Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: French President Emmanuel Macron admitted that French forces “tortured and murdered” Algerian freedom fighter Ali Boumendjel during Algeria’s war of independence against France, in an official reappraisal of Boumendjiel’s death that Paris had until now claimed to be a suicide.
  • AMERICAS: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Venezuela’s Juan Guaido that the Biden administration is looking at ways to increase the international pressure on Nicolas Maduro to achieve a peaceful, democratic transition of power in Venezuela.
  • ASIA: Security forces in Myanmar killed nine people after opening fire on anti-coup protesters, a day after neighboring countries offered to help resolve the crisis.
  • EUROPE: Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Moscow would retaliate against new US sanctions imposed on senior government officials over the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, calling the sanctions a “hostile anti-Russian lunge”.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Yemen’s Houthi rebels said new US sanctions on two of their commanders proved that Washington is trying to extend the ongoing conflict in the country and making its humanitarian crisis worse.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Microsoft said that state-backed hacking group Hafnium, which it said was operating out of China, is exploiting previously unknown security flaws in the company’s Exchange email services.

 

Top Story

  • Iraq: Rockets again target air base hosting US forces.
    • At least ten rockets have struck the Ain Al Asad air base hosting US-led coalition forces fighting against the Islamic State group in Iraq’s western region.
    • Iraq’s military said the attack caused no significant damages to the Ain Al Asad air base but gave no further details.
    • It was not immediately known if the attack caused any casualties, but some media reports claim one civilian contractor died after suffering a heart attack.
    • No group has currently claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes just two days before Pope Francis visits Iraq. 
    • Another such rocket attack in northern Iraq last month killed a Filipino contractor and injured a US service member, after which the US conducted retaliatory airstrikes on a Syrian facility of an Iran-backed militia. 
    • Reporting: AP, Reuters, BBC, AFP, DPA

 

Africa

  • Algeria: French President Emmanuel Macron admitted that French forces “tortured and murdered” the country’s freedom fighter Ali Boumendjel during the war of independence against France, in an official reappraisal of Boumendjiel’s death that Paris had until now claimed to be a suicide. (AFP)
  • Chad: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged the country’s authorities to investigate the deaths of at least two people when security forces went to arrest opposition candidate Yaya Dillo during the weekend. (Reuters)
  • DR Congo: The Senate elected Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, an ally of President Felix Tshisekedi, as the legislative body’s new leader. (Reuters)
  • Ethiopia: The military released BBC journalist Girmay Gebru and three other people working for the AFP news agency and the Financial Times, who were all detained in the country’s embattled Tigray region, without any charges. (BBC)
  • Seychelles: President Wavel Ramkalawan said his administration is aiming to vaccinate 70% of the island nation’s population against the new coronavirus by the middle of this month and achieve herd immunity in the process. (AP)

 

Americas

  • Region: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Venezuela’s Juan Guaido that the Biden administration is looking at ways to increase the international pressure on Nicolas Maduro to achieve a peaceful, democratic transition of power in Venezuela. (Miami Herald)
  • Colombia: The military bombed dead ten guerillas and injured three others in the Calamar municipal area. (AFP)
  • Guatemala: Congress has decided to allow Dina Ochoa, who has been criticized for her decisions in the government’s fight against corruption, a second term as magistrate of the Country’s Constitutional Court. (AP)
  • Mexico: The Senate passed a bill strengthening state utility CFE, which angered private businesses and could lead to disputes with the country’s top trading partners. (Reuters)
  • United States: President Joe Biden said the government expects the delivery of coronavirus vaccines for all adults in the country by the end of May. (AP)

 

Asia  

  • Afghanistan: The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the murder of three women working for a local radio and TV station in the country’s east. (AP)
  • Bangladesh: Prominent cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore, who was detained last year after drawing cartoons mocking a businessman close to the government, was granted bail amid ongoing protests following the death of another government critic in prison. (AFP)
  • Myanmar: Security forces killed nine people after opening fire on anti-coup protesters, a day after neighboring countries offered to help resolve the crisis. (Reuters)
  • Thailand: Anti-government activist Chaiamorn “Ammy” Kaewwiboonpan was arrested over allegations of burning a portrait of the country’s ruling monarch King Maha Vajiralongkorn, marking the latest arrest in recent months for insulting the monarchy. (Reuters)

