Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ethiopia’s prime minister reported that Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces from the Tigray region, where witnesses have claimed them looting, killing, and raping civilians.
  • AMERICAS: New election laws in Georgia that include a ban on people giving food or water to voters waiting in line while voting has been labeled “sick” by Joe Biden.
  • ASIA: China has levied sanctions against UK politicians, entities, lawyers, and academics over criticism of its mass internment system in Xinjiang, in the latest sign of increasing diplomatic tension between Beijing and western nations.
  • EUROPE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel classified France as a high-risk zone for Covid-19, in a move that could see Berlin increase border controls and require mandatory quarantine to enter the country.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Egyptian tugboats and a specialized suction dredger worked to remove a giant container ship that has been stuck sideways in the Suez Canal for the past three days, blocking an essential waterway for global shipping.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The U.S. conducted more than two dozen operations to thwart adversaries from election meddling ahead of the 2020 presidential election, according to a top intelligence official.

Top Story

  • Korean Peninsula: Continued fallout persists in the aftermath of the North Korean missile launches. 
    • South Korean President Moon Jae-in criticized North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches, saying that Pyongyang’s military provocations are “undesirable” to attempts to revive stalled international negotiations on the North’s nuclear program.
    • North Korea claims that they “newly developed new-type tactical guided projectile,” in its first test of a ballistic missile since US president Joe Biden took office, the country’s state media reported.
    • South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said that the two Koreas and the United States should make efforts to continue the dialogue, not create difficulties.
    • The United States condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launches as “destabilizing” actions breaking multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.
    • Reporting: YNATelegraph, Reuters, YNA,

Africa

  • Region: Ethiopia’s prime minister reported that Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces from the Tigray region, where witnesses have claimed them looting, killing, and raping civilians. (AP)
  • Niger: Thirteen civilians were killed during a new wave of attacks by gunmen in the western part of the country, near the border with Mali, the region’s governor reported on national television. (Xinhua)
  • Nigeria: The government announced it aims to end multiple taxations and illegal taxes for agricultural produce in transit across the nation. (Xinhua)

Americas

  • United States: New election laws in Georgia that include a ban on people giving food or water to voters waiting in line while voting has been labeled “sick” by President Joe Biden. (Telegraph)
  • United States: A series of tornadoes struck Alabama and moved into Georgia early Friday, leaving at least five people dead amid ruins of wrecked homes, splintered trees, and crumpled businesses. (AP)
  • United States: After weeks of confusion, California is throwing open its COVID-19 vaccine program to all adults as the nation’s most populous state expects the delivery on a long-awaited boost in doses. (AP)

Asia  

  • Australia: The ambassador to Beijing has reportedly described China as a “vindictive” and “unreliable” trading partner as officials revealed significant declines in most exports to the nation’s most important market. (AP)
  • China: The country has levied sanctions against UK politicians, entities, lawyers, and academics over criticism of its mass internment system in Xinjiang, in the latest sign of increasing diplomatic tension between Beijing and western nations. (FT)
  • India: At least ten people died in a fire that hit a mall housing a hospital that treated COVID-19 patients in Mumbai, authorities reported. (Reuters)
  • Japan: Factory output likely fell in February partly due to a global shortage of automotive chips, which has further damaged an economy already being hit from the ongoing pandemic, a Reuters poll showcased. (Reuters)

Europe

  • Region: German Chancellor Angele Merkel classified France as a high-risk zone for Covid-19, in a move that could see Berlin increase border controls and require mandatory quarantine to enter the country. (AFP)
  • Russia: The nation’s COVID-19 case total hit 4,501,859 after authorities reported 9,167 new cases nationwide over the past 24 hours, including 1,813 in Moscow. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: The nation recorded a record daily tally of 18,132 new COVID-19 cases, health minister Maksym Stepanov announced. (Reuters)
  • United Kingdom: The nation told Hong Kong that it had “no right” to demand other countries not to accept a UK travel document for a widespread youth working scheme after the city confirmed it had requested several other countries. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Egypt: Tugboats and a specialized suction dredger worked to remove a giant container ship that has been stuck sideways in the Suez Canal for the past three days, blocking an essential waterway for global shipping. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia: The Energy Ministry reported that a projectile attack caused a fire at a petroleum products distribution station in the nation’s border city of Jazan. (Xinhua)
  • Yemen: Houthi forces said they launched attacks targeting Saudi oil facilities owned by state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco and additional military sites. (Reuters)

Tech & Communications

  • Cybersecurity: The U.S. conducted more than two dozen operations to thwart adversaries from election meddling ahead of the 2020 presidential election, according to a top intelligence official. (Bloomberg)

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 26MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 125,530,977
      • Total recovered cases: 71,127,939
      • Deaths: 2,756,500
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: Guinea (as of 14MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 18
      • Deaths: 9
      • Sourcing: WHO
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (as of 14MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases: 11
      • Deaths: 5
      • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (27MAR21)

  • Global: Lights turned off across every continent for Earth Hour.
  • Asia-Pacific/MENA: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to visit Iran.
  • South Asia: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Bangladesh.
  • Burma: Armed Forces Day.
  • India: Assam legislative assembly election 1st phase.
  • India: West Bengal legislative assembly elections.

END