2017 Week 11

This includes events of Sunday March 12, 2017 through Saturday March 18, 2017.



Sunday March 12, 2017 Armed conflicts and attacksSyrian Civil War Tahrir al-Sham, al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, claims responsibility for yesterday's twin bomb attacks in Damascus which left dozens dead. (BBC) Disasters and accidentsA landslide at a rubbish dump on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, kills at least 48 people. (BBC) Law and crimeAhmad Daqamseh, the Jordanian soldier who shot seven Israeli schoolchildren on March 13, 1997, is released from prison in Jordan. (Reuters) A bus driver in the Haitian city of Gonaïves ploughs into crowds of people celebrating Rara while speeding away from an earlier accident which left one person dead, killing at least 38 people, including a group of street musicians, and injures 17 others. (Sky News) Politics and electionsAbkhazian parliamentary election, 2017 People in the breakaway state of Abkhazia go to the polls for an election. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama dismisses four cabinet ministers, including Minister of Internal Affairs Saimir Tahiri and Minister of Health Ilir Beqaj, in a bid to make the government more technocratic following opposition Democratic Party protests. (Reuters) Former President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Artur Mas, is banned from holding public office for two years after organising an unofficial, unconstitutional independence referendum in 2014. (The Guardian) Sports2017 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament The field of 68 teams is announced. The overall top seed is defending national champion Villanova; the remaining #1 seeds are Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga. (ESPN)

Monday March 13, 2017 Armed conflicts and attacksWar in Afghanistan (2015–present) At least one person is killed and another eight are wounded after a suicide bomber attacks a bus carrying government employees in Kabul. (Al Jazeera) Two UN officials with MONUSCO—an American and a Swede—are among six people kidnapped near the village of Ngombe in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Kasaï-Central province. Congolese officials have not identified the kidnappers nor has any group claimed responsibility. (AP) War in Somalia (2009–present) A vehicle filled with explosives detonates near a hotel in Mogadishu, killing at least six people and wounding four others. (Al Jazeera) Syrian Civil War According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the total number of people killed and missing in Syria's war is now 465,000. (Reuters) International relations2017 Dutch–Turkish diplomatic incident Turkey bans the Dutch ambassador, Cornelis Van Rij, from returning to the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ankara, and closes its airspace to Dutch diplomats in response to a Dutch ban on Turkish ministers speaking at pro-Erdogan rallies. (The Guardian) Politics and electionsProposed second Scottish independence referendum Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces she will seek a second referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. (BBC) United States immigration ban The state of Washington, joined by the states of California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon, asks a federal judge to stop, on constitutional grounds, the revised federal immigration/refugee rules from taking effect on Thursday, March 16. The state of Hawaii has filed a separate, similar request. (Reuters) Hungarian presidential election, 2017 János Áder is re-elected President of Hungary by the National Assembly. (UPI) SportsIn rugby union, the two Paris-based clubs in France's Top 14, Racing 92 and Stade Français, announce plans to merge effective with the 2017–18 season. (ESPN (UK))

Tuesday March 14, 2017 Armed conflicts and attacksPiracy off the coast of Somalia Off the northern coast of Somalia, Somali pirates hijack the Aris 13, a United Arab Emirates-owned oil tanker, kidnapping eight Sri Lankan crew members. This is the first hijacking of a large commercial vessel in five years. (AP via The Independent) Disasters and accidentsA blaze at a fireworks warehouse near Netanya, central Israel, kills two people and injures five others. (Reuters) 2017 Irish Coast Guard S-92 crash An Irish Coast Guard helicopter crashes off the coast of County Mayo, killing one person and leaving three others missing. (RTÉ) March 2017 North American blizzard The destruction from snow fall kills six people and leaves over 100,000 others without electricity, with some areas in the Northeastern United States receiving over 4 feet (1.2 m) of snow. (The Weather Channel) Law and crimeEuropol reports a total of more than 10,000 assault rifles and 400 shelling weapons were seized in northern Spain during an anti-trafficking operation in January. (News Front) An AMBER Alert is issued in Tennessee and Alabama for Elizabeth Thomas, who is believed to have been kidnapped by her former high school teacher Tad Cummins. (WKRN)

Wenesday March 15, 2017 Armed conflicts and attacksIsraeli authorities shoot into a car that was on a ramming attack at a bus shelter at the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank where 13 Palestinians and 3 Israelis have been killed since October 2015. A 16-year-old Palestinian, Fatima Jibrin Taqatqa, had lost control of her car and the teenager now remains in critical condition. (Jewish Press), (Fars) Syrian Civil War According to Syrian state media, two suicide bombers attack in Damascus, killing at least 31 people. (The Guardian) A second explosion occurs in the Rabwah area of Damascus. (Al Masdar News) Suspected Russian warplanes carry out airstrikes on the city of Idlib at dawn, killing 21 people including at least 14 children. (The New Indian Express) Boko Haram insurgency Four suicide bombers kill at least two people and wound 16 others in Maiduguri, Nigeria. (Al Jazeera) Disasters and accidentsAn avalanche kills four skiers in Tyrol, Austria. (BBC) Politics and electionsDutch general election, 2017 Voters in the Netherlands go to the polls for a general election. Exit polls suggest that incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte's People's Party for Freedom and Democracy will win the most seats in the election. (BBC) United States immigration ban A U.S. federal judge in Hawaii, finding the revised federal immigration/refugee executive order violates the U.S. Constitution's religious establishment clause, grants the state of Hawaii's motion for a nationwide temporary restraining order on these rules that were set to become effective at midnight. President Donald Trump vows to appeal this ruling. Two other federal courts held hearings on similar requests filed by the states of Maryland and Washington; neither of these judges issued a ruling. (Reuters) (Hoinolulu Star-Advertiser)

