The Panama Papers

By now, you have probably heard of the “Panama Papers,” which is the largest-ever leak–far bigger than the wikileaks cables. Global leaders are going to feel some serious heat. News organizations from around the world have published investigations based on a massive trove of leaked documents they say reveal corruption and questionable business dealings of world leaders, politicians, sports stars, and others…Some of the products of that research were published Sunday. The BBC reported the leak reveals information about 72 current or former heads of state, including Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak, and Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi. The Guardian reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s associates secretly moved as much as $2 billion through offshore accounts. Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Juan Pedro Damiani, the Uruguayan lawyer who is president of the country’s most popular soccer team and a FIFA ethics expert, managed companies through which FIFA members may have received bribes.” (The Atlantic

Check out this interactive platform to see how some global leaders have set up complex tax avoidance schemes, including an off-shore network tied to Putin. (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists )

Today is the Day: EU Set to Forcibly Transfer Refugees Back to Turkey…“Greece is due to start sending Syrian refugees and other migrants back across the Aegean Sea to Turkey on Monday, putting into practice a controversial deal between the European Union and Turkey aimed at stemming the migration flow into Europe. Returns are scheduled to take place from the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios and will be carried out by EU border agency Frontex. Government and police officials are bracing themselves for resistance from migrants. About 250 people may be returned to Turkey on Monday, according to people familiar with the operation. The number could change if migrants apply for asylum at the last minute, meaning their return would be delayed until their case is considered.” (WSJ

Are Zuma’s Days Numbered? South Africa’s parliament will debate on Tuesday a motion to impeach President Jacob Zuma, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said, after a top court ruled the president had violated the constitution.South Africa’s constitutional court ruled on Thursday that Zuma had failed to uphold the constitution by ignoring orders from the public protector that he repay some of the $16 million in state funds spent to renovate his private residence at Nkandla. Since Thursday’s ruling, opposition party leaders, ordinary South Africans and even an anti-apartheid activist jailed alongside Nelson Mandela have called on Zuma to step down. (Reuters


Burundi accepts the United Nations security council’s resolution to send in police, the foreign affairs minister told Reuters on Saturday, after months of political tension. (Reuters

Some 400,000 people in Sudan could need food aid because of poor rains caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon, a UN official said. (AFP

The Central African Republic’s new President Faustin-Archange Touadera has named his former campaign director as his prime minister, according to a decree read on national radio on Saturday. (Reuters

A second case of Ebola has been confirmed in Liberia months after the country had been declared free from transmissions, health officials said Sunday. (AP

A woman who died of Ebola this week in Liberia, months after it was declared Ebola-free, had travelled to Guinea with her three children, one of whom is also sick, the health ministry said Sunday. (AFP

The leader of Nigeria’s Ansaru jihadist group, a Boko Haram splinter group ideologically aligned to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, has been arrested, an army spokesman said on Sunday. (AFP


Syrian and allied forces backed by Russian air strikes drove Islamic State militants out of the town of al-Qaryatain on Sunday after encircling it over the past few days, Syria’s military command said. (Reuters

Israel’s state-run electricity company has restored full power supply to the Palestinian city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank after reducing it over an outstanding debt, officials said Sunday. (AFP

Fighting between Iraqi forces and militants affiliated with the Islamic State group close to Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, has displaced over 2,000 people in the past week. (AP

Three civilians were killed in east Yemen on Sunday when rockets fired by Iran-backed rebels hit a government hospital, the facility’s director and a local official said. (AFP


Flash floods triggered by torrential rains Sunday killed at least 45 people in northwest Pakistan, officials said. (AP

The United Nations said it expects more violence with the onset of spring in Afghanistan and called for increased regional cooperation and coordination to help the war-hit nation counter the terrorism threat. (VOA

Officials wound back an initial tsunami threat issued after a large earthquake struck off the coast of the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu on Sunday. (Reuters

Australia said it is no longer detaining asylum-seeking children on its mainland. (VOA

The Americas

Today, Brazil’s solicitor general, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, will make final arguments before a congressional impeachment commission, which then has five sessions to debate before voting. (AFP

Demonstrators protesting the death of a boy who was killed by a stray bullet looted stores and set 12 buses ablaze in Brazil over the weekend. (AP

Argentine forensic experts who have studied a dump in southern Mexico where government officials claim the bodies of 43 missing students were burned said Saturday that results from a new investigation of the site are incomplete and inconclusive. (AP

Refugee Crisis

Austrian police have clashed with protesters demonstrating against the closure of Europe’s borders to migrants. (AP

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said Sunday the EU must make no concessions to Turkey over human rights but voiced confidence in a deal with Ankara to manage the refugee crisis. (AFP

Just weeks ago, thousands of migrants a day were streaming into northern Europe. Now the influx has been dramatically crimped and Austria is claiming much of the credit. (AP

The EU will unveil plans to overhaul its asylum system this week following a controversial migrant deal with Turkey, but the proposals look set to trigger fresh rows in a bloc already deeply divided by the refugee crisis. (AFP

…and the rest

An attacker threw a hand grenade and fired shots outside a sports hall in northern Kosovo early on Sunday, hours before Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic was due to hold an election rally there, police said. (Reuters

Thousands of Poles took part in street demonstrations on Sunday to protest a possible tightening of the country’s abortion law, already one of the most restrictive in Europe. (AP


My career’s biggest lesson:  no women, no development (Guardian

How powerful is ISIS? (The Interpreter

Another person died of Ebola in West Africa. So Why is the Emergency Considered “Over”? (UN Dispatch

What can historical success teach us about tackling sanitation and hygiene? (From Poverty to Power

Learning To Mourn In My Father’s Country (BuzzFeed

Baseball Is A Field Of Dreams — And Dashed Hopes — For Dominicans (Goats and Soda

How Do Americans, Chinese See the Other? (VOA

It’s good for the future of cinema that Africa exists (Africa is a Country
Weary professors give up, concede that Africa is a country (Washington Post