AFRICA: The EU plans to cut back its funding for Burundi’s lucrative peacekeeping contingent in Somalia to try to force President Pierre Nkurunziza into talks with opponents and away from the brink of ethnic conflict.
AMERICAS: Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos told the FARC rebels to set a date to disarm, after a self-imposed 23MAR deadline to sign a peace deal passed unmet.
ASIA: Indonesia’s foreign affairs ministry said the government is putting up efforts to rescue 10 Indonesian crewmen who were kidnapped on Saturday by terrorist group Abu Sayyaf off southern Philippines waters.
EUROPE: Turkey summoned Germany’s ambassador to protest a two-minute song lampooning President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was broadcast on German television.
MIDDLE EAST: In Iraq, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt in central Baghdad, killing at least three people.
TECHNOLOGY: The US Justice Department withdrew its legal action against Apple after cracking the security function without erasing contents of the iPhone used by Syed Farook, who carried out the December mass shooting in San Bernardino.
Cyprus: Egyptian airliner hijacking not related to terrorism.
An Egyptian commercial airliner carrying dozens of passengers and several crewmembers was hijacked by a passenger who threatened he had an explosive belt and forced to land in Cyprus.
The domestic EgyptAir plane was hijacked while flying from the coastal city of Alexandria to Cairo with 81 passengers aboard.
The EgyptAir Flight 181 hijacker has been identified as Seif El Din Mustafa, an Egyptian national.
Reports say the lone hijacker wants to talk to his estranged wife in Cyprus, and the Cypriot president has said the hijack is not a terrorist incident.
Egypt Air tweeted that “negotiations … resulted in the release of all the passengers, except the crew and four foreigners.”
Region: A large cache of weapons was impounded along the Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire border. (Xinhua)
Burundi: The EU plans to cut back its funding for the country’s lucrative peacekeeping contingent in Somalia to try to force President Pierre Nkurunziza into talks with opponents and away from the brink of ethnic conflict. (Reuters)
Central African Republic: The UN said it had received new allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation against UN peacekeepers from Morocco and Burundi in the country. (Reuters)
Somalia: Security forces from Galmudug State arrested three foreign Al-Shabaab fighters in the central Mudug region. (Xinhua)
Region: A Northern California US Coast Guard crew seized more than 6 tons of cocaine from a semi-submersible vessel off Panama’s Pacific coast. (AP)
Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos told the FARC rebels to set a date to disarm, after a self-imposed 23MAR deadline to sign a peace deal passed unmet. (AFP)
El Salvador: The government refused to negotiate with powerful street gangs following an anonymous offer to stop crime-related bloodshed afflicting this Central American country. (AP)
Region: Indonesia’s foreign affairs ministry said the government is putting up efforts to rescue 10 Indonesian crewmen who were kidnapped on Saturday by terrorist group Abu Sayyaf off southern Philippines waters. (Xinhua)
North Korea: The country fired a short-range projectile into its eastern waters. (Xinhua)
Pakistan: The country has arrested hundreds of suspects for alleged links with Islamist extremists after a Taliban bomber killed 72 people at the weekend. (DPA)
Thailand: The country’s proposed new constitution was unveiled to the public, amid criticism that the charter is undemocratic and gives too much power to the military. (AP)
Region: Turkey summoned Germany’s ambassador to protest a two-minute song lampooning President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was broadcast on German television. (AFP)
Region: Estonia says a Russian military aircraft violated its airspace near the island of Vaindloo in the Gulf of Finland. (AP)
Turkey: Israeli and Turkish officials refused to comment on a report by Britain’s Sky TV that the Islamic State group planned to attack Jewish school children in the country. (AFP)
Ukraine: The country’s parliament sacked chief Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin over his perceived refusal to investigate corruption and attempts to cover up state graft. (AFP)
Iran: Austrian President Heinz Fischer has said it is unclear how long it will take for the West to lift sanctions on the country. (AFP)
Iraq: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt in central Baghdad, killing at least three people. (AFP)
Syria: The demonstration of Russian military might during Vladimir Putin’s air campaign in the country has increased interest from arms buyers and could result in several billion dollars in new sales. (Guardian)
Yemen: Six children have been killed or maimed daily in the country since Saudi-led air strikes began a year ago, the UN said. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Technology: The US Justice Department withdrew its legal action against Apple after cracking the security function without erasing contents of the iPhone used by Syed Farook, who carried out the December mass shooting in San Bernardino. (USA Today)
Suspected Cases as of 29MAR: 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 (01JAN15-31DEC15): 82 (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, French Guiana, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador)
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)
Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 29MAR: 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 29MAR: Micronesia, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia
Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 29MAR: United States of America, France, Italy, Argentina, New Zealand