Portal:Current events/March 2015

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2015
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March 2015 was the third month of that common year. The month, which began on a Sunday, ended on a Tuesday after 31 days.

Portal:Current events

This is an archived version of Wikipedia's Current events Portal from March 2015.

Political elections
Science and technology
  • NASA astronauts perform the third of three ISS spacewalks completing the cabling reroutings needed in preparation for the 2017 arrival of the first commercial spacecraft capable of transporting astronauts. (AP)
Armed conflicts and attacks
Business and economy
  • Hewlett-Packard announces that it will buy Aruba Networks, a California-based manufacturer of wi-fi equipment, for approximately $2.7 billion in combined cash and equity. (press release).
International relations
Law and crime
Sports
Business and economy
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle will ground all passengers in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden as the result of an industrial dispute. The action leaves 35,000 people stranded. (Norway local)
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland will fire 14,000 staff as they retreat from geographic positions in US and Asian markets. (The Guardian)
  • Target Corporation, a major U.S. retail chain, announces cuts that will mean the loss of thousands of jobs, part of a revival plan adopted by CEO Brian Cornell. (press release)
Disasters and accidents
International relations
Law and crime
Politics and elections
Science and technology
  • An archaeological expedition claims to have found the legendary White City in northeastern Honduras, with artifacts that range in dates from the 11th to 14th century. (National Geographic)
Disasters and accidents
  • South of Sicily, Italy's Coast Guard saves 941 trafficked migrants aboard five motorized dinghies and two larger vessels near southern Italian ports. Authorities cannot account for ten people. (AP)
  • At least 33 miners die in a suspected gas explosion at the Zasyadko coal mine in rebel-held Donetsk region of Ukraine. (BBC) (Reuters via News24)
  • Turkish Airlines Flight TK726, landing in dense fog in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, skids off a slippery runway, however, there are no serious injuries. (ABC News)
  • A toxic chemical fire forces the closure of the Port of Vancouver (Canada's largest and North America's fourth largest port). Authorities later manage to contain the fire, and identify the chemical as trichloroisocyanuric acid. (CBC)
Science and technology
  • Scientists report the finding of a 2.8-million-year-old jawbone (the "Ledi jaw") forming a potential link between the 3.2-million-year-old hominin (human-like primate) Lucy (Australopithecus) found in the same area, and the 2.35-million-year-old remains of Homo habilis found at nearby Hadar. If assigned to the genus Homo, the new remains represent the oldest known human, some 400,000 years older than previously found. (BBC)
  • Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his team of researchers find the Musashi, one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships which was sunk by American forces in 1944, on the floor of the Sibuyan Sea. (CNN)
Armed conflicts and attacks
Arts and culture
Business and economy
  • American pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc buys leukemia drugmaker Pharmacyclics Inc for $21 billion. (AP)
  • A New York state appellate court in Manhattan rules to approve in its entirety the 2011 settlement by Bank of America with 22 institutional investors including BlackRock Inc, MetLife Inc, and Allianz SE's Pacific Investment Management Co to resolve claims over $174 billion of mortgage securities issued by the former Countrywide Financial Corp. in a $8.5 billion settlement. (Reuters)
  • Dublin-based generic drugmaker, specialty drug supplier, and medical imaging agent producer Mallinckrodt Plc increases its presence in U.S. hospitals by buying privately held Ikaria Inc, a maker of a respiratory drug and its delivery system, for $2.3 billion from a group of investors led by private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC. The deal includes INOmax, which is the only approved product to treat hypoxic respiratory failure in infants through nitric oxide. (Reuters)
  • Energy-rich Kazakhstan suspends Russian fuel and gas imports to protect its domestic market from a surplus due to a weakened ruble which has sent ripples of economic uncertainty through Central Asia. (The Times of Central Asia)
Disasters and accidents
Health
Law and crime
Armed conflicts and attacks
  • At least two knife-wielding attackers injure nine people at a train station in southern China; the police fatally shoot one of the suspects. (AP)
  • The United Kingdom's National Crime Agency arrests a man as a suspected hacker in western England in connection with a June 15, 2014 cyber attack on the messaging service used by employees at the U.S. Department of Defense. (AP)(Bloomberg)
