhua)
Turkey: Israel urged its citizens in the country to leave “as soon as possible” in an upgraded travel advisory predicting possible terror attacks. (Reuters)
Region: Shiite rebels who control the Yemeni capital Sanaa have released nine Saudis in exchange for 109 Yemenis captured in fighting near the border. (AFP)
Iraq: The parliament gave PM Haider al-Abadi until Thursday to present a new cabinet lineup aimed at fighting graft. (Reuters)
Kuwait: The country is to deport 60 Lebanese for alleged links to Hezbollah in the latest Gulf Arab move against the Shiite militant group. (AFP)
Syria: Substantive talks on Syrian reconciliation in Geneva have made some progress and should be sustained, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. (Xinhua)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Technology: Facebook has apologized for sending texts to people across the world asking if they were “affected by the explosion” in Pakistan. (Independent)
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 (01JAN16-18MAR16: 2 (Ecuador)
Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 82 (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, French Guiana, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador)
Cases as of 23MAR: 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 23MAR: 609 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
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