Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ethiopia recorded 2,097 additional COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide total to 196,621.
  • AMERICAS: President Joe Biden has compared a new voting law in Georgia to racist Jim crow policies of the 20th Century American South, calling it an atrocity.
  • ASIA: Australia’s trade minister threatened to bring China to the World Trade Organization over its “unjustifiable” decision to increase tariffs on Australian wine imports for up to five years.
  • EUROPE: Lawmakers in Catalonia met for 10 hours in an attempt to elect a new head of government – six weeks after the region voted for a new regional parliament – but came up empty in the first round.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The owner of a mega-ship blocking the Suez Canal hopes to refloat it today, as the crisis forced companies to re-route services from the vital shipping lane around Africa.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Facebook has frozen Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s page for breaking policies against spreading misinformation about COVID-19 by promoting a remedy he says, without evidence, can cure the disease, a company spokesman stated.

Top Story

  • Myanmar: Protests and violent clampdowns intensify on the nation’s Armed Forces Day.  
    • Myanmar’s armed forces shot and killed at least 16 protesters, news reports and witnesses said, despite the ruling junta leader saying the military will protect the people and strive for democracy.
    • There were 40 deaths following overnight raids across the country, local media outlets reported.
    • Myanmar’s rebel ethnic armed factions will not stand by and do nothing if the army continues to kill protesters, General Yawd Serk, chair of the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army, announced.
    • Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister attended an Armed Forces Day parade in the nation, with the Junta calling Russia “a true friend.”
    • The activist group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), counted at least 328 protesters who have been killed since the start of the coup.
    • Reporting: Reuters, DPAReuters, RFE, CNN,

Africa

  • Region: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa is now at 4,159,055, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) reported. (Xinhua)
  • Ethiopia: The nation recorded 2,097 additional COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total to 196,621. (Xinhua)
  • Rwanda: The nation expressed support for a French commission report that spent two years investigating France’s involvement in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. (Xinhua)

Americas

  • Brazil: The nation has hit a new daily record with 3,650 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours. (DPA)
  • United States: President Joe Biden invited Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China to the first extensive climate talks of his administration, an event the U.S. hopes will help shape global efforts to reduce fossil fuel pollution. (AP)
  • United States: Chevron Corp has emerged as a leading contender to purchase a Royal Dutch Shell Plc refinery in the Pacific Northwest. (Reuters)
  • United States: President Joe Biden has compared a new voting law in Georgia to the racist Jim Crow policies of the 20th Century American South, calling it an “atrocity”. (BBC)

Asia  

  • Region: Australia’s trade minister threatened to bring China to the World Trade Organization over its “unjustifiable” decision to increase tariffs on Australian wine imports for up to five years. (The Guardian)
  • Australia: Queensland state recorded one new COVID-19 case linked to the highly contagious B117 UK mutant strain, but authorities say the situation is not yet a concern. (Reuters)
  • India: Two states with large Muslim populations began voting in local elections in a test of strength for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose nationalist agenda is being challenged by months-long farmer protests and another wave of COVID-19 infections. (AP)
  • South Korea: The nation’s daily new COVID-19 cases rose to over 500, deepening concerns over a resurgence in infections, mainly as more people go out in the warmer weather. (YNA)

Europe

  • Region: European governments have warned that their hospitals are in danger of being overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases as leaders struggle to control the pandemic after a week of ill-conceived lockdown measures and anger over the EU’s slow vaccine rollout. (FT)
  • Belarus: The nation has been excluded from the Eurovision Song Contest after failing to submit an entry that abides by the nonpolitical nature of the competition. (RFE)
  • Belarus: Seven members of the U.S. Congress have condemned the “unjust and illegitimate detainment” of Ihar Losik, a famous blogger and RFE/RL consultant jailed in the nation. (RFE)
  • Spain: Lawmakers in Catalonia met for 10 hours to elect a new head of government – six weeks after the region voted for a new regional parliament – but came up empty in the first round. (DPA)

Middle East

  • Egypt: Joe Biden said the US is looking at what it can do to help dislodge the 400-meter container ship from its position blocking the Suez Canal as the trade route crisis stretched into its fifth day. (The Guardian)
  • Egypt: The owner of a mega-ship blocking the Suez Canal hopes to refloat it today, as the crisis forced companies to re-route services from the vital shipping lane around Africa. (AFP)
  • Israel: The nation has vaccinated over half its population of 9.3 million, and as COVID-19 infections have plummeted, authorities have allowed restaurants, hotels, museums, and theaters to re-open, and up to 20 people can now gather indoors. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Facebook has frozen Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s page for breaking policies against spreading misinformation about COVID-19 by promoting a remedy he says, without evidence, can cure the disease. (Reuters)

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 27MAR21)
      • Confirmed cases:126,171,736
      • Total recovered cases: 71,483,476
      • Deaths: 2,768,409
      • 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 (28MAR21)

  • Worldwide: Holi, Hindu, and Sikh religious festival of color.
  • Worldwide: Christianity’s Palm Sunday.
  • Bulgaria: Legislative elections.
  • China: Serfs’ Emancipation Day public holiday in Tibet.
  • Saudi Arabia: The nation will launch the “Made in Saudi” initiative.
  • Turkmenistan: Parliamentary elections.

END