  • The U.S. Justice Department charges two Vietnamese citizens (Quoc Nguyen and Giang Hoang Vu) and a Canadian (David-Manuel Santos Da Silva) with running a massive cyberfraud ring that stole one billion email addresses, then sent spam offering knockoff software products of Adobe Systems Inc with the hacking having occurred between February 2009 and June 2012. The victim breaches include a massive 2011 attack on email marketing firm Epsilon, a unit of Alliance Data Systems Corp. Although the other two are in custody, Nguyen remains at large. The charge against Da Silva is conspiracy to commit money laundering. (Reuters)
Business and Economy
Disasters and accidents
  • A road accident along the highway between Ismaïlia and Cairo in Egypt, east of Cairo, involving a bus that collided with a microbus kills fifteen people. (AP)
  • Two massive snowy traffic jams in Kentucky strand motorists for 24 hours or longer. One stretched for about 26 miles along Interstate 65 from just north of Elizabethtown past Shepherdsville, and the other stretched the entire length of Interstate 24 in Kentucky, more than 90 miles. (AP, I-65) (WSMV-TV, I-24)
International relations
  • Writing in the FIFA Weekly magazine, FIFA president Sepp Blatter calls Iran to end its "intolerable" ban on women attending soccer matches, describing the situation as one that "cannot continue." (CNN)
Health
Law and crime
  • 2014 Taipei Metro attack
    • The New Taipei City district court sentences Cheng Chieh to death for the May 2014 knife attack on a Taipei Metro train that left four dead and 22 passengers injured. (AP)
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John O. Brennan announces plans for a major restructuring and reorganization, including a focus on digital espionage (through the creation of the CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation). The plan will end some longstanding divisions, and create ten new centers that team analysts with operators, fostering collaboration and focus on a range of new security issues and threats, and replacing geographic division offices with hybrid mission centers modeled on the CIA Counterterrorism Center. (The Washington Post via MSN)
  • Customs officers at the Shahjalal International Airport catch Son Young Nam, a North Korean diplomat trying to smuggle an estimated $1.4 million worth of gold into Bangladesh. Bangladesh authorities release him but will still seek to press charges. (Reuters)
  • Madison Police Department officers fatally shoot an unarmed 19-year-old black teenager who was suspected of a recent battery. A struggle ensued between the suspect and an officer, and the teen was fatally shot. (Reuters via MSN)
Science and technology
Armed conflicts and attacks
Law and crime
Politics and elections
Armed conflicts and attacks
  • Boko Haram
    • Forces from Niger and Chad launch a ground and air offensive against Boko Haram Islamist militants in northeastern Nigeria. (BBC)
  • A rocket and shelling attack in Kidal, northern Mali kills three people, including a UN peacekeeper. (Al Jazeera)
  • A bomb explodes outside French supermarket Carrefour in Alexandria, Egypt, killing one person and wounding six. (AP via News24)
Arts and culture
Law and crime
Science and technology
Disasters and accidents
International relations
Law and crime
  • A man kills five people in the Japanese city of Sumoto in a prolonged stabbing attack. (ABC and AFP via ABC Australia)
  • American film director Randall Miller pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing and will spend two years in county jail and another eight on probation in regards to the February 20, 2014, death of camera assistant Sarah Jones by a freight train on a bridge over the Altamaha River in Wayne County, Georgia (six other crew members were also injured), during filming of a biopic about singer Gregg Allman called Midnight Rider. (BBC)
  • In a five-day national dragnet last week, Operation Cross Check, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rounds up 2,059 people who had been convicted of crimes and had been living in the country illegally. Most were not violent criminals (none were implicated in terrorism; almost all the 912 misdemeanors were for driving under the influence, DWI; 476 of the felons were charged with an immigration violation, though some were convicted of manslaughter, robbery, rape, and child pornography). (Tribune Washington Bureau via MSN)
Science and technology
  • Solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse 2 begins its circumnavigation of the earth. (BBC)
  • Explorers of a stalactite cave in Israel's Galilee region uncover a small collection of 2,300-year-old silver coins and jewelry believed to have been hidden from the time of Alexander the Great of Macedonia. The discovery could be the first of its kind to be found from that period in this area. (Reuters via MSN)