 

Europe

  • Region: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is withdrawing his right-wing nationalist Fidesz party from the European Parliament’s largest grouping, the European People’s Party. (DPA)
  • Germany: The country’s far-right AfD party is reportedly set to be placed under state surveillance. (DPA)
  • The Holy See: Pope Francis said he would go ahead with his risky visit to Iraq as “the people cannot be let down for a second time”, referring to his predecessor John Paul being disallowed to visit Iraq in 2000. (Reuters
  • Russia: The Foreign Ministry said Moscow would retaliate against new US sanctions imposed on senior government officials over the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, calling the sanctions a “hostile anti-Russian lunge”. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to announce measures such as a five-month extension of a major jobs rescue plan in an attempt to help steer the country’s economy through the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. (Reuters)

 

Middle East

  • Region: Israeli vessel MV Helios Ray, which was struck by a mysterious explosion last week, has left Dubai and is transiting the Gulf of Oman. (AP)
  • Syria: The US demanded that the status of civilians detained during the country’s decade-long civil conflict be made public following the release of a new UN report which said the government had arbitrarily arrested and detained individuals. (AP)
  • Yemen: The country’s Houthi rebels said new US sanctions on two of their commanders proved that Washington is trying to extend the ongoing conflict in the country and making its humanitarian crisis worse. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: Microsoft said that state-backed hacking group Hafnium, which it said was operating out of China, is exploiting previously unknown security flaws in the company’s Exchange email services. (AFP

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Cyclone Niran
      • Location: 175 nautical miles NE of Cairns, Australia
      • Wind: 80 mph
      • Movement: NW at 1 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes
    • Greece
      • Location: 10 km W-NW of Tyrnavos, Greece
      • Magnitude: 6.3
      • Depth: 10 km
      • Map
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 03MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 114,832,691
      • Total recovered cases: 64,956,377
      • Deaths: 2,551,075
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 28FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 17
      • Deaths: 7
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 28FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 8
      • Deaths: 4
      • Sourcing: WHO

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (04MAR21)

  • Global: An OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial meeting will be held. 
  • Asia: The ASEAN+3 Finance and Central Bank Task Force will hold a virtual meeting. 
  • Europe: The foreign ministers of EU member-states will hold an informal meeting. (to 05MAR)
  • Europe: The EU’s new European Climate and Health Observatory will be launched.
  • Europe: The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine will hold a virtual meeting. 
  • Europe: The European Court of Justice will rule on an appeal against the EU’s ruling that Spain provided illegal aid to soccer clubs.
  • Bangladesh: Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will visit and meet with his counterpart AK Abdul Momen.
  • Cambodia: The Phnom Penh Municipal Court will hold a mass trial for another group of government opponents and critics.
  • China: The 13th National Committee of the CPPCC, the country’s top political advisory body, will hold a session. (to 10MAR)
  • Cyprus: President Nicos Anastasiades will hold a teleconference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • Ethiopia: The UN Security Council is expected to hold a meeting to discuss the situation in the country’s embattled Tigray region. 
  • France: A verdict is expected in the campaign finance trial of former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur.
  • Israel: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Danish Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen will visit to discuss a potential agreement over the common production of vaccines with the country.
  • Ivory Coast: The final day of campaigning in the country’s upcoming presidential election.
  • Oman: A partial shutdown of commercial activities will be imposed in a bid to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
  • Portugal: Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaia will visit and meet with Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva. (to 07MAR)
  • Somalia: President Mohamed Farmajo has proposed consultative talks to the opposition for this date.
  • Turkey: The in absentia trial of twenty people accused of being involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi will resume.

END