- AFRICA: Aid group Save the Children said jihadists are beheading children as young as 11 in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province.
- AMERICAS: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will appoint cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga as the country’s fourth new health minister since the coronavirus pandemic first started.
- ASIA: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned China against “coercion and aggression” in his ongoing visit to Japan.
- EUROPE: The British government said it will shift its foreign policy focus to India, Japan and Australia and the Indo-Pacific region, which it described as “increasingly the geopolitical centre of the world”.
- MIDDLE EAST: Human Rights Watch said weapons fired by the Houthi rebels caused a recent fire that killed dozens of migrants at a holding facility in Yemen.
- TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The Chinese government appeared to have blocked the encrypted messaging app Signal from functioning in China.
- North Korea: Pyongyang issues warning to US before Seoul meeting.
- North Korea warned the United States not to “cause a stink” if it wants to “sleep in peace”, as Pyongyang condemned the joint military exercises between the US and South Korea.
- The statement was issued by Kim Jong Un’s influential sister Kim Yo-jong ahead of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit to South Korea.
- The statement is the first official comment from Pyongyang on new US President Joe Biden, whom the country had yet to acknowledge.
- Meanwhile, the US revealed it has attempted to make diplomatic contact with Pyongyang for weeks, but it has yet to receive any response from Pyongyang.
- Reporting: Reuters, AP, DPA, BBC, NYT, AFP, WaPo, WSJ
- Region: Tunisian President Kais Saied will visit Libya following the swearing-in of Libya’s new interim government. (Reuters)
- Region: The UN named Mauritanian diplomat El-Ghassim Wane as the organization’s new envoy to Mali. (AFP)
- Mali: The army said two soldiers died during an attack on a military post in the country’s northeast where jihadist groups run rampant. (AFP)
- Mozambique: Aid group Save the Children said jihadists are beheading children as young as 11 in the country’s Cabo Delgado province. (BBC)
- Region: Mexico has reportedly stepped up its raids on Central American migrants heading to the United States since new US President Joe Biden took office. (Reuters)
- Region: Former drug lord Leonel Rivera told a US federal trial that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez duped the US Drug Enforcement Administration and received shipments of cocaine from Colombia. (AFP)
- Bolivia: The opposition called upon its supporters to hold protests following the arrest of former interim President Jeanine Anez. (AFP)
- Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro is set to appoint cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga as the country’s fourth new health minister since the coronavirus pandemic first started. (BBC)
- Venezuela: The country will not authorize the usage of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine. (AFP)
- Region: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned China against “coercion and aggression” in his ongoing visit to Japan. (Reuters)
- Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing criticism for saying it was a “triumph” that protesters attending rallies against violence and sexual harassment of women weren’t “met with bullets”. (DPA)
- Indonesia: President Joko Widodo launched the government’s coronavirus vaccination campaign on the island of Bali. (DPA)
- Kyrgyzstan: The country accepted the repatriation of dozens of children whose parents joined extremist groups fighting in Iraq and Syria. (AFP)
- Thailand: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was inoculated with AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine despite the country’s previous temporary suspension of the vaccine’s usage. (AFP)
- Region: The director-general of Italy’s medicines authority said Germany, France, and Italy’s temporary suspension of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine is a “political one”. (Reuters)
- Region: Armenia’s military is set to hold drills of its own after Azerbaijan started its own military exercises. (RFE-RL)
- Region: Greek and Turkish officials are conducting another meeting in a bid to resolve their dispute over eastern Mediterranean borders and energy rights. (AFP)
- The Holy See: The Vatican said that the Catholic Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions. (BBC)
- United Kingdom: The government said it will shift its foreign policy focus to India, Japan, Australia and the Indo-Pacific region, which it described as “increasingly the geopolitical centre of the world”. (BBC)
- Iran: Authorities announced the start of clinical trials of a third new indigenous vaccine. (AP)
- Israel: Archaeologists discovered dozens of new Dead Sea Scroll fragments in the Judean desert. (AP)
- Saudi Arabia: The country’s economy contracted by 3.9% year on year in Q4 of 2020 but grew by 2.5% from the previous three months, according to government data. (Reuters)
- Syria: The UN said it has provided information and evidence related to war crimes in the country to 12 different jurisdictions, most of which “are in Europe”. (Reuters)
- Yemen: Human Rights Watch said weapons fired by the Houthi rebels caused a recent fire that killed dozens of migrants at a holding facility in the country. (AFP)
Tech & Communications
- Social Media: The Chinese government appeared to have blocked the encrypted messaging app Signal from functioning in China. (AFP)
- Cyclones: Nothing to report.
- Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
- Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
- Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 16MAR21)
- Confirmed cases: 120,273,942
- Total recovered cases: 68,223,807
- Deaths: 2,662,067
- Countries with confirmed cases: 192
- Sourcing: John Hopkins University
- Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 07MAR21)
- Confirmed cases: 18
- Deaths: 9
- Sourcing: WHO
- Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 07MAR21)
- Confirmed cases: 11
- Deaths: 4
- Sourcing: WHO
- COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 16MAR21)
Tomorrow’s Outlook (17MAR21)
- Global: The Finance and Central Bank Deputies of APEC countries will hold a meeting. (to 18MAR)
- Global: The Korea-LAC Latin America Digital Cooperation Forum will be held. (to 18MAR)
- Europe: The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine will hold a meeting.
- Europe: The European Committee of the Regions will hold a plenary session.
- Europe: Joint Russian-Belarussian military exercises will be held. (to 19MAR)
- Europe: Azerbaijan will hold military exercises. (to 18MAR)
- Europe: Armenia will hold military exercises. (to 20MAR)
- Europe: Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili will visit Brussels.
- Europe: Turkey and Greece will discuss issues related to the Mediterranean sea.
- Americas: The Boards of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank and Inter-American Investment Corporation will hold their annual summit. (to 21MAR)
- Asia: Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will visit South Korea and Japan. (to 19MAR)
- Algeria: A verdict is expected in the appeal trial of activist Dalila Touat.
- France: Former President Nicholas Sarkozy will be back on trial, this time for alleged illegal campaign financing.
- Hungary: The country is expected to receive an additional 100,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine made by China’s Sinopharm firm.
- India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting with the chief ministers of each state and discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
- Ireland: Saint Patrick’s Day – 461/1903
- Libya: Tunisian President Kais Saied will visit.
- Netherlands: General elections will be held.
- Russia: Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi will visit and meet with counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
- Thailand: Parliament will deliberate on proposed constitutional amendments.
- Tunisia: A general strike is expected to be held in the Sfax region.
- United States: President Joe Biden will host a virtual meeting with Irish Taoiseach Michael Martin in place of the traditional White House St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
- United States: Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya will speak with the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
- United States: The Federal Reserve will make an interest rates decision.