Largest Lego tower is built

Armed conflicts and attacks
Arts and culture
Disasters and accidents
  • A passenger train collides with a lorry on a level crossing at Dien Sanh, Vietnam leaving one person dead and several others injured. (Tuổi Trẻ News)
Law and crime
Disasters and accidents
International relations
Law and crime
Armed conflicts and attacks
Business and economy
  • The United Steelworkers union and Royal Dutch Shell negotiate a contract, pending union ratification, to end of a six-week strike that began February 1 that has affected twelve U.S. refineries. Previously, the strike had been cited as a reason for recent oil price increases. (AP)
  • In New York City, U.S. district court judge Thomas Griesa expands the force of his existing remedial rulings in the ongoing litigation over the Argentine debt restructuring, blocking planned bond payments by Citigroup. The Citigroup processing of payments would violate a requirement that Argentina treat bondholders equally. (Reuters)
Disasters and accidents
Law and crime
Science and technology
Sports
Armed conflicts and attacks
  • A Myanmar air raid aimed at rebels on its border with China drops bombs on the Chinese city of Lincang killing four people. (AP via The New York Times)
Business and economy
Disasters and accidents
  • Cyclone Pam
    • Cyclone Pam causes severe damage in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu with unconfirmed reports of over 40 deaths. (ABC News Australia)
  • One South Korean Ministry of Public Safety and Security official dies and three are missing after a helicopter crash off the island of Gageodo. (Yonhap News)
  • Chile declares a state of emergency and preliminary evacuation of 16,000 as a forest fire threatens the city of Valparaiso. (AFP via Yahoo! News)
  • The Aung Takon passenger ferry sinks off the coast of Myanmar with 21 dead and 26 people missing. (Straits Times)
  • A Serbian military Russian-made MI-17 transport helicopter crashes near Belgrade's international airport in foggy weather while evacuating a sick 5-day-old baby with life-threatening respiratory problems from the south of the country, killing all seven people on board. (AP)
Health
Law and crime
Science and technology
Disasters and accidents
  • The United Nations will send emergency aid to Vanuatu with at least four people officially dead and reports of dozens more dead after Cyclone Pam hit yesterday. (Reuters via Daily Mail)(AP)
  • A bus crash in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina kills at least 51 people. (AFP via Yahoo! News), (Reuters via Daily Mail)
International relations
Law and crime
Politics and elections
  • The cancellation of several of Russian President Vladimir Putin's scheduled meetings leads to widespread social media speculations regarding the reason for his public absence. (The New York Times)
Armed conflicts and attacks
Disasters and accidents
International relations
  • Myanmar denies claims by the People's Republic of China that one of its aircraft crossed the Chinese border and dropped a bomb killing four people. (AP via ABC News America)
Politics and elections
Sports
Weather
  • The U.S. city of Boston sets an all time snow record, with 108.6 inches of snow for the season. (USA Today)
Armed conflicts and attacks
Disasters and accidents
  • Cyclone Pam
    • The remnants of Cyclone Pam move down the east coast of New Zealand causing evacuations, heavy flooding, and power outages. (New Zealand Herald)
    • The United Nations estimates that every school in Vanuatu has been destroyed or damaged by Cyclone Pam. The interim death toll has risen to 44. (ABC News Australia), (Reuters via Daily Mail)
  • A bus runs off the road in northwestern Nepal killing at least seventeen people. (The Hindu)
International relations
Law and crime
Armed conflicts and attacks
Disasters and accidents
International relations
Law and crime
Politics and elections
  • Israeli legislative election, 2015:
    • The Likud party, led by incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wins the most seats in the Knesset, winning 30 out of 120 seats. If asked by the President to form a government, Netanyahu will become the first Prime Minister to serve a fourth term. (The New York Times)(The Times of Israel)(AP via Fox News)
  • Following a congressional and possible criminal investigation surrounding the redecoration of his office and the use of donors' private aircraft at taxpayers' expense, U.S. Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL) resigns effective March 31, 2015. (Peoria Journal Star)
Armed conflicts and attacks
Disasters and accidents
International relations
Health
  • Kraft Foods Group Inc. recalls more than 6.5 million 7.25-ounce (0.2-kilogram) boxes of its macaroni and cheese after customers reported finding small pieces of metal inside. The recalled products were shipped nationwide in the U.S. as well as to some countries in South America and the Caribbean. (Bloomberg via MSN)
  • A study in the medical journal The Lancet states that babies who are breastfed were more likely to have higher IQs, spend more time in school, and end up in higher-paying jobs. (Quartz via MSN) (The Lancet)
Law and crime
  • A suspected gang-related shooting in a restaurant at Hisingen, an island near the Swedish city of Gothenburg, kills at least two people with several more injured. (Reuters), (BBC)
Disasters and accidents
International relations
Law and crime
Armed conflicts and attacks
Disasters and accidents
Health
Law and Crime
  • To resolve claims they were misled about the company's subprime mortgage exposure, a U.S. District Court Judge, Laura Swain approves a settlement between shareholders and American multinational insurer AIG, providing for a payout of $970.5 million. (Reuters).
Politics and elections
  • Maurizio Lupi resigns as Italy's Minister for Infrastructure following the arrest of a key aide in a corruption probe. (AP via ABC News)
Science and technology
Armed conflicts and attacks
Arts and culture
Disasters and accidents
  • 2014–15 Australian region cyclone season