Thursday March 16, 2017 Armed conflicts and attacksPiracy off the coast of Somalia The Somali pirates that hijacked the Aris 13, a United Arab Emirates-owned oil tanker, release it without condition. (BBC) Syrian Civil War 2017 al-Jina mosque airstrike An unknown perpetrator carries out an airstrike on a mosque in the rebel-held village of al-Jineh near Aleppo, killing at least 42 people. (BBC) Disasters and accidentsAn eruption at Mount Etna on the Italian island of Sicily injures at least ten people, including several in a BBC News crew. (The Independent), (Reuters) A fire in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, damages 10 buildings. (WNCN) Law and crimeA shooting at a school in Grasse, France, injures at least eight people. Authorities arrest a 17-year-old student. (The Telegraph) A letter bomb explodes at the office of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Paris, injuring one person. (BBC) Kidnapping of Elizabeth Thomas The Federal Bureau of Investigation becomes involved in the search for Elizabeth Thomas and the manhunt for her suspected kidnapper, Tad Cummins. (FOX 17 Nashville) An all-points bulletin is issued for Cummins. (FOX 17 Nashville) Politics and electionsUnited States immigration ban A second U.S. federal judge, Theodore D. Chuang of Maryland, grants that state's motion for a temporary restraining order on President Trump's revised travel ban. (The Washington Post) Science and technologyList of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches SpaceX successfully launches the EchoStar 23 satellite, a Direct-to-home television broadcast services for Brazil, into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, using the fully expendable version of their Falcon 9 launch vehicle. (NASA Spaceflight)

Friday March 17, 2017 Armed conflicts and attacksMarch 2017 Israel–Syria incident, Israeli–Syrian ceasefire line incidents during the Syrian Civil War The Israeli Air Force launches several airstrikes on targets inside Syria, and for the first time, publicly claims responsibility. Syrian air defenses responded by launching missiles at the aircraft, and thereupon Israeli Arrow 3 missiles were launched in response to the counter-offensive. Israel stated that it was targeting suspected weapons shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon, adding that the Israeli military will keep intervening until they believe such shipments have ceased. According to the Syrian Army, four Israeli jets entered its airspace and struck targets near Palmyra. (CNN), (AP) Yemeni Civil War (2015-present) An unknown perpetrator using an Apache helicopter fires upon a boat carrying Somali refugees off the coast of Yemen, killing at least 40 of them, injuring 35 more. (Reuters), (AFP via MSN) War in North-West Pakistan Gunmen raid a Pakistani military post near the border with Afghanistan, killing at least eight people. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, claim responsibility. (Al Jazeera) Basque conflict In Spain, the Basque separatist group ETA announces that it will fully disarm by April 8, 2017. (BBC) Disasters and accidentsHeavy flooding in Peru kills at least 67 people and forces thousands to abandon their homes. (The Guardian) Politics and electionsThe former Democratic National Committee chair and ex-CNN contributor Donna Brazile admits that she had forwarded some debate questions to Hillary Clinton's campaign during last year's Democratic primary before two debates with Bernie Sanders. (The New York Daily News) ScienceFrench mathematician Yves Meyer wins the Abel Prize for his work on the mathematical theory of wavelets. The Guardian

Saturday March 18, 2017 Armed conflicts and attacksSyrian Civil War Around 1,500–2,000 people leave al-Waer district of Homs today for their preferred destination of either Northern Homs Governorate, Idlib Governorate or Turkish Army positions in Northern Aleppo Governorate. Up to 15,000 to 20,000 people including armed militants, their families and supporters will leave the besieged district in the coming weeks with the rest of the population reconciling and receiving aid. (BBC), (Al Masdar News) Battle of Mosul Thousands of Iraqis flee western Mosul as the battle between Iraqi and allied forces and ISIL militants escalates in the densely populated Old City. (Reuters) Arts and cultureChuck Berry, pioneering rock music singer and guitarist, dies in the U.S. state of Missouri at the age of 90. Berry was one of the first inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (BBC) International relationsEstonia–United Kingdom relations Eight hundred British Army troops arrive in Estonia as part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. (The Guardian) Law and crimeMarch 2017 Île-de-France attacks French security forces shoot suspect Ziyed Ben Belgacem dead in Paris' Orly Airport after he put the pellet gun to her head and took away an assault rifle from one of three soldiers from "Sentinelle" operation patrolling the airport. Airport security temporarily evacuates about 3,000 people from the terminal. Police had flagged the fugitive man for suspected radicalism. Belgacem had earlier that day shot a police officer with a pellet gun after he was pulled over for speeding with his headlights off north of Paris. Later, he had threatened a bar and then carjacked another vehicle to the airport. Authorities are investigating the attack as a "possible" act of terrorism, but the motive is unclear as the suspect's father says Belgacem did not pray, was not a terrorist, and fell under the influence of the drugs and alcohol which were also found in subsequent autopsy. (BBC), (Reuters), (USA Today), (France 24), (The New York Times)

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Created 6 Apr 2017 Last updated 15 Apr 2017