Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recognized Prince Misuzulu Sinqobile Zulu as the official Zulu king.
  • AMERICAS: A group of 128 Cubans who took part in unprecedented anti-government protests last July were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to thirty years.
  • ASIA: A Cambodian court convicted 21 people of treason and related charges for their nonviolent political opposition to the government.
  • EUROPE: British-Iranians Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori landed at Brize Norton airbase in Oxfordshire after being freed from Iranian prison.
  • MIDDLE EAST: UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the country is keen to cooperate with Russia on improving global energy security.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The UK announced that tech executives could now face prosecution or jail time within two months of the new Online Safety Bill becoming law, instead of two years as it was previously drafted.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: Russia Rejects Top UN Court Order to Halt Ukraine Offensive.
    • The Kremlin rejected an order by the UN’s top court for Russia to suspend the military offensive in Ukraine.
    • The court’s president, US judge Joan E. Donoghue demanded that “the Russian Federation shall immediately suspend the special military operations it commenced on Feb. 24.”
    • The ICJ ruled by a 13-2 vote that Moscow must ensure that “any military or irregular armed units which may be directed or supported by it, as well as any organizations and persons which may be subject to its control or direction, take no steps in furtherance of military operations.”
    • Moscow was not expected to heed the court’s decision after it boycotted a hearing on the case earlier this month and argued in writing that the court did not have authority.
    • The UN Security Council will hold a meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine at 3 pm ET on Thursday (12.30 am IST on Friday).
    • AFP, AP, RFE/RL, Moscow Times, CNBC

Africa

  • Kenya: The Russian Embassy in Nairobi blamed Western sanctions for the rising cost of living in the East African nation. (BBC)
  • Mali: The junta ordered French broadcasters RFI and France 24 off the air complaining they had falsely accused the army of committing abuses. (AFP)
  • Mozambique: Authorities in the northern Nampula Province said the death toll from a cyclone that lashed the country’s north last week has risen to 53. (AFP)
  • Niger: Security forces said suspected jihadists attacked a bus and a truck killing 21 people in the southwestern Tillaberi region near Burkina Faso. (AFP)
  • South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa recognized Prince Misuzulu Sinqobile Zulu as the official Zulu king. (BBC)

Americas

  • Region: The US State Department reissued a travel advisory for Tamaulipas state in Mexico in reference to gang violence in the city of Nuevo Laredo. (Reuters)
  • Canada: Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said the country launched a C$250 million ($191 million) fund to curb gun violence, earmarking a significant amount to stop gun smuggling at the border. (Reuters)
  • Cuba: A group of 128 people who took part in unprecedented anti-government protests last July were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to thirty years. (AFP)
  • Honduras: A judge ruled former President Juan Orlando Hernández should be extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking and weapons charges. (AP)
  • United States: Five men accused of acting on behalf of the Chinese government have been charged with schemes to stalk and harass Chinese dissidents in the United States, including a congressional candidate. (AP)

Asia

  • Cambodia: A court convicted 21 people of treason and related charges for their nonviolent political opposition to the government. (AP)
  • Hong Kong: Leader Carrie Lam said she was mulling easing some of the city’s coronavirus restrictions due to waning public tolerance but could not provide a roadmap out of the current crisis. (AFP)
  • Japan: Two people were confirmed dead and 94 injured following a magnitude 7.3 earthquake off Fukushima. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: State media made no comment about a failed missile launch that resulted in a mid-air explosion that scattered debris near Pyongyang. (VOA)
  • South Korea: Officials tried to calm public fears amid concerns about a faltering pandemic response as daily cases and deaths reached record highs. (AP)

Europe 

  • Region: Athletes from Russia and Belarus were formally banned from the multi-sport European Championships to be held in Munich in August. (AP)
  • France: President Emmanuel Macron will reveal his program for a second term in his first major campaign event. (AFP)
  • Germany: Deputies gave Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a standing ovation ahead of a video address he was due to give before the Bundestag lower house. (AFP)
  • Ireland: Prime Minister Micheál Martin tested positive for COVID-19 while attending an event Wednesday evening with US leaders. (AP)
  • United Kingdom: British-Iranians Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori landed at Brize Norton airbase in Oxfordshire after being freed from Iranian prison. (Reuters)

Middle East

  • Region: Officials say an Iranian missile attack in Iraq over the weekend was retaliation for a secret Israeli airstrike on an Iranian drone factory last month. (NYT)
  • Iran: An Emirati cargo ship sank in Gulf waters off the coast, triggering a search and rescue operation for its 30 crew in poor weather. (AFP)
  • Saudi Arabia: The United States and Britain are ramping up pressure on the kingdom to pump more oil and join efforts to isolate Russia, while Riyadh has shown little readiness to respond and has revived a threat to ditch dollars in its oil sales to China. (Reuters)
  • United Arab Emirates: Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the country is keen to cooperate with Russia on improving global energy security. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: The Houthi rebels are not prepared to hold talks with the government in Saudi Arabia or other “enemy countries” after a proposal to meet in Riyadh. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: The UK announced that tech executives could now face prosecution or jail time within two months of the new Online Safety Bill becoming law, instead of two years as it was previously drafted. (CNBC)

World

  • 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 17MAR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (18MAR22) 

  • Event: Wilson Center discussion on academic freedom worldwide.
  • Event: Heritage Foundation hosts discussion with UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis.
  • Global: Visit by US Assistant Secretary of State Michele J. Sison to Mali and France. (to 22MAR)
  • India:
  • Ireland: COVID-19 remembrance and recognition public holiday.
  • Mongolia: Men’s and Soldiers’ Day.
  • Turkey: Gallipoli Memorial Day.

END