Hello! Here’s what you need to know for Monday.
1. Russia released a blacklist of 89 European Union politicians banned from entering the country in response to the EU’s sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year.
2. The Burundian government said on Sunday it was open to postponing the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections by at least a month and a half amid violent protests sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term.
3. The International Monetary Fund has lowered its growth projection for Ukraine to minus 9%, largely due to the “unresolved conflict in the East.”
4. Key parts of the Patriot Act, which allows the US government to collect phone records, expired after midnight on Monday after the Senate failed to reached a deal Sunday night to extend the program.
5. Beijing ‘s ban on public smoking takes effect on Monday with the introduction of fines for those who light up in restaurants, offices, or on public transportation.
6. The US is giving Vietnam $ 18 million (£11.7 million) to buy patrol boats to strengthen its maritime defence, following increased Chinese activity in disputed areas of the South China Sea.
7. Japan on Saturday proposed a system of round-the-clock safety patrols in the South China, where tensions of have risen over China’s land reclamation projects around the disputed Spratly archipelago.
8. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Saturday named former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili as the governor of Ukraine’s southern Odessa region.
9. The European Central Bank meets on Wednesday, where analysts will be listening for what president Mario Draghi has to say about the situation in Greece.
10. One of the world’s top Ebola scientists has warned that the deadly virus will strike again in 10 to 20 years, just as the outbreak in West Africa is slowing down.
And finally …
A Bulgarian mayor ordered the roads to be dusted with 50 kilogrammes of sugar to ward off “evil omens” after several car crashes in recent weeks.
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