World News Briefs — March 17, 2021

The Guardian: European countries at the start of a third wave of Covid, experts warn
Decision to pause use of AstraZeneca jab could lead to more deaths as new variant cases increase rapidly
Large parts of Europe are at the start of a third coronavirus wave, experts have said, with warnings that the decision to pause the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine over health concerns is likely lead to a rise in cases and a high number of deaths as more contagious new variants account for the majority of cases.
Read more ….
MIDDLE EAST
Syria shoots down Israeli missiles over Damascus, state media says.
Flight PS752 shot down after being 'misidentified' as 'hostile target,' Iran's final report says.
Ukraine rejects Iran's final report on downing of flight PS752.
Yemen war: Houthis express 'regret' for deadly migrant centre fire.
Yemenis protest poor living conditions for second day in Aden.
Turkey moves to ban pro-Kurdish HDP opposition party.
Anger grows against Lebanese retailers accused of causing a shortage in essential goods.
Biden administration crafting plan to reset U.S. ties with Palestinians: sources.
Netanyahu fights for re-election without key ally Trump.
ASIA
U.S. airstrikes hit Taliban targets in Afghanistan.
Biden: 'Tough' to withdraw from Afghanistan by May.
Japan, US officials share their challenges with China in Tokyo talks
US Secretary of State Blinken warns China over ‘coercion’ on first Asia visit.
First 'virtual meeting' between Biden, China’s Xi could be April’s climate summit.
Blinken sanctions 24 Chinese officials for undermining Hong Kong's autonomy.
North Korea labels US attempts to talk while maintaining hostile policies a 'cheap trick'.
Yangon becomes battle zone as Myanmar junta enforces martial law.
UN prepares to build case against Myanmar's military leaders, seeking evidence of crimes ordered by junta.
Nepal political chaos delays justice for rebel conflict victims.
PNG welcomes Australia's promise of 8,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses as infections increase at 'alarming' rate.
AFRICA
Niger: 58 dead in 'barbarous' attack in border area.
Jihadists on motorbikes ambush Mali's military, 33 killed.
Dozens of soldiers killed in attack on northern Mali army base.
Tanzania's COVID-skeptic President John Magufuli dies at 61.
African countries temporarily suspend AstraZeneca vaccine.
Congo security forces start early voting in presidential poll.
U.N. rights chief agrees to Ethiopia request for joint Tigray inquiry.
Huge crowds gather for funeral of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini who famously made bare-breasted virgins dance for him every year (and is even sent off by topless women).
EUROPE
On crest of third wave, EU threatens ban on Covid-19 vaccine exports to UK.
EU threatens to halt Covid vaccine exports to UK unless it gets ‘fair share’.
Covid-19 situation 'worsening' in greater Paris region, hospital chief warns.
Germany: Top virologist warns COVID rates to spike again.
EU agrees China sanctions over human rights abuses.
Netherlands election: PM Rutte's party on track to win most seats.
Russia recalls US ambassador after Biden threatens sanctions for election-meddling.
Denmark will limit the number of 'non-Western' residents in neighbourhoods to 30% to 'reduce the risk of religious and cultural parallel societies'.
Former French president Sarkozy on trial again after corruption conviction.
Biden holds virtual meeting with Ireland PM Martin on St. Patrick's Day.
AMERICAS
US-China tensions run high ahead of critical meeting.
Coronavirus variants lurk in US amid fears 'fourth wave' will hit before nation vaccinated.
US southern border 'secure,' Biden administration insists.
Exclusive: Mexico plans migration crackdown as U.S. struggles with record arrivals – sources.
US report finds growing white nationalist threat.
China to put two Canadians on trial in coming days: Ottawa.
Brazil health service in 'worst crisis in its history'.
Mexico to OAS: Stop interfering in Bolivia's internal affairs.
Protesters stage jail break as demonstrations rack Haitian capital.
TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR
Islamists terrorize Mozambique under international radar.
US special operations forces train Mozambique troops to counter ISIS threat.
Children targeted in Mozambique insurgency.
ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS
S&P 500 and Dow end at record highs after Fed projects stronger economy.
Fed's Powell: U.S. leading global recovery, could help lift laggards like Europe.
Global oil demand 'could exceed pre-Covid levels without clean energy moves'.
US economy to grow faster than forecast, says Federal Reserve.
Italian court acquits Shell, Eni in Nigeria corruption case.Original Article

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