    • Residents living on the east coast of the Northern Territory prepare for the second tropical cyclone to hit the area in a month as Tropical Cyclone Nathan is likely to make landfall tomorrow morning. (ABC News Australia)
  • A fire in Brooklyn, New York kills seven children and leaves two others critically injured. (The New York Times) (AP)
  • An Egyptian accident in which a bus falls off of a bridge and plunges into a canal near Giza city kills at least 35 people. (NEWS.CO.AU)
Armed conflicts and attacks
Arts and culture
Disasters and accidents
Politics and elections
Sports
Armed conflicts and attacks
Business and economy
Disasters and accidents
  • A bus crashes into traffic near Huarmey in northern Peru, leaving at least thirty-seven people dead and dozens injured. (AFP via ABC news)
International relations
Law and crime
Politics and elections
Armed conflicts and attacks
  • War in Afghanistan
    • Gunmen kill at least thirteen people in an attack on three passing vehicles including a bus in Wardak province's Sayad Abad district. (Al Jazeera America)
Arts and culture
  • A BBC investigation finds that Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson assaulted a producer with reports that he will be sacked from the television program. (The Telegraph)
Disasters and accidents
Science and technology
  • The Opportunity rover completes a Martian marathon, the first time any vehicle has traveled more than 26.2 miles on the surface of another world. (CNN)
Armed conflicts and attacks
Arts and culture
Business and economy
Disasters and accidents
  • Germanwings Flight 9525
    • A search and recovery operation resumes for the remains of the Germanwings flight that crashed into the French Alps on March 24. (BBC)
    • An audio recording indicates that a pilot was locked out of the cockpit at the time of the crash and was unable to reenter. (The New York Times)
  • North American tornado outbreaks
    • Tornadoes hit the American city of Tulsa and the surrounding region of eastern Oklahoma leaving one person dead and several others injured. (News on 6), (BBC)
Law and crime
Sports
Armed conflicts and attacks
Arts and culture
Disasters and accidents
Law and crime
  • After the recent March 17 DOS attack on Chinese website GreatFire (See March 19), a massive distributed denial-of-service attack from China occurs against GitHub, a leading online coding platform, with the Github-hosted GreatFire contents being the main target. (The Verge)
Armed conflicts and attacks
Disasters and accidents
  • A stampede at a Hindu festival in Langalbandh, Bangladesh, kills at least ten people with dozens more injured. (Bangla News), (AP)
  • Power returns to Amsterdam after a 5-hour blackout that caused the closure of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and disrupted public transport networks throughout the Netherlands. (Reuters via Daily Mail)
  • Germanwings Flight 9525
    • Investigators, searching one of the two residences of the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, find a torn doctor's note granting Lubitz medical leave—deeming him unfit for work—for a period including the day of the crash. (CNN)
    • In imitation of current U.S. policy, Lufthansa, together with other German airlines announce plans to mandate that two people (either two pilots or a pilot and a flight attendant) must be inside the cockpit at all times. (CNN)
Law and crime
Politics and elections
Science and technology
Armed conflicts and attacks
Disasters and accidents
  • Germanwings Flight 9525
    • According to an interview with Germany's Bild newspaper, the former girlfriend of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was told by him that "One day I'm going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember." (BBC)
    • A mourning religious service is held at Digne-les-Bains in the French Alps near the site of the downed passenger jet. (Guardian)
Law and crime
  • The Congolese bar owner whom Amanda Knox falsely accused of killing Meredith Kercher criticises a lack of justice in the surprise decision by Italy to quash her conviction yesterday, citing diplomatic pressure coupled with Knox's wealth and status as American, as opposed to his being African. (Guardian)
Politics and elections
Sports
Armed conflicts and attacks
Disasters and accidents
International relations
Politics and elections
Sports
Armed conflicts and attacks
Business and economy
  • Creditors offer Puerto Rico's highly leveraged power authority $2 billion in new financing, including $1.2 billion for a new natural gas operation, in exchange for assurances that it will repay its debt. (Reuters)
  • American company UnitedHealth Group will buy American pharmacy benefit firm Catamaran Corporation for $12.8 billion. (Reuters)
Arts and culture
Disasters and accidents
Law and crime
  • The Jerusalem District Court finds former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert guilty of accepting cash from an American businessman for personal use. (Ynet News)
  • In Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, base perimeter guards shoot and kill one person and injure another person as two men attempt to crash the entrance gate with their vehicle. The incident also injures a guard. The base is the headquarters for the National Security Agency. (BBC)
Politics and elections
Disasters and accidents
  • Landslides in India's Jammu and Kashmir state kill at least six people and leave sixteen others missing. (BBC)
  • Large parts of Turkey experience a power outage affecting public services and infrastructure including air traffic control, trams, and subways in Istanbul. As much as 65% of the country is without power. (CNN)
  • Germanwings Flight 9525:
    • Germanwings' owner Lufthansa officially acknowledges that it knew there were mental health issues with Andreas Lubitz before the crash. (The New York Times)
    • German newspaper Bild and French news magazine Paris Match say they have a passenger's cell phone video showing the plane's last moments before the crash. (BBC)
Health
Law and crime
Politics and elections
Sports
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References

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