8 Things you need to know right now

Shaun and Rhys Scott. Source / Facebook
Shaun and Rhys Scott. Source / Facebook

1. Two major terror attacks occurred this morning. At least 27 people have been killed and 75 wounded in a blast in Turkey's capital, Ankara, believed to have been caused by a car bomb.

It exploded near a park at Ankara's main square, Kizilay. In Ivory Coast gunmen attacked three hotels in Grand-Bassam, a resort town, opening fire on beachgoers and sending tourists fleeing. The Government said 14 civilians, six assailants and two special forces were killed. There were reports four Europeans were among the dead.

Members of emergency services work at the scene of an explosion in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, March 13, 2016.
Members of emergency services work at the scene of an explosion in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, March 13, 2016.

2. The parents of 2-year-old twin boys in Scotland who drowned after falling into a fish pond at their home have paid tribute to their "miracle babies" as it emerged the children were conceived using IVF.

Sarah Aitken and Mervyn Scott said their "long-awaited little soldiers" Sean and Rhys had been "full of love, happiness, fun and cheek" and they had been left devastated by the "freak" accident at Dalgety Bay, Fife.

The Daily Telegraph said the "miracle babies" description was a reference to them having been conceived using IVF.

Around one in six IVF pregnancies result in a multiple birth, whereas natural conceptions of twins occur in about one in 80 cases.

3. Final preparations are underway for the launch tonight of a robot spacecraft designed to sniff out signs of life on Mars.

The ExoMars 2016 probe is to be blasted into space on a Proton rocket from Baikonour cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It is the first of a two-part exploration of the Red Planet by European and Russian scientists.

4. Plans for a resort development in a town near the edge of the Grand Canyon have been thrown out by federal officials, the Guardian reports, after a bitter battle with environmentalists and Native American groups.

Tusayan, population 560, is 1.5km from the entrance to the US national park. Heather Provencio, supervisor of a national forest who needed to approve better road access across the federal land for the plan by an Italian-based company to go ahead, says it is not in the public interest.

5. French investigators have called for medical confidentiality to be relaxed for pilots, following last year's Germanwings disaster in which 150 people died. Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was urged by a doctor to attend a psychiatric hospital weeks before he crashed the plane last March into the French Alps.

French investigators say in their final report that his employer was never alerted. He had been suffering from severe depression, they said, but doctors had been unable to disclose this.

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was urged by a doctor to attend a psychiatric hospital weeks before he crashed the plane last March.
Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was urged by a doctor to attend a psychiatric hospital weeks before he crashed the plane last March.

6. In a comeback for mankind, a South Korean Go grandmaster has scored his first win over a Google-developed supercomputer.

The victory came after three defeats. Lee Se-Dol beat AlphaGo in a high-profile showdown between man and machine that took nearly five hours. It was the fourth match of the best-of-five series which the computer won at the weekend.

7. Exit polls suggest German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party was given a thumbs-down in two out of three regional state elections in a backlash to her accommodating refugee policy with a big vote for the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany.

Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats suffered a poor showing in both Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, bested by the Greens and Social Democrats respectively. In Saxony-Anhalt the CDU remained the largest party but the AfD grabbed 21.5 per cent.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

8. A bird strike damaged a passenger jet's nose of as it landed at Heathrow Airport in Britain. The Daily Telegraph reports that more than 70 passengers were on board when the EgyptAir Boeing 737-800 was struck.

The Cairo plane landed safely despite being "smothered in blood and feathers" in the collision. It flew back to Egypt on Sunday after being fitted with a new radome, which protects antenna from atmospheric and physical damage.

- NZ Herald

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