Morning Briefing – March 29, 2021

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ANKARA

Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and other news in Turkey and around the world.

Coronavirus and other developments in Turkey 

Turkey Sunday reported over 29,000 new coronavirus cases, according to the Health Ministry.153 more fatalities and 17,164 recoveries also confirmed in the last 24 hours by the ministry. 

Turkey on Sunday strongly condemned the terrorist attack targeting a Catholic church on Indonesia’s South Sulawesi Island which left at least 20 people injured. 

Turkish forces have seized a large cache of weapons, which contained  TOW anti-tank missiles, 24 Kalashnikov infantry rifles, a sniper rifle, two DShK heavy machine gun barrels, and 200 trigger capsules, in an operation in Azaz, northwestern Syria, the country’s Interior Ministry said Sunday. 

COVID-19 updates worldwide 

Some 30,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine Sinovac sent by Turkey arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday to help the country fight the novel coronavirus outbreak. Speaking at a news conference at the airport, Selmo Cikotic, the security minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said Turkey showed that it is ready to support Sarajevo as usual, thanking President Erdogan and the people of Turkey. 

France reported 42,619 new coronavirus cases and 194 more fatalities in the last 24 hours. With the new additions, the death toll in the country rose to 94,492. 

Pakistan will receive another batch of over a million COVID-19 vaccine doses from China next week, Dr. Faisal Sultan, the prime minister’s adviser on health, said in a tweet on Sunday. Meanwhile, the country decided to re-impose a blanket ban on all kinds of public gatherings across the country in an effort to curb the rise in COVID-19 infections. 

Iranian authorities on Sunday reinstated restrictions in the capital Tehran and other major cities amid a spike in new coronavirus infections. The restrictions include curbs on the movement between cities, with many areas designated as orange and red, from yellow and white, signaling high risk.

Other global developments 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Sunday arrived in Tajikistan for a three-day official visit. As part of his program in the country, Cavusoglu met with Turkish businesspeople in Dushanbe, the capital city. He also will meet with his Tajik counterpart Sirojiddin Muhriddin as well as Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon and attend the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process meeting, being co-hosted by Tajikistan and Afghanistan, during his visit. 

The UN human rights chief  Michelle Bachelet and the UN special adviser on the prevention of genocide Alice Wairimu Nderituon Sunday issued a joint statement as the death toll in Myanmar’s bloodiest day on Saturday rose to 141, including at least seven children. The two senior UN officials strongly condemned the Myanmar military’s widespread, lethal, increasingly systematic attacks against peaceful protesters, as well as other severe violations of human rights since the Feb. 1 putsch. 

Al-Azhar, the highest seat of learning in the Sunni Muslim world, has condemned the recent display of cartoons insulting the Prophet Muhammad in Britain. Separately, the Cairo-based institution’s Observatory for Combating Extremism described the caricatures as a “disgraceful act” which amounts to “hate speech. 

4 more people died in Bangladesh as protests against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to mark the country’s 50th anniversary continue. At least 14 people have died and over 100 others injured in three days of violence in Bangladesh as security forces cracked down on protesters. 

Hundreds of Lebanese demonstrated in the capital Beirut on Sunday over deteriorating economic and living conditions in the country. The protest was organized by the Lebanese Communist Party with demonstrators carrying banners demanding housing services, education, and healthcare services. 

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced on Sunday that he will resign in April in order to hold early parliamentary elections in the country.

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